It began in the dawn of time. The battle between good and evil that
would span the universe throughout time. When the universe was created
the greatest power in the universe was created. The power could only be
possessed by a person pure of heart, soul, and mind. Many tried and failed.
And so the power lay dormant waiting for the right one....
* * *
It was the first day of the new school year at Angle Grove High. Josephine Mlnarik looked around at all the students and sighed. _Of course you don't see anyone you know stupid,_ she told herself. _You moved six years ago and all your old friends would have graduated by now. You did spend two years in Japan as an exchange student. Of course,_ she thought smugly, _No one would recognize you anyway. You have changed quite a bit from the tomboy everyone used to know._ She looked down at her well dressed figure and smiled. _I wish all those boys who teased me about being ugly could see me now. Boy would I rub it in._
"Do you know who that is?" Tanya asked Adam, pointing at Josephine.
"I don't know," he answered. "She must be new here. She does look kind of lonely though." They both looked at each other and nodded.
"Hi," said Adam holding out his hand, "I'm Adam."
"Tanya," said Tanya.
"I'm Jo," said Josephine. "Well, actually it's Josephine but everyone calls me Jo. Nice to meet you."
"Are you new here?" asked Tanya curiously. "I don't remember seeing you and you don't look like a freshman."
"Sort of," answered Jo. "I was born in Angel Grove but I moved away when I was twelve. I've spent the last six years in Japan. First with my Dad, he's in the military, and when he moved back to Angel Grove I spent the last two years as an exchange student. Unfortunately to get into the college I wanted to I had to have four years at an American High school so I'm coming in as a Junior."
"If you need four years at an American school, how can you be a Junior?" asked Adam giving Jo a strange look.
"Oh, I had two years at the school on the base," replied Jo. "The Japanese school didn't count even though I spent a lot more time in school there."
"Cool," said Adam. He looked at Tanya and she nodded. "Listen, we're going to the Juice Bar to meet some friends. Would you like to come along?"
"I'd like that," said Jo smiling. _I seem to have made some new friends,_ thought Jo happily on the way to the Juice Bar.
"Hey guys," said Adam when they reached the juice bar. "This is Jo. Jo this is Tommy, Kat, and Rocky," he said pointing to each one in turn.
"Hi," said Jo.
"Jo?" asked Kat.
"Yeah, my actual name is Josephine but most people call me Jo," she explained.
"So what year are you?" asked Tommy.
"I'm a junior," answered Jo. "What year are you guys?"
"I'm a senior," answered Tommy.
"Sophomore," said Tanya.
"Junior," said Adam.
"Junior," answered Rocky.
"I'm a junior too," said Kat.
"Did any of you ever know a guy named Billy Cranston?" asked Jo.
"Yeah," they all said simultaneously.
"Really!" exclaimed Jo. "Wow." Seeing them all look at her curiously she said, "We used to be really good friends when we were kids, but when I moved I lost track of him. I was never good at writing people. Just out of curiosity, what happened to him?"
The rangers looked at each other nervously, unsure of what to say and not wanting to tell a lie. "We, uh, haven't heard from him in a long time," finally said Tommy.
"Yeah," chimed in Kat, "After he graduated he stayed around for a while and then he left. We've heard from him only once or twice since then."
"Darn," said Jo. "Oh well, I suppose he's off at college somewhere having fun doing experiments or something like that. I just thought it would be nice to see him again sometime. So what do you guys do for fun?" she said changing the subject.
The rangers all breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, different stuff," answered Tommy. "Rocky and Adam and I all do a lot of marital arts stuff, Kat does ballet, and Tanya is on the baseball team."
"Martial arts, huh," said Jo. "That's good. Maybe we could do some stuff sometime. I learned a lot of stuff like that in Japan and need to keep in practice."
"You do martial arts," said Rocky in surprise. "Somehow," he looked her over, "You don't seem the type."
"I know a little bit about it," said Jo with a grin.
"That's nice," said Tommy. "Maybe sometime we can get together in here. We do a lot of our practicing here since Ernie has mats and stuff in here." Suddenly a beeping sound came from Tommy's wrist.
Jo looked around curiously, "What was that?"
"Uh," Tommy stuttered, "That was my watch alarm. We have an appointment to go to. See you around." Before Jo could say anything the five of them quickly walked away.
"That was really weird," said Jo. "Hey Ernie," said Jo walking over to the juice bar, "Can I have a Dr. Pepper?"
"No problem," said Ernie and handed her a can. Jo took it and started to watch the television. _Sometimes,_ she said to herself, _I wish they would have good daytime TV._
"We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin," said a voice suddenly breaking into the show. "Another monster attack is occurring in downtown Angel Grove. Fortunately the Power Rangers have arrived and are successfully defeating the monster. Now we take you live to the scene."
Jo watched the attack curiously. _I wonder who they are?_ she mused silently. She watched as the Power Rangers eventually defeated the monster she decided to practice her marital arts. Because of this she was unaware when the five rangers reappeared in the juice bar.
"Look at her!" said Rocky in amazement hitting Tommy on the arm. "She's really good."
"Yeah, she is," agreed Tommy momentarily looking at Jo, then returning to his conversation with Kat.
* * *
Lord Zedd and Rita stood fuming over their most recent defeat by the Power Rangers. "There has to be a way to beat them. It's all your fault," shrilled Rita pointing at Zedd. "You're the one who came up with that stupid monster."
"Shut up," yelled back Zedd furiously. "I didn't see you doing any better last time. Now be quiet and let me think."
"Like that's going to do any good," muttered Rita as she reluctantly quieted down.
* * *
"Class, I'd like to introduce you to our newest member," said Mrs. Appleby. "This is Josephine Mlnarik."
"Call me Jo," said Jo looking around the class. _Cool. Adam and Tanya and those other guys are in the same class._ She suddenly noticed their clothes. _But why on earth are they wearing the same colors that they wore the other day. That's really weird._ She went over and sat in the seat she had been assigned, and mulled over their colors as Mrs. Appleby discussed how to use gerunds in a sentence. When the class was over she went over to Tommy, Adam, and Rocky. "Do you have time to practice sometime?" she asked.
"Sure," said Tommy, "That would be nice, but not right now," he finished hurriedly as a beep sounded from his wrist. "We have something else to do right now. Maybe later." Once again they rushed off quickly into the hall.
_Why do they keep doing that?_ Jo asked herself. She followed them intending to ask what time would be convenient for them but when she looked around she didn't see them. _This is really weird._ She wandered into the juice bar and started to practice by herself. Suddenly the monster alarms began to go off and everyone poured over to the TV and began to watch the Power Rangers defeating another monster. The same pattern continued for a few weeks. Then a light bulb went off in Jo's head. _I wonder...._ she thought.
* * *
"Rita, you imbecile," snarled Lord Zedd, "I could have made a better monster in my sleep."
"Oh yeah," screeched Rita, "Like your last monster was any more successful."
"Just shut up and listen to my idea," growled Zedd.
"This is gonna be scary," muttered Rita under her breath.
* * *
"Hey guys," Jo said running up behind Tommy, Kat, and Rocky one day in the park. "What are you doing?" Jo turned on the tape recorder that she had in her bag and taped their conversation.
"Talking about the science fair," answered Kat. "Are you going to enter?"
"Yeah," answered Jo. "Actually my project is already done."
"Already!" exclaimed all three in unison.
"Yeah," answered Jo with a grin. "I've designed a computer program that will make it possible for people to change their voice pattern."
"You sound exactly like Billy," said Tommy laughing.
"Actually I was working on this when I heard about the science fair, so I decided to use this for my project. Kill two birds with one stone, so to say."
"Do you still want to have that workout sometime," asked Tommy, "We're actually going to the Juice Bbar right now if you have time."
"I have time. I'm curious to see how good you guys are and it's been a long time since I've had someone to practice with," grinned Jo.
"I didn't know you were here," said Tommy to Tanya and Adam.
"Yeah," said Tanya. "Adam's showing me some new moves."
"So who's the best?" Jo asked. Everyone pointed at Tommy. "I think I'll fight the best person first," said Jo.
"Fine with me," said Tommy.
* * *
"Spit it out Zeddy," said Rita. "What's your plan?"
"If our monsters can't beat the Rangers maybe another human can," said Zedd. "We will recreate the green ranger. Make it more powerful and then destroy the Power Rangers!" He looked around triumphantly. "First," he said, "We must choose our new ranger."
* * *
As Tommy and Jo fought a crowd slowly started to gather. "I've never seen anyone fight with Tommy for that long," whispered Kat to Adam. "She's really good."
All four rangers watched in stunned amazement as Tommy slowly started to yield. When Jo finally flipped Tommy on his back they knew that Tommy was beaten.
"Congratulations Jo," said Tommy. When the clamor had died down he took Jo aside. "You were just toying with me, weren't you?"
"I never thought of it that way before, but I guess I was," slowly answered Jo.
Why didn't you beat me sooner?" he asked her. "I know you could have."
"I didn't want to make you look bad," she answered. "I didn't mention that I won quite a few contests and stuff when I was in Japan. You are really good. A lot better than the last few people I've had to deal with. And it's hard when people make you look bad in front of your friends. If you had to lose, I wanted to make sure that you lost with dignity."
"Thanks," answered Tommy.
* * *
Zedd and Rita looked down at Jo. "And there is our ranger," they said in unison.
* * *
Jo looked up at the tall building that proclaimed itself to be the Angel Grove CNN building. She hesitantly walked in and began to talk to the person at the desk. When she walked out she had three video tapes full of footage of the Power Rangers. "Well," she muttered, "Let's see if my hunch is correct." As soon as she got home she began comparing the voice patters of the power rangers to the ones of her new friends. "They match." Jo looked up and grinned. "I wonder what my Dad would say if he knew I know the identity of the Power Rangers. After all, he's been assigned to discover their identities."
"Jo," yelled her father down the stairs, "Phone."
"Hello," said Jo picking it up.
"Hi Jo, this is Kat. I was wondering if you'd like to go to a movie tonight? The five of us are getting together and we thought you might like to join us."
"I'd like that," said Jo. "Besides, I have something I want to talk to you about."
"Okay. We'll meet you at seven o'clock at the Dundee Movie Theater."
"See you then," said Jo and hung up the phone.
* * *
"Hi," said Jo that evening when the five rangers walked up. "Hi," they all replied.
Throughout the movie Jo was wondering how she was going to bring up the subject however she was saved the trouble when Tommy's watch began to beep.
"I'm going to go for some popcorn," said Tommy as an excuse. "We need to go to the bathroom," said Kat to Tanya.
"You guys don't need to make up excuses," said Jo to them. "I know what you're going to do."
"You do!" they all exclaimed and looked at each other nervously.
"Shhhh!" said the audience.
"Yes," answered Jo. "Shall we talk?"
The five rangers walked outside in stunned silence. No one had ever discovered their identities before. When they were out of the hearing of anyone else Jo began. "You five are the Power Rangers. you're red, you're blue, you're green, you're yellow, and you are pink," she said pointing to the appropriate Ranger. "In the past Tommy was the Green and White Ranger, Rocky was the Red Ranger, Kat was the Pink Ranger, and Adam was the Black Ranger and I think Billy was the Blue Ranger. There were other Rangers but I don't know who they were."
"But how did you figure that out?" asked Tommy.
"I thought it was odd the way you kept disappearing like you did. Then I noticed that every time you disappeared the Power Rangers showed up a few minutes later. After I noticed that I compared your voice patterns to the patterns of the Rangers that I got from the tape of that talk show you were on a few years ago and the rest was logical deduction. I figured which Rangers you are now because you all wear the same color as your costumes."
The five rangers stood staring at her for a few minutes then Tommy's wrist began to beep again and he looked uncomfortably at the other Rangers. "It's okay," said Jo reassuringly, "I'm not going to tell anyone. Go ahead and do what you need to do."
Tommy shrugged his shoulders. "I guess we don't have a choice. Yes Zordon," he said into his communicator.
"Rangers," said Zordon, "Teleport to the Command Center immediately."
As Jo watched the five Rangers disappeared in streaks of color. "Wow," said Jo staring at where they had been but a few seconds before. _I wonder how they did that,_ she thought. _I suppose it's time to go home,_ she muttered suddenly feeling slightly lonely. Unbeknownst to her four pairs of eyes were watching her, waiting for the moment to pounce.
As the twilight deepened Jo decided to take a shortcut through the park. Without warning a dozen forms in silvery costumes jumped from behind the trees and grabbed her arms. Jo struggled valiantly for several minutes but eventually she began to weaken. Suddenly a blow hit her on the back of her head and she fell onto the ground. As the sky swirled above her a golden figure emerged from the darkness. Then all turned to blackness.
* * *
"Have you seen Jo?" Kat asked Tanya.
"I was going to ask you the same thing," said Tanya. "She wasn't in my Spanish class today."
"She wasn't in my chemistry class today either," said Kat. "She can't be sick and I can't imagine her skipping."
"I know," replied Tanya. "This isn't like her and I know Zordon wants to talk to her." As the bell rang the two girls headed for Mrs. Appleby's class.
"Has anyone seen Jo today?" Mrs. Appleby asked looking around the classroom. The room stayed silent. "She must be absent then. As you know we have a test today." She walked around the room handing out the tests. "You have one hour to complete this exam. You may begin."
Twenty minutes into the test Jo burst into the room. Noticing everyone staring at her she sheepishly said, "Hi." She sat down in her desk and Mrs. Appleby handed her the exam.
"Where have you been all day?" asked Kat after class.
"Yeah, you haven't been in any of your classes all day," said Tanya. The five rangers stood around her curiously.
"I'm not sure," said Jo shaking her head with a confused look. "The last thing I remember is walking through the park on my way home last night. Then I woke up underneath a tree about an hour ago. I don't remember a thing in between."
"That's really weird," said Adam. "Maybe you should go see a doctor or something."
"No. I'll be fine. I must have fallen asleep there or something," said Jo shaking her head.
"Are you going to the juice bar?" asked Rocky.
"Yeah," she answered. "I'm really hungry. I came right here from the park."
"After that we need to talk," Tommy told her. "Zordon wants to see you."
The six walked through the hallway talking and laughing but no one noticed the small, red, lump behind Jo's ear.
* * *
"You see Rita," said Zedd, "It worked. She has no memory of the incident whatsoever. It's as if she has two separate personalities. The normal one and the evil one which we control. Neither having any memory of the other one. Whenever we want the green ranger to appear all we have to do is call on the evil side. Soon the time will come to unleash the evil Green Ranger."
* * *
"Wow," said Jo walking around the Command Center. "This is incredible. I've never seen anything like this place." She listened respectfully to Zordon's talk about the responsibility that would come with knowing the true identities of the Power Rangers. When it was over the five rangers and Jo returned to the juice bar.
* * *
"It's time," said Zedd looking down upon the scene. And so Lord Zedd and Rita called upon the most powerful weapon of evil ever created.
* * *
Jo was showing Adam a new karate move when she shook her head slightly. "I must go," she said in a wooden tone, "I am needed." She walked off leaving Adam staring after her.
_I wonder what that was about,_ thought Adam. _That was really weird._ He went back up and was talking to Tanya when his communicator beeped. All five Rangers teleported to the Command Center.
"Rangers," said Zordon, "The time I feared most has come. Look at the viewing globe."
The five Rangers turned around and stared at what they saw. "What!" exclaimed Tommy. "The Green Ranger! But how?"
"Centuries ago there lived two powerful brothers. One evil, one good. The two brothers fought each other constantly. However, the younger, more powerful, evil brother slowly began to conquer the good brother. The evil brother created a powerful crystal, the Zolan Crystal, and destroyed his brother and his empire. Before he died the good brother used the last of his powers to create the Zeo Crystal, hoping that it might undo some of the harm caused by the Zolan Crystal. The Zolan Crystal is far more powerful than the Zeo Crystal. Since the good brother was near death when he created it most of his powers had already disappeared his remaining powers were not enough to equal the power of the Zolan Crystal. The evil brother eventually died himself and the Zolan Crystal has been lost ever since.
During the time that the Machine Empire reigned Lord Zedd and Rita found the Zolan Crystal, and have used its power to recreate the Green Ranger. Be warned, the new Green Ranger has many new, more powerful weapons and a new Zord as well as the Dragonzord. Once again a human has been chosen to possess the Green Ranger powers. Now go, and may the power protect you.
* * *
The Green Ranger teleported to the fountain in the middle of Angel Grove. Once there the Green Ranger pulled out a laser and began shooting randomly. As people began to run the Ranger laughed maniacally. "You can run," said the Green Ranger, "But you can't hide. This planet will soon belong to Lord Zedd and Rita."
A group of people ran right in front of the Green Ranger and the Green Ranger pointed the laser straight at them. As the Green Ranger was about to shoot the people something happened. The Green Ranger shook its head and a voice from deep within cried out, "No!" There was a momentary pause showing the internal struggle taking place. During the pause the people escaped never knowing how close they had come to death. After a few more moments the Green Ranger shook its head once again and began to shoot.
The Power Rangers teleported to the fountain. "Stop!" cried Tommy.
"Well, well, well," said the Green Ranger, "If it isn't the power punks. You finally decided to show up, didn't you. I'd like you to meet the new, vastly improved Green Ranger." The Green Ranger shot with its pistol. The Power Rangers fell onto the ground in a shower of sparks.
"Are you guys okay?" Tommy asked the other Rangers.
"We're okay," said Rocky. "Let's get this guy."
As the five Rangers charged toward the Green Ranger suddenly Tengas and Putties appeared. While the four other Rangers were busy fighting them Tommy began to fight with the Green Ranger. However, it was soon evident that he was vastly outmatched. The other Rangers slowly defeated the Tengas and Putties. The Green Ranger eventually flipped Tommy onto the ground and stood above him.
"You can never win," said the Green Ranger. "Give up or be destroyed."
"Never!!" cried Tommy.
"Have it your way," said the Green Ranger. The Ranger pulled out its pistol and pointed it at Tommy.
Meanwhile the other Rangers had finished defeating the Tengas and Putties. Rocky and Adam came up behind the Green Ranger and held the Rangers arms. The Green Ranger flipped them to the ground and then punched their chests.
"You fools," said the Green Ranger angrily. "You can never defeat me. Join me and save yourselves."
The five Ranger scrambled back and regrouped. "Zordon was right," said Tommy breathing hard. "The Green Ranger is far more powerful than before. Let's use the Zeo Cannon."
The Power Rangers charged the cannon and fired.
"Zolan reflective shield," cried out the Green Ranger as the beam headed towards it. Instantly a shimmering field surrounded the Green Ranger. The beam hit the shield, bounced off, separated into five beams, and struck the Power Rangers. Once again the Power Rangers fell to the ground in a shower of sparks. "You see," said the Green Ranger. "Not even your powers can match the might of the Green Ranger." Unexpectedly the Green Ranger shook its head and teleported away.
"Whoa!," said Tommy, "Where did the Green Ranger go?" Tommy's communicator beeped and the Rangers teleported back to the Command Center.
"Aai yi yi yi," said Alpha when they arrived.
_There's something familiar about the Green Ranger,_ Tommy thought. _I feel like I've fought it before but I can't remember where._
"It is as I feared Rangers," said Zordon. "Your powers are no match for the powers of Green Ranger."
"What else can we do," said Tanya. "We can't stand by and do nothing."
Tommy looked up at Zordon and said knowingly, "The Green Ranger is under a spell, right?"
"Yes, Tommy," answered Zordon. "The Green Ranger is under a powerful spell. I have sensed great good in the Green Ranger but the spell is so powerful that I'm afraid there is no way to break it."
"We have to find a way to break the spell," said Tommy vehemently. "Whoever that is, is going through hell right now. I should know," he added softly.
"Who is the Green Ranger?" asked Kat.
"I have been unable to determine the identity of the Green Ranger," answered Zordon. "Something is blocking my analysis and my efforts have been unsuccessful."
"We can't stand by and do nothing," said Rocky, "But our weapons have all been useless."
"I've been working on a new weapon," said Alpha, "But it isn't ready yet. I wish Billy was here."
"We have to discover the identity of the Green Ranger," Tommy said quietly. "That's the only way."
"I am afraid that is impossible Tommy," said Zordon. "When you were the Green Ranger I discovered who you were by analyzing voice patterns. Some unknown element has changed the voice pattern so drastically that I am unable to compensate for it."
During the conversation Adam listened intently. Now he spoke up. "We need Billy," he said. Noticing everyone staring at him he continued, "He's the only one who can help."
"I'm afraid Adam is right," said Zordon. "I have no wish to interrupt Billy's new life but under the circumstances there is no other choice."
Meanwhile, on Aquitar....
"Where is Cestria," thought Billy impatiently. "She's fifteen minutes late. She's been late so often lately and at first she was always on time. Sometimes I get the feeling she's avoiding me."
"Hello Billy," said Cestria interrupting Billy's thoughts. "I'm sorry I'm late. Work took longer than I thought it would."
The sight of Cestria calmed Billy's fears. "That's okay," he said smiling. "Work has a way of doing that."
* * *
The next day Billy was helping Cestro improve the Aquitian Battle Zords when he decided to go out to lunch. He was going home when he saw Cestria at a restaurant across the street. He was about to go over when he noticed the man sitting across from her. _Oh no,_ he thought sickly, _Not Cestria._ He continued watching, hoping beyond hope that things weren't the way he thought they were. That hope died within his heart when he watched the two walk away from each other after a passionate kiss. He continued home, his lunch completely forgotten. He paced the rooms for several hours wondering how he should broach the subject to Cestria.
_She was my whole world,_ he thought with despair. _Now what am I going to do?_
"Billy," called Cestro on the Aquition version of the telephone, "Zordon wants to speak with you. I'm hooking him into your system now."
Billy listened in amazement as Zordon gave him a perfect solution to his problem. "Don't worry about it Zordon," he said when Zordon voiced his concerns about interrupting his new life. "I understand completely. I need to pack a few things first. I'll have Cestro teleport me to Earth when I'm ready." He left a brief note for Cestria and then went to Cestro.
_This is the perfect solution,_ he thought elatedly. _This way no one here will ever know. When they ask when I'm coming back I can say that I'm needed to much on Earth and have decided to stay there. The funny thing is that I'm almost looking forward to going home._ He sighed as he thought about Cestria. _I always thought Cestria was better than that,_ he thought sadly. _I'll never find anyone else like her._
* * *
"What is the matter with you!" shouted Lord Zedd at the Green Ranger. "You had them at your mercy. You could have destroyed them!!"
"I'm sorry my liege," said the Green Ranger apologetically. "I don't know what happened to me. Something seemed to come over me. It won't happen again, I promise."
"It better not," hurled Zedd, "Or I'll find someone else to take your place. Now get out of my sight."
* * *
"Can I open my eyes now?" Jo asked the rangers in a tone of annoyance. "I can't see what's so special that I have to close my eyes."
"Just a minute," said Kat and led Jo into the Juice bar. "Okay," said Kat, "You can open them now."
Jo opened her eyes slowly. "Billy! Is that you?" Billy and the four other Rangers were sitting at one of the tables and laughed at her reaction.
"Hi Jo," said Billy smiling at her.
"Long time no see," said Jo. "Wow! You've certainly changed a lot."
"So have you," said Billy looking her over admiringly.
"Why are you back? I thought you were living on some other planet."
"I was," said Billy. An inexplicable pain seemed to come into his eyes as he said this. Seeing Jo looking at him curiously he explained, "I was living on the planet Aquitar with Cestria, my girlfriend. But when Zordon explained how much I was needed I was glad to come back. I didn't mind at all either. Aquitar is nice and all that but nothing is quite the same as home, especially when it's another planet."
"Well it's good to see you again, Billy," said Jo. "I'm really sorry that I never kept writing."
"Both of us are to blame for that," said Billy smiling. "Neither one of us were ever big on writing letters." Changing the subject he asked, "So what have you been up to the past six years?"
"Um, well," hesitated Jo, "I've been in Japan. I learned lots of math, science, and computer stuff; Japanese, obviously; and Karate."
"She's really good too," said Tommy admiringly. "She beat me several days ago."
Billy looked at Jo and laughed, "Still the tomboy, aren't you? Some people never change."
"And some people do," laughed Jo. "You've changed quite a bit from when we were kids. I remember the days when you would rather do anything than fight or have anything to do with one," she lowered her voice and said in a stage whisper, "Ex-Blue Ranger."
Billy looked slightly confused for a minute and then looked at the other Rangers curiously, "She knows?"
"Yes, I know," said Jo grinning. "I gave them quite a shock when I identified who each one was. It was actually very amusing. You should have seen the look on their faces. It was absolutely beautiful."
"Leave it to you to be the only person to figure out the identities of the Power Rangers," said Billy shaking his head. "Well, I need to go say hi to my Dad," said Billy getting up. "I'll see you later."
"Bye Billy," said Jo. "See you around."
"We should go too," said Tommy motioning to the others. "We need work on the Green Ranger identity thing some more."
"It's really giving you problems, isn't it?" asked Jo sympathetically.
"It is in a way," said Tommy slowly, "But the worst part is knowing that somebody's under a spell. I know what it's like, and it isn't nice."
"I agree," said Kat. "Whoever the Green Ranger is, they're probably going through a lot right now. It isn't a pleasant experience to be under one of Zedd and Rita's spells."
"I can imagine," said Jo as a strange shuttered look came into her eyes. "Well, I'll see you later and hope things work out."
* * *
"Mrs. Appleby, may I use the restroom?" asked Jo the next day during a break in class.
"Yes Jo," she answered "But you need to be back in five minutes."
Five minutes slowly past by then ten and still Jo did not return. _Where is Jo,_ wondered Mrs. Appleby, _She should have been back by now._
The five Rangers were busy doing their homework when Tommy's communicator beeped. They all looked at each other nervously.
Kat raised her hand and asked, "Mrs. Appleby should Tanya and I go look for Jo? Maybe something happened to her."
"Yes," said Mrs. Appleby in relief, "This doesn't seem like her." They left the room and quickly teleported to the Command Center. The other three rangers slowly found excuses and left the room also. When they arrived at the Command Center Zordon had some disturbing news for them.
"Rangers," said Zordon, "The Green Ranger is once again attacking downtown Angel Grove, this time with Dragonzord. Be careful. Dragonzord also has new weapons."
"We need the SuperZeo Zords," said Tommy. The five rangers called upon them and once again went out to face the Green Ranger. In the Power Chamber, Billy was working furiously, trying to discover a way to break through whatever was blocking the discovery of the Green Rangers identity.
"Zordon," said Billy looking up, "It appears that a form of radio waves is mutating the voice pattern. I'm trying to block the waves but I need to find the origination point of them and I haven't been able to yet."
"Keep working Billy," sighed Zordon. "I'm afraid that if we don't discover the identity of the Green Ranger, the Power Rangers are doomed."
"I'll do the best I can," said Billy realizing the responsibility that had fallen on his shoulders.
"We need the Zeo Zords and the Red Battlezord," screamed Tommy as the Super Zeo Zord fell to the ground. The Rangers called on them and slowly they began to gain the upper hand.
"You haven't won yet Rangers," said the Green Ranger from inside Dragonzord. "Medusazord it's time to rise."
The Rangers gasped in amazement at the sight of this new Zord. It looked like a typical Zord, except for the head which had spikes protruding from it. As they stared they realized that the Zords were beginning to stiffen.
"What's happening," shouted Rocky from inside the Zeo Zord, "I can't move."
"None of us can," said Tommy. "We've lost the Zords." Dragonzord and Medusazord slowly approached the three Zords and then suddenly they left.
"What happened?" asked Adam.
"Who cares," said Tommy. "Let's just get out of here before the Green Ranger returns."
When the Rangers returned to the Power Chamber they stood around in confusion.
"Why does the Green Ranger keep disappearing like that Zordon?" asked Kat.
"There is a battle raging inside the Green Ranger," answered Zordon. "The good in the person is fighting the evil created by Lord Zedd and Rita."
"Have you had any luck discovering the identity, Billy?" asked Tommy turning to Billy.
"No," he answered in disgust. "Waves appear to be mutating the voice pattern into a form that is unidentifiable. I'm not sure what to do. I've never worked much with voice patterns before."
"Wait a second!" said Kat in excitement, "I think I know someone who might be able to help."
"Who!" they all cried.
"Jo," answered Kat. "Remember that day in the park when we were talking to her about the science fair?"
"Of course!" said Tommy. "Her project had something to do with voice patterns."
"Jo!" said Billy in surprise. "I guess I need to talk to her then."
"Uh oh," said Tanya looking at the clock on the wall of the Command Center. "We've been gone almost an hour. Mrs. Appleby is going to kill us."
"You're right," said the others looking at the clock. They quickly teleported back to the school and returned to class.
"There you are," said Mrs. Appleby. "I suppose you were delayed by the monster alarms."
"Yeah," said Tommy quickly glad to have an excuse.
"Where's Jo?" asked Mrs. Appleby looking around the class. "She still hasn't returned."
* * *
"You imbecile," screamed Lord Zedd at the Green Ranger. "Once again you had the Power Rangers at your mercy and you let them go!"
"I'm sorry master," cringed the Green Ranger. "I don't know why this keeps happening to me. I'll do better next time."
"I hope so," said Lord Zedd. "Because if you don't...." He left the sentence unfinished but his meaning was crystal clear.
* * *
Several minutes after the five rangers had returned to the class Jo rushed in. "I'm sorry," she said to Mrs. Appleby trembling slightly. "I don't know what happened."
"What's the matter with you?" asked Mrs. Appleby worriedly. "You're trembling and you look pale. Are you sick? Do you need to go see the school nurse?"
"No," replied Jo quickly. "I'll be fine." She returned to her desk while everyone stared at her curiously.
"Well, all right," said Mrs. Appleby hesitantly. "If you insist." She returned to her lecture but continued to periodically look at Jo.
"What happened to you?" asked Kat after class. The five rangers stood around Jo the concern showing on their faces.
"It happened again," whispered Jo in a fear filled tone. "I remember was going into the bathroom then the next thing I knew I was standing in the hallway and an hour had gone by."
"You're kidding," said Rocky in astonishment. "You should go see a doctor."
"I just have this feeling that a doctor can't help," said Jo thoughtfully. "This is really scaring me. Who knows what I could have been doing in that hour."
"I wish I could help," said Tanya sympathetically.
"I know you do," said Jo smiling slightly. "You guys are great. You've helped more than you know."
"I'm glad to hear that," said Tommy. He looked at his watch. "Well, I've gotta go to class."
"So do I," said Rocky.
"See you later," said Jo.
The five rangers slowly dispersed leaving Jo alone in the hallway.
* * *
"What is wrong with the Green Ranger?" Zedd asked Rita. "Every time she comes to where she could destroy the Power Rangers she backs off."
"I don't know Zeddy," answered Rita. "It's as if she's fighting the spell."
Zedd continued to look at the ground for a few minutes and then he slowly raised his head, "That's it!" he shouted. "She's fighting the spell." He stared at Rita and a realization slowly dawned on them.
"What can we do?" asked Rita.
"I don't know," Zedd answered slowly. They stood around morosely for a few minutes and then Rita had an idea.
"Let's ask my father," she said to Zedd.
"NO WAY!!!!" shouted Zedd furiously. "You know I don't like your father."
"But if it can help destroy the Power Rangers, wouldn't it be worth it?" said Rita. They argued furiously for several minutes and then finally Zedd gave in.
"Fine," he said sulkily, "Have it your way. Ask your father but I'm not having anything to do with this."
Rita went off to contact her father, Master Vile, leaving Lord Zedd sulking in his throne. A while later she came back into the room with an exultant look on her face.
"So?" asked Lord Zedd.
"You won't believe this Zeddy," said Rita. "Father told me we can make the spell permanent if we can get her to do one thing."
"And what's that?" asked Lord Zedd interestedly. "She must destroy her closest link to the Power Rangers," replied Rita.
* * *
"Hey Jo," said Billy a few days later running up behind her after school.
"Hi Billy," she said, "What's up?"
"I was wondering," he said hesitantly. He paused for a second uncertainly. "Do you know anything about voice patterns," he finished quickly feeling completely stupid.
"Yeah," she said looking at him strangely. "I guess so. Why?"
"I need some help," said Billy reluctantly.
"You!" said Jo astonished.
"No problem," said Jo. "Whatever you need help with it must be important. If it wasn't you'd never ask anyone for help."
"It is," said Billy quietly. "You know I've been working to discover the identity of the Green Ranger, right? Well, the only way to discover the identity is by using voice patterns, but radio waves have been mutating it making it impossible to identify. I don't know what to do."
"Wow," said Jo with a puzzled look on her face. "Sounds sort of like my experiment I've been working on."
"Great!" said Billy in relief. "Come on. Let's get to work." He grabbed Jo's arm and they teleported to the Power Chamber.
* * *
A few hours later Jo handed Billy a device. "I think this should do it," she said slowly. "I'm not sure so if it doesn't work tell me and I'll see what I can do."
Billy grabbed it with a look of relief in his face. "Thanks Jo," he said. "You're a lifesaver. Literally. Now all we have to do is wait for the Green Ranger to show up again."
"I'm glad I can help," said Jo smiling. "I'm starving. Let's go get something to eat."
"Come to think of it," said Billy, "I'm hungry too. I haven't had a hamburger and fries in ages. They don't have those on Aquitar."
"Gee," said Jo in an innocent tone, "I wonder why?"
They went to the juice bar and both ordered a hamburger and fries. Jo's ordered hers with extra pickles. "Still like pickles, I see," said Billy grinning.
"Of course," replied Jo, "Had you any doubt. So," she said changing the subject, "What was it like on Aquitar?" They finished eating and walked out of the juice bar towards the park.
"That's a hard question," sighed Billy. He started to talk about what life was like on Aquitar with Jo listening intently.
"So when are you going back?" asked Jo curiously.
"Actually," said Billy realizing the time had come, "I've decided not to go back. I'm needed more here."
"You're not going back?" asked Jo, shocked.
"No," he said with sadness in his eyes. "The Power Rangers need me here."
Jo gave him a piercing look. "You're lying," she said. "I can see it in your eyes. There's another reason."
"Just leave it alone Jo," said Billy. "It doesn't matter."
"It does to me," said Jo, "And it does to you too."
"I saw Cestria having lunch with another man," mumbled Billy lowering his head.
"Maybe there was a good reason," said Jo trying to help. "She could have been having a business lunch or something."
"She kissed him," said Billy looking up at Jo. "There's no good explanation for that."
"I'm so sorry," said Jo sympathetically. "I wish that there was something I could do."
"Thanks, but I don't think anything or anyone can help," he said bitterly.
"Well," said Jo, "If you ever want to talk, I'm here for you." She reached over and gave him a hug. Billy sighed and wished that she would change the subject.
"I need to go home now," said Jo looking at her watch.
"Okay," said Billy with relief. "I'll see you later." He watched Jo walk off and then wandered through the park his mind full of memories. It was some time later when he awoke from his reverie to hear monster alarms going off . "Oh crap," he said and immediately teleported to the Power Chamber where he began to work feverishly.
* * *
The fight had been going on for some time and once again the Power Rangers were losing. "What are we going to do!?" shouted Rocky as he fell to the ground. "We can't hold out much longer!"
"I don't know!" Tommy yelled back as he too fell to the ground.
"There is nothing you can do," said the Green Ranger. "You are doomed." The Green Ranger stood beside the two fallen Rangers and began to draw its laser when once again it teleported away.
"Oh no," said Billy looking at the monitor with a sick feeling in his stomach. He performed the analysis again, and again, and again trying to disprove the results. "Jo," he whispered when he finally gave up, "Why you?" He abruptly left the Power Chamber and went in search of Jo.
* * *
"Destroy her closest link to the Power Rangers!" said Lord Zedd. "How will that help?"
"Father told me that part of the reason that our Green Ranger has failed to destroy the Rangers is because she has a bond of friendship with them. If we can get her to destroy ex-Blue Ranger Billy then she will be ours to command forever," said Rita.
* * *
Billy found Jo in the juice bar working out. "Hi Jo," he said.
"So did it work?" asked Jo eagerly.
"Yeah, it worked," he replied quietly.
"I'm so glad," said Jo. "They might finally be able to stop the Green Ranger now."
"Yeah, maybe," said Billy hesitantly.
"What's the matter, Billy?" asked Jo curiously. "You act like you just lost your best friend."
"In a way," he answered, "I think I just did." He looked down at the ground and thought, _I don't understand. She helped me discover the identity of the Green Ranger but it was her all the time. How can I tell the others? If they have to kill her to stop the Green Ranger I don't know what I'll do,_ and he shuddered at the thought. He realized then that Cestria meant nothing to him anymore and Jo meant everything. _I have to do it though,_ he thought. _I can't let my feelings get in the way. Besides, the Jo I knew would rather die._ He left the juice bar and teleported to the Power Chamber to tell the others the news.
"Rangers," said Zordon soon after Billy told him, "Teleport to the Power Chamber immediately."
"Here we go again," sighed Tommy. "Well, here goes nothing." The five rangers teleported to the Power Chamber.
"The identity of the Green Ranger has been discovered," said Zordon.
"Who is it?" asked Tommy.
For an answer Zordon turned on the viewing globe. The rangers stared at it in horror.
"No," said Adam.
"It can't be," whispered Tanya.
"It is," said Billy sadly. He swallowed hard trying not to let his feelings show in his face.
"I'm afraid it's true Rangers," said Zordon. "Lord Zedd and Rita placed Jo under a powerful spell and gave her the Green Ranger powers."
"I don't understand Zordon," said Adam. "If she was the Green Ranger why did she help Billy?"
"The spell cast on her is different than any spell you have encountered so far," answered Zordon. "The Green Ranger and Jo are two completely different people. Jo remembers nothing about the time when she was the Green Ranger and the Green Ranger remembers nothing about Jo."
"It's as if she has multiple personalities," explained Billy sadly.
"That's why she keeps having memory lapses," said Adam, nudging Tanya.
"The Zolan Crystal has accentuated the power of the spell making it more powerful than any spell I've ever encountered in the past," said Zordon. "It is possible for the spell to become permanent. Once that happens the person you know as Jo will disappear. The only thing that has prevented it from happening already is the good that is in Jo's heart. She is waging a desperate battle against the evil created by Rita and Zedd. However, I'm afraid that she can't hold on much longer. "
"What can we do, Zordon?" asked Tommy.
"I've never seen anything like this before," said Zordon reluctantly. "I'm not sure how the spell can be broken."
"We have to do something Zordon!" cried Kat. "Jo's our friend. We can't stand by and do nothing."
"We have no choice," said Zordon. "Legend says no outside influence can break the hold that the Zolan Crystal has."
"There's nothing anyone can do!" said Billy distraught. "There has to be a way!"
"I'm afraid not, Billy," said Zordon.
Billy looked at Zordon with pain in his eyes. He punched the control panel violently and then ran out of the Power Chamber leaving a bewildered group staring after him.
"Let him go Tommy," said Kat seeing that Tommy was about to go after him. "He needs to be alone." She looked at Tanya knowingly.
* * *
"Green Ranger," said Lord Zedd, "We have a new assignment for you. We want you to kill Billy. Without him, the Power Rangers are doomed."
"Yes my liege," said the Green Ranger and teleported back down to Earth.
"Well Rita," said Zedd, "This is the beginning of the end for the Power Rangers."
* * *
_I can't believe this is happening to me,_ thought Billy. _First Cestria cheats on me and now this. Why does this always happen to me? Either Jo dies and I lose the woman I love, or the Power Rangers die and I lose my only friends._
"If it isn't the little nerd," said the Green Ranger. Billy looked up and saw the Green Ranger.
"You!" he shouted furiously.
"Your time has run out," said the Green Ranger to Billy and pulled out its pistol and pointed it at Billy.
"I don't think so," said Tommy as the five Rangers teleported to the scene.
Suddenly Billy knew what he had to do. "No guys," he said motioning for them to stay back. "I know what to do." He slowly walked up in front of the Green Ranger and kneeled on the ground.
"Billy!" shouted Adam, "What do you think you're doing?"
"Go ahead, shoot," said Billy with steel in his eyes. The Green Ranger started to pull the trigger and then its fingers started to waver.
"Jo," said Billy to the Green Ranger, "I know you're in there. You have to fight."
"I'm trying," said Jo from within the Green Ranger, "But I'm so tired." The finger on the trigger wavered once again.
"You have to!" shouted Billy.
"I can't fight forever," said Jo. The finger continued to waver.
"You can win, Jo," said Billy. "You're strong."
The five Rangers stood to the side of the scene waiting breathlessly. They watched the Green Rangers gun turn slowly around to point towards itself.
"NO!" screamed Billy when he grasped what was happening. "Don't Jo."
"This is the only way," said Jo. "I can't keep this up forever."
The finger around the trigger pulled and a massive blast shook the air. The Green Ranger fell to the ground as Billy and the five Rangers flew backwards.
* * *
"NO!!!" shouted Lord Zedd violently. "This can't be! How could this happen."
"I don't know Zeddy," said Rita. "Somehow she broke the spell."
"This is all your fault," Zedd yelled at Rita. "If you hadn't...."
"Woah!" Rito interrupted, "Look at the crystal Ed." Lord Zedd and Rita turned around and looked at the crystal.
"What the...." said Zedd staring at it in confusion. There was a strange glow around it small white flakes were slowly drifting to the floor.
"It's disintegrating," said Rita in awe staring at it.
* * *
"JO!!!" screamed Billy and stumbled across the ground towards her. "Jo, are you okay?" he asked cradling her figure in his arms. There was no answer.
The five Rangers slowly got up off the ground and ran towards them. "Billy, is she okay?" asked Tommy worriedly.
"I don't know," answered Billy. His fingers fumbled while he was trying to take off her helmet. "Jo," he said softly when it was finally off.
"Billy," murmured Jo when the sunlight hit her face. "Is everyone okay."
"We're fine, Jo," he said. Jo smiled slightly and then slumped in his arms.
"Her pulse is weak and her breathing is shallow," said Billy to the other Rangers. "I think she's dying." He swallowed hard. "We have to get her back to the Command Center," he said shaking his head. "Maybe Zordon can help."
The five Rangers and Billy teleported to the Command Center. When they arrived Billy put Jo onto a table so they could monitor her. "Hang on Jo," he said softly brushing her hair away from her face. He looked up at Zordon, "Zordon, what's wrong with her?"
"When Jo shot herself she disturbed the delicate balance between a Ranger and their powers," answered Zordon. "Her powers come from the Zolan Crystal, which is starting to disintegrate due to the blast. As the crystal disintegrates her powers will fail. When her powers are completely gone she will die."
Billy looked at Zordon with despair.
"What can we do?" asked Tommy.
"I can only think of one way," said Zordon, "But it is very dangerous and might end up costing you your own powers."
Tommy looked at the other Rangers and then at Zordon. "We have to take that chance. We can't let her die."
"To save Jo," began Zordon slowly, "The disintegration of the Zolan Crystal must be stopped. Her powers need to be stabilized with another power. The process is very risky, and requires you to sacrifice a small portion of your own powers. If it doesn't work, you may lose your powers forever."
"Tell us what we have to do Zordon," said Tommy. "We'll do whatever it takes."
"There is one power that has the ability to save her," said Zordon. "It has a power far greater than you have ever seen before. It is said that it is the most powerful force known in the universe. The Power of the Rainbow is the power of pure light and good. It can only be possessed by one who has a pure heart, soul, mind, and body. A small portion of your powers will stabilize the Zolan Crystal and if everything works correctly then the Rainbow Power will infuse the Zolan Crystal creating the Rainbow Ranger."
"Zordon," said Tommy, "If this power has existed all this time then why didn't you mention it when Jason was losing his powers? Or," he continued softly, "When I was losing mine." He looked up at Zordon with pain in his eyes.
"Tommy you and Jason are both good people," said Zordon, "But the Rainbow Ranger must be pure of heart, soul, mind, and body. Both of you have some evil inside of you, as there is in most people. That is why, in the past, Zedd and Rita were able to cast spells on you. It is the lack of evil in Jo that gave her the ability to fight the spell cast by Lord Zedd and Rita, and the ability to break it. Because of this she may be able to possess the Rainbow powers. However, if the transfer fails then there is the possibility that you will lose your powers, therefore making it impossible for you to ever have powers again."
"What do we need to do, Zordon," asked Kat.
"There is a temple on the planet Bachius called the Temple of the Rainbow. Inside the temple lies the Ring of Bachius. This ring is what contains the rainbow powers and will make the transfer possible. The will not be easy. The way to the temple is dangerous, and there are many dangers inside. Many people have tried for the power in the past, and none have ever succeeded. Are you willing to take that risk?"
The five rangers looked at each other and nodded. "Let's go get it," said Kat after looking at the other Rangers.
Billy started to put some coordinates into the computer and then looked up. "There's is only enough power to teleport one person to Bachius," he said looking up. "Due to the recent battles with the Green Ranger, the Command Center's power is very low." Billy sensed, rather than saw, Zordon's eyes on him.
"I'll go Zordon," said Tommy stepping forward.
Billy stood silently by the computers listening to the rangers argue over who should go. Then he knew what he had to do. "No," he said putting a detaining hand on Tommy's arm, "I'll go."
"But, you can't go Billy," said Tommy. "You don't even have any powers."
"I'm the one who has to go," said Billy looking up at Zordon for confirmation, "Aren't I?"
"Billy is right Tommy," said Zordon. "He is the who must go. Besides, you have another job to do." Suddenly the monster alarms started to go off. "Rangers," said Zordon, "Zedd and Rita have unleashed another monster on Angel Grove. Tommy, you stay here. The rest of you must go fight the monster." As the four rangers morphed and teleported to the site Zordon began to explain what Tommy needed to do.
"Tommy," he said, "You must retrieve the Zolan Crystal from Rita and Zedd's palace. Hopefully they will be occupied watching their monster."
"All right, Zordon," said Tommy and teleported to the moon.
"What do you need to talk to me about Zordon," asked Billy looking up.
"Do you understand the risk?" asked Zordon.
"Yeah, I do," said Billy slowly. "Kelmar told me about what happened to him when I was on Aquitar. I have an idea of what could happen."
"The sixth Aquition Ranger," said Zordon slowly. "Even so Billy, this will be a dangerous journey. You will find yourself experiencing your greatest fears. Your recent experiences will make you vulnerable to these dangers. Few have even made it to the temple. And without powers the danger becomes even greater."
"But I'm the only one who can," said Billy slowly.
"You are correct," said Zordon. "I don't believe the others have the abilities needed to face the dangers. You possess qualities necessary for this journey that they don't have. You also have a greater stake in the outcome."
Billy nodded his head silently. He knew without asking that Zordon knew his feelings and what had happened with Cestria.
"Now go," said Zordon. "And may your power protect you."
Billy arrived on the surface of Bachius and looked around hesitantly. He had teleported into the
midst of what looked like a tropical rain forest. _This is nice,_ he thought in surprise and began
to walk slowly forward. Suddenly he felt his feet sink into the ground. "Oh crap," he
said, looking down at his feet. "Quicksand." He immediately stood still, knowing
that struggling would only make him sink down further. "Great," he muttered,
"Now what am I going to do?"
Billy looked down at his feet and started to panic. "Come on Billy," he said, forcing himself to calm down. "Panicking is not going to do you any good. Now think." He looked around searching for something, anything that could help him. Suddenly he heard a noise behind him. He turned his head and to his horror saw a pair of huge wolves behind him baring their fangs and growling.
* * *
Tommy was teleported to the caves underneath Rita and Zedd's palace. He winced in pain as his days as the Green Ranger began to flash back on him. "Come on Tommy," he muttered to himself. "Now is not the time. You aren't the Green Ranger any longer. You need to go find that crystal." He walked slowly around the caves in search of it.
Meanwhile on Earth
"Ay yi yi yi yi," said Alpha looking into the viewing globe. "The Rangers are in trouble. Maybe we should call Tommy back to help them."
"No Alpha," said Zordon, "Every moment the crystal is in the palace is critical. For the crystal to be able to accept the Rainbow Powers, we must get it away from evil as soon as possible. We must trust that the other rangers will be able to take care of the monster." He winced as he saw the Rangers receive another blow. "We must trust our choices Alpha."
* * *
Billy stood as still as possible and closed his eyes. _This has to be a dream,_ he thought. _If I close my eyes I'll wake up back on Aquitar with Cestria, and all this will go away._ He pinched himself hard and bit his lips to keep from crying out in pain. He opened his eyes again and turned around and saw the wolves again. _Nope, it isn't a dream,_ he reluctantly admitted to himself. _Great,_ he thought sarcastically. _After all the battles I've been through as a Power Ranger, I'm going to be killed by a wolf._ He watched the wolves stalk slowly around the quicksand and sit down facing him. Then he watched in horror as several more wolves came out of the woods and slowly form a circle around the quicksand.
* * *
Tommy looked around the caves in confusion. _This looks really familiar,_ he thought. He wandered around a little while longer until he finally realized his problem. _Oh great. I'm lost,_ he reluctantly admitted. _Now what am I going to do?_
_Okay Tommy think,_ he told himself. _You've been here before, you should at least know how to get up to the main part of the palace._ Tommy started pacing up and down the caves trying to remember where the entrance was. "I've got it," he said snapping his fingers as well as he could with his suit on. He warily walked back the direction he had come from his eyes on the ground searching for something. "I thought it was here," said Tommy looking around in confusion. "I could have sworn that it was here." His eyes searched the darkness once again and saw nothing.
"Great, I'm still lost," he murmured to himself. _Or else...._ he thought suddenly. He walked over to the wall of the cave and, taking his glove off, felt the wall. "I'm right," he said, smiling to himself, "They did seal up the entrance." He moved his hand slowly up and down the wall hoping to find something that would open the entrance. Finding nothing he moved back and looked at the wall confusedly. "There has to be a way," he murmured quietly to himself.
* * *
Billy craned his neck and looked at the wolves all around him as he slowly sank further into the quicksand. He suddenly noticed that they were no longer growling or showing their teeth and a thought popped into his head. He began to look deep into the eyes of the wolf straight in front of him. "I am Raton," said the wolf to Billy telepathically. "I am the leader of this pack. We have come to help our fellow wolf."
"But I'm not a wolf," said Billy in surprise.
"You have the spirit of the wolf inside of you," said Raton. "That is enough."
"Is that why I can understand you?" asked Billy.
"Yes it is," replied Raton. "All wolves have a telepathic link. We must hurry though. You are sinking further in every minute and every moment is critical in your quest."
Billy watched in amazement as the wolves managed to throw him a thick vine with their teeth. He grabbed onto it and they slowly pulled him out. Billy groaned as he looked at the muck covering his body.
"Come," said Raton gesturing with his head, "We will show you where water is."
Billy followed the wolves into the darkness of the forest. _This is so weird,_ he thought. _I wonder if I can communicate with the wolves on Earth?_
"No," said Raton in response to Billy's thoughts. "Earth has a different atmosphere than Bachius. We wolves can communicate with each other on all planets but only on Bachius will you be able to talk with us. Something in the atmosphere of Earth blocks the telepathic link between humans and all animals. And," he continued, "A person can only communicate with their animal spirit."
Billy and the wolves walked for what must have been about an hour. Billy was getting tired when Raton suddenly stopped in the middle of a clearing. Right in front of them lay a river. Billy looked at the woods on the other side of the river. All signs of green were gone. The woods were dense and dark and fulfilled "This is as far as we can go," he said. "We are not allowed to cross the river. The dangers are to great for our kind. To survive you must have a strong body, mind, and spirit. Remember one thing. Don't believe everything you see on the other side. Things are not always as they appear to be."
"But what am I supposed to do?" asked Billy astonished.
"At the end of the rainbow you will find what you seek," said Raton mysteriously looking up at the sky.
Billy followed his gaze and to his astonishment he saw a rainbow in the sky. "At the end of the rainbow," he muttered. "I'm supposed to follow the rainbow?" he asked but was answered only by silence. "Raton?" he said looking around. He saw nothing. All the wolves had disappeared and he was on his own.
Billy slowly went down to the river and cleaned himself as best as he could. "Well, here goes nothing," he said and plunged into the river.