Author's note: This is a standalone. No other fanfic you need to read.
Second author's note: Though the first part is during Secret of the Locket, Darkonda did not set up any explosives. Other then that nothing else needs to be pointed out.
Time Frame: Right after Zhane's Destiny, part of it is during The Secret of the Locket.
Only shooting stars break the mold.
"All Star." By Smash Mouth
Andros was fighting Darkonda in the woods around Angel Grove. The others were busy fighting another monster. "Come on Red Ranger." Darkonda said looking down to make sure the trap was ready. "Come over here Andros." He said quietly.
Andros ran towards Darkonda, his foot hit something, and he was gone. Darkonda just laughed. He teleported back up to the Dark Fortress.
In another area the other Astro Rangers had beaten the monster and were trying to figure out where Andros had went. They went searching for their leader but couldn't find him. "Let's go back to the ship." TJ said. The others nodded and they teleported up.
On the Dark Fortress, Astronema sat staring out the window deep in thought. "Astronema." Darkonda's voice interrupted Astronema's thoughts. Astronema turned around and looked at him. "I have captured the Red Astro Ranger and have placed him in the dungeon."
"Good." Astronema said and turned back around.
Darkonda sneered and left the room. Soon he would be rid of his number one nemesis and Astronema and there was nothing they could do about it.
Andros woke up and found himself cuffed to a wall. He wasn't sure how he got there. Then he remembered fighting Darkonda and his foot hitting something and that was it. He heard someone approaching. He looked up to see who was there. It was Astronema.
"Enjoying your stay Red Ranger?" She asked.
Andros just glared at her. He wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of an answer. "What do you want Astronema?"
"I already have what I want. With you here, your friends will surely surrender their powers to save you. Then that will make it easy pickings for me to destroy the universe."
"You won't get away with this Astronema. My friends will come." Andros said.
"I hope they do." She said and almost fell over as the ship moved quickly. Andros groaned in pain as his body smacked back onto the wall.
Astronema picked herself up and stood looking around. Then the ship suddenly started falling. She hit the ground and everything went black.
Andros watched this in confusion as Astronema hit the ground. The strain of the ship falling snapped the chains. Andros fell to the ground not far away from Astronema. The wall fell and hit his head. Everything went black.
Meanwhile on the Dark Fortress's control room, Ecliptor was being held by Quantrons as Darkonda steered the ship recklessly. He hit a button and the ship was sent falling to the planet below surface. He ran out of the room and stole a Velocifighter. He left before the ship crashed.
On the Mega Ship, the Rangers were moving quickly in hopes of finding Andros. "DECA start scanning for Andros's morpher." TJ ordered.
"What could have happened to him?" Ashley asked no one in particular.
"He must have been captured." Cassie said. The others shrugged but didn't say anything.
"Hey guys!" A voice said from behind them. They all turned around. It was Zhane.
"Hi Zhane! It's good to see you again." Ashley said giving him a quick hug. The others just smiled and got back to work.
"Ashley what's going on?" Zhane asked in confusion. "Why are the others..." Zhane stopped as he noticed there was someone missing. "Where's Andros?" He asked.
"We don't know Zhane. He disappeared in a fight." TJ said.
"Was he captured?" Zhane asked. He was confused by all of this. He had only been gone for a very short amount of time. He couldn't wait to see everyone. In addition, he had something new for the team. Now he was back and he finds out Andros is missing. This was not good. This was not good in deed.
"We don't know." Cassie said. "He probably was."
"But we're not going to give up." Carlos said.
"Rangers!" Alpha called. They turned around and looked at the robot. "Scanners picked up the Dark Fortress on a planets surface."
"Is Andros there?" Ashley asked.
"Too soon to tell." Was Alpha's reply. It didn't want to mention that the Dark Fortress had crashed. They didn't need to know that. Not yet anyway. The Rangers continued their efforts for finding Andros.
Astronema opened her eyes and found herself sprawled out on the floor. There was consoles laying sideways everywhere. She moved her hand and felt something soft. She sat up and saw the Red Ranger, unmorphed, lying next to her unconscious. Astronema stood. She saw her staff was still in one piece and picked it up and stepped away from Andros.
Andros groaned and woke up. Everything hurt and he wasn't quite sure where he was. He slowly sat up and saw Astronema pointing her staff at him. Andros got to his feet while holding his ribs. He glared at Astronema.
"Don't try anything Ranger." She said her voice full of venom. Andros didn't think he could. He was sure at least one rib was broken. Astronema also had her staff. "Now walk out of the ship."
Andros walked as well as he could off the ship. Biting his lip to keep from letting, his pain be known. Andros looked around his surroundings. Astronema even stopped. He turned around and looked at the ship it was completely destroyed. There was no way either of them was going to get off the planet.
"Keep walking." Astronema ordered. They walked for what felt like forever until they found a cave. "This will do I guess." Astronema said in a somewhat disgusted voice.
Andros walked into the cave and looked around it was empty of course. "You can sit down." Astronema said. Andros glared at her before slowly sitting down making sure not to further injure his ribs.
Andros watched Astronema sit down across from him. She was examining one of her hands. Andros noticed it was slightly swollen. She saw him gazing at her and turned away. They sat there like that not saying one word to each other all night.
Ecliptor looked around his surroundings and walked to the area of the ship that Astronema and Andros were. He found it empty. 'They must have walked away.' He realized. He started heading down a trail.
Zhane was tired but he wasn't going to give up the search for his best friend. The others had gone home to sleep. They had to go to school the next morning. "Alpha have you found him yet?" Zhane asked the robot for the hundredth time that night.
"No Zhane. However the Dark Fortress has been confirmed as to have crash landed on the planet Tao." Alpha informed him. "But Zhane I don't recommend..."
Zhane cut him off. "Tell the others I will be back soon." He said hurrying over to the transportation tubes.
"Wait Zhane! That planet is for training evil forces! If they knew a Power Ranger was on Tao by himself..." Alpha trailed off.
"It's a chance I'm willing to take. I have to help Andros. I don't want the others to follow me. Don't tell them what planet I'm going to be on. I don't want to risk their lives also." Alpha nodded. "Let's Rocket!" Zhane called and jumped into the tube. He and his Galaxy Glider were on their way to Tao.
Ashley got up the next morning and changed for school and teleported up to the ship. She wanted to see if Zhane had found anything yet. She found Alpha by itself looking over a monitor. "Alpha did Zhane go to sleep?"
"Zhane's not here Ashley." Alpha replied.
"What? Where is he?" Ashley asked in surprise.
"He went looking for Andros." Alpha said calmly.
"He did what!?" Ashley yelled.
"He went looking for Andros." Alpha repeated.
"But where?" Ashley asked in a calmer voice. She couldn't believe this. 'First Andros disappears and now Zhane's gone?'
"I'm not sure." Alpha lied. It knew Zhane had a point on why the others shouldn't know.
"Please let us know if you find them?" Ashley asked. Alpha nodded. "I have to get to school." She said and teleported away.
Alpha hoped Zhane would come back soon with Andros. He also hoped they would come back in one piece.
Andros opened his eyes and saw Astronema sleeping. He slowly got to his feet and started to leave the cave. He didn't get far when a searing pain went through him. He fell to the ground and heard a crack. 'There goes another rib.'
"You should be glad I didn't let you leave. The planet is a training facility for the dark forces. They'd kill you on sight if they knew you were a Power Ranger." Astronema told him. "Either come with me while I find some food or leave and get killed. It's your choice Ranger." She said and stood up and walked past Andros. Andros pulled himself painfully to his feet and followed her out.
They took a good look at the planet. They really hadn't been paying much attention the day before. The cave was inside a great forest. Much like the rain forests on Earth. Astronema saw a bird flying in the sky and fired her staff. The bird fell in front of them. "Would you like one too?" She asked in a somewhat friendly voice. Astronema decided she needed Andros's help to get off this planet. However, when they got off all bets were off. Andros nodded and watched her shoot down another. "We are much further away from the training side. This is the beautiful side of the planet. The training area is a desert. I don't recommend you trying to go off by yourself. You're too injured anyway." She pointed out.
They started walking back towards the cave. Andros decided if Astronema was going to be nice; then he might as well too. "How's your wrist?"
"My wrist?" She asked in surprise. "Oh it's fine." She said stubbornly. She stopped and started picking up wood for a fire. Andros started to bend down and she smirked. "You're going to hurt yourself more doing that."
Andros knew she had a point and stopped. He watched her pick up more sticks and walk into the cave. Andros followed her in and he watched her build a fire. She fired her staff and then put the birds onto the fire.
Andros slowly sat on the ground and watched Astronema cook. There was something about it that made him miss KO-35. He didn't know why. Maybe because they used to have barbecues like this.
"It's almost done." She said not looking at Andros but looking down at the birds. She didn't know why but this brought up sadness, as if she missed home for some reason. A few minutes later they said nothing as they ate.
"You've made this before?" Andros asked.
Astronema looked confused. "No. It was like I knew how though." Astronema said. "Like I've seen it done before."
Andros looked at her curiously. 'How strange.' He thought and went back to eating.
Zhane landed on Tao and looked around. He saw the broken Dark Fortress. He went in and looked around. He saw Quantrons squished under consoles. He walked some more. He found the dungeon part of the ship. He looked around and didn't see Andros. However, something was glittering. He hurried over to it and found it was Andros's morpher. But he didn't see Andros. 'He was on the ship! But where is he now?' He picked up the morpher and hurried back outside. Zhane saw Ecliptor.
Ecliptor turned around when he heard a noise. "Oh it's you." He said and turned around ignoring the Silver Astro Ranger. He kept walking.
Zhane found that very strange but went in the other direction towards the forest.
At lunch, Ashley finally met up with Cassie, Carlos, and TJ. "Let's go outside." Ashley suggested. The others nodded and followed her out to one of the tables. As soon as they were all seated Ashley spoke up. "I went to the ship before going to school this morning. Zhane wasn't there."
"Where was he?" Carlos asked.
"He left. Alpha doesn't know where. Alpha thinks Zhane went to get Andros." Ashley informed them.
"He could be in trouble!" TJ said.
"Too bad we don't know where he went. So we could help." Cassie said glumly.
"Obviously he didn't want us to come or he would have waited for us." TJ said. The others nodded. They quickly changed the subject. School was not the place to discuss this.
Andros lay down on his back. Sitting was hurting his ribs. Astronema was lying down also on the other side of the cave. Andros turned his head he was shocked. Astronema had a locket that looked kind of like his. He sat up again holding his side and walked over to Astronema to get a better look at her locket. She sat up quickly. "What do you want?" She asked.
Andros didn't answer. He pulled out his locket from underneath his shirt. Her eyes shone when she saw the locket. He opened his locket. There were the pictures of him and his sister when they were younger. Astronema was shocked. She opened her locket and revealed the same thing.
"You're Karone. I can't believe it!" Andros said.
"I have no idea what you're talking about!" She said angrily.
"You know about how to cook the birds because that's how we cooked on KO-35 sometimes. You were remembering! Darkonda kidnapped you when we were both young. You have to believe me! I'm your brother!"
Astronema sat there confused. She wasn't quite sure what to believe. They had matching lockets. But no she couldn't' believe him. "No. You killed my parents and brother!"
"Karone no you've got to believe me!" Andros said.
Astronema got to her feet. "I don't have to believe anything you say Ranger." She said pointing her staff at him. Andros got to his feet. Astronema just stared at him but didn't fire.
Andros stood there relieved but not for long. He saw Astronema looking at something behind him. Andros turned around quickly. It was Darkonda. "Darkonda." He growled.
"Well. Well. Well. Isn't this sweet? I came looking for Astronema and I find her talking to a Power Ranger. Treason for sure on that one." Darkonda said slyly. He had been listening to the whole conversation. "So Andros you found out about Astronema. Not that it will help you much." Darkonda said walking into the cave. "Nice little set up you have here." Darkonda turned his back to Astronema as he crossed in front of Andros. "I'd say it's been nice knowing you, but I'd be lying!" Darkonda said and prepared to hit Andros with his sword. However, he never had a chance to do that. Astronema fired her staff and Darkonda blew up or so it seemed.
"Thanks." Andros said.
"Come on we've got to get out of here. He will be back if we aren't careful." Astronema said walking out of the cave. "Come on we have to hurry Andros." Astronema said calling Andros by his name for the first time since they crashed on Tao.
Andros ran as well as he could but his ribs were hurting and he was having trouble breathing. "Karone!" He called. Astronema turned around. "I can't run any further." He said sinking to his knees.
Astronema was tempted to leave him there but something tugged on her emotions and she knew she couldn't. She ran back and helped Andros to his feet and they hurried as fast as Andros's injuries would allow.
Zhane was several feet away when he heard footsteps coming from his right. He walked cautiously to where he heard it and saw Astronema...helping Andros? He didn't quite understand what was going on but ran over to them anyway.
Andros looked up with relief. "Zhane!" He said and almost passed out.
"Hold on buddy. Morph first then you can pass out." Zhane said with a smile.
"Let's Rocket!" Andros said and typed in the code. He felt better when he morphed. He even was able to stand without Astronema's help.
"Well look what we've got here." Ecliptor said from behind them. He only saw Zhane and Andros.
"Ecliptor!" Astronema said happily.
"My princess?" He asked. Then he noticed Andros was in pain. He fired his sword at Andros, forcing him to unmorph. Andros collapsed.
Ecliptor prepared to take advantage of this when he heard a voice cry. "Ecliptor don't!" He turned around and saw the pleading eyes of Astronema. She crouched down next to Andros. 'She knows.'
Ecliptor turned around. "Go." He said sadly and walked away.
Zhane helped Astronema pull Andros to his feet. Zhane called for his Galaxy Glider. He didn't know if it could hold three people but he was willing to try. He got as far back as he could and watched as Karone held the unconscious Andros.
The school bell had just rang and Ashley, TJ, Cassie, and Carlos had met at the front door. They were planning to go up to the Mega Ship together. Their communicators sounded.
"Guess we don't have to wait." Cassie said. They hurried to a quiet corner of the school.
"We read you." TJ said into his communicator.
"Would you all please come up to the Mega Ship immediately." Came Alpha's voice.
"Sure." TJ said. Then he and the others teleported up to the Mega Ship. They found the Control Room empty.
Alpha came waddling into the room. "Zhane's back." It said and walked towards the sick bay. The others followed him.
When they got to the room, they saw Astronema and Zhane talking.
"Astronema?" Cassie asked in confusion.
"Please call me Karone." She said with a smile.
"As in Andros's sister?" Carlos asked in confusion.
"That would be me." Karone said.
"Where is Andros?" Ashley asked. Karone and Zhane moved out of the way so the others could see Andros. Andros lay on a diagnostic table without a shirt. His ribs were taped and he was unconscious. "What happened?"
"The Dark Fortress crashed. I think Darkonda may have caused the crash. I was with Andros in the dungeon." Karone said and then went on to explain everything that had happened.
Alpha was standing on the side. "I want to check your wrist Karone." Alpha said. Karone walked over and let Alpha scan it. "Just a mild sprain." It informed her.
"What about Andros?" Cassie asked.
"Three broken ribs. He'll be fine in a couple of days. Accelerated heeling takes awhile. He'll wake up soon."
Sure enough, Andros opened his eyes. He saw everyone looking at him. "Where am I? Last I remember, Ecliptor fired at me."
"Well we managed to all escape on Zhane's Galaxy Glider." Karone informed her brother.
"My ribs hurt. How many did I break anyway?" Andros asked.
"Three. I'm surprised you were able to run at all Andros." Karone said.
"You ran with three broken ribs?" Zhane asked somewhat surprised.
"It wasn't exactly a good idea." Andros said. "But I didn't have a choice." The others laughed. They were all just glad they had Andros back.
Later that day Karone walked into the sick bay. She found no one else in there. Andros lay there looking bored.
"Hey Andros." Karone said.
Andros smiled. "Hi Karone."
"I want to apologize for what I've done. And thank you for helping me realize who I was." Karone said.
"You can't blame yourself for what happened. You had no control over it. As for my helping you, I'd do it a million times. I'm just glad you're here." Andros said.
They talked for awhile before Karone left to look for Zhane.
That is all she wrote. Slightly short but after writing two fanfics over the 20-page mark this was a lot shorter in comparison. For all of those who read my Protectors of Space Series, it's not over yet. I am having writers block on that. I hate when I know how I want to get it to part 14 and yet don't know how to get it from the beginning to the end! As for why I put that particular quote in the fanfic, I was watching the video on Disney Channel. I kind of liked it. Let me know what you thought of the fanfic at Willow@grrtech.com.