Disclaimer:This is part two in The Barrier's Fall. Let's go straight to the story since we all know that Saban owns 'em, including Masked Rider, VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs, etc.

Author's note: Okay, let's recap. The Barrier went critical, and the rangers and guardians went to Shadius, the home planet of the Shadows. Everyone, except Alex, has paired up, one ranger and one guardian, to ensure that every shard gets to where it's going, and then they broke up into teams, three teams of four, and one of seven. Each group has already found their entrance to the labyrinth, and were entering when the first part ended. Oh, yeah, there was a presence that followed the Shadow Mage (i.e.: Alex) and it seems to be a good guy. Anything else? No? Then let's go!

Barrier's Fall: Part 2
Banishing the Shadows
by KrazieKat

Shaira and Trey moved through the temple, followed not too far behind by Brynne and Dale. The Gold ranger was holding up a flashlight to illuminate the way, and Shaira kept an eye out for anything moving in the shadows. Brynne and Dale were quiet, not talking at all, both thinking about what the immediate future held for them. Everything was almost unnaturally quiet, the four teens only talking to warn about an unevenness of the floor, or about a stubborn vine that refused to be cut down.

Brynne swallowed, and then said softly, "Guys, I think there's something behind us." The others turned as a large form attacked the Silver ranger.

Jason lead the way through the tunnel, his flashlight, supplied by the bags that everyone carried, lighting the way. His mind briefly worried about Shaira, but he knew that she could take care of herself, and got his mind back on the task ahead of him.

The red guardian stopped suddenly as the floor dropped away into a steep cliff that opened onto a lava flow. "Hold up!" he warned the others. "The floor drops away." The others stopped before running into him, and Adam said, lightly joking, "Talk about a warm welcome."

The others chuckled weakly, and then Billy pulled out a rope with a grappling hook on one end. "It pays to be prepared," he said off handedly, and then whirled it to build up speed. He let the momentum of the hook take it across the chasm, and when it wrapped around a stalagmite, smiled and gave a hearty yank. It stayed, and Billy said, "Who's first?"

Hunter volunteered to cross first, carrying a second rope, and pulled out a collapsible staff. He cautiously walked across the rope, and talking over his shoulder while keeping his eyes on his feet, said, "Mom and Dad were high wire performers, and they taught Brynne and I a few things about it before we... 'left.'" As he finished that, he flipped off the rope, tied the second one for the others to hold onto, and said, "Who's next?" Adam followed Hunter's example, holding onto the hand rope as he inched his way across.

Jason followed next, and Billy crossed last. He looked back in time to see the stalagmite they had tied the ropes to collapse into the lava. "Well, we're not going back that way," Billy said.

"Talk about a hot time in the old town tonight," Hunter said, and the boys laughed as they continued on their way.

Trini, Tanya, Kim, and Kat followed Tommy and Alex, the Shadow ranger using her senses to sense anything that could be dangerous ahead. Jen was guarding the rear, and bumped into Trini when everyone else stopped. She looked ahead and saw four doors in the room they had just entered.

The group spread out, and Tommy asked Alex, "Well?" The Shadow ranger allowed her mage senses to stretch out, and said, "They all go somewhere, but if you're not supposed to go down that way," she sliced along her throat. The others paled, and Alex walked to each of the doors. She paused at the third one, and blew gently, blowing away a thick layer of dust, and revealed a star. "I think this one is yours Tommy."

Kat and Tanya went to different doors, and blew away the dust, then coughed and choked on the dust they stirred up. When the dust settled on the floor, on the two doors was a circle on Kat's and two stacked ovals on Tanya's. The two female rangers looked at each other and placed their hand on their door. Each glowed briefly in the corresponding color, and the doors opened.

Kim and Kat took off down their tunnel, Trini and Tanya down theirs, and that left Tommy, Jen, and Alex. "What about you?" Tommy asked. Alex swallowed and walked over to the last door. She placed her hand on it, and it slid open silently. She turned and smiled nervously at Tommy, saying, "Good luck."

"Good luck, yourself," Tommy replied, and then he and Jen took off down their hallway. Alex waited until she couldn't see them anymore, then faced her own path. She slipped down the ancient hall, and continued on her way. She never noticed the amber shape that followed her, slipping in before the door could close shut.

Jen studied the passageway uneasily as she and Tommy walked along. "I don't like this, Tommy. Something's not right. It's too easy."

Tommy sighed. "I feel it, too. It's almost as if-" Both stopped at the sound of chuckling, and dropped into fighting stances as a shadow detached from a wall. Tommy's eyes widened in shock as a black and silver Dragonzord ranger stepped into the light.

"Seeing double?" his own voice asked. Jen narrowed her eyes and flipped something golden towards Tommy. He caught it, and glanced down to see Jen's coin.

"Go on, Tommy. I'll take care of him." Tommy nodded, knowing better than to argue with Jen, and took off as the double circled Jen. Jen circled, keeping her eye on the ranger.

"You couldn't even take care of your brother," he sneered.

"Shut up and fight."

"Gladly." The black and silver ranger lunged for the Green Guardian

In a hidden chamber, a crystal began to glow with a green light, and a frozen Jen appeared. She was lying serenely, as if she had gone to bed in her own bedroom, and her eyes were closed. An evil chuckle filled the room. "One down."

Brynne and Dale, separated from Trey and Shaira while fending off the animal that had attacked Brynne, limped their way down the hall, and Brynne, breathing heaving, begged, "Please, wait." Dale leaned her against a large chunk of the ceiling that had fallen a long time ago, and Brynne slowly regained her breath. She had been wounded by the beast, and it had knocked the wind out of her when it had slammed into her. She winced as several of her cuts opened and began to bleed again.

Dale looked up, and said, "Brynne, we have to go." Brynne nodded breathlessly, and then he helped her to her feet again. The couple took off, never noticing the blood trail that Brynne left behind.

Fifteen minutes later, Brynne leaned against the wall as Dale scouted ahead. She had the feeling of a trap, and something made her look up, and she shouted, "Dale!" She threw her staff at him just before the wall reached head height, and a moment later, the entire passageway was sealed by the wall.

"Brynne!" Dale shouted on the other side of the wall. Brynne staggered over, and said, "Dale, take the staff and go! I'll be okay!"


"You know Shaira's orders, Dale. Just go!" She listened as Dale left, and then slid down the wall. She sighed and closed her eyes. She was so tired. If only she could sleep for a bit.

Right next to Jen's crystal, a second one began to glow, this one with a silver light, and Brynne appeared, in the same state as Jen. The voice spoke again. "That's two."

Billy and Adam had separated from Jason and Hunter some time back, when they had come across two doors with the Zeo shapes carved into the doors. They were in a passageway that looked as if no one had been that way in a long while, and the two boys were making their way along silently. "By now there should have been some trap," Billy said. "Crossing that lava flow was too easy."

Adam turned towards Billy in time to see a trap door under the Blue Guardian. He lunged for his friend, but the distance was too far, and Adam landed at the edge of the pit as the Blue Guardian fell out of sight. Adam finally noticed that he was clutching something in his hand, and opened his fist to reveal the Blue Guardian coin. Adam stood up, and continued on his way.

Billy landed in a large underground cavern, and pulled out his flashlight. As the light played along the walls, a shadow detached from the others, and stalked towards Billy. The Blue Guardian's eyes widened in shock as Cestria emerged from the darkness, her eyes glowing with an evil red light. "No! Not you, too," he whispered.

Billy appeared in a third crystal, just as serene as the others. The chuckle was more amused this time. "That's three."

Kim paused and turned around, studying the walls. When she faced Kat again, the Pink Ranger had stopped, standing ramrod straight. "Kat? What's wrong?" Kim asked. The Pink Ranger whirled and shrieked, "It's all your fault!"

As Kat attacked the Pink Guardian, Kim at first barely managed to fend of the enraged girl's blows, but then instinct kicked in and Kim began to defend herself. She was fighting for her life.

Kat heard a noise behind her and turned. "Kim?" The Pink Guardian didn't answer and Kat retraced her steps. There was a faint pink glow and Kat found Kim's coin lying on the ground. "Kim, no," Kat whispered, then picked up the coin.

The fourth crystal was filled by Kim. "That's four. They're falling like flies."

Kris was the next to go. She was helping Angela climb to the top of a rock pile that had collapsed in their passageway, and was about to join her when a hand grabbed her ankle and pulled her back. "Kris!" Angela shouted.

"I'm fine," Kris replied, standing up and dusting herself off. She started back for the pile, and stopped as a chillingly familiar voice said, "But not for long." Kris turned back and narrowed her eyes as the man entered the light.

"Ange, get out of here," Kris ordered over her shoulder. She heard Angela scramble away and she started massaging her knuckles, popping several of them. "Hello, Grant," she said in a hate filled voice. "Let's rumble." She felt the Orange Guardian powers leave her at her command, and smiled.

Grant chuckled and said, "By the way, how's your brother?" Kris narrowed her eyes and allowed the crazed man attack first.

Angela clutched the Orange Guardian coin and continued on her way. "I'll get there for you, Kris," she whispered.

Kris filled the fifth crystal. "My, that was interesting. I wonder what her history is," the Shadow mused.

_Tanya..._ The Yellow ranger stiffened as she felt the touch. She whispered, "Adam," and turned back. "He's in trouble. I have to help him," Tanya said, tossing her Zeo Shard at Trini. Tanya was gone before Trini could reply.

Trini sighed, and continued on her way alone. The Zeo Shard rested comfortably in Trini's backpack.

"Ho-ho! That one was too easy. I didn't even have to try." The Shadow studied the Yellow ranger where she was suspended in the sixth crystal.

Hunter and Jason looked up at the ancient tree that stood in their way, and Hunter said, "I guess we go up." Jason shook his head, smiling, and asked, "What gave you that idea? The fact that it blocks entire hallway?" Hunter grinned at the Red Guardian and they started to climb.

Halfway up, Hunter's foot was trapped in the fork of a branch, and as he tried to lose his foot, a vine crept up behind him and wrapped around the white ranger's feet and left hand. With his free right hand, he threw his shard at Jason. "Jason!" The red guardian turned and caught the shard as the vine finished wrapping around the white ranger. The Red Guardian turned and climbed up the tree.

Hunter called up a line of flame to burn his way free of the vine, and he burst out of the plant cocoon, only to face a woman he had hoped never to see again. "Angel," he said, narrowing his eyes. The woman controlling the vine laughed, and said, "Hello, Hunter. It's time to come back to me."


Soon, Hunter filled the seventh crystal.

Zack gasped as he walked into a giant spiderweb. Rocky turned towards the Black Guardian, and Zack shouted, "Rocky, get out of here!" The Blue ranger complied, and Zack struggled to free himself from the sticky substance. Zack felt the strands trapping him vibrate, and he looked up to see a giant spider bearing down on him.

Rocky felt a minor shock in the palm of his hand, and looked down to see the Black Guardian coin.

Zack took up the eighth crystal.

Shaira and Trey reached a large cavern, and a man leaned lazily by the entrance to the next hallway. Trey was puzzled, but obviously, Shaira knew him by the sharp breath she took in, and she ordered Trey, "Get out of here, Trey. He's mine!" She stepped forward, and said, "Hello, Father!" She spat the last word like an insult.

Trey passed the man, his attention solely on Shaira. "Hello, my dear. I'm here to take you back."

"Sorry, no can do, old man. I've got things to do," Shaira replied as Trey moved out of hearing ranger. Unknown to Trey, Sharia took up the ninth crystal.

The Shadow smiled broadly. "Now for the crowning piece. And this one, I'll go myself. Soon you'll join your true kind, Alex. You're mine!" He cackled and disappeared.

Alex shrieked as the floor gave under her, revealing a chute underneath. The Shadow ranger rolled to her feet as soon as she hit the bottom, and looked around. She was in some sort of control room, and Alex whirled at the sounds of footsteps. She backed up a step as the Shadow Lord stepped out of the shadows surrounding him. "Hello, Alex."

Alex's eyes narrowed, then she growled, "Why?"

"Because you belong to me."

"You made me think you were dead!"

Darian chuckled. "I did, didn't I. Well, now we have eternity to catch up with. Shall we go, my lady?"

"Sorry, but I'm not yours any more," Alex said.

"Shall we see about that?" Darian motioned, and Alex gasped to see Tommy, encircled by flames. "Is he yours?" Darian asked mockingly.

"You sadistic... bastard!" Alex hissed, her eyes narrowing.

"Stay with me, and I'll let him go, Alex. That's all you have to do."

Alex glanced at the image of Tommy, and closed her eyes. "Never," she said. "I know what I have to do." She turned and walked through the door that appeared, then opened, before her.

"Alexandria, you leave, you'll never see Tommy alive again!" Darian warned. Alex paused then continued on her way. "Alex," Darian said warningly, "you don't want you child to grow up fatherless." Alex stiffened, freezing, and Darian chuckled. "Didn't you know you're pregnant? Yes, you are. Yours and Tommy's. How will you explain how his father died, if you walk away? That you killed him?"

"I'll say he died fighting for what he believe in. Like I thought YOU did," Alex spat over her shoulder, then continued on her way. The door slammed shut as Darian began to scream. Alex closed her eyes, and continued on her way.

Alex entered a huge room, deep under the surface, and glanced up. And up. And up. She took a deep breath, then headed up the ramp which spiraled up half of the room. She reached the top of the ramp and entered the room as the others reached their destinations. She saw monitors of each ranger entered a bare room, the only furnishing a single white stand, with the center carved out in the shape of the Zeo shards.

Kat approached her stand first, and she inserted her shard. It sank all the way in, then the stand disappeared into the floor, and then Kat said, "Zeo I- in place and locked!" Then Trini called out, "Zeo II- in place and locked!"

Alex let memories flit through her head as each ranger called out. Shopping with Kat, long talks with Trini, teasing Adam, Rocky standing beside her at her parent's funerals, dates with Tommy, discovering who the rangers were with Angela, practicing with Dale in the park, sparring with Jason in the Youth Center, explaining some "strange Earth custom" to Trey. Alex noticed two glowing spheres in the console before her, and placed her hands on them, fingers spread, as Trey said, "Gold Staff- in place and locked!" She threw her head back at the rush of power.

The rangers flinched back as the shards flared up, and white light filled the rooms. Alex's hair came down from the utilitarian braid she had put it in that morning, and was dancing on the breeze swirling around her, summoned by all the power she was focusing. There was a tingle, and Alex's hair slow turned a silvery white. There was a burst of energy, and Alex felt her grip start to weaken.

They all felt Alex struggle, and then each of the rangers, both current and former, lent their strength, each touch having it's own distinct color/taste. Kim's came as a vibrant pink, with a hint of strawberries, while Kat's was pink shot with black and white lights, and was the sweet coolness of watermelon. Tanya's was a warm brown, mixed with yellow, and tasted of hot chocolate and sunshine. Trini's was the bright yellow of lemons, and tasted to match. Shaira's was the mouth puckering sour of green grapes, and was a clear purple. Angela's dark purple was the coolness of icy cold water from the hose on a hot summer's day, with the tang of metal. Jen's green came with the tingle of strong mint, and with a hint of laughter. Brynne's cool silver tasted like icicles in December, and came with the soothing calmness that Brynne often showed around her friends. Kris' orange held the tang of oranges on Christmas morning.

Dale's gentle white was of clouds high above, and tasted of vanilla ice-cream. Hunter's snowy white tasted of far off tundra plains, while Trey's gold tasted of the desert sun. Billy's blue tasted of old books and electrical equipment, while Zack's black was shot through with red, yellow and green, and, matching his vibrant colors, had the "bang!" taste of well-made sweet tea. Jason's red was laced with cinnamon brown and tasted of sugar. Adam's green, interlaced liberally with black, came off as tasting like sour apple, as Rocky's blue, mixed with red, tasted of blueberry muffins, fresh from the oven. Tommy's touch was red-green-white, with mostly green as a base, covered in white, and then cocooned in red, and tasted of candy canes. Then a new touch, a warm blanket of brown, and tasted of rain after a long drought, and with it's touch, the awareness spread outwards.

Dex, the Masked Rider, looked up in Leawood, as the Big Bad Beetleborgs looked up, in their school in the town of Charterville. The VR Troopers, paused in the middle of a battle against Scugs in Crossworld City, the Alien rangers on Earth and Zordon in his time warp, a lady on Inquirius named Demetria, Master Warrior Dulcea, guarding the Great Power on Phaedos, Ninjor in his temple, all looked to the skies as they felt the rangers' touch, a Phantom ranger stopped in surprise at their touch, and an Astral ranger named Andros paused in his search for his lost sister. All that fought for the light in their own way, were connected for an instant. Then a new presence connected, not nearly as powerful as some of the others, but it glowed just as brightly as the others. There was a flash of agreement from it, and then everything went black as the light left the room.

Shaira opened her eyes and was startled to be in her chair on the bridge of the Guardian Ship. The last thing she remembered was fighting her father on Shadius. She looked around, amazed at being unhurt, and saw the other guardians, sitting up at their stations, looking for all the world as if they had taken a nap and had just woken up. "Is everyone okay?" she asked, climbing out of her chair. "Everyone here?"

Zack looked over his console, sighed with relief, and said, "Sensors indicate nineteen people on board."

"Head for home, guys. It's time we returned."

Alex studied the Zeo crystal, put together again on the Guardian Ship, sighed, then placed her shard back into her backpack. Of all of them, only hers had changed. Instead of the milky white that the others had under their usual glow, her crystal was charred black, from all the energy she had focused. There would be no more Shadow Zeo Ranger.

Alex turned away from the rejoined crystals, and returned to her programming. "We finally banished the Shadows, for good this time. We didn't get all of them, but the only ones left are the lesser Shadow Lords, and their Shades. The others can take care of them easily."

"I'm not a ranger any more. The energy burned out my crystal. It's one of a few side effects from Shadius. Some of which were purely cosmetic." Alex flicked her now white hair back, and heard the door open. Not turning, she said, "Hello, Tommy." Their bond had tightened through the ordeal, until they were almost constantly aware of each other in the back of their minds.

"How are you feeling?" he asked, walking over to her, and glanced over at the Zeo crystal. Alex just shrugged as he began massaging her shoulders.

"If you mean, how do I feel about losing my powers, I'm fine. YOU weren't a Shadow Mage, Tommy. So even though I'm not a ranger, I still have something that close enough to the Power to take its place."

Tommy cocked an eyebrow and glanced down at her. "Is that so?" he asked. Alex glanced up at him, and she smiled.

"Yeah. Gotta problem with that?" she demanded. Tommy laughed and shook his head.

"C'mon, it's late. Let's go to bed."

"Just a minute. I have to shut down my program." Alex smiled as Tommy left, then said, "End program." The laptop shut down and Alex closed it. She paused as the computer snapped shut, and her hand went to her belly, as she looked at it wonderingly. 'Could it be true?' she thought to herself. 'Could I really be pregnant?'


_Coming,_ she sent back, then stood up. She smiled and went to Tommy, stuffing her laptop into her backpack, full of the supplies that she had brought on this mission. Her hand brushed the Shadow Book as she left the crystal's room, and nodded at Kat and Hunter as they passed her.

The End