And it scared her. This had never happened to her before. All the years in war when she was on the military she isolated herself, not allowing herself to let anyone too close. Much like Andros had isolated himself after Zhane had been injured. She had never been this dependent on anyone before in her life, and now that Zhane wasn't here, she felt . . . crushed. Heartbroken. Devastated.
Karone stopped and shook her head firmly. No, this wasn't like that. Zhane was coming back. He was 1% healed. He was getting better.
She realized she was standing directly in front of Zhane's room and she sighed and smiled. Even when he was unconscience he could make her feel better and smile.
She reached out and touched the button on the frame of the door and it slid open. As soon as she was in the room it slid shut behind her.
She just needed to be in there. To be surrounded by him. His scent, his clothes, his messy room. Everything was exactly as he had left it. It eased her mind to know that he had left his room messy so that one day she would come in again and tell him to clean it up.
She smiled and shook her head. Every morning on her walk to the bridge she poked her head in the doorway and told him to clean his room. His reply had always been flashing her his trademark smile and saying, "But I know where everything's at. Why mess it up?"
She was about to turn around and leave until she saw his computer terminal screen on and a prompt asking him to type in his password.
"Him and his obsession with e-mail." She muttered, amused and she walked over to it and sat down. She bit her lip, trying to think of what his password may be. She tried her name and another prompt came up saying "Incorrect, try again".
Too easy. She tried Andros and it didn't work either. She sighed in frustration as she found out the other's names didn't work either.
"Zhane, why must you be so difficult?" She asked aloud, then an idea struck her.
"DECA?" She called out, not looking away from the computer screen.
"Yes, Karone?" DECA replied.
"Has Zhane authorized me to get into his computer terminal?" She asked.
The camera immediately replied, "Affirmative. Do you wish to access it?"
Karone smiled a little, "Yes. Thank you DECA. Oh, and DECA, is anyone else authorized into his terminal?"
The only way she would be allowed is Zhane had pre-authorized her.
"Negative. No one else but you. Now playing post-authorization pre-recorded video for recipient Karone." DECA said and Karone's eyes widened at the last sentence.
"Post-Authorization pre-recorded video--" Karone was about to ask, but suddenly Zhane appeared on the screen.
He was in his flight suit, his arms were crossed, and he was wearing a big smile on his face. "Hey good looking."
She blushed a little and laughed. How was it that he could be un-conscience and still embarrass her?
"So you want to access my private files?" He said seriously, crossing his arms. He gave her a stern look, and held it a few moments. Karone began to wonder if maybe this wasn't a good idea, until he broke a smile and said, "Okay."
Karone laughed and shook her head and the display screen lit up and another prompt came up and the computer said, "You've got mail."
Her eyes widened and she clicked 'read new messages'. Zhane had actually gotten and e-mail? But from who??
The inbox loaded and the sender's name appeared. She clicked on it and the message appeared.
She whispered the contents softly.
Thank you for writing! I'm always glad to hear from fans like you! I'm so glad you enjoy my radio show. I can tell you're a big fan of the Power Rangers, so am I! Anyways, let's get down to business. You said in your e-mail about how you should tell your friends and girl friend about your life-threatening illness. I've got to be honest with you; I don't get many letters like that. But I'm here to give advice and that's what I'm going to do. Telling someone one that you are ill has got to be one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life, if you ever have to do it. There are many things to consider, one obviously being that they might distance themselves from you in order to deal with the pain. But judging from the way you described your friends; they're going to stick with you through these bad times. The thing you must remember is not to distance yourself from them. They need you as much as you need them, it's a two way street. Now, about your girl friend, this could be tough. It seems to me that you two sound very close, like soul mates, if that's true then she must already be sensing that there is a problem. She might have even confronted you about it. Your mind will tell you to push her away, but don't listen to it. You're going to need her, all of her, to survive. Remember, whether you tell them or not they're eventually going to find out one way or another. Think about that. Please write me back sometime and let me know how you are doing. I'll be thinking of you.
From the "Ask Crystal" show on AGCA Channel 93.3 FM in Angel Grove"
Karone sighed and leaned back in the chair. He hadn't told her himself. Not that it really mattered now though. She didn't blame him. She wouldn't have wanted to tell everyone if she were sick either. It would've been too hard.
She shivered at the thought of how he must have felt when he couldn't tell anyone.
She shut down his terminal and stood up and looked around. Things just weren't the same without him here.
DECA's camera turned on and said, "Karone, your presence is requested on the bridge."
Karone sighed and started walking towards the bridge. She knew what this was about. They were going to have a meeting to try and decide what they were going to do about their new enemies. The Psycho Rangers.
She walked onto the bridge and saw the others waiting for her.
"We've been discussing our options and we've narrowed it down to two." Andros informed her.
Karone nodded her head and crossed her arms, "So, what are our options?"
"Well we can either stay here and battle the Psycho's. But we will be putting Angel Grove in a lot of danger." TJ said.
"How much danger?" She asked.
TJ glanced at Andros, then back to Karone, "We're looking at 88% total destruction of the city."
"Well that's obviously not an option." Karone replied, "What's your other plan."
Andros walked over to a monitor on the wall and the others followed. He picked up a remote and turned the screen on to show when they first met the Psycho's.
"DECA recorded the confrontation in the parking lot and was able to get a diagnostic layout of the Psycho's. Since they weren't in their 'human' form very long it didn't give us a full report, but enough to show us one of their major weaknesses."
Karone looked at the screen carefully, "That being.....?"
"Frigid temperatures." Andros told her simply.
Karone looked at the others all smiling at her and she looked at them confused, "Frigid temperatures and . . . what?"
"That's all." Carlos told her with a knowing smile on his face.
It all clicked in Karone's head and she smiled, "They only have one major weakness?!"
Ashley nodded her head enthusiastically; "Apparently Astronema was so busy trying to hurry up and make the Psycho's, she didn't even think about making them resistant to coldness."
"Well this is obviously good news! So what do we do? Lure then to Antarctica or something?" Karone joked.
Andros turned solemn again; "We can't fight them on Earth."
"What do you mean? I thought we just couldn't destroy them in Angel Grove..." Karone's voice trailed off and Andros shook his head.
"If we fight them on Earth it's going to put everyone on the planet in danger. We have no idea how big of an explosion it will be if we destroy one."
Karone sighed and leaned against the wall, "So you're suggesting we leave Earth."
"Exactly." Carlos replied.
"Well that could work but, what if they Psycho's don't follow us to where ever we go?" She asked the group.
"That looks like a chance we're gonna have to take." TJ said.
Karone finally nodded her head, "Okay, I say we do it. But we've got another problem. Who's going to stay here and watch out for Earth?"
"Rangers," Zordon interrupted them and they all turned to look at him, "I have planned for this day since the beginning. You must go to the ice planet of Glacieron; there you will find vehicles that will allow you to get around the icy planet with ease. I'm afraid you will be unable to take your Galaxy Gliders with you, for the cold atmosphere on the planet would freeze their engines. Alpha and I will stay here, on the megaship, and watch over the Earth. If trouble arises we can call on Jason and the others for help."
They all nodded their heads, then Karone stepped forward, "But - What about Zhane?"
"Karone, I don't think Zhane's going anywhere." TJ told her.
Karone saddened a little, and it was evident to them that she didn't like the thought of leaving Zhane.
Andros put a hand on her shoulder, "I don't like it either, but we have to go."
Karone looked up to him, "Then let's go."
He sighed and realized that he wasn't nearly as tired as he used to be. When he had first woken up he could barely stand up. Now he could move throughout the small space of his mind in ease. He was healing. He could feel it.
Suddenly a bright burst of light swept across the small room and then dimmed again to almost complete blackness again. He looked up startled and saw Karone there again.
"You're back!" He said as he scrambled to his feet, "What was wrong? Is Karone okay?"
She smiled, "Yes, Karone is doing just fine. And so are you I see."
Zhane smiled a little; "Yeah, yeah I'm feeling stronger. So, what was she worried about?"
"I'm afraid I cannot tell you. It will interfere with your healing process." She said and before he could protest she continued, "Now it is time for you to begin the emotional part of your healing."
Zhane looked at her questioningly and she explained, "You must come to terms with everything that has happened in your life. And you must be okay with it."
Zhane nodded his head, "Okay, sounds easy enough."
Karone looked down, then back up to him; "It may be harder than you think. You will see things that you have never seen before. Things that could hurt you."
Before Zhane could as any questions, Karone waved her hand and a lighted doorway appeared on the wall.
"Now you must enter your soul. I wish you good luck on your journey to the past." She said then a sword appeared in her hand, "Take this, you will need it."
Zhane looked at her a little worried now, then took the shiny silver sword out of her hand and turned towards the doorway. He took a deep breath. Her words echoed in his mind. What exactly did she mean by things that could hurt him?
He stared at the doorway, then looked back behind him. She was gone. He slowly started stepping towards the door.
Somewhere down this road
I know someone's waiting
Years of dreams
Just can't be wrong
Arms will open wide
I'll be safe and wanted
Fin'lly home where I belong
Well, starting here, my life begins
Starting now, I'm learning fast
Courage see me through
Heart I'm trusting you
On this journey ... to the past
Heart don't fail me now!
Courage don't desert me!
Home, Love, Family
There was one a time
I must have had them too
Home, Love, Family
I will never be complete
Until I find you . . .
One step at a time
One hope, then another
Who knows where
This road may go -
Back to who I was
On to find my future
Things my heart still
Needs to know
Yes, let this be a sign!
Let this road be mine!
Let it lead me to my past
Courage see me through
Heart, I'm trusting you
To bring me home . . .
The wind was howling and the snow was blowing everywhere, they could hardly see or hear their scanners in front of them.
"I can barely read this thing!" TJ yelled.
"Neither can I!" Ashley yelled back.
Andros motioned his arm to the right of them, "This way guys! The coordinates Zordon gave us is right over here at this snow hill."
They all followed the Red Ranger to the snow hill and they all looked at it.
"So what do we do now?" Carlos asked jokingly.
Andros looked around, confused, then back to his scanner, "I don't understand! According to my scanner this is where the secret dome should be."
They all sighed and looked around and Ashley caught something out of the corner of her eye.
The others started to walk off but she called then back, "Hey guys! Wait I think I found something!"
They all rushed to where she was standing and saw a small metal post that was on the side of the snow mound.
Andros examined the keypad; "It's a fingerprint identification scanner."
They all exchanged glances and Andros put his thumb over the small scanner and he felt the warm light run over it.
"Identified as Red Space Ranger. Request for access granted." A mechanical voice told them and the pole disappeared into the ground.
"Okay..." Ashley's voice trailed off as nothing happened.
"Well we know we have access, but how do we know where to go in at?" TJ asked the group, and then suddenly the ground around them began to shake.
Before any of them could react, they disappeared, then reappeared underground in a lit up cave of ice.
TJ looks around and straightens up, "Well.... I guess that answers my question."
They all turn around towards the center of the cave and gasp in awe at what they see.
Hovering over the ground are six snow mobile like vehicles. Each one matches the ranger's color.
"This is awesome!" Carlos exclaimed as he ran up to his black one.
"It's just like Star Wars!" TJ marveled looking over his.
"Uh Teej, I think in Star Wars they rode camel like animals on the ice planet." Ashley corrected him with a smile.
"I guess these were the vehicles Zordon told us about." Karone said idly as she looked over at the white snow mobile.
She walked over to it slowly and ran her hand across the side of it. It had the words 'Silver Ranger' on it in a black glittery paint.
She raises an eyebrow, not understanding. He was the white ranger though. She shrugs it off and walks over to her mobile. *Zordon needs to update his zord painters on the latest Rangers. * She says to herself.
Suddenly icicles started falling from the ceiling and they heard a loud roar above them.
"Looks like the Dark Fortress has landed." Carlos said.
Andros looks down at his scanner urgently; "There's a settlement about 10 miles from here. Let's make a break for it so we can warn the villagers of Astronema's arrival."
The all agree and jump onto their vehicles. As soon as they sit down they start up.
"I think I'm gonna like this." TJ says with a smile as he puts on his eye goggles.
The others do the same and suddenly a door slides open in front of them.
"That's our que!" Ashley yells over the engines and with a blast, they all bolt towards the settlement.
The only sound he hears is the echo of his breath in what seems like the never-ending cave. He comes to a stop and looks around the darkness.
Where exactly was he going? And what was he going there for?
Instantly on the sides of the dark hallway images started rolling. The hallway was not lit up with pictures. He looked at the left side of the hallway. Above the rolling images was the phrase 'What is...' in red neon letters. He looked to the right side now and about the images was the words 'What might have been...'. He looked ahead of him and saw a red glow in the distance, but couldn't make out what it said.
He looked back to the left side of the hallway at the images that played on the wall.
He saw a picture of himself as a boy with Andros. Then a picture of him saving Karone on the ledge when they were four.
He smiled at the memory, then the images progressed to when he was a teenager in Ranger training with Andros. Then the attack on KO-35. Then an image of Andros carrying Zhane onto the megaship after he was hurt.
Zhane looked at the images with wide eyes. He was finally seeing what happened when he was in hypersleep.
Suddenly he could hear things. Things that were going on the pictures. He saw Andros with a tear stained face shutting the lid on his cryogenic tube and saying, "We'll fight as a team forever. Not matter how long it takes."
He saw Andros walk around alone on the megaship day after day. As if he were waiting to die. Getting lonelier by the minute.
Zhane finally had to look away and he was suddenly faced with the opposite wall. The 'What might have been' wall.
He didn't know how much more he could take. Is this what Karone's conscience warned him about?
He saw an image of Andros and Karone playing in the park. The day Zhane had saved her. But there was something different about this. He wasn't there.
He saw Andros run after Karone. She kept running closer and closer to the edge until she fell over and gripped onto the side of it.
He heard her plea for help and grabbed on tightly to the sword he was holding. He saw Andros running as fast as he could, but he wasn't fast enough. He saw Karone's grip slide as she plummeted to the rocky ground.
Zhane looked away quickly. He couldn't see it. He couldn't see what happened. Because in his heart he knew what that picture was. And he knew what that wall stood for. It was all that would have been if Zhane hadn't been alive.
He ran. Ran as fast as he could towards the end of the tunnel. Past all of the images, and sounds.
He came to an abrupt halt when he saw a wall in front of him, with the words 'What will be...' at the top.
Suddenly an image showed up of him as the Silver Ranger in a cave of ice. He fired his Super Silverizer at a monster and it fell to the ground. Along with it fell Karone. Then the movie changed. It showed him and Karone sitting by a lake on KO-35 and him putting a white flower into her hair and smiling. Then it changed again to show the Astro Rangers facing Dark Specter and all the other evil villians. Then it showed Andros hold a sword up in the air, then bring it down to shatter a glowing green ball. A huge blast ripped across the universe. Then the screen went blank and light surrounded him.
He turned around and saw an enormous boulder sitting on the floor. He walked over to it and laying on it was his digimorpher.
A bright smile lit up his face and he picked it up, "Wow, I never thought I'd see you again!"
After putting it back onto his wrist he took his morpher out of his back pocket.
"It no longer functions." A voice told him and he looked up to see Karone standing across from him.
"How do you know?" He asked her.
She smiled, "My boss told me."
"I don't understand what's going on . . . what happened?" He asked.
She smiled at him and replied, "You don't need to understand. The universe has a plan for everyone. You passed their test by showing that what might have been isn't what is and what will be."
Zhane gave her a funny look, "I ran away."
She nodded her head, "True, but at least you didn't kill yourself with that sword."
He laughed a little and shook his head; "I'll never understand this subconscience thing."
"You must go now." She told him.
She ran her hand over the rock and a slot appeared on it.
"Insert your sword." She instructs him and he slowly lowers it down.
Out of nowhere he suddenly feels paralyzed. He gasps for breath but nothing comes in. Then, a burst of light surrounds him.
"Ay yi yi yi yi! Zordon! Where is everyone?!" Alpha screeches.
"The rangers have gone on their quest to destroy the Psycho Rangers on Glacieron. What is it Alpha?"
Alpha jumps up and down frantically, "Ay yi yi! It's Zhane!"