WARNING:This story contains nudity and some religious overtones. It is not my intention to offend.
NOTE: I got my inspiration for this story from visiting the Tracy Lynn Cruz webpage. This is primarily a story about friendship and it will focus on the friendship between Ashley and Adam in honor of Tracy Lynn Cruz and Johnny Yong Bosch who played their respective characters. So sit back, relax, and I hope you enjoy. And if by chance Ms. Cruz and Mr. Bosch read this story I just have two things to say.
1. Please don't sue me.
2. How do you like it?
A streak of light was flashing across the vast expanses of space like a comet. At the core of the comet was the mobile safe house of the group of Power Rangers that were on the run from the forces of the new evil monarch Lord Crucible.
In the garage area of the ship Jeffrey Kincaid was hard at work underneath Lightning Cruiser installing a component that he believed without a shadow of a doubt Hardrive put the car up to. Justin walked into the garage area and saw Kincaid underneath Lightning Cruiser.
"Lightning Cruiser are you all right?", Justin asked. Lightning Cruiser beeped an affirmative. Then Justin went to Kincaid who was still underneath the car. "What are you doing?", Justin asked Kincaid.
"Well,", said Kincaid. "Hardrive started to show Storm Blaster and Lightning Cruiser a show from his TV collection, Knight Rider. Lightning Cruiser saw something the car do on that show and he decided he wanted the same thing. So, I'm installing a special feature in Lightning Cruiser."
"What is it?, asked Justin. Just then Hardrive interrupted. "Captain. I am picking up a transmission from the Klingon Neutral Zone. Please report to the bridge."
"On my way.", said Kincaid. "I'll tell you about the special feature a little later.", he said to Justin.
"No problem.", said Justin as they were making their way out of the hangar deck. "But I really think everyone is right when they say your Zord's computer must have watched too much T.V."
"You better believe it mister or you're dead where you stand.", said Hardrive.
"Who was that?", asked Justin. "John Wayne." Justin was doing some research into T.V. history hoping to try to talk to Hardrive better.
"No.", said Kincaid. "Gary Burghoff who played Radar O'Reilley of M*A*S*H doing John Wayne."
Both Kincaid and Justin laughed as they were heading to the bridge.
Kincaid and Justin walked onto the bridge where Cassandra, Adam and Mackenzie were waiting. "We were picking up a sort of transmission. It's heavily garbled.", said Cassandra.
Kincaid made his way to the console. "The receptors need to be re calibrated.", he said. "Hardrive, it's time to switch your long distance phone company."
Hardrive later went into a series of computations and the transmission started to clear up. As the transmission cleared the team could make out the shape of a girl in her teens. She had long golden hair, and she looked like she was wearing the remains of an old space ranger suit. Her eyes looked like a mixture of desperation and fear. Her face was one that Adam, Mackenzie and Justin recognized.
"Ashley," said Adam.
The transmission cleared up and they could make out some of what Ashley was saying. "This is Ashley Hammond...Power Rangers...If there is anyone out there...need help..."
"Hardrive try to clean this mess up.", said Kincaid.
"MCI just five cents per minute.", said Hardrive as he worked to find a better frequency.
The transmission cleared up to where more of what Ashley was saying could be made out. "I have been a prisoner here for a few weeks. There are other prisoners here too. They are doing terrible things to us. I don't know where any of the other rangers are. If there is anyone out there who is fighting Crucible please help us...please."
Ashley seemed to be on the verge of tears when a squad of guardsmen burst in and pulled her away. "Please Help Somebody!!!". Then the transmission went out.
The other rangers looked on stunned.
Ashley was thrown into her cell by the guardsmen and she sat there helpless as the doors closed. She was back in her cell and said a silent prayer that someone heard her message.
She then started to think about her friends. Since she was separated from them she did not know what had happened to them. They only had a few short moments together before they were pulled away from each other. Andros and Ashley were pulled away as they were holding hands.
"I'll find you Ashley", Andros screamed. "I'll find...", he did not get to finish his sentence before the Guardsmen knocked him out with Ashley watching." She also saw Karone, Cassie, Zhane, T.J. and Carlos pulled away the same way.
Ashley prayed for all her friends. Hoping that they were safe. She also prayed that Cassie and Karone were not being put through the same tortures she was.
Just then her cell door opened and the prison governor(appointed by Crucible) walked in. He had the guardsmen close the door and he stared at Ashley.
"Well, well, well Ashley.", said the governor. "I've heard that you have been making things difficult. I guess it's time to give you your lesson."
Ashley scurried into a corner as the governor came up to her. The governor had a long whip in his hand.
The only thing that could be heard in the hall was the sound of Ashley Hammond screaming.
Adam was looking through pictures. One of him and Ashley along with two friends from school they invited along for a trip to Magic Mountain. Ashley also invited Carlos and Justin to go along as well. Ashley and Adam decided to take them all on a road trip one day to Magic Mountain in L.A. They went on rides, got splashed a few times, and had so much fun that they if they were in any sort of funk going in, they were immediately yanked out when they headed back.
Adam and Ashley became good friends. He knew that she would be chosen to one day be a Power Ranger so he worked with her on her Martial Arts skills. She was a quick study and found that she could work it in with her cheerleading skills. Some might have thought that Ashley and Adam might have gotten together but Adam knew that Ashley's heart belonged to another as he knew his heart belonged to another.
Adam was happy just being one of Ashley's best friends and he wouldn't have had it any other way.
And now she was in trouble. 'No, not in trouble.', thought Adam. 'She was a prisoner.'
As he remembered the image on the screen he looked at the pictures of Ashley. In the photos she was a happy go lucky young girl who had a smile and perkiness that could light up a room. Something she worked hard at creating. But when he saw Ashley on Hardrive's video screen, it seemed like she was trying to grab on to the last ounce of joy that could be taken out of life. The perky teenager seemed all but gone, and what stood in her place was a girl who was deathly afraid.
Adam decided that it was time to do something. So he got up and left his quarters heading to the bridge.
"Our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name".
Ashley was saying the Lord's prayer as she held herself trying to offer herself comfort. The governor stood over her as he dropped a set of coveralls by her legs that she held together with her arms. He stood over the bruised young girl in tatters as she was praying over and over.
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."
The governor grabbed Ashley by her hair and yanked her up to where the governor was staring down at her.
"Why do you pray to a God who doesn't exist?", said the governor to the trembling teen. "If such a god exists why hasn't he saved you yet?" He then threw Ashley back down on the floor and walked out as she continued to pray.
"Give us this day. Our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."
Ashley was finding that last one hard to do.
Adam walked onto the bridge of the safehouse where Alpha was doing some work on the computer terminal. "Alpha, could you trace where that transmission from Ashley came from?"
"Ai, yi, yi, yi, yi.", said Alpha. "Adam, you're not thinking of going down there alone are you?"
"Ashley is a friend and she needs help.", said Adam. "I'm going down. Just tell me where I'm going down to."
"But what about the others?", asked Alpha.
"I'm not sure I know Kincaid well enough to tell him about this.", said Adam. "And I don't want the rest of the team to get hurt if I get captured, especially Justin and Cassandra. Justin was Ashley's friend too. And even though Cassandra never met Ashley..."
"Say no more.", said Alpha who went over to the communications terminal and got a printout from the computer. "These are the coordinates to where Ashley is being held. But how are you going to get down there?"
"This place has a few ships left.", said Adam. "I hope Kincaid doesn't mind if I use one." With that Adam turned and left the bridge.
"Be careful Adam.", said Alpha.
Adam was in the launch bay where Defiance was sitting. Adam was hoping to find another ship he could use when Adam was distracted by a voice from behind.
"HALT!" said the voice as Adam turned around and saw a hologram of Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger on M*A*S*H wearing a woman's WWII uniform holding a rifle. Hardrive must have a holographic projector he thought as he was trying to stifle a chuckle. Like Justin, Adam was trying to catch up on T.V. history hoping to understand Hardrive a little better.
"Friend or Foe?", said the Jamie Farr hologram Hardrive was using. "It's me Hardrive Adam."
"How do I know you are not one of them with a clever make up job?". The hologram then started to fizzle out.
"It looks like your hologram system isn't quite perfected yet.", said Adam gigling.
"Well I'll just have to keep trying...Mary", then the hologram skipped away before disappearing completely. Then Hardrive just spoke to Adam using the Zord loudspeaker. "Jeepers Mr. Kent. Where you goin?" he said.
"Hardrive, I'm going to go and rescue Ashley from where they're holding her.", said Adam. "And I need a ship to get there."
"To the Batmobile.", said Hardrive as he used Defiance's running lights to illuminate a shuttle nearby. The hold also looked like it could carry the DragonZord too. It was a good thing I decided to carry along a few prototypes Adam thought. He also had the bag with the dust of three prototypes already.
Adam made his way to the shuttle and turned to Defiance. "Hardrive, I appreciate it if you don't tell Kincaid where I'm going unless absolutely necessary. Okay?"
"I see nothing Colonel Hogan NOTHING!!!", said Hardrive doing Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes.
Adam then pulled out his morpher and said "Black Dragon Power" and he morphed into his ranger costume. He then played the Dragon Daggar and directed the DragonZord into the hold of the shuttle."
Then he left the base and sent out to rescue a friend.
Ashley sat in her cell with her daily meal of bread and water as she dressed in the coveralls provided for her. It wouldn't be long before she received another 'daily lesson' from the governor.
So far he was limiting himself to beatings but Ashley knew that it wouldn't be long before the governor decided to 'welcome her to the next level'.
Just then a door opened and two teens were thrust in to the cell with Ashley. They were a boy and a girl that looked like they could have played the role of Hansel and Gretle in the school play with the dirty clothes they were wearing. Two minutes later the governor flanked by guardsmen, walked in "What are you doing?" shouted Ashley.
"I'm making room here in the prison and I'm showing you how we deal with prison overcrowding.", said the governor. "Kill them.", he ordered the guardsmen.
"NO!!!", said Ashley as she went in to attack the guardsmen. She got in a few good shots before the governor pushed her away.
"So you have some spark in you huh?", sneered the governor. "Excellent. Allow me to make a deal with you Ashley. I will spare your friends here, if you will allow me to take you to the next level so to speak."
Ashley was disgusted. He was offering her to either sell herself to the monster in front of her or watch two kids die. She looked at the teens and heard their pleas "Don't do it Ashley!" "Don't worry about us!"
There was no other choice.
Adam took his binoculars as he was looking at the prison that stood before him. He scanned for a way to get in. None could be found. Then Adam had an idea. He took out his flute and played the tune of the DragonZord.
It wasn't long before the DragonZord made his appearance at the prison gate. Adam then ordered the DragonZord to attack the gates. The guardsmen at the ramparts immediately started to open fire. DragonZord got a few shots in and managed to create a few openings that Adam could slip through. When Adam did he set out to locate where Ashley was being held.
Adam went to an information terminal and went to see which cell Ashley was being kept in. When he found it he set out to find her.
Adam had to fight his way through a small army of guardsmen along the way, and he even had to replace his coin once but he made it to the cell where the computer said Ashley was being kept. Adam opened the door and saw not Ashley, but the two teenage prisoners sitting there.
Adam went up to them and asked straight out. "Ashley Hammond, where is she?"
"The warden took her.", said the boy.
"He said he was going to take her to the next level.", said the girl.
Adam was furious. He was going to make the warden pay. "Head for the door, I'll help get you out. But I have to find Ashley."
Adam then raced down the hall to the terminal and searched for the quarters of the prison governor. When the computer told Adam where it was, he fought his way down. He had to replace another coin but he eventually made his way to the governor's quarters.
Adam blasted his way in as he was greeted by the governor holding Ashley in a vise-like grip with a gun to her head. "So, you're here to rescue your ranger huh?", the governor sneered. "Call off your machine outside or I'll squeeze the life out of her."
Ashley looked afraid and Adam played the Dragon flute and sent the DragonZord away. "Now demorph," ordered the governor. Again Adam complied.
The governor then threw Ashley over to Adam as he caught her. She was glad to see Adam but wondered what he was doing. "So I have a new ranger in my prison. Lord Crucible will be very happy with this."
Adam caught note of a bottle of fine bourbon on the nightstand nearby. "Don't count on it chum.", he said as he reached for it and threw it over the governor's head. Adam and Ashley then started running for the door and down the hall.
"ALL GUARDSMAN UNITS!!!", he ordered. "MOVE TO INTERCEPT ESCAPING PRISONERS. IF LETHAL FORCH IS NECESSARY USE IT!!!"
"How did you find me?", Ashley asked Adam as they were running.
"I got your message.", said Adam. "I was lucky to be passing by."
As they rounded the corner there was a platoon of guardsmen waiting in the hall.
"Up for a fight?",Adam asked Ashley.
"You know it.", Ashley said. And they went into the guardsmen full tilt. But Adam lost some of the spring in his step fighting previous guardsmen. And Ashley was being kept in a weakened state for so long that she could only knock down one or two of the red clad robot guards.
Soon they were overwhelmed. And the governor ordered that Adam and Ashley be taken to the prison square.
The governor stood over the prisoners he had on their knees with their hands behind their heads. Ashley, Adam, and the two teens who they later found out that their names were Amy and Craig were in the front. The governor stood before them and announced to the other prisoners. "I have heard that some of you were hoping to escape.", he said. "I shall make an example of those who seek to escape and fail."
The governor then hauled Ashley and Adam to the grounds and put them both back on their hands and knees. Before the governor could do anything, someone knocked on the prison door.
Ashley and Adam took note of the distraction and stomped the governor in the feet. "Scatter, everyone.", said Ashley. The remaining prisoners ran all over the place. The guardsmen tried to keep control.
Ashley, Adam, Amy and Craig made their way to the prison gate as the governor took out his rifle and started shooting everyone in his path as he pursued the rangers and the two kids. When the governor made it to the other side of the door he was greeted by a sight that made him drop the rifle he was holding.
Kincaid was standing on top of Lightning Cruiser holding a power cannon that was in the governor's face. Adam, Ashley, and the other two kids stood by the sides of the car with smiles on their faces. "I do believe I got you covered.", Kincaid said with a small smile spread across his face.
"James Garner, 1984, Tank.", Adam realized that Hardrive must have been in contact with Lightning Cruiser.
As the governor stared in disbelief not taking his eyes off the bottom of Kincaid's cannon barrel when Kincaid spoke again. "Now call off your guardsmen, let your prisoners go and don't be cute I'm in a bad mood."
Adam then walked up to the governor. "I'd listen to him. And let me tell you, he's always in a bad mood."
"And it looks like at this range he wouldn't miss.", said Ashley. She cast a look at Kincaid and wondered who the mystery stranger was.
"Who do you think you are?", said the governor. But the hum of power from Kincaid's cannon that he was staring down caused him to reconsider.
"Call them off!", ordered Kincaid. The governor went to a wrist communicator and ordered the guardsmen to shut down. Soon enough there were red clad robots touching their toes. Craig then went and grabbed the wrist device from the governor's wrist so he wouldn't use it again.
"Adam would you mind checking on the prisoners to make sure they're all right?", Kincaid asked. "And also see if any of them can fly shuttles."
"No problem Kincaid.", said Adam.
Amy and Craig went to the prison shuttles with the other prisoners as they left the prison complex in the shuttles. Ashley and Adam got into Lightning Cruiser with Kincaid and drove away.
They did not notice the governor press one of his medallions that reactivated the guardsmen.
Adam, Ashley and Kincaid were driving across the desert sand. "Did Hardrive tell you where I was going?", asked Adam.
"No," said Kincaid. "He just kept doing Sergeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes saying 'I know nothing' where if you watched enough Hogan's Heroes you'll find out that whenever Sergeant Schultz said that then it means he knew more than he wanted to know. So I just checked the launch bay video and saw you take a shuttle. I deduced the rest."
"Excellent observation Holmes.", said Hardrive.
"Thank you Watson.", said Kincaid.
"Umm...Not to sound ungrateful but would you mind telling me who you are and what you're doing with Lightning Cruiser." Ashley said to Kincaid.
"I'm Luke Skywalker I'm here to rescue you.", said Hardrive through the comm box on Lightning Cruiser.
Adam just laughed after that. "The computer that talks like a TV set is Hardrive. And this guy here is Jeffery Kincaid. A Power Ranger."
"Just Kincaid.", said Kincaid. Ashley went to shake his hand and said, "Well I'm pleased to meet you...Kincaid."
An alarm from Lightning Cruiser alerted them to an incoming space fleet pursuing them. "Klingon attack force closing fast said Hardrive."
Kincaid turned on the viewer and saw a fleet of guardsmen fighter craft pursuing. "That governor must have had a back up activator.", he said.
"We're almost at the shuttle. Keep going.", said Adam. But a fleet of battletanks stood in their path.
"Well Lightning Cruiser we're going to see if your new special feature works", said Kincaid. Are you ready?"
Lightning Cruiser honked an affirmative leaving Adam and Ashley with startled glances. They were even more surprised as Kincaid increased speed towards the battle tanks.
Adam and Ashley could not believe what was happening. It looked like Kincaid was going to ram the tanks with Lightning Cruiser. "Kincaid are you nuts?", asked Adam.
"He no nuts, He crazy!", said Hardrive quoting Shortround fron Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
"OH MY GOOOOODDDD!", screamed Ashley as they headed straight for the battletanks. Then Kincaid pressed a button marked 'TURBO BOOST'.
The teens were thrust back in their seats as Lightning Cruiser jumped in the air over the battletanks and landed safely on the other side.
"Whoo!", said Kincaid. "I guess it worked." said Kincaid. The battletanks needed an extra minute to turn around but the fighters maintained pursuit.
"Don't worry about the fighters.", said Kincaid. "That's covered.". Just then the Astro Viper flew across the sky like a bullet and went into the fighters guns blazing.
"All right Mackenzie!", shouted Adam.
"Mackenzie? as in Mackenzie Dekalb?", asked Ashley. She was surprised that her former teammate was still around much less saving her life.
"We're not out of the woods yet.", said Kincaid. "Justin, we have battletanks behind us. Take em out."
"Justin's here too?", Ashley wasn't sure she could handle another surprise. Just then she saw a blue semi truck drive past and honk it's horn.
"That's Roadbuster. Justin's new Zord.", said Adam.
The fighters and battletanks didn't stand a chance. And before long the rangers not only made it to the shuttle where the DragonZord was waiting as well but the safehouse base as well.
After that they left the planet and headed out into deep space. Ashley Hammond was free at last.
Ashley was busy hugging Justin and Adam in the launching bay, so relieved to see her friends. "Thanks guys for getting me out of there."
"No problem.", said Adam. "We go the distance for friends."
Just then Mackenzie came up and faced Ashley. "What am I chopped liver?"
Ashley turned and faced the White Astro. "Mackenzie, I know we have had some hard moments in the past." Mackenzie just stood her ground.
"But I'm glad to see you anyway!" and Ashley went to hug her teamate. Mackenzie returned the embrace just as eagerly.
Kincaid stood off to the side with Cassandra. "I'm surprised Kincaid.", said Cassandra. "I thought you were the king of doom and gloom. Why help Adam rescue Ashley?"
"Believe it or not.", said Kincaid. "Friendship is something that I hold sacred. I had some...personal experiences happen to me that friends helped me get through."
"Anything I know?", asked Cassandra.
Kincaid said nothing. Then he went to join Adam, Justin, Mackenzie and Ashley.
"Well Miss Hammond, I'm glad you're free.", said Kincaid. "But I believe the question is what will you do now?"
"Well right now I'm not sure.", said Ashley. "I need to figure a few things out first. Like how I'm going to find the other rangers."
"I know a friend who can help in that regard.", said Kincaid. "You can stay with him for a while."
"Another run to Iocaste?", asked Mackenzie.
"Does this mean I get to hear you sing?, asked Justin.
Kincaid was interupted when Hardrive said "HALT!!!Who goes there?"
The teens looked to see the Corporal Klinger hologram again, Naked and carrying his rifle. Soon everyone was laughing.
"Hardrive", said Kincaid. "Go put on a dress."
"At least a slip", said Mackenzie.
The hologram disapeared and Kincaid said."That's it I'm going to break Hardrive's new toy." Everyone else chuckled.
Ashley settled in to her temporary quarters as Kincaid stopped in for a visit. "Holding up pretty well?"
Ashley nodded. "In case I didn't get to say thank you for getting me out. I'd like to say it now. Thank You."
"Adam did most of the work. You should be thanking him.", Kincaid said.
"I have, and Justin too.". Ashley then sighed as she thought of her stay in the prison. "The warden said that there was no God. Otherwise why would I be in that prison? And despite that, I kept on praying. I knew someone would come for me. I kept believing."
"You know," said Kincaid. "Where I'm from there is a saying. In fact, it's the motto of the state that I'm from. With God, all things are possible."
"Sounds like a state I want to visit.", said Ashley.
"Don't forget to take Andros when you find your friends.", said Kincaid. "Sweet dreams."
And with that Kincaid left Ashley's quarters and to her dreams and freedom.