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.

Run to Iocaste
Part 21
By John Chubb

On a prison transport, a teen with blonde hair sat in the lap of luxury in a prison transport. She watched as prisoners were tortured, beaten, and every other crime imaginable to the human mind. It wasn't the first time she had seen this behavior but it was the first time she cried when it happened, and she was powerless to stop it.

The girl's name was Karone. At one time she was known as Astronema princess of evil. But Astronema was killed in a duel with her brother Andros, and was revived when Zordon's wave of good passed over her. Now she almost wished that wave hadn't passed through her. The remorse and treatment of the prisoners was too much for her to bear.

Crucible knew how Karone would react. That was why he chose this form of torture. To put her in luxury where all her needs were provided for while people suffered beneath her. And to let her remorse do the torturing. At the moment there was no one she hated in the universe more than Lord Crucible.

She had heard that Crucible had fallen in battle. 'Was it by the hand of the one who would rise?' she thought. But on another level of thought she wished she had been the one to deliver the killing blow.

With nothing to occupy her other than her thoughts Karone returned to the screen in front of her. She soon saw a familiar face in the prisoners. A boy with brown and blonde hair that came to his shoulders.



The work detail sat in one of the ship's cargo holds. Andros sat with the members of his chain gang as they split the little water that was between them. The gang trusted Andros because he was honest, as well as being a Power Ranger. He would not deceive them in any way so he was in charge of water distribution amoung the chain gang members.

After distributing the water the gang was cut loose for a while. One of the gang members, a Novellian, came up to where Andros sat and said, "You're thinking about her again aren't you?"

Andros looked up. "Am I that transparent?"

"There are ships not far away. All we have to do is steal one.", the Novellian said. "Then you can go find your girlfriend."

Andros confronted the Novellian. "Well there are a few problems with that. One, it's not just Ashley but my sister Karone that I have to find. Two, the shuttles are guarded and three I don't know where to begin to look for Ashley."

The Novellian looked at Andros and said "Well I've got some answers for you. One your sister Karone is on board this ship being forced to watch human misery in a luxury suite."

"How do you know this?", Andros asked.

"Astronema was unforgettable on Novella. Don't get me wrong I'm glad Astronema has seen the error of her ways but after what she did to my people it's very hard to forget Astronema.

"Two, I have a feeling you are already thinking about a plan now to bust out." Andros nodded an affirmative. And three, the planet where your girlfriend sung her little song is Iocaste."

Andros had a look of disbelief. "Iocaste?"

"That's where Leroy's bar is located. Best bar on the planet.", said the Novellan. "I know the planet's a wastepit but it's a place to start looking."

Andros weighed his options. There were ample ships nearby. His sister was onboard, and he had a place to start searching for Ashley. All the pieces started to fit together.

Now all he had to do was figure out how to escape.


Karone laid down on the floor trying to sleep. A lace bed with satin sheets was provided for her but she adamantly refused to sleep in it. She wasn't going to feel any worse than she already did looking down on the prisoners. If she slept in that bed she would have felt as dirty as the prisoners appeared.

"Karone?" came a voice inside her head telepathically.

"Andros?", she responded with a telepathic call of her own."I saw you below."

"I'm trying to plan for an escape.". Andros thought. "But what about the other prisoners?", Karone thought.

Andros understood what Karone meant and sighed. It would not be fair to the other prisoners if only he and Karone were free. The others would still have to face the guardsmen's wrath. Because of that escape was not an option.

"Do you have any ideas? I'm flat out.", Andros thought.

"Well I've conquered worlds for Dark Specter. How hard could a slave transport be?.", Karone thought.

Andros considered it for a moment. They have an army that could double as a crew. They have the guardsmen's weapons on hand to fight with as well as an array of sticks and stones and what have you.

The only problem was the slave circuits the prisoners wore on their ankles as part of the chain that joined them together. And none of the prisoners could get at the central transmitter to knock it out since the captain always wore it on his person, and since he never went near prisoners he transported, except for attractive ones for his own pleasures. Because of that the captain visited Karone recurringly drooling at the sight of her. It made Karone sick to her stomach.

"I know what you're thinking Andros. Let me worry about getting the master slave circuit control. You be ready to do the rest.", Karone thought.

"How will you do that?", Andros asked.

"Hey, being Astronema involved more than sending down fighters to conquer a planet. Sometimes I had to be a con lady too., Karone thought with a smirk.

Andros then turned to the other prisoners. "It's all set Karone's going to deactivate the slave circuits. Be ready to attack."

"How's she going to do that?", another prisoner asked.

"You know.", Andros said. "I have no idea."


The captain of the ship, a short rotund being named Yareth, made his way to his quarters when he passed by the quarters of Karone/Astronema. He decided to check in on her to see if Lord Crucible's torture orders were taking effect. Even though Crucible was gone the orders remained. And would remain until someone said otherwise, Savrod most likely.

The asencion ceremony was not far away. He thought about taking Astronema as her date when they got back to the mainworld Lucifer 6. Having the newly re-converted Princess of Evil would do wonders in his standing in the fleet. 'Not to mention the night of entertainment they would have afterwards, he thought licking his chops'. Acting on his impulse Yareth entered Karone's room.

What he saw shocked him.

There on the bed sat Princess Astronema, not Karone, in all her radient beauty. Her hair was a shiny purple and she was dressed in a leather skin tight outfit that made Yareth take definite notice. "Hello Captain Yareth.", Astronema said.

"Astronema.", Yareth said his fantacies coming to the fore. "Is that you?"

Astronema smiled as she made her way closer to him. "Yes. I got tired of feeling sorry for those peasents down there. I had forgotten how much pleasure I took in making them suffer." She got closer to the fat man and then threw him on the bed. He smiled as he hit the matress.

It's a good thing he likes it rough., she thought. "You know I'm attracted to powerful men. Are you a powerful man?"

Yareth nodded and Astronema smiled. "Well part of being powerful is to take pleasure with pain. Can you do that?", she said as she took off Yareth's uniform jacket.

Yareth's smile extended from ear to ear as he nodded. What a sleaze, Karone thoughtBut at least he's following along. Then she took a set of binders nearby and cuffed his hands to the bedpost.

"Are you ready?", Astronema asked. Yareth, pervert that he was nodded.

"Good.", she said as she removed the control belt from his waist. "Because you're in for a long wait." Yareth looked on in shock as Astronema changed back into Karone and stood up.

Yareth felt the room go cold. "Karone?"

"Yeah. And if Darkonda was still alive I'd rather sleep with him than sleep with you."

"How did you change you hair?", he asked with fury building. "You can't do changing spells anymore!!!"

"Simple disguising trick from KO-35. We can use our telepathy to disguise ourselves. I'll admit I'm a little rusty but it was enough to fool you."

Karone then pressed the master switch that deactivated the security chips and thought to Andros All right Andros the circuits are down. You can rush them. Down below the prisoners wasted no time running down the guardsmen and taking their weapons.

Karone then turned to walk out of the room, her own security brace removed. She then turned to look at Yareth. "You know. You space captains need to stop in at port more. And next time take 100 credits with you. That's discount price for working girls in most sectors. They're more...for you."

Yareth screamed as Karone walked out smiling. She had it out with a guardsman and took its weapon. Then she left to join in the prison revolt.


Soon it was over and the crew and guardsmen were hearded into the shuttles and launched into space. The shuttles only had enough fuel to lauch so as soon as they did, the ships were left drifting. Others were launched in escape pods and drifted as well.

Karone had Yareth dragged out wearing only his underwear. As he was hearded into the last pod he screamed, "I'LL GET YOU KARONE!!!YOU'LL BE SORRY FOR THIS!!!"

"Yeah, right.", Karone said as she pressed the button launching the sleaze out into space.

The Novellan and all the other prisoners rejoiced in their freedom. Many of them thanked Andros and Karone for their help. And Karone felt like she was one step closer to redemption for her sins as Astronema.

Andros then went to the bridge where it was newly crewed by former prisoners. "Where to Captain?", a lizard man said looking at Andros.

Andros thought about it and knew where he wanted to go. "Iocaste. And don't spare the turbo chargers."

The prison transport flew into hyperspace making way for Iocaste. It's time to find Ashley., he thought.


Karone sat looking at the computer records and making copies in hopes that she and Andros could find their other friends and captured rangers. She knew that four had already been freed: Ashley, Tommy Oliver, Kimberly Hart, and Katherine Hillard. Karone figured they were forming, or working with, some sort of resistance group. There was also that rag tag ranger team out there that Mackenzie was a part of. Karone also figured Ashley must have been part of that team as well.

Karone thought about Ashley for a moment, and Andros's reaction towards her, It seemed like every instinct told him to find her. Otherwise why would he go to Iocaste? Even as Astronema, she knew that Iocaste had no value for conquest. It was nothing more than a dumping ground for the dregs of the universe. Rangers wouldn't last two days down there. UAE villians wouldn't have lasted two hours.

But Andros was going there anyway in hopes of finding the girl he loves. 'If Andros is willing to go to the purgatory of the universe for her then he must really love her.

Karone went to the computer when she saw a file that she couldn't believe. A file that told the whereabouts of Zhane-the Silver Ranger.


On board the Imperial class ship Dominion a scrawny middle-aged woman named Domia who carried the rank of dignitary was enjoying the life of luxury. A chain laid by her side as slaves were attending to her comfort.

"How long do we have until we reach Lucifer 6?", she asked her steward.

"Six earth days madam.", the steward said. Then a beep on his data pad caught his attention. "It seems we need to change course. There is a disturbance ahead. An ion storm."

The steward handed the data to Domia and she frowned. "This course change will take us close to Iocaste. Is there no other way?"

"None my lady. And it will add a whole two more days to our journey.", the steward said.

"Thank you.", she said. Then she decided to call for some entertainment as the steward left. "Oh boy?" she called out.

Behind the curtain came out the former Astro Silver Ranger Zhane dressed in nothing more than a silver skintight pair of bikini briefs and a dog collar with a chair attached to it. A chain that Domia kept the other end of it close by her side.

Zhane felt demeaned as he walked out to the woman who held his freedom. "Come here you big hunk o man you!", she said and pulled Zhane down.

"Help.", Zhane said weakly.


"Okay I've sent the transmission, and the computer on their ship should read an ion storm in the area.", the Novellan said.

"Thanks.", Karone said. Andros gave his thanks as well. The Novellan looked at Karone and said "You are not Astronema." then went back to his work.

"So how long till we rendezvous with Zhane?", Andros asked.

"About twenty-two earth hours.", Karone said. "And from this report I've read I think he'll be glad to see us."


"YEEHAW RIDE 'EM COWBOY!!!" Domia said as she rode on Zhane's back. Zhane felt like a broken down horse ready to be shot,especially when she was yanking the chain around his neck.

'Please tell me that it's ending soon.", Zhane thought. His wishes were granted when the steward came back in and said, "We have a ship closing in our area. Luciferian prison transport."

"What's a prison transport doing in this sector?", Domia called.

"I don't know they do not answer our hails. Their com array might be down."

"I'll head to the bridge to check this out.", Domia said. "Come along boy."

Zhane felt himself being yanked by the chain like a dog on a leash as Domia headed to the bridge with him in tow.


Domia saw the prison transport on the viewer. It just drifted into their space and showed no sign of life, even though life forms were present.

"Do you have a boarding party ready?", Domia asked the steward.

"At your command ma'am."

Domia was ready to give the order when she realized that it might be a trap. 'It could be pirates looking to rob her ship of her treasure and kill all the rest of the crew.', she thought. "No, I want to send someone else over first." She called for Zhane in her usual "Oh boy?" manner, and gave her instructions to him.

Zhane went along and was herded to the airlock.


The Ambassador ship docked with the prison transport and Andros was monitoring the docking. "Karone are you ready down there?"

Karone sat hid behind a corner with a blaster in her hand at the docking port. "All set.", she said with an army of prisoners behind her.

"Someone's crossing over. Probably someone to make sure the coast is clear.", Andros said. He looked at the infared sensors and found he was unarmed. "It could be another prisoner.", he said.

Karone then turned towards the airlock ready to fire at the slightest provocation. Then the dock doors opened. What she saw coming through the doors filled her with joy, and had her laughing outloud at the same time.

"Zhane?", she said between ha ha's. The rest of the prisoners also started laughing.

Zhane just stood there redfaced and said. "Can someone get me some clothes please?"


Domia sat waiting for word if it was okay for her to send her elite guard over. She didn't care much for guardsmen that were standard for the Luciferian elite. She preferred living servants. And one of those living servants gave her distressing news.

"Mistress the prison transport is disconnecting from the ship.", the servant said.

"WHAT? PURSUE!!!", she ordered. The helmsman made a move to follow but not before the prison transport fired it's weapons disabling them. Domia was stuck watching as the ship carrying her 'hunk o man' Zhane sped away.

"Track their course. Where are they going?"

The steward looked at the display and said, "At their current heading and speed. They'll arrive on Iocaste in six earth hours."

Domia considered going there but decided against it. "I didn't even know his name.", she said between sobs.


"ALL RIGHT WE'RE LOOSE!!!", Andros said as they sped away. Zhane came onto the bridge in a spare set of coveralls with Karone.

"Hey thanks for getting me out guys.", Zhane said as he took the dog collar off his neck.

"Something tells me you were glad to leave.", Andros said. "I saw you on the monitor." Then Andros chuckled as well.

"Hey I was sold as a slave and wasn't given much choice of wardrobe.", Zhane said.

"You got that right.", Karone said laughing out loud.

"Very funny guys now where are we going?", Zhane asked frustrated.

"The slimepit of the galaxy. Iocaste.", Andros said. Zhane was wondering why there.

"Ashley was there, and someone might know where she is now.", Karone responded.


The prison transport landed at the Iocaste spaceport and all the prisoners went their own separate ways once they got off the ship. Andros, Karone and Zhane went to search for Leroy's bar. The Novellan went with them since he knew where it was.

"This way.", the Novellan said as he led the three Kerovan teens down the main street. "The alleys are considered worse than the main streets are. If you want to survive on Iocaste make yourself seen."

Their journey had little resistance despite a few glances from the regular patrons of the 'main drag' as the street was called. It wasn't too long that a gang crossed their path looking for a fight.

"Fighting stances guys.", Andros ordered. The gang was ready with their weapons in hand, swords, knives, chains, one even had a chainsaw. Then the fight started.

Andros was trying to dodge knife attacks from three gang members as well as get his own shots in. It was not easy to do since the thugs kept their guard up as well as get in a few shots in themselves. Zhane had the same problem trying to avoid three guys with chains, one of them was around his neck. Karone held out the longest with three with swords but had the same problems Andros and Zhane had. Soon they were overwhelmed.

The Novellan who helped them was laid down at their feet--killed by the guy with the chainsaw. "Which of you pukes wants to be next?", said the chainsaw thug.

Then the cavalry arrived as five guys in a land rover came in and started shooting. The gang was ready for a fight but the guys in the truck had surprise on their side...as well as blasters set to stun.

When the gang was driven off the truckers stopped by to help Karone, Andros, and Zhane up. "What brings you here?", one of them asked.

"We're looking for a place called Leroy's bar. It had a singer named Ashley a while back.", Andros said.

The trucker looked skeptical. "What do you want with Ashley?"

"She's my girlfriend. I'm trying to find her.",

The trucker took notice of Karone as she looked down at the dead body of the Novellan. "I didn't even know his name.", she said

"Gorus. He was one of our regular customers.", said the trucker. He then turned to Andros and said. "I'm Sammy, the acting manager for the bar."

"My pleasure.", Andros said shaking his hand. "Now about Ashley?"

"Come with me.", Sammy said. Then he led the three teens to the bar.


The bartender Sammy led them to where the bar where the three teens took seats and rested. Sammy then looked at Andros. "You know I had a lot of people come in here and say they're looking for Ashley. I didn't tell them. Why should I tell you?."

"Because I love her.", Andros said with absolute certainty.

"Everyone says they love her. Why's yours any different?"

"Well I've come here haven't I? I wouldn't risk getting killed here if I wasn't willing to go through hell and high water to find her."

Sammy was not convinced and Andros was losing patience. "What's it going to take for you to realize I love her? She's the other part of me!"

"Yeah well I'm the love skeptic. Describe what it's like to love her.", Sammy said.

"I can't do that!.", Andros shouted. "How can you describe finding the other part of your soul and feel it join with your soulmate?"

Zhane tried to calm Andros down but shrugged him off as he confronted Sammy.

"How can you describe the feeling of becoming whole again when you've only been a piece for so long? The looking in the eyes and and knowing that there are no barriers between the two of you? How can you describe that?!"

Sammy smiled at the bar and said, "You already did. Come with me."

Andros, Karone and Zhane followed Sammy down to where a small ship stood. "The owner was ready to use this in case he needed to get out in a hurry, but he found alternate transportation to where he was going."

Did Ashley and those other rangers go with the owner?", Zhane asked.

"Yep and the co-ordinates are all set.", said Sammy. "All you need to do is fire up the engines and let the computer do the flying."

"Thanks Sammy.", Karone said.

"No problem. I'll let the owner know to be expectin you." The ceiling opened up and the ship had fired it's engines. After the warm up the ship launched up into the night sky.

"Good luck kids.", Sammy said as he went to call Bruce.


Bruce and Kincaid were going over plans for the next attack when Sammy called. "Hey boss?", Sammy said.

"What's up Sammy?", Bruce said. "The books okay."

"No the books are fine. But you're going to be havin visitors soon."

"Visitors? What kind?", asked Kincaid.

Sammy described Andros, Karone and Zhane. "Well one of them has got skunk hair and has a major love thing for that Ashley girl, which he's sincere about. The other is a blond who looks like Astronema, and another blonde boy who is dressed like an auto mechanic. Must have been a stripper or something cause the whole in his coveralls showed part of a pair of silver bikini briefs."

Kincaid looked at Bruce and shared a look of recognition. "We know them Sammy. Thanks for telling us."

"No problem.", Sammy said as he signed off.

Kincaid pressed the com button and said, "Ashley could you come up here please?"


Andros brought the ship close to the surface of Hades. He couldn't help but notice the bleakness of the planet as well as the presences of spirits in the air. A look at Zhane and Karone told him that they got the same impression.

Andros continued to fly the shuttle until he saw a structure that gave off a luminescence that lighted up the whole area. "I think we've arrived.", Zhane said.

The ship pulled into one of the safehouses landing bays, and parked next to Defiance. When Andros, Karone and Zhane got out Bruce and Kincaid were waiting. "Welcome to Hades Andros. I've heard a lot about you.", said Kincaid as he shook his hand.

"You're a Night Ranger aren't you? I heard rumors about them but I'd never met one.", Karone said.

Kincaid nodded and Andros asked, "Do you know where Ashley is?"

Kincaid smiled and directed Andros to the door to the launching bay. Coming through the opening with her warm bright smile was Ashley.

"Ashley?", Andros said. Ashley nodded and the two rushed into each others arms like two lost loves that found each other.

"And they all lived happily ever after.", said Hardrive looking on with the others. Ashley and Andros held each other promising that they would never, ever let go.