Authors note: This story actually came to me while listening to another Savage Garden song "Santa Monica." The chorus forms the idea behind this story. For all you who don't know Savage Garden you really are missing out. Yes I am a proud Aussie happy to be flaunting our great bands:
"Whoa Rocko where's the fire?" Adam laughed softly then sobered as he saw the look on Rocky's face.
"Rocky you don't look so good, what's wrong?" He guided Rocky to an empty table.
"Everything" Rocky groaned and slumped his head on the table. "Remember me telling you about my pen pall Erica?"
"The cute one from Australia?" Adam queried.
Rocky just groaned again in response. Adam waited a moment before letting his friend go on. "We'll she's coming to Angel Grove to meet me"
"That's great, isn't it?" Adam looked confused. Rocky had been pen palls with Erica for a while now, and Adam had never seen him happier then when he got a new letter from her. Actually that's not true. Adam thought to himself. Rocky was only happier when he got phone calls from Erica.
"Great, wonderful, terrific" Rocky sounded anything but happy.
"Hi fellas, what do you want to eat" Ernie stood over the two boys.
"I'll have a smoothie, thanks Ernie" Adam smiled at the jolly owner of the Juice Bar.
"I'm not hungry" Rocky sighed.
Ernie stared in shock at his best customer but thought better of asking any questions leaving Adam to take care of his long time friend. "Ok Rocky, spill, since when are you ever not hungry?" Adam stared softly at Rocky.
"I screwed up big time" Rocky moaned "Remember when Erica and I were meant to send each other photo's, well I sorta sent her Tommy's photo. So now she's coming to Angel Grove to meet me, but she thinks me is Tommy"
Adam sat in silence for a few moments letting everything sink in before replying. "Why would you do that?"
"You've seen Erica, she's so pretty, I thought that she would be more attracted to someone who looks well like Tommy, all the girls seem to like him."
"Can't you just tell her the truth?" Adam took a sip of the smoothie neither boy had noticed Ernie leave on the table.
"No, if I do that she'll hate me. She'll think I was pulling some sort of stunt to fool her." Rocky looked over at his best friend in despair "You have to help me Adam."
"Ok, but first we should go pay Tommy a visit."
"Erica loves to play baseball, her position is catcher, she is left-handed but plays ball right" Rocky broke off to look at Tommy. "Are you getting all this?"
"I still think it is the wrong thing to do" Tanya spoke up, as Kat and Jason nodded their agreement. "You should just tell her the truth. I'd rather that than someone trying to fool me."
"I can't" Rocky stammered.
"Calm down Rocky, everything's going to be just fine" Tommy reassured his Hispanic friend. All the rangers had decided to accompany Tommy...Rocky to the airport to meet his pen pall.
"I just don't want anything to go wrong" Rocky stammered nervously.
"Trust me, I have everything under control" Tommy looked out towards the incoming planes.
"Isn't that what you said moments before our last monster attack" Billy teased the rangers leader.
Rocky gasped in shock.
"It was just a joke Rocky" Tanya whispered softly to the boy.
"No it's not that, it's her..." Rocky turned away from the rangers. They all followed his gaze as it landed on a young girl the same age as the teens. They all watched as she scanned the crowd, her black hair falling just below her shoulders, her five foot five build framed by a purple sundress.
"She's pretty hot mate" Jason whispered to Rocky.
"Uh-huh" Rocky replied steadying himself as he tried to remember that he was Tommy not Rocky.
Tommy led the rangers up to the small girl. "Um excuse me. Erica?" Tommy tapped her on her shoulder.
"Rocky?" She smiled up at Tommy.
"In the flesh" Tommy greeted her with a hug. "And these are my friends, Adam, Billy, Tanya, Kat Jason and Ro...Tommy" Tommy introduced the rest of the gang, hoping that Erica didn't notice the slip up on the final name. Tommy ran his fingers through his hair. It's going to be a long week.
"Hi" Erica replied to everyone.
Tanya nudged Rocky as he failed to return Erica's greeting "Umm hi..." he stuttered before becoming engrossed in his shoes.
"Well lets go get your bags" Tommy broke the silence feeling sorry for his friend. The gang led Erica out of the airport and over to Tommy's Jeep where the gang separated into two groups. Tommy, Rocky and Kat in one car, Billy, Adam, Tanya and Jason headed over to Adams car.
The trip back to town was horrific for Rocky. Kat and Erica soon found that they had many things in common, besides both being Australian, and were soon chatting like old friends. Kat had already convinced Erica to move her stuff from the hotel to the spare room in Kat's house for the duration of her visit. Tommy added his bit in every now and then; careful not to say anything that would give him or Rocky away. Rocky just sat there staring out the window.
"So what music are you interested in Tommy" Erica asked from her seat beside Tommy.
"Tommy?" Kat added gently nudging her friend.
"Oh umm, music, I like music..." Rocky trailed off and slumped further down into his seat. Great he thought to himself, now she must think I'm a real idiot.
Kat smiled sadly at Rocky and squeezed his arm for reassurance.
Tommy and Adam settled into their usual routine of sparing as the others looked on.
"In his letters Rocky said you were a pretty good martial artist Tommy, would you like to spar with me?" Erica stood before Rocky.
"Umm sure" He stood up to face his new opponent.
After a few minutes it was easy to see that Erica's style was fairly unique. Tommy and Adam stopped sparring as they watched with the others. A mixture of Karate, Aikido and Tai Chi, Erica's moves were graceful yet powerful. Her style, and the fact that he was watching her instead of paying attention to his own moves, sent Rocky to the mats.
"You're amazing" he murmured.
"You're not too bad yourself." Erica replied, slightly embarrassed at the attention, as she held out her hand to him. "Although Rocky described your style somewhat differently".
"Yeah well Tommy tends to change his style a lot, don't you Tommy?" Adam interrupted to save Rocky any further embarrassment.
"You got me there bro." Rocky gave Adam a small nod to thank him.
"Guess what" Tanya spoke up. "I just spoke to Ernie and there is going to be a dance here in two weeks. You have to come Erica"
"Yeah" Kat added enthusiastically. "We can all go shopping together for dresses." All the boys groaned at that comment.
"You're on!" Erica exchanged grins with the other two girls before giving way to a yawn. "Well it's been great, but I'm beat" Erica stifled another yawn. "I think I might head off to bed."
"Of course, jet lag, why didn't we think of that" Kat exclaimed. "You must be exhausted."
"Something like that" Erica grinned.
Tommy offered to walk the young girl home. After the two of them left Rocky dropped himself back onto the mats and lay flat on his back.
"Could someone please kill me now" he banged his hand against his forehead.
Adam flopped beside his best friend. "It wasn't that bad Rocky, in fact I think she fits in pretty well."
"Erica's great, isn't she?" Tanya added moving over towards the boys as Kat nodded in agreement.
"That's the problem." Rocky sighed "She is great, and right now she's walking home with her great pen pall Tommy."
"Tommy wouldn't do anything behind your back Rocko" Jason joined the conversation.
'I know that, it's just I..."
"You wish it could be you" Tanya looked down at him with understanding.
"Yeah" Rocky slowly stood and said his good-byes before slowly making his way home.
Running down his path without eating any breakfast he ran into a figure passing on the sidewalk.
"I'm so sorry" he held out his hand to steady the person.
"Tommy?" Erica queried.
"Oh hi, Erica, I really am sorry, I was just running..." he stumbled over his words.
"Late." Erica finished for him. "I know the feeling, Kat left an hour ago to teach her ballet class because I was still asleep."
Rocky calmed himself down as the two of them headed towards the Youth Centre to meet the rest of the gang. After a few moments Erica had him lost in conversation, reminding Rocky of the many times they had burnt the long distance phone lines talking to each other till all hours. He felt like no one had ever understood him the way she had. If possible Rocky could almost believe that he had fallen in love over the phone.
Erica felt comfortable around the boys he knew as Tommy. It was if she had known him forever, but she had only just met him this week. Yet Rocky, whom she thought she had known, turned out to be like a stranger to her. Walking home yesterday she felt uncomfortable around Rocky he barely spoke, nothing like the cheerful outgoing boy she had fallen for over the phone.
"Erica" Rocky started.
"Yes Tommy?" She looked up at him softly.
"Umm.... I have something to tell you" Rocky tried to compose himself.
"Run!" Rocky yelled as his conversation was cut off by the appearance of a dozen cogs.
"What?" Erica confused look turned to fear as she turned to see what Rocky was staring at. "Oh my god, what are they?"
"Just run, please go" Rocky begged the girl.
"I can't just leave you here" She countered holding onto Rocky's arm.
The cogs started their attack moments later as the two teens turned to face them. Although both were skilled martial artists the cogs were playing dirty and Rocky knew that without morphing they couldn't hold up much longer. He turned to Erica just as a cog crept up behind her.
"Erica!" Rocky yelled a moment too late as the smaller girl went crashing to the ground unconscious.
"That does it tin heads" Rocky let out an angry yell. "Zeo Ranger 3 Blue" moments later the blue ranger had taken down all the cogs and was by the young girl's side.
"Erica, please wake up, please." Rocky noticed a lump was forming on the back of her head. "Zordon, there was an attack in the park" Rocky spoke into his communicator. "Could you please teleport me to the hospital, Erica was hurt."
"Of course Rocky. I shall send for the other rangers."
"No." Rocky ran his hand through his hair nervously. "There's been no news since the blue ranger brought her in"
Kat turned to engulf her friend in a hug "Don't worry, we're all here for you now."
A man in operating clothes walked to the teens. "Are you here for Erica South?" he queried the group.
"Yes" Tommy spoke up for the group "Is she going to be ok?"
Doctor Parkins paused before addressing the group "In the absence of parents to inform I can only tell you that the blow she received caused internal bleeding. We were able to find the source of the bleeding but a lot of blood was lost." He stopped for a moment letting this news sink in. "I'm afraid that during the surgery she slipped into a coma, it could be days, weeks or months before she comes out of it, if she does at all. I'm terribly sorry."
"Can we see her?" Rocky tried to stop the tears from freely flowing.
"Of course, but only one at a time." Doctor Parkins led Rocky down to the room where Erica had been moved. He just couldn't understand it, cog attacks were not unusual but never before had they targeted an innocent victim like this. The strangest part though was the bleeding and the coma. It was very unusual for such a blow to cause this type of reaction.
"Thank you doctor" Rocky whispered before entering the room. The machines and tubes that were keeping her alive dwarfed Erica's small frame as Rocky moved to her bedside.
"Hi Erica, It's me Rocky. That's what I was going to tell you earlier. I'm not Tommy, I'm Rocky. I was afraid that you wouldn't like me for me so I sent you a picture of Tommy. I guess it doesn't matter now." He lifted her hand to his lips. "I'm so sorry, it's all my fault. I should have just told you the truth, but you are so beautiful and wonderful, your conversations made me feel like I was important, I was afraid that you wouldn't feel the same way if you met me in person." He paused slightly. "You see I've never had good luck with women, it's not really an excuse I know, but I was afraid. I was afraid that I already had all these feelings about you when I hadn't even met you, and I was afraid that you wouldn't share these feelings." A tight laugh escaped from his lips. "What good am I anyway. I couldn't even protect you from a few cogs. I'm a bloody power ranger, expected to save the world and I couldn't save one person. Tommy wouldn't screw up like this, I guess that's why he's the leader and I'm just a fool." Looking down at the girl in front of him Rocky sighed "Please wake up Erica, I need you in my life."
"Rocky" he turned sharply to face the door.
"Oh hi Tommy" Rocky spoke softly.
"No change?" Tommy moved towards his friend.
"None" Rocky looked back at Erica. "I'm going to kill Mondo with my bare hands."
"Join the queue" Tommy chuckled softly "Jason and Adam almost had to drag Kat home to stop her doing the same thing. Look mate the hospital is going to call us if there is any change so why don't you go home and get some rest."
Rocky stated to protest but Tommy cut him off. "You aren't going to be any help if you haven't had some sleep. Besides that the hospital won't let you stay after visiting hours."
"Ok man" Rocky got up as Tommy clapped him on the back.
"She's going to be ok Rocko" Tommy reassured his friend.
"I hope so, because I don't know what I'd do without her."
"Hello Erica" she turned to see a tall woman dressed like an old amazon type warrior standing behind her.
"Who are you? And what are you doing in my mind?" Erica froze in a martial arts stance.
"My name is Dulcea, I am the master warrior of the planet Phaedos. My physical body can not leave my home planet so I can only reach you on this spiritual plain."
Erica lessened her guard a little when she realised the woman meant her no harm. "Why do you wish to speak to me at all?" she stared confused at the lady in front of her.
"It is about your destiny, you need to fulfil that which you were born for." Dulcea sat down motioning Erica to do the same. "You are aware that you were adopted as a child?"
"Yes of course, my parents never kept anything secret from me. But what destiny? I don't understand." Erica looked over at the older woman.
"You were born not of this planet but many light years away on a small planet by the name of Ethos. The people of Ethos were at war with an evil being by the name of Era. Unfortunately they were loosing the war. Fearing for your safety your parents asked me to send you far away so that Era could never find you. You see, as a child, you showed promise as a telepath. This, on your world, was a sign of power. It was written in your destiny that one day you would rise up against evil with a power to rival even that of Era's, and he feared that greatly."
"Why me?" Erica asked in shock.
"You were the first born female of Ethosian royalty, it is what you were born for." Dulcea smiled at the young girl.
Erica smiled back at Dulcea "You know it's strange. Right now I should be jumping up and down in disbelief, but somehow I know what you are telling me is true. So where do I go from here?"
"The concussion you sustained from the cogs set in your body's natural patterns which were hidden to avoid detection. Your body is, at this very moment, adjusting to the changes within you and making a viable medical reason for your state for human doctors. Soon you will awake from the coma that holds your body."
"Then what?" Erica asked.
"Then you must take up your birthright. You must seek out Zordon?"
"Who is Zordon? And how do I find him?" Erica stood up.
"The Power Rangers will help you, just tell them that I sent you." Dulcea's voice drifted off as she started to fade. "It is time for me to go"
"Wait! I don't know the Power Rangers, how can I find them, how can I find you again?" Erica reached out to grasp Dulcea but her hand felt nothing but thin air. Dulcea had disappeared, only a white mist remained.
"He is calling you, listen" The words echoed all around her as Erica could hear another voice far in the distance.
"Hi Erica, It's me Rocky." The young boy's voice echoed from the hospital room where her body lay.
Erica gave a startled shout as she listened to what the Hispanic youth had to say. Rocky was Tommy, and Tommy was Rocky, of course it all made sense now. Her thoughts were jumbled as she listened further, aware that Rocky had no idea she could hear him from within her own mind.
"I'm a bloody power ranger, expected to save the world and I couldn't save one person. Tommy wouldn't screw up like this, I guess that's why he's the leader and I'm just a fool."
"No Rocky it's not true!" she yelled, the words never leaving her own mind. Suddenly she realised what Rocky had said. "A Power Ranger. Oh my God, Rocky's a Power Ranger!" Suddenly she smiled at the air around her.
"Thank you Dulcea, thank you!" She yelled into the mist.
"We shall speak again, but now it's time for you to heal then to return" The mist around her increased as Dulcea's voice filled the air then died away to nothing. As the mist reached her Erica found herself tiring as she let her mind slowly fall asleep.
Erica felt her mind swim as suddenly she opened her eyes. Machines and instruments beeped all around her, a friendly gentleman carrying a clipboard looked down at her.
"Welcome back Miss South. You gave us all quite a scare there. I'm Doctor Parkins." He smiled at the girl.
"How long have I been asleep for?" She stared at the room around her.
"Seven days. Your friends have been driving the hospital staff crazy. Especially that young boy of yours, Rocky I think his name is." Doctor Parkins continued to talk as he checked her over.
"Rocky?" Erica asked softly, unsure whether the doctor meant Rocky or Tommy whom she now knew was posing as Rocky.
"Short hair, Hispanic, has a fondness for the colour blue. He's been in here every day."
Erica smiled at the news. Just at that moment someone knocked on the door. Tommy entered the room. "Hi Erica you're up, that's great. Ro... Everyone will be so happy"
"Well I'll be on my rounds. We'll keep you in here for two days Erica, just for observation, and then you should be fine to leave, as I can't see any permanent damage. Your recovery is quite miraculous" Doctor Parkins left the room, slightly confused at Erica's seemly perfect health.
"Hi Tommy" Erica waited for the boy to sit down before greeting him.
"You know?" Tommy asked in shock.
"You could say that" Erica stared at him. "I think I know why Rocky did it, but I want to know why you went along with it?"
'Rocky's my friend. He wanted my help. I'd never turn one of my bro.'s down" Tommy looked at Erica. "How did you find out?"
"Dulcea told me" Erica grinned as Tommy's face turned white.
"Dulcea?" He dropped his head into his hands before composing himself. "I don't know who you are talking about"
"Too late Tommy, your face gave it away." Erica took his hand gently. "It'll be ok you know, I'm not going to tell anyone. Besides that people would just say I had one too many knocks on the head if I said my friends were the Power Rangers."
"She told you that too?" He stared in shock. Not exactly, she just told me how to find out." Erica tried her best not to laugh out loud at the look on Tommy's face. Suddenly her expression sobered. "Tommy, I have to speak to Zordon. Dulcea said that you could help me."
Tommy too shocked to do much else raised his communicator to his lips. "Zordon we have a problem."
"I have been following your conversation Tommy and I have contacted Dulcea. When you are released from the hospital Erica I will have Tommy bring you to me. Until then you should rest." Zordon's voice boomed from Tommy's watch. It was Tommy's turn to laugh as Erica stared open mouthed at his communicator.
"It takes a bit of time, but you get used to it." Tommy reassured her.
Erica looked up at him, snapping her mouth closed before grinning. "I must have looked pretty funny, but you looked funnier when I said Dulcea's name."
"No way" Tommy shot back with a laugh.
A slight frown from Erica ended the banter. "What's up?" Tommy asked.
"Rocky" Erica sighed.
"He really does care for you" Tommy responded softly.
"I know. It's just a bit confusing right now, and to be honest I'm not sure what I'm going to say to him. I know he had good intentions but he still did lie to me, yet on the other hand he's so sweet and ..." Erica trailed off.
"Well I might just have a suggestion that solves all your problems" Tommy winked conspiratorially at Erica, before leaning in to outline his plan.
"I'm so glad to be out of there" Erica stretched leisurely.
"We were all so worried" Kat gave her friend a hug.
"The boys all wanted to come with us" Tanya added then giggled "Well until we said we were going dress shopping for the dance straight from the hospital. For some reason they don't enjoy shopping the way we do." All three girls collapsed with laughter at the thought of dragging the boys on a shopping trip.
"So who is everyone going with?" Erica asked the girls as they wandered around the mall.
"We'll Adam finally got up the courage to ask me" Tanya smiled softly at the memory.
"And I'm going with Jason" Kat added. "Billy is going with an old friend of is called Trini, she's been away in Switzerland but coming home just in time for the dance. I've never seen Billy so excited. From what I've heard she means a lot to him."
"What about Tommy and Rocky?" Erica asked the two girls, as they stared at each other trying not to give the truth away.
"Umm I don't know" Kat busied herself with the clothes in front of her as Tanya seemed engrossed in the window display.
Erica laughed "Well I'm hoping that Rocky saves a dance for me, or is it Tommy. It's so hard to tell these days."
"You know?" Tanya asked her.
"Oh that's the smallest part of what I know..." Erica proceeded to quietly fill the two girls in. "...and so Zordon wants me to go see him after I've sorted this mess out with Rocky, the real Rocky."
The other two girls laughed. "I never knew Tommy had such a mischievous side," Kat added between giggles. "Mind you Rocky does deserve some of his own medicine."
"Talking about Rocky" Tanya added as Rocky walked up to the three girls.
"Hello ladies." He bowed comically. "It's good to see you awake Erica." He gave her a gentle hug. It took all of his will power not to run to her as soon as he heard she was awake but Tommy had suggested a few days break until she was released from hospital. "I see you're all getting dresses for the dance. May I ask if you have a date yet?" he turned specifically to Erica.
"Well actually, I'm sorta hoping Rocky will ask me. I did a lot of thinking while resting in the hospital and I realise that all those phone calls and letters gave me feelings for him that I'd like to explore, even if in person he is different to what I expected. I'm sure once I talk to him I'll find the guy I've known all this time. I'd like to get to know the real Rocky De Santos." The three girls tried to keep straight faces as a look of despair crossed over Rocky's face.
Quickly hiding his pain Rocky spoke up "Fair enough, I was just wondering. Anyway I'd better be off, I'll see you lovely ladies tonight" Rocky turned and all but ran away. Good one De Santos, she really did like you, but how can you tell her now that it was you writing those letters and not Tommy. You've messed up for real this time Rocky. Thoughts of anger and hurt washed over Rocky as he left.
Erica stared after him wondering whether she had done the right thing. "Don't go soft now girl." Tanya cautioned her.
"I know, it's just, he looked so sad." Erica paused. "I really wanted to tell him I was talking about him the whole time."
"Don't worry." Kat added, "Everything will be fine by tonight."
"I hope so" Erica whispered as they walked to the car.
Only Tommy and the girls knew of Erica's talk with Dulcea, the others were to find out after the dance that night. This was to give Zordon enough time to gather together all the necessary details from Dulcea.
Erica danced with all the boys throughout the night, until it was Rocky's' turn. It was getting near the end of the night as Erica could see Tommy talking to Ernie getting his plan set up.
She moved into Rocky's arms for a slow dance. "Erica, there is something I have to tell..." Rocky started, but before he could finish his sentence the music was dimmed as Ernie moved to the microphone.
"Now we have a tradition here at the Youth Centre that the last dance of the night gets to be chosen by one of you pretty ladies here tonight, as well as the girl in question getting to choose the man she'd most like to dance with. Now most of you have noticed the new addition to our happy family over the last few weeks, Erica South. I'd like to welcome Erica to Angel Grove and invite her up her to pick her man for the final dance."
Erica apologetically moved away from Rocky and walked up to Ernie's side. "Well the song I have chosen is very special to me in so many ways. Mainly because it reminds me of a guy here tonight who is also very special to me. Not because of what he looks like, how he dresses, or even how he does his hair, because I fell for him long before I even saw him. He is special because of who he is inside." Erica moved away from the microphone and walked over to where the rangers stood.
"Rocky De Santos" would you dance with me?" Erica held out her hand to Rocky. Too numb to respond he moved in close to her as the song started.
"Then why waste time talking?" Erica asked pulling him down to her level once again.
"I was afraid you wouldn't like me" Rocky looked away.
"Why not? You're sweet and funny, and when I got to see the real Rocky I found out that he was pretty cute too. I meant everything I said, you know, about wanting to get to know the real you. Even if you thought I was talking about Tommy at the time. He's nice but definitely not my type." Erica smiled at him as he wrapped his arms around her. "Besides it was worth it to see your face just before"
Rocky groaned, "I deserved that one didn't I?"
"Now we are even. No more lies?" Erica leaned her head on his shoulder.
"No more lies" Rocky promised running his fingers through her hair.
"And no secrets" Erica added looking up at him sternly.
Rocky paled slightly as he remembered all the dates he had destroyed because of monster attacks. "Umm right... no secrets" he stammered just as his communicator went off.
"What's that?" Erica asked sweetly.
"It's my umm pager, I have to..." Rocky's face went bright red as he tried to think up an excuse.
"Rocky, look at me" Erica turned Rocky's head to face her. "Why don't you just tell me it's Zordon wanting to talk to one of his rangers?"
"What?" Rocky exclaimed.
"No secrets remember, it's my turn to share." Erica smiled as she pressed the button on his communicator that teleported them both to the Power Chamber.
"It is good to meet you also daughter of Ethos" Zordon boomed.
Alpha walked up to Erica and held out his hand. "I'm Alpha 5, but you can call me Alpha, Erica"
"I'm very pleased to meet you to Alpha" Erica smiled at the robot.
"Did I just miss something here?" Rocky stared at Erica as she told her whole story.
"So you heard everything I said to you when you were in the coma?" Rocky asked softly.
"Only the first conversation" Erica replied "After that Dulcea said that I had to allow my mind to sleep in order to heal myself."
Rocky groaned as the other rangers laughed. "From now on I'm never going to try to be anything but myself from now on." He stated seriously.
"Good, cause I happen to like that person, very much." Erica took his hand as Rocky leaned in to give her a kiss.
"Awwwww that's so sweet" Adam and Jason said in unison getting whacks from both Kat and Tanya. "Ouch" both boys stood there rubbing their shoulders.
"Erica, it is time to show you your destiny." Zordon interrupted as Erica turned once again to face the Rangers mentor. "I have had in my possession the Silver Zeo Crystal for over one hundred years. This crystal is your birthright."
Zordon was interrupted by Rocky. "You mean Erica is over one hundred as well as being as alien princess?"
"No Rocky, Erica is no older than the rest of you. The crystal has been waiting for her existence many years before she was born. Only the first born female of Ethosian royalty has the ability to wield the crystal. Erica is the first of that line to survive long enough to be old enough to accept her birthright."
"What happened to the ones before her?" Kat asked politely.
"Era had them all killed." Zordon's words shocked the teens in front of him.
"Will he come after Erica?" Tommy voiced everyone's concerns.
"If Erica takes on the power of the Silver Zeo Ranger Era will be able to sense the power." Zordon looked down at Erica who hadn't said a word since he told her of her birthright.
"And if she doesn't?" Rocky held Erica tightly in his arms.
"Era will still hunt her down and without the Zeo power to protect her, if he does find her, Era will win." All the teens turned to Erica.
"What happened to Ethos, Zordon? Dulcea never told me." Erica choked out, already certain of what the answer was to be.
"Ethos was destroyed by Era in an attempted to destroy you and your power. There were no survivors."
Rocky held Erica to him as the young girl cried for the family she had never known and the people who had died. She dried her eyes before replying with a voice of steel. "I accept"
"Are you sure Erica, you may have more time if you choose" Zordon cautioned the young girl.
"No. My people died because of me. I can't turn around now." Erica moved away from Rocky's safe embrace. She looked small and lost standing in the middle of the Power Chamber, but her expression held a look of determination.
"What do I have to do?" She asked as a flash of silver revealed a silver crystal nestled in the palm of her hand.
"Hold the crystal up and try to imagine its power flowing through you" Zordon advised the young girl. As she did so another flash of light absorbed her whole body then subsided as the crystal disappeared.
"I can feel it, I can feel it inside of me." Erica exclaimed in wonder.
"Billy has already keyed in the co-ordinates for you to travel to Phaedos. Dulcea will be able to train you for your destiny there." Zordon spoke again as Alpha handed Erica a silver communicator not unlike that of the other rangers.
"How long will I be gone for?" Erica looked at Rocky as she asked the question.
"I am unsure of the time period." Zordon admitted.
Rocky strode over to Erica and pulled her into his arms. "I don't want to loose you now, just when I've finally found you."
"I have to go Rocky" Erica sounded close to tears.
"I know." he whispered into her hair "I know."
Billy spoke up at that moment. "Zordon there is an incoming transmission from Phaedos."
"Hello Rangers" Dulcea's voice came from the viewing globe. "Erica are you ready to start your training?"
Erica felt Rocky's arms around her as he kissed her tenderly. "I'll wait for you" he murmured. "I'll wait forever."
Taking one last look at the Rangers she replied "I'm ready Dulcea." She turned away from the rangers and left silver light.