Disclaimer:The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. The character of Mackenzie Dekalb is property of Karilee who can be contacted at kajwr@twcny.rr.com. The character of Cassandra Jensen(the Emerald Ranger) belongs to Helen who can be contacted at helen0724@yahoo.com. Jeffrey Kincaid, Lord Crucible, and all other characters relating to them are mine. Should anyone wish to use my characters contact me at foi72@yahoo.com.

NOTE:Helen has asked me to make some modifications to the Emerald Combat mode. I have done so.

Power Rangers: Nightfighters.
Mixed Messages
Part 14
By John Chubb

Kincaid flew Defiance out on patrol. As he was flying he was also thinking about the message he had just sent weeks ago. He still couldn't believe he had sent it.

'I always said I would never go back home. What changed?', he thought. 'Was it Cassandra and Mackenzie's description of her?'

Yet despite all that Kincaid still had a fear that if he did go back home then things would just go back to the way they were with him being abused again, even though he had lived away from home.

Kincaid even thought about when he told Zordon to tell the world that Jeff Kincaid was dead. At the time it seemed like a good idea, he didn't want anyone trying to find him. Stephen even went down to Angel Grove hoping to find out any information about how his little brother died since that was where the Power Rangers usually hung out. A trip to Port Clinton came up as a dry well for him also.

"Enough of this self-indulgence.", thought Kincaid as he resumed flying. It wasn't long before he came across a squadron of guardships coming at him.


Mackenzie as standing watch on monitor duty. Something she didn't usually do without a lot of reluctance. For her, and a lot of the other nightfighters, monitor duty was boring. But unlike the other rangers she was the most vocal about it.

Cassandra walked in as Mackenzie stood diligently. "Waiting long?", she asked.

"Waiting long for what?", said Mackenzie.

"Kincaid. You like him don't you?"

"And what gives you that idea?"

"Because when it comes to monitor duty you usually don't do it without a lot of grumbling. Now Kincaid is out on patrol and you're jumping at the chance to be on lookout."

Mackenzie then got defensive. "And what if I do like Kincaid. Does he like me?" Mackenzie then thought of an idea, 'Cassandra was a telepath...No, that wouldn't be right.', she later thought. It would fall under as personal gain.

Cassandra picked up on the thought but didn't say anything. She was glad Mackenzie realized that she could not, and would not, use her powers in that regard.

Just then a warning light came on the console. Cassandra and Mackenzie turned to see the viewer and saw Defiance trailing smoke heading straight for the mobile safehouse.

"Red ranger coming in hot.", said Kincaid over the intercom. "I hope you guys aren't counting off for neatness."

Mackenzie jumped out of her chair to race for the landing bay. When she got there Defiance was coming in fast. No landing gear was extended. 'Damaged probably', she thought.

Defiance then hit the bay skidding with a deafening screech until it came to a stop. Extinguisher fumes came out from the ceiling trying to extinguish any fumes.

Kincaid made his way out of a side panel as Hardrive said in a Roscoe P. Coltraine voice. "That was a horrendous crash wasn't it flash?"

Hardrive sounded like he was having trouble speaking clearly. When Kincaid asked if Hardrive was okay the TV talking computer said, "Those dang blasted Duke boys just scuffed my vehicle."

Mackenzie rushed over to see if Kincaid was alright. "I'm okay.", he said. Then he looked over at the wrecked Defiance. "But I think Ashley will have her work cut out for her."


Ashley did have her work cut out for her. Not only was there some mild structural damage to the red carrier zord but half the systems on it were shot. The self repair program helped a litle but there was only so much that could it could do.

She even took inventory on the computer damage. Hardrive was still functioning but many of his interface pathways were severed.

"Sheesh!", she said in frustration and disbelief. "He really let himself get clobbered." Ashley looked over the inventory of damage and then realized that she could check out the computer core.

"Maybe even get to see if Hardrive really has a screw loose in his programming.", she said to herself. "But I better take care of the rest of the repairs first." Then she went to get her tools for the job ahead.


After she completed the necessary repairs that would allow the self repair program to finish the rest of the job Ashley crawled into the access tube to the computer core. She saw a lot of damage as she was going down but the self repair program was taking care of most of it.

She reached the end of the tube and entered a small room. Ashley then saw what she believed was the main computer core. There was a glowing ball standing in the center of the room with conduit lines connecting into it. Ashley could see the information heading into the ball as well as information heading out of the ball.

Ashley stared at the ball. 'Is this Hardrive?' she thought as she looked at it. Then a power surge erupted from behind her. She fell forward inadvertantly placing her hand on Hardrive's core processor.

She then felt a shock through her whole body and fall into unconsciousness.


Kincaid then walked onto the command deck of the mobile safehouse. He headed straight for the interface controls to see if Hardrive had been reconnected to the central computer on the safe house.

"Hardrive are you back on line?", Kincaid asked.

No answer.

"Hardrive are you on line?", he repeated.

After a few seconds wait Hardrive gave his answer. one that Kincaid couldn't believe Hardrive said.

"Self-repair routines completed. Carrierzord Defiance is again fully operational. Interface links established. And Miss Hammond is currently unconscious in the computer core."

After a few seconds of shock Kincaid headed down to the central tube that led to the computer core.


Kincaid called on the communicators to the others to meet him at the computer shaft on Defiance. He went in and got Ashley out quick.

Mackenzie started to look Ashley over when she started to wake up. "Ashley are you okay?", Kincaid asked.

Ashley didn't say anything.

Kincaid then repeated himself. "Ashley are you okay?" Then Ashley gave an answer that Kincaid couldn't believe.

"Ehhh, What's up doc?", she said in a Bugs Bunny voice.

Adam couldn't believe what he just heard and even Ashley was startled when the phrase came out. "I'll take what's happened to me for five hundred Alex.", she later said.

"Ashley, is there anything you need?", Adam asked.

Ashley started to feel her head. "Nuprin, little, yellow, different, better."

"Oh no.", said Kincaid as he buried his forehead into his right hand. The others looked at Kincaid as if they thought he knew something. And he did.

"Right now Hardrive is speaking perfectly like a normal computer. Now I can see why. Somehow while Ashley was in the core they got their speech algorythms switched."

"So we now have Hardrive sounding like a normal computer and we have Ashley sounding like an encyclopedia of TV quotes?", said Justin.

Kincaid just nodded.

Ashley didn't like her predicament in the slightest. "It's 8:42 and the forecast calls for stormy weather.", she said. Then she got up and faced Kincaid.

She looked ready to slug him when she grabbed his shirt and said, "If you don't cure me you're going to find yourself livin' in A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!", she said doing a Chris Farley character from Saturday Night Live.

"No problem.", Kincaid said. Then he turned to face a smirking Justin. "Would you care to help me out here?"


Kincaid, Cassandra, Adam, and Justin then began work to see how the transfer between Ashley and Hardrive took place. Fortunately hardrive gave clear and concise answers--for once.

"The power surge that caused Ashley to sprawl forward and touch my core processor was caused by a massive influx of data. When Ashley touched my central programming housing it initiated the transfer of our speech patterns. Seeing as how it was my unusual choice of using T.V. phrases as communication that always stuck out with me, it was the very aspect that stuck out in her mind as well."

Hardrive continued. "At the time my programming was undergoing a data accumulation subroutine. And when Ashley touched my core processor I took in her speech pattern knowledge while she received my...colorful language."

"Is there anything we can do about it?", asked Adam.

Just then Ashley walked in and spoke like the robot Twiki from the show 'Buck Rogers in the 25th Century'. "Bidi bidi bidi bidi, What's Shakin Buck?", she said.

"Well we just found out what happened to cause the speech change. You touched Hardrive's central processor as he was gathering data. When you touched the core it caused a feedback loop, and gave you Hardrive's colorful speech while he got your normal patterns."

"Well isn't that special.", said Ashley as she sounded like the Church Lady character on Saturday Night Live.

Justin then spoke. "It is possible to reverse the process. But we need to get our hands on some special equipment. Because it's unlikely that Ashley could handle another shock to her system like that."

"What equipment do you need?", asked Kincaid.

"Some of it we have here. We can use parts of Sha'lit's dream machine and connect it to the I/O port and place Ashley under it. We can effect the transfer that way. But there are some parts we need to finish the process."

Ashley started to light up as Adam said "Where?"

"Unfortunately it's on a base on planet Arcta. It's one of Crucible's supply depots.", said Hardrive.

Ashley then spoke like Jackie Gleason in 'Smokey and the Bandit'. "What we're dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law."


The nightfighters sat around the briefing room looking at the plans for the Arcta base.

"Arcta is kind of a technological relay point for supply ships that are going to respective bases. It's where ships can go to refuel, get serviced, and sometimes receive emergency rations."

"It's kind of like a truck stop in space then.", said Mackenzie in a matter-of-fact way.

"A truck stop with great strategic importance.", said Kincaid. "It's also one of the places Crucible uses to maintain his control over the spacelanes for his fleets. It's also far enough away from Crucible's core worlds that an invading force doesn't have to worry about immediate retaliation."

"What would happen if we knocked it out?", asked Adam.

"It would put Crucible's forces in that sector at a disadvantage since they would not be getting their supplies. They would have to reroute which would cost them valuble time. Rebel groups could use this to force back some of Crucible's forces.", said Cassandra.

"I was thinking the same thing. We could get what we need for Ashley and give the United Resistance a foothold in the Arcta sector.", said Kincaid.

"I'll contact Tommy tell him to get the rebels ready.", said Adam.

"Good. Now we just have one small detail to worry about.". Soon all eyes turned to Ashley.


After much debate, the others decided to let Ashley go on the mission. She may sound like a TV, but her fighting skills were still intact. They then morphed.

"Red Night Ranger activate!", said Kincaid.

"Let's Rocket!", said Mackenzie.

"Dragon Ranger Power!", said Adam.

"Emerald Ranger Power!", said Cassandra.

"Mountain Blaster Turbo Power!", said Justin.

"For the honor of Greyskull, I am SheRa!", said Ashley as she morphed into her Blackgold Ranger suit.

Mackenzie buried her hands in her helmet. "This is sooo stupid!" she said.

No one disagreed.


Defiance then flew out of the mobile safehouse towards Arcta. Kincaid sat at the pilot seat.

"Course laid in for Arcta.", said Hardrive.

"Engage Hyperdrive.", said Kincaid. Then Defiance went into hyperspace.

After the jump Kincaid sighed. Even though there were times when Hardrive's TV babble would drive him crazy, he missed it now. It was what gave the computer character. Now it seemed like the character was gone.

Cassandra then came up next to Kincaid. "Can I talk to you for a second? Alone?" Kincaid then got up and let Mackenzie take the pilot seat.

As they entered the hall connecting the bridge Kincaid then turned to Cassandra. "So what's up?", he asked.

Cassandra tried to choose her words carefully. She didn't want to send Kincaid the wrong idea and have him think that she was attracted to him...even if he did look kind of cute.

"When Mackenzie and I were on earth I thought a lot about my friends here, especially Adam.", she said.

"Ah yes, I heard you and Adam were kind of...close.", Kincaid said.

"We've....known each other for a while.", Cassandra said. "But when earth is free, Adam and I plan to have a party. And I'm hoping that the guests will bring dates."

"Are you inviting me to your party if and when you have it?", asked Kincaid.

"Yes I am. And your girlfriend"

"Well I'm afraid that I'll be coming stag. I don't have a girlfriend.", Cassandra noticed a hint of sadness in Kincaid's voice when he said it.

"You have no one back home?", asked Cassandra.

"No.", said Kincaid.

"Anyone you have your eyes on?"

"A few. I'm not blind. But why are you asking me this?"

Cassandra had to think quick. "Well I thought that since I was planning on having people bring dates, I was wondering if you had someone. If you didn't I might try to fix you up."

"You have someone in mind?", asked Kincaid.

"Maybe.", said Cassandra.

"Well we'll have to table this discussion for now. We're approaching Arcta." With that Kincaid and Cassandra went to the bridge.


"What's the plan? The old hit and run move?", asked Adam.

"Been there. Done that. I have something else in mind.", said Kincaid. He then turned his attention towards Justin.

"What's the status on their shields?", Kincaid asked.

"The base shields have a two second recycling interval that will allow us to teleport inside. It will be close, but we can do it."

Kincaid turned his attention to Hardrive next. "You will handle the teleport inside. Adam, Justin, Cassandra and Mackenzie will teleport in with me."

"And what of Miss Hammond?", asked Hardrive.

Ashley walked into the teleport bay and said "Live from New York it's Saturday Night!"

Kincaid looked at Ashley and said. "You will stay with Defiance. If we have any trouble come get us."

And with that Kincaid and his team teleported out to the base, leaving Ashley alone with Hardrive.


The Nightfighters teleported inside one of the service corridors of the base. Justin had a digital map of the base and showed it to Kincaid.

"The supply rooms are located down in the southwest sector. The core is down towards the center. If we knock it out the rebels can take the base.", said Justin.

"All right.", said Kincaid. "Cassandra, you Mackenzie and Adam head down towards the power core. Take out the power terminals. That will shut everything down. Justin and I will head down to the supply depot to get the parts he needs to reverse the process on Ashley and Hardrive."

With that the rangers split into their two teams and did their tasks.


Ashley was sitting at the helm control of Defiance awaiting word of when to move Defiance in. She was also anxious to get her normal speech back. Hardrive was sounding like DECA as far as Ashley could tell. Pleasent sounding but automatic as well.

It was then that Ashley realized that the Tv jingles that Hardrive always spoke in gave the computer a personality. Not saying that DECA didn't have a personality, but Hardrive let his show with the TV talk. And when Hardrive started talking normally, it was like a good piece of his personality was removed as well.

Ashley needed to get her speech back, not only for her sake but Hardrive's as well. It was then that Hardrive spoke.

"Intruders closing in. Port side."

Ashley turned to the viewers and saw a platoon of guardsmen aproaching Defiance. "Chewie, jam his transmissions.", Ashley said.

Hardrive did that and prepared to move Defiance, but Ashley stopped him with the manual override. She then went over to the door controls and opened them.

As she watched the guardsmen board Defiance she spoke like the HAL 9000 computer from 2001:A Space Odessey. "Good Morning Dave.", she said pleasently.

Ashley's pleasent sounding voice hid bad intentions for the guardsmen.


As Cassandra, Mackenzie and Adam made their way to the Power Core Cassandra told Mackenzie about her conversation with Kincaid. "What happened?", Mackenzie asked.

"Well he's definitely single. But it seems like he had a bad relationship before. He's looking but I don't know if his heart is completely in it."

"Burned before?", asked Mackenzie.

"It looks that way.", said Cassandra.

"Uhh, sorry to interrupt this pleasent conversation but we are approahing the Power Core.", said Adam.

As Cassandra's team looked up they saw something that resembled the main reactor from Return of the Jedi. "Okay now where's the off switch?", said Mackenzie humorously.


Kincaid and Justin made it to the supply room and proceeded to find the parts they needed. Two dead guardsmen lay by the door.

"Okay the final part I need...", said the young genius as he was looking at he computer screen. "...is in cabinet 46a. It's called a particle synthesizer."

Kincaid got the part and set them where the rest of them were. "Is the shield down?", Kincaid asked.

Justin looked at his readout. "No, not yet."

Just then the alarm sounded. "I guess they found the power core.", said Kincaid.


A platoon of guardsmen appeared through the opening of the Power Core. "Time to play with power.", said Mackenzie.

"WHITE ASTRO COMBAT MODE!!!", she said as a suit of Armor appeared around her body. There was also a missile launcher on her left shoulder as well as a shoulder cannon on the right. Mackenzie also had a wrist gun on her right forearm and something that looked like a lightsaber on her right.

"You've got the right idea.", said Cassandra "I'll join you EMERALD CRYSTAL POWER UP!!!" Her crystal glowed with an intense shade of green. Then a golden light joined the green as a shield formed around her chest. Her normal suit melted into that of a Ninja. Instead of one, two swords were attached to her back. Two daggers with a tiger's head on the end were strapped to her boots. The suit had other weapons in it but they were kept concealed. Just by looking at it, it wasn't as impressive as Mackenzie's but it had some powerful weapons when they are called upon.

"Who says that only boys can play with these toys?", said Mackenzie.

"Adam you go and find the power conduits and sever them. Mackenzie and I will hold off these bozos.

Adam went off as Cassandra and Mackenzie took on an army. Adam turned to look back at Cassandra and Mackenzie.

"Good luck girls", he said.


"Be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting guardsmen.", said Ashley in an Elmer Fudd voice.

As the guardsmen came aboard Ashley encased them in the hallway and surrounded them with a force field. She then activated the fire suppression system and fire retardent foam spewed out from the ceiling onto the guardsmen as it messed up their circuits.

"Surrender...to the...will...of us.", said the lead guardsman.

I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.", said Ashley still in her HAL 9000 voice.

The guardsman then fired his laser at the ceiling and knocked out the fire suppression system.

"Fire suppression system disabled.", said Hardrive stating the obvious. When the guardsmen knocked out the force field Hardrive stated that too.

But Ashley was still not quite done. "I pity the fool who messes with me!", she said sounding like Mr. T.

She readied her next move.


Cassandra left a trail of guardsmen bodies as they came through the hallway. Cassandra drew out her swords and put them together. "EMERALD LIGHTNING STRIKE!!!", she yelled as lightning bolts came from the two blades and knocked away at least fourteen guardsmen.

Mackenzie opened up on the guardsmen with her wrist gun as it spit out laser blasts rapidly. Guardsmen fell as the blasts hit.

But unfortunately more kept coming. And even though they could hold out for a while they couldn't hold out forever.

So Mackenzie fired a missile from her rocket launcher on her left shoulder. The rocket impacted with the archway cutting off the guardsmen in the room from anymore that would come.

Cassandra then leapt in the air and fired three arrows that sought out three guardsmen which exploaded on impact. She also aimed her bow at the rest and said "BLIZZARD CROSSWIND FREEZE WAVE!!!". A blizzard wave shot out of the bow and before long there were icy statues where the guardsmen stood.

"Combat mode power down.", said Mackenzie as she went back to her normal ranger mode. Cassandra also went back to her normal ranger mode.

"I hope Adam's doing okay.", said Cassandra.


Adam was in a fight of his own as he found the power conduits. But there were six guardsmen guarding them. And all of them were ready to strike.

"I have no time for this. DRAGON CLAW!!!", he said as a dark green claw appeared on his left hand. Adam then slashed his way through the guardsmen and when he made it to the power conduits he slashed them too.

Everyone noticed when the power went out.


Justin and Kincaid noticed the power outage and he transformed into his night ranger armor. The guardsmen then noticed a heating in their power cores as they started to melt. After that the guardsmen dropped to the ground like flies.

"You heated up their power cores so fast the coolant couldn't keep up with them didn't you.", said Justin.

Kincaid nodded and signaled Hardrive to teleport the parts they had and signal the resistance to move in. Hardrive did the teleporting and sent the signal.

"Okay Hardrive teleport us out.", ordered Kincaid.

Soon all the nightfighters teleported out and were greeted with the sight of a heap of dead guardsmen. Ashley was standing over them. "I have been waiting for you Obi-wan we meet again at last.", she said in a voice like Darth Vader.

"Ashley, what happened here?", asked Kincaid.

"Gee paw I just invited some friends over.", said Ashley doing Opie from the Andy Griffith show.

"I guess they couldn't handle your party huh?", said Mackenzie.


As soon as Sha'lit's machine was brought out. Justin made the modifications he needed to and hooked it up to Hardrive's core processor. When all was ready Ashley sat in the chair. She was looking forward to sounding normal again.

Justin activated the machine. It remained on for five minutes until it automatically shut down. Adam then went over to Ashley and asked if she was all right.

""I'm fine Adam.", she said smiling. She then found herself receiving a mix of hugs and pats on the back from the rest of the team. Even Tommy who stopped in to see how Ashley was doing.

After everyone was finished congratulating Ashley Kincaid went to Hardrive's terminal and asked how he was.

His answer was, "Good morning all and welcome to Kin-won knows best on Kerovan TV"

Everyone else laughed. Hardrive was back to normal.


"We've begun distributing most of the supplies to other bases. We're going to try to hold Arcta as long as we can.", said Tommy as he stood by ready to teleport.

Good the resistance is on a winning streak keep it up.", said Kincaid as he activated the teleported and Tommy teleported out.

Cassandra then came up to Kincaid and asked, "Now what fearless leader?"

"After this we need to lay low for a while. Let's head towards Iocaste."

And Defiance lifted off for the mobile safehouse, and then to Iocaste."