Disclaimer/Author's Notes: I don't own the Power Rangers, or anything from 'The Show.' Gads, don't I wish I do! What I'd do with it then! Anyways, I have to thank everyone that allowed me to basically slaughter their personality to be a character in this fic. Cynthia, Kahva Brittain, Ivy Tante, Matt, Al Solomon, Megan Magnus, Josie Alexandria Anna , all belong to themselves, and they gave their permission to be in this fic. Thanks, all! Now, did I forget anything? Oh, yeah, muchas gracias goes out to Kahva for tweaking this fic, and making me look much better than I am! Thanks, girlfriend!

Reality's End
by KrazieKat, with scenes from Cynthia, Kahva, and Al Solomon

> >*evil grin* Put them in the middle of their
> > > most ARDENT fans.
> > But that's cruel and inhuman punishment!
> What? Being kissed to death? I know! The PERFECT
> torture
Oh, yeah! Especially if we got our hands on them.
We'd torture them with love to death. *mischievous grin*

I giggled as I read 'Rae's email, clicking on the reply button. Could be worse, I retorted/typed. Imagine if Billy were dropped in front of Cynthia. Remember how she puddles during that one scene in "Return of an Old Friend"? I giggled again, then added, And how Kahva and Cinders almost fought over the 'Billy towel' on the board? I couldn't resist another bout of giggles as I recalled some of the strings set off on the Angel Grove Youth Center's message board just by mentioning certain rangers streaking.

After clicking 'Send,' I switched windows to said message board, and smiled at the developing message strings. Jordyn, Mistiegirl, and PinkHeart were melting into puddles over Andros, while Kenneth Hillis, The Masked MiSTier, and Iapetus were talking about Saban's plotholes. Iapetus mentioned that the producer of Power Rangers had plotholes that 'you could fly a Boeing 737 through," and I added, "And NOT crash!" I flipped back to Yahoo! to see that my reply to Chasarae's email had been sent, just as my watch alarm went off.

I sighed, and logged out of Yahoo!. I flipped back to the message board and closed that window, then waited for Yahoo! to show that I was logged out. As soon as it did, I closed out Netscape Navigator, then stuffed my book of diskettes into my backpack. I stood up, swinging my backpack onto my shoulder, then headed for the door of Gulf Coast Community College's Business Lab 103.

"Thank God it's Thursday," I breathed as I stepped out of the classroom. Even if I DID have to work tomorrow, all my job consisted of was answering the phone and checking the mail. Not very hard, so I enjoyed the days I worked. I headed towards the back parking lot, my mind full of Power Rangers, fic ideas, and possible retorts for the message board. I didn't notice how... EMPTY the campus was, even for this late in the afternoon. Even the cats were gone, and the birds were conspicuously quiet.

A flock of sparrows suddenly taking to flight startled me out of my thoughts, and I jerked around to see them swerve in the air. I followed their path until they flew out of sight, then turned back towards the parking lot. But before I could take a single step, a wave of dizziness rose from out of nowhere and swamped me, causing me to stagger to my knees.

I closed my eyes, hoping that it would help the dizziness pass sooner, but instead, the world seemed to spin even faster. I fought down the nausea that rose up in me, and prayed for the spinning sensation to stop. When it finally did, I thought I heard a powerful wind die down, but I couldn't feel any breeze, nor had I heard one pick up. Then when I opened my eyes, everything was too calm, too ordinary.

Too ordinary except for the fact that I wasn't at Gulf Coast anymore. Instead of manicured lawns, and trees just starting to show autumn's touch, I was on an empty stretch of beach without a building, car, or blade of grass in sight. My sweatshirt, which had been perfectly fine moments ago was now too hot in the early morning summer sun. I tried to get to my feet, but another wave of dizziness swamped me. Unlike the last one, this wave only brought blackness as unconsciousness claimed me. The last thought I had was, :Oh, Father Chaos, what happened!?:

* * *

"So what do you think we should have happen next?" she breathlessly asked over the phone. "I mean, Cyn and I have thought about having Billy getting nearly killed, but then again, he's had a lot of attention in the last couple of fics, so we're leaning towards Tanya or Rocky this time, which would let us foreshadow the story arcs we're gonna intro for them a lot sooner -"

"You guys hate your characters!" Ivy Tante finally broke in. "Why can't you let them have a happy life for once?"

"Then where would all our action and drama come from?" Kahva Brittain gasped out between peals of giddy laughter. This was an oft bantered about topic between the two old friends, and they never tired of teasing each other about it. "Besides, what you're wanting to put Tommy through in "Prophecy" isn't exactly pleasant, dear one," she retorted with a giggle, using Ivy's pet phrase of 'dear one'.

"I didn't hear you objecting, partner."

"Of course not, I like the idea!" Kahva laughed. "You're the one complaining about putting characters into bad situations meaning that you hate them." Kahva giggled at Ivy's exasperated sigh, then moaned as she looked at the clock. "I've got to get to bed, I pulled sixteen hours straight at the TV station from yesterday afternoon late until the middle of this morning, I'm starting to see double."

"Double Jasons, by any chance?" Ivy teased, determined to get in one last shot.

Kahva was feeling too good to give her that little triumph, though. "Just as long as he's the one like Cynthia and I have written about, I wouldn't mind seeing four of him. Or four Carloses either. Or four Billys."

"You are incorrigible."

"And you wouldn't have me any other way," Kahva shot back. Cheerful, teasing good-byes were exchanged, and Ivy was just about to hang up the phone line on her end when she heard a puzzled, "What the heck is going on?"

"Kahva? Kahva?" Ivy asked. A strange blowing wind-like sound was the only response though. "Kahva! Answer me!"

"Ivy!!" came the panicked shout over the noise, which seemed to be getting louder and louder. and strangely enough, Ivy thought she was starting to hear it in her own house as well, not just on the phone. "Ivy!!" Kahva screamed again, a fear in her voice that sent hard chills down Ivy's spine. "Something's got me!!"

"Kahva! What's going on?!" Ivy yelled into the phone. She and Kahva had long had an odd, subtle link between the two of them, and now Ivy felt like Kahva was literally pulling at her mind in a desperate attempt to escape whatever was happening. What it was that she was trying to escape from though, Ivy found out not from another scream from Kahva, but from the howling winds in her own home. "What is going on?!" she screamed as she was pulled into something. then her world went black.

* * *

Rocky had been hoping for a quiet morning practice in the park, to help gather his thoughts. It was only a few days ago that he had accepted the Red Power Coin from his predecessor, and his mind was almost constantly awhirl, with so many things going on at once. Moving from Stone Canyon to Angel Grove, transferring to Angel Grove High School, getting more acquainted with the other rangers, getting accustomed to being a ranger himself, it was surprising that he was able to remember what was being taught at school. Thus, he had been planning this Saturday morning outing to regain his equilibrium.

But it wasn't to be, for as soon as he had stretched out and began the first kata, his communicator beeped, and Rocky dropped out of stance with a small sigh. "Yes, Zordon?"

"You're needed in the Command Center," the ancient mentor to the Power Rangers said.

"I'm on my way." When he arrived in the headquarters in a flash of red light, the Hispanic boy was surprised to see that he was the only one there. "What's up, Zordon?" he asked.

"We're getting some unusual readings in Angel's Cove," Zordon replied. "You're the only ranger currently available."

"And you want me to morph and head out there to check it out?" It was more statement than question, but Zordon nodded. "Sure," Rocky replied. "Anything else I should know besides the odd reading?"

"No. Be careful, though, we don't yet know if this is some plot by Zedd."

"Right," Rocky said, dropping into a morphing stance. Although he had morphed for a couple of fights already, this was his first time alone. But the entire process felt as natural as if he had been born to it. "IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!"

Landing on the beach, the Red Ranger looked around, at first not seeing anything out of place. "There's nothing here, Zordon," he said into his communicator. "Are you -" A soft moan, just barely at the edge of his hearing, cut him off, and he looked around again, this time spying the bundle of cloth near the water's edge. The bundle moved as another moan sounded, and the ranger reported, "Hold on, Zordon. I think I've found something." He approached the moaning pile of fabric, but jerked back to a stop when Goldar and several putties appeared.

"Back off, ranger!" Goldar growled. "Lord Zedd has plans for this wench."

"Don't you ever learn, monkey face?" the Red Ranger retorted. "We never listen to you! Hi-yah!" With that, the ranger attacked the putties with a kick.

While the young teen was busy with the putties, Goldar stalked towards the unconscious girl, but stumbled when several beams of various colors struck him in the back. He turned and growled to see the other rangers running towards him. "Get away from her, Goldar!" the White Ranger snarled, sounding much like a tiger himself. Saba was already in his hand, and the two warriors began exchanging blows while the Black and Blue Rangers went to help their red teammate, Pink and Yellow going over to the girl, staying near her acting as her guards during the fight.

Red Ranger finished off the last of his putties as Blue and Black did the same, and he turned to face his teammates as the clay warriors shattered, their remains instantly disappearing. "Tommy needs our help," Blue said, and the three young men went over to help their leader.

Seeing that the White Ranger had finally gotten some backup, Goldar snarled, and threatened, "I'll be back!" before teleporting out in a flare of gold-colored flame.

The rangers dropped out of their stances and went over to the girls and their mysterious charge. For most of them, this was the first time they had gotten a good look at her. Long and straight, her medium brown hair was strewn all over the sand, and she was laying half on her side. When the Pink Ranger eased her onto her back, the mystery girl gave a soft groan, but didn't open her eyes. The clothes she was wearing looked more appropriate for late fall or early winter, since she was wearing a purple sweatshirt and a multicolored, lightweight jacket, besides the almost requisite jeans. The tennis shoes she was wearing were obviously worn down, as if she had been wearing them for quite some time. There was a maroon backpack beside her, looking as if it had been carelessly dropped there.

"How is she?" White Ranger asked.

"She hasn't woken up, but her pulse is steady," Pink Ranger said. "Should we take her to the Command Center?"

The White Ranger studied the mysterious girl, then nodded. "We need to know why Zedd was after her. There has to be SOME reason for that." With that said, he scooped up the girl, and the team teleported out in a rainbow of light.

* * *

In the Command Center, Alpha 5 already had a cot waiting for the girl, and the White Ranger laid the girl down before demorphing. Tommy Oliver turned to the ancient Eltarian, and asked, "Why would Zedd go after her, Zordon?"

"I'm not sure, Tommy," Zordon answered honestly. "But the Command Center had picked up some strange readings in the same general area where you found her, and we had sent Rocky there to investigate."

Tommy turned to see that Billy and Alpha were already starting the usual array of scans over the mystery girl, and he asked, "How is she, Billy?"

"So far? Fine," the Blue Ranger replied. "Some of these scan results need to be run through the computer, but so far she's perfectly fine except that her personal energy field is in a state of almost constant flux."

"Her personal what?" Rocky asked, confused. He wasn't the only confused one for once, as almost every other member of the team had similar expressions of puzzlement. Billy licked his lips, and tried to think of an easy to understand, but thorough enough answer for his friends.

"All life generates a type of energy just by being, right?" The others nodded, and Billy continued. "When this energy is put to use, we call it magic. If it isn't used, it generally becomes a part of the Morphin' Grid. For the most part, it's a part of us, and all around us, we just can't see it, though."

"Like the Force?" Rocky asked, using a reference he understood. Billy opened his mouth to disagree, then thought and nodded.

"Close enough," he nodded. "Anyways, sentient beings generally have a tendency for their energy to cling to them, and this energy field can sometimes be seen by certain people. That's what they call an aura. It shows emotions through color, the different colors being different frequencies, since emotions can cause changes in the energy field. For the most part, the energy fields are pretty stable, most changes being short-lived before steadying out. Hers, however," he motioned to the girl, "is in an almost constantly changing state, almost as if it were a radio, searching for the right station."

"Oh," Rocky said, understanding most of it. "Is that why she's still out?" Billy nodded.

"I think so," the team's resident genius answered, in a slightly distracted tone. He was already trying to figure out why her energy field was so erratic. Meanwhile, Jason, who had teleported in during the fight, had spied her backpack, which someone had placed on the floor beside the cot, and suggested, "Maybe her things will tell us something?"

The others turned to Zordon, who nodded permission. While this was a breach of normal ranger etiquette, they needed to know more about the unconscious girl. After a brief consultation, it was agreed that Aisha and Kat would go through the backpack, especially after Aisha pointed out that the girl might have some personal feminine things that the boys would find embarrassing. The two female rangers lifted the backpack up, and Kat opened the bag's major pocket.

Her first reach in produced a mostly red and blue paperback book about four inches thick. "The Norton Anthology: American Literature, Fifth Edition," she read the title aloud. The next book she pulled out was yellow and white, and was titled, Conversacion y repaso: Intermediate Spanish. This book was much smaller, only about an inch thick this time, slightly shorter, but was wider than the anthology by about an inch and a half. A matching workbook, this one closer to the normal textbook width and height, was only about a half inch thick. The next reach in pulled out three pads of paper, one a yellow legal pad, the other two more like normal notebooks except that the spiral binding was at the top of the page. The black colored notebook looked more used than the blue one, which hardly looked touched at all, but both had vinyl covers and the first pages were pockets of manila colored paper. Kat started flipping though the black notebook, but something caught her eye and caused her to stop.

:No,: she thought. :It couldn't be. There are a million girls named Kat out there..: But the Pink Ranger's curiosity was up, and she paused to read a passage.

{'How did you know?' Kat whispered. I chewed my lips as I debated how much to tell her.}

A startled Kat stared from the notebook, to the girl, back to the notebook, and back to the girl. The other rangers noticed, and Jason asked, "What's wrong, Kat?"

"She... knows," Kat said. "Kim, Rita's spell... everything!"


A soft moan cut off the millions of questions going through the rangers' minds, and they turned to see the girl propping herself up on one elbow. Her other hand covered her eyes, and she moaned/asked, "What train hit me?" Her hand slid away from her face, and she slowly opened her eyes.

As soon as she saw the rangers, she jerked off the cot. She sat up immediately, staring with wide grey-blue eyes that were full of horror, anger, fascination, confusion, and a plethora of other emotions. "Wh- where am I?" she demanded.

* * *

:It's not possible, it's NOT possible, it's NOT POSSIBLE!: my mind gibbered, but reality contradicted what my brain was saying. The armor the rangers wore looked more like metal than plastic, and the Command Center was more of a blend of movie and series, but it WAS the Command Center. Even Alpha 5 and Zordon were there. Alpha looked closer to the series, except that he was metal and not plastic, but I could still recognize him. Zordon's warp tube gave off more distortion than either the series or movie ever showed, but he was closer to a blend of the two, just like the Command Center.

And it WAS the rangers; Adam, Billy, Rocky, Jason, Tommy, Kat, and Aisha. :They're even cuter in life: some irrelevant part of my mind commented. :Cynthia would KILL to be here..: Then it hit me. JASON? They weren't in their Zeo colors, and Tanya wasn't there, but Jason was, and wearing black. There was a difference from Austin St. John, most notable that this Jason looked paler, and a bit more worn; but then again, all of them looked minutely different from the show. "What the hell is going on? Who are you?" I demanded, getting to my feet.

That was a mistake, as I found out. The world began to spin again, and I covered half of my face with a hand. "Oh... shi-" My words cut off as my legs buckled, and my world went dim. I felt a pair of arms catch me, then lay me back down on the couch. I struggled to open my eyes, to see, but the darkness stayed. Fortunately, it didn't affect my other senses, so I was able to hear someone approach, and could feel something pass over me.

"How is she, Billy?" Tommy asked.

"Her energy field's stabilized," the Blue Ranger said, somewhere near my left. "But I expect her to be in and out of unconsciousness for the rest of the day. Right now the best thing for her is sleep."

I was willing to go along with that. As real as it seemed, part of me was praying desperately to all the gods I've ever heard of that it was just a dream. While I loved the show, and enjoyed writing fics about the rangers, actually living in Angel Grove was a tad.... insane. If this WAS a dream, maybe going to sleep would wake me up. I gave up trying to open my eyes, and just let go of consciousness. As I drifted off, I thought, :DEFINITELY too much time on fics.: I mentally snorted, then... nothing more. <

* * *

"Rocky? Rocky!"

"Huh?" The Red Ranger shook his head, and realized that Adam was shaking his shoulder and calling his name. "Yeah?" Rocky asked.

"Your mind was a million miles away. What were you thinking about?" Adam wondered.

"That girl... I was wondering why she seemed to recognize us," Rocky explained. It wasn't exactly a lie. He had been honestly wondering that, but he had also wondered what she looked like under her baggy sweatshirt and jeans. The body he had caught had felt just right to him. "I know I'VE never met her before," Rocky added.

"Are you sure?" Aisha teased. "I mean, you've dated so many girls that it'd be natural for you to forget one or two." The others laughed as the Hispanic boy playfully cuffed at the Yellow Ranger. But their laughter died when Kat entered and sat down. There was a startled look to her face, and once she started to explain, they understood why.

"This whole thing about that girl is just plain weird," Kat stated as she sat down. The rangers had agreed to each take a turn keeping an eye on the newcomer, and the Pink Ranger had just finished a turn at watching the girl, being replaced by Tommy.

"What do you mean?" Adam asked.

"Well... while I was keep an eye on her, I went through the papers in her backpack, and..." Kat looked around, then leaned in, lowering her voice. "She knows us, guys. Outside of being rangers."

"Care to elaborate?" Billy asked.

"Well... she doesn't have it exactly right, but she wrote down pretty much how you'd react in a given situation," she told the Blue Ranger. "It's not just Billy either, but all of us, she's written about all of us," she said to the others. "Then, to add to the weirdness, some of the stories, especially ones by other people, have a disclaimer, stating about the same thing. 'Everything from the show is owned by Saban.' Who's Saban? What does he have to do with us? And a show? Where did she come from, guys?"

The others shrugged, but a thoughtful look was crossing Billy's face. "What's up, Billy?" Rocky asked, starting to recognize the look Billy got when an idea hit him.

"She's not." Billy started to say, then paused, as if questioning his own conclusion.

"She's not what?" Jason asked.

"She's not from around here," Billy said finally, his voice seeming fairly certain of the answer he'd come to. "This is just theoretical, but what if she isn't from this reality, but another where Power Rangers only exist on TV?"

"Is there anyway we could prove it?" Aisha asked.

"Each reality is supposed to have a different quantum signature, and if she is from a different reality, hers would be off from ours. I'd have to adjust a scanner to pick up her quantum signature, but it is possible," Billy finished.

"Then let's go," Rocky said. The rangers stood up and headed out of the Youth Center.

* * *

"That should do it," Billy said, snapping shut the casing of one of the Command Center's portable scanners. He picked it up off of the table, and turned to face his teammates. "I just need a baseline scan. Any volunteers?"

Adam volunteered, stepping forward, and Billy carefully ran the scanner from the top of the Black Ranger's head, down to his toes, then back up again. "That should do it," Billy said, typing something into the scanner, then walked over to the still unconscious girl. He ran the scanner over her, just like he did Adam, then started downloading the results of the two scans into the Command Center's computer. "This should take only a few minutes," Billy said. "The computer is comparing the two signatures. It'll let us know about any differences."

There was a momentary lull, then the computer beeped. Billy turned back as the results were being printed out, and his brow wrinkled in puzzlement. "That's odd," he said.

"What?" Tommy demanded.

"She doesn't have a quantum signature," Billy said. "That should be impossible. EVERYTHING has one."

"Are you sure about that?" Rocky asked. "I mean about her signature."

"That's what I'm about to check," Billy said. He ran another baseline scan, using Aisha this time, then ran the scanner over the girl again. The computer spat the answer out in a shorter amount of time, and Billy's puzzlement grew. "There it is again. Nothing."

Jason was studying the original printout, not really understanding what was on the paper, when an idea occurred to him. "Did you program it to show the differences, or to print her signature?" the former Red Ranger asked.

Billy smacked the side of his head with the base of his palm. "Thank you, Jason. You're right!" He reprogrammed the computer while the others fought back their smiles, then said, "That should take care of the problem. The new results are being printed up now." Indeed, the printer was humming busily away, printing out the new results. Billy checked the printer, then his brow wrinkled in confusion. "Now this is EXTREMELY odd," Billy said, confusion and frustration growing in his voice.

"What?" Tommy asked.

"Her quantum signature changes." He shared the printout with Tommy, and pointed out two line graphs with a zigzagging ling through it. "These here are Adam and Aisha's signatures. Nice, steady, predictable peaks, right? Exactly the same?"

"Yeah," Tommy answered.

"That's what a normal quantum signature should look like. Here, and here," he said, pointing to another line, "is hers. Notice how in both scans, it immediately changes to match Adam's, then Aisha's." Tommy studied the graphs, then nodded.

"What does that mean?" Rocky asked.

"She's somehow able to change her quantum signature. That shouldn't be possible though," Billy said.

"Try running a baseline scan on her, and then one on us," Tommy said. Billy nodded, then ran the scanner a THIRD time over the girl.

But this time, instead of running a new scan for another ranger, Billy simply used the scans of Adam and Aisha to compare it to. Once the printout was long enough, Billy studied it intently. "Ah-HA!" he crowed after a few moments of close scrutiny. "Gotcha! She IS from another reality."

"But how did she get here?" Tommy asked. "And why would Zedd be interested in her?"

"Could she be here by accident, and Zedd's interested in how she got here? Wouldn't that be enough?" Adam asked.

Rocky shook his head. "I... don't think so. Before you guys arrived, Goldar said that Zedd had plans for her. The way he said it implied that Zedd brought her here on purpose, but she didn't arrive on the moon like expected. And I doubt that Zedd would just grab anyone. She has to have something unusual about her that Zedd can use." The question 'What is it?' remained unasked.

"Do you have any suggestions?" Tommy asked the team's mentor.

"No, Tommy. I'm just as puzzled as to how and why she arrived here as all of you are."

* * *

I sat up with a gasp, the nightmare of black, clawed hands reaching for me from inky shadows still fresh in my mind. I looked around, then sighed with disappointment. I was still in the Command Center, but the lights had been turned down low for the night. "Have a nightmare?" I turned to see Billy emerge from the shadows of the darkened Command Center, and kneel next to my cot, running a scanner over my head and torso.

"How are you feeling?" Billy asked. I shrugged non-commentally.

"All right, I guess," I muttered. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Billy look up and study my face, but I refused to meet his eyes. I didn't know what was showing in my own eyes, and I didn't want him to see my fear.

Almost as if he had read my mind, he said, "It's all right to be afraid. I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through right now." I looked at him, puzzled. "Away from your friends, your family, everything you've known... now you've been thrown into what you thought was only a television show." I closed my eyes, and looked away as Billy studied the results of the scan.

"You have NO idea," I said. "Terror... it doesn't even begin to describe it. I always thought that all this was just someone's idea. But for it to be real... especially after some of the fics I've written, and read..." I shuddered.

"Fics?" Billy asked.

"The stories in my backpack. Fanfics, since I'm a fan of the show, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. The full term is fan fiction. I'm not the only person who's written about y'all."

Billy smiled. "I noticed. So, who are you?" Billy asked.

"Kathy Lord, or KrazieKat. Depends on who you talk to," I answered.

"Crazy... Kat?" Billy repeated, confused.

"Yeah. When I was still in high school, one of my friends knew that I liked Power Rangers, and even wrote stories about the show. One day, she said, 'You're crazy, Kat.' When I was sending out my first fic, I remembered her saying that and I thought it was apt, so..." I shrugged.

"Why did she call you that?" Billy asked. I thought back to that day, and blushed. "What?" he asked. I shook my head, then fought to hide my embarrassment.

When I had regained my composure, I said, "That day I was... extolling the virtues of the show." The thought :Whose names were Tommy, Billy, Adam, Rocky, and Jason.: I kept to myself.

Billy tilted his head to one side, then studied the scanner in his had. "Your energy levels are still low, but only time can take care of that. Is there any pain, or nausea?"

"No. Just... exhausted," I admitted.

"Sleep is still the best thing for you. Go ahead and rest." I nodded, laying down with a sigh. Billy pulled a blanket over me, and at my soft 'thank you', he smiled at me before walking away.

:Gods, he has a cute butt: I thought. I wondered briefly how Cynthia would have reacted to waking up here and talking to Billy, then I had to smother a giggle. :She'd jump his bones so hard his skeleton would pop out.:

I settled into a more comfortable position on my side, and my left hand found itself sliding off of the side of the cot before me. I smiled as my hand found my backpack, and opened the front pocket. Even without looking, I easily found what I was looking for, and my hand closed around a lumpy, sealed pouch that I knew without looking was black velvet with even darker symbols woven into the cloth. :Father Chaos, what has happened?: I prayed/wondered. :Is there a reason behind my being here?: I released the pouch, and quickly fell asleep.

* * *

The next morning, the rangers arrived at the Command Center early, only to find their guest still asleep. Billy was also sprawled out on another cot. "What time did he get to sleep, Alpha?" Tommy asked.

"Shortly past two," Alpha replied. "He was trying to figure out how she arrived here." There was no need to elaborate on who 'she' was. "She woke up briefly in the night, but fell asleep again soon after."

"Did Billy get any information from her before she fell asleep?"

"Her name is Kathy Lord, and she has a penname of KrazieKat." The rangers turned to see Billy sitting up, still a bit sleepy-eyed and hair mussed, but awake. "She's a writer, and we belong on a TV show back where she came from. But we already figured that part out."

"Did you figure out anything as to how she got here?" Tommy asked

While the Blue Ranger went into a technical monologue, Rocky softly asked Kat, "Will Billy be all right with only about..." he glanced at his watch, "five and a half hours of sleep?"

The Pink Ranger smiled. "He'll be all right. I've seen him go on less."

A movement out of the corner of his eye had Adam turning to see Kathy watching the group while lying on her side. She caught Adam watching her, and she winked at the Black Ranger. Adam couldn't resist smiling back at her impish expression, especially when she caused everyone else except for Billy to jump by speaking. "What does all that techno-babble mean in English?"

Billy calmly turned to the newcomer, and said, "I'm not sure. Like I explained to Tommy, I'm still trying to screen out the extra background 'noise' of your arrival, to get to the cause behind it. Once I filter out the unnecessary information on the scanners, I should be able to tell what spell Zedd used to pull you here."

"Does it really matter?" she asked fatalistically. She sat up and stretched, but still remained sitting.

"Why do you ask? Most people would want to know," Billy added in a puzzled tone.

"Because from the way it sounded to me, more than just one person came through, and I'm here, so where are the others?" The rangers stared in shock, then paled as one as Billy spoke.

"That makes... too much sense. I thought that there was too much 'noise' for just one person's arrival. But where else would they have landed, and why not around you?" he asked the newcomer.

"Chaos?" she suggested, shrugging. "Who knows, right now? But if Zedd pulled me through, wouldn't it be logical to assume that the others landed where he wanted them to?"

The rangers had to admit, even if it was to themselves, that she had a point.

* * *

Lord Zedd, the Emperor of Evil, watched his latest creations with an unwavering stare. Seven crystalline cocoons hung from the ceiling of the sorcerer's workroom. All them twitched and writhed as the occupants within them moved, each time pulsing with a hideous light. If the Lord of Evil had had lips, he would have smirked, but as it was, tiny bolts of magical lightning traveled down his skinless body in cruel satisfaction. :It's time,: he thought, :to fight fire with fire, as the Earthlings would say.:

So far, his plans had been executed almost entirely flawlessly. The rangers hadn't noticed until too late that Zedd had opened a portal into another reality and grabbed seven 'fan fic' writers. The sorcerer had been watching that particular reality, after he had discovered that the rangers only existed as a show there, and that was when he discovered the fic writers. Some of the writers' cruelty was almost on par with his own.

It had been just as he was about to close the portal that he had found the greatest prize of all. A girl with the most powerful, almost completely untrained magic talent that the Lord of Evil had ever seen. It was enough to make Zedd drool, and the only thing to make him pause was the Chaos in her aura. Even he respected the Source of beginning and endings, the Father Force that had created all, and Zedd stopped to think twice about grabbing the girl.

In the end though, he had decided to grab her, after he had seen that she was a fic writer herself. In the corner, an eighth cocoon awaited for her, this one different from the others. The empty cocoon was fleshy and hanging sullenly, appearing as if it were pouting that it didn't have an occupant yet. But Zedd hadn't anticipated the girl's talent choosing just when he had grabbed her to flare up. If he hadn't released his grip on her, he would have lost the other seven. As it was, he had lost the girl to the rangers when he sent Goldar and some putties down to retrieve her after he discovered that she was on this Earth. The rangers had the girl now, and that interfering busybody Zordon would have to be blind as well as a fool to miss her potential.

Zedd's satisfaction waned a bit when he studied the last occupied cocoon, and sent a stream of energy towards it, supporting the twisted magic that had gone into creating it. This one was for his Yellow Ranger, but he hadn't planned on kidnapping a Yellow Ranger. However, he wasn't one to waste an opportunity to gain a perfectly good evil ranger. Zedd had ordered her cocoon finished in as quick as time as possible, even though the rush might not allow for a full evil saturation of the cocoon. The girl was a friend of two others, and was a recent inductee into the stories, and Power Rangers in general. Though confident in her conversion, Zedd knew that it would be wise for him to keep an eye on her once she finally emerged. The haste in finishing her cocoon possibly could have created a flaw in her memory re-writing. :She is only a human, she cannot possibly resist me.:

Zedd shrugged, turning his attention back to his captives. Each had their own cocoon, which was now slowly but surely turning the writer into a finely honed weapon, whose mind, body and soul would be evil, who would obey only him. Once they emerged, he would have his own team of rangers, ones that would remain loyal to him. They would retrieve the escaped wench, and then... Zedd chuckled evilly at the plans filling his mind both for the Earth, and the girl.

* * *

I shivered as Billy ran one last medical scan over me, and rubbed my hands over my arms. The Blue Ranger noticed my goosebumps, and asked, "Are you all right?"

I smiled up at him. "Yeah. It's just... would it sound dumb to say that for a moment, it felt as if someone was making evil plans for me?" A second shiver passed through me as I recalled the cruel laughter that had echoed through my bones.

"Not really," Billy said. "Zedd is an evil, twisted sorcerer, and if Zedd was after me and I didn't have any powers to fight him with, I'd shiver, too," Billy answered. I smiled up at him, crinkling my eyes, as Tommy spoke.

"Speaking of which, why would he be interested in you?" I shrugged, genuinely confused.

"I don't know," I said. "I'm not aware of any unusual qualities that Zedd would be interested in. I'm not a great beauty. I'm a slightly above average student at Gulf Coast Community College, enrolled in Second Year Spanish and American Lit from Reconstruction to the present, barely making "B"'s in both subjects. I'm a student assistant in the Computer Services department, where I answer the phone and run errands Mondays and Fridays. Like I said, nothing notably unusual about me."

"What about your stories?" Kat asked.

I shrugged a second time. "I've gotten compliments, and have been told that I can be down right evil at times, but I'm not the darkest writer out there. In my opinion, that title goes to Hellfire, Zack Mendorra. He did the "New Enemy" series and the "Earth's Fall" saga, and his fics rarely, if ever, have a cheerful ending. He's a damn good writer though, if a tad psycho." I had to smile and look down at the pun on his muse's name, and shook my head, not wanting to explain about a hellhound muse. "And compared to Cynthia, or Kahva, two of the more 'evil' writers out there, I'm small time with my two series. And those two, when they hook up, are devious to the extreme. And they're Billy gaga. ESPECIALLY Cynthia."

"What?" Jason asked, suppressed laughter in his expression and voice, and I had to laugh at the expressions on the rangers faces. Billy was blushing, while still confused, and the others were just plain puzzled.

"I swear, ever other second, she comes up with some way to repower, corrupt, or basically pick on the poor boy. I think she's come up with a hundred and one ways to turn him evil. Hold on. Hundred and two... hundred and three..." I grinned, and said, "Ooh, I do believe that he's trying to be another Red Ranger now." Kat and Aisha joined in my laughter, and even the male rangers snickered as Billy's blush grew even more.

"Wait," Rocky said, the only one not join in the laugher. "You said... repower?"

I nodded, my expression falling. "See, in the show back home, there was a switch over to a new power source, but there were only five powers, so Saban had him give no real reason as to why he chose not to be a ranger. Rumor had it that David Yost, the guy that played Billy, was planning on quitting the show soon, but he kept staying on and on." I shrugged. "There's a reason we call Saban 'the King of Plotholes.'"

I sighed and flopped back onto the cot that I had been sitting on. I covered my face with my hands, and mumbled, "Oh, Chaos, why, HOW do I get into situations like this?" A small voice in my mind pointed out that this was the first time something like this had happened, but I ignored it.

"What's wrong?" Aisha asked, her tone concerned. I doubted that they had been able to understand my mumble, so I pulled my hands away from my face and looked at the Yellow Ranger.

"I was just wondering why this happened," I admitted. "I'm... AVERAGE, comfortably so. Why did this happen? I'm nothing spectacular, except maybe in writing. And even then, I consider myself average."

"Are you sure?" Tommy asked. "Is there anything that you might have overlooked, missed, anything?"

I closed my eyes, and pressed a fist, finger first, against my forehead. After a moment, I said, hesitantly, "Well... there is... one thing."

"Yeah?" Tommy asked.

"I'm a -" My hand slid down and muffled the rest of my sentence.

"You're a what?" Tommy asked.

I sighed and pulled my hand away from my face. "I'm a witch pledged into the service of Father Chaos and Mother Order, but even in that, I've been considered ordinary."

"A witch?" seven voices chorused. Six held only puzzlement, but one was filled with fear and hatred. I sighed, and sat up.

"A witch," I agreed. "A spell casting, demon summoning, potion making witch. Most of my training is self-taught, because what little formal training I've had was wherever and whenever I could get it, from whoever I could get it. But I don't see why that would attract Zedd's attention," I said, shaking my head in puzzlement.

Zordon spoke up for the first time, causing me to jump. "Katherine," he said, meaning me, "how were you lead into witchcraft?"

I sighed, and closed my eyes. "I was in Iceland, 'cause my dad was stationed there, so I think it was around '89. Matter of fact, it WAS. Halloween Night, 1989, as a matter of fact. A couple of my friends decided to go egg an old woman's house, but the base police only caught me."

"Base police?" Tommy asked, puzzled.

"My dad was in the Air Force at the time, and we were living on a NATO base," I answered.


"Anyways, it was the first time I had ever been caught for something like that, so I wasn't in TOO much trouble, but I still had to help the lady with household chores for a month, plus no library privileges. For me, that was the worst part, since I LOVE to read," I said, smiling at the ground. "At first, I just helped with normal chores like vacuuming, shoveling the snow from her walkway, dusting, washing dishes, stuff like that, but gradually, she lead me into witchcraft by letting me do more... unusual jobs."

"How so?" Adam asked.

I grinned as I thought back to when I had been ten years old. "My nickname of Kat is very... apt. She used my curiosity against me. She'd have me go get unusual packages when I went to get groceries, or pick up the mail for her, and I'd wonder what was in it. I'd ask, until I knew what it was, why she wanted or needed it, and how she was going to use it." My smile grew into a fond grin. "The crafty old bat lured me in, until I didn't want to leave, then admitted that she was the reason why I had been the only one caught. Then she revealed why she had done that. As soon as she saw me, she knew that I was headed for trouble unless she took me under her wing"

"Why?" Billy asked.

"She said that I had an aura like none that she had seen, and if I didn't get my magic talent under control, I'd attract every ghost, goblin, and ghoulie around. I didn't exactly want to be haunted so..." I shrugged, my point obvious. Rocky snorted disbelievingly, and mumbled something, but I ignored him. "She managed to teach me the bare-bone basics before Dad got reassigned back to the US, but afterwards, I never really got back to training it. Most of what I was trained in afterwards was herbalism."

Finally Rocky made a comment that I couldn't ignore. "And probably poisoning too," he mumbled. My temper snapped and I surged to my feet towards the Red Ranger.

"Look," I snarled, surprising the rangers, "I never asked for this talent, I was born with it. And ever since I started training to use it, I've felt compelled to help people, but when they find out what I am, they tend to be small-minded bigots, thinking that just because they're Christians, they're better than me. They always seem to forget that their religion was once considered the pagan one, and they also forget that Jesus preached kindness and openness, not hatred and closed minds. So will you please DROP IT!" As I had stalked towards him, Rocky had retreated backwards from me up until he backed into a console, and leaned back as my finger poked his chest.

"I've never tried to do anything but help, and so called Christian charity is a laugh. I've gotten nothing but insults and pain from them, but I still try to help. So why don't you take your small-minded ideas, and stuff them where the sun don't SHINE!" I turned away, then turned back as Rocky started to straighten up and wipe his brow. "I thought that a Power Ranger would be above such a small emotion like hate." I turned, and stalked out of the Command Center.

It was like I was being led through the twisting maze of passageways, until I emerged out in the daylight, and once out in the sun, I started to pace. It was as if Rocky's comment had uncorked all of the emotions of frustration, anger, and pain that I had bottled up inside of me all my life, as well as the current fright and confusion, and I tried to regain control of my emotions again. But by the time I got a tenuous grip on them, someone else had come out as well, and a flash of red had me stopping in my tracks. "Yes?" I asked in a barely civil tone.

"Look, I'm -" Rocky started, and I cut him off by holding a hand up.

"Don't," I snapped. "Not until you really mean it. Not until you can look me in the eye and really say that you can keep an open mind." Rocky stared at me, and I finally admitted, "I've had too many people make a quick apology, and not really mean it." I looked away before the tears in my eyes fell, and wondered what had caused my control to slip. I took in a deep breath, and let it out shakily.

A pair of arms wrapped around me, and Rocky asked gently, "How about I promise to try and keep my mind open, then?"

I turned, and looked up at the slightly taller teen. "That's all I've ever asked," I answered, then kissed him on the jawline. I stepped away, berating myself for the light kiss. :He's not one of your friends from Florida, you idiot! He doesn't understand that you don't mean anything by it!: I railed at myself. I couldn't meet Rocky's eye when he spoke again.

"C'mon, we better head in." I nodded, then followed him back inside.

"No, and that's the last word on it. We can't afford -"Tommy cut off his words as Rocky and I entered the Command Center, and Kat blushed, making me suspect that they had been talking about me.

"Can't afford what?" I asked.

Kat glared at Tommy, then said, "We were discussing if it'd be wise to let you leave the Command Center. Once out of here, Zedd can send Goldar and some putties to grab you." The White Ranger glared right back at the Pink Ranger.

"It seems to me that if I don't do anything foolish like going off on my own, I should be fine," I said. Then a horrible thought occurred to me. "Wait, Zedd hasn't taken to appearing when you're in the shower, has he?" The rangers burst into laughter at my worried expression, and I sheepishly smiled back. "I take that as a 'No?'" I asked, causing more laughter.

When he finally recovered, Tommy wiped his eyes and gasped, "Yes, that means no." He got a better grip on his laughter, then asked, "Why?"

"'Cause I need one, duh," I said, then stuck my tongue out at the White Ranger. I grinned as the others chuckled, then winked to show that I was teasing him. Tommy smiled back, and I continued on. "But, seriously, I really do need one, plus a change of clothes. Oh, Chaos," I sighed as something hit me. "Mom threatened that this would happen."

"What's that?" Aisha asked.

"That I'll go on a trip, and only packed books." There was a pause, then even I collapsed, laughing.

* * *

A crack from one of the crystalline cocoons broke the silence that had settled in Zedd's workroom, and the sorcerer sharpened his gaze to the opening chrysalis. A white-clad form slipped free, and remained on the ground for a few minutes, regaining her strength. When she finally lifted her helmeted head, she raised herself into a kneeling position on one knee. Bowing her head, she said, "My lord, how may I serve you?" Zedd studied her a moment before speaking.

"Who are you?" he demanded.

"Cynthia Harrell, my lord. White Crystal Ranger, leader of the Crystal Rangers."

"Who do you belong to?"

"Only you, my liege. Only you." Zedd began to laugh as a second cocoon opened, and another figure, this one clad in black armor, slid down to the ground.

* * *

Kat knocked on her bathroom door, and called out, "It's just me! I found some clothes for you. Is it all right for me to put them on the toilet?"

"Sure thing." The Pink Ranger eased into the steamy bathroom, placed the clothes in her arms on the toilet seat, then left.

Both female rangers were waiting in the Australian's bedroom when the newcomer emerged, dressed in a pair of pastel pink sweats and a white tee-shirt bearing a pair of lavender kittens. Kathy knelt next to her backpack, and began digging through it.

"Are you ready to go?" Aisha asked.

"Go? Go where?" Kathy asked, looking up from searching through her backpack. One hand had remained in the bag's front pocket, and as it slowly emerged, revealed itself to be wrapped around the handle of a hairbrush.

"Shopping. You need clothes," Kat answered. The newcomer blinked, then began brushing her hair.

Hanging down to her waist, her hair was now almost black from the shower. As she pulled it to the side and front, then brushed it, Kathy wore a thoughtful expression on her face. "What about -" she winced as the brush pulled on a painfully tight knot, then continued with her question, "money? I doubt that we're about to steal the clothes, and they don't come cheap."

"Don't worry," Aisha said. "My parents are used to me buying clothes all the time. A few more won't make a difference to them."

"Oh," the dimensional traveler said, then finished brushing her hair in silence. Once she was done with that, she pulled a hairtie from her backpack, this one white, then pulled her hair back into a ponytail. "I guess," Kathy said, shrugging.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no!" Aisha protested. "You're not really going out like THAT, are you?"

"What?" Kathy asked, apparently bewildered.

"You're not going to do anything with your hair?" Kat asked.

"Girl, I would," Aisha said, "Gorgeous hair like that?"

The young witch merely shrugged. "I don't usually think about it. It's just..." she shrugged again, "there." Then hesitantly, she asked, "What would you do?"

Kat and Aisha exchanged smiles. "French braid?" the Yellow Ranger asked.

"Sounds good, especially since her hair is still so wet," Kat asked. "Come on," she said, motioning to the other Katherine. "Sit here, and I'll braid your hair." She motioned the ground before where she sat on the bed, and as the girl made her way hesitantly over, the Pink Ranger said, "Aisha, think you know where my white scrunchie is? The one with the lavender streaks through it?"

"I'm on it," Aisha said, heading over to Kat's bureau, and was soon digging through the top drawer. While Aisha was on the hairtie hunt, the blonde was making quick work of Kathy's hair, and when Aisha finally found the wanted hairtie, Kat was already done with the braid. The Australian tied off the end, and said, "There, done. Now, shall we go shopping, girls?"

"Let's!" Aisha said, bouncing to her feet, and the three girls scampered out of the room. But just before they left, Kathy was sure to snag her backpack, the phrase, "Can't be too careful," going through her mind.

* * *

A few hours, and several stores later, we were loaded with several bags from at least five different shops when we landed in the Command Center. Aisha caught me as I struggled to keep my balance, and she told me, "You'll get used to teleporting after a while. I remember that the first couple of times I teleported, I almost fell on my face."

I grinned in reply, and said, "I don't think that was what I was about to land on." Aisha smiled back as the boys entered by the more mundane way of walking in through the main doors, and Rocky whistled at seeing our baggage.

"I'm glad we got out of that," he said.

"Not quite," Kat said. "This is just the beginning. We figured that this would be enough of a start, though, to get her through the next couple of days. But you WILL be helping us next time," she said in a threatening tone of voice. I smiled as the boys seemed to wince.

"Speaking of which, where were you guys?" Aisha asked.

"Well, we got room set up for Kathy," Tommy answered. "It'd be safest if she were to spend her nights here, instead of over at one of our houses."

"Plus you're not fully trusting of me, are you?" I asked quietly. Tommy opened his mouth to protest, then reluctantly closed it.

"You're right," he admitted. "I don't."

I shrugged, suppressing the pain. "Par for the course. Where's my room?" Without waiting for an answer, I hurried into the corridor. I heard Kat's raised voice behind me, and wasn't at all surprised when someone joined me. What did surprise me, though, was the fact that it was TWO somebodies, Rocky and Adam, and looking EXTREMELY relieved to be out of there. I also saw that the boys were carrying Aisha's and Kat's bags as well. "What's going on back there?" I asked, jerking my head back the way we had just come.

"Aisha and Kat are... taking turns chewing Tommy out," Rocky said. "Billy and Jason decided to stay behind and defend our fearless leader, but we've seen Aisha when she gets angry, so we left as quickly as possible. The girls can't understand why Tommy doesn't trust you."

I shrugged. "I'm used to it. Few people do, deep down. Where's my room?"

Rocky and Adam took the lead, and when I entered the bedroom, I stopped to look around. "Is this all for me?" I asked, stunned. While the furniture was mismatched, and the carpet on the floor wasn't exactly new, it was so like my room back home, just the relaxed air to it, that I felt my heart squeeze in a bout of homesickness.

"It's not much-" Adam started, but I cut him off.

"After nearly 15 years of bedrooms the size of closets, this is heaven," I said, motioning around. The room was easily ten feet squared, and I absolutely LOVED it. To prove my point, I gave a squeal of glee, and jumped onto the queen sized bed. Rocky and Adam laughed as I bounced up and down childishly, then I flopped back, sighing as I relaxed back into the mattress. Then the oh-so-familiar beeping of my watch created a crack in my emotional armor that kept my real feelings hidden, and I bit my lip as I turned it off.

"What's that?" Adam asked.

"Oh, just my watch," I answered in a carefully careless tone. "It's telling me that I have to get off the computer and go pick up mom." I glanced at my watch again, then bit my lip to prevent myself from crying as another wave of loneliness crashed against the wall I had put up between me and the outside world. "I guess I better let you go now," I said, when I had control over myself again. "Best go see what's left of your other teammates, and I'll get my things unpacked.

I waited until the door had closed behind Adam and Rocky, then broke down, curling up and crying in the middle of the bed. "I want my momma," I sobbed. "Father Chaos, please, just... let me go home!"

* * *

"I had visions, I was in them, I was looking into a mirror. To see a bit clearer. The evilness and rottenness in -" My singing cut off as I opened my eyes to see Tommy, and I sat up on my bed. I had waited in the Command Center for the rangers to get out of school, spending the day by learning some of the systems in the rangers' base of operations and training my magic talent under Zordon's tutelage. I had been singing while listening to my Walkman, and some inner sense had warned me that someone was at my door. I jerked my headphones off of my ears, letting the headset rest like a necklace around my neck, and I greeted him. "Hey. Whatcha want?"

"What song were you singing?" Tommy asked. "I don't think I've heard it before."

"Huh? Oh, Flagpole Sitta, by Harvey Danger. It came out in... '95? '96? Something like that. But I doubt that's what you wanted to ask. What's up?" I asked, tilting my head.

"Well... what do you know about self defense?" Tommy asked.

I thought, then shrugged as I stood up. "Growing up with two older brothers, and running around after them, I had to learn SOME fighting skills, just enough to keep the bullies away, but... not much, I'll admit. Why?"

"Would you like to learn karate?" Tommy asked.

"Like or no, I need to learn," I told him bluntly. "Common sense tells me that."

Tommy looked relieved for a moment, then asked, "There's not a problem with... um..."

"The Powers That Be?" I asked, then shook my head. "Father Chaos has been wanting me to learn to fight for a while now." I had to grin, because even though Tommy was handling the fact that I was a witch with admirable ease, he still had a tiny wince when I casually mentioned Father Chaos. "The only reason I haven't gone with his urgings is because of time and money, and lack thereof."

"Would you like to learn?" Tommy asked

"Now!?" I asked, surprised. "As in just this minute? Right away?" I was more than just slightly terrified of the idea of being trained by THE White Ranger. I made an unconscious step back as Tommy stepped into the room, letting the door close behind him.

"C'mon, it won't be that bad," Tommy said. I just snorted.

"That's what the doctor said, before he checked me into the hospital."

"Why were you there?" Tommy asked.

"Asthma," I answered, shrugging. "I grew out of it. And I'm not going." I backed up another step, this time consciously as Tommy started towards me. "I'm not going to make an ass out of myself, no matter who's watching or not."

"The lesson is going to be in the park. It'll just be me and the other rangers. And they're already waiting," Tommy said, causing me to snort again.

"Then it's definitely no," I said, backing up one more step. "I'm not going."

"You are."

"Tommy, no."

"You are," Tommy said, and lunged out. I hadn't realized that he had gotten that close, and felt his hand close around my upper left arm. The next thing I knew, the world was awash in white as we teleported out.

Tommy let go of me as soon as we appeared in a small clearing where the others were waiting, and I fell on my backside, HARD. Tommy stepped away as I began swearing at him, tossing twigs, pieces of loose bark, even clumps of grass, whatever was loose and nearby, at the White Ranger. Even after running out of ammo, I still continued to swear at the leader of the Power Rangers, using my extensive vocabulary of curse words, including French, German, Danish, Icelandic, and a smattering of Japanese. Rocky's expression when I threw in some Spanish phrases that weren't taught in the classroom was just too priceless, but I ignored it as I continued on.

"- and your mother's a cockroach!" I finished after a couple of minutes, quite literally, then for a moment, just sat there, pleased with myself. I hadn't stumbled when shifting to another language, and I had even recalled some phrases and terms that I thought I had forgotten, which meant that I didn't have to repeat any of my insults. The rangers gaped at me, stunned.

"Where did you learn all of that?" Aisha finally asked. I grinned and shrugged.

"Do we even want to know what all of that meant?" Jason asked rhetorically. I giggled and shook my head.

"Nope, nope, nope!" I said. "What I said was naw-aw-aw-aughty!" I dragged out the last word, and the rangers laughed at my pronunciation.

When the laughter died down, Tommy asked, "Ready for your lesson?" I gave him my best 'You're kidding, right?' look, which started Aisha and Rocky off into snickers.

"No, I'm not ready. I never am! So there!" I stuck my tongue out at him childishly, and the Red and Yellow Rangers' snickers turned into guffaws. They had to lean against each other, tears streaming down their face, helpless in the grip of their laughter.

"The sooner it's over with, the sooner it's done," Adam pointed out. I looked over at the quiet Black Ranger, and he blushed. I realized, he was even shyer (if that's possible) in real life than he was on the TV show. I could probably count on one hand the number of times he had talked directly to me so far in my two days here.

:Gods, he's cute:, I thought, and a naughty; well, almost naughty; idea occurred to me. I smiled and batted my eyes at Adam, then asked him, "And if my body aches tomorrow, can I count on you to give me a massage?" Adam turned a brilliant shade of red, and Aisha and Rocky started laughing again.

I settled back on my elbows as the two laughing rangers teased their comrade, and said, "I'm NOT doing this. Not here, not now."

"Why?" Tommy asked while Aisha and Rocky continued teasing Adam in the background.

"I don't want to, all right?" I snapped, pushing myself up to glare at him.

"Why are you afraid?" Billy asked in a soft voice.

"I'm not afraid!" I snapped, then got to my feet. I walked across the glade that Tommy and I had teleported into, the sudden motion breaking off the background teasing. I turned to glare at the too astute Blue Ranger, and snarled, "I'm just not a fighter. I prefer running, to standing and fighting."

"That's not wrong -" Tommy began, and I cut him off.

"Don't hand me platitudes. I know there's nothing wrong with running, except that there's nowhere to run here! So excuse me if I'm not afraid, but terrified!" I dropped to the ground, letting my head rest in my hands as I stared at the ground, trying to get my self-control back and wondering where it had gone.

Rocky spoke, breaking the uncomfortable pause my admission had caused. "Well, that's one thing we won't have to worry about."

"What's that?" Kat asked.

"That she'll take our teachings, and become a bully."

I looked up at the Red Ranger and snorted at his almost innocent expression. "That's true," I agreed.

Rocky got to his feet, and walked over to me. As I looked up at him, he offered his hand, and I studied it before hesitantly taking it. He pulled me to my feet, and said, "C'mon, you stand like this," demonstrating for me. I copied hesitantly, and he gently corrected my stance. "It'll make it harder for you to be knocked over," he said, explaining.

Unknown to me, Tommy and Jason had started to head over, but had stopped when Adam put his hand on the White Ranger's arm. Shaking his head, Adam said, "Let Rocky take care of her for now. He's good at calming nervous students down." Both teens nodded, and sat down to watch the lesson.

* * *
No one noticed the faint flicker of teleportation or the appearance of a stranger behind a batch of bushes. Angel Grovites weren't the most observant of people at any given time, and for that the newcomer was grateful as she slowly peered through the concealment to see the group of people on the far side.

A faint growl managed to escape from her lips as she watched them. They looked so darned happy together, it was making the evil newly implanted in her soul sick. She kept her eyes on them, however. Spying was what she'd been sent to do, and spying was what she would do.

One person in particular drew Cynthia's eye: the girl. Not Kat or Aisha, but the other girl: the one who was supposed to have been one of them. KrazieKat, the name ran through her mind and a thin smile touched her lips. The one who had escaped her master. Not that she'd escape for long, the White Crystal Ranger knew. No one escaped Lord Zedd for long.

They appeared to be doing some sort of martial arts training, moving around in patterns of attack and defense. KrazieKat was apparently the recipient of training, and Cynthia sneered a little at the scene. It was so sweet... she was almost convinced she was going to get cavities from it.

Someone else moved, turning his face in her general direction, and the heart of the evil Ranger suddenly spasmed with near-forgotten joy. Billy Cranston... He was even better looking in person. Absolutely divine. Her eyes ran up and down him, not finding one single flaw, nothing to complain about except for the fact they were currently on opposing sides.

And the fact that as KrazieKat stumbled, he caught her and the two of them stood for a moment with their arms around each other, looking into each other's eyes. She couldn't hear what they were saying, but black jealousy flared up and she growled a bit more.

How... how dare they be like that! How dare she touch him! How dare any of them be happy!! Cynthia clenched her fists, fighting down the urge to run out there and rip the two of them apart... literally if need be. The group of them looked as if they had never known what it was to have no friends, to be away from everything that they had ever known, to be completely abandoned and the only thing you had that was even remotely resembling stability, was destroying anything and everything you were told to.

For one moment, Cynthia Harrell, evil White Crystal Ranger, felt completely and utterly alone in the entire universe. In every universe. Everything she had known before was gone, the life she had lived was one she seriously doubted she'd ever be back to, and what was coming up was just more loneliness. Oh, sure, being an evil Ranger and the leader of the team was probably going to satisfy her new evil nature, but she already knew she wasn't going to be friends with the rest of the group. Evil didn't have friends, at least not friends like she'd had once. It would have been rather nice if one or two of her old friends had also been picked...

But they hadn't been, so she was just going to have to live with it. Her job was to obey Zedd, and she'd been told to watch and report. But perhaps she could get in a little damage too, after all, it was well deserved, that... that... that... KrazieKat still was far, far too close to Billy for Cynthia's personal comfort, and that just couldn't be tolerated. She took a quick breath and started to step out.

A hand on her shoulder stopped her, though it didn't stop the growl that she emitted as she turned to see who was there. If it was somehow some innocent citizen of Angel Grove, she was going to tear them into shreds, just on general principle.

Instead, she recognized the Black Crystal Ranger. "Come back to the palace." He almost seemed to be smiling! "Some of the rest of the team has emerged, and I think you're going to want to meet the Green Ranger."

One of her eyebrows lifted momentarily. "I am?"

"Yes." He did smile this time, but it was one that held no more amusement than any of hers had now. "I believe you know her, her name is... Kahva?"

Kahva. She's here! Yes! All thoughts of Billy and the Rangers momentarily vanished at the thought of being reunited with her near-sister. "Let's go." Transmuting into flickers of light, two of the newest additions to the fight against good returned to their base.

"Cynthia!" a happy voice shouted just as soon as the Black and White Crystal Rangers returned. "You are not going to believe this! Heck, I don't believe it!"

The White Ranger actually allowed herself a smile as she hugged her near-sister, feeling as if everything was nearly perfect. "What won't I believe, Kahva?" Am I truly feeling her in my mind as we have always sworn we are connected? Yes! Please let that be it, that we are as truly linked as we have always believed!

Ignoring the stares from some of their teammates at their uncanny resemblance to each other, Kahva led Cynthia over to a petite young woman standing off to the side. "Cyn. this is Ivy. Can you believe it, she's here with us!"

Cynthia didn't get the time to welcome yet a second friend though, as their Master entered the room. "Introduce yourselves to each other," he commanded sternly.

"Cynthia Harrell, White Crystal Ranger, Leader of the Crystal Rangers," she snapped out automatically.

"Kahva Brittain, Green Crystal Ranger," Kahva sounded off with a glee that unsettled both Cynthia and Ivy for a second, then they both dismissed the uneasy feeling.

"I'm Matt, the Red Crystal Ranger," a young man with a British accent spoke.

The only other male Ranger waited for the Britishman to reveal his last name, but after waiting vainly for a few seconds, the one who had retrieved Cynthia sighed and said, "Al Solomon, Black Crystal Ranger."

"Megan Magnus, Purple Crystal Ranger," the next young woman snapped out impatiently, already chaffing from the waiting around and doing nothing.

"Josie Alexandria Anna, Pink Crystal Ranger," the youngest of their number cheerfully identified herself.

Lord Zedd smiled at them, then looked hard at the quiet Yellow Crystal Ranger, prompting her to finally speak. "Ivy Tante, Yellow Crystal Ranger," she softly stated. Lord Zedd kept his smile in place even as the Green Ranger stepped protectively up to the Yellow Ranger's side. Perhaps I should have sent this Ivy Tante back. No, I need all of my Rangers, I made the right decision.

Lord Zedd stood in front of his evil team and asked, "What is your mission, my Rangers?"

It was his White Ranger who stepped forward with the answer, pure evil shining in her blue-green eyes. "We shall destroy everything good. starting with the Power Rangers!"

* * *

As I landed on my back for the fourth time, something that felt like a wave of ice passed through me, knocking what little breath I had after the tumble, out of me, and I remained on the ground blinking until Rocky asked if something was wrong. "I'm not sure," I admitted. "Zordon said that as I practice my talent, I'd start picking up different things, and I think I just got a good example of what he meant."

"What do you mean?" Aisha asked.

"I just felt something... cold pass through me. I'm not sure what that was, but it just knocked the wind out of me." I flopped back and groaned, "No more. I don't care what you threaten to do, but no more today, please! I'm probably going to be sore from here until kingdom come! Just leave me here to die." I smiled as the rangers chuckled, and for a moment remained on my back, staring up at the leafy canopy over us.

Finally, a tiny bit of energy came back to me, and I managed to roll up into a sitting position. I crossed my legs, and asked, "Is that all for today. I really need a shower..." I let out a jaw-popping yawn, "and a nap."

"Sure," Tommy said, "but tomorrow, same place and time?"

I nodded distantly as the usual post exercise fog seized my brain, and for a moment just sat there, swaying slightly and blinking, just trying to remember how to breathe. Rocky asked a question, and it took me a moment to realize that he had said something. "I'm sorry, huh?" I asked, shaking my head.

"Are you sure you're all right?" Tommy asked, concerned.

"Sure, this happens everytime after I do some sort of exercise. As soon as I start walking around, it'll go away," I said. "It's just that for a few minutes, it'll take me awhile to recognize things." I shook my head, and looked up as Tommy took my arm.

"I'll take you back to the Command Cen-" Tommy's words were cut off by his communicator going off. Lemme tell you something. It was just so strange to actually hear those six notes, and I had to hold down a bubble of laughter as the rangers looked around. I knew that if I started laughing, I wouldn't stop, and I didn't need them worrying about my sanity right then.

"Yes, Alpha?" Tommy asked.

"Come to the Command Center at once," the automaton said. "It's an emergency."

"We're on our way," Tommy said, and I sighed as I pushed myself onto my feet. The other rangers gathered around, and as Rocky took my arm, we teleported out.

When we landed on the Command Center, the fog gripping my brain disappeared as the alarms chased it away, and I shook my head. The rangers turned to Zordon, but something was pulling my attention away in the opposite direction.

"What's going on?" Tommy asked.

But before Zordon or Alpha could answer, I gasped, "Oh, my God." The rangers turned in my direction, and saw how pale I had become. I pointed, and they followed my line of sight...

Towards the Viewing Globe.

In it, a team of rangers stood surrounded by putties and Goldar, the rangers blasting people, cars, anything that caught their attention in downtown Angel Grove. There were several people down, and a few that even through the Globe, I could tell were never getting up again. I stepped back, my hand covering my mouth as Tommy staggered forward, pale and sick-looking. I glanced around and saw that the other rangers were just as stricken as the White Ranger, shredding my faint hope that what I saw was some sort of acting, or a show.

"Madre de Dios!" Rocky breathed.

"I think we found out the why," I breathed quietly. "Oh, Chaos, I feel sick!" I ran out of the room as my stomach started to heave.

The double doors had remained open behind me as I staggered against the wall, unable to take another step before losing control of my stomach, and as I leaned on the wall, pressing the top of my head against the smooth surface, I heard Zordon call the rangers back. The rangers' responses were covered by the sound of my vomiting, so all I could hear was Zordon say, "Katherine will be all right. YOU must stop Zedd's rangers, before more innocents die."

A service droid started cleaning up my mess as I staggered back the way I came, and as I leaned against the doorway, I said, "Zordon's right. I'm not important right now. At least I'm safe here. Go stop them." I looked each of the rangers in the eyes, and nodded to Tommy. "Go."

The White Ranger nodded reluctantly, then said, "All right. IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!"

I watched as the rangers morphed and teleported out in their signature colors, then looked over at Zordon and Alpha. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

Zordon looked down at me, then nodded. "We need to find out what source Zedd is using to power his rangers." I nodded, and started to head for one of the scanning consoles while Jason headed for another.

* * *

The White Crystal Ranger looked up at the sky, and said, "Here they come. Remember the plan." Her teammates nodded and almost as one holstered their weapons. Their orders were only for destruction necessary for the rangers' attention. If they wanted to do more, it would wait until later.

The good rangers stepped out of their teleport streams, and spotted Zedd's rangers almost at once. "Who are you?" Tommy demanded, dropping into a preparatory fighting stance. He might not want to fight these new rangers, but he wasn't going to take any chances.

"Your worst nightmare," Zedd's White Ranger replied. "Crystal Rangers, attack!" With that command, the new rangers attacked.

Adam stood in a basic defensive stance before his opponent. Either through coincidence or the evil Rangers' planning, they had all ended up with their counter-part in color. Some of the others had already been forced to fight, some were in the same situation as he was. The Black Crystal Ranger merely stood casually as the two drew closer.

"I don't suppose you'd just give up." the Crystal Ranger sighed. Adam almost laughed.

"Not likely." Adam responded, trying to match his opponent's casual voice. Letting him know it was annoying, and therefore distracting, would be a mistake.

"Didn't think so!" the evil Ranger yelled, this time sounding pleased. He punctuated the remark by bounding at Adam with a flying roundhouse. The Black Ranger crouched underneath and spun around, immediately having to defend himself as his opponent began a serious attack.

Eventually, the Black Crystal Ranger gained the advantage. Knocking Adam to one knee, he leaned his weight into Adam's back and held his arm with an iron grip, pulling on it to dislocate it at the elbow. Adam grunted in pain. "Funny." the Crystal Ranger sneered. "I thought you'd be more of a challenge."

Adam was not flattered. Noticing the evil Ranger's boot to his side, he reached with his free hand and grabbed his adversary's ankle. With a hard tug, he had pulled the Crystal Ranger's feet out from under him and caused him to not only release his grip, but to land flat on his back.

Adam decided to capitalize on the advantage while his enemy was down. Without another thought, he hurled his full weight, and his elbow, into the opposing Ranger's side. Heaving from the blow, the evil Ranger rose to his feet slowly, where Adam was already prepared to fight again. "Are you sure I'm the one who should give up?" Adam quipped, intending to anger the other Black Ranger to the point of making a mistake.

"Maybe I underestimated you, Ranger." the Black Crystal Ranger breathed, rising fully. "But then, you've done the same to me. Blaster Blade!" What looked like the Crystal Ranger's power weapon appeared in his hand, and he was already swinging to attack. Before he knew it, Adam was hit by a blade just close enough to knock his defenses down. The evil Ranger swung again, stepping in closer this time. The weapon hit more effectively, and Adam went down again.

"You like? Axes aren't really my thing," the evil one taunted. Adam got a good look at the weapon; where his opponent was holding it, it looked like a blade blaster ready to shoot. Except it was black. There was a trigger, but halfway down the barrel, instead of the rest of a blaster, was a long blade. A normal sword would be smaller, and the end where the Ranger's hand was curved down before it attached to the barrel. And then Adam had to move, because the weapon was being brought down on him.

"Stay still!" the evil teen yelled in frustration, trying to slice the Black Ranger; maybe not enough to kill him, just to hurt. Adam rolled to his feet at the first opportunity, but the Crystal Ranger met him with a swing of the weapon. And another. and another. Adam almost fell over without even being hit again, but his enemy grabbed him while he was still standing. "Now be a good little Ranger. and stay down."

His final taunt out, the Black Crystal Ranger raised the weapon over his head. Holding Adam the whole time, he swung hard and pulled the trigger. A sound shot out, like the blaster firing. But it didn't fire anything. Instead, the force added a great amount of momentum to the swing; all of which slammed into Adam's chest and raked across just as the winning Ranger let go. Adam fell, and didn't get back up.

* * *

Cynthia smiled under her helmet, pleased. All over the battle, her rangers were kicking the good rangers' butts, and having a good time while doing it. Al was standing over Adam with his Blaster Blade at the Black Morphin' Ranger's throat, while Matt had Rocky on his knees before him, twisting the Red Morphin' Ranger's arm almost to the breaking point. Megan Magnus, also known as Purple Phoenix, was facing off against the Blue Morphin' Ranger, and winning, while Ivy and Aisha were embroiled in a bitter battle, almost as if the Yellow Crystal Ranger wanted to tear her opposite apart. Josie, known under the pen name of PinkHeart, was more than holding her own against Kat, using a Power Whip to yank the Pink Morphin' Ranger around. Meanwhile, Tommy was backing away from the White Crystal Ranger, holding his side where Cynthia's Dark Saba had cut though his armor into his ribs.

"Give up?" Cynthia taunted.

"Never!" Tommy replied.

"Then I'll have to let my friend have fun with you!" With that, she stepped back to let Kahva attack with her Power Dagger, designed to look like the former Dragon Dagger. The White Crystal Ranger enjoyed the mental anguish that she knew Tommy must be going through, but there was another Ranger that she wanted to play with. "Have fun," she told her teammate, then hurried over to the Purple Crystal Ranger just as the younger evil Ranger managed to knock down the Blue Morphin' Ranger.

"Leave him," she told Megan. "He's mine. Take over for Yellow, and tell her to help Green." The purple clad teen nodded, and ran over to Ivy.

Cynthia dropped down onto the Blue Ranger, staring at him, two factions warring inside her. One voice clamored for blood while another wanted something far different. And in a quiet part of her mind, a tiny voice whispered to let him go. Groaning in frustration, the White Crystal Ranger reached back and backhanded the captive Ranger beneath her before removing his helmet. She knew that her master would be watching Kahva and Ivy taking on Zordon's White Ranger, so she allowed one of the voices to partially win.

The force of her blow left Billy's head ringing, and he was left stunned as she removed her own helmet. Long, dark hair tumbled free, and as she lowered her face to his, the hair formed a curtain between them and the outside world as their eyes met and locked. The White Crystal Ranger snarled/whispered, "Tell KrazieKat that we'll be seeing her, and I'll be seeing you as well." She laughed cruelly, then pressed her lips to the startled Blue Ranger's. Before he could react to the kiss, she backhanded him a second time, knocking him out, then snarled, "Back to base! We've done what we came for!"

With those words, the Crystal Rangers just... disappeared. Not even a ripple hinted to their existence, leaving the rangers surprised, most either braced for a blow that never came, or knocked off-balance by a blow that never connected. Tommy was the first to see their fallen teammate, and called his name. "BILLY!"

The rangers gathered around as the Blue Ranger began coming around, and he groaned the question, "What hit me?" He looked up to see the other rangers standing over him, and then he remembered. "The Crystal Rangers?" he asked.

"Gone," Tommy said, then turned Billy's face to the side, studying the bruise starting to form on the Blue Ranger's face, "but not without leaving a reminder."

Billy reached up and winced as his fingers brushed his purpling cheek, and he remember the odd confusion of fear, lust, and rightness that he had felt at the kiss he and Zedd's White Ranger had shared. :There was something about her...: he mused to himself, then remembered the message she gave him. "Guys, they're still after Kathy," he said. "She said that they'd be seeing her."

* * *
"You don't know how lucky you are!" Megan hissed at Cynthia up on the moon. Lord Zedd, pleased with the day's results, had dismissed the rangers for the rest of the day, and the Crystal Rangers were in their shared common room. "If our lord had seen you kissing Billy - !" the Purple Crystal Ranger began.

"But he didn't!" Cynthia snapped, interrupting. "And no one here is going to tell him, are you?" she demanded, looking around, her blue-green eyes flashing angrily.

The other Crystal Rangers looked away, but Kahva spoke up and said, "It was a close thing, Cynthia. A few minutes more, and he WOULD have noticed."

"But he didn't, so we'll drop it," Cynthia said. "I'm going to turn in now, because tomorrow's going to be a long day. I suggest the rest of you do the same."

One by one, the other rangers headed for their designated bedrooms, until Cynthia, Kahva, and Ivy were the only ones left in the common room. "You took a risk, Cynthia," Ivy said softly. "And if Zedd finds out about it -"

"Our MASTER won't. Why should he?" Cynthia demanded. "And if he does, too bad. He needs us too much. Good night, Ivy." The Yellow Crystal Ranger studied her leader, then stood up from where she was leaning against a wall.

"Good night," Ivy said, then headed for her own bedroom. For a moment, there was silence as the White and Green Crystal Rangers looked at each other.

"I will stand by you no matter what, Sister," Kahva told Cynthia softly, but firmly. "You and Ivy are all I have left, and I won't let anyone harm either of you, not even our Master, if possible. But if you anger him too much, I might not be able to help."

"Don't worry about it, Kahva. I won't get hurt, not by the Rangers or our Master." Cynthia grinned at that last. "I can take care of myself."

"Just don't think that that will keep me from doing all I can to protect you, Cynthia. Be careful, please?" the older girl asked. Cynthia finally nodded 'yes', then they bade each other good night before heading for their beds.

As the White Crystal Ranger laid back on her bed, a soft smile settled on her face as she recalled the all-too-brief kiss. "You WILL be mine, William. I promise you that. You WILL be mine," she whispered into the dark.

* * *
He stared down at the interdimensional traveler, and wondered at his strong attraction to her. The last time he had felt something like this was with - The pain of that memory cut that line of thought off, and he jerked the hand back that had been reaching for Kathy as she turned from her side facing away from him, to her back. She gave a soft whimper, and tossed a few moments before settling down, causing the ranger to catch his breath before he realized that she wasn't waking up. He gave a soft smile as he realized that for however long the day had been for them, it had been even longer for her. She had taken the news that the evil rangers would be after her with seeming calm, but as the ranger watched her sleep, he could tell that it really bothered her.

He cocked his head at the newcomer, studying her. He knew from just listening to her that she didn't have much confidence in herself, and he wondered at what life she had lived before coming here. There were times when he could see hidden pain in her eyes, and an ancient wisdom that only came from pain, and when he saw that, he just wanted to pull her into his arms, and hold the world at bay, anything to prevent her from knowing that pain again.

Kathy sighed in her sleep, and turned back onto her side again, and the ranger wondered why she held his attention so. She wasn't a great beauty, she had admitted herself, and she wasn't the most graceful person out there, but there was something about her, a strength of self and a vibrancy that tugged at his heart, at his memories, and a sense of humor that made him laugh when he hadn't smiled in almost a year. He doubted that she had put a spell on him, there hadn't been enough time, but she WAS a witch. Was there some sort of magic that forced her into his heart? He didn't know.

And that was why he watched her, as the night grew older around them.