Telekinetically, she undid the vent cover and jumped to the ground, only to whimper in pain as her left ankle collapsed beneath her. She froze waiting for someone to find her. Harmony half crawled, half dragged her body painfully down the hallway to the synthatron. She felt the heavy footsteps before she heard them. Harmony pulled herself to her feet and swaying, made her way back to the vent.
The footsteps were getting closer. Harmony looked wildly around for a place to hide. Move! her mind screamed. Hide! Her ankle gave out again and she settled for cringing in the shadow.
"Uh...Andros, where exactly do you expect to find the Phantom Ranger? How do you know he didn't escape?" Ashley asked quietly as they searched the Dark Fortress.
Andros looked at his girlfriend through his helmet. "If he escaped he would have contacted us."
Ashley shrugged. "That would be what WE would do, but we're talking about the Phantom Ranger-"
"Shhh." Andros commanded, dropping into a fighting stance.
Ashley slid into her own and listened. She could faintly make out someone whimpering in pain.
"Who's there?!" Andros demanded.
Harmony held her breath. Anything to stop the barely audible whimpering. Trap! her mind screamed when the Red and Yellow Rangers had appeared. But she hadn't been quiet enough and the Red one was moving toward her. The panic that she tried to keep on such a tight leash broke free and took over. It barely registered when she started to rise only to have her ankle collapse beneath her negligible weight. She scrambled to safety only to have the two Rangers intercept her. Harmony tried to bat their hands away, but the yellow one pulled her squarely into the light.
Ashley pulled whatever was trying to get away out into the main hallway before it could sound the alarm.
"Harmony?!" Andros exclaimed.
Ashley looked from her leader back to her captive. The captive was a human female not much older than herself. The teen was wearing what looked like the remains of their jumpsuit uniforms. She had brown hair or so Ashley thought, it was hard to tell under all the grim, but she was definitely injured and scared. "You know her?" Ashley asked.
Andros had already unclipped his helmet and crouched down next to the shuddering girl. "Harmony, it's me, Andros."
She stared at him, squinting in the bright light, for several long moments before she finally seemed to remember. "Andros?" She asked her voice cracking and trembling.
Andros nodded and as gently as he could lifted her into his arms. "It's okay Harmony. You're safe." He said as she struggled against his arms.
Something was wrong, Harmony knew. She just couldn't remember. She had problems remembering much of anything lately.
"We're taking her with us?" Ashley asked surprised. He ignored this question just like the last one she'd asked. She wasn't sure if he just didn't hear her or if he considered them stupid and not worth an answer. Whatever the case, Ashley wasn't going to let Andros out of her sight, especially with her arms full with this mysterious girl, literally. "Andros we need to meet up with the others." Ashley said quietly.
Andros nodded. "We have to get Harmony back to the Megaship." Harmony was still struggling in his arms but the struggles were so weak he didn't even have to adjust his grip. She whimpered against here chest, but whether it was in pain or protest Andros couldn't be sure.
Ashley heard a noise behind her and turned to the rest of the Rangers running up. "Any sign of the Phantom Ranger?"
"Who's that?" TJ demanded noticing the girl in Andros' arms. Before any of them could answer to dozen Quantrons emerged from hiding. Andros looked around frantically and back down at Harmony. He had to get her out of there.
"Zhane! Take Harmony back to the ship, and stay with her. We'll be back as soon as we finish off these laser brains!" Andros commanded, shifting Harmony into Zhane's arms.
"Right Andros." He answered. Harmony stared up at his helmeted face for a few minutes before falling unconscious. "What did they do to you?" he asked quietly as he teleported out.
Andros watched his best friend teleport before he threw himself into the fight.
"Andros, we have to teleport!" Carlos yelled.
Andros nodded, he hated to run from a fight, but they were being overwhelmed. He was also worried about Harmony. "Rangers! Retreat! Get back to the Megaship."
"Andros! Wait!" Ashley called, but he didn't stop, as she hurried after him. The rest of the team followed.
Andros slowed as he came up to the Med. Bay door. Ashley caught up with him, and laid a hand on his shoulder. He gave her a slight smile before walking into the room.
Zhane looked up from the bioscanner and looked at his best friend.
Andros crossed to the bed and looked down at the huddled form. "How is she?" He asked quietly.
"Her wrist is sprained, ankle broken, it looks like her arm was broken and set wrong. Plus she's dehydrated. And that's just the initial scan." Zhane growled out. "Who the Hell would do this to her?"
Cassie frowned and looked at the rest of the team. They all looked as lost as she was. "Who is she?" She asked as she and the others came closer.
Andros kept his back to them,. He didn't even turn when Ashley put a hand on his back. "Her name's Harmony. She was the Green Ranger."
"How many Rangers were on your team Andros?" Carlos asked, trying to break the somewhat depressing mood.
"Seven, and I thought only Zhane and I survived. If I had known she wasn't dead..." He trailed off and Ashley gave him a slight squeeze.
"You would have done everything you could, but you didn't know." Ashley said quietly. She could feel the muscles bunch and tighten under his uniform.
"Uh Cassie, could you and Ashley...clean her up?"
Cassie nodded. "Of course."
Andros nodded but still looked uneasy.
"Maybe we should let the girls have some privacy." TJ suggested. The rest agreed and filed out.
Zhane caught Cassie's arm and pulled her aside. "Cassie, can I ask you a favor?"
"You know you can." Cassie said with a grin.
"I was wondering if, for right now, you could wear TJ's uniform. Wait...let me explain. When Harmony was a Ranger, out second in command was Kagero, and she wore blue, not to mention you sort of look like her. Just in case she wakes up..." He trailed off and smiled sheepishly.
Cassie smiled. "Sure, no problem." She turned and went back to the Med. Bay.
"What did Zhane want?" Ashley asked, with a grin.
Cassie shrugged. "He asked if I could wear TJ's uniform. He didn't want Harmony to freak out I guess." She explained as she changed her shirt to a blue one.
"Explain that again?" Ashley asked.
"I guess I sort of look like the old Blue Ranger. I think he might be trying to kick start her memory, or something." Cassie smiled as she came back over to the bed with a fresh jumpsuit. "Come on, let's get her cleaned up."
Ashley nodded and looked down at the girl. "She's so small. I'm not sure what are bruises and what's dirt." She said as she gently bathed the girls face and arms.
"I know." Cassie said. She unzipped the jumpsuit so she could clean up the rest of her. "Maybe we should wait on doing anything with her hair until she's awake. That way we'll know if we're hurting her." Cassie lifted the girl's shirt and sucked in a breath. "Oh my god."
Ashley looked over at the girl's abdomen and stifled a gasp of her own. Scars covered her abdomen, some newer than others. She hesitantly reached out and lightly traced one that seemed stretch diagonally across her body.
Harmony whimpered and tried to curl away from the questing fingers. Cassie gently held her straight until she relaxed again. "We better let Andros know about this." Cassie stated as she moved toward the com.
"I'll finish cleaning her up, and get her into a clean uniform." Ashley said as she gently eased the girl out of the old jumpsuit.
"Andros, I think you better get down here." Cassie said into the com. She turned back without getting a response and helped Ashley.
Andros' face turned white as Cassie ordered his presence in the Med. Bay. He slid out of his chair and noticed that Zhane was already waiting for him at the lift. He gave his best friend a brief smile. "Megadeck 4."
When they got to the Med. Bay Ashley was waiting for them. "It's not pretty you guys." She looked back at the bed. "We thought you should know before you saw her. We...we found scars on her abdomen, chest, arms, and legs, plus a lot of bruises. It...it looks like she was tortured."
Andros didn't wait for the rest of her explanation. It was bad enough he'd left her there for almost two years. He couldn't listen to hear her being tortured as well.
Cassie looked up from her post at the bed. Andros blinked as he saw Cassie in blue. "She hasn't woken up yet. She whimpered a few times, but we tried to be extremely careful."
Andros nodded. "What kind of scars did you find?" he could already see the bruising on Harmony's face now that the dirt and grime had been washed away.
"Some of that might be from lack of food." Cassie said gently. Sighing, she lifted Harmony's shirt so Andros and Zhane could see for themselves.
Harmony felt someone try to lift her shirt and squirmed away from their cold touch. Gentle hands held her still, but she wasn't going to let them touch her anymore. "Don't." She moaned, as she tried to get away from the hands. Abruptly the hands let her go and she curled into a tight ball. When she didn't move the hands returned and tried to get her to uncurl. She tried to twist away, but this time the hands were more insistent and wouldn't leave her alone. "No! Don't touch!"
A voice answered her. "Harmony, you're safe here. We're only trying to help."
Harmony struggled harder. Others told her that, and she'd believe them until they started to hurt her. She was not going to be stupid twice. She tried to open her eyes only to find the light was too bright and she couldn't see. She blinked, and moaned again. She had to get away and fast before they could hurt her again. She hit at the hands holding her down. Harmony was rewarded by a slight yelp and the hands left.
She rolled off the table, but crumpled to the ground, as the pain race through her. A pair of strong arms lifted her up and put her back on the table. "Relax Harmony we don't bite."
Harmony froze. She knew that voice. It was so familiar but she couldn't remember why.
"DECA turn the light down to half strength." Zhane said, smiling a little. He hadn't been sure that they could even get through to her. The lights went dim and he turned his attention back to his friend. "Harmony...open your eyes." He waited as the beaten girl slowly opened her eyes. She blinked a few times before her gaze settled on his face. He managed the most roguish smile he could and waited for her to recognize him.
"Zh...Zhane?" She asked, her face going white.
He nodded. "Yeah, are you hungry? You're looking a little pale." At her nod, he turned to DECA. "DECA, can you get us some-"
"Chicken soup." Ashley piped in. Harmony swiveled and stared at the Yellow Ranger, frowning. "My mom always made it when I wasn't feeling good." Harmony continued to stare at Ashley, as if trying to figure something out.
"This is Ashley. The new Yellow Ranger." Andros interjected quietly. Harmony stared at Andros and then went on to Cassie.
"Kagero?" She asked frowning. Something wasn't right. This girl was not quite Kagero. There was something wrong...but she was too tired to figure it out.
"I'm not Kagero. My name's Cassie." The black-haired girl replied.
Harmony shook her head and moaned as a sharp pain ricocheted through her head. She heard the others come closer and gentle hands pushed her back down to the bed. She felt the soft padding against her back and this time relaxed into it. The pain subsided and her vision cleared.
Zhane sat down on the edge of the bed and set her soup down on a nearby table. "Are you going to be able to handle this?" He asked, a smile in his voice.
Harmony nodded slowly and then peered at the soup. It looked safe to eat, and the smell already had her mouth watering. She looked at Zhane wondering if this was a trick. Ecliptor liked to set traps using the synthatron. Any kind of food lying about unguarded was suspect. If there wasn't a monster lurking about it was probably drugged or poisoned. She remembered the last time and sat back from the soup. This was a trick, it had to be.
Andros watched the light die in Harmony's eyes and knew she wasn't going to eat. "Harmony, you have to trust us. We aren't going to hurt you." He insisted. She flinched at his tone of voice, if not his words.
Zhane reached past her and took a bit of the soup. Maybe if she saw him eat, she'd think it was okay. She watched Zhane for any ill effects before she took the spoon he held out for her. Hesitantly she took a spoonful, but her hand was shaking so hard that most of the soup ended up on the table. Zhane slowly reached out and took the spoon away from her.
Harmony felt tears sting her eyes. It wasn't fair. They were taking the food away because she made a little mess. She pushed the tears away. Tears were for when she was safe. Now she had to worry about surviving, and that meant getting food. She reached for the soup and plucked a chunk of meat out of it. She chewed and swallowed and grabbed some more of the solid food before they took it away.
Cassie smiled as Harmony continued to use her fingers to eat. "That's one solution." She said.
Zhane shrugged. "And I was going to feed her."
Andros slowly backed out of the room and left the small group. He headed to his quarters quickly. He keyed open the door and flung himself onto his bed. The door slid shut behind him and total darkness engulfed him. He rolled over onto his back and stared at the bottom of the top bunk.
"Zhane, I'm telling you the girl hates me." Andros said as he and his best friend walked to the Simuldeck.
"You're over reacting Andros. She's probably just shy."
"What did I do?" Andros moaned.
"Please restate the parameter of your question." DECA replied.
"I wasn't asking you DECA." Andros growled. He froze as he heard a tentative knock on his door.
"Andros? Can I come in?"
Ashley. Andros thought as he stayed silent. He didn't want to talk to her right now. She would want to know everything, and he wasn't ready. He wasn't ready to face her, or Zhane and especially Harmony.
"Andros, look. I know you're in there. Will you please talk to me?"
Andros sighed, as much as he didn't want to talk, he knew putting her off would only hurt her feelings, and that was the last thing he wanted to do. "Come in Ashley." Andros said quietly, sitting up.
The door slid open and Ashley blinked, trying to get her eyes to adjust to the lighting change. "Andros?" She asked hesitantly trying to figure out where he was.
Andros sighed quietly. She is only trying to help. he reminded himself. "Lights half-strength." He called before swinging his legs over the bed.
Ashley gave him a soft smile and sat down next to him. Cautiously she entwined their fingers. She said nothing, but waited for him to start.
Andros squeezed her hand grateful for her patience. "I'm sorry...about before, on the Dark Fortress. I didn't mean to ignore you. It was...I was just so shocked...at seeing her. I thought she was dead."
"Why did you think that?" Ashley asked, careful to keep her voice gentle.
Andros stood and started to pace. "I don't know! I mean...I really didn't have any proof. I just assumed when she didn't answer that..."
Ashley frowned. Andros wasn't making sense. "Andros," She said standing and stopping his pacing. "She's safe. You have to get that through your head just as much as Harmony does. Maybe it was two years late, but she's is safe now." She touched his cheek and made him look into her eyes. "You need to talk to her."
Andros pulled away from her and retreated to the other side of the room. "I can't talk to her. I can barely even look at her. You don't understand-"
"Then explain it to me." Ashley said quietly. She steeled her resolve and asked the question she least wanted an answer to. "Was she your girlfriend? Is that why you feel guilty? That when you went out with me you were betraying her? Because if you still have feelings for her...I'll...I'll back off."
Andros swung around and stared at her. "What? What are you talking about?"
Ashley dropped her gaze and grit her teeth. Trust him not to understand. "I mean that if you're in...love with Harmony, I won't stand in your way. I just want you to be happy." She felt the tears gathering, but pushed them back. She would not cry in front of him, no matter how much her heart was splintering.
Andros crossed the room and wrapped Ashley in his arms. "Ash, she wasn't my girlfriend. I'm not in love with her. I never was. Harmony was-different from the rest of my old team. If anything she was like a younger sister when she was...captured. I failed her Ashley, just like I failed Karone."
Ashley held him tight. She could feel his muscles knot beneath his uniform. This is killing him. "Andros, you didn't fail her, you saved her life. Maybe you didn't get there as fast as you'd like, but it was a mistake. We're all entitled to them." Ashley pulled out of his embrace enough to look into his tawny colored eyes. There all the pain and guilt shone back at her. "The only way you're going to forgive yourself is to talk to her."
Andros dropped his gaze. "How can I face her when I'm not even sure I can face myself?"
Ashley eased them back to his bed. She sat down and gently pushed Andros' head onto her shoulder and kept her arms around him. For awhile nothing was said. They simply sat together comforting each other. Finally Ashley's curiosity prompted her to ask a question. "Andros, what was Harmony like before she was captured?"
Andros closed his eyes against the sudden surge of memories. "She was...shy, but she definitely knew her mind. Harmony had a loyalty that I've never seen since. There was absolutely nothing she wouldn't do for the people she loved. She wasn't much of a fighter, but if you could scare her she could pack a wallop." He smiled as he remembered that long ago kick to the back of his knee.
"You said she'd been like a younger sister when she was captured. Not before?" Ashley asked, ready to tell him to forget it if it upset him too much.
"At first...at first I thought she was arrogant and that she felt that we were beneath her." Andros shook his head. "I couldn't have been more wrong."
"Why did you think that?" Ashley asked.
"There were little things, but well, she wouldn't talk to us or look at anyone in the face. She would never do anything with us as a group. Every chance she got, she took off, as if she was ashamed to be with us." Andros took a deep breath to continue his explanation when the com chirped.
"Andros! We've got trouble. Astronema sent down a monster to downtown Angel Grove.
"We're on our way!" Andros said. He turned to Ashley. "Thanks. For everything." He leaned over and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before they got up and left.
Harmony frowned. The fear was abating, but it was still there, prodding her to get away. She clamped down on the impulse and tried to follow what they were talking about. The guy in blue was asking Cassie a question. TWO blue Rangers? Harmony asked herself. She felt a cautious touch on her arm and looked over to see Zhane watching her.
He smiled at her. "I've got to go, duty calls. Why don't you try and get some rest?" Zhane suggested.
"There...there are TWO blue rangers?" harmony asked.
Zhane grinned sheepishly at her. "Not exactly. I didn't want you to freak out so I asked Cassie to wear TJ's uniform. Cassie's the Pink Ranger."
Harmony frowned there was something she was supposed to remember, something important, but her head started to throb and she felt tired. She allowed Zhane to help her back down to the bed and pulled the blanket around her. She didn't even notice when Zhane and the others left the room and DECA turned the lights off.
Harmony was jolted out of sleep. She glanced wildly around, but it was pitch black. The whole room groaned and shook. The girl had no idea what was going on, but she wasn't about to be ripped to shreds by this unknown evil. Carefully She slid off the table remembering her throbbing ankle. She crawled until she came to a wall. Slowly she straightened until she was braced by the wall. Sluggishly, she felt her way around the room trying desperately to get an escape route. A vent or duct work of any kind would work. She knew she had to get out.
"I'll go with you." Ashley said.
"We'll meet you on the bridge." Cassie replied.
Andros and Ashley walked hand in hand to the Medical Bay. They slowed as they approached. "She's probably asleep." He said quietly.
Ashley smiled. "We'll just check on her. If she's sleeping, we'll leave."
Andros nodded as they entered the Med. Bay. Silently, they made their way to the bed. Andros looked down at the bed, only to find a human size lump missing. "Harmony?" He asked quietly. When he got no response he turned to DECA. "DECA, lights half strength." The lights came on and they found Harmony huddled in the corner.
"Harmony!" Andros yelled and crouched down in front of her. "Harmony it's me. What's wrong?"
Harmony was shaking; she was so scared. Andros looked helplessly at Ashley.
"It must have been when we used the Megaship. She mush have woke up and freaked." Ashley said crouching down next to him.
"We've got to get through to her before she has a heart attack or something."
"Maybe we ought to sedate her." Ashley suggested.
"I don't know, Ash. She's so weak...we could kill her if we're not careful."
Ashley bit her lip but went to the counter. Andros was the only one that really knew anything about biology, or at least what to do to fix them up. The rest just sort of tagged along. However, she knew Harmony needed a sedative. They weren't going to be able to get through to her this time. "DECA, can you calculate the amount of sedative that I can safely give Harmony? Based on her current physical condition?" She asked quietly.
"Affirmative. Preparing sedative now." A small syringe appeared on the counter and Ashley picked it up.
"Thanks DECA." She said quietly. She went back to the corner and crouched next to Andros. "Here." She said passing the syringe to her boyfriend.
He looked at her and then down at the syringe. "What's this?"
"It's a sedative. Just listen Andros. DECA said it was safe for her, and we're going to have to set her ankle anyway. You know we have to do this." She said quietly.
Andros grimaced. He knew Ashley was right, but after everything that had happened to his old teammate; he didn't want to hurt her again.
"You're not going to hurt her, Andros. You're going to help her. You can't leave her like this." Ashley said quietly.
He nodded. He shifted closer and eased the syringe into Harmony. That seemed to have some effect but it wasn't the one that Andros was hoping for. She started to struggle, and Ashley had to hold her so that Andros didn't do any damage with the syringe. He finished injecting her with the sedative and sat back to wait for it to take effect.
Ashley scooted over to him and put her arms around him. "You didn't do anything wrong. You're helping her out." She said quietly. She felt Andros lean into her embrace, and wrap his arms around her waist. She stroked his hair as they waited for the sedative.
Gradually, the sedative took effect, and Andros caught Harmony before she could hit the floor. He carried her back over to the Med. Table and gently laid her back down. "We have to set her ankle and should probably wrap her wrist while we're at it." He said quietly.
Ashley nodded but didn't say anything. She simply took up a spot at the other side of the table and waited for him to tell her what to do.
Carefully as he could, Andros set about to tend Harmony's wounds. They set her ankle and wrapped her wrist. Ashley washed Harmony's very long brown hair and braided it according to Andros' directions. Once the two of them finished there was nothing left except to let her sleep.
"We have to go after her. The Phantom Ranger is still on the ship. We have to rescue him." An angry voice demanded.
"We can't risk the Megaship. Besides, Astronema will be on the look out. Cassie, we simply can't risk it." The other voice answered.
Harmony relaxed slightly. That wasn't either of the alien evil doers she feared. It actually sounded a lot like."Andros?" Harmony croaked out struggling to sit up and get a better look at who it was.
Andros turned away from the Pink Ranger as he heard someone call his name softly. He saw Harmony struggling to sit up and hurried over to help her. "Easy Harmony." He said as he gently pushed her back to the bed.
Harmony stared into his face. She hadn't been dreaming. She really had been rescued. She smiled and then frowned as an unfamiliar person wearing Saroyan's uniform came to stand next to the Red Ranger.
"This isn't over Andros. We need to find him. We can't just let him rot in Astronema's dungeon."
Andros visibly flinched at that last remark and Cassie knew she'd hit a nerve. Especially with Harmony lying right in front of them. She wasn't sorry for the comment. If guilt was what goaded Andros into action, so be it.
"What's going on?" The girl, Harmony, asked sleepily from the Med. table.
"Nothing." Andros said quickly, almost to quickly.
Harmony frowned. "Then why are you arguing? Where's Saroyan? Isn't she going to be ticked when she finds someone else wearing her uniform?" She asked. Harmony didn't miss the pain and fear that streaked across her leader's face.
"Don't you remember? Saroyan died in the battle at Kova 6 with the others. Only Zhane, you and I survived." Andros said as gently as he could. They had detected a now healed skull fracture when he and Ashley had tended her wounds and he wondered exactly how bad the damage was.
Harmony's gaze turned inward as she struggled to bring the memories to the surface. Finally something close to what Andros was talking about filtered through, but it seemed like a life time ago. "Oh." She finally said quietly. Then she shook slightly and focused her green eyes onto Cassie.
"Why are you yelling at him? Did he do something bad?" She asked.
Cassie stared at the girl in shock before answering. "Uh.yeah. Maybe you could help. Did you see the Phantom Ranger when you were on the Dark Fortress?"
"Cassie." Andros growled. The last thing Harmony needed was to remember the Dark Fortress.
"Phantom Ranger?" Harmony looked to Andros for an explanation.
"Forget about it Harmony. You should be resting." He replied glaring at Cassie.
"No, I'm okay. I.don't know who you're talking about is all."
Hope filled Cassie and she jumped in and described him as best she could. She'd forgotten that Harmony wouldn't know about him.
"Oh, the Black Armor Ranger." She frowned as she tried to remember what happened. "I was.crawling and I checked the dungeons.just in case.and I saw him.
"Please." He croaked out. "Don't go. I need some help."
Harmony shrank back again and from her vantage point checked the hallway. Her mind was screaming Trap! No one came past the cell so she inched closer.
The being was staring right at her. "Please, find my ruby. It.it contains my vital life force. Ecliptor has it. They are.going to.use it.against.the Ranger."
Harmony shook at the mention of Ecliptor's name. He had done so much to her. Absently, she rubbed her arm. It was still sore where it had been broken during a fight. "I c-can tr-try to get it back for you. B-but I d-don't even kn-know where it would be." Harmony replied, not taking her eyes off the opposite side of the cell.
The being nodded. "Please.hurry. There isn't.much time."
It took Harmony two days to track down the ruby and another day before she could steal it back. She finally got her opportunity when Astronema ordered to be left alone.
From her vantage point, Harmony could see the entire room and a good part of the hallway beyond. Now she only had to wait for Astronema to leave or sleep and she could steal the ruby for the being.
Harmony watched as the evil villainess got ready to go somewhere. Finally, she teleported out in a flash of purple light, Harmony waited a long minute and carefully dropped down out of her hiding spot. Softer than a mouse she crept over to the ruby and picked it up. She put it in one of her few remaining pockets, next to her morpher.
She was turning to go when she heard the door open. "Astronema? What? Intruder!" Ecliptor yelled bringing his sword up.
Harmony scrambled for the vent and started to pull herself up when pain exploded in her ankle and raced up her spine. She pulled into the vent and crawled for enough away so Ecliptor couldn't reach her before she sobbed in pain. She twisted around in the shaft until she was sitting semi-upright and was able to check on her ankle.
Her hand closed around her ankle and she felt the sticky wetness on her hand. She ripped part of her sleeve off and tied off the gash. As she pulled the knot tight she almost passed out from the pain that threatened to consume her. She took that as a good sign, she wasn't dead. Mentally she recited the names of her teammates. Saroyan, Tomah, Yoshii, Zhane, Kagero, Andros
Once the pain abated to an almost tolerable level she started again. She knew the Quantrons were too big for the tunnels, but they would be guarding all the exits. She would have to be careful when she returned the ruby.
Harmony slowed as she reached the dungeons. If Ecliptor caught her.she shivered. That isn't going to happen. The Rangers will find me. Still, Harmony was extra careful before making her appearance known to the Black Armor, as she had been calling him.
He slowly made his way to the grate. Harmony noticed the drag in his step and his unsteady gait. Maybe he was telling the truth. He sat next to the grate, and waited for her to speak.
Harmony bit her lip. This is it. Her fingers closed around the ruby and she passed it to him. Unfortunately, her morpher spilled out along with the ruby. She froze, knowing that he understood what that hunk of metal meant. He stared at it, and when she reached out to snatch it back, his hand caught her wrist.
"Do.not worry. I would not.raise the alarm on a.fellow Ranger." He let go of her hand and she grabbed her morpher back. He placed the ruby in its place at the center of his chest and took a deep breath. "How long.have you been a prisoner here?"
Harmony shrank away from the question and him. Fearfully, she checked the cell door, but they were no guards. "Since.since KO-35 fell." She said quietly, turning back to him. That was the only time factor she had, but by the gasp the Black Armor Ranger made, it had been a long time.
She felt tears prick her eyes, but she forced them back. Now was not the time. She turned to go, when she bumped her wrapped, throbbing ankle against his knee. White hot pain exploded through her body and her vision clouded. She couldn't stop the whimper that escaped her lips. When her vision cleared she found herself lying on the floor of the cell.
"You are hurt." He said quickly.
Harmony nodded, but said nothing. There was nothing either of them could do about her injury. It would heal in time just like the rest of them.
"Thank you. For saving my life."
Harmony turned back. "You're not safe yet. I-I can get y-you out." The tears threatened again and she shoved them back a second time. She sized him up. "I don't think you'll fit through the tunnels, so we'll have to make a distraction."
Black Armor Ranger cocked his head at her. "That will not be necessary." The he was gone.
Harmony glanced wildly about before slinking back toward the vent. Something grabbed her wrist, and she bit back a scream. "Quiet Ranger. It's me. This is how I can leave but I need to know how to get out and to the Shuttle Bay." He turned off his invisibility, and Harmony found herself mere inches from his visor. She hastily pulled back.
"How?" She shook her head. She decided quickly that she didn't want to know. "You need to recharge before you escape. The b-best thing.st-steal a Velacifighter. It'll be-harder to track you then. They can't-shoot for fear of killing their own men. They are one-man fighters." She trailed off, she knew she couldn't leave. Without her powers she wouldn't have the strength nor the ability to fly.
"What about you? I cannot leave you here." He replied.
Harmony met his gaze. "Someone has to watch your back and keep Ecliptor occupied." She suppressed the shudder that ran up her spine, but she had to get him out of there. "The Rangers will be coming for me. Don't worry about me." She added.
She couldn't see his face, but it was clear that the Black Armor Ranger did not believe her. "You are injured. I cannot in good conscious leave you. We'll leave together."
Harmony bit her lip. She had to get him out of here, and she had to convince him to go without her, no matter what that meant for her. She was a Ranger, it was her job to defend people. That was their problem, he had the same credo as she. "The Rangers will come for me, and you won't get past the airlock if you don't have someone to make a distraction. I know the Dark Fortress the best; it makes sense that I make the distraction."
Andros was confused. Harmony wouldn't even look at him. It almost seemed like she was blaming herself for Phantom's freedom. "Harmony, what's wrong?" He asked quietly. He wasn't surprised when she didn't answer. She had never been all that outspoken about what was going on in her head.
Harmony bit her lip to keep the tears back. She had told herself that tears were for when she was safe, but she didn't want to cry in front of her leader. She wanted him to think that she was as tough as the rest of the team, that she could hold her own. Instead she was sniffling and trying not to break down in tears.
Cassie heard the telltale signs of tears coming from Harmony. She
looked at Andros, but he seemed clueless. Shaking her head, she
brushed past him and gently scooped Harmony up and rocked her. "It's
all right, Harmony. Just let it all out. You're safe now.
Harmony pulled away from Cassie and checked her outfit, only to find that she wasn't wearing the grimy, tattered uniform that had become almost a second skin to her in the last two years, but a fresh, clean one. Trying to control her panic she searched all the pockets on the new uniform, but to no avail. Her morpher wasn't on her.
Suddenly, the whole plausibility of her being rescued became suspect. The Rangers hadn't come for her. It was all a trick. A really rotten trick to get her morpher and probably to tell them how it worked. Well they had a shock coming for them. The power was no longer there. The morpher contained nothing, and hadn't since Astronema had zapped her two years ago and caused her to demorph. She tried to move away from them, but Andros must have sensed what she was about to do and forced her back down to the bed.
"What's wrong, Harmony? What are you looking for?" Andros searched her face, trying to figure out what was going on.
She shrank as far away from him as possible. If they thought she was going to answer just because he used to lead her, they had another thing coming. She turned her head away from his probing eyes and steeled herself for the blow she knew was coming. It always came when she didn't answer one of their questions.
Andros turned to Cassie, confusion marring his features. He drew her away from the bed and to the other side of the room before he said anything. "What do you think is going on?"
Cassie shrugged. "I don't know; it almost looks like she's expecting us to beat her up. What did you guys used to do to her?!" Cassie hissed at him.
Andros took a step back. "I didn't do anything, I swear. We certainly didn't beat her. What is she looking for?" He asked again, as he looked back to the bed. Harmony was trying hard not to shake and he felt a twinge of guilt and sorrow as he watched his former teammate. Something in the back of his mind clicked. "Come on, I think I have an idea."
Harmony heard their heavy tread and knew she was in trouble. She pushed the panic to the back of her mind, but it was there, telling her to get away while she had the chance. But they would only find her and punish her even more when they did. She curled up in a tight ball, determined not to give anymore information away than she already had.
"Harmony." Andros said, his voice like the crap of a whip. He saw Harmony stiffen and he regretted what he had to do. "Answer me, when I'm talking to you." His voice was hard, like it had been whenever he talked to her when they were rangers.
"Andros? What are you doing?" Cassie demanded. Harmony needed some comfort, not a dictator for a leader.
He shot her a look that said "Trust me" and focused all his attention to the shuddering girl on the table. "Well? Are you going to answer me or not?"
Harmony couldn't resist. This was the Andros that she vaguely remembered. "No." She said quietly. Her voice nothing more than a whisper.
Andros shook his head and steeled himself for what he had to do. He grabbed her shoulders and forced her up to look at him. When she turned her head away from him, he issued another command. "Look at me."
Harmony did as she was told without really even thinking about it. She raised her head and looked into his tawny eyes. There was no condemnation in his eyes, only sympathy and compassion.
"What are you looking for? Talk to me, Harmony. I want to help you."
Harmony couldn't resist the plea. "My morpher." She said quietly.
"Where was it?" His voice dropped to a whisper as well. His voice seemed to have a hypnotic effect on the small teen.
"In my jumpsuit. I hid it from Astronema, but the power's gone." The tears threatened again and this time she let them fall.
"It's all right Harmony. We can get the power back."
Harmony shook her head. "But it's gone. Astronema shot me with her staff...and I demorphed. That's how she got me. I...couldn't fight them all off...not without my powers."
Andros nodded. "Shhhh. I know. Cassie and I will find your morpher. It'll be okay." He enfolded her in a hug and gently laid her back on the bed. "Rest, and get your strength back."
Harmony nodded, tears still bright in her eyes. Andros gave her a gentle smile before slipping from the room taking an outraged Cassie with him.
"What was that all about?!" Cassie demanded once they were out of the room.
Andros looked down at his feet for a moment. "You have to understand, Cassie. Please, she was different, more aloof. I wasn't all that...accepting at first. But I knew we wouldn't be able to get through to her unless I was sort of...nasty. I didn't mean to, but that's how I always spoke to her. Well...until I caught her talking to her mom..."
"Why?" Cassie asked quietly as they walked toward the jump bay, their original destination before they got into the argument.
Harmony took a quick glance around before inputting the coordinates for her communication. All transmissions were supposed to be cleared by Andros, but Harmony didn't want to explain why just yet.
She bit her lip as she waited for the connection to go through. Absently she straightened her uniform. She wanted him to see it before anything else happened.
A smaller screen on her left crackled to life. A woman older than Harmony but with the same green eyes smiled tiredly back at her. "Hello Harmony."
"Hey Mom, how's Dad? Is he any better?"
The older woman closed her eyes for a moment before looking straight at her daughter. "He's getting worse. The medics aren't giving him much time."
Harmony took a deep breath to keep the pain away. Later that night she could scream and cry. "Should I come home?"
Linea shook her head. "Stay with the Rangers for now. There's nothing you could do here. Your father's so proud of you."
Harmony's mouth twisted into something of a grimace. "I'm glad one of us is happy with my choice."
"Harmony." Her mother warned.
"Harmony half turned away from the screen and crossed her arms. "Don't worry. I'm not going to quit. I'd rather be miserable than disappoint him."
"Is it really so bad?"
Harmony shrugged. "It's not so bad, I guess. I'm just so afraid they'll decide I'm not good enough. It'll kill Dad for sure. But...Mom, let's face it, I'm not exactly warrior material. All of this-" She made a vague gesture to the bridge around her. "-it's not exactly my forte. Most of it scares me. But you don't need my problems heaped on top of yours. And I should go, this call wasn't exactly authorized." Harmony smiled sadly. "I love you Mom. Give him one of these frames, and take care of yourself.
Her mother nodded. "I will. Harmony, you be careful. I don't want to bury my daughter as well as my husband."
She nodded. "I will." And with that cut the connection.
"What's wrong with your father?" Harmony spun around and found Andros standing in the shadows.
Harmony bit her lip. He didn't need to know. No one did. It wasn't their business, but somehow she couldn't convince her mouth to say the words.
Andros slowly walked toward her. He was so close to getting her to open up to him, the last thing he wanted to do was scare her off. "You can trust me, Harmony." He said quietly.
Harmony turned away from him. "He's sick. Actually he's dying. He's got some disease...but the medics...they don't know what he's got or how to cure him."
Harmony just nodded. "He was the one that pushed me to be a Ranger. At first I'd tell him no, but after he got sick...I figured my happiness was a small price to pay to give him his dying wish."
Andros shifted. "What about after he's gone? Will you quit?"
Harmony shook her head. "I don't know. It's a possibility, I guess. Zhane keeps telling me I'm destined to be a Ranger. I just wish I could convince him he's wrong."
"What happened to her dad?" Cassie asked.
Andros bit his lip. "He died about a month later. Zhane and I went with Harmony to the sepulture. We stayed about a week. It wasn't long after that the battle of Kova 6 happened."
"And you lost your team." Cassie said quietly.
Andros nodded. "Harmony brought their bodies back. As soon as...I figured out what she was...I refused to let her into battle. She would watch the fights...and if any of us were in trouble, or injured, she's teleport down and get them out. She was our most...elusive Ranger. The green powers don't lend a lot of fighting skills by their nature, and when she didn't have any, and it seemed like she couldn't be taught...it seemed like a good idea."
"What did?" Zhane asked coming up behind them and linking his arm around Andros' shoulders, and the other around Cassie.
"Keeping Harmony as our reserve Ranger." Andros said, bringing his best friend into the conversation.
Zhane nodded. "How is Harmony anyway?"
"Scared and confused. Zhane, could you explain the powers to her? She seems to think that Astronema stole them. I couldn't think of a good way to explain that whole thing to her."
Zhane's face lit up. "Sure! It gives me an excuse to go down and see her then. I'll go right after lunch. Boy, am I starved." He said with a grin as they walked into the jump bay.
"Zh-Zhane?" She asked, her voice a terrified whisper.
"Who'd you expect it to be?" He asked as he sat down on the edge of the bed.
Harmony backed away. Zhane was dead. Astronema, Ecliptor, they made her watch when he was hit and the explosion that claimed his life. She saw it. They made her say it. That much had stuck into her faulty memory. It gave her nightmares during the little catnaps she managed to catch. If Zhane was here..."Oh no...please no." Harmony moaned as she tried to scoot even farther away from Zhane.
Zhane caught her arm as she tried to get away from him. "Harmony it's me, Zhane. What are you so upset about?"
Harmony looked up at him with tears in her green eyes. "You...you're d-dead, a-and s-so am I."
Zhane stared at her in shock for a minute before coming to his senses. "What? Who told you that? I'm not dead, Harmony. Here, touch me, do I feel dead to you?" He asked bringing her hand up to his face. He could feel her fingers against his cheek as she softly stroked it. As soon as he let her hand go she pulled back as if she'd been burned.
"If we're both d-dead we w-would be able t-to f-feel each other." Harmony stuttered out. She lowered her eyes and then frantically searched his face once again. "Andros! He's dead too?" Tears fell down her cheeks and Zhane pulled her against his chest and comforted his tiny teammate.
Zhane hesitantly knocked on the door. Nobody had seen Harmony since she'd gotten that call from Lyndale province. It's got to be from home. Wonder what's going on? On the other side he could hear sniffles and his curiosity rose. He keyed open the door and found Harmony sitting on the bottom bunk.
"Harmony? Is everything okay?" The blond ranger asked as he came into the room and sat down next to her.
Harmony looked up at him and sniffled. "I'm sorry." She said as she wiped her cheeks. "Is there something you need, Zhane?"
"Hey what's wrong? Why are you crying?" He asked as he wrapped his arms around her.
The wall she had built around her pain crumbled and she collapsed against his chest sobbing . "Why? Why did he have to die? Why couldn't the medics cure him? It's not fair! I did everything I was supposed to. I sacrificed everything and he still died!"
Zhane held her tight, stroked her hair and tried to figure out exactly what she was talking about. "What happened?" He asked quietly when she calmed down a little.
Harmony felt her face flush. She shouldn't have lost it like that. She was a Ranger, at least until she decided if she wanted to keep the position or not. "I'm...I'm sorry."
Zhane smiled at her and brushed her cheek with his thumb. "Don't be, that must have been some really bad news you got today. Have you even left your quarters since you got it?"
Harmony looked down at her hands. "My dad died. But I just got the news. I don't know why I'm so upset...he was sick for a long time." She trailed off as the tears threatened again.
"That...definitely qualifies as bad news. Do the others know yet?" He asked quietly.
Harmony shrugged, and sniffled. "I think Andros knows. He knew...about my dad...being sick. I doubt the others have any clue."
"When's the sepulture?" He kept his voice gentle and his arms around his small teammate. She looked like a frightened lost little girl right now, and he was going to help her through this whether she wanted his help or not.
"In a couple of days. I have to tell Andros I'm leaving. I've got to help my mom get things in order. She's all alone now." Harmony said softly.
"Would you like me to come with you? For moral support?" Zhane queried.
Harmony's tear bright green eyes stared into his blue ones for a long moment. "You'd come?" She finally managed to get out.
Zhane nodded. "If you wanted me there. To help you and your mom out. I'd bet Andros would come too, if I asked him."
Harmony's tears finally slowed and Zhane was struck with an inspiration. Maybe Harmony wouldn't believe his words, after Kerovans were telekinetics not telepaths, but she would have to believe her eyes. Zhane hopped off the bed and gathered Harmony up in his arms as gently as he could. This time she didn't protest as he carried her out of the Med. Bay. He marched down to the engine room and found out that he had a small problem. He couldn't punch in the code for the Healing Chamber if Harmony was in his arms.
"Harmony? Harmony, I need you to do something for me." He said, purposely jostling her to get her attention.
"What?" Her voice was a whisper, but he could hear the whimper of fear in it.
"I need you to punch in the door code. The box is behind that strut." He said nodding to the strut near a blank section of the wall.
Harmony nodded her head, and reached out with her good hand, found the fake strut hiding the chamber and punched in the code. A section of the wall opened and Zhane went through the door.
"See? I'm not dead. Andros put me in cryogenic sleep for two years. I was injured in the last battle, and Andros stuck me in here. I'm not dead, Harmony. Neither are you...although you have looked better." He said with a smile. When Harmony didn't agree or dispute it he looked down at her. Her gaze was riveted on the chamber where he had spent the last two years, and her face was still. "Harmony? What are you thinking about?"
She looked up at him, and bit her lip. "Astronema...s-she t-told me that y-you died."
"None of the Rangers will ever save you. They're all dead, especially that Silver Ranger of yours." Astronema jeered at the small Green Ranger kneeling in front of her.
"You're wrong! They will come for me!" Harmony snapped back, her green eyes blazing as two Quantrons held her in front of the supposed Princess of Evil.
"Am I? Then what do you say about this?" Astronema replied waving her hand at the view screen. It blared to life and showed Andros and Zhane as the Red and Silver Rangers respectively fighting against some monster, while the City of KO-35 was demolished around them. Andros was fighting the monster and Zhane jumped in to his rescue only to take the hit that should have been for the Red Ranger. He went down and seconds later the monster blew up with the Silver Ranger.
"NO!!!" Harmony screamed at the screen. She was lying. She had to be. Zhane couldn't be dead. She struggled against the Quantrons that held her, but to no avail. She kept struggling until Ecliptor slammed the butt of his sword into her stomach.
Astronema walked over to the gasping girl and smiled. This would be more fun than she thought. She grabbed the girl by her long braid and wrenched her head back. "The Rangers are no more. Say it!" She told the struggling ranger.
Harmony blinked back the tears that gathered. She had to stay strong until Andros could rescue her, or she rescued herself. "No." She said.
"What did you say?" Astronema asked, her voice deceptively quiet.
"No, I'll never say it. It isn't true." Harmony whispered.
Astronema nodded to Ecliptor. He slammed his fist into the side of Harmony's head. Her whole body shuddered with the blow but she defiantly held her tongue and glared at Astronema. When she didn't speak, Astronema gave Ecliptor free rein.
Harmony tried to keep her wits as the pain took over. Tears flowed down her face, but she didn't care. All she cared about was stopping the pain.
"...I said it. I-I said the words. I didn't want to, b-but it h-hurt s-so much. I-I had t-to make him st-stop." Harmony said between sobs.
"It's all right, Harmony. You didn't have a choice. Shhhh...that's all behind you." Zhane said as he sat against the wall and held Harmony against his chest. She was shuddering and sobbing. She clung to his jacket, unable to let go.
Zhane's gaze hardened as he thought of Ecliptor pounding on his friend. He couldn't wait to see that overgrown checkerboard. He was going to show him what it meant to beat up on people smaller than himself. He rocked his small friend as she tried to get a hold of her tears. When she finally calmed down he looked at her.
She looked horrible. Her skin was pasty, and puffy from the tears. There was an ugly shiner on her right eye, and she was very very thin. "Are you hungry?" He asked. He knew most of those injuries would heal in time. In fact, she looked better than she had when they first brought her aboard. Which brought him back to the reason for his visit to her in the first place. There was no way that her injuries could heal that fast without the power helping her out. He was at a loss at how to help her see that though.
Harmony nodded. Her stomach rumbled and she giggled a bit at Zhane's surprised expression.
"You certainly are. Come on, we'll go to the jump bay and get you something good to eat, okay?"
Harmony looked down at her ankle. "I can't exactly walk." She said quietly.
Zhane grinned at her. "Then I'll just have to carry you, my lady." He said as he helped her to stand on her good leg. He gave her a deep bow before sweeping her into his arms.
Zhane brought her to the jump bay just as the rest of the Rangers were finishing lunch. "Hey guys. I brought a friend with me." He said as he gently sat Harmony down at the table.
Andros almost choked on his juice. "Are you crazy? Harmony should be resting in the Medical Bay. Not out here."
Harmony flinched at his loud tone and Ashley noticed. "Come on, Andros. She has to meet us sometime." She turned to Harmony. "I'm Ashley." She said with a smile.
Harmony smiled gratefully to her. "You're...the Yellow Ranger." She said slowly. When Ashley nodded, she frowned. "I thought..." She shook her head and let it slide.
"That's TJ, in blue, Carlos is the Black Ranger and you've already met Cassie, Andros and Zhane."
Harmony nodded at the different people. The only thing that saved her was that they were all in uniform. Still, names were swirling around in her head and she was going to be lucky if her remembered them. Zhane looked at her questioningly and she realized he was waiting for what she wanted to eat. She cast around trying to think up something. Her gaze fell on Ashley and she vaguely remembered something. "Uh...wh-what I had yesterday." She said quietly.
Zhane put a bowl of soup down in front of her. She looked up at him as he sat down next to her. "Are you going to need any help?" He asked her.
Harmony looked at the soup and then at the rest of the Rangers. She didn't want to seem incapable of even eating by herself, but already she could feel her hands shaking. "Maybe." She finally said, unable to look at the rest of the Rangers, especially Andros.
"How are you feeling?" Harmony turned and saw a dark skinned boy in blue watching her.
"I'm feeling...better." She said finally.
He gave her a brilliant smile. "That's great. You worried all of us."
Harmony ducked her head and turned her attention back to the soup. She took the spoon and managed to lift a spoonful to her mouth without too much spilling all over. She slowly fed herself, as the others talked around her. She felt Zhane's gaze on her, watching her to make sure she was going to be okay. She kept a firm handle on her rebellious stomach. She could feel it trying to refuse the food she was putting into it, but she ate slowly and hoped that would be enough. She finished her soup and looked over at Zhane. She felt fuller than she had in a long time. "Thank you." She said quietly.
Zhane grinned back at her. "See? I told you she can talk Andros." He said with a smile.
"I knew that Zhane. I talked to her this afternoon. She helped the Phantom Ranger escape from the Dark Fortress." Andros replied, smiling a little in Harmony's direction.
"Really? Cool. So, we know he's okay, right?" Carlos said.
"I think so. I saw him get past the fighters. From there on...I don't know." Harmony replied, ducking her head.
"Hey, you know more than we do, then." TJ said with a smile.
Harmony smiled again, but it was a tired smile. All this running around was starting to make her head spin.
Zhane noticed Harmony sagging and he put his arm around her. "I think we better get you back to the Medical Bay, before you fall asleep." He told her with a smile.
Harmony nodded. "Can't I just go to my quarters?" She asked, fighting to keep her eyes open.
The rest of the rangers looked at each other. Finally, Andros spoke up. "I'd like you to spend a few more days in the Med. Bay. You were pretty banged up."
Harmony nodded. "Okay." She yawned and Zhane took that as his cue to take her back. He pulled her into his arms and carried her out of the room. She was asleep before they hit the door.
"She looks better, Andros." Ashley said quietly from her spot.
Andros nodded absently. "I'm still worried about her skull fracture. I know it's healed, but I'm worried about how it's going to affect her." He sighed and shook his head. "I don't know how to tell her about her powers either. She thinks Astronema stole them. I haven't figured out to explain to her that Astronema only forced demorphed her."
"Finding her morpher would be a start." Cassie replied as she got up. "I think I can get DECA to help me with that search. Later, guys." With a smile she left.
"I think we all better get going with our chores. TJ, it's your turn to clean the Megaship right?" Andros asked.
"Don't remind me Andros." TJ growled good-naturedly back.
Andros hesitantly walked into the Med. Bay. He didn't want to wake Harmony if she was asleep. The more rest she got the quicker she would heal. He was about the leave and come back later when he heard a soft. "Andros?"
He turned back toward the bed and slowly made his way back. Harmony was struggling to sit up and actually succeeding for once. "You should be resting." He said.
Harmony shrugged. "I did, for a little while. I kept having nightmares." She finished quietly, not looking at him.
Andros looked down at the morpher in his hands. Cassie had found it just in time. DECA had been ready to dump the garbage in the recycler. He had offered to take it to her after some not so subtle prodding on Ashley's part. He took a deep breath. "Harmony, I'm sorry. This is all my fault." He blurted out before she could say anything. "I thought you were dead. I didn't have any proof, but when I couldn't reach you on over our morphers, I got worried and then all hell broke loose and I didn't have a chance to look for you, or get any kind of confirmation. Then Zhane was injured and I was so worried about him, I sort of forgot about you. I know it's no excuse, but I'm sorry. I feel so guilty. I convinced myself that you were dead, and that your morpher was irretrievable. I'm sorry, I swear if I had known you were alive I would have torn the Dark Fortress apart to find you."
Harmony looked up at him, startled. "You thought I was dead?" She asked, her eyes wide. "You didn't look for me at all?" Tears filled up in her eyes and Andros realized that to assuage his own guilt, he had ripped apart her illusions that they had been looking for her the entire time.
"No, I didn't. But I would have, Harmony, I swear I would have. I didn't know you were still alive. I thought I was the only one. If I had known, well, I would have done a lot of things differently, and maybe you wouldn't be in here at all. I know that you can't forgive me, I don't think I could ever forgive myself, but maybe we could start over...as friends?" He asked, not daring to hope that she would even consider that.
"Andros...I forgive you. I don't blame you for forgetting about me. You had a lot of things on your mind. It was a sort of logical conclusion, especially when I didn't come back after the last battle. You were worried about Zhane and making sure he didn't die. I understand."
Andros breathed a sigh of relief as he gingerly sat down on the bed. Harmony smiled nervously at him and made room so they were face to face. He looked down at the morpher in his hands and then held it out to her. "Here, Cassie found it right where you said it would be."
Harmony smiled and took the morpher from him. "Thank you, Andros. It probably seems stupid since it doesn't have any power left in it, but it helps. I feel safe whenever I have it with me."
"Harmony, the power isn't gone. Astronema just force demorphed you. You can still morph. You just haven't for two years."
Harmony shook her head. "I don't think so, Andros." But she didn't argue with him further. She stared down at the morpher in her hands, unable to think of a single thing to say. Andros was also silent.
"There's one other thing...do you remember Oswald and Icabode?"
Harmony frowned as she racked her memory. The names rang a bell, but it was a small bell and very far away. "My...plants?" She asked.
Andros smiled at her, then ducked his head. "Uh...yeah. Well...I...uh...sort of killed them off. I didn't mean to, but I'd sort of forgot to...um...water them."
Harmony smiled shyly at him. "That's all right. I sort of didn't think they survived. I don't remember you being very good with...that sort of stuff."
The smile slid off of Andros' face. "What do you remember?" He asked quietly.
Harmony looked away. "It's all a blur. But...in my nightmares..." She shivered. "Everything is so very real."
Andros nodded. "The nightmares will go away after awhile. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I wish I could have spared you that." He took a deep breath. "Harmony, you know that you had a head injury? Do you remember how it happened?"
Harmony shook her head. "I don't know. Please don't make me remember, Andros." She said quietly.
"You have to remember, Harmony. It's important."
"No, please, Andros. I'll do anything. Anything but that." She pleaded; tears welling in her bright green eyes.
"We have to know what happened, so we can help you."
"It's healed, Andros. I know it is. Why are you worried about it?" She asked.
"I'm worried that it did some damage to your brain. Especially you're memories. You seem to have a really hard time remembering things."
Harmony looked down in her lap. She couldn't refute what Andros was saying. Every time she went to sleep it was like what ever was in her memory vanished, like a slate board being erased. "Ecliptor did it." She whispered.
"Huh?" Andros said, not quite understanding where Ecliptor came into play.
"Ecliptor hit me with his sword. He was trying to get me to tell him where my morpher was. I didn't tell him and he got mad. He hit me in the head. I don't remember anything after that. Don't want to remember." She said quietly.
Andros edged closer to the smaller girl. "You have to remember, Harmony. It's important."
Harmony shook her head. "I can't. Please Andros, don't do this." She pleaded, tears running down her cheeks.
Andros backed off on the interrogation. Harmony needed rest more than she needed her memories right now. "I'm sorry, Harmony. I just want you to get better. I'll leave you alone."
Harmony reached out and grabbed his hand. "No, don't go. I-I'm not ready to go back to sleep yet." She released his hand and bit her lip. "I'm scared to be by myself. I keep thinking Astronema or Ecliptor are going to come when you're not around and take me back."
Andros reached out and touched her hand. "That's not going to happen, Harmony. I promise." He looked around a minute. There were a million things that he had to do, but at the moment they could all wait. He sat a little and smiled nervously at her. He wasn't sure what to say, until he hit upon an idea. Harmony wouldn't know anything about the current team. She kept frowning and was probably trying to figure out what was wrong with the make up of the team. He grinned at her and then starting tell her about his current team.
Harmony wobbled onto the Bridge. Zhane looked up from his position and smiled at her.
"Feeling better?" He asked, getting up and moving over to her.
"A little. I just haven't gotten the hang of these things yet." She said, indicating her crutches.
He helped her into a chair. "You look better." Zhane said as he smiled softly, and lightly ran his fingers over the braided green streak in her hair.
Harmony ducked her head and felt her face flush. Zhane had been her first friend on the Ranger team and right before her capture it had look there might have been something more between them. But that was two years and a lifetime ago for her. She'd never been entirely certain where his feeling had lain to begin with.
Zhane backed away slightly sensing her hesitation. "So what are you doing up here? I thought the watch dog wasn't letting you out for another few days."
Harmony grinned at him. "He doesn't exactly know I'm gone."
"Well, I won't tell." Zhane said with a smile.
"Thanks Zhane...for everything. You're a really good friend." Harmony replied.
Zhane grinned at her. "I've been meaning to talk to you about stuff. Well, us actually. When we were on the old team we were really close, and we still are, but...I don't love you like a girlfriend. It's more like a close friend or sister. I don't mean to hurt you or anything, but I'm in love with someone else."
Harmony giggled at him. "I never thought I'd see you flustered." She ducked her head. "It's all right, Zhane. We never were really anything more than close friends, no matter how hard the rest of them tried." She looked up at him and grinned. "You were always too much of a flirt."
Zhane gave her a roguish smile. "Who me?" He asked with a look of pure innocence.
Harmony giggled again. "Don't give me that! You flirted with every female Ranger we met up with."
Zhane perched himself on her arm rest. "It's good to hear you laughing again. You're remembering more?"
Harmony shrugged. "A little more. Just bits and pieces, but I do remember that." She ducked her head again as she felt a blush creep across her cheeks. "I remember a lot about you. When I was really hurt or scared, I'd remember some of the stuff you and Tomah did to me and I wasn't so scared anymore. Especially after Darkonda started to hunt for me. He was harder to avoid than everybody else. He caught me twice, and..." Harmony trailed off and sniffled. She felt an arm around her and looked up to see Zhane with a sympathetic smile on his face.
"That's all behind you. I am so glad your back with us. When Andros told me you didn't survive...well...I was devastated. You're like the little sister I never had. I missed having you around to pick on."
Harmony grinned at him. "Nice to know how you really feel about me."
"Hey I try." He said.
Harmony giggled again, but yawned in the middle. "I guess I'm not as healed up as I thought."
"You're a lot better then you would be without your powers. Have you thought about morphing yet?"
Harmony shook her head. "It's enough to handle that I still have my powers. I don't think I'm up to morphing yet. At least not until I'm a bit more healthy." She yawned again. "Do you want to help me find out what Andros did with my quarters?"
Zhane smiled. "It would be my pleasure, my lady." He helped her out of the chair and back onto the crutches. Together they left the bridge in search of Harmony's quarters.
Harmony and Zhane looked at the room. "What did he do to my quarters?" Harmony moaned looking over at Zhane.
"Hey don't look at me! I didn't have anything to do with this." He replied holding out his hands in surrender. Harmony's quarters had been turned into a sort of storage closet. Boxes were piled everywhere around the room and what little things Harmony had used to decorate her room were gone."I'll help you clean it up though. I didn't think that Andros had this much crap." Zhane said as he looked around, trying to find a place to start.
Harmony started to move a box, only to be stopped by Zhane. "Forget it Harmony. You're hurt. You just sit down and tell me where you want your stuff." He said leading her over to the desk. He looked around again. "That is if we can find your stuff."
"Maybe we should just have Andros find a place for all this stuff. It is his stuff right?" Harmony asked after Zhane had worked on it for about an hour. Harmony had tried to help, but every time she got up, Zhane told her to sit.
"Who knows? Nothing's labeled. For all I know, this box could contain frozen marshmallows."
"Frozen marshmallows? Wouldn't they have melted by now?" Harmony asked, trying unsuccessfully to smother a giggle.
Before Zhane could reply, his morpher beeped. "Zhane here, what's the problem?"
"It's Andros. Have you seen Harmony? I came to check on her and found her missing. I hope she didn't freak out again."
Zhane shared a mischievous grin with Harmony. "I've...ah...haven't seen her Andros, but I'm sure that she's okay. Maybe you should try her quarters, I bet she's heading down there."
There was an audible pause from Andros' end. "Uh...yeah. Listen, if you see her before I do, bring her back to the Med. Bay. I want to run more tests."
Harmony crossed her eyes and stuck her tongue out at Zhane's morpher. He grinned at her and realized that Andros was still awaiting a reply. "Sure thing bud. Over and out."
Before he could turn around and go the other way, Ashley looked up and smiled at him. "Hey, where are you going in such a hurry?" She asked, sliding a hand through his arm.
He tried to shrug it off, but he couldn't quite hide his nigh panic. "Oh I was just...walking around."
"Really. So were we. We can walk together." Ashley replied with a bright smile.
"No, really, that's okay. You don't have to. You two are probably talking about some girl stuff. I wouldn't want to intrude." Go away, Ash. I really need to talk to Harmony right now.
Ashley couldn't hide the hurt look on her face, but she let go of his arm. "I'm sorry. I-I didn't realize."
Andros sighed and took her hand. "I'm looking for Harmony. I think her and Zhane are looking for her quarters. I'd like to explain things to her before they get there."
"Oh, actually we honestly were just going to check on her. You know maybe see if she was up for a short walk on the simuldeck or something." Ash replied softly.
"Yeah, we figured she'd probably be pretty bored and lonely there by herself." Cassie added with a smile.
Andros smiled faintly. He appreciated his teammates efforts to help Harmony. This is the biggest difference between this team and my old one. He thought as he tucked Ashley's hand in the crook of his arm. They never let anyone be on the outside. Of course, Ashley's definitely one of the biggest reasons. He grinned a bit wider as he and the girls approached the Green Ranger's former quarters.
"Andros, I thought this was a storage closet." Cassie remarked as they entered the room. Once inside the three of them were treated with the sight of Zhane trying to organize the room while Harmony was curled up on the desk asleep.
"Shhh." Zhane said as he spotted them. He led them out of the room. "She just fell asleep a couple of minutes ago. What did you do to her quarters?" He asked. "What is all that stuff?"
Andros shrugged. "Most of it is stuff from the other rangers." He turned and smiled at Ashley and Cassie. "You guys remember? You asked if I had a place to store the stuff? Well, Harmony's quarters were it."
Cassie and Ashley looked at each other. "So I suppose it's our fault now?" Ashley asked.
Zhane grinned at them. "Well, if the shoe fits..."
"Yeah...it is mostly your stuff. The guys didn't bring nearly as much stuff." Andros added.
"Well, excuse me if I can't decide what I wanted to take. As you so eloquently put it, we didn't know anything about space. How was I supposed to know what to pack?" Ashley asked.
"You didn't need to pack that much, Ashley." Andros replied getting into the teasing. "I've never seen anyone pack as much as you. I don't even own that much."
"Oh sure...pick on the girls. I don't have to take this." Ashley huffed.
Andros was immediately apologetic. "I didn't mean it like that. I was just teasing."
Ashley gave him a big smile. "I knew that."
Zhane rolled his eyes. "We still need to get that stuff out of Harmony's room. She's pretty determined to stay in there. I tried to convince her to go the Med. Bay, but she wouldn't go. She didn't want to spend anymore time there."
Ashley's eyes lit up as she thought of the possibilities. She really wanted this to be a nice surprise for her new found friend. Besides, Harmony needed to get off this ship; you can only take so much metal before you went crazy. "We could take her to the park for a picnic, and then you guys could clean up her quarters."
"Sure, anything to get out of cleaning, huh Ash?" Cassie asked with a smile.
Ashley gave her a mock glare. "I was talking about you to. You know, have a bit of girl talk." She gave the guys a sugary sweet smile that had both Andros and Zhane looking at each other wondering when the bomb was going to drop.
"Hey, I'm in. About time those two did their share. When are you planning on doing this?" Cassie asked. "She's not exactly awake at the moment."
Ashley eyes danced as she worked through the details. "We could take her tomorrow. Just the three of us and then Andros and Zhane could clean up her room and get it ready for her."
"Hey, wait a minute. It's mostly your stuff. Why do we have to clean it?" Zhane demanded.
"Because you guys don't know much about Earth. You'd probably make her eat a banana without peeling it or something silly like that."
Andros' face reddened a bit at the last comment but kept his mouth shut.
"She probably could use a bit of female companionship." Cassie threw the two boys a sly grin. "Besides how else are we going to get the dirt on you two?"
Andros gave Zhane a worried look. "Uh...listen about that. I've tried to get her to remember things; she gets very upset. Don't push her, okay?" He said giving Ashley a hard look. He knew that Ashley was only trying to help, but sometimes she pushed too hard. He wanted Harmony to ease back into her position on the team.
Ashley smiled at him. "Of course not. We just want to help her that's all."
Cassie nodded. "Guys, don't you think we should at least clear off the bed so she has a comfortable place to sleep?"
Zhane and Andros exchanged glances. It hadn't even crossed their minds. "Well, yeah. We should."
"You should what?" A soft voice asked from behind them.
The four rangers turned and found Harmony balanced precariously against the door frame and watching them sleepily.
"Hey, did we wake you?" Zhane asked coming over to her.
Harmony slowly shook her head. "I bumped my ankle against a box." She looked down at the floor. They didn't need to know that the real reason she woke up was the fear that had plagued her sleep since she returned.
Ashley smiled to herself as she watched the former Green Ranger and Silver Ranger interact. It was so sweet. They were absolutely perfect for each other. Zhane needed someone that knew what he was like before and Harmony could use the interaction. She needed to feel save. Ashley snaked an arm around Andros' and took his hand in hers. Andros gave her hand a slight squeeze.
Andros was glad Zhane had woken up before he found Harmony. Zhane and Harmony had always had a close relationship. By the looks in his girlfriend's eyes, she thought it might be more than just very close friends. Andros wasn't so sure. Zhane had always been a notorious flirt. He never settled on one girl. Harmony had to know that. The two of them had gone off together at quite a few layovers, particularly when Andros was busy arguing with the spaceports. Zhane and Harmony had gotten into more than a few scrapes from Zhane's roving eye.
"Are you okay?" Zhane asked her.
Harmony nodded and smiled at him. "You didn't answer my question." Zhane gave her a look of pure innocence. "And that question was?"
"What were you talking about before I interrupted you?"
"Actually," Ashley jumped in, "Cassie and I were wondering if you'd be up to a picnic in the park tomorrow. Sort of to get you acquainted with Earth. I don't know about you, but I get stir crazy if I'm up here too long."
Harmony flew a startled glance at Andros and Zhane. "We didn't tell them anything, Harmony." Zhane said quietly, making Ashley and Cassie to wonder exactly what it was that had surprised Harmony so much.
"Okay...that sounds really nice." She looked down at her uniform, "but I don't have any clothes to wear. Unless a ship uniform..."
Cassie smiled at her. "Ash and I will get you something to wear. It's a bit warmer there than it is on the Megaship. Don't worry about it."
Harmony gave them a skeptical look but nodded. Then she turned to Andros. "Why are there all sorts of boxes in my room?" She asked quietly.
Andros felt his face heat up and he gave her a sheepish smile. "Uh...well...I sort of told the other Rangers that I had extra storage space. I didn't think they'd bring this much stuff."
"Oh." Harmony yawned again.
"Guys, I think that's our cue to at least clean off the bed so Harmony can get her rest." Cassie said giving the smaller girl a smile.
Harmony gave the Pink Ranger a small smile in return. Zhane helped her back over to the desk and then pitched in with the rest of the Rangers present to clean off her bed. She watched as Andros directed the effort. "Andros, where are all my things?"
Andros looked over at her again. "Actually...I'm not quite sure. I think they were with Zhane's things...I'll find them don't worry."
Zhane shared a mischievous look with Harmony. "Sure you will, Andros."
Harmony closed her eyes and leaned back on her elbows enjoying the sun streaming on her face. She opened her eyes and saw Ashley and Cassie exchanging an amused grin. Harmony felt her face flush and she smiled shyly. "It's been...a long time since I could go outside. I missed it."
Ashley shook her head. "Don't apologize. We understand perfectly. The Simuldeck just doesn't compare to the real thing."
Harmony nodded. "DECA tries, but she just can't get it right." She sighed as she tilted her head back once more. "This reminds me of home."
"What was it like? I mean...if you can remember." Ashley said, remembering Andros' words.
Harmony frowned a bit and racked her memory. "It was...like this-the park. We lived...away from town. Dad would go into town once a year, to get supplies. It was just Mom, Dad and me. I never had anybody my own age until I became a Ranger. It was...overwhelming at first. I didn't know what to do. I was...sort of angry too. I didn't want to be there, but I didn't have much choice. It wasn't really until Zhane found me one day that I started to open up to everybody."
"What happened?" Cassie asked gently.
Harmony felt her face flush. He knew! He knew where she liked to hide, why they couldn't find her on the sensors. She looked away from the blond Silver Ranger. Zhane stepped closer, and smiled reassuringly at her, as she took a fearful step back. He tried to get the poor girl to look up at him. Harmony backed up until she felt the cool steel wall against her back and palms. She had trapped herself! She braced herself for an attack.
Zhane watched his newest teammate. The poor thing looked ready to bolt. Giving her his most suave smile he deliberately stepped closer. "What's wrong?" He asked, gently raising her head.
Harmony pulled away from his hand and refused to look at him, refused to talk to anyone on the ship. She didn't want to be a Ranger at all. Only she didn't seem to have much choice in the matter. She didn't seem to have much say in anything lately.
Zhane shook his head and tried again. He knew Harmony could speak, he'd heard her on various occasions talking to someone or something by the name of Murph. He still wasn't sure if he wanted to know who or what Murph was. "Relax. I don't bite."
"Go away." Harmony wished. She didn't even realize she had said it out loud until Zhane asked. "What?" Horrified, her gaze flew to his. But instead of condemnation she found only concern and a hint of amusement in his blue eyes.
"Nothing." She whispered.
Zhane smiled. He'd finally gotten her to talk even if it was only to tell him to get lost. He dropped his own voice to a stage whisper. "Why are we whispering?"
Harmony's face went deeper red, but as she turned her head away from him, Zhane thought he caught a glimpse of a smile.
"Is it just me, or do you think it's too QUIET around here?" He asked, shouting out the word. Harmony tried to stifle a giggle. "See, I knew you could make noise. It's not against the rules you know. We don't bite." Zhane leaned closer and whispered in her ear. "Except maybe Andros."
Harmony reared back in surprise at Zhane's statement. "Wh-what?" She asked.
Zhane watched his teammate. He hadn't really believed Andros when he said Harmony hated him, but the look on her face definitely told him something was up. Zhane stepped aside and slid to the floor. After a moment Harmony did the same. "Much better." He sighed. "How come you don't like Andros?" He asked quietly, not wanting to scare her.
Harmony bit her lip. She knew Zhane and Andros were best friends. She wasn't blind! Did he actually expect her to insult his friend to his face?
Zhane smiled at her. "I don't bite remember? Let me guess...you don't like his hair. That's understandable really. As a good friend it's my job to tell him these things. I really just do have to bite the bullet and tell him it clashes with his uniform."
Harmony giggled as Zhane rattled on. "I don't hate him exactly...he just scares me is all. I'm afraid he's going to find out I'm a fake."
Zhane frowned. "Why do you think you're a fake?"
Harmony twisted her hands in her lap. "I don't know how to fight." She said softly.
Zhane's face brightened. "Is that all? I can fix that."
Harmony stared at him. "You'll teach me how to fight? Why?"
Zhane's smile grew. "Why not? Besides, you're too sweet to get killed in battle. I'll show you a few moves right now."
Harmony stared at him, as he stood. "Right now?"
"So did he help you learn to fight?" Cassie asked.
Harmony smiled. "He tried. I...wasn't very good, and I...couldn't learn. Soon Andros didn't let me go down to a battle unless someone was injured. It was better all the way around." Harmony ducked her head. "I...like you guys better though. Don't tell Andros, but the other team didn't really...make me feel welcome."
Cassie and Ashley both gave her a bright smile. "You're secret's safe with us." Cassie said slinging an arm gently around their newest teammate.
"So you have to tell us...what were Andros and Zhane like before?" Ashley asked.
"I just realized something, Ash. If Harmony was a Ranger with Zhane, then he lied to you."
"What do you mean?" Ashley asked.
Harmony started to giggle. "He didn't use the old 'I've never met a female Power Ranger before did he?" Harmony shook her head. "He needs to get some new pickup lines. He used that everywhere."
The girls looked at each other and then started to laugh along with Harmony. "So, what was Andros like when you were with him before?"
Harmony frowned as she searched her memory. "He was...quieter, stricter. When he and Zhane came with me...home...Andros started to open up more. He would...smile and even laugh. Most of the time...I was scared of him. He was...intimidating."
Ashley smiled at her. "We understand. He take some getting used to."
Harmony smiled back. "Thanks, that means a lot to me."
"Don't mention it. We're your friends now too, don't forget that. We're with you know matter what. After all, us female Rangers have to stick together."
"Well...thank you. That... means a lot to me." Harmony said quietly. She looked down at the picnic basket. "Wow, that's a lot of food. How long are we planning to be out here, anyway?"
"Well... I wasn't sure how much you were going eat. And I know much Cassie eats, so I brought more the necessary." Ashley explained. "Besides, you never know how long it'll take the boys the clean your room. Whoops! That was suppose to be a surprise." Ashley blushed. "Oh well, it's okay I guess. I just wanted it is to be a surprise for you, that's all. I suppose we could go back to the ship, the boys should be finished by now."
Harmony grinned at the Yellow Ranger. "That's okay. Do you...do you think we could stay just a while longer?"
The other plant was a bit of a mystery to her. She knew that TJ and Andros had bought it from Earth, as sort of a welcome back gift for her. She just wasn't sure what it was. The stems were green and had thorns, but the leaves didn't. She frowned, whatever it was it sure did look sickly. Just like me. She thought with a sigh, catching her reflection in the mirror.
The bruises the fading quickly and she had no doubt that within a day there would be no trace of them. Harmony hopped over to the dresser and pulled out the green uniform. Lightly caressing green top she changed into the uniform glad that Andros had insisted that she wear it.
"You're a part of the team, Harmony. You deserve to wear the uniform."
She frowned and shook her head. The gray fabric simply emphasized the differences between this team and the old one. Andros didn't want any reminders of his old team. Including the uniforms. For a moment she considered putting on the black jacket and pants that she had worn while serving as the Green Ranger before the Fall. She decided against it. There's just too much to explain if I do. Besides I like this one better, it seems more...friendly. She thought with a giggle. Harmony had never been this happy to be a part of the team. Of course the old team never treated me like one of them either.
Harmony frowned at that as she grabbed her crutches and hobbled out of her quarters. "I really shouldn't be thinking bad thoughts of the dead. What was it Mom always used to say? Only fools speak ill of the dead? Something like that." She whispered to herself. She wandered down toward the jump bay wondering where the rest of her team was. My team. It's a nice feeling.
She passed Zhane's room and found to her surprise that the door was open. Usually whenever her of the other rangers were in their rooms they closed the doors for what little privacy they could get. Harmony was about to call to him, to find out what were the other Rangers were and if he'd eaten when she happened to glance at the picture he was staring at over his shoulder.
Harmony felt her breath freeze in her throat. Oh, no! Please no! Not that, anything but that! Her mind screamed even as her body went numb. In Zhane's hand was a picture of Astronema the very person who had caused so much grief. She couldn't be the girl he was talking about. The one that he was in love with. Please, say it isn't true.
She started to back away from him, only to remember that she wasn't steady on her feet. She managed to rebalance herself without making a sound. He can't find out that I know. Her mind screamed as she hurried down the hall and to the bridge.
Once on the bridge she shakily sank down into a chair and took a deep breath. "DECA where are the other Rangers?" She asked, hearing the slight tremor in her voice.
"The other rangers are currently on Earth with the exception of Zhane. He is currently in his quarters. Do you wish me to contact them?"
"No, it's not important." Harmony replied. I can handle this. I know I can. I just have to stay away from Zhane and watch for Ecliptor. That's all. She curled up on the seat and tried to make herself as small as possible as she heard imaginary footsteps through the hallway. Harmony could feel herself start to shake, but she refused to give into her panic. The panic that urged her to find a small dark corner to hide in. She wasn't going to hide from this.
Zhane...how could you? Her mind screamed. After everything she did to me, how could you hold her in your heart? How could you turn on your friends? Do they even know that you're working for the enemy?
Andros found Harmony there an hour later after he and Ashley came back from a movie matinee. "Harmony?" He asked gently, as he shook her awake.
She jumped under his hand and barely contained a scream. It's Andros, not Zhane, Andros...and Ashley. "Uh...hi."
Ashley gave her a concerned look. "Are you okay?"
Harmony gave them a wobbly smile, and ran a hand over her braids. "Sure...I guess I'm just a little...edgy."
Andros gave her a crooked smile. "I can imagine. Are you feeling okay?" He asked indicating her ankle.
"Yeah, just tired, but that'll pass once I get my strength back. Where did you guys go?" She asked with a smile, eager to get the attention away from herself.
Ashley smiled sheepishly. "We went to the movies. We thought about asking you, but..."
"Don't worry about it. I was sleeping. I understand. I was just wondering." Harmony replied, relaxing into the chair.
"We went to see an Earth movie, called..." Andros turned to Ashley for help. She gave him a mischievous smile.
"You must have really liked it if you can't even remember the name of the movie." Ashley teased. She turned to Harmony. "We went and saw Blast from the Past. It was a good movie." She told the smaller girl. "At least I thought so."
"I liked it. I just thought it needed more explosions." Andros replied with a smile.
Ashley and Harmony rolled their eyes. "You would." Harmony retorted, a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth.
Andros was about to respond when the alarm sounded. "DECA what's going on?" Andros demanded turning to the artificial intelligence.
"Aye yi yi yi! TJ and Carlos are being attacked by Quantrons in the park. You have to hurry Rangers." Alpha cried, it's normally perky voice shrill.
"Hey guys. What's going on?" Zhane asked, racing into the room. He didn't miss the blood drain from Harmony's face, but at the moment he didn't have time to question it.
"Quantrons are attacking Carlos and TJ. Zhane, will you stay here with Harmony?" Andros asked.
"NO!" Harmony shouted. Andros, Zhane and Ashley gave her a strange look. "I mean it's not really necessary. I can take care of myself, and you'll need the Silver Ranger."
Andros continued to frown. "I don't know...I'd rather someone stayed here with you."
"I've got Alpha to explain things to me, and if I have to I can...morph." Harmony whispered the last word.
"She's got a point, Andros, and TJ and Carlos need us. Cassie's already there." Ashley told him, concern in her voice.
Andros nodded. "Okay, just remember, we're only a teleport away."
Harmony chewed her bottom lip as she watched the battle from the bridge. Alpha was tinkering around behind her, but also watching the battle closely. The Rangers were holding their own against the Quantrons, but neither Ecliptor nor Astronema had yet made an appearance. Something wasn't right. Astronema didn't send down Quantrons just to harass the Rangers. There was always some kind of plan.
She watched as one by one the Quantrons started to fall and not get back up. "Something's not right. DECA, scan for Ecliptor." She told the computer.
"Ecliptor is on Earth." The mechanical voice said.
"Where? Put him on screen in relation to the Rangers." Harmony smiled to herself. At least the terminology was still there. She just hoped what little fight skills she had would be remembered as well. She had a feeling she was going to need them. The scene shifted and she saw Ecliptor sneaking up behind Cassie sword raised.
Harmony felt the panic explode within her, but she stomped it down. Her friends needed her, that was all that mattered. "Let's Rocket!" She called out in a fairly steady voice. She punched in the code and felt the rush of Power that had been missing for the last two years. Harmony took a deep breath and teleported down to Earth.
Cassie doubled over as a Quantron managed to get past her guard and land a blow. She gasped, trying to get her breath back.
TJ looked up in time to see Ecliptor coming up behind the Pink Ranger. "CASSIE!" He yelled, unable to do anything else. Cassie looked up at the sound of his voice. She managed to twist around but she froze as Ecliptor's sword came down, ready to cleave her in half.
Cassie flinched as she heard the clang of metal on metal. She looked up and saw the Green Space Ranger had blocked Ecliptor's blow. A metal bow was underneath his sword.
Harmony grunted as Ecliptor bore down on her. Ecliptor was stronger than her, and she couldn't keep this up forever. Cassie rolled out of the way, but Harmony kept the sword away, her bow was the only thing keeping it from slicing her in half.
"Harmony, duck!" Harmony didn't even turn, but dropped wondering what was going on. She heard the whoosh of a blaster going over her head. Rolling away she looked up and saw Ecliptor, a black smoking spot in the center of its chest.
She felt an arm on hers, helping her to her feet. She stood and felt blood rushing in her ears. Over the sound she could just make out someone's voice. "You're finished Ecliptor. Go back to the Dark Fortress and tell Astronema that she's through! We're whole again, and we're going to kick her butt back into the next galaxy."
Harmony blinked, trying to get the white comets out of her vision so she could figure out exactly what was going on.
"You haven't heard the last of me, Rangers. You got your precious Green Ranger back, but I promise you that she won't last long enough to help you. I'll personally see to that."
"You can try Ecliptor! I got away from you once, I can do it again if I have to." Harmony managed in the most intimidating voice she could manage.
"Now she has us to help!" Ashley added.
With a growl Ecliptor ordered his retreat. The rangers looked around before demorphing, Harmony included.
"You came right in time!" Ash said.
The roaring in Harmony's ears increased a hundred fold as did the white comets that now complete obscured her vision.
"I think you had just a bit too much morphing." A voice said as Harmony groggily opened her eyes.
"What?" She asked. Looking around she found herself back in the Med. Bay. She pushed herself up into a sitting position and blinked as the white comets once again shrouded her vision. "Ugh. What happened?" She asked as her vision cleared.
"You morphed and faced down Ecliptor. Then you passed out. Too much excitement I'm thinking."
Harmony looked over at the speaker and felt the blood drain from her face. Zhane was sitting there, as carefree as ever with a big grin on his face. "Get away from me." She whispered hoarsely.
Zhane frowned and stood up. "What's going on, Harmony? How come you all of a sudden don't want to have anything to do with me?"
Harmony stared at him and wondered if she had finally lost her mind. "You're working for Astronema! You told me you were my friend! How could you work for someone that hurt me so much?" Harmony screamed at him, tears blurring her vision.
"What are you talking about? I'm not working for Astronema."
"Don't deny it! I saw you, fawning over that picture of her. How could you betray your team like that?! She was the one that put you in that cryo-tube!"
A look of understanding spread across Zhane's face. "I'm not working for Astronema. I'll admit, I'm attracted to her, but I'd never betray Andros, you or the rest of the team, Harmony. Besides," he rubbed the back of his neck, a sheepish smile crossing his face. "I don't think she wants anything to do with me."
Despite her misgivings, Harmony was curious. "What happened?"
"Well, I saved her from a monster, and then...well she didn't kill me, and later on I got a note saying to met her at the same spot as before. I was on my way, when the rangers were attacked by one of her monsters. I don't think she sent it, because I was late, and well...she zapped me with her Wrath Staff."
"Yeah, she said she never wanted to see me again. Don't worry about me defecting to her side. It won't ever happen."
Harmony gave him a soft smile. "I'm sorry for doubting you."
Zhane shook his head, a bright smile crossing his features. "Don't worry about it. It was a logical, in a way. The others wanted to know when you were awake. You really did a number on Ecliptor today."
"I didn't shoot him." Harmony protested.
"No, you just saved my life." Cassie said as she and the other rangers entered the Med. Bay.
Harmony blushed. "That's my job." She demurred.
"Yeah, but with everything you went through, we wouldn't have blamed you if you wanted to stay on the Megaship. You've got more guts than I do." Carlos told her.
"Than most of us," Ashley added, and the others nodded.
"So you're on for good, right?" TJ asked.
Harmony nodded hesitantly. "If you'll have me."
They all smiled. Harmony had come home.