[See Part 1 for disclaimer.]

Gem Cracking
Part 3
by KrazieKat

Tyler finished the last command that sent the program to the CD burner to write the information onto the disk, and hit enter. Sitting back, she was waiting for the disk to finish being written when she felt someone appear behind her. Turning, she saw an enraged Dejanna standing behind her, and Tyler's stomach sank. :She knows,: Tyler thought, and winced as Dejanna yet again severed the bond between Gem and Gemborn. This served to keep Tyler in her chair.

"You thought you could betray me," Dejanna said, her hands glowing with a black light. "You thought that you could just write a note to the Power Rangers, begging for their help," she mocked. "Well, my dear Gemborn, it's not that easy." With that, her hand snaked out and wrapped around Tyler's throat. The adopted sister of Lord Zedd easily lifted the Gemborn from the seat, and began to squeeze.

"I should end your life right here," Dejanna said, "but I won't." She flung the helpless girl into a wall, and Tyler slid to the floor, fighting unconsciousness. Dejanna spat, and then turned to the computer. A cruel smile slid onto Dejanna's face, and she pointed her hand at the machinery.

"NO!" Tyler protested, as the energy that was making Dejanna's hands glow slammed into the computer, making it explode. Dejanna laughed, and then disappeared in a shimmer of reality. Tyler collapsed to the floor, sobbing in frustration.

"Tyler!" Mike burst into the room, and asked, "What happened?" He gathered his sister into his arms, and asked, "Did you get hurt?" It took a few minutes to get Tyler to calm down.

"No- nothing, Mike," Tyler sobbed. "I-I'm absolutely fine. It's just that I've had a frustrating couple of days, only to be ca-capped by the co-computer exploding ju-just when I- I was almost done." Tyler wiped her eyes, and took a few minutes to calm down. "I'm fine, really," she said, and then sniffed. "Please.., can I be alone?"

Mike nodded, and left. Tyler began straightening what she could, and then heard a beeping behind her. She turned, and saw that the CD burner, stashed on the opposite wall, was still in one piece. She opened the CD tray, and sitting there serenely, was the CD. Tyler picked it up, and then placed it in an empty CD jewel case. Closing it, she slipped the case into a padded manila envelope with a prewritten note, and sealed the envelope.

Writing something down on the top, Tyler stood up, tucked the envelope under her arm, and shouted, "Mike, I'm going out! I'll be back!"

"Okay!"

With that, Tyler shot out of the apartment as fast as her legs could carry her.

***

Tyler reached the Youth Center, and slid into a booth situated near the back with a good view of the entrance to the Youth Center. Adam entered a few minutes later, and immediately went to Tyler. "Hey, Ty," he greeted. "Get it done?"

"Well, there's good new and there's bad," Tyler said. "Do you want the good or the bad first?"

"The good news," Adam said, and Tyler said, "I got it done... I think.

I wasn't able to double check."

"You weren't?" Adam asked, puzzled.

"No. That's the bad news. Dejanna found out and destroyed my computer before the CD was finished. It's a good thing it wasn't finished, or else we would have lost ALL of it. I'm not sure how much was copied to disk like I commanded, but I should have gotten most of it."

"Are you all right?" Adam asked, concerned. Tyler just waved it off.

"I'm fine, I think. She didn't do too much to me, Adam. She didn't kill me right away, and it's made me think. She keeps saying that she could kill us, but she doesn't. Why?"

Adam shrugged. "If you want good help, you can't get it by killing everyone that makes you angry."

"I thought about that, too," Tyler said, "but I think it's more like she CAN'T kill us. Sure, separate us from the Gems and we die, but then she'd have to wait for us to get reborn into new bodies, and then wait for us to reach a useful age. And she doesn't want that. Why?"

Adam shrugged. "I'm not sure. Maybe she's just impatient."

"Maybe she has a time lim-" Tyler cut off as she felt an unusual buzzing in her mind. She exchanged a puzzled look with Adam, proving that he felt it as well, and they looked around.

Just entering the Youth Center were the Power Rangers. Adam and Tyler blanched, and they looked around. "How are we going to get you out of here?" Tyler asked. "There's too many people here to teleport out, and if you just walk out, the others will see you. And if they do, they'll figure something out, and say something where Dejanna will hear, and then we're toast."

Adam looked around, shaking his head, until he saw a white cat stroll into the Youth Center lazily and look around. "That's it," he said softly. "Ty, we can change our armor to clothes, right?"

"Yeah," Tyler said.

"Why can't we change our shapes to animal forms?"

"Like what?"

"A cat?" Adam suggested. Tyler shrugged. "You can try." She watched as Adam began to softly glow with an emerald green light, and his form disappeared. Tyler stood up to look at the seat that Adam had been in, and a black cat jumped onto the table. "Adam?" she asked, and the cat rubbed against her hand. There was a green spark, and she knew that Adam had been successful in changing his form.

"Adam...," Tyler pulled his communicator from his pocket, and said, "Would you take this to the Rangers? Make sure they look this way, and then we'll leave." Adam rubbed his back against Tyler's hand, and then accepted the communicator's band into his mouth.

***

Rocky felt something brush against his leg under the table, and when he leaned back to look, a black cat jumped onto the table. "Hey, you," Rocky said, and then noticed what the cat had in its mouth. "Guys," he said, paling as he took it from the cat. "It" was a communicator with black banding.

"That's Adam's," Tommy said, recognizing the communicator. The rangers stood up and watched the cat as it jumped down from the table, and began walking across the Juice Bar to a booth in the back. Tyler was looking at the rangers, and gave a little wave. A group of teens passed between the rangers and Tyler, and when the group passed, Tyler was gone. The rangers hurried over, and Billy saw the manila envelope.

"Guys, it's addressed to us," he said, and handed it to Kim. She turned it over in her hands, and then opened it, pulling out a folded sheet of notebook paper, and a CD case.

"'Guys, it's a long story. Go to the Command Center, and put this CD in.

It'll explain everything, and Dejanna might be listening. Tyler.'" Kim looked at Tommy, and he nodded. "Let's go."

The rangers entered an empty hallway, and then teleported out. They never even noticed Spyder.

***

Dejanna turned away from her globe, enraged. "No!" she snarled. "Well, my dear Gemborns, you may have managed to tell the rangers about what happened to you, but you won't get a chance to profit from it." With that, she disappeared in a swirl of black energy.

She appeared in the circle as Adam and Tyler practiced. The two Gemborns immediately broke apart, and she snarled. "So, you thought that you could tell the rangers that I have you, huh?" She extended her hands, and black fire wrapped around both, forcing them to the ground. "I should kill you for that!"

"But you won't," Tyler gritted out. "We figured out that you won't." Dejanna snarled and intensified the black fire. As she sensed the Gemborns approaching the edges of their pain endurance, she suddenly cut off the fire.

"If you EVER leave this circle without my permission from now on, you will regret it!" Dejanna snarled, and then disappeared, leaving the Gemborns behind.

After a minute of complete silence, Tyler softly said, "I think we made her mad." Adam couldn't help but laugh, and reply with, "Gee what gave you that idea?"

***

Billy looked up from the console, and he said, "It's information on the Gemborns." He had been working on the disc that Tyler had given the rangers, and added, "But there are gaps, like something was trying to stop the information from being copied onto disc. There's also a note from Tyler, in text format. Want me to print it up?"

"Yeah," Tommy said quickly, and Billy complied, sending the file to the printer.

"'Hey, guys,'" Billy read. "'I bet you're really surprised to get this, huh? There are probably a million questions in your heads right now, so let's start at the beginning. It all started shortly after Dejanna kidnapped me."

Five pages and fifteen minutes later, Billy reached the bottom, and read, "And she said that we're to go after'" Billy looked, flipped the page over and thumbed through the pages again to see if the next page was stuck to one of the others. "That's it," he said, looking at the others. "it just cuts off."

"Why would it just cut off?" Aisha asked.

"She did say that Dejanna would try and stop her if she knew that Tyler was trying to contact us. Maybe Dejanna somehow erased some of the files," Tommy guessed.

"But how? It's on a CD, not a floppy disk," Kim argued.

"I think I know." Everyone turned to Rocky, and he said, "This happened to a friend of mine, and boy, did he cuss a mean streak." Rocky grinned at the memory, and then said, "He was working on a program, and had just sent it to his CD burner when, in one of those odd coincidences, lightning struck his computer. EVERYTHING except the CD burner was ruined, and when he checked the CD, there were gaps in the program he had been writing. And several of the text files were cut off in mid-sentence, and then it would pick up a little while later."

"But that still doesn't answer who Dejanna's after," Kim said.

"Maybe this... Tanya, that Tyler wrote about, will know," Aisha said.

"It's worth a shot," Tommy said. "Did Tyler write when Tanya was arriving?"

Billy looked through the letter that Tyler wrote, and shook his head.

"No, just that she'll arrive tomorrow by airplane."

Billy said, "We'll just have to wait and see if Tanya knows."

Tommy sighed, and said, "I just wish that we knew who Dejanna was going after next. But until we find out, no one goes anywhere alone for any reason, and if you find yourself attacked, call immediately." He sighed, and said, "I just wish we could do more."

***

Dejanna paced angrily, and summoned her viewing globe. Her two Gemborns were still recovering, and were lying in the circle. It seemed all right, but something told her it wasn't right, and she motioned at the Gems. Adam was still in the circle, but Tyler... Dejanna's eyes narrowed in rage. The Purple Gemborn was in the park.

Dejanna teleported down with a thought, and Tyler pulled up to a stop just before running into the sorceress. "Dejanna!" Tyler gasped. The older woman merely crossed her arms and said, "So..., you though that you could leave me?" Dejanna motioned, and a pair of Mecca Knights appeared, grabbing Tyler by the arms before the girl could react.

"You're going to pay for that," Dejanna said, and Tyler felt her stomach sink as they teleported out.

They reappeared in a dungeon, and Dejanna motioned to a pair of manacles chained to the wall. "Chain her in!" As the Mecca Knights dragged Tyler to the wall, and chained her facing it with her hands over her head, Dejanna had Corbeth hand her a whip. Tyler twisted to try and get a view of what the woman was about to do, and blanched as she saw the whip.

Turning back to face the wall, Tyler closed her eyes and gritted her teeth, and began praying in her head.

"I told you not to leave the circle," Dejanna said. She flicked the lash forward, just enough to hurt, but not enough to break the skin, and Tyler winced as the whip hit her. She gritted her teeth tighter as she waited for the next one. Dejanna obviously knew what she was doing, because the lash went down Tyler's back, to her knees in a stinging caress. Tyler just barely bit back a scream of pain. She refused to give the sorceress that pleasure.

"I TRIED to be nice." CRACK! This time, Dejanna tore through Tyler's shirt. CRACK! Dejanna's whip broke Tyler's skin.

"I TRIED to let you have a life when I didn't need you." CRACK! "But did you appreciate it?" CRACK! "NO!" CRACK! CRACK! "So, now you have to face the consequences." CRACK!

At ten strokes, the teen was straining against her shackles, cutting wounds into the skin around her wrists. Twelve, and Tyler's self control gave in and she screamed. At fifteen lashes, Tyler was unconscious.

Curling her whip up, Dejanna handed it to Corbeth, and instructed "Take take her back to the circle as is. Tell Adam this is what happens when someone doesn't listen to me, and leave him to bandage Tyler's wounds." The Aquishan bowed, and Dejanna left the room.

***

Adam looked up as he felt someone teleport in, and he jump to his feet when he saw Tyler. "Tyler!" he said, rushing over as the pair of Mecca Knights that appeared with Corbeth dropped the unconscious girl. She fell on her face and the Aquishian looked on impassively as Adam cradled the girl carefully in his arms, before finally saying, "Lady Dejanna said that this is what happens when someone doesn't listen to her." With that he disappeared with the Knights, and Adam noticed a pile of bandages beside Tyler.

Fortunately for Tyler, she remained unconscious while Adam bandaged her back wounds. He had to ease the remains of her shirt and jeans off of the cuts after the wounds had begun to clot, and tore several of them open. "Oh, Tyler," Adam said softly. "Why did you have to be so stupid," he asked as he finished tying off the last of the bandages. He just prayed that they didn't become infected.

With that done, Adam laid down beside Tyler, and created a blanket to share with the girl. He gently kissed her on the cheek, and then brushed back an errant, flame-colored hair. "Good night, Tyler," he whispered, and then settled down to sleep.

A few hours later, he was jolted out of his sleep by Tyler. She tossed restlessly, whimpering from the nightmare and the pain, and Adam scooted closer. This seemed to help, but didn't end the nightmare, as Tyler began tossing again after a few minutes. Adam sighed, and then slowly eased Tyler onto his front, acting as a mattress for the girl. She sighed and settled down immediately, nuzzling against the warmth under her. "Adam," she sighed, partially waking, and then drifted off into sleep again.

The Green Gemborn stared down at the sleeping girl, and kissed the top of her head. "Good night, love," he whispered, before settling into sleep.

***

Tyler snuggled deeper, trying to get back to sleep, but then the warm body under her moved, and she couldn't prevent the yelp that escaped from her as the pain crashed over her again. "Sorry," Adam apologized, and Tyler said, "Don't."

"Don't what?" Adam asked, looking down at Tyler.

"Don't be sorry. It was my own decision to leave, and I knew that if I got caught, I'd be in trouble." Tyler winced as she sat up, and eased off of Adam, and said, "I'm the one that should be sorry, Adam. You had to take care of me, and act as a cushion for me."

Adam gingerly placed a hand on her shoulder, and when Tyler didn't wince, said, "Tyler, I didn't mind doing it. It only hurt because you were hurt."

"Well, it's nice to see that you're awake." Both Gemborns turned to see Dejanna. "Adam, it's time for you to go after Thomas. Bring him here for me, and I'll leave you two be for the day. Fail..., and Tyler here will get the taste of my whip again." Adam's eyes narrowed in rage, and Tyler put her hand on his forearm before he could say anything. He looked back, and the redhead shook her head.

"No, Adam. Don't give her an excuse to do it to you, too." Adam's expression softened, and he sighed. "Fine," Adam said. "I'll do it, but only if you'll send down something for Tyler's wounds. If her wounds infect, she'll be of no use to you."

Dejanna nodded, and said, "You'll have it when you bring Thomas to me." With that, the sorceress disappeared, and Adam climbed to his feet. He stepped away from the Purple Gemborn, and then turned to look back at Tyler when she yelped in pain.

The Purple Gemborn had rolled into a sitting position, holding the blanket to her front with one hand, the rest of her still covered by the blanket twisted around her, and she shook her head minutely. Adam, sensing what she was about to say, said, "Tyler, I HAVE to. You're already starting to get a fever. I haven't looked at the wounds, but chances are, they're infected." He stepped back to Tyler, and knelt beside the blanket wrapped girl. "You need to rest, love. I'll be back soon."

"Adam, no," she said, but Adam stood up. He morphed into his armor without looking at Tyler, and then teleported out. Tyler dropped her head to her hands, heedless to the blanket falling away from her, and whispered, "Adam, no," before starting to sob quietly.

***

Adam appeared in the park, and looked around before powering down with a sigh. He was alone for now, but knowing the Command Center's scanners, that would change shortly. He really didn't want to do this, but Tyler needed the medicine. When he had first woken up this morning, the first thing he noticed was Tyler's elevated body temperature. It had been frightening, how much heat her body had been giving off.

"Adam!" The Green Gemborn's head snapped towards the voice, and saw Tommy, Rocky, and Zack running up. As they approached, Adam warned, "Don't come too close,' and the three rangers stopped a few feet back.

"Adam," Rocky asked, "what's wrong?"

"Tyler needs medicine," Adam answered, "and Dejanna will only give it if I bring Tommy to her." The three rangers exchanged glances, and Zack asked, "What happened?"

Adam looked away, and whispered, "It's my fault." He saw the others exchange puzzled glances, and he said, "Dejanna found out about you guys getting the disc, and told us to stay... where she keeps us, but Tyler slipped out. Dejanna caught her, and..." Adam swallowed, "'punished' Tyler." His hands clenched into fists, and said, "I could have stopped it somehow, even if it was just by keeping Tyler with me. I SHOULD have!"

Rocky slowly walked over to his best friend, and put a hand on the Gemborn's shoulder. "You didn't know, Adam. How could you?"

The former black ranger whirled to face Rocky, and said, "But Dejanna WHIPPED her, Rocky! Like Tyler was some sort of animal! And even animals don't deserve that! And then they dumped Tyler with me, without anything except bandages for the wounds. And now they're infected." Adam turned away, and said softly, "That's why I agreed to this."

"To what?" Zack asked, stepping towards Adam, AWAY from Tommy.

"Guys!" Tommy shouted, and the two rangers turned to see their leader struggling with two Mecca Knights that were holding onto his arms. There was a flash of green behind them, and they were kicked to the side by Adam, now morphed back into his armor.

"Sorry, guys," he apologized, and then marched over to Tommy. Taking the White Power Coin and the communicator from the trapped boy, Adam dropped them to the ground, and said, "Take him to Dejanna." As the Mecca Knights disappeared with Tommy, Adam turned to the two rangers, and said, "Tyler thinks that there's a relationship between being a ranger and being a Gemborn. She told Tanya." With that, he disappeared in a flash of green.

Rocky and Zack climbed to their feet, each sporting bruised ribs, and Rocky picked up the White Power Coin and Tommy's communicator. "Let's go back to the Command Center," he said, and the two teleported out.

***

Adam stood beside the Mecca Knights still holding Tommy, in Dejanna's workroom as the sorceress strolled into the room, holding a jar. She beamed at Adam, and said, "Good job, my Gemborn."

Adam just looked at her, and demanded, "Where's the medicine?"

"You know," Dejanna said, "there's one little problem with that. You see, I need all my energy for rejoining Tommy with his Rainbow Gem, so that means I can't spare any for medicine."

"You promised!" Adam shouted.

"I never said that I'd give it to you immediately after you bringing me my fiancÚ," Dejanna said laughingly. "All I said was that I'd give it to you AFTER you brought him to me. You will get it, just.... in a little while." With that, she waved a hand towards Adam, and he disappeared.

Her eyes settled on Tommy, and she licked her lips. "Welcome to my service," she purred, and Tommy felt his stomach sink.

***

Adam landed with a grunt, and looked up to see he was back in the circle of light. Tyler was sleeping, and she was tossing restlessly. "No," she muttered. "No, Momma, don't leave me. Papa, you promised me. Please, stay! No, no, don't!" She settled partially as Adam put his hand on her shoulder, but after a moment, she said, "No, Adam, don't hate me. No! I didn't want to, I didn't! Please, believe me!" she whimpered.

"Oh, Tyler, do you really think I would?" Adam said softly, and then, careful of her back wounds, gathered the sleeping girl into his arms.

Making sure the blanket was securely wrapped around Tyler, he eased into a sitting position, and settled Tyler against him. Slowly rocking, he began to talk to Tyler softly. Tyler seemed to hear him, and she slowly began to settle back into a calmer sleep.

***

Tanya shouldered her bag, and then looked around. She and Tyler had exchanged photos as they had exchanged letters, so she knew what her friend looked like, but as she looked around, Tanya couldn't find any red heads in the crowd. She knew that Tyler had gotten her arrival time, so where was the girl? "Where are you, Tyler?" she murmured to herself.

"Tanya?" a strange voice asked, and the girl turned to see two boys, one dressed in red, the other dressed in white... Dressed in red. Taking a guess, Tanya asked, "Rocky?"

"How did you know?" Rocky asked.

"Tyler has a way of describing someone accurately. It won't make sense until you meet the person. You were described as a little big boy in red, and she definitely hit the nail on the head with that one."

The one in white grinned at Rocky, and said, "She's right." Turning to Tanya, he stuck out his hand, and said, "I'm Jason. I had to take over for Tommy, because-"

"Because Dejanna has him?" Tanya asked.

"Uh, yeah," Jason said. "How did you know?"

"Tyler wrote me as soon as she found out that Dejanna wanted him. If you took his place, I figure that she has him. What's happened since then? Any attacks?"

"No. She hasn't really been attacking," Jason said. "Come on, and we can explain on the way."

Tanya shrugged, and said, "I have to go to baggage claim, and then we can go. Let's hurry, though."

"Why?" Rocky asked.

"I think that Tyler may be cracking," Tanya answered. The boys exchanged puzzled looks at that, and hurried after the dark skinned girl.

***

Adam was startled awake, and turned to see Tommy lying on the floor, clad in armor similar to Adam's, except that Tommy's was red. Adam eased away from Tyler, tucking the blanket around the sleeping girl, and then went to check on his friend. "Tommy?" he asked softly.

A groaned answered him, and Tommy turned onto his back. "What happened?" Tommy asked, opening his eyes. As the memories came back to him, Tommy sat up suddenly, and looked around. "Adam? What's going on?" Tommy asked.

"You've been bonded with your Rainbow Gem, Red," Tyler said, and both boys turned to see her looking at them. Adam hurried over to the girl, and asked, "How are you feeling?"

"Honestly?" Tyler asked, and her lips quirked into a grin as she answered, "Like hell. I feel like a cat used me for a scratching post." Both boys could see that her eyes were glazed over, and there was a faint sheen of sweat on Tyler's brow.

"Lay on your front," Adam said. "I want to see your wounds." Tyler raised an eyebrow at the order, but complied, hissing as Adam lifted the bandages off of the wounds, reopening some of the wounds for a second time. Adam and Tommy both hissed as they observed that some of the lash bites were swollen, and a few had puss oozing out.

Adam swallowed, and looked up as he felt Dejanna appear. "Happy?" he snapped. "I told you that the wound would become infected, and now they are! Tyler's not going to be any good to you for a while!"

Dejanna eyed the wounds, and then tossed a bag at Adam. He caught it, snatching it away from his eyes as Dejanna disappeared, and he glared at the space she had occupied a few minutes before, then looked in the bag that she had tossed at him. He was surprised at the contents.

Inside, not only was there a jar of a cream, but there was also a bottle of a clear liquid, and plenty of bandages. Opening the bottle, Adam took a cautious sniff, and recognized the smell of hydrogen peroxide. He emptied the bag beside Tyler, and then turned to Tommy. "I think I'm going to need your help," Adam said, and Tommy walked over.

"Sure. What do you want me to do?"

"Hold Tyler, and keep her distracted, if possible," Adam said. "What I'm about to do is going to hurt." Tommy nodded, and settled before Tyler, grabbing her forearms when she crossed her arms before her to cushion her head. The Red Gemborn flinched at the heat coming from Tyler's body, but smiled at her just the same. She had remained on her front the whole time, and as she felt Adam sitting beside her, out of her sight, she asked, "What are you going to do?" When Adam didn't answer, she looked at Tommy. "What is he going to do?"

"I don't think you want to know," Tommy said. "I think that we're missing some of the information on the disc you sent us. Why don't you tell me about it."

"Well, I take it, since you're- AH!" She exclaimed in pain as Adam squeezed a wound oozing puss, using a bandage as a sponge to catch any of the infected liquid, and Tommy leaned on her forearms to keep Tyler down. Tyler gritted her teeth as Adam put peroxide on the wound he had squeezed, and she said, "Jeez, Adam! What are you trying to do?

Kill me?"

"Cleaning your wound," Adam said. "Some of them are nasty looking, and that was the worst one."

"Are you sure?" Tyler shot as he slathered the cream on the wound. She waited a moment for the pain to ease a bit, and then continued, "Since you're here, you didn't get the part about Dejanna wanting you?" She raised the last part of the sentence to make it a question.

"No, we didn't. How did you know?" Tommy asked.

"A Gemborn.. just knows," Tyler said, shrugging as best she could, and then froze, her teeth grinding as Adam squeezed a second wound. He put peroxide on it, and she gritted with her eyes closed, "You'll see what I mean. You'll... just know." She let out her breath as she felt Adam put cream on the wound, and said, "I just knew that you were the red Gemborn, as soon as Dejanna said that she wanted you. It...

just rises up in you, like a tide, or something. Like knowing how to change your armor to clothes.

"How do you do that?" Tommy asked.

"Just...," Tyler closed her eyes and froze as Adam cleaned another wound, and then said, "close your eyes and concentrate. It's easy." She opened her eyes and looked at Tommy when she caught a flash of red from behind her lids, and he was in his clothes, except that they were red now. "Not too shabby," she admired, and then exclaimed in pain as Adam began another wound. "Are you jealous, and this is your way of telling me?" she teased Adam, looking over her shoulder, and he grinned at her.

"Me? Jealous? Over what?" His smile grew as she stuck her tongue out at him, and then he said, "That's the worst of them, and I cleaned those that were actually oozing. I'm just going to peroxide the rest, and then put cream on all of them, okay?"

"Just hurry up," Tyler complained. "It hurts."

"Of course it does," Adam said, soaking a bandage with peroxide. "If it didn't, it wouldn't be doing its job."

Tyler smiled at that, and then her face fell as something hit her.

"Mike, John," she said. "They gotta be going nuts worrying about me."

Tommy said, "We took care of some of their worries. We had Billy go over as Blue Ranger, and explain that we wanted to make sure that there was truly nothing wrong with you, it was just a routine procedure, and that you'd be back in a few days. They were still worried, but not as bad."

Tyler looked at Tommy, and said, "Gee, you're almost as good as I am at creating stories." She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth as Adam put fresh peroxide on her wounds, and then said, "Thank you. I'm sure they were worried about me."

"They really love you," Tommy commented.

"Of course. I was their baby sister. I couldn't do anything wrong when I was growing up, and now I'm all that's left from our family. Both of our parents were only children, and both sets of grandparents died long ago.

I'm all they have, and they're all I have. If anything were to happen to them, I'm not sure what I'd do."

"You better not say that too loudly," Adam said as he applied the cream.

"Why?" Tyler asked.

"Dejanna might be listening, and decide to attack them," he explained.

"You never know."

***

"Yes, you never know," Dejanna said, watching her three Gemborns in her globe. She banished it from existence, and then turned to Spyder. "Go watch Dejanna's brothers. Tell me when they're open to attack." Spyder disappeared, and Dejanna moved to the throne room. Settling on the throne, she rested her arms on the end of the armrests, and then waited for her spy's report.

When Spyder appeared a few minutes later, Dejanna nodded, and called, "Goldar! Prepare the Mecca Knights! I'm going out and I'll need them!"

***

Tyler laughed as Tommy and Adam verbally sparred, and eased herself down onto her front. Although she was now clothed in items she created herself, she was still lying on the blanket that Adam had created, because the floor was so cold. It had felt good when she had the fever, but now that the fever had broken and was going down again, the floor was just too cold. She watched the two boys tease each other from where her chin rested on the top of her hands, and Tyler smiled as Tommy made some zinger involving a mention of a frog.

Watching the two boys made Tyler remember Mike and John, and she closed her eyes as she remembered watching the two older boys spar. She wondered what the two boys were doing, and suddenly, she was looking at Mike and John, seriously thrashed and being supported by two Mecca Knights each. A black gloved hand reached into her view from below to lift John's head up by his hair, and Tyler heard Dejanna's mocking laughter.

"I hope you understand," the sorceress said in a falsely sweet tone, "that it's nothing personal. It's just that I want your sister." As if the mention of Tyler renewed them, Mike and John struggled against the Mecca Knights, and Tyler knew that, SOMEHOW, she was seeing this scene through Dejanna's eyes, and it was happening right then. The sorceress turned towards Goldar and held her hand out, and the gold monkey handed her an entirely black katana. Dejanna turned back to the trapped men, and raised her arms up, and then brought the sword down.

"NO!" Tyler screamed, sitting up. "No, no, no, no, NO!" Tommy and Adam stopped their verbal sparring, and hurried over to Tyler. Adam gathered the screaming girl in his arms, and asked, "Tyler? What's wrong?"

"It's all my fault!" she sobbed. "She killed them because of me!" Adam let her cry for a few minutes, holding her to him and stroking her hair, and when the sobs relented, he asked, "Tyler, who? Who killed them?" He wasn't sure who "them" was, but he had a sinking suspicion.

"Dejanna," Tyler sobbed. "She killed them. I saw her kill Mike and John." With that, she burst into a new round of tears, and Adam just held her, and met Tommy's eyes over Tyler's shaking body.

"Oh, Tyler, I'm so sorry," the Red Gemborn said, and slowly reached out to touch Tyler on the shoulder. Tyler didn't respond, just sobbing into Adam's shoulder.

***

Fifteen minutes later, after Tyler had cried herself to sleep, Tommy and Adam moved to the far side of the circle, and talked quietly. "Do you really think what she saw is true?" Tommy asked. Adam shrugged.

"It would be right up Dejanna's alley," Adam said.

"He's right," the hated voice said smugly, "it is." Dejanna stood behind the boys with her arms crossed and a smug expression on her face. Tommy and Adam turned to glare at her, and Tommy demanded, "What did you do to Tyler's brothers?"

"Oh, nothing much," Dejanna said. "I just removed them from the equation.

I didn't want them taking loyalty of my Gemborn away from where it should properly be, and if you don't behave yourselves, then I'll go after your families as well. And when your girlfriend wakes up, Little Adam, please, tell her that she can go visit her... fallen relatives." With that, she gave a little jaunty wave, and disappeared.

"I should never had gotten you involved," a soft voice said, and Tommy and Adam turned to see Tyler looking up at then the girl looked away.

"I should never have gotten them involved," she added in the same soft voice, and Adam knelt beside her.

"Tyler, we would have been involved anyway. You couldn't have stopped it."

"I could have died!" she spat, glaring at Adam. "I could have killed myself the first chance I had. I could have refused Dejanna, and let HER kill me!" Tyler climbed to her feet, and walked as far away from Adam and Tommy as she could.

"Tyler-," Tommy started, and Tyler spat, "Don't! I could have, Tommy.

I SHOULD have." With that, she closed her eyes, and teleported out.

***

To her dismay, Tyler recognized the area where she landed. It was the spot that Dejanna had killed the Gemborn's brothers. Tyler closed her eyes, and allowed a few tears to leak out. "I'm so sorry," she whispered. Squeezing her eye shut, she stopped the tears, and bent down to analize the scene with a sudden coolness.

:Mike,: she thought, as she knelt down to the ground where her fairer brother had fallen. She allowed her fingers to sweep through the grass, to see if she missed anything with her eyes, and something snagged her index finger. Tyler stopped, and slowly lifted, afraid to see what it was, but unable to stop. What dangled from her finger was a familiar necklace, silver medallion hanging from a matching chain. On the front was a lion reclining regally. As Tyler took the charm in one hand, she flipped it over and wiped away the blood that covered the back, and saw the etched, "To one of the world's greatest brothers, from the world's luckest sister." Tyler had given the charm to Mike when he had graduated from high school, and a matching one to John when the darker brother had graduated, a year later. Tyler closed her hand around the charm, and closed her eyes as she fought back the sobs that struggled to break free. Her body shook as one sob wrenched free, and Tyler sobbed in a whisper, "i'm so sorry, mike. i should have been here."

Tyler let her legs finally fold under her, collapsing the short distance to the ground to sit. She sobbed quietly for a few minutes, pounding the ground with one fist. "Why?" she asked, again and again. "It should have been me!"

"Ty-" The voice didn't get much further than that, before Tyler jumped to her feet, whirling before her feet touched the ground to see Rocky standing behind her. "Keep back!" she ordered, and stepped back as the Red Ranger stopped.

"I- I shouldn't be talking to you," Tyler stammered. "Dejanna might go after someone else. I can't let that happen again." Before Rocky could reply, Tyler turned and teleported herself out.

She landed on an empty stretch of beach, and recognized it. It was the beach where her family had always gone to when they could manage a 'Family Day' with everyone free from any appointmets. She closed her eyes, and threw her head back, lifting her face to the sky.

"How can I stop this?" she whispered to the air. "How can I stop more innocents from being hurt?" She felt an icy coldness settle into her, and her eyes slowly opened. She knew what she had to do.

***

"Where IS she?" Adam wondered, pacing the circle. Tommy, sitting on the floor in the center of the circle, sighed with exasperation and he said, "Adam, pacing isn't going to get Tyler back any sooner. She'll come back when she wants. She DID just see her brothers killed."

"I know," Adam said with a sigh. "It's just that she might do something stupid, after the way she left, and there's no one to stop her if she decided to kill herself."

"You'll just have to have-" Tommy reply cut off as Tyler reappeared in the circle. Adam whirled as Tommy climbed to his feet, but they froze as they saw Tyler's expression. It was as cold and emotionless as ice.

"Ty-" Adam whispered, and Dejanna interrupted him.

"Ah, good, you're back." All three turned to see Zedd's sister. She was dressed in a loose black gown, and she said, "I discovered the next Gemborn. I want you to capture-"

"Kimberly Harte?" Tyler interrupted, her voice as cold as her expression. Dejanna beamed on the frozen girl and nodded. Tyler tilted her head, and said, "Very well, my lady. You'll have your next Gemborn soon." Dejanna beamed, and clapped her hands before disappearing.

As soon as Dejanna disappeared, Tommy demanded, "What are you doing!?" Tyler turned her icy regard to Tommy, and the Red Gemborn took a step back. There was an icy fire in her eyes that was frightening in its intensity.

"Merely doing as my mistress ordered," Tyler replied, and then disappeared.

***

Tanya looked around the Command Center with awe, and said, "This is unbelievable." She finished her turn while facing Jason, and he asked, "How will you be able to help us?"

"Well, I know Tyler longer than you," Tanya said, "and then there's this." Tanya shrugged her bag off of her shoulder, and reached inside to bring out a box. "This has been in my family for generations, and it's well known to hold incredible power." She opened the box, and revealed five crstal shards, each about as long as her forearm and each having a different shape. Each crystal glowed from within with a different colored light: pink, yellow, blue, green, and red.

Zordon stared in shock. "The Zeo shards? They were supposed to have been lost in ancient times!"

Tanya shrugged. "They've been in the keep of my family, sir. They were discovered by my ancestress, or so the legend goes, and when my people needed it the most, a Warrior would appear, and defend them. The Warrior was always thought to have been the spirit of the crystal by the people, but my family knew the truth. A memeber of the family would be selected to take the Power of a shard into them."

Before any more could be said, the alarms went off. Alpha hurried over to a console, and said, "Ay-yi-yi! Tyler and Goldar have appeared in the park with Mecca Knights and a flock of Tengas, and they're tearing the place apart!"

Jason stood up, and said, "Then we have to stop them. Tanya, stay here, where it's safe." The newcomer nodded, and Jason said, "IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!"

***

Tyler nodded as she saw the rangers teleport in. Grabbing Goldar by the front of his armor before the rangers fully materialized, she pulled him close, and snarled, "Don't hurt them too much, over grown monkey.

Dejanna's going to need some of them. Pinky's MINE!" Goldar backed down without a fight, and Tyler turned to face the rangers as they took in the situation. "Hello, rangers," Tyler said, in a voice cold enough to make even Goldar shiver. "Shall we tango?" With that, she summonded a star weapon much like the one that she had carried on the date with Adam, hefted it in mocking salute, and then hurled it towards the rangers.

The star circled around the group, knocking all of them back, and as they rolled to their feet, Tyler had caught it. "Get them!" she ordered, and the Mecca Knights and Tengas attacked the rest of the rangers as Goldar selected Jason, and Tyler weeded Kimberly out.

"Tyler, you don't have to do this!" Kimberly said, backing away from the Gemborn.

"Shut up," Tyler snarled, and then attacked.

Kim fended off the worst of the Gemborn's attacks, but soon enough, the Pink Ranger was overwhelmed, and knocked to the ground. Tyler straddled the downed Ranger, and ripped the Pink Morpher from the trapped girl, and threw the Power item to the ground as Kim powered down. "You won't be needing that," Tyler said, and, grabbing Kim by her shirt, disappeared.

"NO!" Jason shouted, and, using the distraction to his advantange, Goldar knocked Saba from Jason's hands, and knocked the White Ranger to the ground. Just as the winged simian was about to finish off the ranger, a pink blur streaked between the two, and both warriors stared at seeing the Pink Power Bow holding Goldar's blade a few inches from Jason's chest. When they followed it to the person holding the Power Bow, they stared in shock again, as they saw the Pink Ranger.

"What are you waiting for?" she demanded. It wasn't Kim's voice, it had an Austrailian accent. That shook Jason enough that he was able to scramble away, picking up Saba as he jumped to his feet.

"Oh, my!" the sword said. "I think I'm seeing things!"

"If you are," Jason said, "you're not the only one." He began making out differences between this strange new Pink Ranger, and Kim. Besides the accent, this new Pink Ranger had a few inches in height that Kim lacked, and her build was quite a bit different. There were differnces in fighting style as well, he noted as he fought. She used the Power Bow to knock a Mecca Knight's helmet off, and as it fell apart, the rangers realized that they were alone in the park again.

"Let's get back to the Power Chamber," Jason ordered, and he said, "Alpha, did you catch the fight?"

"We saw everything, Jason. I have teleport lock. Prepare for teleport...now!"

With that, the six rangers disappeared in columns of light.

***

Rule

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