Author's Note: This story happens a day after Reversing the Spell. I'd really like your opinions on this story, I'm really curious to know what you think of it. If ya have time, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . . . I'm a very talkative person, aren't I? :) Enjoy.
So why did she feel like she was forgetting something? That they were some how unprepared for something that was about to happen. Karone tried to tell herself she was just nervous about docking the Megaship on Earth, but she knew it wasn't true. The Morphing Grid would protect them wherever they docked on Earth. She also tried to convince herself that she was just being paranoid about not having the zords ready for battle. However that was true. If Astronema were to attack at this very second, they wouldn't be ready. It was that simple.
Luck was on their side, though. The Dark Fortress had been off of radar a few days after Jason had been turned evil and Dark Specter was light years away from them.
She was also worried about their powers. The news Collier had told them a day earlier definitely had the entire team worried. What would they do if they were in battle and they suddenly, demorphed, with no chance to restore them?
They had to find the Astro Morphers. They had too. There was no doubt in her mind that they couldn't do it, it was just a question of if the morphers were still intact that had her concerned. No, not concerned. Terrified.
She shivered and pushed that thought out of her mind. They were still intact. They had to be.
She sighed and closed her eyes, remembering the old days. The old days were Zhane had been the paranoid one and she had to talk him back down to Earth. She remembered a conversation not too long ago, where she thought he was being paranoid . . . and he wasn't.
"What's . . . going on?" She asked, not angrily, just curiously.
Zhane sighed and leaned against the wall, "I've been gettin' some weird vibes from Jason lately."
Karone gave him a clueless look, "Uh, excuse me. You're talking to a person who has spent very little time on Earth."
He remembered, then explained in terms that she would understand, "Jason has been acting really out of character lately."
Karone sighed and crossed her arms, still not getting what he was saying; "What?"
"All day he's just been acting really weird. More than usual, I mean. It seems like he's always around you. And this afternoon I saw him looking through DECA's private database." Zhane said and Karone raised her eyebrow.
"Just . . . what are you getting at Zhane?" She asked, her arms still crossed.
"I'm just saying that this is kind of unusual . . . " His voice trailed off.
She laughed a little, more out of frustration than anything though; "I can't believe you! Zhane, you're dreaming up all these wild and crazy ideas because you are jealous."
Zhane rolled his eyes, "Oh please. I'm am not jealous of him! All I'm saying is--"
"Jason is up to no good." Karone finished for him skeptically.
Zhane sighed and then answered hesitantly, "Yea . . . well I mean it's a possibility."
Karone smiled and nodded her head, "Yeah, sure Zhane. The ex-Red Ranger and ex-Gold Ranger who has been on our side from the beginning and that came back to help us willingly, has turned on us as a sort of spur of the moment decision thing?" She said sarcastically.
"I knew you wouldn't believe me." Zhane told her, now crossing his arms.
"You just expect me to believe that a ranger, our teammate has turned against us when you have no proof what so ever except for the fact that you think he might be up to no good?" Karone asked incredulously, raising her voice a little.
Zhane sighed and put his hands on her arms, "Okay, first of all, shut up." He said quietly, but firmly, "And second of all you know me. Ok? You really know me. Would I just make something like this up, let alone tell someone about this if I didn't really feel like something was wrong?"
Karone opened her eyes and sighed again. He was right. He had realized Jason had been turned evil way before she did and tried to tell her, but she didn't listen. She just wrote it off as Zhane being Zhane. She just thought he was being jealous of her spending time with Jason.
She slowly got up from the couch and turned the simudeck off. Within seconds, the room she had created disappeared.
She walked down the dully-lit hallway towards the engine room and the only sound she hears was the buzzing of the fluorescent lights above her.
*The others must still be working on the zords. * She thought to herself as she walked past the main engine towards the healing chamber door.
She punched in the all too familiar code and the door slid open with a hiss. She walked to the center of the room where Zhane lay in his cryo tube and sat down in the chair beside it. She looked up at his heart monitor and every few seconds it would beep.
She sat for a few moments, then looked back up at the heart monitor questioningly. Was she dreaming things or . . . was it going faster than the day before?
"DECA, is Zhane's heart beat getting faster?" Karone asked loudly.
DECA replied a few seconds later, "Affirmative. Zhane is 1% recovered from hyper-psychosis."
Karone smiled and jumped out up of the chair, "This is fantastic! It's working and it's only been a couple of days!"
She ran out of the room, making sure to lock the door after she left, and ran towards the bridge to tell the others.
She burst onto the bridge but suddenly stopped. She looked around and no one was there.
"They can't still be working on the zords!" She mused, then said, "DECA, call the other rangers onto the bridge."
A few minutes later the others joined her on the bridge, but Karone's smile faded when she saw the look on their faces.
"What's wrong?" She asked curiously.
"DECA just informed us of 5 evil life forms on Earth." Andros told her and she slumped down in her command chair.
"You have got to be kidding me." She murmured.
"I wish I were." Andros said, then asked, "DECA also said that you had something to tell us. What is it?"
"The hypersleep is curing Zhane's hyper-psychosis. He's 1% healed." She said, then sighed, "It sounded much better before you told me your news."
"What are we going to do about the life forms on Earth? We're so not ready for a zord fight." Ashley spoke up.
Andros looked to her, then to the others, "We don't have a choice. We have to fight them."
His eyes opened slowly and he licked his cracked lips and it stung.
"Where am I?" Zhane asked himself as he slowly stood up.
He looked around and saw that he was in a room. A mid-sized room with a metal ceiling and walls. It was slightly lighted, but there were no lights.
He suddenly saw a circle of brilliant light in front of him, and he covered his arm over his eyes.
The bright light subsided, and he put his arm down.
He looked at the girl standing in front of him and almost couldn't believe it, "Karone?! What are you doing here? Where are we?"
She smiled and walked towards him, "I am only a part of who you think I am."
Zhane looked at her confusingly, "What do you mean?"
"I am Karone's conscience. Her inner-voice." She replied, "It is time for you to begin your emotional healing, as well as your physical healing."
"How do I do that?" He asked.
She ignored his question, and suddenly a small metal chair appeared "You may sit down."
He obeyed, and then said, "I still don't understand what's going on here. Where am I?"
"You are in your sub-conscience." She replied simply.
"My sub . . . conscience? How the heck did I get here?" He asked.
Karone smiled a little, "When you were put into hypersleep again your mind, your entire being, slips into your conscience until your body is completely healed."
Zhane shook his head, "This never happened before when I was in hypersleep."
"Of course it did. You just don't remember it." She told him, then a chair appeared in front of him and she sat down in it, "I believe Andros' sub-conscience was with you the first time you were put into hypersleep. And it was with you those entire two years..."
"Who was with me last time?" Zhane asked then shook his head a little to clear it out. He had been in hypersleep why to many times.
Karone saddened and looked to the floor, "That is something that you need to deal with."
Zhane looked at her pained expression, "What? What are you talking about?"
Karone met his gaze and sighed, "Your mother was with you for the brief time you were in hypersleep last time. And I'm afraid that her harsh feelings towards Karone started then."
"I always wanted to know why she . . . I don't want to say hate . . . it's such a strong word. But . . . disliked Karone so much. Why was that?" He asked curiously. His mothers' cruel behavior towards Karone on KO-35 was odd. He had never seen his mother act that way before.
"When Karone was kidnapped, you were only five years old. You spent all your time helping Andros deal with the pain, so you didn't have to deal with it yourself. Everyday you were at the Lanrydan's house, you were hardly ever at your home. With your family. Your mother became upset. She felt as if you didn't care for her anymore. That you cared for this little girl that was kidnapped more than you did for her. When she found out about you sending the rescue transmissions into space, she thought that all you cared about was Karone." She explained.
Zhane sighed and ran his hand through his hair, "But . . . she's my mother, she should have known that-"
"Yes Zhane, she should have known that it was ridiculous to believe that. But we both know your mother has a one-track mind. When she makes up her mind that's it. Sadly, she carried this, this grudge against Karone all these years. And when she saw Karone as a Power Ranger and your girlfriend on KO-35 . . . she thought she was going to lose her son all over again." She explained to him, "Your mothers' sub-conscience tried relentlessly to break you and Karone up when you were in hypersleep last."
Before she could continue, Zhane muttered, "She's going verbal and mental with this stupid grudge."
Karone half smiled, then a wave of panic hit her and she frowned, "I must go."
Zhane stood up and caught her arm, "What's wrong?"
She turned back around to face him; "Karone is panicking for come reason. I must find out what is wrong and give her guidance."
Zhane looked at her; he could almost feel the panic in the air, "What is she worrying about? Can you tell me? Are you coming back?"
Karone smiled a little, then slowly began to disappear; "I'll always be here."
She heard metal clank footsteps coming her way in the hallway and then he burst through the door, knocking down a few quantron guards.
"Yes your all highest evilness?" He bowed.
She sighed and growled, "Would you please stop addressing me with those stupid names. Call me Astronema! I command it!"
Elgar bowed again, "Yes your evil-I mean yes Astronema."
"Send some quantrons to Earth. It's almost time to unveil our big surprise." She smiled wickedly.
Suddenly, the ship board computer said, "Incoming transmission from Divatox."
Astronema rolls her eyes and turns towards the screen where a picture of Divatox shows up.
"Yeah, yeah so what is it? I'm in the middle of an important mission." Astronema informed her.
Divatox rolled her eyes, "Oh puh-leez. Anyways, I've heard about some secret weapon that you've got to defeat the rangers. I just want to warn you that if Dark Specter hasn't been informed he's going to get pretty up-"
"Dark Specter will thank me when I destroy the rangers!" Astronema pounded her fist on the table, "And you will be envying me when I do so! Good-bye!"
The screen goes blank and Astronema turns back around to Elgar, "Send down a group of quantrons and prepare the area for my arrival . . . and the arrival of the others."
"Anyone picking up anything?" Ashley asks, looking at her scanner.
They all replied with nopes, or nothings. Andros stopped the group, then looked up from his scanner and looked over the parking lot with his eyes; "They've got to be around here-"
Before he could finish, a group of 6 quantrons materialized in front of them and they all jumped back into their defensive stances.
"Looks like we've found them." TJ says.
"We haven't seen these guys in awhile." Carlos remembers.
"Why don't we give them a grand slam, welcome back to Angel Grove, we're gonna kick your butt, homecoming gift?" Ashley asks and they all smile.
"Sounds good to me!" Karone smiles then runs up to a quantron, grabs its arm, and kicks it in the stomach.
One heads straight for Ashley but she does a back flip, then kicks it in the chest.
The guys take down the rest of the quantrons in a series of kicks and punches, and within minutes the quantrons disappear and they regroup and smile.
"That wasn't too hard." Karone smiles as she wipes the dirt off of her.
"Is it just me or is this little pre monster bash getting easier and easier?" TJ joked.
Before Carlos could crack a joke, a purple light flashed before them and revealed Astronema, 2 quantrons, Elgar, Darkonda, and Ecliptor.
The ranger's eyes widened and they once again got in their defensive stances.
"I don't believe we were told of a good/evil get together, were we?" Karone asked the others.
"Here's something else to mark on your calendars," TJ said, glaring at the villains, "I do believe this is the first time we've ever been in the same room all at one time."
Astronema smiled with a mock sweetness and sauntered over to them, "You can put your fists down now. I can confidently assure you that I will not be fighting you."
The rangers reluctantly backed off a little, and stood up straight.
"What do you want, Astronema?" Andros asked boldly, his voice echoing in the empty underground parking lot.
Astronema smiled and walked back over to her henchman, "I came here today to ask you all to give me your morphers and the Astro megaship. And I will let you go. No strings attached you will no longer have to fight me, you will no longer have duties to the universe, nothing. You will be completely free. Your lives will be exactly as they were before you became Power Rangers."
They rangers exchanged odd glances, then looked back at her.
"What are you talking about?" Carlos asked incredulously.
"You're going to have to do better than that, girl." Ashley said, shaking her head.
"We will never give up." Karone said fiercely.
"Have it your way then." Astronema smiles, then snaps her fingers and five teenagers appear in front of her and line up in front of each of the rangers.
"Who are these people?" TJ asks her.
The mysterious teens looked their age. They all were wearing black leather jackets, with a colored T-shirt underneath. And oddly enough, the colored T-shirts were the same color as the rangers' they were standing in front of. A girl with a yellow shirt underneath was standing in front of Ashley, glaring at her. A guy with a red shirt was standing in front of Andros, glaring at him. And the same with the others.
"These people are your worst nightmare. They are robots I created myself. But there is something . . . special about them." Astronema smiled, then giggled, "Show them."
The five mysterious teens suddenly lifted their left hands and showed the rangers their astro morphers.
Ashley gasped and Karone swallowed hard. Now they all knew what had happened to their mophers.
"What are you planning to do, Astronema?" Andros asked her.
Astronema smiled, "To kill you of course."
Suddenly the other 5 robot teenagers yell, "Let's Rocket!"
A bright flash of light sweeps over the parking lot, then reveals them in black armor with their color in spiked wings on their helmets.
"Rangers, meet . . ." Astronema pauses for the effect, "The Psycho Rangers."
The rangers all exchanged 'Uh-oh we're in major trouble' looks. This was not good. In fact, this was about the worst thing that could possibly have happened.
"As soon as my rangers are fully charged, we'll be back." Astronema smiled, and they all disappeared.
Everyone stood still. No one knew what to say, so they didn't say anything. They stood completely still for a few minutes, then Andros cleared his throat.
"Tell me that didn't just happen." Ashley said, still looking at where Psycho Yellow had stood minutes earlier.
"I wish I could." Andros sighed, then looked around the parking lot, "Good, nobody witnessed it."
"This can't be happening!" Karone finally spoke, "Astronema . . . having . . . her own rangers? This is like . . . like Armageddon or something!"
"There is no way we're ready. With what's happening to our powers, and the zords . . . we could never hold up against five of them." Ashley realized.
"We're one ranger short, too." Carlos reminded them.
Ashley walked over to Andros, who was looking off into space, and asked, "What are we going to do?" She knew that whenever times got rough, Andros always knew what to do. He always pulled through for the team. He was a natural leader.
Andros sighed, then met her gaze, "I don't know."
She turned off the light and slipped under the covers of her bed. It was going to be hard getting to sleep tonight, she knew. The zords were 20% repaired, Alpha was keeping a close eye on their power monitors, and Zhane was still only 1% cured.
Karone closed her eyes and sighed, *I bet the psycho rangers are resting easy tonight. *
"Are you planning on sending them down all at once, your highness?" Ecliptor asked her.
"No . . . that's what they'll be expecting. I'm going to send one of them down at a time." She said clearly and Darkonda slammed his fist on the table.
"Do not be a fool! The rangers are at their absolute weakest! Send them all down!" He argued with her.
Astronema glared at him, "I do believe that these are my psycho rangers. And I do believe that this is my operation. So please do me a favor and . . . SHUT UP!"
She regained her composure, then said lightly, "We will send them down one by one. That way I will get to see those courageous little teens try their hardest to defend their pathetic little universe for their mommies and daddies."
Everyone around the table agreed, even Darkonda reluctantly did, and Astronema smiled.
"Well then, I say we all get some sleep. We've got a very big