"A minute or so. When he started I called for you immediately. Do you know what's wrong?"
"Unfortunately I don't. Hopefully Cestria will." Roland's communicator sounded. "ROLAND. CESTRIA SAID SHE WOULD BE HERE IMMEDIATELY." Dimitria's voice came. A minute or two later Cestria appeared. "Roland, Zhane what seems to be the problem?" Roland and Zhane moved out of the way so Cestria could see Andros. "What happened to Andros?"
"He was injured in a battle against Ecliptor. He's been resting right here since then. He's only complained about being tired and sore. Then just a couple of minutes ago he started convulsing!" Roland informed her.
Andros stopped convulsing and was now shaking lightly. 'Jimanya if you can hear me, one of your pupil's has taken a turn for the worse. Come to the Talorn.' Cestria stood in front of the monitoring table Andros had been laying on. "Andros can you hear me?" She didn't get an answer. The shaking hadn't fully stopped either.
"Which one is it Cestria?" Jimanya asked after coming into the room.
"Jimanya, its Andros. He's been convulsing." Cestria answered her.
"Convulsing? Here let me look at him." Jimanya walked over to Andros. 'Andros you wouldn't make the attempt to come out of the Dream World. You're too level headed. Then that means something else is wrong.' She opened Andros's eyes and peered into them. 'Nothing different there. I have no choice. I have to force him to wake up. I'm sorry Dex, Camille, father.' Jimanya slapped Andros's face as hard as she could. Zhane ran over to Jimanya and tried to pull her away. "Don't Zhane! I know what I'm doing!" Zhane backed away. "Come on Andros! Wake up!" She slapped him in the face again, this time harder.
Andros's eyes flickered open. He held the side of his face. "Jimanya?"
"Sorry about slapping you Andros. I had to wake you up somehow. You feeling all right?"
"Yes. Considering the fact that leaving the Dream World is a bad thing." Andros answered her.
"Andros I'm pretty sure you weren't in the Dream World. I seriously doubt you were trying to force yourself awake. Where you were I don't know. Why you were there I couldn't tell you. Just rest I don't think what just happened will happen again." 'Why didn't I suspect this when Andros just suddenly disappeared?' Jimanya looked over at Tommy and the monitors. 'Still the same.' "I'm going to stay here until they're both up on their feet again." She told Zhane and Roland.
Neither Zhane nor Roland was going to argue with her.
Astronema paced the ship. Angry with her minions, and angry with Jimanya. 'That royal brat is interfering in business that isn't hers! Too bad I can't do anything to her.'
There was a flash of light and when it was gone Petra and Jet was standing in front of her.
"Mother and father what are you doing here?" Astronema asked.
"We know you tried to kill your half-brother Andros, Astronema." Petra said.
"I didn't try to kill him. I was only going to injure him." Astronema defended herself.
"That's why you sent Alexis to the Talorn? Don't be surprised. We know everything that goes on here." Jet said.
Astronema had a pretty good idea who was reporting. She glared in Darkonda's direction. He didn't meet her eye. "What did you expect me to do? He won't be fighting for awhile not in his weak condition."
Petra sighed knowing full well that Astronema wouldn't understand anything she tried to tell her. "Just don't kill him." Petra said quietly. "You can't do much about Jimanya, because of her position. Jimanya's not really much of a fighter anyway. Let her do her business."
"I know I can't do anything to Jimanya. But she's the one that got Tommy off the ship and helped break Alexis's spell. Jimanya's a real brat. Can we kidnap her husband?"
"Won't work Astronema." Jet informed her.
"At any rate they are still down two Defenders. The acid did wonders on Tommy. Though there is no way to determine how long he'll be in that coma, we can rest assured that they won't have the Lightning Powers to back them up." Petra said.
"Which makes things easier for us." Jet said with a smile. "Are you planning to send down a monster?"
"I was thinking about it but I haven't really decided." Astronema informed him.
"Send one to make them guess what you're planning." Petra suggested. "Other then trying to kill Andros you're doing a fine job with the Defenders and Rangers keep up the good work."
Alexis sat on her bed and stared at the wall. 'Why can't I remember anything? Jimanya wished Andros and I good luck but they wouldn't tell me why. I was under Astronema's control and I don't even remember it! I wish someone would tell me what's going on!' Alexis looked at Dallas who was reading a magazine with her radio blaring. 'Dallas isn't talking to me either. I must have done something horrendous while I was under that spell.' "Dallas?"
"Are you guys mad at me or something?" Alexis asked.
"No we're not mad Alexis. If we seem kind of quiet it's only because we can't fill in the blanks. Tommy and Andros are the one's who could fill in the blanks for you. Unfortunately neither of them are conscious to do so."
"What do you mean Andros and Tommy could fill in the blanks. Don't the rest of you know?"
"We were injured for two years. We are pretty much in the dark on what happened to you."
Zhane walked into the room looking exhausted. "Jimanya's going to be staying on the ship for awhile to help with Tommy and Andros. It makes it a lot easier for her to stay here instead of coming every time we need her because there was a complication."
"Complications? Zhane are Tommy and Andros all right?" Dallas asked.
"Right now they are fine. Andros was convulsing a few minutes ago but Jimanya thinks he'll be fine. There's no change with Tommy. I've put her in the spare room. I hope no one else decides to come aboard. We're out of rooms." Zhane's communicator went off. "This is Zhane."
"ZHANE YOU AND THE OTHERS NEED TO GO TO EARTH. ASTRONEMA HAS SENT DOWN A MONSTER." Dimitria informed him.
"Let's go! Jimanya can keep an eye on Andros and Tommy." Zhane said. They morphed, and teleported down to Earth to stop the monster. The others met them. They fought the monster it was not hard to beat. They weren't sure if it was because there was nine of them or because there was something else going on. They knew it wasn't because of an attack on the Talorn.
"I just don't get it sometimes." Zhane voiced after they had all teleported back up to the Talorn. "What are they trying to do?"
"Maybe what their trying to do is make us guess their next move." Cassie suggested. "Maybe they really don't have a plan but they want us to try to guess what it is."
"That's always a possibility." Carlos agreed.
"Let's go check on Tommy and Andros." Ashley suggested.
They all walked into the room and saw Jimanya in a meditative position, but she soon woke up upon hearing them enter the room. "Oh hi guys. Nothings different here. It's been pretty quiet." She assured them.
Alexis nodded and walked back to her room. Dallas followed her in. "Lex you all right?"
"Yeah I'm fine."
Dallas reached for her stereo and put in one of the CD's Cassie lent her. It was Sophie B. Hawkins Tongues and Tails CD.
I stole in the name of fear
But I won't be silent here
I don't want somewhere to run to
I don't want somebody I can shake
Lord I want my dignity again
Before I walk on fire
You gotta look me in the face
I won't flinch
And I won't turn away
I'm sorry for being scared
But I won't drop you here
Let me show you I love you
Let me show you I care
I don't want somewhere to run to
I don't want somebody I can shake
Lord I want my dignity again
Before I walk on fire
You gotta look me in the face
Give me back my touch
Give me back my feeling
Give me everything
I wanna be your witness
I want you to believe in me
Alexis started crying. That's exactly how she felt.
"Lex it's just a song. It's all right." Dallas tried to assure her. "I know it's going to be hard. You've got to realize we're all here for you. We all love you and want to help." Dallas gave her a hug and prayed that all of this horror would stop.
Jimanya sat watching Tommy in his coma. 'Why is it that I'm in charge of two people and they both get injured? Some Ranger I am.' Jimanya remembered a song she once heard on one of her trips to Earth. 'Funny I think Dex sent me the CD saying it was a good musical.' She thought with a smile.
God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young. He's afraid.
Let him rest, Heaven blessed.
Bring him home.
Bring him home
Bring him home
He's like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son
The summers die, one by one,
How soon they fly, on and on
And I am old
And will be gone.
Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young. He is only a boy.
You can take. You can give.
Let him be. Let him live.
'You'll be all right Tommy. I just know it.'
Tommy sat in the Dream World thinking. He wished there were a way for him to help the others. He sat there and suddenly realized something wasn't right. He wanted to call out to Jimanya but he couldn't. Something was enveloping him. Tommy got to his feet and started struggling with whatever it was. He knew he was losing whatever fight he was in. He mentally yelled for Jimanya before he collapsed.
Jimanya looked up from what she was reading and looked at the monitors. 'What's going on. That can't be right.' Jimanya placed a hand on Tommy's forehead and noticed his temperature was slightly elevated. She heard Tommy calling her. She stood there and closed her eyes and let herself go to the Dream World.
She saw Tommy lying on the ground barely conscious. "Tommy can you hear me."
"Jimanya it hurts."
Jimanya looked down at him. She didn't know what was going on. "Tommy try to stay conscious. I don't know what's wrong but just try to stay awake." She looked him over. She was startled by a realization. Tommy seemed to be heeling himself. Which made no sense to her. He didn't show this when he first got the powers. "How are you doing Tommy?"
"I'll tell you this much Tommy. You're trying to break all of the standards. Going into a Coma, and getting attacked in a peaceful world." 'And Camille thought I was bad.' "I guess we're all made to drive our mentor's crazy. I swear Tommy you're going to give me gray hairs and I don't have kids yet. That's their job." Jimanya said with a smile. She felt someone trying to wake her in the actual world. "I'll be back again. Just hang tight Tommy."
Jimanya came out and saw Alexis had been shaking her. "Alexis is there anything I can help you with?"
"I'm confused. I can't remember what's happened in two years and everyone is looking at me strangely. Like they hate me for some reason. Especially the new ones are doing it. I know I was turned evil but none of them will tell me what happened."
"Alexis it's because they don't know what happened. Tommy and Andros are the only ones that do. And neither of them are in a position to tell you. However I doubt any of them hate you Alexis. I haven't been on the ship very long and as far as I can tell all they have been expressing is deep concern. You're such a nice person. Cassie, TJ, Carlos, and Ashley don't even know you. Go try making friends with them. You might discover you have something in common." Jimanya said with a smile.
"Thanks for the help. I feel so bad about everything. Andros and Tommy are out of commission. It doesn't even seem like either of them is getting better." Alexis sighed.
"It takes time. Why don't you sit here and watch them? I have something to take care of."
"Sure. I don't mind at all. You've been sitting here for quite awhile you probably need the break." Alexis said. Jimanya nodded before leaving the room.
Andros woke up. "Hey Alexis." He whispered.
"Hey yourself. You gave us quite a scare Andros. You feeling better?"
"I'm sorry. I feel about the same as I did when I was awake before. Though the left side of my face doesn't hurt as much as it did before." Andros said trying to make a joke.
"It's nice to see you still have a sense of humor Andros. Seriously how do you feel?" Alexis asked. "It seems like I haven't been getting better at all." Andros frowned. Grimacing at the slight pain it caused. Andros closed his eyes for a brief second before continuing. "How about you? How are you holding up Alexis?"
"Okay I guess. It's weird being on the ship after being 'absent'. You're not running around giving Zhane a headache." Alexis saw Andros's smile fall. "I'm kidding Andros. No one gave anyone a headache. Well except for the time Tommy and I pulled that practical joke on you guys but that's another story. But it does seem weird with you and Tommy in here instead of on the ship somewhere." She said.
"You get to talk to the new rangers much?" Andros asked.
"Not much. They seem to be avoiding me. Who could blame them right? I mean I attacked them. At least I think I attacked them. I don't remember. It was so weird. Opening my eyes and seeing myself in the infirmary, having no clue how I got there." She watched Andros yawn. "I'm sorry for keeping you up Andros. You do need the rest."
"Yeah. Yeah. That's all I hear from you guys." Andros whispered before slipping back into unconsciousness.
Alexis couldn't help but smile. She heard someone enter the room and turned around. Jimanya was standing there with a glass of water. "Hey I heard you talking to Andros. I still don't understand why he hasn't shown any improvement. I'm thinking of calling in a doctor or something. That seizure was scary enough. Maybe his injuries are much worse then we originally thought."
"I hope he does get better. He sounds like he's giving up hope to me." Alexis said with a hint of sadness in her voice.
"It's tough for someone to have to lay there and not be able to stay conscious for very long. Tommy hates being in a coma or so he tells me. Humans!" Jimanya said with a laugh.
"You know I'm just kidding Alexis. Now I could be wrong but I heard the others were thinking of going down to Earth for awhile. You should go with them. No need to stay up here being depressed. You shouldn't be depressed in the first place. Now scat!" Jimanya said nearly shoving Alexis out the door.
"I know when I'm not wanted Jimanya!" Alexis yelled. She started giggling for the first time since the spell was broken.
"Well you seem to be in a better mood Alexis." Roland said walking over to her.
"A talk with Andros and Jimanya was enough to do it. But Roland I get so scared sometimes. I know I shouldn't but how can I not?" Alexis said.
"Just hang in there. Things are bound to get better sooner or later." Roland decided to change the subject. "Zhane and Dallas were talking about going to a movie on Earth. And I was kind of wondering if maybe you want to go." Roland said in a rush.
"Why do I get the impression that the guy I have been best friends with since I was six is asking me out on a date?" Alexis said trying to hold back a smile.
"Maybe because I am." Roland said looking down.
"Well in that case I accept the date." Alexis said.
"Great! Let's go!" Roland said. They linked arms almost like they used to do when they were kids on KO-35 and walked out to find Zhane and Dallas.
Roland, Alexis, Zhane, Dallas, Jason, Cassie, TJ, and Carlos walked through the mall. Ashley had decided she didn't want to go to the movie at the last minute. She said she had something else to do.
"I could definitely like this place. There's nothing like this on KO-35. What do you think Alexis?" Dallas said turning around to Alexis. She saw that Alexis was in deep conversation with Roland. Dallas couldn't help but smile. 'They would make such a cute couple. They both are very much alike. They're both so smart. I remember Zhane and I used to tease them on KO-35 about it all the time. How things change.' "So what movie are we going to see?"
"Shakespeare in Love." Cassie said. "I've wanted to see that movie ever since it won the Academy Award for Best Picture!"
"No way it should have been Saving Private Ryan!" TJ argued.
"What's this Shakespeare in Love movie about?" Zhane asked.
"Oh you'll like it Zhane. It's about this writer back in the fifteenth century, and he's writing a play. He falls in love with this woman. William Shakespeare, by the way, is one of the greatest writers of all time. I think I read somewhere that three hundred movies have been based on his plays." Cassie said.
"Wow now you've got me hooked! I definitely want to see it." Dallas said.
Jason wasn't paying attention to the conversation. His gaze was locked on a young woman in the food court. 'I think its Emily.' Jason thought. The young woman looked up and sure enough it was Emily Johnson. "I'll be right back." Jason told the others as he hurried over to Emily.
"Hey Emily." He said quietly.
"Jason! I haven't seen you in what, two years? How are you?"
"I'm doing great. Emily I was wondering if you were doing anything this afternoon. See my friends," He stopped and pointed at the others who were standing there looking at him. "And I are going to go see Shakespeare in Love. I was wondering if you wanted to go with me."
"I'd love to." Emily said smiling. "Just let me grab my stuff." They walked over to the others. Jason quickly introduced them and they hurried to the theater.
Ashley was walking down a corridor of the ship. She knew she should have gone with the others, but she really didn't feel like it. She got to the infirmary and walked in. Jimanya wasn't present but she suspected she would be back soon. Ashley looked down at Andros who looked very peaceful lying there.
The sounding of the ship's alarms woke Andros up. "Ashley what's going on?"
"I'm going to ask." Ashley raised her communicator. "Dimitria what's going on?"
"ASHLEY GET ANDROS AND TOMMY SOMEWHERE SAFE IF YOU CAN. I DETECT..." That's all Ashley was able to make out.
"Andros do you think you can get up? I'm going to try to move Tommy." Andros slowly got off the monitoring table and rocked on his feet. Ashley carefully moved Tommy off his monitoring table. 'He's so heavy! Who would have guessed by looking at his frame?' "Andros where's somewhere we can hide? I think Dimitria was trying to tell me something was on the ship."
"Over there." He said pointing at a wall. "There is a way to get through. We had those put in just in case." Andros almost crawled to the other side of the room.
"Hang in there Andros." Ashley placed Tommy against the wall as she pushed a part of the wall a few feet away from Tommy. "In you go Andros." Ashley watched him crawl into the hiding spot. Ashley got in and slowly and carefully pulled Tommy with her. She closed the hiding spot and they sat very quietly afraid to make a noise.
They heard a noise of someone entering the infirmary. "Hmm. No one's in here."
Andros recognized the voice immediately. 'Astronema!'
"To think I wasted that stunner on Jimanya. It would have been better if there was someone in here. My half-brother couldn't have gotten very far."
'Half-brother? What was she talking about?' Andros wondered. He felt himself struggling to keep from passing out. 'I have to stay awake. Come on Andros stay awake!' He commanded himself. It didn't work as he felt his eyelids getting heavy.
Ashley, who was trying to position Tommy in a position that wouldn't hurt him, didn't expect to feel someone fall against her. She looked over and saw it was Andros. 'That must have really tired him out.' Ashley could hear the noise of things being thrown and monitors being destroyed. 'I hope Dimitria was able to get a hold of the others. I don't know how long we can sit here before Astronema figures it out.'
To be continued...
Author's Note: I know I know. I did another cliffhanger. I just couldn't resist. Email me at Willow@grrtech.com with comments or suggestions. Or as they called it in, my drama classes in high school roses and thorns.