Author's note: Yes, yes, this is another rewrite. I saw some things that could have been changed after the original was posted in Aurora's FicHut, and changed 'em. Toodles!:)
The blue Ranger was hoping for a quiet Friday evening, watching Alex's favorite movie by request. The movie was about the last two unicorns on the earth, and a demon that was after their horns for the power held within. Gee, why did that sound familiar? Right now, they were up to the point where the lead actress was bespelled, and was about to cut off the female unicorn's horn. The good guys were about to put their plan into action, just in the nick of time. Again, gee, why did that sound familiar?
Alex was curled up into a ball on the other end of the couch, dressed in black silk pajamas, staring into the TV as if mesmerized, a slight smile on her lips. Occasionally, her lips would mouth the words to the movie, and Rocky would think, _Seen the movie before, Al?_ He would grin, shake his head, and turn back to the movie.
Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance. Just as the girl in the movie started the downstroke to cut off the unicorn's horn, Alex gasped, and as Rocky turned to her, puzzled, she jerked upright, out of her curled position, and then collapsed. Rocky caught her, and saw that she was glowing. Experience taught him that glowing isn't good. He looked around and teleported out.
Rocky landed in the Power Chamber, and Alpha looked up in surprise. "Rocky, what's wrong?" Alpha asked.
"Alex collapsed and started glowing," Rocky said. The glow was still visible, but it had died down. Rocky eased his cousin onto the examining table, and saw that there was somehow a residue glow left on him, and it sank in. "What's wrong with her?" he asked Zordon.
Zordon, instead of answering the blue Ranger, instructed Alpha, "Contact Shaira. Tell her a Shadow Mage had a flare-up, and we need her, now." The little robot nodded and did as ordered.
Five minutes later, Shaira teleported down from the Guardian Ship. She nodded at Rocky distractedly, and asked Zordon, "Where's the Shadow-" Her question cut off as she saw Alex, and then checked the girl's pulse. "She's still alive," Shaira said under her breath. "That's good." She turned to Rocky, and asked, "What happened? Exactly. I need to know."
"Alex and I were watching a movie she had brought from her home, and she stood up, and then she collapsed. I caught her, and when I checked her eyes, they were glowing. That's when I teleported here. What's happened to her?"
Shaira sighed. "Your cousin is a powerful Shadow Mage, Rocky, and her powers flared to life right in the middle of the movie. Has she been extremely sensitive lately?"
"Yeah. Why?" Rocky asked. "And what's a Shadow Mage?"
"Where am I?" Alex groaned from the table. Rocky and Shaira turned to face Alex as she pushed herself up. She looked around, impressed. "Cool pad, so this is where you Rangers crash after a battle, huh?" She smiled at Rocky, and then said, "Close your mouth, Rocky. You aren't a fish." Rocky's mouth snapped shut.
"How did you know?" Shaira asked.
"Well, Angela and I figured it out when things kept popping up, you would disappear, and then the Power Rangers showed up. 'It's a classic case of Clark Kent/Superman syndrome,' as Angela put it. They appear, you disappear. They disappear, you reappear."
Shaira shook her head. "We really need to be more careful," she said ruefully.
Alex realized who she was talking to, and asked Shaira, "When did you get back from your trip?"
"A few hours ago. How do you feel?" Shaira asked, turning the conversation back to the reason why she had been called here. She walked over to Alex, and checked the girl over.
"Fine, except a little bruised and a demon of a headache. What happened?" Alex asked.
"You full powers as a Shadow Mage made themselves apparent. But it was too much for you, and you fainted. Are you sure you're all right?" Shaira asked when she noticed that Alex paled at the use of the word 'mage'.
"I'm not a mage," Alex whispered, terror rising up in her. "I can't be!"
Shaira placed a calming hand on Alex's shoulder, and softly asked, "Why can't you?" Alex jerked back, curling up into a ball. Her eyes glazed over, and only Shaira's slap brought her back. "What the hell was that for?" Alex demanded, her hand going to her cheek.
"You were going into a catatonic state, and I don't need you in that state. You have to learn to control your powers." Alex's eye widened and Shaira felt the terror welling up in her again. "What's wrong?" Shaira asked.
Alex's only reply was a wave of terror that swamped Shaira's telepathic senses as the Purple Guardian tried to sooth the paniced girl, and then only thing that save her was Zordon 'throwing' a telepathic lifeline to Shaira for the Photean to grasp tightly.
When Shaira came to, she opened her eyes and realized Jason was pillowing her head with his lap. "Hey, handsome," she said, causing Jason to smile, then sat up. The other Rangers and Power Guardians were there. She climbed to her feet, and saw that Alex was out cold. "What happened?" she demanded.
Rocky said, "As soon as you collapsed, she collapsed as well. Are you all right?"
"Yeah. I just forgot that most mages are also telepaths since the two areas in the brain controlling the two talents are side by side and tend to stimulate each other. So not only is she a powerful mage, but a telepath with one hell of a wallop." Shaira rubbed the back of her head and grinned sheepishly. "I did find out what's bothering her, though. She's has a terror of any magic. It's okay if it's fiction, or theoretical, but when it affects her.." She motioned something going over her head with one hand. "She's swamped. Totally and completely. And it's all pure terror."
"What's made her so afraid of magic?" Tommy asked.
"Hey, I'm surprised that you don't act the same way," Shaira said. "After all those spell that Rita and Zedd put on you in the past." She laughed once, saying, "It has to be some sort of record." Tommy blushed and Shaira's face took on a thoughtful look.
"I think I know of a way to find out why she's so afraid, but it requires a bit of sneaky, low-down underhandedness. Are you game?"
Alex woke up, and was relieved to be in her room. She glanced at her alarm clock, and saw that it was a couple hours later, well past midnight. She climbed out of bed, and turned on her computer.
As soon as the computer was booted up, she loaded her self-made diary program, then started speaking as the date and time appeared on the now blank screen. "It's almost a year since the accident," she began without preamble. Her words appeared on the monitor and she continued without pause. "Shaira and Rocky say that I'm a mage, in particular, a Shadow mage, but I can't be." Alex shivered as she remembered the reason why, and said, "I burned myself out, I just CAN'T be."
Alex sat back as the computer caught up to her, trying to organize her thoughts, then said, "In all actuality, the Incident started about a week before we ran into Him. And that's a capital 'H,'" she said. "Jen, Darian, Brad, and David were shopping with me, doing our last minute Halloween shopping, especially since I had just gotten paid for babysitting some neighbors' kids. Everything seemed normal, but I've learned recently that I shouldn't go by what seems to be, 'cause it rarely is what is."
"Alex, c'mon, it can't be that bad."
"Yes, it can, Jeninvive." Alex was in the costume store's dressing room, and Jen raised an eyebrow at Alex's use of her full name. She only did that when serious about something.
"Can *I* see you in it?" Jen asked. Alex made a sound she took as yes, and slipped in, making sure the boys couldn't see in. "Oh, Alex!" Jen whispered.
Alex turned from the mirror, and glared at her best friend. "So much as one giggle," she started to threaten, but Jen shook her head. The gown was perfect for her, the purple velvet of the dress setting off Alex's lightly tanned skin perfectly, and Alex's recently permed hair tumbled across her shoulders.
"How can I laugh," Jen said. "You're beautiful, Alex. With you hair up, you'll break hearts." Alex saw that her friend was serious.
The boys agreed with Jen when she finally coaxed Alex out of the dressing room. Darian, her then boyfriend, kissed Alex's hand gallantly. "I'm glad you're mine, or I'd be jealous," he said, causing Alex to giggle.
"That's the last time I remember giggling like that," Alex said with a sigh, bringing herself back to the present. "They managed to convince me to by the gown, although God knows why. We walked up to the counter, with our purchases, Jen already planning what to do with my hair."
"I can't believe that Jen settled for the elf costume," Alex said. "It's so... feminine, and unlike her." She ducked as Jen swung playfully at her.
"Hey, not all of us can be extraordinary princesses," Jen said. "Besides, some of the accessories that come with this costumes are as follows: one sword, one bow, one quiver full of fake arrows, two thigh sheaths, and daggers for the thigh sheaths. I figured, may as well go fully armed."
Brad had chosen a Terminator costume, looking absolutely wicked in it, while David had chosen a mage's robe and the accessories. Darian kept his costume under wraps, and Alex was dying to find out what it was. She placed her costume on the counter, and the man looked startled. "This one, ma'am?" he asked disbelievingly. "Are you sure that-"
"Look," Jen said, examining her nails lazily. Her lazy tone broke off the clerk's question. "We've been shopping all day, and we've finally found a costume my friend looks good in, and we're tired. This costume was on your wrack, and I don't need any more grief after persuading her to buy it. How much?"
The clerk swallowed nervously. "Fifty bucks without the accessories, seventy five with." His hands were shaking as he rang up Alex's, and the other's purchases.
"Jen always did have that effect on people. Something about her just... frightens people off." Alex laughed once, "Except me. She never did frighten me, even at her worse. I guess it was because somehow I knew that she wouldn't hurt me. We paid for our purchases and left. I already had enough junk jewelry at home, so I didn't need the accessories." Alex snorted as the memories surfaced again.
"That's when the weird things started happening. It started with me knowing when the purse snatcher was going to act, and I caught him before he went far, and then, that night started the presents. Darian would sometimes do that to surprise me, and he hated when I made any fuss about it, so I kept quiet when I found the roses, and other small items on my pillows when I woke up in the morning. The next Monday, which was two days after buying the gown, I was having problems starting the truck."
"C'mon, c'mon, baby. Please, for Momma," Alex begged as she turned the key, but it did no good. It refused to turn over. Alex swore in Spanish and English, hitting the steering wheel, and leaned her head in her hand, her elbow resting on the door. She sighed, closed her eyes, and prayed, and was still startled when the engine turned over. She was about to pull out when a white 'Vette roared past, narrowly missing the truck.
When Alex reached Jen and Darian's house, she pulled to a stop and the twins climbed in, and Darian, sitting next to Alex, asked, "Are you all right?" Jen finally noticed how tightly Alex was gripping the wheel.
"I had another close call," Alex said, after two attempts. She cleared her throat again, and said, "My truck wouldn't turn over, and just as I finally get it to turn over, a white Corvette sped past. If the truck had started any sooner, I would have been in a serious accident."
"My God, Alex! Are you okay?" Jen asked. "Would you like someone else to drive?"
"No, I'm fine. Just kinda shaken. Jen, that was the fifth close call I've had since Saturday. And this time, it clearly saved my life."
"What were the others?" Darian asked.
"Well, remember that tremor that we had yesterday? Well, something told me to freeze, and just as I did, the tremor struck, and a large chunk of plaster struck where I would have been. Then there was the baseball. I bend down to pick up a dollar bill, and a baseball sailed over my head. That was yesterday as well. Then there was my barely slipping in on time yesterday. I swear, not two seconds after I get under the covers, Mom popped her head in, worried for me since she discovered the plaster chunk. Then on Saturday, something made my foot jam on the break as the light turned green, and some idiot sped through a red light."
"Let's hope this lucky streak lasts," Jen said. "Because we have a killer test today."
"Nah. With my luck, Mrs. Lebrowski got hit over the head, and we have a sub, a very gullible sub that gives us the answers." Jen giggled as Alex turned into the school.
Alex closed her eyes. "All though I was joking, I was right. Mrs. Lebrowski was all right, but we did have the sub, and he did give us the answers. It continued like that, and as I practiced self-defense in the gym, I swore I was being watched. But I was completely alone. I wrapped it up and headed home as fast as possible. I didn't realize that something was wrong until Thursday. The school had been canceled for the rest of the week on Tuesday because of some electrical problems, so when I woke up late Thursday, I wasn't too stressed. I was woken up by Jen knocking, so I went to answer the door.
Alex yawned and looked out the peephole. She finished tying her robe, and opened the door, allowing Jen in. "Come on in," she offered, then when Jen stared at something asked, "What's up?"
"Alex, did you get a cat?" Jen asked, and Alex turned. Curled up in the middle of the couch was a pure black cat, and as it uncurled, the hair seemed to reflect the light, making the cat look like it was covered with a coat of dust. Alex was perplexed.
"I know that Darian loves leaving presents, but hasn't he gone a little overboard?" Alex asked.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, you think Darian did this?" Jen asked.
"Hasn't he been leaving presents on my pillow at night?" Alex asked. Jen shook her head. "Then who?" Alex asked.
"What sort of presents?" Jen asked. Alex motioned and lead the way into her bedroom, the cat following behind them. Jen smelled the two colored roses sitting in the vase beside Alex's bed, and asked, "These?"
"Yeah, and the colors have alternated, black and red. Today was red. Mom and Dad don't mind if it's just roses, but if they knew about some of the other presents, they'd flip."
"What other presents?"
Alex sighed and opened her private drawer of the night stand. Stuff that she didn't want her mother to know about, she kept there. Only she had the key, and she wore the key as a pendant always, except when in a shower. She took the key of it's necklace, and unlocked it, and pulled out a black oak box. She opened it, and Jen gasped. It held a diadem, a necklace, and matching ring, and all three sat on some black cloth.
Alex pulled out each item, and the cloth turned out to be a silk-like material, cut long enough to be a cloak, or cape. "All of them are perfect compliments to the gown," Alex said. "Besides which...," Alex reached back into her drawer, and pulled out an ancient tome. She handed it to Jen, and the girl gasped as she felt an electric trill travel from her hands through her arms and into her spine.
"My God!" Jen said. Alex tilted her head, and asked, "You felt it, too? When Mom picked up the book, she didn't feel anything."
"What's going on, Alex?"
"I don't know, Jen. I honestly don't know."
"Even though we knew something was up, we still went trick-or-treating the next evening. We should have know better, but we didn't know what else to do. If we didn't, Mom and Dad would wonder what's the matter with us." Alex sighed.
"Maybe we should have told them. I don't know. Maybe everyone would still be alive." Alex looked down at her hand and saw that she was clutching a plastic cup in her hand. She had taken a quick break to get a drink, and it was almost finished. She threw it at the wall beside the window, and said, "Maybe they'd have died sooner, I don't know. I wish I did," Alex whispered as tears came to her eyes.
Alex fidgeted, and Jen said, "Hold still, Alex! If you don't I might burn you." Alex froze and winced as Jen neared her scalp with the curling iron.
Finally, Jen finished Alex's hair, and said, "Thanks to the perm you got a couple of weeks ago, the curls should stay in your hair for the night. Now, let's get you into that dress."
Alex and Jen were in Alex's bedroom, getting ready to 'pahr-tay' as Jen would put it, and Jen helped Alex get into the gown. Alex was wearing a black leotard that would be covered up by the dress, and she shimmied her hips to get the skirt to settle. She smoothed it down as Jen fastened the back, and they turned to look in the mirror.
"Gods, Alex, you look like you just came from a story book," Jen said. "You know, the beautiful princess, and all that." Alex giggled. Only from Jen and Darian could she accept someone saying that she was beautiful.
Jen, on a wild impulse, handed a dagger and thigh sheath to Alex, and said, "Just in case someone tries something." Alex accepted and stepped onto the bed to fasten the sheath. Jen suppressed a giggle.
"Cinderella running from the ball in Nikes," she teased. She finished pulling up her boots, and asked, "Well?"
Alex looked at Jen, and giggled. "Wait a minute." She rushed to the bathroom, and came back with a can of spray-on hair color. She held out a lock of hair, and said, "Hold your breath." Following her own advice, she sprayed the lock of hair, and as the paint motes settled onto the carpet, exhaled and started breathing normally. She had Jen sit in the chair Alex had abandoned not too long ago, and French braided Jen's long black hair, leaving the now white streak hanging free.
"Thank God for Spencer's," she said, naming the store that they had bought the washout hairspray. They always enjoyed shopping there for the gag gifts they gave on birthdays.
When she finished, she took the colored lock, and braided it quickly and efficiently, then let it hang free. That looked appropriate for Jen, especially in her elf costume. The only thing she didn't wear was the ears.
"They look ridiculous," Jen said firmly. She pulled on the cap, and stood up, fastening Sword and sheath to her side. She shouldered the bow and the quiver of arrows, then said, "Shall we go greet our audience? I'm sure the boys are waiting impatiently for us."
To the girls' surprise, the boys weren't waiting for them. Alex heard the boys laughing in her parents' bedroom, and wondered what was so funny. She turned as the door opened, and her jaw dropped.
The red Power Ranger strolled in, then removed his helmet. "Well?" he asked. Darian grinned impishly at her. "I sent a cousin of mine a couple of photos of the Rangers, and asked if he could make a costume like theirs. What do you think?"
"I think I'll change from liking boys in tight jeans, to guys in red Spandex," Alex teased. Darian blushed at the mention of their old joke. Her smile softened, and said, "What about the others?"
"What about us?" Alex and Jen turned, and Alex grinned. The two boys smiled back. "Gee," Alex said with a teasing smile, "we look like something out of a role playing game. Shall we go surprise people, Mr. Red Ranger?" Darian laughed and took her arm.
Alex sighed as she thought. "It was a perfectly normal evening. What I hadn't noticed was that Jen had tucked the tome in her bag. I didn't know that she had it, and we were finishing the last haul of the night. It had been a great night, with a slight breeze, but the cloak kept me warm.
"We were walking down a deserted street, and the next thing we knew we were surrounded."
"And then he-" Darian's description of how a friend of his got out of trouble was cut off as a bunch of forms surrounded them. The forms looked like nothing more than shadows so dark that you couldn't see through them.
"Oh, my God!" Alex's hand went to her mouth. "Those were Shades! The same thing that have attacked the Rangers and guardians erratically since about two weeks ago. About the same time I moved here. But..., oh. I see. Maybe I was a Shadow Mage. On with the story."
Jen opened the door, yawning. "Hello?" she asked. She was startled to see a boy that had a strong resemblance to Alex standing there with a girl with Long black hair, with a few white hairs starting to appear. "Rocky?" she guessed. At his nod, she asked, "What are you doing here at this unholy hour?" She noticed his glow for the first time, then said, "Oh, I see. Alex had a flare up?" She motioned the two in.
She sat on the couch, making sure her green silk robe didn't reveal anything. "So, Rocky, tell me what's wrong with your cousin."
Rocky glanced at Shaira, and she nodded. "She's had a flare up, Jen. Why now?"
"Well, did she tell you about what happened last Halloween?" At the two teens' puzzled shaking of their heads, she sighed, and headed for the kitchen, which was separated from the living room by a counter. She started to make up a mug of a herbal tea, and offered a drink to the Ranger and Guardian.
"It's a long story," she said, waiting for the water to boil. "I used to have a twin brother. His name was Darian. Then there was Brad and David. With Alex, we'd hang out in a tight little clique." She closed her eyes, and gripped the mug tightly. A tear squeezed out and she wiped it away angrily. Rocky and Shaira exchanged worried looks.
"Last Halloween, we went trick-or-treating, like always, but then these... shadows appeared around us. They grabbed us before we could react, and then next thing any of us knew, we were in some sort of throne room. In the throne was a Ranger in black and silver, but the design on his helmet, and his outfit was exactly like the original green Ranger."
He ignored us for the most, focusing on Alex exclusively. He removed his helmet, and his looks made even my heart flutter. He was a great looker, but his eyes were pure evil. But something held Alex enthralled. She couldn't look away."
"I felt a tingle, and then next thing knew, my costume had become real. Real sword, real dagger, real arrows. I looked over at the others, and knew that their costumes had become real. Especially Darian's. He had been dressed as the Red Ranger, and for that night, he was the Red Ranger." She didn't notice the teens' startled looks.
"Alex had a dagger that I had loaned her strapped to her thigh, and she somehow had it in her hand. She swung for the Ranger just as he was about to pull her in for a kiss, and laughed. It wasn't your normal laughter, but it was chilling, cruel. He twisted her around until his arm was around her throat, and held the dagger to her throat."
The kettle whistled, and she poured the water into her mug. She stirred slowly, thinking about that night, and said, "He had his shadow things take us, except Alex, to his 'guest rooms' down under his throne room. We had a perfect view of a workroom with all sorts of designs on the floor and walls."
After we were... contained," she said sarcastically, "he had Alex brought down, her gown now black. Not off black, not bluish black, but jet black. She was chained down onto a table, and the Ranger came down after her."
Jen sat down, and rubbed the back of her neck. "The next part came straight from a Steven Speilberg film. He began some sort of ritual and a black light began to glow around Alex. But... something inside of me reacted, and although I've never fired a gun, much less a bow, I strung up an arrow, pulled back, and fired. It struck the Ranger in the center of his chest, and although it didn't go in, did distract him long enough. David, who had been dressed as a mage, did something, and the door opened. We emptied the dungeon, and while Brad, dressed as the Terminator, snapped Alex's restraints off, and picked her up. I pulled out my sword, because suddenly I knew how to use it, and guarded our back as we backed out of the dungeon."
Alex was glowing black, and when she came too, ordered Brad to put her down. He complied, as we all seemed to know what we were doing, and she raised her hands." Jen closed her eyes before continuing her story. "Alex's hands were glowing brightly. When she pointed them at the workroom, a bolt of lightning came out from both hands, and struck in the workroom, destroying it."
"The Ranger came out safe, but he was wounded. Alex laid her hands on him where he collapsed in the throne room, and he... became a shadow. He screamed as her hands grew brighter, and then she raised raised him up. He disappeared in the light of her hands, and she raised her hands to clasp them over her hands."
"There was a... clang, like the door of a prison cell slamming shut, and Alex motioned with one hand. A tear appeared in the air, and all of us jumped through. Alex collapsed as she landed back in LA, and then we carried her home. And trust me, that's the condensed version. I've made it sound like it took no more than fifteen minutes, but it took several hours. It was dawn when we collapsed in Alex's room. We were too tired to care what happened."
Jen finished her cup of tea, and said, "That's when the deaths started. First, it was Brad. He died from some poisoning. The doctors couldn't tell more than that. Then came.." She choked up.
As she regained control of herself, she said, "A few months later, at Christmas, as Darian was going over to see Alex, he was hit by a speeding white 'Vette. That same 'Vette had a narrow miss with Alex's truck a few days before Halloween. Alex took it the hardest of the three of us left." Jen snorted once in disgust. "The driver got off with a slap on the wrist."
"David committed suicide in a mental institution two months ago. He came down with acute paranoia, and thought that there was someone or something after us. Then Alex's parent had their accident less than a month ago."
Jen looked into her mug, and said, "I'm still... what I was that night. For some reason, I've retained the knowledge given to me that night, and I can tell you this. She burned herself out that night. We never expected her to be able to use her talent again."
She sighed. "Something bad is happening, isn't it?" Shaira nodded, and Jen stood up. "I don't like being left out of the loop. What's up?"
Something about Jen's mannerisms made Rocky nervous, as if he was expecting her to spring, and he said, "Na- nothing." Jen narrowed her eye dangerously, and said, "I don't believe you."
She whirled suddenly, and a sword appeared in her hand. A rift appeared before the girl, and her hair flew around her in the breeze that whipped up. Shaira and Rocky lunged into their feet and dropped into fight stances beside Jen.
_Jenivive,_ a voice whispered through all three teens' minds. _Join us,_ The Ranger and Guardian glanced at the girl, and saw her eyes wide in shock. Her lips moved in a whispered, "Brad, Darian," and stepped for the rift, but Shaira spun the girl back.
"Jen, no! Think of Alex! She's going to need you! They're dead, and you can't help them!"
Jen's eyes slid over the purple guardian, and she whispered, "Who are you? You don't have the normal glow of a human. You're too organized, to restricted." She collapsed into unconsciousness, and Rocky caught her. He saw Shaira motion, and a purple glow flashed before the rift sealed shut. Shaira staggered, but caught herself, and shook her head to clear it.
Shaira asked, "Is she all right?" Rocky nodded, and Shaira said, "We need to get to the Power Chamber. I don't want to leave her here alone, but-" She stop as she saw two teleportation streams appear.
Tommy and Billy walked over, and Tommy said, "We'll watch her. Zordon's going to want to talk to you about how you sealed that rift." Shaira groaned, and the three boys had to suppress chuckles.
"Not an interrogation," she joked. "That's the last thing I need." She and Rocky stepped back, and teleported out.
Tommy knelt beside the unconscious girl, and said, "Come on, let's get her to the couch."
As Billy knelt by Jen's feet, he asked, "Don't you notice a strong family resemblance in her, Tommy?"
Tommy looked down as they eased her onto the couch, and said, "You're right, but there are some differences." Billy yawned, and Tommy said, "You go ahead and sleep. I'll wake you if anything happens." Billy nodded, and settled down to sleep in one of the easy chairs.
Alex groaned, and woke up, realizing she fell asleep in front of her computer. She looked at the last entry, and shook her head. "End entry," she commanded, and the program shut down. She stretched, and rolled her neck, loosening her muscles as much as possible.
"Why does it always hurt when you sleep in front of a computer?" she asked. She chuckled, and went down for breakfast. What surprised her was that Rocky wasn't there. "Is Rocky up?" she asked her aunt.
She shook her head, and said, "He had an even later night than you, I think. He said that he went to go see that friend of yours, Jenny-vive."
Alex let the name go past her, and said, "I wonder why? Oh well, if I need to know, he'll tell me." She got down to the serious business of eating breakfast.
After placing her dishes in the sink to soak, Alex went back up to her bedroom and shut her computer down. She straightened the room a bit, then pulled out the gymbag containing her inline skates, safety gear, and stuff for the gym, and headed downstairs after dressing in a leotard, jeans, and a tee-shirt.
"I'm going to the Youth Center," she informed her aunt, and slipped out before anything came up. In that house, you couldn't tell. She paused on the porch to pull on her skates and safety pads, then fastened her helmet down. She looked around, shouldered her bag, and took off for the park.
As she reached a corner, she heard a "Hey, Alex, wait up!" She turned and saw Adam and Zack skating in her direction. she waited until they caught up, and asked, "Yeah?"
"Where's Rocky?" Adam asked.
"Probably asleep. Why?" Then what her aunt said hit home, and she asked, "Why did Rocky go see Jen?" She snorted and said, "It's a good thing I never told anyone but you guys that Jen lives in LA. Rocky was so tired, he told my aunt where he went last night."
"Why aren't you surprised?" Adam asked.
"Honey, if you've talked to Jen, then you know why I thought I couldn't be a mage. After that, anything else seems ordinary in comparison. I kinda expected you to go see her, anyway."
"Tommy and Billy are with her, right now," Zack said.
"WHAT!!!!?" Alex shouted, her voice rising. "We have to get there, pronto!" she ordered.
Adam was still wincing from her shriek, and asked, "Why?"
"Because, you nephron, the guy that grabbed us could have been Tommy's twin. She sees him without warning, and she's going to wig! You'll be lucky if you can find all the pieces! Especially if she has her sword in hand."
Tommy woke up with a sword at his throat. Billy was unconscious on the floor, and Tommy could see a large bruise starting at his temple. At the other end of the sword were a pair of glittering eyes filled with hate and anger. He swallowed nervously.
Jen raised the sword slightly, preparing to finish him off, when a familiar voice said, "Jen, no!" Jen turned to see Alex, and snarled, "Why not? He killed Brad and Darian, and caused David to kill himself."
"No, he didn't. The one that did is back with the other Shadows. He took Tommy's form because Tommy had been the green Morphin' Ranger. Let him go, Jen. Please..., for me," Alex said pleadingly, and held her hand to the enraged girl. Jen held the sword to her friend, and then they hugged tightly, both finally crying for their lost friends and family.
After Jen's tears dried, she said, "I can't stay here, Al. The memories are too much."
"Besides, the Shadows know where you live. Don't worry. I'm sure we can come up with something. Let's go get you packed." Alex led Jen out of the room, and to her bedroom.
"Are you okay?" Adam asked Billy. The blue guardian nodded.
"Yeah, but I need some Tylenol." Billy held his aching head, and was surprised when a pale fist was held out before him, and the fingers uncurled to reveal a pair of white pills.
"Sorry about that," Jen said sheepishly as she handed a glass of water to Billy. "I was reacting to instinct."
Alex snorted, and walked over to Billy. she prodded the bruise gently, and said, "Well, I can't feel a concussion, but you should still head for the Power Chamber." She glanced around. "All of you, outta here."
"Alex, are you sure that's wise?" Tommy asked.
"The last thing we need are a bunch of guys hulking around while we girls pack. Unless you'd care to join us the next time we shop." That got instant results. The boys teleported out as fast a possible, and Alex and Jen were alone for a bit.
"Tell me, what's life like in Angel Grove?" Jen asked.
"Oh, girlfriend, let me tell you about Angel Grove. Full of good looking men, and..." The girls giggled and chatted as they packed Jen's clothes.