Karone walked into her quarters and sat down in front of her mirror. She picked up her brush and started running it through her hair.
The others had all gone to a place on Earth, called the Surf Spot, but she declined their offer for her to join them. She needed some time to herself.
She sighed heavily and laid her brush back on her dresser.
*Why did he have to leave?* she thought sadly.
"There's so much I need to tell you," he had said.
She smiled at the memory.
"I'm being selfish," she whispered to herself, "The rebels need him."
She sighed again, "But I need him, too." She whined then smiled, "Oh dear, I sound like Astronema."
Suddenly, she remembered something, "I wonder if I had a missing child profile...."
"DECA, could you search the missing child database and look for a profile of me?" she asked the camera.
"Affirmative. Two thousand twenty entries for 'Karone'. Should I scan for your picture?" the computer asked.
"Yes. And when you find it, put it on the main viewing screen on the bridge." Karone commanded and started walking towards the bridge.
She walked in and sat in Andros's chair.
"Downloading Missing Child Case #0956." DECA confirmed.
"Thanks DECA." She thanked and began looking over her profile.
She read to herself, "Karone Lanrydan was kidnapped yesterday afternoon while playing with her brother, Andros Lanrydan at the Guradi Park. She is 4 years old, around 4 feet tall, blonde hair with a braided streak of brown. Last seen wearing a purple jumpsuit. If you know anything about the disappearance of this young girl, or if you've seen her, please contact the KO-35 regional police at 'Transmission Sector 45002 ext. K-A-R-O-N-E'. Her parents are offering a 450 Million Kerovian Dollar reward to the person that finds her."
She looked over the rest of the document in complete silence.
*If I only would have known that someone was looking for me....* she thought to herself and tears came to her eyes.
She was about to turn the screen off when something on the document caught her eye.
"Rescue Transmissions?" she whispered to herself, then asked, "DECA? Bring up the file list of Rescue Transmission in my profile."
"Affirmative. 1,890 Rescue Transmissions found for Karone Lanrydan." DECA confirmed.
"What exactly are Rescue Transmission DECA?" she asked the computer.
"Rescue Transmissions are videos of civilians looking for their family or friends. They are recorded and sent out into space, where they will remain until it is destroyed or deleted." DECA explained.
"And I have 1,890?? Wow..." Karone said in awe, then noticed something else.
"DECA, tell me if I'm seeing things. But.... do those say transmissions from 'Zhane'?" Karone asked unbelievingly.
"Affirmative Karone. 1,506 of those rescue transmissions are from Zhane." DECA told her.
Karone covered her mouth in shock, "DECA open the first one."
Before DECA could respond, the ship suddenly thrust forward, then stopped.
Karone turned around, "What the heck was that?!"
The ship thrust forward again and the ship shook violently.
"Incoming enemy fighter. Damage done to left port thruster, Extensive energy drop," DECA continued, but Karone interrupted.
"DECA! Shields to full power!" Karone yelled and ran back to the controls.
"Affirmative. Shields to full power." DECA confirmed.
"Can we get a laser lock?" asked Karone.
"Enemy fighter not in laser lock distance." DECA's voice said.
"How far away are they?" Karone asked the computer.
"Approximately 1,508 kilometers." Said DECA.
"Yes, Karone?" the computer responded.
"I suggest we get longer range lasers. After all, they can reach us" Karone said and smiled; "Ok, let's try something here.", she pushed the controls forward and the enemy ship came into view, "DECA stop the ship!" Karone yelled and held on.
The ship halted in it's tracks and the enemy ship flew past them.
Karone laughed and sat back up, "I still got it."
"DECA, laser lock on...." Karone commanded then noticed what the enemy fighter was, "The Dark Fortress?"
"Affirmative, locking all lasers on Dark Fortress."
"Fire!" Karone yelled and the lasers shot out at the Dark Fortress.
Suddenly the Dark Fortress stopped, and sat in space.
Karone shot a confused look at the viewing screen, "Huh?"
"Incoming live Video Transmission." DECA told her.
"Uh...Accept. Accept!" Karone said and walked closer to the screen.
A picture of Astronema showed up.
Karone rolled her eyes and smiled, "Look who's back!"
Astronema was filing her nails, and stopped, "I'm still the princess of evil missy. I'd watch out if I were you. Especially since the other rangers aren't around to save you."
Karone leaned against the front of the control table, "What do you want?"
"I just wanted to give you a little warning." Astronema said slowly.
Karone rolled her eyes again, "Who are you? Mother Theresa?"
Astronema gave her a funny look, "Who's that?"
Karone shrugged, "I don't know. Some lady on Earth."
Astronema rolled her eyes and stomped her foot on the ground, "You are so pathetic."
"And your so spoiled. Bye!" Karone said and almost cut off the transmission.
"Vixrothia," Astronema said and Karone backed her hand away from the transmission button, "Isn't finished with you rangers. I just wanted to let you know that she could attack at anytime."
"Thanks for the advice Confucius, but I think we can handle her." Karone said sarcastically.
"WHO ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE?" Astronema yelled at her.
"None of your business!" Karone yelled back at her then cut off the transmission.
"You weird freaky haired girl," Karone whispered angrily at Astronema.
Karone sighed and walked over to Andros's chair and flopped down.
*Now, where was I?* Karone thought to herself, then remembered.
"Oh yeah! DECA, bring up the first rescue transmission in my file!" Karone said and sat up in her chair.
She thought she heard foot steps behind her, but she ignored it as the video came on.
A picture of Zhane when he was around 4 or 5 years old came onto the screen. It looked like he was tired, and was wearing the same clothes as the day before.
The little Zhane fidgeted around in his chair, until the camera person gave him the 'ok' to start talking.
Finally a man's voice said to him, "Ok Zhane, you can start now."
Little Zhane cleared his throat and fidgeted some more, "K...Karone?"
Karone put her hand over her heart, remembering his sweet little voice.
The little Zhane cleared his throat again and continued, "I miss you, Karone. I miss you a lot. And so does Andros. We all miss you, and we want you to come home. We know some bad person took you away, but I know you'll come back. You'll find your way. Somehow. Cause your really good at hide and go seek."
The little Zhane stopped for a minute, then continued, "Andros is sad. He won't come outside and play no more. He stays inside all the time. And won't talk to anyone. Not even me. He needs you Karone. So do I. Ever since you left I haven't felt good. My heart hurts, and I don't know why. Your so good at explaining things. That's why you need to come back, so you can tell me why I hurt, when nothings broken."
The transmission ended.
Karone put her hands over her face and started crying. She cried for a few minutes, then wiped her eyes and sniffed back more tears.
"And he sent out 1,506 of these?" Karone asked, still wiping her eyes.
"No. I sent out 1 every day after you were kidnapped." A voice said from behind her.
Startled, she looked around and saw Zhane standing there smiling at her.
"If you sent out one every day, then I should have a lot more than 1,506. You tryin to short change me?" she said, a smile forming on her face.
"Hey, I was only 5 years old. Do you know how much those things cost to record?" Zhane joked, "Now come over here and give me a hug. I've been waiting 14 years."
Karone stood up and walked over to him, "Technically it's only been 12 years, because you were frozen. But..... I guess it wouldn't kill me."
He pulled her into a huge hug, "I missed you."
"I missed you too," she said and hugged him tighter.
They broke apart, but remained close.
Zhane took his hand and tilted her head up to face his.
Her deep brown eyes glistened and slowly he brought her chin up closer and closer to his face.
Finally their lips touched in a soft, sweet kiss.
When the kiss ended, their faces moved an inch apart and they looked into each others eyes.
Zhane moved both of his hands to frame her face, then pulled her in for another kiss.
It started out like the first one, but grew deeper with passion.
He moved his hands down to her waist and pulled her closer, as her arms wrapped around his neck.
The were lost in the moment, not caring about anything except each other when...
Someone standing beside them cleared their throat.
They broke apart and slowly turned their heads to face the person that was watching them.
It was Andros, and he did NOT look happy.
"What do you think your doing?" Andros asked as he crossed his arms.
Zhane looked the other way and Karone stuttered, "Uh...w...what are you talking about? We're not doing anything."
Zhane smiled but before he could say anything, Andros snapped angrily, "I wasn't talking to you!"
Zhane rolled his eyes, "C'mon Andros."
"Outside. Now." Andros demanded angrily.
"Oh Andros, God...." Zhane said annoyed.
"NOW!" Andros shouted at him and walked off the bridge.
Zhane let go of Karone and she gave him a worried look.
"I've never seen Andros mad before." She whispered, then added, "This is my fault."
Zhane shook his head and kissed her on the forehead, "This is no one's fault. It would only be someone's fault if they regretted it....do you? Do you regret it?"
"Of course not." She reassured him and smiled.
"GET OUT HERE NOW!" Andros yelled from the hallway.
Zhane fully let go of her and walked outside.
Karone sighed happily and leaned against the wall, smiling.
Andros dragged Zhane by the arm all the way to the other end of the ship.
"What were you doing back there?" he asked angrily.
"What did it look like I was doing?" Zhane joked and laughed.
"That is my sister!" he scolded.
"So?" Zhane replied nonchalantly.
"I warned you when we were little." Andros reminded him angrily.
"Oh come on Andros. We were 5. Give me a break. Me and Karone are adults now." Zhane said and rolled his eyes.
"I'm older now too, keep that in mind." Andros said angrily, hitting his fist against the wall.
"Was that a threat?" Zhane asked incredulously.
"Take it however you want it. But this is how it is. There is no you and Karone. You are completely separate people that will have NOTHING and I mean NOTHING to do with each other. You won't date her, you won't eat meals with her, you won't talk to her, you won't even breathe the same air as her." Andros commanded.
"Or what?" retorted Zhane.
"You can leave and never come back." Andros growled.
Zhane looked at his best friend, hoping any second now he would say all of this was a joke.
"You're serious aren't you?" Zhane realized.
"DEAD serious." Andros confirmed, his voice was enough to make your blood go cold.
Zhane closed his eyes and leaned against the wall.
*How can he make me choose between being a ranger and being with someone that I love?* his thoughts raced.
An image of Karone flashed in his mind, her beautiful blonde and brown hair, the feel of her in his arms was enough to make his mind go crazy.
Then he thought of the other half of his life, being a ranger. It was not an easy choice, but one he had to make. He had a job to do. And that was to protect the universe. And whether he liked it or not, that would always come first.
"Alright. Alright man. What ever you say. I'll stay away from her. But...can I ....say good bye to her?" Zhane asked hopefully.
"No." Andros declared.
"C'mon Andros. The only time I'll ever get to talk to her is in battle. The least you could do was let me say good bye to her." Zhane pleaded.
Andros hesitated, but gave in, "You have one minute, go."
Zhane bolted out the cargo bay door and ran towards the bridge.
He ran into the room, and tried to catch his breath.
Karone ran over to him, "What's wrong Zhane?" she asked concerned.
He looked at her, her brown eyes looked at him with the utmost concern.
He knew what he had to do.