"...and after spending more than one billion dollars, the buildings in Angel Grove has all been reinforced with a special blend of metals and minerals that will make allow our city to have a better chance against the hazard of nature, and we'll also stand a better chance against the continuous stream of monsters that are constantly invading Angel Grove," the newscaster said, concluding her report. "The weather is next."
"Oh great, now we can fight twice as long before destroying Mondo's's monsters, without having any fear of destroying the city," Rocky DeSantos commented as he, the other rangers and Kris sat at the bar in the Youth Centre, watching the news on T.V.
"It was a good idea to reinforce all of the buildings, especially the ones downtown," Kat said thoughtfully. It was a few days after the last unsuccessful monster attack on Angel Grove, and the last pieces of rubble were being cleared away from the downtown district. The buildings had all been rebuilt and reinforced with a newly-developed alloy. This wasn't the first time this had happened, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.
"I guess we were doing more damage to the city than we'd thought," Adam said.
"It's not like we start it, though; King Mondo do," Tanya countered softly, making sure no one would overhear them.
"Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but Rocky and I don't have time to sit here and discuss architectural techniques; we've got to get to our mother's house for dinner," Kris told the others as she pushed her stool back and stood up.
"That's today?" Rocky asked. Kris nodded.
"Yup. We don't want to keep her waiting," she replied.
"Especially not if she's cooking!" Rocky agreed enthusiastically. Kris and the others laughed. Then she and Rocky bade goodbye to their friends, and left the Youth Centre. Soon after they had gone, most of the others also went to their respective homes. However, Tanya and Adam headed out to the park for a walk; Tommy and Kat had the same idea, but the two couples went their different ways. Jason and Billy, on the other hand, headed to their homes.
"Looks like rain," Jason commented quietly to himself, watching the skies as the dark clouds seemed to multiply before his eyes while he walked home. He quickened his pace, not wanting to get caught in the summer rain storms that happened so frequently along the California coast.
"Hmm, the cumulus clouds are rapidly assembling, and there's a wind coming from the East. I should get inside before the rain soaks me through to the skin," Billy said to himself, breaking into a jog since he was still quite a fair distance from his home. "I hope I make it in time."
Kat sighed happily.
"That breeze is beautiful," she said, smiling at Tommy. He smiled back down at her.
"Yea, it is. Can I walk you home?" he offered.
"Sure, anytime," she replied as they turned right and headed for Kat's address.
Tanya shivered. She was wearing a yellow tank top made from a very light material, and the light wind that was blowing gently was cutting right through it. Tiny bumps of flesh rose on her exposed skin. Adam put his arm around her shoulders, sensing her discomfort. He led her to a picnic bench, where they sat side-by-side, watching the nearly-abandoned beach and lake.
"Smells like it's going to rain," Kris commented as she and Rocky got out of Rocky's car in the driveway of their mother's house.
"'Smells like it's going to rain'? Kris, how can you possibly smell rain?" Rocky asked in confusion. Kris shrugged.
"Beats me," she replied honestly. "All I know is that there's always a certain scent in the air right before it starts to come down in buckets."
"In that case, better roll up the windows on the ol' girl," Rocky said, returning to his vehicle. He started manually rolling up every single window on the dark blue 2-door Honda he owned. Kris simply stood further up the driveway and watched him. "You could help, you know."
"I know I could help you, but you're the older brother; you're supposed to be nice to your younger siblings," Kris replied with a sly smile.
"No I'm not. I'm an older brother. Therefore, I'm supposed to annoy the hell out of my younger sibs," Rocky countered, grinning.
"Damn, got me there," Kris conceded as they walked up onto the porch and knocked on the door. Rocky's mother opened it.
"Kris! Rocky! You're on time!" she exclaimed, hugging them both at once. Kris laughed, and Rocky turned red with embarrassment.
"Oh come on, ma, I was only late once or twice," he protested weakly.
"Sure, Rocky, if you say so," Mrs. DeSantos said with a wink to Kris that Rocky was meant to see.
Jason managed to make it home just before it started to rain. Glad I'm not out in that, mom would have killed me if I'd come home soaked! he thought, but then he remembered that his parents weren't at home, nor would the be for another week or so. Jason was standing under the peek of the roof that protruded over his porch and watched the rain begin to fall. Then he headed inside, where it was warm and dry.
"Oh man," Billy muttered as he felt the first few drops of rain hit his face. The falling water began to splatter over the pavement, bouncing off of the leaves of the surrounding, abundant vegetation, and generally soaking everything that wasn't covered up. Unfortunately, that included a few citizens of Angel Grove. Billy broke into a full run, legs pumping, and hurried even more when thunder crashed and lightening so bright it left streaks in his retinas flashed across the ever-darkening skies. His legs chewed up the distance between Billy and his house. Soon, the street on which he lived appeared, and Billy had rarely been happier to see his home. Shelter, finally! he thought.
Kat and Tommy were just arriving at Kat's house when the rain began to fall.
"This looks like it's going to last a while," Kat commented, looking up at the dark grey clouds. She turned to face Tommy as they stood in her garage. "Would you like to come in for a while and call your folks to come pick you up? I'm sure you don't want to go back out in that rain."
"Sure, that'd be great, thanks," Tommy accepted. Kat fished her key out of her purse and unlocked the front door. Though there were no lights on in the house, the lightening that blazed across the sky illuminated everything for a split second. Then, darkness fell once more. Kat flicked a light switch, and the hall light came on. It threw the shadows into corners, and made everything seem just a little bit warmer.
"You can use the phone in the living room, if you want," Kat said as she kicked her shoes off at the door and started walking deeper into the house. Tommy followed suit.
"OK," was the simple reply.
"I'm going to make some hot chocolate; would you like some?" Kat offered, digging the kettle out from under the sink.
"Sure, that'd be great, thanks," Tommy answered. Kat smiled and started rummaging through cupboards.
"You can go have a seat in the living room, if you want. Maybe see if there's anything on T.V.," Kat suggested, filling the kettle with water to be boiled. Tommy gave no verbal reply. Instead, he simply went into the living room, sat on the couch and picked up the remote control. When he turned on the set, he noted that the picture was a little fuzzy. Thunder rolled through the sky, and for a brief moment Tommy froze, thinking a monster had been sent by Mondo and it was terrorizing the city. Then he relaxed when his brain processed the noise. I think I need a vacation from all of this saving-the-world stuff, he thought, smiling to himself as he changed channels. Kat came into the room just then, carrying two mugs of steaming hot chocolate. She noticed the smile on Tommy's face.
"What's so funny?" she asked, setting the mugs down on the table in front of them.
"Oh, nothing," Tommy replied, the smile still on his face.
"Tanya, do you think we should be getting home? It looks like this rain isn't going to stop for quite a while," Adam commented, looking out the small window. When the rain had started, he and Tanya had been forced to take refuge in an unlocked lifeguard station by the beach of the lake. They could both hear the wind howling as it hit some gaps in the construction, but even more noticeable was the thunder and lightening that were almost as steady as a metronome.
"I think we'll be safer in here. I don't want to go out there while there's lightening. Thanks, but I think I'm much better not being extra tasty crispy," Tanya joked. She leaned against a wall, staring out at the lake. The rain made billions of tiny ripples in the normally crystal clean water, now turned a murky brown from the swirling waters. "I wonder how long this storm is going to last."
"Probably not long. It's more than likely just one of those freak summer showers," Adam told her, moving to stand next to her. "Are you still cold?"
"A little," she admitted. He put his arm around her and drew her close to him.
"Body heat," he said by way of explanation, though they both knew it was just an excuse to be this close to one another.
"Right, body heat," Tanya agreed, leaning against Adam happily.
"Mom, Evan is throwing peas at me!" A.J. complained to her mother. Kris, who was sitting next to A.J. and Rocky, who was at the head of the table, reached across the table and high-fived Evan.
"Good job, that's the only thing peas are good for!" she told him in a conspiratorial whisper. Evan grinned at her, and threw another pea, this time aimed for Katie. It hit her right between the eyes, and her eyes began to water.
"Evan, you know better than that," Mrs. DeSantos said sternly to her 11-year-son.
"Hey!" Kris exclaimed as she felt something bounce off her cheek. "Rocky!" Rocky looked down into his plate innocently.
"What?" he asked.
"Rocky, you know better than that, too," Mrs. DeSantos repeated, although this time there was a hint of humour in her voice as she reprimanded her oldest son. Kris waited until Mrs. DeSantos had turned away to cut Katie's meat for her, then she fired a quintuplet set of peas at her older brother. He yelped as they made contact, one of them finding its way down his shirt. Mrs. DeSantos swung her head about sharply. "Rocky, must you disturb us all the time while we're at the table?"
"But mom, I didn't-" he began to reply, but she cut him off with a glare. Rocky shot a glare of his own at Kris, who grinned angelically back at him. The rest of the table burst out into hysterics, leaving Mrs. DeSantos confused, to say the least. She shook her head, and muttered something about boys being boys. After that, however, dinner went smoothly.
Jason sat in the living room at his home, watching T.V. and the storm, which was still raging outside, simultaneously. I'm glad I didn't get caught out in that, he thought, looking out the huge window in the living room. Fork lightening split through the sky, then vanished as quickly as it had appeared, leaving a streak of light in Jason's eyes. He blinked rapidly to remove the afterimage. Since there was nothing interesting on, he turned off the T.V. and went down to his basement to practice his martial arts.
When Billy got home, he was soaked to the skin. His clothing clung to him like spandex. Ironically enough, it reminded him vaguely of the ranger suits, to a certain degree. He unlocked his front door, then quickly let himself in and closed the door behind him, having to put much of his weight into it since the wind was blowing straight at the front of his house. As soon as he managed to get his front door closed and locked, Billy went straight up to the bathroom and had a long, hot shower to get rid of the chill that was setting in on account of his wet clothing. Even though he was in the shower, Billy could still hear the thunder as it crashed through the air and rattled the windows, set in their panes; the rain as it steadily pelted the roof one storey above his head, and the wind as it howled through the city, picking up things like greenery and tossing around pieces of lawn furniture that had been unlucky enough to be outside when the storm had started. So !much for a little peace and quiet, he thought wryly as a thunderclap shook the house. Billy was even able to feel the vibrations beneath his bare feet as he stood in the tub. I'd better go make sure that everything's bolted down out in the backyard. If I got sued because of some flying lawn furniture, mom and dad would have my head! With that, Billy dressed in the damn clothing he had worn on his way home when he'd been caught in the rain, then went out his back door to stow whatever wasn't bolted down.
Kat peered out the curtain in the living room where she and Tommy had been sitting watching the storm, since there was nothing good on T.V.
"It looks like it's getting worse," she murmured, half to herself.
"I'm sure it won't get too bad," Tommy said, trying to reassure her. "Angel Grove never gets bad storms."
"There's a first time for everything," Kat reminded him.
"True, but somehow, I don't think this is going to last much longer," Tommy replied, not standing at the window beside Kat. As they watched, a deviant lawn chair blew down the street. Kat fixed Tommy with a what-were-you-saying look. Tommy reddened ever so slightly. "Like I said, this won't go on for much longer." Kat shook her head once, let out a little sigh, and turned back to the window. Geez, for everybody's sake, I hope I'm right! Tommy thought, taking Kat's hand in his.
"You know what, Adam?" Tanya said suddenly. Adam turned to look at her.
"I think we should have gone home when we had the chance," she replied. "It doesn't sound like this is going to let up any time soon, and you have to admit that we're not exactly in the most secure spot to deal with a storm like this one is turning out to be."
"We'll be OK," Adam assured her. "After all, if we can survive monster attacks on an almost daily basis, I think we can deal with a little rain, don't you?"
"Maybe you're right," Tanya said reluctantly. "Still, it doesn't sound too promising out there."
"That's true, but this shouldn't go on much longer. After all, how much rain can fall in this short a time period?" Adam asked. It was a rhetorical question, so Tanya offered no response. Inwardly, though, she still had her reservations. I hope Adam's right about this, because I would hate to be stuck out here if this storm gets any worse. I hope it doesn't last too much longer, either. I'm cold, slightly wet and I wish I was at home. Although, I guess this isn't entirely bad. I mean, Adam and I are getting some time alone, and King Mondo aren't sending down any monsters. I guess I'll take whatever I can get, Tanya thought to herself, a bit of a smile creeping up onto her lips. Adam noticed it.
"What's so funny?" he asked her, confused.
"What? Oh, nothing, I was just thinking," Tanya replied vaguely. Well, that much is true, anyway.
"Oh, OK," Adam replied, letting silence fill the air again. Well, "silence" was a relative term, since there was wind howling and thunder booming every second that they were there. This had better not last much longer, Adam thought to himself, looking out one of the windows in the shack that he and Tanya were more or less trapped in. I'd really like to go home. It's cold, went, and I'm hungry. Besides, I can think of about 33 places that I'd like to be in alone with Tanya, and this REALLY isn't one of them. Well, maybe if the storm wasn't around, I'd feel differently, but it is, and I can't change that...unfortunately.
"I wonder why King Mondo haven't sent down a monster yet," Adam said, now thinking aloud.
"I don't care why, just so long as they don't," Tanya replied. Adam nodded in agreement.
"Still, it's not like them not to take advantage of a situation like this. After all, we're vulnerable with this storm around."
"I know, but right now I'm not really thinking about them. All I want is to be somewhere safe and warm," Tanya told him, a touch of wistfulness in her voice.
"Don't worry, we'll be out of here soon enough," Adam said, reassuring her as best he could. If he were to be perfectly honest, though, he'd have said that he didn't know how long they were going to be trapped in the shack, nor did he know how long the storm would last. Oh well, some things are better of not being known, he decided.
"Thanks for dinner, ma," Rocky said as he, Kris, his mother and the other kids sat in the living room.
"Yea, that was really good," Kris agreed. "Much better than take-out."
"Hey, I cook!" Rocky protested.
"Kraft Dinner doesn't count," Kris counted, grinning. Rocky threw a pillow at his sister's head, and it made contact. "Oh, that's it! This means war!" Kris grabbed the pillow, and lunged at Rocky. The other children also grabbed pillows and attacked their oldest brother.
"Hey, let me up!" Rocky cried, overwhelmed. However, his pleas were muffled by pillows. Mrs. DeSantos sat back and laughed. She hadn't been this happy in years. At last, my family is back together, she thought, letting out a little sigh. There was a sharp shriek from the couch. Mrs. DeSantos turned and saw that Rocky had gotten up and had pinned Kris, but his other siblings were continuing to "beat" Rocky with the pillows.
"Get him, guys!" Kris shouted, laughing. The rest of her siblings gave a little war cry, and attacked Rocky with renewed fervor.
Once the pillow fight had ended, with Rocky being beaten until he had begged for mercy many times over, the kids were draped around the room.
"This storm doesn't look good," Kris whispered to Rocky, whom she was sitting beside. She didn't want any of the younger ones to hear her.
"I know. I think I'm going to go back to the apartment and make sure everything's closed up and locked," Rocky whispered back.
"I'll come with you," Kris offered.
"No, you should stay here. You'll be safer here," Rocky replied, shaking his head at her.
"I don't want you going out there alone," Kris protested.
"I'll be fine," Rocky assured her.
"Rocky, please, let me come with you," Kris begged. She didn't want to be away from her brother, not when there was a storm sitting over the city.
"Well, ma, I'm gonna go back to the apartment. Have to batten the hatches and all," Rocky joked, raising his voice to a normal volume. He stood up and headed for the door.
"Rocky, are you sure you should be going out in that?" Mrs. DeSantos asked worriedly, gesturing towards the window.
"I'll be fine," Rocky said with a dismissive gesture and a smile. "I'll be back soon!"
"OK, well, take care," Mrs. DeSantos told him, rising to kiss him on the cheek.
"Hey, don't worry, I'll be fine," Rocky said to her. He put on his shoes and grabbed his car keys. Then he opened the front door and bolted madly down to his car. By the time he had unlocked it, gotten in and shut the door, he was soaked. Oh great, this is just wonderful, he thought as he started the car. He looked back at the house, and saw Kris's worried face staring back at him through the window. He winked at her, then backed out of the driveway and headed back to his apartment.
I hope he's going to be all right, Kris thought worriedly, staring out the window even though Rocky's car had already disappeared around a corner. I couldn't stand to lose him again, not after everything I've already been through.
"Hey Kris, you want to play Monopoly with us?" Lucas called to her. Kris turned and saw that Lucas, A.J. and Evan had set up the Monopoly board, and were looking at her expectantly.
"Sure, sounds like fun," Kris said, smiling. She got off of the couch she had been sitting on, went over and sat down next to Lucas and A.J. "Which piece is mine?"
Jason, who was in his basement beating the living stuffing out of a punching bag, was thrown suddenly off-balance as the lights flickered. I think this storm is getting a little worse than I'd thought, he thought to himself. He waited, but the lights didn't flicker again, so he continued to execute kicking and punching sequences on the punching bag. However, just as he jumped up in preparation to do a spin kick, the lights flckered again, then died completely. Caught off-guard, Jason fell to the ground with a dull thud, landing sqaure on his butt. He muttered a mild curse as he got to his feet, and nearly ran into the punching bag. Flashlight, he decided ruefully, rubbing his tailbone. He carefully made his way to the stairs that led to the main floor, more than once knocking his shins against exercise and weight equipment.
Once he'd made it to the main floor, he proceeded to go to the kitchen. Thankfully, there was some light on the main floor. Otherwise, Jason would have had a difficult time finding the flashlight, since it was buried in the drawer that collected everything from masking tape to scraps of material to batteries to computer disks. Rummaging through it, Jason finally found a flashlight, a bunch of candles and a box of matches. He took his stash and laid it out on the kitchen table. He flicked the "on" switch, and thankfully a beam of light appeared. He left the candles and the box of matches sitting on the table, and moved out of the kitchen.
In the living room, Jason picked up the receiver of the cordless phone, intending to call Tommy, but he quickly discovered that the phone lines were down. Great, just great, he thought, replacing the handset. He rached to his wrist, and hit a button on his communicator.
"Zordon, come in. This is Jason."
Nothing. Not even static. Just utter silence. Next, Jason tried to teleport. Again, nothing happened. Well, since I'm not going to try to walk to the Power Chamber, I guess I'm stuck here until this storm lets up. I wonder if King Mondo are blocking my signal? Maybe they're responsable for this storm! That thought made Jason slightly apprehensive. Without making a conscious effort, he looked out the window. Could they really create something like this? Then again, it's not doing any serious damage to the city, and if they were behind this, then they'd want everything destroyed as quickly and effeciently as possible. That alleviated all of the worries that had been lurking in Jason's mind. Now what do I do? Jason wondered suddenly. He couldn't do anything that involved the useage of electricity, since the power was out, and that limited his options greatly. No T.V., no radio, no lights except the illumination provided by the flashlight, which meant he c!ouldn't even practice his martial arts, since there were no other rooms in the house that provided enough free space. With a resigned sigh, Jason turned on the battery-operated radio and sat down heavily on the couch next to it, preparing himself for a long stretch of utter boredom.
Billy was sitting at his computer in his lab, which was located in the garage. He had been attempting to work out some complex problems when, all of a sudden, his computer monitor flashed, and his hard drive began to reboot. Great, I didn't even get the chance to save that! he thought, letting out a small groan of frustration. Now I'm going to have to start from the beginning. Not a pleasant option, but what other choice did he have? Billy leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, clasping his hands behind his head. Thunder roared through the sky, drowning out any other sounds that might have been made, and lightening splintered the darkness.
When Billy opened his eyes, he discovered he couldn't see. I'm blind! was the mad thought that ran through his head like a runaway freight train, but then his common sense kicked in. The power must have gone out, he realised, his heart rate returning to normal. Now where did I leave that flashlight? Billy turned in a small circle, knowing exactly what he was looking for. Eureka! he thought as he spied a small, rectangular blue light. He walked slowly towards it, managing to aboid all but one piece of particularly sharp furniture. The blue light, as it would happen, was coming from a flashlight. Billy had built a light-sensitive device into it where, if it became too dark, the blue rectangle would light up, making the flashlight easier to find in the dark. Billy picked up the flashlight and turned it on triumphantly. Light cut through the pitch darkness that had been caused by a powern shortafe in a windowless garage, and the blue light vanished.
Billy picked his way through all of his gadgets, experiements and equipment that were residents of the garage, and found his way into the house. Nothing there worked, either, though Billy tried the light switch in the kitchen nonetheless. He also tried to use the phone, but that was dead, too. It was about at that point that Billy figured he should go outside and make sure that everything that could possibly become a projectile was secured or brought inside. He went out the front door, and was hit in the face with a gust of wind and showered with rain. He recoiled, but stepped out the doorway, firmly shutting the door behind him.
It didn't take long to complete his task, since the only things that were on his property that could go flying were a few lawn chairs and a couple of potted plants. These were put in the shed, which was at the back of Billy's backyard. Then he went back into the house. Again, he was soaked and cold. Remembering that the power was knocked out made Billy pause for a second. Fortunately, he had a small generator in his lab. It could create enough power to run Billy's stereo, his T.V., his computer and the portable phone, which had its own antenna. However, the latter wouldn't do him much good, since he suspected that all of the phones in Angel Grove were out of service. At least I've got some way to stave off boredom for a little while, Billy thought, starting his generator.
I wonder how the others are doing? Maybe I should try to raise them on our communicators, Billy thought. He pressed the button attached to the device that he wore on his wrist.
"This is Billy. Is anybody out there?" he asked into the small speaker. Nothing. He tried again. "Tommy, Jason, anybody, you home?" Again, no response. "Hmm, I guess the storm is blocking our signal. I wonder if I can get it functional again?" With that, Billy sat down at his lab bench, took off his communicator and reached for his tool box. He pulled out one of the smallest screwdrivers he had and got to work.
Kat and Tommy were watching a cheesy, old black-and-white horror movie on T.V.
"On a Sunday afternoon, I'm surprised that this is the best the T.V. producers can do," tommy muttered. "This is truly sad."
"Did you say something?" Kat asked, not taking here eyes from the screen.
"Nah, I was just talking to myself," Tommy replied.
"Oh, OK," Kat murmured.
On the T.V. screen, the young heroine was walking towards the door to the basement. Kat clutched Tommy's forearm in suspense. Then, when the heroine opened the door and the villian du jour jumped out at her, Kat let out a yelp of fear and gripped Tommy's arm more tightly, her nails beginning to dig into his flesh. She inched closer to him, leaning against him with most of her weight. This storm isn't all bad, Tommy thought wryly, barely noticing Kat's nails.
Outside, thunder crashed, seeming to be right over the house the two teens were in. Kat let out another screech and cluthed Tommy's arm with all her strength. Tommy winced as Kat's nails dug into his arm like claws, nearly drawing blood.
"Um, Kat? Do you think you could, well, loosen up a little, please?" Tommy asked her softly.
"What?" Kat asked, dazed. Tommy looked down at his arm. Kat followed his glance. "Oh, sorry! I didn't realise what I was doing."
"It's OK," Tommy lied, rubbing his arm where the imprints of Kat's nails remained even after she had let go of him. "Maybe we should just turn off the movie, though."
"Might be a good idea," Kat murmured, blushing and looking out the window at the storm.
Tommy reached for the remote control and just as he was about to start flipping channels, the T.V., along with the rest of the electricity-powered units, shut off by themselves.
"Looks like the power's down," Tommy commented, stating the obvious. He replaced the remote control on the glass table in front of him. A worried look crossed Kat's face; Tommy could tell, even though he even saw her profile as she continued to look out the window. He took her hand reassuringly. "Kat, don't worry. Angel Grove has survived through God-knows-how-many monster attacks, and you heard the newscaster earlier on today: all the buildings were reinforced with a special alloy. The city, and everybody in it, will be fine."
"I hope you're right, Tommy. I still have a bad feeling about this, though," Kat told him.
Tanya and Adam were both worried, now. The storm had gotten continually worse during the time that they had been trapped in the lifeguard booth. Adam had his arms around Tanya, since the temperature had dropped even further and she had been shivering.
"We could always make a run for the Youth Centre," Tanya suggested suddenly.
"We could try," Adam agreed. "But we're going to get soaked if we do. Besides, I don't really want to run beneath all these trees in the middle of an electrical storm."
"I guess you're right," Tanya said reluctantly, snuggling up against him even more. "But at least we'd be warm."
"This shouldn't last too much longer," Adam told her, sounding more confident than he felt.
"That's what you said 20 minutes ago," Tanya informed him wryly. Adam smiled.
"Well, if I keep saying it, I'll be right eventually."
Tanya chuckled softly, then gasped as a particularly loud thunder clap hit, then continued to echo through the sky.
"I really wish we'd gotten stranded someplace nicer than this lifeguard shack," she said.
"At least there was some shelter around," Adam countered gently. "If we had gotten stuck out in the open, we would have gotten even wetter than we did initially. Besides, we're alone, aren't we? And we haven't heard anything from Zordon, have we?"
"Well, no," Tanya admitted. "Thank goodness. It's strange, though. I would have expected them to take advantage of this situation and send down a really tough monster. It'd be next to impossible for us to do battle in this weather."
"Shush, you're going to jinx us," Adam said, grinning. Tanya gave him a mock-glare.
"SO sorry," she said sarcastically, not sounding the least bit sorry whatsoever.
"Don't worry, all is forgiven," Adam replied, his grin softening into a smile.
"Gee, I'm thrilled," Tanya retorted softly, looking up at him over her shoulder and smiling back at him.
And in the midst of the storm that was raging around them, Adam bent his head down and kissed Tanya, a kiss she gladly returned.
And the thunder rolls.
"These are just great driving conditions," Rocky muttered under his breath as he nearly ran into a lamp post. He had left his mother's house 15 minutes ago, and still hadn't reached his apartment yet. Normally, it was a 5-minute drive. Now, it looked as though it was going to take almost half an hour. The roads were completely jammed. Not necessarily by traffic, although there were one or two other cars on the road. Crazy drivers...or desperate to get somewhere; kind of like me, Rocky thought when he had almots careened into one of those other cars. No, the road was littered not with cars, as per usual, but with debris. Everything from lounge chairs to dog houses that hadn't been bolted down, from potted plants in crakced or broken pots to huge branches that had snapped from the trees that lined most of the streets in Angel Grove.
Rocky's car began to chug as he slowly drove an aforementionned branch.
"Come on, baby. Almost there," he said softly, praying his car wouldn't pick now to break down. "Just a little further we're almost there." OK, so that part was a complete lie, but then Rocky was talking to a car, for heaven's sake! "There's the sign of a healthy mind."
When Rocky finally managed to get to the apartment building, he was not greeted with a pleasant sight. Things had blown off of the balconies and onto the ground beneath, a maximum of a 5-story drop. Fortunately, Rocky hadn't kept much on his balcony. Our balcony, Rocky reminded himself, thinking of his sister, who now lived with him. He hadn't been able to manage to get the image of her face as he had driven away from their mother's house. She had stared at him from the window the entire time, her expression begging him not to go alone, to take her with him. It was also an expression of fear, one that Rocky felt as well. However, he hadn't wanted to worry his sister, so he had put his best poker face in place. Of course, I usually lose at poker when I play with the guys, Rocky admitted to himself mentally, grinning ever so slightly.
He drove his car into the underground parking garage, locked it, then ran up 2 flights stairs to the apartment. Unlocking the door, he went inside, and closed the door behind him. He could hear wind whistling somewhere in the apartment, and dreaded what he would find.
First off, he ran down to his bedroom, which was the furthest from the door. His window was, thankfully, closed and locked tightly. Rocky ran back out into the kitchen, and yanked open the junk drawer he had. He pulled out a roll of duct tape and went back to his room. There, he put pillows in front of the window and taped them there, just in case the windows broke. He went to do the same thing in Kris's room. However, there he found the source of the whistling noise. Her window had already been broken by a flying rock, and wind and rain was pouring into the room. Rocky stepped carefully through the pieces of glass, grabbed Kris's pillows, and quickly taped them to her window.
"I'll clean up this mess later," he decided aloud, moving as fast as he could to the balcony. But before he had left the bedroom, wind blew into the room and some of the glass started flying. One of the shards stuck Rocky in his upper thight. He cried out in pain, and clutched the wound. He ripped out the glass, and screamed. However, he knew that he would live, so he ignored the pain as best he could and hobbled out to the balcony. "Now how the heck am I going to board up these doors?" Rocky looked around, desperate for something that would keep the glass from being blown inward and shredding everything in sight. Finally, after doing a full pivot in the living room, his eyes came to rest upon the linen closet. Rocky's mind was churning as he went towards it. He opened the cupboards and grabbed the spare comforter that was there for use on cold nights, when the heating system just wasn't enough to drive away the draft. Now, the comforter was going to be ta!ped across the sliding glass doors that led onto Rocky and Kris's balcony.
After accomplishing this task, Rocky was at a loss about what to do. Should I stay here, in case anything happens, or should I go back to mom's house? he wondered. He mentally weighed his options, and finally decided to go back to his mother's house. He grabbed his keys, locked the door to the apartment behind him, then limped to the stairwell, preparing himself for another bout with the storm that was whipping through Angel Grove.
Rocky, where are you? Kris wondered, becomming more frantic by the minute. She checked her watch for the millionth time that night. 19:30, it read. He's been gone almost an hour, now. What could be keeping him? Oh, I wish the phones were still working, then I could call him at the apartment. Rocky, where are you?
"Kris?" came A.J.'s tentative voice. Kris turned at the sound of her name, and looked at the younger girl expectantly. "Um, are you OK?"
"Sure, I'm fine, why?" Kris replied, lying through teeth and aware of it.
"Well, you just seem kind of worried," A.J. replied shyly.
"Oh, I'm not really worried, I was just thinking about things," Kris told her. At least that part's true.
"OK, if you say so," A.J. said, content with that answer. Kris breathed a silent sigh of relief.
"A.J., come here!" Katie shouted to her sister. Now it was A.J.'s turn to sigh.
"I'm coming!"she shouted back, turning and walking out of the living room. Kris was once again left to her brooding. Maybe I should go after him, she thought. The more she rolled the idea over in her head, the more inviting it seemed. She knew it was dangerous to go out in this storm, but she was really worried. After all, it's only a thunderstorm. How much damage can it possibly do? she thought, rationalizing her reasons in her head.
Jason, who had been near sleep, despite the noise that was caused by the storm, was awakened when a loud beeping noise starting coming from the radio that was sitting on the table next to his head.
"What the..." he trailed off as an announcer started to speak.
"...Hurricane Katiana is coming up on our fair city quite quickly. Official meteorlogical reports have rated this as a level 1 hurricane. A level 1 hurricane is the mildest type of this kind of disturbance, but it can cause much damage. The authorities are advising everybody to evacuate immediately. You are all to go to the emergency shelters that have been set up in Stone Canyon High School. Take with you only what you need. Turn off the gas lines, power and water mains. Board up your houses as best you can, and bring in everything that might become a hazard to the houses and buildings around you. Repeat: evacuate immediately. This station will continue to keep you updated on the events as they happen."
That was all it took to get Jason up and moving. Since he hadn't yet cleared out his backyard, he went outside and did so. He proceeded to go down to the basement, and grab as many sheets of plywood as he could carry, then he boarded up all of the windows in his house. Jason ran upstairs, grabbed a duffel bag, and started throwing necessities into it. A couple of T-shirts, a black sweat shirt, a pair of matching black sweat pants, a couple of pairs of socks and, without thinking, the picture that Ernie had taken just a week earlier with him, the other rangers and Kris on the beach. Then he ran downstairs, stumbling as he got to the bottom. He bit back a muffled curse as his ankle twisted underneath him painfully, and he went down.
"Come on, Jase, move it," he ordered himself under his breath, grabbing the handrail beside the stair case and pulling himself to his feet. He bit back another curse and pain shot up his left leg, but he did his best to ignore it and hobbled into the kitchen. He opened up the drawers under the sink and turned off the water flow to the house. He had already turned off the power in the basement. All that was left now was the gas, and he could get that went he went out to his Jeep. From the refrigerator, Jason grabbed a few bottles of water. He shut the fridge, opened up the cupboards in the walls and grabbed a bag of chips, a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and from the cutlery drawers beside the fridge, just beneath the lip of the counter, he grabbed a knife. All of this was shoved haphazardly into his duffel bag. Jason snatched his keys from the kitchen table, then put on his black lether jacket and headed for the front door.
Jason quickly looked around to make sure he hadn't forgotten to do anything or bring anything. Then he opened the front door, and was pushed back by the wind and the rain. He put all of his weight on his injured ankle, and cried out in pain, but forced himself to go outside. Jason moved out onto the porch, closed and locked the door behind him, then made a mad hobble for his Jeep. He threw his bag into it as soon as he had opened the door, then jumped in, closed the door and started the car. I wonder if I should go pick anybody up? Jason thought as the engine roared to life. Billy lives a few blocks away. I'd better go get him. Jason put the Jeep in reverse and backed out of his driveway, then headed for his longtime friend's house.
Billy, who had been watching T.V., thanks to his generator, also had the radio going in the background. Not the wisest move, considering the power drain it was causing, but quite frankly Billy didn't care at that point. He just wanted to be entertained. However, something from the radio overpowered what was being said on T.V.
"...Hurricane Katiana is coming up on our fair city quite quickly. Official meteorlogical reports have rated this as a level 1 hurricane. A level 1 hurricane is the mildest type of this kind of disturbance, but it can cause much damage. The authorities are advising everybody to evacuate immediately. You are all to go to the emergency shelters that have been set up in Stone Canyon High School. Take with you only what you need. Turn off the gas lines, power and water mains. Board up your houses as best you can, and bring in everything that might become a hazard to the houses and buildings around you. Repeat: evacuate immediately. This station will continue to keep you updated on the events as they happen."
"A hurricane?!" Billy exclaimed in shock, leaping to his feet. "But Angel Grove never gets hurricanes!" Well now it does, Billy thought to himself. "It's a good thing I've already cleaned out the backyard. Now all I have to do is get some clothes and some other necessities, and I'm ready to go," Billy said to himself, running from the garage to his bedroom, on the second floor of the house.
He was upstairs, throwing clothes into a bag, when he heard a car pull up to the house, honk its horn, and a car door slammed soon thereafter. There was a banging on his door.
"Billy? Are you in there?" came a powerful, familiar voice that carried well, even over the raging storm.
"Jason? Come inside, quickly!" Billy shouted back to his friend. Billy heard the front door open, then slam shut. Footsteps pounded unevenly on the staircase, then Jason appeared at the doorway to his room.
"Billy, come on, we have to get out of here. This isn't a regular storm, it's a hurricane," Jason reported.
"I know," Billy said wryly, looking down at the duffel bag in his hands. "Can you go down to the fridge and start boarding up my house? I haven't started doing that yet, and if this hurricane gets any worse, I'm sure all the glass will break if I don't reinforce it."
Without verbally replying, Jason left Billy's room at a dead run.
"The plywood is in the basement, right next to the bright red toolbox!" Billy called after his friend. Billy finished "packing," then ran down to the kitchen. He grabbed some bottled water, a loaf of bread and a knife, as Jason had, and tosed everything into his duffel bag. Then he went and helped Jason finish boarding up the doors and windows.
Once that task was completed, Jason and Billy ran out of the house, with Billy locking the front door behind him, and into Jason's Jeep. Billy threw his duffel bag into the back, where Jason had thrown his.
"We should go pick up Kat; she doesn't have a car, either," Billy said to Jason. Jason nodded in reply. He backed the Jeep out of the driveway and headed towards Kat's house, before heading to Stone Canyon.
Kat had gone out to the kitchen to refill the mugs of hot chocolate. In the meantime, Tommy had turned on the battery-operated radio that was sitting on the floor, next to the couch. He listened passively, staring out the window, and almost jumped out of his skin when a loud beeping noise reached his ears.
"Tommy? What was that?" Kat's voice drifted out to him from the kitchen. Tommy ignored her, concentrating on the radio instead.
"...Hurricane Katiana is coming up on our fair city quite quickly. Official meteorlogical reports have rated this as a level 1 hurricane. A level 1 hurricane is the mildest type of this kind of disturbance, but it can cause much damage. The authorities are advising everybody to evacuate immediately. You are all to go to the emergency shelters that have been set up in Stone Canyon High School. Take with you only what you need. Turn off the gas lines, power and water mains. Board up your houses as best you can, and bring in everything that might become a hazard to the houses and buildings around you. Repeat: evacuate immediately. This station will continue to keep you updated on the events as they happen."
"Kat, we need to get out of here, now," Tommy said, sounding deadly calm. Kat poked her head around the corner.
"How come?" she asked, sounding confused instead of concerned.
"This isn't a rain storm, it's a hurricane," Tommy told her tersely. Kat's eyes widened, and her mouth formed a perfect O. But Tommy rushed on before she could say anything. "Your fuse box is downstairs, right?" Kat nodded silently. "Good. I'll go down and turn off the power. Then I'm going to find some wood and board up the doors and windows. I want you to turn off the water, grab some bottled water, a loaf of bread, and get some extra clothing from your room, and put it all in a duffel bag that you can carry easily. Then wait for me right here, OK?" Kat nodded, not having been able to get a word in and not seeing a reason to say anything now. Instead, she simply raced upstairs while Tommy went in the opposite direction, for a totally different purpose.
While Tommy was on the main floor, boarding up the last window, he heard a scream from upstairs.
"Kat!" he shouted, and stood perfectly still, waiting for a reply. He tried agian, but got no answer. He quickly nailed the last board in place, then ran upstairs. Running into her room, he found her lying on the floor, blood oozing from a wound on her lower right arm. "Kat, are you all right?"
"Yea, I'm fine," camed the dazed reply. "The window broke, and when the glass shattered I got knicked in the arm." Tommy examined the wound.
"You're lucky, it's not deep at all. It probably won't even need stitches. But we need to get out of here as soon as we can if the storm is this bad," he told her.
"You don't have to tell me twice," she replied as Tommy helped her to her feet. She picked up her duffel bag.
"Wait for me in the living room, I just have to finish with these windows," Tommy told her, leading the two-man procession down the stairs. Kat nodded and watched as Tommy carried a few pieces of plywood, a hammer and a bunch of nails to the second floor of the house. For a while, the only sounds were those of the storm and the banging on the hammer. Then the hammering stopped, and Tommy came running down the stairs.
"Let's go," he said, grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the front door. Kat paused only long enough to grab her keys from the table in the hallway leading to the front door before following him outside.
"How are we going to get to Stone Canyon?" she asked suddenly. It was something neither of them had considered up until now. Their minds had been busy thinking about other things. Just then, Jason's Jeep came down the street.
"There's your answer!" Tommy called to her, running down to meet the Jeep.
"Heya bro, need a lift?" Jason asked as Tommy and Kit piled into the back of the Jeep.
"Nah, I was just out for a stroll," Tommy replied, clapping his friend on the shoulder.
"Next stop, Stone Canyon!" Jason called, stepping on the gas pedal.
Tanya shrieked as a branch crashed into the side of their shelter.
"Ssh, it's OK, the shack will hold," Adam whispered into her ear, pulling her tightly against him. They had both sunk down onto the floor of the shack. Adam was leaning against the wall while Tanya sat in front of him, leaning against him. When he pulled her to his chest, she stayed there, quiet, for a second, and for that second their heart beats were perfectly synchronized.
"Adam, we have to get out of here. I don't think we're safe here," Tanya told him hurriedly.
"Tanya, where would we go? I don't think it's any safer out in the open than it is in here, do you?" he countered her gently.
"No, I guess not," Tanya conceeded. "It's just frustrating that the Youth Centre is so close, and we can't even get there, where it's warm."
"Are you still cold?" Adam asked her.
"Yea, a little," she admitted.
"Well, just as soon as this storm is over, we'll get you someplace warm and dry. Sound good to you?"
"That sounds heavenly right now," Tanya told him with a wistful sigh. She moved her head to a comfortable position against his chest, and closed her eyes. Adam rested his cheek on top of her head, and did the same. I really hope we get out of here soon, they both thought at the exact same time. Although I guess this isn't all bad!
Rocky had turned on his radio to pass the time as he bascially crawled back to his mother's house.
"...Hurricane Katiana is coming up on our fair city quite quickly. Official meteorlogical reports have rated this as a level 1 hurricane. A level 1 hurricane is the mildest type of this kind of disturbance, but it can cause much damage. The authorities are advising everybody to evacuate immediately. You are all to go to the emergency shelters that have been set up in Stone Canyon High School. Take with you only what you need. Turn off the gas lines, power and water mains. Board up your houses as best you can, and bring in everything that might become a hazard to the houses and buildings around you. Repeat: evacuate immediately. This station will continue to keep you updated on the events as they happen." The very first thought that entered Rocky's mind was of Kris.
"Hang on, sis, I'm coming for you," he muttered, narrowing his eyes in determination, looking out the windshield. The windshield wipers, though they were at full power, weren't doing a heck of a lot of good, but that didn't stop Rocky. He drove as quickly and as safely as he could, spurred on by the thought of his family, at home without him. Most importantly, he had a pretty good idea of how scared Kris would be if she knew about the hurricane, because he was just as scared as she probably was.
He inhaled sharply as a branch was broken off of a tree by a lightening strike. It fell right across the road, barely 20 feet ahead of him. He swerved sharply to the right, and though he was forced to drive across someone's lawn, leaving tire tracks in his wake, he made it out of the situation alive. Only 5 minutes away, now. Hang on, Kris. I'm coming!
When he reached the house, he found that the windows had already been boarded up, and everything had already been taken inside. He smiled, because he knew that Kris had helped with all of this. He got out of his car and raced like mad, pushing the pain that shot through his leg to the back of his mind, through the wind and rain to the front door.
Lucas came running into the living room, where Kris was sitting, alone.
"Kris!" he shouted.
"Woah, Lucas, I'm in the same room as you, you can talk normally," Kris joked, wincing at the high decibel level.
"Sorry, but something's going on, and it's big," Lucas said hurriedly. Kris sat bolt upright.
"What? What is it? Is the city being attacked again?" she asked, firing off the questions like bullets. Lucas shook his head.
"Not from King Mondo, no. But this storm isn't just a storm, it's a hurricane!" Lucas replied, practically shouting the last word.
"A what?!" Kris shouted, jumping to her feet. Lucas nodded.
"Yea, a hurricane. Mom got everybody down to the basment, but she wants you and me to board up the windows and the doors, and bring everything in from outside," he told her.
"Let's roll," Kris replied. "Where do you keep the duct tape?"
"It's in the basement, in the tool box. I'll go get that. Can you go outside and start bringing the things that can blow away into the house?" Lucas asked, pausing at the top of the stairs that led down to the basment. Kris nodded.
"Yeah, sure. You better start putting boards across the front windows and the front door; the front of the house is getting hit harder than the back," she told him. Lucas bobbed his head up and down once, then ran downstairs, nearly tripping down the stairs in his haste. Kris sprinted down the main hallway to the back door. She took a deep breath, and started to open it cautiously. She was repelled by an invisble force that had only the feeling of wind and rain. Determined, or perhaps the appropriate word was "stubborn," Kris started forwards. Surveying the backyard, she noticed the pool. Cool. Once this storm is gone, I'm going to have to go for a very long swim, she thought, being the water rat that she was. Then she shook her head, remembering the task at hand. OK, I'll start from the back and work my way towards the house, Kris decided mentally. She ran out, skirting the pool's edge, and grabbed the two flower pots that were there, and ran back to the! house. She had propped open the back door, and just placed the pots inside the threshold, then went back for more stuff.
Kris was in the midst of carrying some pool toys into the house when a potted plant from the neighbour's yard came flying at her. She yelped and dodged it, but when the pot broke, pieces of ceramic flew everywhere, and one drove itself right into Kris's right thigh. She dropped the plastic pool toys she had been carrying as her leg ceased to support her weight, and cried out in pain. However, her cries were drowned out by the noise that was created by the hurricane. Oh this is great, just great! Kris thought to herself, cursing pottery everywhere. Hmm, I could just crawl over to the door and get inside, but what about the rest of the stuff out here? I still have to get all these pool toys, plus the other potted plants and all the garden tools. I don't want anybody to get hit with those things, they could kill someone.
With her mind made up, Kris started to pull herself to her feet, clenching her teeth in pain the entire time. She collected the plastic pool toys she had dropped, threw them into the house, then went back for the garden tools.
She had almost reached them when a huge gust of wind came through the yard. It pushed Kris up against the chainlink fence that separated her mother's yard from their neighbour. Kris felt her feet leaving the ground, and the wind forced her to do a backflip over the fence. She landed flat on her stomach, her face pressed into the sopping, muddy grass. She groaned and turned her head to the side, spitted out greenery and muck.
"This is not turning out to be my day," she muttered after she had checked the inside of her mouth with her tongue to make sure her teeth were intact. She looked up at the chain link fence. "There is absolutely no way that I'm going to be able to climb that thing, even though it's only 4 feet high. And since I can't exactly walk, there's only one thing for me to do." Kris took a deep breath. "HELP!!"
"Oh man, I don't believe this!" Tommy groaned from the back of Jason's Jeep.
"I guess everybody else heard the bulletin at the same time as we did," Kat commented, looking out at the sea of cars that had crowded the main highway that ran from Angel Grove and straight through California. "At this rate, we're never going to get to Stone Canyon.?
"We'll make it," Jason said, his voice the epitome of determination. His fists clenched the steering wheel so tightly that his normally tanned hands were white with the effort of keeping the vehicle on the road. The gusts of wind were enough to rock even the heaviest of vehicles that were attempting to flee the cirty, and Jason's Jeep was no exception. Move it! Jason thought, mentally willing the cars ahead of him to just step on the gas pedal and start moving.
"I wonder what's causing this traffic jam? I mean, you'd think people would be anxious to get out of the city, since there's a hurricane coming," Kat continued.
"That's the problem," Billy told her, twisting in his seat to look at her. "People were too anxious to get out of the city. They weren't careful, and I'd be willing to bet the contents of my garage that there's at let one accident up ahead, if not more."
At that, Kat fell silent, but her nervousness still hung in the air. It was a sentiment echoed by all of the others in the car, but none of them had felt that it required a vocal expression.
They had left Kat's hosue at roughly 20:00. Jason had driven to Stone Canyon before, and it had only taken him a little more than an hour, even with traffic. Now, however, they hadn't even left Angel Grove's city limits, and it was already 21:00.
"I don't want to be driving when it gets dark," Jason mumbled to himself, barely realising that he had spoken aloud.
"If we do get stuck on the road when night falls, can't we part underneath a highway bridge or something?" Tommy asked. He was sitting right behind Jason, and had heard the comment his friend had made.
"We could, but it's not the safest place in the world to be during a hurricane," Billy rpelied before Jason could speak. "Idealy, we could all go to the Power Chamber, but since we can't teleport, and it's way too treacherous to drive up betwee the cliffs in this weather, the only way for us to get to safety is to go to Stone Cayon. And in answer to your quetion, we could park beneath a highway bridge, but I have one question and a comment for you."
Tommy, Jason and Kat looked at him expectantly.
"Firt off, where's the nearest highway bridge?"
"There's one about amile back, and one 3 miles ahead," he said. Billy nodded, and let that information sink in to the heads of the others.
"What was your comment, Billy?" Kat asked him curiosuly, aslmost afraid of the answer.
"Well, the storm has een geting worse all evening. I think that the worst should hit us in less that an hour," he told her.
"And at the rate we're going, we're never going to be able to find shelter in time," JAson finished for him. Billy nodded again.
'So what are we supposed to do?" came Kat's voice again.
"Jeep's aren't build for off-road driving to be used on side streets," Jason muttered.
"Bro, you aren't going to do what I think you're going to do, are you?" Tommy asked hesitantly.
"Watch me," Jason replied. He turned the wheel sharply to the right, and stepped on the gas. The Jeep veered off the road and onto the flat, grassy terrain next to the highway. It was a bumpy ride at best, but as least they were making progress.
"Well, it looks like we may make it to Stone Canyon before the storm hits us, after all," Billy remarked, a small grin appearing on his face that was directed at Jason.
"All that time as a Power Ranger teaches you to be creative under pressure," Jason kidded, tightening his grip on the steering wheel and accelerating as much as he dared. Kat glanced back through the back windsheild.
"Looks like everybody else thought that this was a good idea, too," she commented. Behind Jason's Jeep was a procession of cars, going along the same tracks as Jason had. Tire and skid marks crossed again and again through the grass, which was quickly becomming nothing more than a muddy mess.
After switching from the road to the terrain, the teens found that they made great time. It took them another hour to get to Stone Canyon and into the emergency shelter that had been set up, but finally, they were safe. Or as safe as they could get, considering the circumstances.
Meanwhile, in the lifeguard shelter, Tanya had fallen fast asleep, resting in Adam's arms.
She felt completely asfe and warm and protected, not fearing anything that the storm would sih
out. She knew that he would protect her from whatever he could. Adam was also on the verge
of dozing off, but something kept him awake for a time. It wasn't the thunder or the lightening or
the wind. Those elements didn't bother him. He was just worried that King Mondo would send
down a monster at any minute to destroy them. I guess all that time as a Power Ranger has made
me a light sleeper, he thought idly to himself as he looked at Tanya while she slept. Angelic.
Adam sighed quietly, and shifted his position a little bit. Tanya stirred and murmured something,
but she didn't awaken. Adam rested his head against the orner where two walls met, and closed
his eyes. Soon, he was lost in dreams that remained untouched by the sounds that surrounded
Rocky ran as fast as he could, considering his injured leg, up the driveway to his house and pulled the front door open. Hurrying inside to escape the storm caused by the approaching hurricane, he shut the door and hobbled down to the basement.
There, he did a mental head count. Mom, Lucas, A.J., Evan, Katie, Jonathan...where's Kris?!
"Mom, where did Kris go?" he asked his mother anxiously, approaching her. She stood up and hugged him tightly.
"She went outside to clear the yard, but she should have been back by now," she replied, letting go of her oldest son.
"Mom, I want you and the others to get into my car and drive to Stone Canyon. Get to that shelter before the hurricane hits," Rocky said firmly.
"What? I'm not leaving you here alone!" his mother protested. Rocky glared at her.
"Mom, I never asked you for much, and I know I may have given you a hard time, but please, do this for me?" he pleaded. Mrs. DeSantos took a good look into Rocky's eyes.
"All right," she conceeded with a sigh. "I love you, Rocky."
"I'll see you when this is all done and overwith," Rocky promised her. He kissed her on the cheek, then wathced as she led his younger siblings upstairs.
"Rocky, aren't you coming with us?" Jonathan asked. Rocky knelt down in front of his youngest brother.
"Sorry, Jonathan, but I'm not going with you. Not right now, anyway. I have to stay here and get your oldest sister. Then I'll come and find you," he told Jonathan.
Jonathan leapt at Rocky, his small arms encircling Rocky's neck. Rocky hugged him back for a short minute, then released Jonathan.
"You'd better get going. You don't want to get left behind," Rocky told him. Jonathan nodded solemnly, then ran up the stairs after his mother, brothers and sisters. Rocky watched him go. When Rocky was sure that everybody was gone, he turned and dashed back up the stairs, ignoring the pain in his thigh.
When he arrived in the main hallway, he lkooked to his left and saw that the back door was wide open. Things that were normally in the backyard were sitting in the hallway, dripping water all over the hard wood floor. However, Rocky ignored such trivial things, his mind conentrating on only one thing: Kris. he stood in the doorway and looked out, scanning the yard, but he saw no trace of his sister.
"Kris!" he shouted as loudly a he could. The only answer came fromthe whistling wind and the explosions from the thunder. "Kris! Where are you?!" Still no reply. Rocky was becomming more frantic with each passing second. His heart was pounding so hard he thought it might come straight out of his chest, his blood was as cold as ice water, and adrenaline surged through his body like an electrical current. He stepped out of the safety and security of his mother's house and into nature's fury. Where is she? he thought to himself, scanning the yard desperately. He stood as close to the edge of the pool as he dared and scanned the water with expertly-trained eyes. Nothing was there. Well, no body, anyway. Don't think of her as a body! he ordered himself. She's still alive somewhere. I jsut need to find her. And I will find her! No matter what, I will find her!!
Jiust then, a small branch broke off a tree in their neighbour's yard, and landed on a growing pile. Rocky glanced over reflexively, and saw that a huge branch had already fallen. He shudded, and not from the wind that caused him to feel incredibly cold. I'd hate to have been under that when it landed, he thought. Then, something twigged in his brain that made his blood freeze. His eyes opened wide, and his jaw dropped down.
"No, she can't be under there," he whispered, his words whipped away by the wind. But he knew that he had to check. If he didn'ts, he'd go crazy. He sprinted around the pool, ignoring the pain in his leg, and was nearly knocked in by a gust of wind that came through, but he recovered his balance and made it over to the fence. He hopped the fence and landed on his feet on the other side, his injured leg buckling for a split second, then recovering. This thing is huge! How am I ever going to lift that by myself? Without answering himself, Rocky started throwing branches left and right until he came to the huge limb that had cracked off. He thought he saw a flash of denim and blue material beneath the leaves, and though he wasn't absolutely positive about what it was that he had seen, it spurred him on even more.
Finding the main of the branch, Rocky lifted it as high as he could, which was only about a foot and a half. But it was enough for Rocky to see what he needed, but didn't want, to see.
"Kris," he whispered hoarsely, terrified at the sight he beheld. His sister was laying on her stomach, her head turned to the left side. There was blood coming from a gash in her right leg, she had a huge bump that was also bleeding on her head, and her left arm looked like it had an extra bend. "How am I going to get her out of here? I can't move her; I don't know if she has any spinal injuries. If she does, and I move her, I could paralyze her for life. She'd never forgive me if I did that to her." Rocky knew he was rambling, but he couldn't help himself. The medical training he had received when he had been working to become a lifeguard was in full swing, taking charge of the situation, and his emotional state. "But if I don't move her, she could get killed by flying debris from this hurricane." Rocky's mind had been made up. Using all of the strength he possessed, he hefted the branch up higher than he would have thought possible,m and moved it to the !side, then set it down, well away from his sister. Then, as carefully as he could, he took out one of Kris's earrings, and crouched down beside her uninjured leg. "Forgive me." Rocky poked Kris's leg with the earring. She stirred slightlym but didn't regain consciousness. "Yes! I can move her! She felt that, so her back should be all right." Rocky pocketed the earring for safekeeping, then moved up to his sister's midsection. As gently as he could, he lifted her up into his arms. She moaned in pain as she was jostled, but her eyes remained closed, and she fell silent once more.
Rocky managed to leap over the fence that divided his yard from his neighbour's, despite the extra weight that was being up on his injured leg. He then moved as fast as he could, his eyes on the back door to the house. Just a little further, he thought, praying to whatever gods existed. Just a little further, and everything will be fine. Please, don't let any wind come! Unfortunately, the gods chose that time not to listen, for winds gusted and since Rocky was carrying an extra 120 pounds of dead weight (Bad terminology to use, Rocky ol' boy, he thought to himself, wincing), his balance was compromised, and brother and sister were thrown into the pool.
Rocky lost his grip on Kris as soon as they both hit the water. He surfaced, spitting out water, and looked around. He didn't see her above water anywhere, and he knew that she coudln't have landed anywhere on the deck. He took a deep breath and dove beneath the tubulent surface of the water. Where is she? Dammit, she doesn't deserve this! Neither of us deserves this! We've been through enough, havne't we? She just came back into my life! Don't take her back, not now! Those thoughts ran through Rocky's mind as though they would never end. Indeed, until he found Kris, they wouldn't. There! The thought flashed through Rocky's mind before it even really registered. He saw a dark shape, slowly sinking to the bottom of the deep end of the pool. Rocky saw light brown hair, and immediately recognized it as his sister. He swam madly towards her, rescuing her just before she hit the bottom of the pool, then pushed off th bottom and surfaced. All that in under! a minute. Rocky would look back and figure that it was a new record for lifesaving, but right then reords didn't concern him. All he cared about right now was making sure his sister was all right. Rocky swam them both to th shallow end, then pulled himself and his sister fmro the water, and ran into the house, kicking the door shut behind him as he went.
Rocky carried Kris down into the basement, and lair her down on the futon bed that was down there. He fetched some blankets, and after removing her soaked shoes, socks, jeans and shirt (he was a lifeguard, he'd had the medical training, and besides which, this was his sister he was trying to save! He was sure she'd understand), he wrapped her up, leaving little space between her and the blankets. Then he went and got the firs aid kit from the hall cupboard in the main hallway on the main floor, then raced back down to treat Kris's wounds. He wrapped up her head and her leg, and put her arm in a makeshift splint. He also cleaned the other small scratces that were on her arms, legs and face. Then he realised that he, too, ws soaked through to the skin on account of his impromptu swim in the pool. It's a good thing mom left my room the way it is, even after I moved out of the house, Rocky thought, running up two flights of stairs and into his room. He chucked hi!s wet clothing into his empty laundry hamper, and quickly changed into a pair of blue jeans and a plain blue T-shirt. He also grabbed a pair of one of his smaller blue T-shirts and a blue plaid flannel long-sleeved shirt, and stole a pair of Lucas's jeans for Kris to wear when she awakened, then back down to the basement he went. Kris was still unconscious, and Rocky was growing increasingly worried about her. he kept trying to tell himself that she'd recover, but there was this one small of his brain that just didn't want to believe him.
Outside, lightening flashed, illuminating the entire basement despite the fact that the windows down there were fairly small. The wind could be heard, whistling through minute cracks somewhere. Occasionally, objects could be seen whizzing past the windows to some unknown destination.
And the thunder rolls.
"Man, this place is packed!" Tommy exclaimed, surveying the gymnasium at Stone Canyon High as he stood with his three friends, duffel bags in their hands. The gym was indeed crowded bascially to capacity. Cots, mats and bedding were being used for people to relax and sleep on. They were placed in the gym, out in the halls of the entire main floo, and some were even in the basement, thought well away from the boiled room. Tommy, Jason, Kat and Billy manahed to commandeer four cots that were right beside one another. They placed their bags on the cots, and sat down wearily, exhausted from the day's events.
"I wonder where Rocky, Kris, Adam and Tanya are," Kat commented, looking around for the familiar faces of their friends.
"Hey, that's right. They're not here, are they?" Tommy asked, also beginning to look around. The four teens searched the room visually. "I'm going to go look for them, see if they made it here before we did, and they're just not in the gym." Tommy got to his feet and started walking away.
"I'll go with you," Kati sid quickly, standing up and going after Tommy.
"If anybody comes in and is in bad shape, let them have our beds," Tommy called back. Jason nodded.
"See ya later, bro," he replied.
Half an hour later, Tommy and Kat returned, having had no luck finding any trace of their friends.
"I'm worried," Tommy confessed.
Just then, a large family came into the gymnasium. There was a moter, 2 girls and 3 boys in her company.
"Hey, those little boys look a lot like Rocky," Kat told the others, watching the family as they looked around, lost and confused and afraid.
"I bet that's Rocky's family. Remember? he said he had 5 younger siblings that lived with his mother," Billy told the others.
"I'm going to go over and talk to them," Jason said. He got up and walked over to the family. "Mrs. DeSantos?" The woman gave him a look.
"Yes?" she answered cautiously.
"I'm Jason Lee Scott, a friend of Rocky's," Jason explained. "Do you know where he is?"
"He was at my house, looking for Kristina. He told me to take his car and get my children up here, because we'd be safer here," Mrs. DeSantos told him. Jason's blood ran cold.
"Kris is missing?" he asked quickly. Mrs. DeSantos nodded hesitantly.
"Not exactly missing. She was clearing out my--our--backwatd when Rocky came back to the house. He had gone to the apartment to close windows and things like that," Mrs. DeSantos explained. "Then, when Rocky came back, he told us to come here in his car. My car isn't working, so it's good that he showed up again. He said he was going to stay behind and look for Kristina."
I should go back and try to help him, Jason thought. He gestured for Tommy to come over and hoin them. Tommy nodded, and approached the group at a jog.
"What's up, man?: he asked.
"Tommy Oliver, this is Mrs. DeSantos and her kids. Apparently, Rocky's still back in Angel Grove, looking for Kris. I'm going to go back and see if he eneds helkp. They don't have any way of getting ehre, since he gave them his car and her car doesn't work. I'm taking my Jeep back. I'll get back here as soon as I can," Jason said, outlining the situation and his plan quickly.
"Jason, you can't go back there. It's too dangerous," Mrs. DeSantos broke in.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. DeSantos, but I have to," Jason said apologetically. He turned to face Tommy. "Take care of them, OK?'
"You got it, bro. Be careful," he told Jason.
"I will be," Jason replied. Then he ran out of the building into the torrential rains. Tommy and the DeSantos family watched him go.
"He'll be fine," Tommy assured them. "Here, you can have our beds." He led Mrs. DeSantos and her children to where Billy and Kat were sitting, having watched the proceedings.
"Mrs DeSantos, this is Katherine Hillard and Billy Cranston. Guys, this is Mrs. DeSantos and...her kids," Tommy finished lamely, not knowing the names of the children.
"Lucas, A.J., Evan, Katie, Jonathan," Mrs. DeSantos supplied, smiling. Kat and Billy smiled and said hi to the family, then stood up.
"Here, take our beds. We don't need them," Kat said.
"Oh, no, we couldn't do taht. We'll just find space somewhere else," Mrs. DeSantos protested.
"Ma'am, we insist," Tommy told her. Mrs. DeSantos faltered.
"All right. Thank you. But give them to my kids, I'll be fine," she replied. Tommy nodded.
"I get this cot!" Katie yelled, jumping onto the cot. The cot, which wasn't designed to double as a trampoline, buckled beneath her. Katie started to cry, and Mrs. DeSantos rushed to her side.
"It's OK, sweetie," she said soothingly. Kat also knelt down beside Katie.
"You know what? I bet you and I can fix the cot," she said, smiling invitingly. Katie sniffled and looked at Kat.
"You think so?" she asked. KAt nodded, and extended her hand. Katie jumped away from her mother and took Kat's hand excitedly. "Can we do it, mom?" Mrs. DeSantos smiled.
"All right, as long as you do what Katherine tells you," she replied.
"Yay! Thanks, mom!" Katie said, smiling now even though her face and her lashes were still wet with saly tears. Mrs. DeSantos mouthed, "Thank you" to Kat over Katie's head. Kat smiled and nodded back, then she and Katie started working on the cot.
"So what are we supposed to do?" Jonathan asked, his tone of voice warning everyone that if he didn't get something to do, he'd throw a fit.
"Sorry, Jonathan, but there isn't a lot to do right now," Tommy explained, looking at the boy. Then he got an idea. "Do you like martial arts?"
"Yeah!" the boy said enthusiastically, his face lighting up. "I'm already a yellow belt in my class. Why?"
"Well, I'm a black belt. Would you like me to teach you some new moves?" Tommy offered.
"Yeah!" Jonathan repeated.
"Can you teach me, too?" Evan asked eagerly. Soon, even A.J. and Lucas looked interested.
"Come on, guys. Let's go see if we can find an empty classroom, all right?" Tommy said, smiling. Thw two younger kids cried out happily while Lucas and A.J. nodded and smiled. Tommy led the four DeSantos siglings out of the gymnasium.
"I'm so glad that you were all here," Mrs. DeSantos said, sinking down onto a cot tiredly. "It would have been very difficult to manage all 5 of them on my own."
"We's just glad we could help," Billy told her. "After all, Rocky's our friend, and we look after our friends, and their families."
"I'm glad Rocky has friends like you," Mrs. DeSantos told Billy warmly, smiling at him.
Jason was now driving on the other side of the hightway. Well, on the grass next to the highway, anyway. His Jeep swered a bit, since the continuous rainfall had made the ground beneath the grass like quicksand. Fortunately, he had good traction on his tires, and didn't get stuck at all. As he was driving, Jason saw that there was a lot of debris caught in th wind currents. I just hope none of that comes flying at me, he thought, eyeing a piece of wood as it flew by the drivers' side of the vehicle. If one of my windows gets hit by anything, and cracks, my wallet is done for! Good thing my parents agreed to pay for my insurance as long as I paid for my own car.
Jason continued to drive, his mine on one thing only; saving his friends from this disaster. He approached a highway bridge, and saw numerous cars parked beneath it. He slowed down as he drew nearer, and stopped completely as someone flagged him down. Jason tolled down his window a bit.
"You shouldn't be driving out in the open right now," the man told him without any preamble. "I just heard on the radio that the worst past of the hurricane on this side of the eye is about to hit. You'll be safer if you stay here until the worst is over."
"I can't stay," Jason protested. "I have friends back in Angel GRove who have no way of getting out of the city before the storm hits. If I leave now and dfive quickly, I'll be able to reach them before the worst gets here, then I'll drive them back to Stone Canyon when the eye passes over us." The man shook his head.
"That's a suicide mission. Your friends will be safer where they are," he told Jason frankly.
"I'm sorry, but I have to keep going," Jason said, sounding almost apologetic, even though it was his own life that he was gambling with. The man shrugged.
"It's your funeral," he said, stepping away from the Jeep to let Jason pass. Jason rolled up his window and kept on doing, driving faster than he had before. In his rearview mirror, he saw that the man was still watching him, looking at Jason like he was insane.
Jason made it to Angel Grove in record time. He immediately took the most direct route to the DeSantos residence. There, he saw that the house had been boarded up. Good. At least if they're in there, they should be pretty safe, Jason thought, a measure of relief going through him. But he woudln't be completely relaxed until her had found his friends and he knew that they were all right.
Jsaon got out of his Keep, and went to the front door. He tested it, and it opened for him. He went inside cautiously.
"Rocky?" he called tentatively. He heard a noise from the basement. "Rocky, is that you?"
"Jason?" came a familiar voice. There was an uneven pounding on the stairs, then Rocky poked his head around the corner. "Jason, what the hella re you doing here? The hurricane's about to hit!"
"I know, that's why I came back for you and Kris," Jason replied.
"Jason, are you insane?" Rocky demanded.
"Some people think so," Jason replied nonchalantly. Rocky looked at him, confused. Jason shook his head. "Never mind. Where's Kris?"
"She's down in the basement, but we can't move her," Rocky replied, limping back down the steps with Jason in pursuit.
"Why not?" Jason asked.
"What?! What happened to her? Is she going to be all right?"
"She should be fine, I think. She just got a nasty knock ont he head by a tree branch, and I think her left arm is broken. Oh, and she's got a cut on her leg that I think will require stitches. Other than that, she should be fine. But I don't want to move her while she's unconscious. It could cause her more damage than she's already sustained."
"But we can't stay here during the storm."
"We don't have any other choice," Rocky told him flatly. "I'm not leaving my sister. You're welcome to go back to Stone Canyon if you want to, but I'm staying."
"If you're staying, and if Kris is that badly hurt, then I'm staying, too," Jason said, his voice full of resolve. Rocky looked at him curiously.
"How come you're so dead-set about all of this?" he asked his friend. Jason hesitated a bit too long before answering.
"I...I don't know," he said, a half-truth at best. Rocky looked at him for a moent. Jason met his eyes for a second, then had to look away.
"OK, if you say so," Rocky said finally, shrugging his shoulders. he turned away from Jason and sat down beside his sister, trying to keep the knowledge of his injured leg from his friend. Jason let out a silent sigh of relief. He started to move over to Kris's left, but in the process of walking over there, he nudged Rocky's injured leg by accident. Rocky yelped and recoiled his leg.
"Sorry, Rocky," Jason apologised. When he saw that Rocky's teeth were clenched, and his facial features were contorted with pain, he became even more concerned. "Rocky, are you all right?"
"Just fine," Rocky lied. Jason looked over at Rocky's leg, and saw a rapidly growing blood stain on his jeans.
"Rocky, you're hurt," he said, stating the obvious for lack of anything better to say.
"I'm well aware of that," Rocky said, grinnning through the pain. Jason got up and went over to kneel by his friend.
"Rocky, you should put something on that," he said, opening up the first aid kit.
"No, it'll be fine once it stops bleeding," Rocky replied. His hands were wrapped around his leg just above where his wound was in an attempt to slow down the flow of the blood so it would have a chance to clot. However, he wasn't succeeding. "We should leave those supplies for Kris, in case she needs them more than I do."
"Rocky, at least wrap that up. If you leave it open, it's going to get infected," Jason insisted, offering a roll of gauze to the injured man, "And if it gets infected, there's no way we can get you any proper medical care. All of the ambulances will bve busy and the hospitals will be extremely overcrowded because of the hurricane." Rocky sighed and accepted the proffered gauze.
"All right," he said reluctantly, looking at his sister as he began to unroll the gauze. "But watch Kris while I tape myself back together, all right?" Jason nodded in reply, and moved back over to his spot on Kris's left. Rocky got up and started to hobble towards the stairs, but Jason stopped him with a look.
"Rocky, the hurricane is going to hit us hard any minute. Stay down here," he said, unconsciously reverting to "leader mode." Rocky looked at Jason with a wry smile on his face.
"Mother hen," he teased.
"Hey, the Rangers need a Blue Ranger. heck, if you weren't able to fight, who would we get to replace you?" Jason replied seriously.
"Some 12-year-old kid, knowing Zordon's sense of humour, or lack thereof," Rocky reoplied with a small chuckle. The image of a kid, dwarged in his Ranger suit, was hilarious. Apparently, the same imagery was also running through Jason's head because he laughed, too. Rocky glanced down at his jeans.
"Mom is going to kill me when she sees this stain," he said, frowning. He looked at Jason as he started to remove his jeans. "Do me a favour and go grab me another pair from my room upstairs? It's the last door on the right side of the hall."
"I'm not going up there, not in this weather," Jason told him frankly. "Grab another pair from the laundry hamper or something."
"Um, think you could go get them for me? I sort of have more pressing matters to attend to right now," Rocky said, gesturing at his leg.
"OK, I'll be right back," Jason promised. When he returned, Rocky's upper thigh was wrapped uhp in gauze and surgical tape, but already there was a red stain beginning to soak through.
"Um, maybe you'd better wait until the bleeding stops before you put these on," Jason commented, tossing the jeans over Kris's futon to his friend.
"Gee, you think that might be a good idea?" Rocky kidded, placing the jeans in a heap on a nearby chair. He then gingerly sat down on Kris's right side, leaning against the wall where her head was. "She'd better wake up soon." His voice was so soft that Jason had to strain to hear it, and he was sitting directly across from Rocky.
"She will," Jason assured him, looking at Kris's face, which was the only visible of her body. With her head bandaged up, with the scratches on her face, and wrapped up snugly in the blankets that were bringing her body temperature back to normal, Kris seemed extremely small and vulnerable. It was heart-wrenching, really, especially to her brother. "Why don't you try to get some sleep?" Jason suggested. Rocky looked exhausted, and Jason couldn't blame him one bit, not with all of the trauma he'd had to face during the past 12 hours of his life.
"But what if she wakes up while I'm asleep?" Rocky asked anxiously, glancing down at Kris's face. Her eyes were still closed, and she hadn't moved a muscle.
"Then I'll wake you up as soon as she does," Jason promised. Rocky hesitated for a moment, then nodded. He stretched out on the floor next to Kris's futon, folding his arm beneath his head to act as a pillor. His eyes closed, and soon his breathing became deep and regular as he slipping into a deep, much-needed slumber.
Meanwhile, back at the gymnasium in Stone Canyon High, Billy was resting on his back on his cot, staring idly at the ceiling. He was becomming increasingly worried about those of his friends that hadnt shown up at the emergency shelter yet, especially Jason. Billy had known Jason longer than any of the others, and they had been friends even before Zordon had first summoned them to become the Power Rangers.
Tommy came back just then with the four DeSantos kids in tow. They all looked happy, or as happy as they could be, considering the circumstances. Kat and Katie had finished working on the cot a long time ago, and had gone off in search of something to do. Now, however, the entire DeSantos family had been reunited, with the exception of Rocky and Kris. Billy got up off his cot and offered it to Jonathan, who took it immediately.
"Thank you," he said solemnly, looking up at Billy, who towered over the young boy. Billy smiled down at him, then looked around. Tommy and Kat were sitting side-by-side on a cot, talking quietly. No help there, Billy thought, feeling suddenly left out.
"Billy?" came a voice from behind him. Billy tuned, and saw A.J. standing behind him.
"Yeah?" Billy asked.
"Well, I was wondering something," A.J. began, sounding a bit nervous. When Billy continued to look at her expectantly, A.J. cleared her throat and continued. "Um, are hurricanes dangerous? I mean, I know that they can cause a lot of damahe and everything, and I know that people have died because of them, but are we going to die?"
"A.J., we're going to be fine," Billy told her. The two sat down on the floor across from one another. "If we had stayed in Angel Grove, we might have been in trouble, but Stone Canyon is far enough away from the coast that we shouldn't get anything more than a lot of rain." A.J. had a panicked look fly across her face.
"You mean, Rocky and Kris are in trouble?" shje asked, her voice cracking. That was really stupid, Billy, he thought to himself, wincing slightly.
"I won't lie to you, A.J.," he said aloud. "Rocky and Kris are in the plafe where the hurricane wil hit them badly, but as long as they stay in the basement, away from all the windows, they should be just fine. I bet you that they'll come walking in here any minute, safe and sound."
Unfortunately, Billy sounded more confident than he felt about his statement.
"OK, Billy, if you say so," she replied, looking him straight in the eyes. "I just hope that you're right. I mean, I finally got an older sister, something I've always wanted, and then just as quickly as I got her, she could be killed by this stupid hurricane! It isn't fair!"
"A.J., don't think so negatively," Billy said quietly, hoping that the young girl would take the cue and lower her voice as well. "For all we know, they could be perfectly safe and healthy, just waiting for the storm to pass." Billy paused. "You want to know something else?"
"I'd be willing to bed that Rocky and Kris are just as worried about and the rest of your family as you are worried about them."
"You really think so?"
"Of course. After all, they're your family, right?"
"Right." A.J. smiled at him. "Thanks, Billy." Billy smiled back.
"Anytime, A.J.," he told her. With that, A.J. got up and walked over to where her mother was sitting. Billy remained seated on the floor and watched her go.
"Billy? Are you feeling all right?" KAt asked him quietly, having seen him staring off into space for the past five minutes. Billy snapped back to reality, and his eyes focused on the blonde.
"Sure, I'm fine," Billy answered. "I'm just a little worried about the others, that's all."
"We're all worried about them," Tommy commented. "But I'm sure they'll shop up soon." Billy shot a pained look at his friend.
"I just told A.J. the exact same thing," he said quietly. "But you don't have any more faith in that statement than I do, do you?"
Tommy looked uncomfortable.
"Not really," he admitted. "But we have to keep thinking positively. We've all been through things that are worse than this. We're all going to survive this, just like we did the other disasters."
"But we can't do anything to fight a hurricane," Billy protested. He lowered his voice to almost a whisper. "We...you guys could always fight any of the monsters that attacked the city, either through hand-to-hand combat or by calling on your Zords. But you can't destroy a hurricane anymore than you can control what it does. Like it or not, none of us has any way of knowing if the others are going to make it through this storm."
Billy's comments left Kat and Tommy speechless. Neither of them had ever heard him talk like this before. They credited it to the hurricane, and the stress that it was laying on everybody's shoulders.
"You're right, Billy," Kat said finally, keeping her voice low. "We can't control the hurricane. But we can hope for the best for our friends. I'm not sure what exactly we can do, other than hope and pray that Rocky, Adam, Tanya, Kris and Kason will make it here safely."
"They had better get here safely," Billy said, his void empty of any emotion now. "If something happens to them, we're going to have a major problem on our hands." Billy had been referring not only to the status of the Power Rangers if some of the team was lost, but also the emotional state that everybody who knew the 5 teens would be in . It was apossibility that Billy pushed as far away from his consciousness as he could, for it was too intense for him to deal with right then.
The DeSantos residence was vibrating from the thunder and the strong winds that were wreaking havoc on the city. Kris hadn;t awakened yet, but fortunately neither had Rocky. Jason had found a book on one of the bookshelves and had begun to read it. However, he still kept a close eye on Kris.
Somewhere in the house, the sound of a window shattering reached Jason's ears, startling him. Since all of the windows were boarded up, though, there wouldn't be too much damage from flying glass.
Jason felt a throbbing pain in his ankle. I'd forgotten about that, he thought, looking down at his leg. Indeed, he had forgotten that he had twisted his ankle a while back that day. I guess the adrenaline must have numbed it for a while, until things calmed down enough for me to deal with this. Now, though, the pain was returning in full force. As quietly as he could, Jason got up off of the chair he had been sitting in, putting the book down on the arm, and crept over to get the first aid kit. He took out a tensor bandage and wrapped it around his ankle for support. He took a few steps to test his handywork. The pain was still there, but it was lessening, though in small increments. Jason replaced the first aid kit, then looked down at Rocky's sleeping figure. A small blood stain was on the floor. Jason decided to grab a towel from the laundry room to put beneath Rocky's leg. He went to the laundry room, and as he stepped down the small incline that was! there to funnel any water that got on the floor to a drain, his feet got wet.
"I think I just found the broken window," Jason murmured, stepping out of the water and hurrying back to where brother and sister lay sleeping, side-by-side. He knelt by Rocky's side and shook his arm gently.
"Man, I don't want to go to school today," Rocky complained groggily, not really awake yet. "Write me a note saying I was sick or something, OK?"
"Rocky, get up," Jason insisted, still shaking his friend.
"Huh? Wa?" Rocky said, opening his eyes.
"Rocky, we have a problem." Quickly, JAson outlined the window and the flooding in the laundry room. Rocky sat up, fully awake and alert now.
"Has Kris woken up yet?" he asked, getting to his feet. He grimaced as he put his weight on his injured leg, but didn't bother to glance down. He had more pressing matters on his mind right now. Jason shook his head regretfully. "OK, well, we'd better repair that window before the whole basement is flooded."
"How?" Jason inquired.
"Duct tape," was Rocky's reply.
"Duct tape?" Jason asked skeptically.
"Sure," Rocky answered nonchalantly.
"Will that work?" Jason again.
"Why wouldn't it?" Rocky, naturally.
"It needs to be dry to stick," Jason pointed out.
"So we create a new window, made from duct tape, and stick it to the sides of the window frame," Rocky answered.
"Will that work?" Jason repeated.
"Why wouldn't it?" Rocky said, echoing his words from a minute ago.
"I don't know," Jason admitted.
"Do you have any better ideas?" Rocky asked frankly.
"Not really," Jason told him.
"Well then, quit asking me if this will work and let's give it a try, already!" Rocky said, exasperated.
"But will it work?" Jason persisted.
"Why the hell wouldn't it?" Rocky demanded.
"Because what good will taping the frame do?" Jason once more.
"The tape goes across the frame from each side," Rocky explained.
"An 'X' isn't going to keep the water out," Jason pointed out.
"No, we make a big sheet of duct tape," Rocky informed him.
"That won't give any good insulation, though," Jason commented.
"I don't care about insulation! As long as it keeps the water out," Rocky replied.
"Well, if you think it'll work...OK," Jason conceded finally.
Abott and Costello would have been proud.
As quickly as they could, the two boys fetched the duct tape, removed the baord from the window, and out all the broken glass in a plastic garbage pail. Rocky proceeded to cut off large strips of duct tape and attach them horizontally from one side of the window frame to the other, then he repeated the process in a vertical fashion.
"Well, what do you know?! It worked!" Rocky crowed triumphantly.
"You mean you weren't sure if it was going to work?" Jason asked him.
'Nope, didn't have a clue," Rocky answered honestly, grinning at his friend. Jason gave him a mock-glare, then relaxed.
"It's a good thing that did work," he commented, turning and leading the way back out to the main room of the basement, where Kris was still unconscious. "Otherwise, we;d have had to go up a floor, and the safest place for us to be is down here. But during the eye, we should start driving to Stone Canyon and the emergency shelter. We'd be the safest there, and Kris needs to get checked out by a doctor as soon as she can. Plus, your family is there, too."
"Are they all right?" Rocky demanded anxiously.
"They're fine," Jason assured him. Rocky relaxed visibly.
"I should get there as soon as I can," she said, half to himself. "I don't want them to worru about me anymore than the half to."
"They can't help worrying, Rocky; they're your family," Jason pointed out.
"I know, which is why I have to get back to them as soon as I possibly can. I don't care if I have to drive through that hurricane, I'm going to see them," Rocky said, determination plain in his voice.
"But what about Kris?" Jason inquired.
"She's coming with me," Rocky answered without any hesitation whatsoever.
"You mean, with us," Jason corrected him. "You're not going to drive my Jeep in this weather! I trust you with a Zord, but not with my Jeep." Rocky and Jason shared a laugh at this; a much-deserved, well-appreciated laugh.
Suddenly, they realized that everything was quiet. The thunder had stopped booming, the wind had stopped blowing, the lightening had stopped flashing, and the rain had stopped falling. The sky was still cloudy, but that was it.
"We must be in the eye of the hurricane," Rocky whispered to Jason, as though he were afraid that if he spoke too loudly, he would get the storm going again.
"We should get going now, and get as much distance between us and the coast before the other side of the hurricane hits us," Jason said to his friend. "You're the one with the most medical experience between the two of us. How do we get Kris into my Jeep without knocking her around too much?"
"Well, we should put something hard under her torso, just in case she gets bumped around," Rocky began. Jason went and fetched the piece of plywood that had been covering the long, narrow window in the laundry room. "Good. Then, we have to strap her down so she doesn't roll off while we're transporting her. I think we can use the sheets for that."
Jason and Rocky proceeded to lift Kris as gingerly as they could onto the plywood, then tied her down ysing the sheets that she had been laying beneath, making sure she was securely fastened.
"Now, all we have to do is get her up the stairs and into the back of your Jeep without dropping her," Rocky said, a hint of a smile playing across his lips.
Jason and Rocky each grabbed one side of the plywood, and carried Kris up the stairs, then outside and into the back of Jason's Jeep.
"Now, we drive as fast as this Jeep can go," Rocky said grimly. He and Jason piled into the Jeep, and the engine roared to life. Tires squealed as Jason pulled out of the driveway ffaster than was actually safe.
He drove as fast as he dared, pushing the vehicle until it was reaching speeds of about 150 miles per hour. The scenery whizzed past in a green-and-brown blur, though Rocky and Jason were too preoccupied to care. Rocky was riding in the back with Kris, sitting by her side, ever-vigilant.
Suddenly, before Rocky's very eyes, Kris's eyelids fluttered, and she let out a small, low moan.
"Jason, she's awake!" Rocky shouted. Jason turned to look back over his shoulder, then remembered where he was and what he was doing, and turned around promptly.
"How's she doing?" he asked, concern plain in his voice.
"I don't know," Rocky answered. Then, speaking to Kris, he asked her, "Kris, can you hear me? It's me, Rocky. Your brother. Are you awake?" Kris moaned again, and started thrashing her head from side to side. Rocky gently took hold of her head and helf her still so she woudn't injure herself further. "Kris, please, speak to me. Can you even hear me? Kris, wake up, please! I need you to wake up and speak to me, Kris." However, moans and groans were all he got in reply. "Kris, do you een recognize my voice?" This time, her moan sounded like a very groggy, "No."
"Rocky, is she awake yet?" Jason called fomr the front of the Jeep. He had accelerated to 175 miled per hour, knowing that it was crucial that Kris be checked out by a doctor.
"Not really. She's moaning incoherently, but she's not saying any words to me," Rocky answered him, worried like he'd never been before.
"Wha...where am I?" Kris asked, opening her eyes a crack and staring up at the ceiling. She saw movement to her left, and her green eyes focused on Rocky. "Who are you?"
The question made Rocky's blood grow cold. His breath caught in his throat, probably because that's where his heart had jumped to.
"Kris, it's me: Rocky. Your brother," Rocky told her.
"My...brother?" came the groggy reply.
"Yes, Kris," Rocky said, smiling happily. His sister was back!
Rocky gasped. Up in the front of the Jeep, Jason, who had heard the entire exchange, gasped as well.
"Did she say what I think she just said?" he asked. Rocky nodded, though he knew that Jason couldn't see him.
"Yea," he answered. He turned back to Kris. "You're Kris. Don't you remember anything? Anything at all?"
"Uh-uh," Kris answered. What's happening to me? Where am I? Who are these people? Who am I? The questions ran through Kris's mind, which was as blank as a fresh sheet of paper. She remembered nothing about her life, and this scared her greatly. Wait a minute, why am I tied down? This guy must be trying to kidnap me! With that, Kris started to struggle against her bonds, and at the same time she began to scream.
Rocky clapped a hand over his sister's mouth to silence her, and tried to hold her down with his remaining hand, but had no success.
"Jason, I need some help back here!" he called.
"I'm driving!" Jason called back.
"So stop the car! Jason, get back here!" Rocky shouted, frustrated and angry, worried and afraid. Jason brought the Jeep to a halt, undid his seat belt, and got out of the Jeep. Then, he ran around to the back of the Jeep and opened up the rear door. Seeing that Kris was thrashing madly, as though trying to escape, he held down her legs with two strong hands.
"Rocky, what happened to her?" he asked.
"I was talking to her, and she asked..." Rocky trailed off, unable to continue as the implications of what Kris had said sank in. Jason waited patiently for Rocky to continue. In the meantime, Kris was still trying to escape, but the two men were stronger, bigger, and outweighter her, so she had no chance to flee. "She asked who I was, and who she was." The news hit Jason like a ton of bricks.
"She doesn't remember you?" he asked softly. Rocky shook his head. He sat back and leaned against the wall of the Jeep, closing his misting eyes.
"Let me go!" Kris screamed, since Rocky had taken his hands off of her. She managed to undo the sheets around her arms and torso, then sat up and started taking swings at Jason. Rocky saw her, and tried to grab her arms to keep her from injuring Jason, or herself. However, as soon as she felt his touch, Kris rammed her elbow into Rocky's gut. With a grunt, he fell back against the wall, clutching his stomack. Kris managed to backhand Jason, then undid the bonds around her feet, leapt from the Jeep and started running as fast as she could away from her "kidnappers."
"Kris, come back!" Rocky called, jumping from the Jeep and running after her. Jason already had a head start on him, though, and was gaining on Kris. Kris ran frantically, dodging this way and that, but Jason managed to catch up enough to grab her arm and pull her to a halt. When she tried to take another swing at him, he grabbed her upper arms and held her tightly, careful not to hurt her left arm further.
"Kris, listen to me," he ordered her as Rocky came to a stop beside him. "I know that you don't remember anything, but you have to trust us. We're your frinds. Or rather, I'm your friend. This guy here is your brother."
"My...brother?" Kris asked, her forehead creasing in confusion. Rocky nodded.
"Kris, my name's Rocky DeSantos. You're Kristina DeSantos, but you have the name Kristina, so everybody calls you Kris, except for our mother," Rocky explained quickly. "You were at our mother's house, during what we thought was a bad rain storm, but it turned out to be hurricane. You were out in the backyard, bringing things into the hosue, when you got blown into a neighbour's yard. A branch got knocked off of the tree and it must have hit you in the head. You went unconscious, and Jason and I were really worried about you. We're in the middle o drining to Stone Canyon, where we'll be safe from the hurricane. The rest of our friends are there, too. You need to get looked at by a doctor when we get there."
Kris hesitated, looking from the one who claimed to be her brother to the one who claimed to be her friend. SHe saw no hostile intentions, just love, caring and worry.
"Well, all right," she conceded. "As long as you don't try to tie me up again."
"We won't, we promise," the one named Rocky vowed. "But we have to get going before the hurricane starts up again."
Kris allowed them to lead her back to the Keep. She got in and sat beside Rocky while Jason sat in the drivers' seat, restarted the engine, then sped off as fast as his vehicle would allow.
They drove for only 20 more minutes, for that was how long it took them to get into Stone Canyon and find the school. However, during the time that they had been on the road, the wind had picked up again, and the rain started to fall once more, bringing with it thunder and lightening.
"Ding ding, round two!" Kris joked quietly, smiling. She hoped that she was known for making jokes like that, because that one seemed to come naturally. Rocky laughed aloud, sounding more relieved than anything else, and Jason chuckled.
"At least she didn't lose any of her personality," Jason commented, pulling into the parking lot of the high school where the emergency shelter was set up. "Um, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but what are we going to do about your mom and your siblings?"
Rocky was stumped.
"Um, we shouldn't let them see Kris. Or me. Or you, for that matter. They know that you went to Angel Grove to come and look for me and Kris, right?" Jason nodded in reply. "Well, if they see you, they'll wonder what happened to Kris and me. If they see me, they'll wonder what happened to Kris. If they see Kris, they'll wonder what happened. I don't think we should worry them just yet. We should see if this amnesia is temporary or not. If it is, then my mom doesn't even have to know that it ever happened."
"You think you can hide this from your mother?" Jason asked, slightly incredulous.
"Sure, as long as she doesn't see any of us, and nobody tells her anything," Rocky answered simply. Jason wasn't too comfortable with the idea of keeping so serious an injury from Mrs. DeSantos, but he agreed to keep quiet and out of sight, despite his reservations.
"We should at least let Tommy and the others know we're all right," Jason said.
"How? We can't go into the school, much less into the gym where everybody is," Rocky told him. Jason tried his communicator, thinking it might work at such a short range.
"Tommy, this is Jason. Can you hear me?" he said into the wrist device.
"Jason? How did you manage to get the communicators working?" Tommy's voice came back, crackling a bit from the static, but at least it was communication.
"They work over short distances," Jason told him.
"Short distances? Where are you?" Tommy asked.
"I'm in the parking lot, with Rocky and Kris," Jason replied.
"Are you guys all right?" Tommy inquired, sounding worried now.
"Just get the others and come out here, OK? And whatever you do, don't tell Mrs. DeSantos or any of her kids that we're here, all right?" Jason said, ignoring the question.
"OK, Jase, you got it," Tommy replied. "We're on our way." With that, the channel was closed.
"Tommy and the others are going to meet us out here," Jason informed the others. Rocky looked relieved.
"Who?" Kris asked. The two teens looked at her, and she reddened. "Hey, it's not my fault I have amnesia. Well, I don't think it's my fault, I don't remember." She grinned at her own comment. Rocky and Jason chuckled at her.
"One thing you didn't lose is your sense of humour," Rocky told her, looking at her fondly.
Tommy, Billy and Kat came running out of the school a moment later. They paused, searching for Jason's Jeep. When they spotted it, they sprinted over to it. The front doors opened, and three heads poked in.
"Where's Tanya and Adam?" Rocky asked before anyone else could say anything.
"They're not here, yet," Kat said, sounding worried about the couple. When she saw Kris, though, her spirits brightened. "Kris, how are you feeling?"
Kris looked at the one who was apparently her brother for reassurance.
"Um, do I know these people?" she whispered in his ear. Rocky nodded.
"Yes, you do. They're good friends of yours, too," he whispered back. "Kat's the girl, Tommy's the one with the long, brown hair, and Billy's the one with the light, short hair."
"Oh, OK," Kris said. She turned to them. "Um, hi."
"How are you feeling, Kris?" Kat asked again.
"Oh, not bad, I guess," Kris answered. "But I have a throbbing headache, my leg hurts a little, and my left arm is killing me. Other than that, just peachy."
"Jason, why did you tell us not to tell Mrs. DeSantos that you guys were here?" Tommy asked Jason, who was still sitting in the front seat of the Jeep.
"Watch," Jason told him. "Kris, can you remember the names of your siblings?"
"Siblings?" Kris asked, a look of pure confusion spreading across her pretty features. Tommy, Billy and Kat gasped simultaneously. "Um, did I say something wrong?"
"No, you didn't say anything wrong," Rocky assured her, putting an arm protectively around her shoulders and drawing her close. "Guys, she doesn't remember anything. She has amnesia."
"Oh no," Kat whispered, a hand flying up to cover her mouth.
"Is it permanent?" Billy asked.
"We're not sure," Rocky replied.
"Well, how do we cure this?" Tommy inquired.
"We can't cure amnesia," Rocky told him. "All we can do is try to help her get her memory back."
"How are we supposed to do that?" Kat wondered aloud.
"We have to immerse her in familiar settings, show her familiar things, stuff like that," Rocky explained.
"What about her family?" Tommy asked quietly.
"I don't think we should worry them," Rocky said.
"But they have a right to know," Billy protested.
"I know that," Rocky snapped. "But I don't think that they'd take this very well!"
"OK, we'll do it your way," Tommy said, trying to get Rocky to calm down. "But we have to keep you three out of sight."
"Where can they stay? The entire first floor, along with most of the basement, is occupied. The kids might go for a walk and find them if they stay somewhere out in the open," Kat commented.
"So we'll find someplace to hide until Kris get her memory back," Rocky said simply.
"Where?" Kat persisted. "There's basically no place to hide anyone in the school."
"Then we'll hide on the second floor. There's nobody up there, right?" Rocky asked.
"There's nobody up there because it's dangerous to be up there," Billy told him firmly. "If anything, you should try to find a place to hide on the main floor or in the basement."
"Let us go in first and see if we can find a place for you," Tommy said. "That way, nobody will see you guys." Rocky nodded his consent, and Tommy and the others ran back into the school.
Jason closed the doors on his Jeep, and turned around to face brother and sister. Rocky still had his arm around Kris, and she wasn't protesting it at all.
"How're you feeling?" Jason asked her. Kris looked him directly in the eye. She was searching for anything that would trigger a memory, anything that seemed even remotely familiar about him.
Jason sat, and was almost mesmerized as Kris's green eyes bore deep into his brown ones, as though she was searching his soul.
"I'm doing all right, I guess," she said finally. "My head, my arm and my leg are killing me, though." She looked down at her left arm and grimaced. "Whatever I was doing, I must have done a good job of it."
"Actually, you were clearing out the yard when you got knocked unconscious," Rocky explained. "You probably saved our family a lot of money by bringing in those potted plants."
"I did?" Kris asked. She smiled a bit and shook her head. "Well, I guess I'll have to take your word for it, huh?"
"Not for long," Rocky told her seriously. "You'll get your memory back, I promise."
"Thanks, Rocky," Kris said. "And thanks, Jason."
"I haven't really done anything," Jason said, shrugging his broad shoulders.
"You were here, you didn't kill me when I hit you, you were patient with me when I tried to run away; like I said, thanks," Kris explained.
"Well, you're welcome," Jason replied.
Just then, Tommy and Kat came running back from the school.
"We found a place that the three of you can hide in until Kris gets her memory back," Tommy said breathlessly. "It's only a supply room. It isn't much, and it's a bit cramped, but nobody should find you guys there. Billy's guarding it, and we should get back there as soon as we can."
Jason, Kris and Rocky got out of Jason's Jeep, and started running towards the school behind Kat and Tommy.
"I guess I'm either a lousy runner, or an asthmatic," Kris said, breathing heavily as she ran. She was starting to fall behind the others. Rocky slowed down to run beside her.
"Asthmatic," he told her.
"You know, I've got a lot of questions I need you to answer for me," Kris admitted as they entered the building and headed for the basement.
"Sure, I'll answer anything you want," Rocky told her.
"Come on, guys, hurry up!" Tommy called from the front of the pack. "We don't want to be seen."
"We're coming!" Rocky called up to him.
They found the supply closet where Billy was waiting for them.
"Coast is clear," he reported, opening the door to allow the trio inside. "Now, you're going to have to keep this door locked, so that nobody can get in and see you guys there."
"Gotcha, Billy. We'll be careful," Rocky promised. "And take care of our mom and the kids, all right?"
"We will," Tommy vowed. Then he, Billy and Kat left the three alone.
"Not exactly spacious," Kris commented, looking around. Indeed, she was dead-on. The room was 20 feet by 15 feet, at best. There were a bunch of shelves along one wall that were filled with paper. Sitting on the counter that ran along the opposite wall was a bunch of blankets and pillows that Tommy, Kat and Billy must have swiped from somewhere in the school. "I hope nobody else needed these more than we do."
"Kris, we need these a lot right now," Rocky told her. He started looking around the room, obviously searching for something.
"Rocky, what are you looking for?" Jason asked him, his eyes following Rocky's every move.
"A first aid kit, preferably with pain killers," Rocky replied. Jason looked at Rocky's leg, and understood.
"You're bleeding again," he commented calmly.
"I think I know that," came the cool reply.
"Rocky, are you all right?" Kris asked worriedly.
"Oh, yea, it's nothing, really," Rocky told her, waving dismissively as he located the first aid kit and opened the lid.
"Actually, he got that cut when he was trying to get you to safety," Jason informed Kris in a whisper.
"Hey, no talking behind my back," Rocky protested, taking out a roll of gauze and a roll of surgical tape. Then he started looking around again.
"Now what?" Jason asked.
"I need to find someplace to redress this cut," Rocky said, gesturing to his leg. Jason understood immediately, and it dawned on Kris a moment later. She blushed, and ducked her head.
"I can turn around, if you need me to," she offered.
"Would you?" Rocky asked, looking relieved.
"Sure." Kris went to the space between the door and the shelving, and stared at the wall until Rocky called back that it was all clear. When she turned around, he was disposing of a bloody mess of gauze and tape. "Oh, there's something I needed to see. Glad I'm not the queasy type...am I?"
"You get motion sick sometimes, but only in cars, and sometimes on boats, but you don't go boating too often, so that's all right," Rocky told her, wiping his hands on his jeans, which were stained anyway, so it didn't really matter.
"Oh, I see," Kris said. "I wonder why I was fine during the ride here, then?"
"Probably because you don't get sick all the time, just occasionally," Rocky supplied. Then he turned to Jason. "How's your ankle?" Jason looked surprised.
"You noticed that?" he asked.
"Sure; you were limping," Rocky told him.
"Good eyes," Jason remarked. "And it's fine, really. Just hurts a little bit."
"Can you flex it?" Rocky asked him. Jason tried, and winced a little in the process. "You should be fine. Probably just a sprain."
"Thanks, Dr. DeSantos," Jason joked. He leaned against a wall and slid down until he was sitting on the floor.
"How do you know so much medical stuff?" Kris asked Rocky.
"I'm a lifeguard, and I needed to take a first aid course as a of the training," Rocky explained.
"Do you go to school, too?" Kris asked.
"Yeah. We all do," Rocky told her. "We go to Angel Grove High."
"Let me guess: we live in Angel Grove?" Kris guessed, grinning.
"How'd you know?" Rocky joked.
"Hmm, lucky guess," Kris replied with a grin. "So, tell me; how old am I?"
"17," Rocky replied. "You want your life history?"
"Yes, please," Kris said eagerly.
"Abbreviated or extended?"
"Abbreviated will do for now, I guess," Kris replied.
"Well, you're 17, born on April 5th, your full name is Kristina Heather Maria DeSantos," Rocky began.
"Gee, my parents weren't fond of long names, were they?" Kris joked.
"Hey, you should hear mine," Rocky replied. Kris and Jason looked at him expectantly. He sighed. "Rockwell Aaron Scott DeSantos. And don't you dare tell that to any of the others." He saw the evil gleam in Jason's eye die as he added that last part. "Anyway, you live with me, in my apartment. We go to Angel Grove High, we hang out at the Youth Centre a lot with Tommy, Billy, Kat, Tanya and Adam."
"Who're Tanya and Adam?" Kris asked, confused since she had no faces to associate with the names.
"They're two of our friends that haven't shown up here, yet," Rocky explained.
"And don't forget the family, Rocky," Jason reminded him.
"Oh, right. The rest of your brothers and sisters live with our mother at her house. There's Lucas, A.J., Evan, Katie and Jonathan," Rocky said to his sister.
"A.J.?" Kris asked, furrowing her brow curiously.
"Alexandra Jane," Rocky supplied. "But if you call her Alexandra, Jane, or anything even remotely resembling that, she'll hurt you." Kris's eyebrows raised.
"Are we all that violent?" she asked.
"No, not really," Rocky said uneasily, knowing what he was going to have to reveal sooner or later. "I'm a karate instructor at my own dojo, the rest of your brother and sisters take some type of martial arts, usually along with some other sport."
"What about me? What sports do I do?" Kris asked.
"Actually, you're not much of an athlete," Rocky said as gently as he could, though he could tell by Kris's expression that she was disappointed with the answer.
"I'm not?" she asked. "How come?"
"Well, it's not that you're not athletically inclined, you just never had the opportunity, really," Jason told her.
"What do you mean?" Kris wondered.
"Well, see, at our old house, there was this big fire about 5 years ago. You were in your room when it happened, and so was everybody else. You escaped through your window, and ran away. You found me only about a month ago. You told me that you'd had temporary amnesia after the fire, because you didn't want to remember what had happened that night. Anyway, you were living on your own, and that would have been difficult enough without adding any extra-curricular activities in there," Rocky explained.
"Oh, I see," Kris said simply. "I lead a lonely life, then."
"You used to, but you don't anymore," Rocky corrected her hurriedly. "Now, since you came to Angel Grove, you've always got your friends or your family around you."
"Well, that sounds a little better," Kris commented, relieved. "What else can you tell me? Anything about my personality?"
"Let's see. You're really smart, and you skipped a grade, so at Angel Grove High you're in the same grade as Jason and me and the others," Rocky began.
"You guys are older than me?" Kris asked.
"Yup. We're all eighteen," Rocky told her.
"Ooh, I feel insignificant," Kris joked. Then she sobered up. "Go on, please."
"In case you hadn't guessed by know, you're always cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks, but you do it only when you know that it won't hurt anybody's feelings," Rocky continued.
"It runs in the family," Jason added, grinning. Rocky glared at him, and Kris chuckled.
"Like I was saying, you enjoy making jokes, basically because you enjoy making people laugh," Rocky said, turning his back pointedly on his friend after shaking his head. "You're fun-loving, basically fearless, will try anything at least once, but you can also be serious when you need to be. You're hard-working, dedicated, loyal, punctual-"
"I think what my long-winded friend is trying to say is that you're basically perfect," Jason cut in.
"-And unlike my rude friend, here, you don't interrupt people when they're talking," Rocky finished. He turned to Jason with another mock-glare. "Must you?" Jason grinned again and nodded.
"Eesh, hope the temper doesn't run in the family," Kris sighed, shaking her head. "Now, would you boys like to calm down, or am I going to have to send you to opposing corners of the room for a time-out?"
Rocky and Jason laughed.
"That's my Kris," Rocky said, smiling. Well, some of her, anyway. And as soon as she gets her memory back, I'll never let her out of my sight again, he thought to himself, messing up Kris's hair. She knocked his arm away and began to tickle him. Rocky grinned evily and tickled her back. She shrieked, laughing uncontrollably. Jason kept sitting on his perch on the counter and watched, smiling at the exchange between brother and sister.
"Hey, no fair," Kris said suddenly, breaking away from her brother. "No one should be left out of this."
"You're right," Rocky agreed, eyeing Jason.
"Oh no, stay away from me!" Jason protested, holding his hands in front of him and shaking his head. Rocky and Kris advanced on him, smiling the trademark DeSantos evil grin. Rocky and Kris started tickling Jason, and he laughed, protesting all the while.
Finally, the three of them collapsed on the floor, exhausted.
"I haven't had that much fun in a long time," Kris said, laying on her back. "Well, I don't think I've have that much fun in a long time."
Jason and Rocky chuckled.
"Don't worry, you'll get your memory back soon," Jason promised her, looking over at her. She locked her green eyes on his brown ones.
"I'd better get my memory back soon," was all she said in response.
Tommy, Billy and Kat reentered the gym, and found the entire DeSantos family fast asleep. All of them, that is, except Mrs. DeSantos. She was sitting on the edge of the cot where Katie and A.J. were laying, side-by-side. She was gently stroking Katie's long hair, looking down at her fondly.
"Kris?" she asked when she heard footsteps coming towards her. She looked up hopefully, but her face fell when she saw who it was. "Oh, sorry."
"They'll be back soon, Mrs. DeSantos," Kat said, trying to reassure the woman.
"I hope you're right, Kat," Mrs. DeSantos replied. She had dark circles beneath her eyes, and her speech sounded slurred from exhaustion.
"Maybe you should get some sleep," Kat suggested. "You won't do anybody any good if you're tired."
"But what if they show up while I'm asleep?" Mrs. DeSantos protested, not budging.
"Then we'll wake you up," Tommy said, coming over to join them. Mrs. DeSantos got up, and allowed herself to be led to a vacant cot. She laid down, closed her eyes, and it took her only a moment to fall asleep.
"I feel really guilty," Kat admitted once they were out of earshot of the family. "I mean, we know that Rocky, Kris and Jason are here, and they're injured, but we can't even tell their own mother!"
"It's for her own good, though," Tommy said, trying to rationalize the decision that had been made for them by their friends. "If she knew, it would probably make her feel worse than she does now."
"I know you're right, Tommy," Kat admitted. "But it doesn't make this any easier."
"Well, hopefully, Kris will get her memory back soon, and we won't have to hide this secret any longer," Billy said.
"And there's no way we can help her get it back, is there?" Tommy asked. Billy shook his head, a regretful look on his face.
"I'm afraid not, Tommy," he replied. "She's the only one who can get her memory back for herself." He paused. "There's also a small chance that she won't get her memory back. Ever."
"She could have to start from scratch?" Kat asked with a gasp.
"It's a small possibility, but an existent one. There have been cases where people have had permanent amnesia, and have had to start their lives all over again with the help of friends and family," Billy explained.
"Well, if that happens, we'll have to tell her family," Kat said.
"And we'll help her get through it all," Tommy added. Billy and Kat nodded in agreement, though none of them wanted that to happen to their brother's sister; their friend. In a way, Kris was like a younger sister to them all. Tommy and the others all felt this way, despite the fact that she had only been in Angel Grove for a little less than a month. She was important to Rocky, so therefore she was important to the others, too. It was a feeling that everybody had.
Kris, too, felt like she was a of the group. She felt like she had not only a bunch of younger brother and sisters, but a bunch of older ones as well. Obviously, there was her biological brother, Rocky. But her other "brothers" included Billy, Jason, Adam and Tommy. Her "sisters" were Kat and Tanya. Kris had never admitted to anyone that she felt this way. She hadn't really been close to anybody for a very long time, and she was quite unaccustomed to having the strong feelings that she had for someone, never mind a whole bunch of people! She was happy that Rocky had accepted her. She was happier still when all of Rocky's friends had accepted her into their "clique." Kris couldn't remember the last time that she felt that she belonged, but she had that feeling now, and it was a strong feeling, at that. A feeling that she hoped would never go away, not for as long as she lived.
"I wonder how long it's going to take until Kris gets her memory back?" Kat asked softly. The teens had moved to three cots that were set up across from the ones where the DeSantos family was sleeping peacefully, and were now sitting or laying down. She was on the left side, Tommy was in the middle, and Billy was on the right.
"It all depends," Billy replied. "No one can know that. All we can do is hope that it'll be soon."
"Kris is a fighter," Tommy remarked. "I'm sure that, no matter what, she won't let this incident destroy her."
"I'm not worried about this destroying her, I'm worried about everybody else's reactions when they find out what happened," Kat told him.
"If we have to tell anybody else," Billy broke in. Kat nodded to acknowledge his comment.
"The amnesia might niot destroy her, but what about what everybody else does?" Kat continued. "They'll either treat her like an invalid, or they'll treat her like a baby, because she doesn't remember anything that she should. She'll have to learn everything all over again. All of the schooling she went through, all of the life experiences that she's had, they've all been virtually erased!"
"Kat, we don't know for sure that this is permanent," Billy told her calmly, propping himself up on one elbow. "All we know is that Kris got a bump in the head, and she doesn't remember anything. There's no telling how long this could last, though."
"And that's exactly what I'm worried about," Kat told him.
Meanwhile, back in the storage closet that was serving as their temporary quarters, three teens were laying around on the ground on blankets and mats.
Rocky had fallen asleep as soon as his head had hit the pillow. At first, he had been tossing and turning, but now his chest barely moved, he was sleeping so soundly. He had fallen asleep against the wall that was opposite the door, his head in the 2-foot space between the shelving and the back wall. Jason was laying beside the counter that ran from the wall with the door, cornered, then along the wall that ran perpindicular to the dool-wall. Kris was laying with her back to the shelving, her head facing the door. However, she wasn't sleeping. She hadn't been able to sleep. Despite the fact that her mind had been wiped clean, she had numerous thoughts running through her head. She lay there, eyes open, staring off into oblivion. Kris sighed and shifted a little.
"Kris? Are you awake?" Jason asked her quietly. Kris jumped, startled. She hadn't wanted to be so loud.
"Yea. Sorry I woke you, Jason," she replied in a whisper so as not to wake her slumbering brother. She sat up and streted as best she could.
"It's all right, I wasn't asleep, anyway," Jason informed her, keeping his voice low as well. "Are you all right?" Kris sighed again.
"I guess so," she answered. "I mean, I don't know who I am, who you are, I can't remember anything! It's so frustrating, not knowing anything about my own life! Sure, Rocky told me some stuff, but I want to know firsthand about myself, not what other people have told me! Why did this happen to me? Was I such a bad person that some divive entity somewhere thought I deserved this?" By the time she was finished speaking, Kris had tears in her eyes for the first time since she had regained consciousness. "I could handle all the physical injuries without a problem." Kris indicated her left wrist and her leg. "But losing my memory...Jason's, it terrifying!" The tears that had been welling up were now spilling down over Kris's cheeks. Jason got up from where he had been laying and sat down next to Kris.
"Kris, you weren't a horrible person at all," he said, trying to console her. "In fact, you were a great person. Everybody loved you."
"They did?" she asked uncertainly. She notice that he had put a bit more emphasis on the word, "love," but she figured she was imagining things and let it slide. Jason nodded.
"Yea, they did," he replied. "And you didn't deserve this; any of this. It was just a freak accident. Like Rocky said before, you were trying to help out your family when you got knocked in the head. Not only did you probably save your family some money, you also saved them some time. If those potted plants had been left outside, they would have flown everywhere, and shattered. You also might have saved somebody's life. Those pieces of pottery could have flown around and hit someone."
"I know," Kris admitted. "You're right. But that doesn't make any of this any easier!" Jason seemed at a loss for words at that. Kris sighed again. "Jason, I'm sorry. I'm a little uptight right now. This isn't easy on me. I've never lost my memory before." Jason chuckled.
"Actually, you have," he told her. Kris grinned.
"Hey, it's not my fault I don't remember anything," she joked. Then she sobered. "I hope I get my memory back soon. If this isn't temporary, if this is permanent amnesia..." Kris trailed off, unable to continue. Her voice cracked, and her conflicting emotions began to pour out of her.
Jason wasn't really sure what to do in this situation. He knew what he wanted to do, so he did it. He figured that, at this point, he didn't have much to lose. Jason gently put an arm around Kris's shoudlers and drew her close to him. Without hesitating, she fell against him, sobbing quietly.
"Kris, this won't last, I promise you," he told her quietly. "You'll get your memory back. You'll remember everything that's ever happened to you in your life. You'll remember who you are, who everybody else is, everything."
Kris didn't answer, she just continued to let her emotions flow freely.
Outside, the thunder continues to roll.
"I'm going to go check on her," Kat said suddenly. She got up from where she had been laying on the cot and started walking towards the door that led out into the main hallway of the school.
"Kat, wait!" Tommy called, getting up and following her. "Are you sure you should go down there? The more times we go down there, the bigger the chance that Mrs. DeSantos or one of the kids will see you, and they'll follow you. You know we can't let them see Kris in this condition."
"Tommy, they're all asleep," Kat protested. "Nobody will follow me. I'll be careful. Besides, if they wake up while I'm gone, tell them I've got to the bathroom or something." With that, Kat walked off. Tommy sighed, and went back to his cot.
"What's going on?" Billy asked groggily. He had been asleep until he had heard Tommy and Kat speaking.
"Kat just went down to check on Rocky and the others," Tommy told him. He laid back down on his cot and stared up at the ceiling.
"It's a good thing none of the others up here are awake," Billy commented. "They'd wonder where she was going."
"It's going to be pretty hard to hide Kris, Rocky and Jason from them until we can get out of here," Tommy commented, almost as though he hadn't heard Billy speak at all.
"We'll find a way," Billy told him. "We just need to figure out a way that we can get food and water down to them without anybody seeing what we're doing." He paused, and a small smile appeared on his handsome features. "You have any big pockets?" Tommy didn't even crack a smile in response. Tough crowd, Billy said to himself mentally. Though I suppose that none of this has been easy for any of us, especially Rocky, Kris and their family. And maybe Jason, too. Billy had seen that way that Jason looked at Kris when she wasn't looking. He had seen the way Kris did the same thing to Jason. He chuckled quietly to himself. It's all a matter of time before they both realise what's going on.
Kat walked slowly through the corridors of the school, passing many people as she went. Some were with their families, some with their friends, and some were alone. She noticed that some of them were cradling limbs, clutching at assorted wounds, faces contorted with pain and suffering, wondering when they'd finally get looked at by a doctor. Kat realised how lucky she was that she had come through the first half of the hurricane, bascially uninjured. She went down the steps that led to the basement, glancing over her shoulder to make sure that none of the DeSantos kids had awakened and were following her. Fortunately, her fears were unwarranted. There was almost nobody in sight, except for a few stragglers that at were either sitting or laying down on the stairs.
Kat stepped down off the stairs and made a beeline for the storage closet where her friends were hiding. Quickly checking over her shoulder again to see if anybody, even strangers were looking, Kat approached the door and stood a few feet away from it. Fortunately, they had chosen an area that hadn't yet started to become occupied by refugees from the hurricane, and thus was deserted. Stepping forward, she raised her hand and knocked on the door three times, then waited for an answer. After waiting for a couple of minutes, she tried again, this time knocking louder, and twice as long. Still, she got no reply. The must be asleep, Kat thought. She turned, and went back the way she had come only minutes before to go report her findings, or lack thereof, to Tommy and Billy.
It had been nearly 5 minutes since Kris had broken down, and she was still crying into Jason's shoulder. He kept trying to comfort her, telling her that she would regain her memory soon, and that everything would be all right, but Kris barely heard him. She was too distraught.
"Why did this have to happen to me?" she asked, her voice cracking as the tears flowed from her eyes, down her cheeks and onto Jason's black T-shirt. "I mean, I wouldn't want this to happen to anyone else, but why did it have to happen to me? What did I do to deserve this punishment?"
"Kris, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Jason told her gently. "It's not like it could have been planned or anything. It was just one of those freak accidents that could have happened to anybody."
"But it didn't happen to just anybody; it happened to me!" Kris replied, her voice lowering to a whisper.
"Is there anything I can do to make any of this easier on you?" Jason asked, looking down at her. Kris went momentarily quiet, and her body stopped being shaking with overflowing emotion. She looked back up at him and thought for a second. Her green eyes were greener than ever before, probably because she had been crying, but the whites of her eyes were still reminscient of pearls. Her black-brown lashes were wet and sticking together from the tears she had shed.
"Just keep doing what you're doing," she told him finally. Instinctively, she hugged him briefly, then reddened when she realised what she had done. An apology was on the tip of her tongue when she realised that she didn't want to apologise; she just wanted to do it again. What the hell am I thinking? I barely know this guy! Kris thought to herself. Well, for all I know, we're married! The thought made Kris chuckle.
"What's so funny?" Jason asked her. Kris blushed profusely.
"Uh, nothing," she lied, still smiling. Jason gave her a look, then shrugged in reponse.
"Are you all right now?" he asked her, changing the subject.
"I've been better," Kris said wryly, smiling.
"You know what I mean," Jason told her.
"Yeah, I think I'm all right," Kris answered. "I just don't really want to move right now, if that's OK with you."
"Sure, that's fine," Jason replied. Kris laid her head down on the spot just below his shoulder and closed her eyes. Now would be a really bad time for Rocky to wake up, Jason thought to himself, looking over at his dormant friend. It's a good thing he's a heavy sleeper.
As Kris laid against Jason, eyes closed in an attempt to fall asleep, her mind was wandering through an assortment of thoughts. This is really comfortable. I wonder how long we're going to stay like this? Hopefully, Rocky will stay asleep for a while longer. He'd probably be mad at both of us. Wait, why would he be mad? We're not doing anything. Unless he's an overprotective brother, in which case this could be a problem, but he doesn't seem like that. He seems pretty laid back, pretty cool. I wonder if he and I are close? Well, from what I've been told, we are. Kris opened her eyes a crack and just stared off into space. "Space," however, happened to coincide with the communicator on Jason's wrist. She reached over and ran the tips of her fingers along the metal face.
"Woah, careful," Jason said, moving her hand away from it.
"Why? What's so special about it? For that matter, what is it?" Kris asked. Jason paused momentarily. He couldn't decide if he should tell her the truth, or make up some excuse until she got her memory back. Finally, however, the truth prevailed.
"I guess you don't remember the Power Rangers, right?" he began.
"Nope," Kris told him, shaking her head.
"Well, the Power Rangers are the defenders of the Earth. They protect the planet against the forces of evil, which currently are ruled by King Mondo. A couple of years back, Rita came and set up a base on the moon, and the fight got started."
"Ding ding! Round one!" Kris quipped. Jason grinned.
"Something like that," he told her. "Anyway, when Rita came, she was bent on ruling the Earth, so the Power Rangers were created. We've gone through a lot of evolutions, and we've changed members a few times for different reasons."
"What do you mean, 'we've gone thorugh a lot of evolutions and we've changed members a few times'?" Kris asked. "And what does all of this have to do with your silver bracelet?"
"I'm getting there," Jason told her gently. Kris grinned.
"Let me guess: patience wasn't one of my best qualities, was it?" she asked.
"Not exactly," Jason said frankly, grinning again. "The Rangers can communicate through communicators that they wear on their wrists. Tommy, Billy, Adam, Kat, Tanya, Rocky and I all wear the same style of bracelet, but they're different colours for each person. Oh, and they're not bracelets, either."
"You're saying...you guys have communicators that let you talk with the Power Rangers?" Kris asked, not quite getting where this is going.
"No. The others and I are the Power Rangers," Jason corrected her.
"Cool," was the only thing Kris could think of to say at that moment.
"But you can't tell anybody that you know who we are, because nobody else is supposed to know," Jason told her quickly.
"Don't worry, I won't tell another soul," Kris vowed. Now if only I could remember why the Power Rangers are so important, I'd be a lot happier.
Suddenly, there was a light knock on the door to the supply room. Kris jumped, Jason tensed, and Rocky continued to sleep. Kris looked up at Jason, who put a finger to his lips to tell her to be quiet. Kris nodded, and looked over her shoulder to the door. She could see shadows beneath the door, as the person stood there. There was another set of knocks, longer and harder this time. Kris began to shake nervously. I'm such a coward! she thought, chastizing herself. However, despite her thoughts, she continued to tremble, unsure as to why she was even the least bit nervous. As they watched, the shadows moved away, accompanyed by footsteps. Jason and Kris waited until the footsteps were long gone before speaking.
"I wonder if they knew we were here?" Kris asked in a whisper.
"I doubt it. The only people who know we're here are Tommy, Billy and Kat," Jason told her.
"Maybe it was one of them who was at the door?" Kris suggested.
"It might have been, but we can't take the chance of revealing our position," Jason said. Kris nodded. He had a good point.
"You're right," she agreed. "If anybody else finds us here, we might be found by my family. And I don't know about you, but I personally don't want them to see me like this. It'd probably scare them even more than it's scaring me."
"You're scared?" Jason asked. "I thought you were just frustrated, and maybe a little annoyed."
"Nope, I'm scared," Kris admitted. "You would be, too, if you were in my position."
"True," Jason told her. "But you'll get through this. Sooner or later, you'll get your memory back, and this will all fade into a bad memory."
"It had better be sooner, rather than later," Kris grumbled. "Otherwise, I will not be a happy person."
"Well? How are they?" Tommy asked once Kat had returned.
"I didn't get to talk to them," Kat told him, sitting down on her cot.
"What? Why not?" Tommy inquired.
"Well, I knocked on the door, but nobody answered. I guess they were asleep or something," Kat explained.
"After all that they've been through, it wouldn't be surprising if they were exhausted, both mentally and physically," Billy commented. Tommy nodded in agreement.
"Did Adam and Tanya show up yet?" Kat asked her friends. They looked at one another.
"No, they haven't," Billy replied. "I wonder where they are?"
"They're probably hiding somewhere in Angel Grove, waiting for the storm to pass and making the most of their time alone," Kat said with a small giggle. Tommy and Billy chuckled.
"Somehow, that is just really too hard to picture," Tommy told her.
"Not to me it isn't," Kat replied, still smiling. However, she sobered up after a minute. "I hope they're all right, though."
"I'm sure they'll be just fine," Tommy said in reassurance.
"As 'fine' as Kris, Rocky and Jason are?" Kat said skeptically.
"Jason? But, he's fine," Tommy said, looking confused.
"Actually, Tommy, when he came here he was limping," Kat told him. Tommy looked at her, surprised that she had noticed something about his best friend that he hadn't.
"Was he really?" Tommy asked. Kat nodded. Tommy stood up abruptly. "I should go down there to check and see if he's OK."
"I hope you have better luck getting an answer from them than I did," Kat told him as he began to walk off.
The walk down to the basement didn't take long. Unlike Kat, who had taken her time so she wouldn't appear conspicuous, Tommy's pace was hurried. He took the steps two by two, and it took him only 2 minutes to reach the supply room. Standing before it, he knocked loudly on the door. He got no answer, and tried again, rapping the door firmly with his knuckles.
"Jason? You in there?" he called. He heard a shuffling noise from within, and waited for the door to open so he could check on his friend.
Just as Kris had fallen asleep, a loud knocking on the door woke her up. She jumped, startled out of her slumber, and clung to Jason.
"What was that?" she asked in a whisper.
"Somebody at the door, again," he told her.
There was another knock, louder and more impatient than the first.
"Think we should open it?" Kris wondered.
"No, we don't know who it is," Jason replied.
"Jason? You in there?" a familiar voice called.
"Tommy?" Jason said aloud. Kris and Jason both got to their respective feet. Kris hung back while Jason went to the door, unlokced it and opened it. "Tommy? What are you doing here?"
"I came to see if you guys were all right," Tommy explained, coming into the room. "Kat told me that you were limping. What'd you do?"
"Well, actually, I was running down the stairs and I tripped. I think I sprained my ankle, or something," Jason said. Both Kris and Tommy looked down at Jason's foot, and truth be told, he was barely putting any of his weight on it at all. "I wrapped it up before I came here, but I don't think the bandage is doing me much good."
"Here, I'll take a look at it for you," Tommy offered.
"Don't worry about it, it'll heal on its own in time," Jason told him.
"Jase, if it still hurts, you obviously did something to it. You want it to heal properly, don't you?" Tommy asked. Jason smiled.
"Good point," he said, hopping up onto the counter top and placing his leg gently onto the counter top in front of him. He pulled up his pant leg to the knee, and removed his running shoe. Tommy removed the tensor bandage, and carefully examined the injury.
"You were right, it looks like it's just a sprain," Tommy said to his friend. He took the tensor bandage and started to rewrap his friends' ankle. Jason winced once. "It has to be tight if it's going to work."
"As long as you keep the circulation flowing, that's all that matters," Jason said. Kris chuckled.
"Hey, keep the noise level down," Rocky grumbled from the corner. "How's a guy supposed to get any sleep if you people keep yammering on?"
"Sorry, Rocky," Kris apologised. "But you've been asleep for almost an hour."
"Only an hour, you mean," Rocky countered. Kris looked at him sourly.
"You've got an hour up on me and Jason, then," she informed him.
"You two have been awake all this time?" Rocky asked, sitting up and stretching. He yawned widely, stretched again, and grimaced. Kris nodded.
"Yep. Was I always an insomniac, or is this a recent addition to my personality?" she asked, grinning.
"You're not an insomniac, you're a night owl," Rocky corrected her, getting to his feet.
"Night owl?" Kris checked her watch. "Woah, it's already almost midnight."
"Already?" Jason asked, sitting on the edge of the counter. Kris moved over to stand beside him and showed him her watch.
"Time flies when you're stranded in another town with a hurricane looming overhead," Kris quipped, a wry smile on her lips.
"I'm glad you're feeling OK, Kris," Tommy said, looking at the younger teen. As he spoke to her, Kris shrank back, trying to inch away from him. She leaned back into Jason's legs, and gripped his calves with her hands behind her back. Tommy noticed her reaction, and looked at her apologetically. "Sorry, I keep forgetting that you don't remember who any of us are."
"I'm sorry I'm acting this way," Kris replied, still clinging to Jason. Tommy noticed this, but didn't say anything. He didn't want to offend or alienate anybody, especially in this hostile environment.
"Kris, it isn't your fault." Big brother to the rescue.
"I know, Rocky," Kris said, turning her head to look at him. "Still, this is all kind of freaky. I mean, I can't remember anything. I'm relying on you guys completely to tell me who I am, what I like, stuff like that." She paused. "So you guys had better be telling me the truth, because if you're not, when I get my memory back I'll clobber the lot of you."
"Ha! Like you could?" Rocky said, challenging her.
"I could take you on," Kris told him with a grin, knowing full well that there was no way on the planet that she could take him down.
"Uh-huh. We'll see about that," Rocky replied.
"Any day, any time, anywhere," Kris added.
"You, little sister, have yourself a challenge," Rocky informed her.
"Good. I'll be sure to call an ambulance for you for when I'm done with you," Kris kidded.
"Better tell them to expect a 17-year-old female patient," Rocky countered.
"OK, guys, break it up," Jason said, holding back a grin with considerable effort. He got off the counter and stepped between the two siblings.
"You're no fun," Kris said with a mock-pout, but her eyes were twinkling in the lighting. As he touched her arm, she felt something akin to an electric shock run up her arm, and throughout her body. "Hey, where are the others, anyway?"
"You mean Kat and Billy?" Tommy asked. Kris nodded. "They're back upstairs, in the gym. If two or all of us left, your family would get suspicious as to where we all went."
"True enough," Kris said. "I hope this hurricane ends soon, and we can go back to Angel Grove. I'd like to be in familiar surroundings. Maybe then I'll get my memory back. After all, if I'm surrounded by pieces of my life, maybe it'll trigger something in my head, right?" Rocky smiled at his sister's optimism, as did Jason and Tommy.
"I'm sure that we'll be home soon enough," Rocky assured her.
"What is "home," anyway?" Kris asked.
"We live in an apartment, not far from the school and the Youth Centre," Rocky explained. "It's not much, and it's certainly not as great as our mom's house, but it's good enough for a brother and sister who are still in high school."
"Hmm, sounds nice," Kris commented.
"I just hope it's still intact when we get back there," Rocky added.
"I thought you went back to board everything up," Jason said, looking at Rocky.
"I did, but a window broke before I got there. I'm hoping that there isn't any other damage that I missed, and nothing else gets busted," Rocky explained.
"Which window?" Tommy inquired. Rocky looked uneasy.
"Um, the one in Kris's bedroom," he replied. Kris threw up her hands in exasperation, pacing to the other side of the room.
"This really hasn't been my day, has it?" she asked, sighing and leaning against a wall, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Well, look at it this way: it can only get better, right?" Rocky said brightly.
"Someone once said, "Things are going to get worse before they get better,"" Kris began. She looked at the three men wryly and added, ""But who said things were going to get better?"" That brought out a chuckle from the group.
"We're going to have to teach you to be more optimistic," Rocky kidded.
"Hey, if I don't get my memory back, you can tell me anything you want, and I won't have much of a choice but to believe it," Kris said with a shrug.
"OK, you're an alien from another planet," Rocky teased.
"Strange, I thought that was you," Kris said, looking thoughtful for a moment. Rocky went over and swatted her on the arm. Kris tickled him.
"Nice try, but that won't work again," Rocky told her, grabbing her wrists.
"You're an incredibly cruel older brother, you do know that, right?" she joked.
"Yep, I know," he replied, puffing out his chest. "It's a of the DeSantos charm."
"Is that why you haven't had a girlfriend for a few months?" Tommy asked innocently. Rocky gave him a look that shot daggers across the room. Kris giggled, and Jason chuckled.
"Hey! My social life isn't relevant," Rocky protested.
"Or lack thereof," Kris joked, earing herself a glare from her brother.
"Hey, you're not exactly Miss Popular, either, Kris," he told her.
"By choice, more than likely," Kris retorted, her green eyes twinkling mischieviously.
"What is this, pick on the Ape day?" Rocky asked, exasperated.
"Ape?" Kris asked, looking at him strangely. "Is that why you have hairy arms?" Rocky froze, and looked to his friends for help.
"Don't worry, I told her about us," Jason said in response to Rocky's unasked question. Rocky relaxed visibly.
"You told her about the Ninja Quest?" he asked.
"Nope, just who we are," Jason replied.
"Any time you guys would like to clue in the poor, innocent, memory-lacking young woman over here, it would be greatly appreciated," Kris said.
"Oh, see, a while back, the Rangers lost their powers, and we had to go on a quest to find new ones," Rocky explained. "We found this woman named Dulcea, and she gave us our Ninja Powers, which were linked to a special spirit animal within each of us. I'm the ape, Tommy's the falcon, Adam's the frog, Billy's the wolf, Kimberly's the crane, and Aisha's the bear."
"What about Jason?" Kris asked, looking at the dark-haired teen.
"I was in Geneva at a Peace Conference at the time," Jason told her. "When I left, I had to give up my powers, and Rocky got them from me."
"OK," Kris said, obviously trying to piece together a timeline in her head. "Who're Kimberly and Aisha?"
"Kimberly was one of the first Rangers," Tommy said quickly, a special fondness creeping into his voice. His whole mood, stance, manner, seemed to grow softer at the merest mention of Kimberly's name.
"And Aisha was one of my best friends," Rocky continued, picking up where Rocky had left off. "But she's in Africa now, studying a plague. Tanya took her place on the Ranger team."
"Any more evolutions I should know about?" Kris asked wryly, her mind whirling with all of this new information.
"We'll let you know," Rocky said, throwing a wink her way.
Just then, the entire building seemed to rattle and vibrate beneath the feet of the teens as a clap of thunder rolled through. Kris let out a small yelp of surprise, and jumped back, straight into Jason. He caught her before her momentum could send her crashing to the ground. He, Rocky and Tommy had also been startled by the sudden noise.
"I think the hurricane's here," Kris said, her pulse racing from the shock she had received then the thunder had hit unexpectedly.
"I'd better get back upstairs. Your family is sure to be awake by now, and I'm sure they'll want to know why you haven't shown up yet. I'll try to come back later, and I'll see if I can bring some food with me," Tommy said. He waved to his friends, then left the supply room and hurried back into the gymnasium.
There, he saw that everybody was now wide awake. The air was filled with the sounds of people talking, little kids crying, and parents trying to soothe their children. Tommy jogged over to where Kat and Billy were sitting with Mrs. DeSantos and her family.
"Are you guys all right?" Tommy asked as he approached. Kat shook her head, and gestured to Mrs. DeSantos, who was sitting in a corner with her head in her hands. Her shoulders were shaking, a surefire sign that she was crying. Tommy took Kat's place in front of the two youngest DeSantos kids while she went over to sit beside Mrs. DeSantos.
"Mrs. DeSantos?" Kat asked hesitantly, sitting gingerly on the cot next to the older woman. When she got no reply, Kat knew there was something very wrong. "Mrs. DeSantos, I'm sure that they're fine."
"Then why aren't they here?" Mrs. DeSantos asked in a cracked voice. "Where are my children?"
"They're probably safe in Angel Grove, waiting until the storm is over to come here," Kat said, trying to reassure the woman as best she could. "They'll be here as soon as they can, and I'm sure that nothing bad has happened to them. After all, they've been through worse, right?"
"Yes, but never anything as bad as this," Mrs. DeSantos insisted. "They could be lying somewhere, hurt and afraid. They could even be..." The words just stopped coming right then as Mrs. DeSantos broke down into fresh tears. Unsure of what to do, Kat laid a hand gently on the woman's arm. Mrs. DeSantos seized it, squeezing it with a firm grip. Kat's heart went out to the woman just then. Seeing how worried she was about her children, and how broken up she was made Kat almost spill the beans right then and there. But she had made a promise to Rocky, Kris and Jason, and she wouldn't go back on her word. Even though it's hurting someone else? Someone who has the right to know what's going on with her children? Kat was torn between keeping the location and status of Rocky, Kris and Jason a secret and telling Mrs. DeSantos that her kids and the one that had brought them back were in the building, alive and doing bascially all right. The mental war went on! for quite a while, and would have continued, but a distraction aroused her from her thoughts.
"Thank you, Katherine," Mrs. DeSantos said, raising her head and wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "I appreciate you listening to me, and sitting here with me. It helps to know that there are other people praying for Rocky and Kristina."
"Tommy, Billy and I are all praying for them, Mrs. DeSantos," Kat replied. At least that part's true.
"Oh, please, call me Anna," Mrs. DeSantos said. "You seem like such a nice young woman. Besides, being called, "Mrs." makes me feel like an old, grey-haired lady who needs a walker and has a steady supply of prune juice."
"I think I just found out where Rocky gets his sense of humour from," she said, smiling at Mrs. DeSantos. Anna, she corrected mentally.
"Mom? Are you all right?" A.J. asked, approaching the two women hesitantly.
"Yes, Alexandra Jane, I'm fine," Anna said, smiling at her daughter. A.J. made a face.
"Mama, you know I hate it when you call me that," she said. "And you never call Rocky "Rockwell.""
"You really dislike it that much?" Anna asked. A.J. nodded vehemently. "OK, then, I won't call you by your full name, but can you tolerate Alexandra?" A.J. shrugged and smiled.
"I guess so," she replied. "Thanks, mama." Anna reached out to hug her daughter. Kat slipped away quietly while the two embraced.
"I don't know what you did, but you did a good job of it," Tommy whispered to Kat as she knelt beside him.
"It took a woman's touch," Kat replied with a smile.
"And what's A.J. so happy about?" Tommy asked.
"Oh, there was a little compromise between mother and daughter that took place," Kat told him vaguely, leaving him in suspense. When he looked at her expectantly, she elaborated. "You know how formal Anna is, right?"
"Anna?" Tommy asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Mrs. DeSantos," Kat supplied. "She lets me call me by her first name."
"You must have done a lot for her," Tommy observed.
"Nothing a good listener can't do," Kat said with a shrug. "Anyway, Anna's going to stop calling A.J. Alexandra Jane. It's just Alexandra, now. But I think we should still call her A.J. I think she prefers that to anything else."
"It's good that they came to an agreement on that," Tommy commented. "I know how much A.J. hated being called by her full name."
"The rest of us are pretty lucky that mom decided not to give us long names, too," Lucas said, coming up behind the pair. "Well, except Katie."
"Katie is short for something?" Kat asked. Lucas nodded.
"Yep. Short for Katalina," he told them. "But the rest of us just call her Katie."
"I love that name," Kat breathed, smiling.
"Better than Katherine?" Tommy asked.
"Much better than Katherine," Kat replied firmly, a smile still present in her blue eyes.
"Mom likes exotic, and long, names," Lucas explained. "Hey, she stuck me with Lucas Emmanuel Kyle DeSantos."
"You're right, that is long," Tommy commented. Kat nodded in silent agreement.
"Well, I guess it makes us DeSantos kids unique," Lucas said with a shrug.
"Rocky has already made sure that your entire family will be deemed, "unique,"" Tommy commented.
"Oh great, leave it to my big brother to humiliate the family name!" Lucas groaned dramatically, his brown eyes twinkling. "And speaking of my big brother, how is he?"
The question caught Tommy and Kat off-guard.
"How would we know?" Tommy asked, recovering first. Lucas shrugged.
"I'm pretty sure that you guys and Billy know where he, Kris and Jason are," he replied. "So, how're they doing?"
"I'm sorry, Lucas, but we don't know where they are. We haven't talked to them since before the hurricane started," Kat told him softly. Lucas eyed them for a moment.
"Well, if you say so," he conceded finally. "I just hope that nothing's happened to them."
"I'm sure that they're fine," Kat told him.
"Well, if they're not, I wonder if I'll be able to take Rocky's apartment?" Lucas wondered aloud, grinning to himself. Kat and Tommy laughed.
"You're not even old enough to be living on your own, are you?" Tommy asked the younger boy.
"Well, no," Lucas admitted. "But I'll be sixteen in a few months."
"Until then, you're stuck living at home," Kat said.
"And you wouldn't want to live with your brother, anyway," Tommy added. "His apartment's a mess!"
"I know, I've been there," Lucas said with an exaggerated shudder. He gave them a sly look. "So, you guys are sure you don't know where my brother and sister are, right?"
"Right," Tommy replied without skipping a beat. Lucas shrugged.
"OK, if you say so," he said before walking away.
"I think we should have told him, Tommy," Kat said as soon as Lucas was out of earshot.
"Kat, we promised Rocky and the others that we wouldn't tell Mrs. DeSantos or any of her family where they were and what had happened to them, especially Kris," Tommy replied.
"I know what we promised, but I don't think it's right," Kat protested. "Their mother has a right to know."
"Maybe so, but right now it isn't our place to tell her what's going on," Tommy countered. Kat sighed.
"I know you're right," she admitted. "But that doesn't mean that I have to like it."
Tommy took Kat's hand in his.
"Don't worry," he told her. "We won't have to hide this forever. Kris will get her memory back soon, and her family will never know that anything like this ever happened."
"And what happens if she doesn't get her memory back any time soon?" Kat asked. "What if she never gets her memory back? Are we just going to hide Kris forever, and tell Anna nothing?"
"If Kris doesn't get her memory back soon, then we're going to have to tell Mrs. DeSantos-Anna-what happened. And if Kris never gets her memory back, well, we'll just have to wait and see what we can do," Tommy said. Kat frowned, but said nothing more. There was nothing left to be said on the matter that hadn't already been brought up by at least one of the parties involved. But that still didn't mean that she had to like what was going on. Tommy wasn't too thrilled about the entire setup, either, but he couldn't voice how he felt. Despite the fact that all thoughts of being a Ranger were now pushed to the backs of everybody's minds, Tommy still felt like he had to be the, "strong leader." In other words, he felt like he had to defend his friends from the others if he had made a promise to one of them. Tommy had never broken his word, especially not to one of the ones that was on the team, and he didn't intend to start that day. No, he was going to give Kris !some time, and then if she hadn't regained her memory, he would tell Rocky that it was time to tell their mother. But until then, Tommy would remain silent. Unlike this hurricane, Tommy thought wryly as thunder shook the building again. Wind howled outside, clearly audible even through the thick walls of the school. Since all the windows were boarded up, no one could see the lightening as it spread its tentacles through the sky like some mutated octupus. How much longer this would last, nobody knew, but everyone knew that it couldn't last much longer; the worst was almost over...wasn't it?
Kris had managed to fall asleep in the corner where Rocky had been a little while ago. Her back was turned to where Rocky and Jason were sitting in the middle of the floor, talking in hushed tones.
"I'm glad she finally got to sleep," Rocky said. "After everything that's happened, she needs the rest."
"I'm guessing a true DeSantos can fall asleep anywhere, right?" Jason asked with a grin, one that Rocky returned readily.
"Pretty much," he agreed. Then he sobered up. "I hope she gets her memory back soon. This has got to be so hard on her."
"She doesn't show it, though. As a matter of fact she's taking this pretty well," Jason commented.
"I'm just worried that she's holding things back," Rocky confessed. "I mean, I haven't seen her really get upset over this whole thing. Sure, she's gotten upset for a short period of time, but nothing like I'd have expected."
"You mean, she hasn't been crying?" Jason asked. Rocky nodded.
"Exactly," he replied.
"Well, while you were asleep, Kris did cry," Jason told him.
"She did? Why didn't you wake me?" Rocky demanded. Jason looked uncomfortable.
"Neither of us really thought about it," he answered.
"You didn't think about it? I was sleeping ten feet away!" Rocky exclaimed. Then, remembering his slumbering sister, he lowered his voice. "Look, if that happens again, come and get me. I don't care what I'm doing, just let me know that she's upset, all right?"
"Yea, OK, Rocky," Jason replied.
"So, what did she say while I was asleep, anyway?" Rocky asked curiously.
"Well, she wanted to know why this had happened to her, and I told her it was just a freak accident. She asked why she had done to deserve this, and I told her that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that she had done nothing to deserve it because she was a wonderful person. Then, when she was sitting with me, she saw my communicator, and asked what it was. I figured she had the right to know, so I told her what it was and who we all were," Jason explained, sparing a few choice details. Rocky nodded.
"Thanks, Jase," he said. "I'm glad at least one of us was awake so she could talk to someone." He paused, and looked at Jason for a moment. "Anything you want to tell me?"
Jason looked confused.
"Anything you want to tell me about Kris?" Rocky elaborated.
"I just told you everything she said," Jason replied, still confused.
"Look, Jason, if you like her, you don't have to be afraid of my reaction; I don't mind if you're interested in her," Rocky said bluntly, catching Jason off-guard. Jason tensed visibly for a moment, thinking Rocky was trying to trap him, but then he saw the sincere light in his friend's eyes, and relaxed.
"You don't?" Jason said finally.
"Nope," Rocky replied truthfully. "Actually, I'd rather have her going out with you than anybody else. At least I know I can trust you."
"And you can," Jason told him. Rocky nodded.
"I know, which is why I don't mind any of this," he replied. Then he smiled. "Which is also why I finally asked you this instead of making you and her dance around the subject forever instead of getting your acts together."
Kris had awakened as soon as she had heard her brother raise his voice, but she didn't say anything. Heck, she didn't even move! She figured that if she stayed still, she could fall back asleep again. But once she heard her name mentionned, she was listening. Rocky asked Jason what she had said, and Jason related everything. Kris smiled to herself. He left a few things out, she thought. Thankfully. However, Kris almost gasped out loud when she heard Rocky ask Jason if he liked her. Holding herself perfectly still, not even moving, Kris waited for the answer.
When Jason admitted that he did, Kris's smile turned into a huge grin. It became even wider when Rocky said that he'd rather he go out with him than anybody else. Good thing, because I don't know anybody else that I'd go out with in Angel Grove, Kris thought.
Kris was now too excited to sleep. This is all well and good, but how can I use this information? I mean, I'd never have the courage to actually ask him out...would I? She thought for a moment, then grimaced at herself. What am I thinking?! I don't even remember who I am, and I'm thinking of asking Jason out! Hell, I don't remember who he is, either! Without my memory, it'd be kind of a pointless relationship. Besides, I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't want to go out with someone who had to learn her own name from someone else. Discouraged, Kris closed her eyes again.
"Life sucks," she whispered, before she remembered that she was supposed to be asleep.
"Hey, did you hear that?" Rocky asked as a small noise came from Kris's general direction. Jason nodded. "Kris? Are you awake?"
Busted! Kris thought to herself. She rolled over onto her back and glanced over at the two boys.
"Morning, honey, is the coffee ready yet?" she asked, smiling. Rocky and Jason smiled at her.
"You sound like you're in a good mood," Rocky commented.
"Yeah, well, I've got a good reason to be," Kris said with a smile. She stretched and yawned.
"That being?" Jason asked, somewhat anxiously. Kris grinned at him.
"Hey, a girl's got to have a few secrets, doesn't she?" she asked.
"No, spill the beans," Rocky answered immediately. Kris laughed.
"Sorry, big brother, no dice," she replied. She rolled onto her side and propped her body up on one elbow. "So, we have anything to eat yet? I'm starving!"
"Yep, she's a DeSantos, all right," he said. Rocky glared at him.
"And just what are you trying to say, exactly?" he asked.
"That your family can eat a ton," Jason replied honestly, shrugging his broad shoulders. "I'd hate to hate to cater for your family reunion. No, wait, I'd make a fortune!"
"Ha ha. I'd laugh if that were funny," Rocky said, a ghost of a smile on his lips. He stood up suddenly. "I'm going to go find the little Rangers' room."
"Thank you very much for sharing!" she called as he opened the door, looked both ways to see if anybody was there, and left, closing the door behind him. The room settled into an uncomfortable silence. Neither occupant knew what to say to the other. "So, tell me more about...well, me."
"What do you want to know?" Jason asked, turning in place and facing her. Kris thought for a moment.
"Well, what kind of things do I like to do in my spare time?" she wondered.
"Um, you read a lot, and you write a lot, too," Jason said, thinking about what he'd seen her enjoy doing. "You like talking on the phone, watching T.V., rollerblading, just hanging out with your friends, beating up the occasional punching bag at the Youth Centre, listening to music, going to movies, to name a few."
"Geez, and I thought I was an inactive person!" Kris joked. "So, do I hang out with you and Rocky and the others all the time, or do I have friends of my own?"
"You stick with us pretty much. Ever since you came back to Angel Grove, Rocky hasn't let you out of his sight, bascially," Jason told her.
"I'm glad to know that there's somebody who cares about me on my side," Kris said.
"Kris, there are a lot of people that care about you," Jason told her.
"There are?" Kris asked, genuinely interested now. Jason nodded.
"Uh-huh. Rocky, the rest of your family, Tommy, Adam, Billy, Tanya, Kat...me," he said. Kris smiled, though it was for two reasons.
"I'm glad I'm so well-liked," she said.
A silence descended once more.
Nice way to kill the conversation, Kristina, Kris thought to herself, grimacing. She winced as she tried to sit up, and hit her left arm on the ground.
"Are you all right?" Jason asked as soon as he saw the expression on her face.
"I'm fine," Kris replied through gritted teeth. "But I'd really like it if this arm was in a cast, though. At least then it wouldn't hurt with every single movement that I make. Pass me the first aid kit, please?"
Jason handed her the metal box, and Kris began to rifle through it. She pulled out the roll of gauze, the cotton wool, the adhesive, the cellulose tape, the scissors and some safety pins.
"What are you doing?" Jason asked as she arranged the supplies before her.
"Making my own cast," she replied, grinning at him.
"How?" Jason wondered, getting up then going to sit down across from her.
"Well, I figure that if I wrap up my arm in the gauze and the wool, then put the adhesive and cellulose tape over it, it should be stiff enough to keep me from hurting it every time an oxygen particle hits it," Kris explained. "But I think I'm going to need your help with this."
"Sure," Jason agreed readily. "What do I need to do?"
"Bascially, I'm going to need you to help me wrap my arm," Kris said. "And undo the roll of gauze, because I've only got two hands." Jason took the tape from her and freed one end of the gauze.
"Here, give me your arm," he told her softly. Kris extended her left arm gently. Jason held onto her arm above the injury with one hand and wrapped it up with the other, being as careful as he possibly could. Once the gauze was gone, he started will the wool, and sealed the entire thing up with the adhesive and the cellulose tape.
"There, how does that feel?" he asked her. Kris took her arm back and moved it around a little bit.
"It's a lot better," she told him. "Thank you. I couldn't have done better if I'd taken twice the time you had."
"It was nothing," Jason said, reddening at the unexpected compliment.
"How did you manage to get it so stiff?" Kris asked. She tapped a nail on the bandages gently at first, then harder and harder until she finally winced. "This thing is going to be able to withstand a lot."
"That was the general idea," Jason told her. "But don't bang it around too much. No matter what's on the outside, there's still a broken arm on the inside, and it needs to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of it not healing properly."
"Hey, if I could have my memory back, I'd gladly deal with a crooked left arm," Kris said seriously. She looked down at the floor, finding the tiles suddenly interesting. "I wonder if I'll ever get my memory back? This is so scary, not knowing anything about myself or the people who are supposed to be my friends."
"Don't think like that, Kris," Jason ordered her gently. "You're going to get your memory back. You have to believe that, otherwise it'll be harder for you."
"This is already hard enough, I don't think it could get any harder," Kris snapped. She saw the slightly hurt expression on Jason's face, and was immediately regretful. "Jason, I'm sorry. This whole thing has just been really bad on my nerves, and I'm really tense and worried and about ready to break down." Even as Kris spoke, her eyes began to water and her voice faltered. Jason moved over and sat on Kris's right side. Gently, taking care of her injury, he put an arm around her shoulders.
"Kris, it's going to be OK," he told her. She just sat there, unmoving. "Kris, you're going to get your memory back soon, I just know it. Once you get your memory back, you'll remember everything that you've ever known, and your life will be back to normal."
"How do you know I'm going to get my memory back?" Kris demanded. "You can't know that, nobody can! My memories are left to chance, dammit! You can't possibly know how this feels!" The tears that had been welling up began to run in little rivulets down her cheeks.
"You're right, I don't know how this must feel," Jason admitted softly. "And I know that I don't know for certain if you're going to get your memory back, but you know what?" Kris looked at him expectantly. "I know that everybody, especially Rocky and I, will do everything that we can to try to get your memory back. We don't want you to live with this anymore than you want to live with this, and we've seen how hard this is on you. Believe me, we're not happy that this happened to you, not at all. And we're not going to sit by and let you stay like this. No matter how long it takes, we'll get your memory back for you."
Kris looked at him, awestruck.
"I...I don't know what to say," she admitted. "I didn't realize that I was that important to everybody."
"Well, the others want you to get your memory back all right, but Rocky and I care the most about what happens to you," Jason explained. Did I just tell her what I think I told her? he thought to himself.
Did he just say what I think he just said? Kris wondered, carefully analyzing Jason's last statement. Aloud, she simply said, "Well, it's good to know that I have such great friends." Oh geez, that was really lame! A five-year-old could have done better than that!
Just then, Rocky came into the room.
"Hey, everybody!" he said cheerily.
"Did you bring anything to eat?" Kris asked immediately, her stomach growling loudly.
"Nice to see you too, little sister," Rocky said, giving her a mock-glare.
"Hey, it's not my fault I'm a DeSantos!" Kris protested. "I'm starving!"
"Join the club!" Rocky retorted.
"Well, if you aren't going to get us any good, then I will," Kris said, gettingh up and heading for the tdoor. Rocky stepped in front of her abruptly, and Kris ran headlong into his chest. She stepped away, rubbing her nose gingerly.
"You are not going out there alone," he told her, and his tone said in no uncertain terms that he meant what he'd said.
"Well then, you go grab us some grub," Kris said, smiling sweetly.
"But I just got here," Rocky protested.
"Why don't I go and see if I can find us something to eat?" Jason asked, standing up. When neither Rocky nor Kris complained, he went out into the hall and closed the door behind him, making sure that there was nobody outside first.
Kris went back and laid down on the thick mat of bedding where she had been sleeping minutes earlier.
"Are you feeling all right?" Rocky asked her, concerned.
"This whole thing has just been really exhausting to me, and it isn't even over yet. Quite frnakly, I'm still scared and confused," Kris admitted, laying on her bck and staring up at her brother as he loomed over her. Rocky crouched down beside his sister.
"You're going to get your memory back, Kris," he told her. "You know that, right?"
"Rocky, nobody knows if I'm going to get my memory back," Kris countered. "I just can't wait until this storm is over so we can go back home. I want to be around things from the rest of my life; it might jog my memory somewhat."
"Well, I heard some good news when I was outside," Rocky said. "I heard that the worst of the storm is almost over, and we'll be allowed to go back to Angel Grove in as little as an hour."
"We can? That's great!" Kris exclaimed. "I mean, the city's going to be a horrible mess, and a lot of people will have lost a lot, but I still can't wait to go back home! Maybe then I can finally get my memory bcak!"
I'm glad that she's finally feeling happier about all of this, Rocky thought to himself as Kris closed her eyes and laid on her back, a smile still on her face. I just hope that all of her enthusiams isn't wasted. Billy said that the only person who can get Kris's memories back is Kris, and since she really wants to remember everything again, there's a really good chance that she'll remember it all once she's back in familiar surroundings...isn't there?
Out in the hallways, Jason was wandered, searching desperately for food. His stomach was beginning to talk to him, and it wasn't being too quiet about it, either. However, since Jason couldn't risk entering any of the populated areas of the emergency shelter that was set up at the school, his options were rather limited. Still, he didn't want to disappoint Rocky and Kris, so he continued to search.
Outside the school, rain continued to pour, thunder continued to roll, lightening continued to strike and wind continued to blow, but none of it was nearly as fierce as it had been a mere half an hour ago. Jason checked his watch, and discovered that it was nearly midnight. He hadn't realised that it was so late, ad yet he still wasn't tired. He chalked it all up to adrenaline. I wonder when we'll be able to go back to Angel Grove? he thought idly as he wandered the corridors. I need to get back to my house and make sure that there isn't any damage that I can't repair before my parents get back from the International PTA conference in Ottawa. Heck, all of us need to make sure that our places are all right. Our parents are going to be worried enough as it is when they find out that we were in the middle of a hurricane, we don't need them worrying about their houses, too.
Jason walked around a little more, then came to the conclusion that there just wasn't anything to eat, unless they went up to the gym, where the supplies were being kept, and started back to his temporary home in the basement of Stone Canyon High.
When he opened the door, he found that both DeSantos siblings were asleep once more. Not a bad idea, he thought. He unrolled the last pack of blankets that had been left in the room, then laid down and closed his eyes.
Unfortunately, sleep was not forthcoming. He laid there for what seemed like an eternity, but was, in actuality, only an hour, and still his mind raced like a hamster in a wheel on steroids. However, eventually the hamster slowed down, then got out of the wheel and nestled in a bed of woodchips.
Billy was also laying on his back, staring up at the ceiling in the gymnasium. He had heard from a few different sources that they would soon be allowed to go back to Angel Grove to being picking up the pieces of their battered city. Hopefully, the new alloy that all the buildings in Angel Grove had been covered with had done its job, and had protected the city against nature's fury. It if had, then millions of dollars in damages would be saved. However, if the alloy hadn't worked, Angel Grove would be in shambles. Knowing King Mondo, they'd probably attack the city just as we were all going back, Billy thought, smiling wryly to himself. I wonder if the Power Chamber made it through the hurricane intact? It's never actually been battered like this before, I don't think. It had better not go the way of the Command Centre, or we're going to have a real problem when we get back.
Billy rolled over onto his side and, after making sure that nobody was watching him, tried to get in touch with Zordon or Alpha.
"Zordon, this is Billy," he said. "Can you read me?" Static, and garbled noises came back to him, but nothing intelligible was heard. "Alpha, come in." The same noises returned. I guess the communication and teleportation devices are still down. I wonder if the hurricane is generating some kind of interference that the Power Chamber's systems can't break through? But the systems at the Power Chamber can break through some of the toughest blocks that King Mondo put up, why wouldn't they be able to break through a simple hurricane? Unless King Mondo are creating interference that the communicators can't break through, and it's being amplified by the hurricane. The more Billy thought about that, the less likely it seemed, though. King Mondo have been pretty quiet lately, though. Billy chuckled to himself. Maybe they've gone on vacation or something.
"Are we missing something, Billy?" Tommy asked his friend. Billy looked over, startled. he hadn't realised anybody else in his vicinity was awake.
"Uh, no, not at all," he replied.
"So, do you think we'll be leaving any time soon?" Tommy asked his genius-friend.
"Well, the hurricane's been going on for quite a long time. I'd say that, by morning, the highway bcak to Angel Grove will be pretty busy with people returning to the city," Billy answered.
"Could we get an early start and go back now?" Tommy inquired.
"Now?" Billy asked, surprised. "Why would you want to go back now, in the middle of the night?"
"So we can get Kris back in familiar surroundings," Tommy explained.
"We'd be putting her in familiar surroundings, true, but it'd be really dangerous," Billy told him. "There won't be any lights, no power of any kind, we might hit a live wire that's laying on the street while we're driving, not to mention any strong winds that might come through and pick up pieces of debris."
"OK, we'll wait, but I want to go as soon as possible," Tommy said. "An hour before the sun comes up, and we're going."
Billy sighed. He knew that there was no point in arguing with Tommy when he had reached, "leader mode." Besides, he actually had a good idea. The sooner they got Kris back to Angel Grove, the better her chances were of her memory coming back. Also, Tanya and Adam hadn't shown up at the emergency shelter yet, which meant that they were probably still back in Angel Grove. They might be hurt, or worse, and Billy didn't want to lose one of the best friends that he'd ever had to a simple natural disaster.
"As hour before sunrise it is," he said aloud. Tommy looked over, surprised. He hadn't expected Billy to agree with him so readily. He knew that he was taking abit of a risk by going back to the city so soon, but he figured that it was worth it. They needed to get back for Kris's sake, to find Adam and Tanya, and to find out what condition the Power Chamber was in, as well.
Time passed slowly for the anxious teens as they awaited the signal that would allow them to go back to their city to help their friends. However, eventually, the signal did come. A man stood at the front of the gymnasium with a bullhorn, and called for everybody's attention. The room quieted down as everybody looked at the man expectantly.
"Now, I know that you all want to get back to Angel Grove as soon as possible, and since the worst of the hurricane is over, going back is feasible," he said. The crowd started talking again, but the man drowned them out. "However, going back is not recommended at this time. The roadways will be blocked with debris from the storm, but also by ambulances and the highway patrol. If you want to avoid any further injuries to yourself and your friends and families, you will wait until morning to go back to the city. Any questions?"
"What's so dangerous about us going back now?" one man called out.
"Well, you could hit a live wire that's laying on the streets," the man with the bullhorn replied. "And also, with all the debris on the ground, if you're driving your tires stand a very good chance of being punctured, and then you won't be getting anywhere, anyway. Anything else?" Nobody else had anything else to say or ask, so the man put down his bullhorn and went to make the announcement to other places in the school.
Tommy and Billy looked at one another, but Billy shook his head.
"Wait until morning," he advised.
"Did you hear that, Tommy?" an excited Jonathan cried, running over to Tommy's cot. "We're going home!"
"Not just yet we're not," Tommy corrected him. "But we're going to go home soon." Jonathan didn't reply, he just ran back over to his mother, smiling widely,
Kris, Jason and Rocky hadn't heard the announcement upstairs, and were all fast asleep in assorted positions on the floor. Suddenly, footsteps sounded outside the door, and somebody rapped on the door hard and loud.
"Guys, open up, it's me," Tommy called in. None of the three dormant teens moved, so Tommy tried again. This time, Kris woke up. She got up and went over to the door, minding the stiffness in her entire body.
"Are you room service?" she asked, smiling.
"We have to wake up the others," Tommy said, speaking as though Kris hadn't. "We're going to go back to Angel Grove."
"Now?" Kris asked, checking her watch. It read 05:30. "Wow, we were asleep longer than we thought."
Tommy knelt down beside Jason and started shaking his friend awake.
"What, it's an earthquake now?" Jason asked groggily, gradually regaining consciousness.
"Jason, it's me," Tommy told him. "Wake up, we're leaving for Angel Grove in a few minutes."
"Huh? We're going back?" Jason asked, somewhat coherent now and with open eyes. Tommy nodded, and moved away to let Jason get up. He almost fell back down to the ground, however, when he tried to put weight on his sprained ankle. Tommy helped him to his feet and waited while Kris aroused Rocky.
"Rocky, get up, we're leaving," she said, grabbing his shoulder and shaking him.
"Ma, I don't want to go to school today," Rocky murmured sleepily. "I'm just going to miss the bus anyway."
"Rocky, we're not going to school, we're going to go down to an all-you-can-eat buffet," Kris told him, grinning. Tommy and Jason chuckled and awaited Rocky's reaction. He sat straight up, yawned, rubbed his eyes and asked, "When do we leave?" Then he looked around and remembered where he was. "Oh, we're going?"
"Yep, and we have to hurry before everybody else gets the same idea, or we'll be stuck in a traffic jam for hours," Tommy told him. When Rocky started to climb to his feet, his leg buckled beneath him and he hit the ground again.
"It must have stiffened up overnight," he muttered, trying again but with the same results. Kris put a shoulder beneath his arm and helped him to his feet, supporting most of his weight. "Hey, you're pretty strong."
"You're not all that heavy," she replied simply as they hobbled across the room to the door. "Is the coast clear? Can we get to the Jeep without being seen?"
"Come on," Tommy said quietly, leading the convoy out of the basement and out to the parking lot. It was still raining, but not nearly as hard as it hard been. Kat and Billy were waiting for them, and were standing beside Jason's Jeep.
"How are we supposed to fit six people into a Jeep that only sits four comfortably?" Kris asked, eying the vehicle.
"I'm driving," Jason said immediately. Tommy nodded.
"OK," he said. "Kris, can you and Kat share the front seat?"
"Hmm, not that I wouldn't like to or anything, but between my arm and my leg, and Kat's arm, we might not be too comfortable if we're crammed into such a small space," Kris replied hesitantly. Kat nodded her agreement.
"All right. Kris, you can take the front seat for yourself, and the rest of us will wedge ourselves into the back seats," Tommy said.
"Tommy, I'm small," Kris interjected. "You should be sitting up front, so then the rest of us will have more room in the back. And no, I'm not calling you fat, you just have more muscle than any of the rest of us."
The teens began piling into the Jeep, making sure not to hit each other's wounds too much. The, Jason started the engine, and they pulled out of the Stone Canyon High parking lot and headed home.
"Wait, what about my family?" Rocky asked quickly.
"We left them a note, telling them that we were all going back to look for you, Kris and Jason, and that they should stay at the emergency shelter until everybody else started to leave," Billy assured him.
The drive back to Angel Grove was a long one. Jason had to swerve to avoid a lot of debris that littered the roadway. Ambulances and other emergency crews were going in both directions, but most were headed for Angel Grove.
"This can't be good," Kat murmured.
"I sure hope that alloy worked," Rocky commented, staring out the window at the scenery that was passing by them in a green and brown blur.
"I guess we'll find out," Tommy added from the front.
Meanwhile, Kris, who was squished between Rocky and Kat, remained silent. She was too nervous to say anything. She was also anxious to get home. I really hope I get my memory back soon, Kris thought to herself, staring out the window as Rocky did the same.
When they arrived in Angel Grove, the first thing they noticed was the destruction. All of the buildings were still standing, intact, but debris was laying everywhere. The hearts of the teens sank as they took in the mess, driving slowly towards Kris and Rocky's apartment building.
"Adam and Tanya had better be all right," Rocky said quietly, his heart beat accelerating. He was extremely worried about his best friend, and Tanya as well.
"We'll find them soon enough," Tommy promised. "But right now, I think we should get Kris home and see if she can remember anything."
"Step on it," Rocky ordered. Jason hit the accelerator, but couldn't go very fast. He didn't want to damage his Jeep, after all.
They finally made it to the apartment building. Rocky looked up, and saw that the worst that had happened were a few windows had been broken.
"We're going to have to take the stairs," he said with a groan, glancing down at his injured leg. He could barely walk, and he needed to get up twelve flights of stairs. He groaned again. "Well, I guess we could all use the exercise." With that, the teens piled out of the Jeep and headed towards the building.
The climb up the steps was positively excruciating for Rocky, and Jason and Kris weren't doing too well, either. Fortunately, Billy put a shoulder under Rocky's arm to help him up the stairs, and Tommy went to help Jason, but Jason waved him off.
"Help Kris," he insited, grasping the railing as he made the climb slowly.
"Jason, I'm fine, but you need support for that ankle of yours," Kris told him. Tommy looked between the two.
"Tommy, help Jason. I'll help Kris," Kat said. She went over and, using her uninjured arm, began to help Kris up the stairs while Tommy aided Jason.
The six teens made it up to Rocky and Kris's apartment safely, but it took them nearly 45 minutes to do so. Rocky got the spare key out of its hiding place, and unlocked the door. Rocky and Kris were the first ones to go inside, but they were followed closely by their friends.
"Hey, that alloy really did its job," Rocky commented. Only one or two more windows had broken, and everything else was in its appropriate place. He looked at Kris, who was standing nervously near the door. "You can come in, you know. You do live here, after all." Kris stepped to the middle of the living room, where Rocky was standing ,and stuck close to his side. He looked down at her, then glanced back at the others, who were waiting outside the doorway. "Do you remember anything?"
Kris looked around slowly.
"No," she whispered. Tears pooled in her eyes, and rolled down her cheeks. "Not a thing."
Rocky glanced back at his friends, and shook his head only once. Their faces fell in disappointment.
"Come into your room, maybe that will make you remember," Rocky said, leading Kris down the small hallway and into her bedroom. She entered while Rocky remained in the doorway, and walked around her room. Her fingers traced the bed and her eyes scanned the room. It all seemed foreign, yet strangely familiar. She turned to face her brother and shook her head, a small whimper escaping from her throat. Rocky quickly crossed the room in three long strides and wrapped her in his arms.
"I don't remember anything," she sobbed into his chest, clutching him like a lifeline. Her body quaked from the emotion that was running through her. "I don't know this place."
"Shhhh, it's all right," Rocky said, hugging her tightly. "You'll remember everything soon enough. You just need some time to rest and recuperate." His sister continued to cry. He could feel her tears soaking through his shirt, but at that moment he couldn't have cared less. All he really wanted was his sister back. "It might take a bit of time, but you'll get your memory back."
Kris sobs had reached the ears of the four teens who were waiting outside the apartment. They hurried in and saw Rocky standing with his back to the door, Kris engulfed in his arms. Neither of them registered their presence, and since it felt awkward to be watching them, they went into the living room.
"It's not fair," Kris said shakily, her cheeks and eyelashes wet with tears.
"I know," Rocky whispered to her. "I know it's not fair, but it'll all be over soon, I promise you." As long as King Mondo don't interfere, he thought, scowling momentarily and hugging Kris tighter. "Come on, why don't you lay down and get some rest?"
"OK," Kris said quietly. They broke the embrace, and Kris sat gingerly on the edge of her bed.
"It's all right, this is your room," Rocky assured her. "You can do whatever you want in here, or anywhere in the apartment for that matter. Try and sleep a little, all right? Maybe this will be easier once you've had a little rest."
Kris nodded mutely, and waited until Rocky had left the room and had closed the door behind him before stretching out on the bed. It was comfortable, and Kris fell asleep soon, falling into a black, dreamless world.
Rocky went out to the living room, where he found his friends sitting around, waiting for him to return.
"Where's Kris?" Jason asked quickly.
"She's in her room laying down," Rocky replied. He sat down heavily on the chair nearest to the door. "She doesn't remember anything," he whispered, taking his head in his hands. "What are we going to do?" The others rushed to his side and stood or crouched around him.
"She'll get her memory back soon, Rocky," Kat assured him, placing a hand gently on his back. "She did it once, she can do it again."
"But the last time, she wasn't hit in the head!" Rocky told her.
"She'll get through this, man," Tommy said. "We'll all help her."
"Thanks," Rocky said quietly. He looked up at his friends. "You guys should get going. Go find Adam and Tanya."
"Are you two going to be OK?" Billy asked. Rocky nodded.
"Sure, we'll be fine," he said.
"I'm staying here," Jason said suddenly. Everybody looked at him. "They're both injured and can barely walk. They might need someone to help them do things around here."
"Good idea, man," Tommy commented to his friend. He gestured at Kat and Billy. "We'll go look for Adam and Tanya, and we'll let you know as soon as we find them."
"Make sure they're all right," Rocky said, looking up at Tommy.
"We will," he vowed before he, Kat and Billy left the apartment, shutting the door behind them.
"You didn't have to stay, you know," Rocky said, not looking up at Jason. "Kris and I would be fine on our own."
"Come on, man, you're both hurt pretty badly," Jason told him.
"So are you," Rocky retorted.
"Which is why I wouldn't be any good in helping to find the others," Jason concluded.
Tommy, Billy and Kat walked out of the building and into unprotected space.
"The last time we saw Adam and Tanya, they were walking toward the lake," Kat recalled as they walked together through the park toward the Youth Centre.
"Then that's where we look first," Tommy said. Increasing the speed of their pace, the trio headed through the rain to where they had last seen their friends, who had now been missing for almost an entire day during the hurricane. Once they had reached the general area where they had last seen their friends, they spread out and began to search.
"Adam! Tanya!" Tommy shouted, cupping his hands around his mouth so his voice would carry further and hopefully reach the ears of their friends. Beside him, Kat and Billy did the same. If only we could get to the Power Chamber, we'd be able to use the scanners to find them, Tommy thought, glaring up at the cloudy sky for a moment. It was still raining, and the three of them were already soaked to the skin, but that didn't deter them. If anything, it spurred them on.
Tanya and Adam, who had been awakened right after the eye of the hurricane had passed them, now heard voices outside.
"Adam, do you hear that?" Tanya asked, getting to her feet to look out the window.
"I thought I did," Adam replied, doing the same on the other side of the shelter.
"Do you think it's safe for us to go outside?" Tanya inquired, looking up at the sky.
"The worst seems to be over," Adam said with a shrug. He approached the door, then opened it and stepped outside. A faint voice reached his ears, and it sounded like someone was calling him. "Tanya, I think someone's looking for us."
"They are?" Tanya asked, looking around. "But I don't see anybody."
"It sounded like the voice was coming from over there, further away from the lake," Adam said, pointing in the general direction of the Youth Centre. Together, the pair started running across the soggy ground to where they thought the voices had come from, praying that they weren't hallucinating.
"Adam!" Billy shouted, straining his vocal chords in the process. By the end of this, the three of them would probably have screamed themselves hoarse if something hadn't caught Billy's eye. He whipped his head to the right, and saw two figures running towards him. "Adam! Tanya!" Billy started to run towards them to meet them halfway. "Guys, I found them!"
Tommy and Kat heard Billy's call and chased after him, but by the time they reached him he had already met up with Tanya and Adam.
"Are you guys all right?" Kat asked, hugging her friend.
"We're fine," Tanya assured her.
"You two really had us worried when you didn't show up at the emergency shelter," Tommy said, clapping a hand on Adam's shoulder amicably.
"We didn't exactly have a great form of transportation," Adam told him wryly, shaking his running shoe at Tommy.
"Come on, we should get you guys somewhere dry," Billy said, leading the way over to the Youth Centre.
"Where were you guys, anyway?" Kat asked, walking alongside Tanya as they plodded across the muddy grass through the rain towards shelter.
"We took refuge in one of those lifeguard huts down by the lake," Tanya told her. Kat looked at her and raised an eyebrow in a silent question. "Relax, nothing happened." Kat's eyebrow went down quickly after that. "How's everybody else doing? Where's Jason, Rocky and Kris?"
"Well, Jason's doing pretty well, but he sprained his left ankle before the storm," Billy threw in as he was walking just ahead of the girls. "Rocky has a pretty deep cut in his right thigh."
"What about Kris?" Adam asked. He liked the girl, in a sisterly way. Billy, Tommy and Kat exchanged nervous glaces. "Is she all right?"
"Kris got hurt a lot worse than the rest of us," Billy began.
"She's alive, though," Kat tossed in, seeing the worried expressions on Adam's and Tanya's faces.
"She's alive, but she has a deep wound in her right thigh, like Rocky, a broken left arm, and she got hit in the head pretty hard by a tree branch," Billy said.
"Oh my goodness," Tanya whispered, bringing a hand to her mouth. "Is she conscious?"
"Yes, but there's one other thing," Kat added. Tanya and Adam looked at her expectantly. "Kris has amnesia."
"Oh my," Tanya said, paling considerably. Adam's face looked strained.
"She doesn't remember anything?" he asked. Tommy, Kat, and Billy all shook their heads simultaneously.
"This must be horrible for her," Tanya said quietly. "Is there anything we can do for her?"
"It might help her to see some familiar faces," Billy replied with a shrug. "But don't be offended if she doesn't recognize you; she didn't know any of us, either." Adam and Tanya nodded in reply, and the group went back to the apartment building.
After climbing 12 flights of stairs for the second time that day and arriving at Rocky's apartment, the group knocked on the door and was admitted by Jason.
"Hey, you found them," he said, smiling as he saw Tanya and Adam. "How're you guys doing?"
"By the sounds of things, a lot better than Kris," Adam said grimly. Jason winced, and Rocky flinched. "Can we see her?"
"She's still asleep, I think," Jason said, sitting down on the couch.
"Are you guys OK, at least?" Tanya wondered, concerned.
"What does it matter?" Rocky asked bitterly, looking away from his friends.
"Rocky, I know this must be hard on you, but she'll get her memory back soon," Kat said, laying a comforting arm on the boy's shoulder. He shrugged her off, and she looked at him with an expression full of concern.
"You should listen to the girl, big brother," came Kris's voice. She was leaning against the wall that led to the bedrooms. As soon as he saw her, Rocky immediately got up and rushed to her side, taking most of her weight on him. "Hey, new faces."
"Kris, that's Adam and Tanya," Rocky said, pointing to the newcomers.
"Hello, I'm Kris, and I'll be the confused one until I get my memory back," Kris quipped, grinning and curtseying as much as Rocky would allow her to. Adam and Tanya laughed.
"She didn't lose her sense of humour at all," Tanya commented.
"You're the second or third person to say that," Kris told her, looking thoughtful. "I'm beginning to think that I should become a standup comedian."
"Actually, you wanted to teach," Rocky told her.
"OK, then I'll teach people how to become standup comedians," Kris answered without skipping a beat. "Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm starving. I'm presuming take-out isn't an option?"
"She's a DeSantos all right," Adam said as he and the others laughed.
"We're made fun of a lot, aren't we?" Kris asked wryly, craning her head to look up at her brother. He nodded.
"Uh huh." Then he turned to his friends. "Don't you guys have houses to go look after or something?"
"If I didn't know you better, I'd say you were kicking us out," Adam said, pretending to look offended.
"Why, Adam, I'm just looking out for the welfare of my friends," Rocky replied, a hurt look on his face that was easily dispelled by the michievious look in his brown eyes.
"He's kicking us out, all right," Tanya commented, getting up from her seat on the couch. "Are you two going to be all right on your own?"
"I'm staying for a while," Jason broke in, gesturing to his sprained ankle.
"Shouldn't we get Kris to a doctor or something?" Rocky asked as soon as the others had left.
"Don't worry about it, I'm not that badly injured," Kris said as Rocky helped her over to the couch to sit down. Jason got up, and lifted her legs onto the cushions. She thanked them both with a smile.
"Kris, you have a broken arm, a deep wound, amnesia, and possibly a concussion; you don't think that's badly injured?" Rocky asked her, amazed.
"Not necessarily, compared to others who might have life threatening injuries and need the medical attention worse than me," she explained.
"OK, well, I'm not going to make this a question, then," Rocky said, determination plain in his voice. "Kris, we're going to go find you a doctor who can set that arm properly and take a look at the rest of you." He help up a hand to stop her protests before they even got off the ground.
"Fine," she said with a sigh. Swinging her feet over the edge of the couch, she began to stand, but her right leg buckled beneath her and she fell back onto the cushions.
"And you say you don't need a doctor?" Rocky scoffed. He went to pick her up, but found that his own leg wouldn't support any more weight than it was already forced to endure.
"Who needs a doctor now, bro?" Kris asked, grinning. Rocky made a face at her. Carefully, she climbed to her feet, hobbling but mobile. She looked at the other two men. "We're a sigh for sore eyes, aren't we?" Nobody answered her rhetorical question.
"How are we supposed to get down to your Jeep?" Rocky asked, looking at Jason.
"The same way we got up here, I guess," he replied grimlu. Rocky and Kris groaned simultaneously.
"You're got to be kidding me, right?" Kris asked hopefully.
"Nope," Jason told her, looking at her sympathetically.
"All right, well, the sooner we get down there, the sooner we can get off our feet," Kris said with another sigh. She began to hobble towards the door, and both Jason and Rocky rushed to her side to help her. She laughed, embarrassed.
"Guys, I appreciate the effort, but you two have your own problems to worry about," she told them, smiling. "Besides, that's why staircases have railings.
Together, the three of them left the apartment and headed down the 12 flights of stairs, slowly but surely. Eventually, they made it down to Jason's Jeep, piled in and began to drive.
The drive to the hospital took much more time than it should have, but that was to be expected considering how much debris was littering the roads. However, when they did get there, they found that all of the ambulances had been dispatched to various places around Angel Grove and to Stone Canyon.
Entering into the waiting room, Rocky and Kris sat down on two chairs nearest the administration desk while Jason hobbled over to the desk.
"Excuse me," he said politely, waiting for the nurse to acknowledge him. She looked up at him impassively.
"Can I help you?" she asked, her voice showing no emotion whatsoever.
"My friends and I are all injured, but my friends' sister got hit prety badly. Her left arm is broken, her right leg has a gash in it that will need stitches, and she might have a concussion," Jason explained quickly. The nurse hesitated for a moment.
"I'll see if I can get a doctor down here, but I think most of them are preparing for the heavy casualties that'll be coming in here soon," she said finally, picking up a phone. Jason waited while she paged someone, spoke a few words, then replaced the receiver. "I'm sorry, but none of the doctors are willing to come down here right now.
"Monica, have any of those ambulances arrived yet?" a man asked, coming up behind the nurse. She turned in her swivel chair to face him.
"No, doctor," she replied promptly.
"You're a doctor?" Jason asjked the man quickly. He nodded uneasily. "Please, can you take a look at my friend? She's in pretty bad shape. Head wound, broken arm, gash in her right leg that I think will need stitches."
"Where is she?" the doctor asked immediately, coming out from behind the desk and approaching Jason. He led the doctor to where Kris and Rocky were waiting patiently. Jason indicated Kris, and Rocky moved out of the way while the doctor knelt to examine Kris.
"We should get her into X-ray and shee if she has a concussion," the doctor said, talking more or less to himself. He took a wheelchair that was sitting nearby and helped Kris into it. He started to wheel Kris of to another of the hospital, with Jason and Rocky following close behind. "I'm sorry, but you two can't come into the X-ray room with her.
"But-" Rocky started to protest, but Kris cut him off.
"Relax, it's not like I'm going anywhere or anything," she told him, smiling reassuringly. "You two should go sit down, your legs won't support you much longer. And Rocky? See if you can get someone to change that bandage on your leg, all right? You're bleeding again.
All three men looked at her, impressed. The doctor glaced at Jason and Rocky, who were both putting the majority of their weight on one leg only.
"You two are hurt as well?" he asked as though seeing them for the first time.
"Don't worry about it, just make sure my sister gets the treatment she needs," Rocky said.
"Nurse!" the doctor shouted. Immediately, a young woman came jogging down the hallway. "Get these two into wheelchairs and get them into exam 1, would you? I'll come look at them as soon as I'm done with her."
"Right away, doctor," the nurse replied. she grabbed two wheelchairs from a nearby closet, gesturing for Jason and Rocky to have a seat.
"I can walk just fine, thanks," Rocky told her. However, his complexion had gone pretty pale, and he looked about ready to collapse, probably from blood loss and exhaustion. Jason grabbed his arm and steered him into the wheelchair. Then, he gratefully sat down himself, and the nurse, after calling for a pair of orderlies, led them down to an examination room. The two were helped up onto beds side by side, and told to wait until the doctor came to take a look at them. The orderlies left, and another nurse came in.
"Alison, grab me some dressings, a needle and surgical thread, would you? This boy has a really nice gash up the side of his leg that I have to sew up," the first nurse said. The one named Alison nodded, and fetched the stuff for her coworker. The second nurse put the supplies down on the table next to Rocky's bed, and looked at the young man. "You're going to have to get into a hospital gown and out of those jeans so I can clean and dress that little cut of yours."
Rocky's eyes went as wide as dinnerplates. The nurse chuckled.
"Relax, you don't have anything I didn't dissect in med school," she assured him. Jason laughed at his friend's reaction to that information. The nurse waited a second. "I'm kidding, you know." Rocky breathed an audible sigh of relief. Alison pulled a curtain around Rocky's bed, then went to work on Jason's ankle.