"What do you want Astronema?" asked TJ angrily.
Astronema just smirked at them. "You rangers think your soooooo tough now that you've go the purple ranger on your side. Don't get too attached, your team won't last much longer."
Ashley rolls her eyes, "Is there any particular reason you've contacted us? We're busy people in case you haven't noticed."
"Actually, there is a reason that I have contacted you, Rangers. I'm giving you a warning," she said slyly.
Carlos raised his eyebrow, "Why would you contact us right before you attack? That isn't a very good battle plan."
Astronema sighed in disgust; "It's not me attacking you. Dark Specter has decided to transfer me to another galaxy. He's bringing in someone new to take care of you..."
They all exchanged glances. "What do you mean someone new? Who is it? And why are you telling us?" Andros asked demandingly.
"I'm telling you now because she would mop the floor with all of you if she was to attack today." she growled, "Her name is Vixrothia. She is the ugliest girl you will ever encounter. Such a sorry sight...."
Karone shook her head; "I still don't understand why you're telling us this. Don't you want evil to win?"
Astronema threw her hands up in total exasperation, "I can not believe you don't understand this. Put it this way if she kills you the second she comes here my reputation will be ruined! I will be the laughing stock of all that is evil. And that is just not going to happen, my repulsive enemies."
Andros rolls his eyes, "DECA, cut transmission!" he said and just before the link closed he added sarcastically, "Thanks for the bit of advice."
Then, Astronema's shocked face left the screen and it was blank once more.
Everyone turned to face one another.
"Do you think this could be a trick?" Cassie suggested.
Andros shook his head 'no'; "The Evil Alliance relies strongly on their reputation. Dark Specters' probably pretty upset that Astronema hasn't destroyed us yet. So he's sending his best fighter to finish us off. I've heard of Vixrothia, she's dangerous."
"So what are we gonna do?" asked Karone.
"Well, we have to finish all the repairs on the ship and the Mega Vehicles. They aren't ready for a strong battle yet." Andros replied.
"Ok well Cassie and TJ can work on the Mega Vehicles, you and Carlos can work here on the bridge since you two know the circuitry really well, and me and Karone can work in the engine room." Ashley said to Andros and the group started going to their assigned locations.
Andros grabbed Karone's arm; "We'll talk more later okay, sis?" he smiled at the word sis.
Karone giggled and fake punched him on the shoulder, "You got it, bro."
He smiled as she ran through the bridge door on her way to the engine room.
Karone and Ashley had been working on the sub-ion panels for over 2 hours, and were still no where near finished repairing it all.
"Whew." Karone said wiping the sweat off of her forehead, "I never knew working with engine heating panels could be so... so... exhausting!"
Ashley smiled, "Well, you get used to it after doing it for 2 years."
Karone smiled back at her then asked menacingly, "So... how long have you and my brother been dating?"
Ashley decided to rest for a while, so she leaned back against the wall and answered, "Well, we're not really dating, because there's really no time. I mean, between Ranger duties, and school..." he voice trailed off then she sat up straight shocked, "Oh my gosh! School!"
She jumped up and started pacing the floor, "I have totally forgotten about it! It starts in--" she looks at her watch, "15 minutes!"
Karone stand up besides her, "Calm down ranger girl! Calm down! I'll cover for you. What subjects do you have? English, Math? How hard can it be? I've taken Advanced Proportional Trigonometry Mathematics 3. A little sentence diagramming won't kill me."
Ashley gives her an extremely confused look, "What?" Karone waves her hand passively in the air, "Don't worry about a thing, I'll be right back."
Karone walks out of the room, leaving Ashley bewildered. A few minutes later Karone walks in the doorway dressed in one of Ashley's yellow outfits.
"Now see, no one will even notice it's not you!" Karone said modeling her look to Ashley.
Ashley, still confused looks around her, "Uh.... Karone... in case you haven't noticed, we look nothing alike! No one is going to believe your me! This is crazy!"
Karone gives her a strange look then grabs Ashley's hand and drags her into her quarters towards her mirror.
"Oh...I see your point. No worries though!" Karone says as she looks at herself in the mirror.
Ashley gives her a confused look, "Are you out of your mind?"
Karone looks at her, then at herself in the mirror, then she hits the palm of her hand with her forehead, "Oh my gosh. I'm sooooo forgetful! Give me your hand."
Ashley stuck out her hand hesitantly, Karone grabbed it and put her hand on hers and they held it up in the air.
"Close your eyes." Karone said closing hers.
Ashley did, but then opened one eye; "May I ask what you're doing?"
Karone kept her eyes closed, "Shhh...."
Ashley closed her eye.
They both stood there a moment and all of a sudden a bright flash of yellow surrounded both of them.
After a minute had passed by Karone opened her eyes and looked at herself.
She smiled, "Ok you can open your eyes now!"
Ashley opened them, "Girl you are so weir-" she started but then looked over at Karone. "Oh...my.... God...."
Karone looked exactly like Ashley! Karone stood there modeling herself to the mirror, "Has Andros ever done this?"
Ashley shook her head, still amazed that Karone looked exactly like her, "How...How did you do that?"
Karone looked at her shocked, "I can't believe Andros has never told you he can do this! It's something all Kerovians can do, I didn't know I could till about a day ago." she explained.
Ashley shook her head and smiled, "That is the coolest thing I've ever seen. But... I can't let you go to school for me, it's just wrong."
"Look, I'm terrible at working with the engine, let alone working on it by myself! I'll go to school and you can stay here and work on it. I'll be back before anyone even notices that I'm gone." She said calmly grabbing Ashley's backpack and putting it on, "I mean, it's not going to be that hard."
"It's going to be harder than you think. But... you do have a point...." Ashley said, but she gave in, "Ok, since we do need to get the engine fixed as soon as we can... I guess it wouldn't kill anybody if you took my place in school today. After all, it's Friday."
Karone jumped and clapped her hands, "Terrific! Bye!" she exclaimed and started to run out of the room but Ashley grabbed her arm and stopped her.
"Whoa! Wait a minute! You don't even know where any of my classes are! I'll go tell Cassie, Carlos, and TJ about what's going on so they can tell you where to go. Stay right here." Ashley commanded then ran out of the room.
Karone just stood there for a few minutes, playing with a loose string on Ashley's backpack.
Then Carlos, Cassie, TJ, and Ashley slowly enter the room looking at Karone strangely.
Cassie walks up to her and pokes her on the shoulder, "K..Karone? Are you in there?"
Karone smiles and pokes Cassie on the shoulder, "C...Cassie are you in there?"
Cassie smiles and nods her head in approval; "This is way cool. So," she says as she puts her arm around Karone's shoulders, "You ready for your day of Earth High school?"
Karone sighs and smiles, "Bring it on."
Cassie smiles and Carlos and TJ walk up to Karone.
Carlos sighs, "Why I have someone to change into me so I don't have to go to school?"
Cassie elbows him in the stomach, "Well, we better get going!"
They all start to walk out the door and Ashley yells to Karone.
"Hey Karone! Good luck!" she yells cheerfully.
Karone turns around and gives her the thumbs up sign, then leaves.
Ashley hit her head with the palm of her hand, and whispers; "What have I done?"
Karone walked through the front doors of the hallway and stood there for a moment, soaking everything in.
*Okay, * she thought to herself, *TJ said my first class was in room 22...so I guess I better get there*
She took a deep breath and looked for room 22.
She walked deeper and deeper into the hallway, and all of a sudden a group of girls came up to her.
"Hi Ashley! Where have you been lately? I haven't seen you at the mall or the surf spot in ages! The only time I see you is at school!" one of them exclaimed.
*Oh no! * Her thoughts raced, *What am I supposed to say to that? I can't tell them what she's really been doing! *
"Oh ... um... I've just been a little... busy... lately... yeah... busy! I've been busy!" Karone chirped.
"What have you been doing?" asked another one of them.
*Oh great, now what do I say? * She asked herself.
"Oh...ya know...just...stuff..." Karone stuttered, wait to see how they would respond.
The girls brightened up and another said, "That is so cool! Well, we better go! Talk to ya later!"
They all waved as they walked away, leaving Karone bewildered at how people from Earth communicated.
*This is so weird. On Rytan we're so... so... formal and here everyone is so laid back, it's almost scary, * she pondered then heard a loud bell ring.
"AHHHH!" she shrieked and everyone looked at her like she was crazy.
"Uh...uh...um... Mouse! Over there!" Karone said pointing to an empty space in the hallway. Everyone ran away from that area and yelled, then everyone gave her a strange look.
Karone started backing away from all of them, then said; "Opps, false alarm!" then she ran towards Room 22.
"GRRR... I can't believe Dark Specter is re-assigning me! She just can't destroy the power rangers. I mean... what will people say?" whined Astronema as she talked to Ecliptor on the Dark Fortress.
"My princess, we must not worry about the power rangers anymore. They are out of our hands now. Vixrothia will be here any minute. We must leave now to avoid confrontation." Ecliptor explained.
Astronema stomped her foot, "Why does she get the Dark Fortress? That is so unfair! And why should I be afraid of her?"
"Because I'm more evil than you can handle my whiny little delinquent." A womanly voice from the hallway said.
Astronema looked to the doorway and a tall lady that looked sort of like Divatox entered the room.
"You must be Vixrothia. I'm Astronema, Princess of all evil." Astronema said sticking her hand out.
Vixrothia walked up to her and knocked her hand out of the way, "Princess of all evil you say? Hmm ... You do know that princesses are 2nd best, don't you my dear?"
Astronema stomped her foot on the ground but before she could say anything Vixrothia motioned for a group of quantrons, "Quantrons, take her away. I want her off of this ship immediately."
Astronema was about to protest but never got the chance. The quantrons covered her mouth and carried her out of the room, along with Ecliptor.
Vixrothia walked around the control room and smiled, "Now... about the Power Rangers... should I destroy them quickly...or slowly?" She let out a blood-curdling laugh.
*I haven't seen Karone all day, I wonder where she is? * Thought Andros as he worked on the bridge. *I'll go see how the engine is coming along. *
He walked towards the engine room, but saw Ashley's cabin door close.
"That's strange, I thought everyone was at school." He whispered to himself as he inched closer and closer to Ashley's door.
He put his ear close to the door and listened. He heard scuffling, as if someone was trying to find something.
*What would Karone be looking for in Ashley's room? * He wondered, then decided to ask.
He knocked on the door. "Karone? Are you in there?"
Ashley lifts her head up and looks at the closed door. *Oh no! It's Andros! How am I supposed to explain why I'm here so early? *
"Uh...Uh... N...No... This is Ashley. Come on in." She stuttered.
The door opened and a confused Andros walked in, "Ashley? What are you doing here so early? I thought you had 4 more hours of school left."
She gave him and innocent smile and he asked again, "What are you doing home so early? Have you seen Karone?"
Ashley sighed, knowing she was caught, "Karone isn't exactly...here..."
Andros looked at her strange, "What do you mean not here? If she isn't here, where is she?"
"She's at school." She replied simply.
Andros burst into laughter, "She's at school? As in your school?"
Ashley smiled, "Yeah... Angel Grove High... what's so funny?"
Between laughs he said, "Because, she grew up on Rytan."
It was Ashley's turn to give him a strange look now, "What's funny about that?"
Andros straightened up, "On Rytan, people don't socialize. They are extremely formal. They hardly ever make small talk, let alone go to classes with other people."
Ashley got a worried look on her face, "Oh no! She must be so confused!"
Andros put his arm around her shoulder, "Don't worry Ash, by the time you go back Monday, you'll be the smartest and quietest person at Angel Grove High."
He started to laugh, and she just shrugged, worried about her friend who was taking her place.
"Ok class we will begin talking today about different cultures and societies, and what makes each one different." Mrs.Applebee instructed and walked to the front of her desk.
Karone sunk down deep in her chair, *Oh no... Not another class discussion! Don't these people ever not talk? * She thought worriedly.
"Now, who will our first opinion be...." Mrs.Applebee asked scouring the room, "Miss Hammond, why don't you start."
*Oh wow, this is my lucky day, * Karone thought sarcastically and stood up by her seat.
"Well, where would you like me to start?" she asked sweetly.
Cassie looked over at her and smiled.
Mrs.Applebee pondered the question for a minute, then answered, "Just tell us about a difference between our culture, and maybe a culture of one of your friends."
Karone smiled, *Now this, * she thought, *I can do. *
Karone started, "Well, where I come from... I mean... where my friend comes from, it's a lot different than here. See, she didn't have a school like this. When she went to class it was just her and a teacher."
"A private school?" interrupted Mrs.Applebee.
"No... Not exactly. It wasn't really school at all. It was just a place where they trained you, to be in a special division. You would only take classes for what you wanted to be when you grew up." She explained.
Mrs.Applebee nodded her head, and Karone continued, "They hardly ever socialized. You just didn't talk to anyone when you passed by him or her or saw someone you knew walking somewhere. It was all very formal. If you did speak out to someone, or just made casual talk, you were considered 'uncivilized' or 'improper'. Where she comes from your reputation is everything. If you don't have a good reputation, you won't have a good job. Everyone bases their opinion about you on the way that you present yourself to others. There's a lot of pressure on regular people."
Mrs.Applebee nodded her head, "That was a wonderful observation Ashley. I'm glad you shared it with us. And you can tell your friend that they can join us anytime."
Karone smiled, "Thanks... I'll tell her that."
Mrs.Applebee started clapping her hands and the class started in too. "Once again excellent job Ashley."
Karone sat down and looked over at TJ and Cassie.
They both gave her a 'thumbs up' sign and smiled.
"Incoming Video Transmission." DECA said to Andros.
Andros and Ashley looked up from their work in the engine room, "From where?" asked Andros.
"The Dark Fortress." DECA declared.
Andros looked over at Ashley and they both ran towards the bridge.
As soon as they both got in there Ashley said, "DECA, open transmission."
The main viewing screen flipped on and a picture of a strange woman appeared.
"Ahhhh rangers. Only two? Where are the others? I thought they would want to be here when you met the woman that is going to destroy you." She laughed evily.
Ashley rolled her eyes, "So, you're Vixrothia."
"I'm not Astronema, you can't push me around you pathetic earthling." Vixrothia smirked. Andros stepped in front of Ashley; "You sound exactly like Astronema did, when she first came. Eventually Dark Specter figured out she couldn't handle us. What makes you so sure you can?"
"I'm the best there is pal. I'm who they call to finish a job. Since you're so sure of yourself, I guess you won't be needing your friend." Vixrothia said slyly, picking up a glass of water and sipping it.
Andros exchanged glances with Ashley, then asked "What friend?"
"The friend that I kidnapped." Vixrothia said and got out of the way to reveal a person tied up and gagged in a chair.
Andros and Ashley were shocked at who they saw tied up on the screen.
"I want all of you to go to the planet Samuri in the Levox Galaxy. The sooner you get there and surrender, the sooner your friend will be with you again." She declared and cut off the transmission.
Ashley and Andros were in complete shock. Suddenly Cassie, TJ, and Karone (in her regular form) walked into the room.
"Hey guys! Ashley, I would totally not mind going to school for you! It's so fun! I had a blast! Did you-" Karone started but then saw the looks on their faces. "What's wrong?"
Andros finally spoke, "Guys, we need to tell you something." He said and glanced at Ashley, then looked at the others, "It's...its about Zhane..."