Disclaimer: I do not own any of the rangers just Nikki and Nikkiís parents. You are welcome to use them if you like just e-mail me telling me so.

Authors note: This story used to be 75 pages long and about 45,000 thousand words. I just recently deleted all of it and started it over again. You probably think thatís crazy. Youíre not alone. I still canít believe I did it. I hope writing it over will make it better. I will put about five or so chapters each time I submit to the library. It is my second fic and my first fic with actual dialogue in it so once you read it please e-mail me at kajwr@twcny.rr.com and read my first fic titled ĎReflectingí. And I want to thank Julia for helping me out. (God bless her) and also for reading ĎReflectingí and telling me I should submit it.

White Ranger
Chapter One
by : Kari Jones

The words rang through my head like an annoying song. I guess I never realized how cruel kids could be until now. I just turned 13 about a month ago. I was in a public school with no friends and rude teachers. I am really supposed to be in eighth grade this year but I took a test last year that showed me I could skip two grades if I wanted. Of course I accepted and I graduated ninth grade with eight credits, four more than most ninth graders get. I was thrilled to be above average, although I rarely bragged about it. I went to a small private school, until this week, where I knew everybody and no one teased me for smart. And then it happened. The Accident. I settled against the tree and let my mind wander back six months ago when one thing changed my life forever.

{Flash Back}

" Mom come on please?" I whined my mouth full of pancakes.

"Nikki, It will be way to busy at the mall. We can go after the excitement dies down from the grand opening." My mom answered putting another batch of pancakes on my fatherís plate.

" Dad canít you talk to her or something?" I begged turning toward my dad.

"Well Nikki. Your mom is right. It will be way to busy at the mall to even enjoy ourselves. We can go in a couple weeks." My dad answered his voice muffled behind the morning paper.

"Please! Iím begging you. Just take me today and I wonít ask for anything ever again."

"Thatís what you said seven years ago when you wanted to take Karate`." My mom answered her face toward the stove.

"And look where that brought me. Iím training for my second degree black belt!"

My dad put his paper down and looked at me over his glasses.

"Ok Nikki. Iíll take you to the mall today if you weed the garden and mow the lawn after church tomorrow."

"Deal!" I cried and put my small hand in his.

My mom ended up going because she didnít want to be left alone. My parents had me their senior year of high school. My grandparents were so upset but they supported them anyway. They got married the summer after 12th grade, three months after they had me. They got saved one day when my grandparents finally managed to bring them to a Bible seminar. They changed their lives a lot after that. They started going to a small Baptist church that also had a school and thatís where I grew up. I got saved when I was ten, when a car hit my best friend. We were walking back from the park. I remember the last thing she told me was that she was going to a better place and that she would miss me. Then she died. I remember her always talking about God and stuff but it really never registered. I remember the day she got saved she was so excited. I started thinking about it a lot after that and then I got saved the day of Lindsayís funeral. I miss her terribly. But I moved on with my life and I made a best friend named Karen a year after Lindsay died.

It took us a half-hour to get to the mal when it should have only taken about ten minutes. There was so much traffic that my dad almost turned around, but I changed his mind when I reminded him about weeding and mowing the yard. We found a parking place after about five minutes and went into the crowded mall. Even though it was terribly busy we had a great time and my mom bought me a new pair of jeans.

" Thank you so much for bringing me. I had a great time." I said as we were walking to our car two hours later.

"Youíre welcome short stuff." My dad answered ruffling my hair.

Short stuff. A name I despised but could do nothing about when I was only 4í10. My dad was 6í4 and my mom was 5í10. The doctor told me there was probably no way I was going to get past 5í4. So I would just have to live with being called short stuff.

The car was stuffy and hot from the humid air of our southern Californian home. I climbed in the back seat and waited while my parents turned on the air conditioning. I buckled my self in as we were backing out of the parking place and reminded my parents to do the same. They did and we were on our way out of the parking lot.

I donít think any of us saw the tractor trailer coming through the red light. I just remember the screeching brakes and the screaming and then nothing.

I woke up in a bright room with tubes hooked up to me and an IV in my arm. I pulled the oxygen mask off and sat up. The room was small and cold. As I pulled the blankets up closer to me a nurse walked in and smiled.

"How are you feeling, Sweetie?" She asked picking the oxygen mask and slipping it back over my face.

I tried to push it away, but the nurse took my hands and placed them gently in my lap.

" I have to go get the doctor before you can take that off."

With that she walked out leaving me to stare at the ocean scene on the wall across the room. Moments later the doctor came in.

"Hello Nicole. Letís see how youíre doing." He said pulling his stethoscope up.

He placed it to my chest and told me to take a deep breath. I obeyed and he placed it on my back and asked to take another deep breath.

He took his stethoscope off and pulled my mask off.

" You are a lot better today, Nikki. I think you will be able to leave soon."

"Good. Now can I see my parents?"

I saw him sigh and rub his forehead. "Nikki, your parents didnít make it. When we reached the crash sight your parents were already dead. There was nothing we could do."

I stared at him. What was he talking about? Of course they were alive. Theyíre only 31 years old.

"Do you want some thing to eat?" The doctor asked still sitting next to me.

I shook my head slowly and lay back down curling into a ball and facing away from him.

I heard him sigh once more before he left closing the door and leaving me in complete darkness except for the light that shifted across the room from beneath the door. A few minutes later I felt one large tear roll down my face followed by hundreds others. I donít know how long I cried. It could have been days for all I knew. I finally fell into a restless sleep.

I woke up to see my Pastor standing beside my bed. His face was stained with tears. He saw me open my eyes and he reached for my hand drawing it tightly in his.

"Nikki. How are you feeling?" He asked.

Why does is everybody asking me that? I wondered silently. How do they think I felt? I just lost both of my parents in one day. I was confused and upset and angry. Angry at them for leaving me. But I nodded anyway.

"Ok I guess. Considering all Iíve been through."

" Good. Now I know you donít want to talk about this but itís up to you to decide what goes on at your parentís funeral."

" I understand. What do you need to know?"

He gave me the list of what had to be done and I answered all of the questions it asked me like, flowers, clothes, coffins, grave stones, that sort of thing.

Then he bombed with me with the fact that I would have to move to the Angel Grove Orphanage.

" Why?" I stuttered bewildered.

" We tried, Nikki, we really did. But the only people that can adopt you from the church are to old according to child services. And since you have no living relatives the state says you have to go live at the closest orphanage to where we are which is in Angel Grove."

"You canít just send me away! Iíve known you for as long as I can remember."

"I know Nikki. I really tried to keep you here. If I could I would adopt you myself. But as you know Iím getting up there in age and they wonít let me."

I turned away then and he let go and left promising he would be back this afternoon to take me to my parentís funeral. And then I would have to leave.

The morning passed quickly and before I knew it my pastor was back with my velvet black dress. He went out into the hall as I pulled my nightgown off and slipped into the dress. I had countless bruises and cuts. According to the doctor I had 56 stitches in all that would dissolve in my skin.

I was sore and tired from pain pills and found it very difficult to stay awake during the funeral. I almost jumped onto their coffins as they were being lowered into the ground but my pastor held me back. I cried and cried. I just couldnít believe that they were gone. I kept hoping I would wake up and they would be back. But they didnít come back and I went to live in Angel Grove. It was a nice town. I didnít make very many friends because I kept beating them up. That was my main problem. Beating kids up. I kept me from going to foster homes and I was often grounded. My small room was not fun to stay in and you would think I would have learned after I got sent up there without dinner after the first time I beat a kid up. But I didnít.

I spent a lot of my time up there. I became more and more withdrawn as the days grew longer. I stopped eating and my weight went from 83 pounds to sixty pounds. Dangerously low for some one of my height. They finally had to put me in the hospital and on an IV. I gained weight and they finally let me out only to stop eating again and pass out time after time from mal nourishment. So I spent a lot of time in the hospital staring off into space crying.

Then they finally took me to a shrink who totally listened to me. She helped me out a lot and I grew another inch and went up to 85 pounds, my all time high. She told me I couldnít blame myself for my parentís death as I often did. She said it was not my fault. It was just the Lord telling them it was time to go home. She was Christian too.

Without her and Jesus I never would have made it as long as I have.

{End of flash back.}

As I look back a tear rolls down my face. I miss them so much. But I need to get on with my life. But after today I donít know what to do. It had been my first day in tenth grade at Angel Grove high and all the kids were very mean. I dealed with it until 5th period when the biology teacher asked me if I wanted a phone book to sit on. The class exploded with laughter and I rushed out of the room waiting until I was out side to let the tears escape from my eyes. Now that I was in the park and there was no one around me to see me shed my tears. I stopped crying after awhile and felt a lot better. I picked up my math book and turned to my homework. I was barely down with the first problem when a bright light surrounded me blinding me for a moment.

When I opened my eyes again I was in a long brightly- lit corridor. For a second I thought I had been abducted by aliens, but when I heard human voices down the hall I realized I hadnít and set off toward the voices ready to ask why the heck I was here. I made my way silently for a minute or so before I heard footsteps coming towards me. I stood frozen as a five-foot hunk of metal came bouncing around the corner. He stopped when he saw me.

"Hello Nikki." It said sticking out his paw or hand or something like that.

Oh gosh. It knows my name. Aliens had abducted me. I felt my self-becoming dizzy and pass out.

I woke up, who knows how much later, to find five teens standing around me.

" How are you feeling?" The one with strange blond highlights in his dark hair asked.

I pulled my self up slowly and looked around. It looked like some sort of control room or bridge.

I turned back towards the teens. " I would really enjoy knowing where I am." I said trying to sound demanding but it came out as a small squeak.

"Weíll let Zordon explain that to you." The highlighted guy said as he lifted me off the table I was laying on and set me in front of a tube with a big floating head inside.

It was all I could do not to pass out again.

"Welcome Nicole. You are probably wondering where you are and why." The I assumed was Zordon said.

I nodded meekly.

" I have chosen you Nicole Thompson to become the new White Astro Ranger and help along with Ashley, Andros, Cassie, Carlos, and T.J., to defend the earth."

Power Ranger? Me? I had no idea what was going on but I decided I better say something before this head decides Iíve worn out my welcome and zaps me with some laser or something.

" Of course. White Ranger. Yeah sure." I stuttered hoping it sounded good.

I felt some one put a hand on my shoulder and I jumped a mile.

They laughed behind me.

" Donít be intimidated by Zordon. He wonít hurt you. I promise." The high light boy said.

The others stepped around the highlight boy.

"Andros is right. You donít have to be scared of Zordon. And Iím Ashley." A tall pretty girl told me reassuringly.

" Ashley I just said that." Andros said. I think thatís him at least.

"Yes but did you see how she was looking at you?" Ashley said laughing.

The others were laughing too.

Andros kneeled down beside me and I stepped back. The tall black teen laughed and Andros elbowed him in the shins.

"Nikki I promise you Iím not a an alien. These highlights are natural. And it is very common for boys from KO-35 to have them." Andros explained.

I took another step back. "So youíre not from earth. How can you be human?"

"Earth is not the only place humans can live."

"Oh." I answered quietly. "So are they from earth?" I asked pointing to the four others.

"Yes very human. They came to live with me so they could help me defeat Astronema."

"Whoís Astronema?"

" She is the Princess of Darkness. After we defeat her there will be no evil left in the world."

I nodded. (Iíll believe it when I see it)

"Hey Nikki. Iím T.J." The tall black boy said.

I turned toward them as they began to introduce themselves.

" And Iím Carlos." The Mexican boy said.

" And my name is Cassie." The petite oriental girl said smiling.

I smiled back.

" Nicole do you accept the responsibilities of becoming a ranger?" Zordon asked.

I turned toward him. " Yes of course I accept and I guess Iím ready for the responsibility."

The others snickered behind me. Zordon smiled. " Good. I know you will make us proud and will handle the new power well."

Ashley put her hand on my shoulder. " Come on Nik. Weíll show you around the ship."

It was a large spacecraft called the Mega Ship. As they were showing me around I asked what was going to happen when they found out I was gone back down at the orphanage. They told me that Zordon had made it so they never thought I was there. I donít know how he did it, but I knew he could. He seemed to be able to do anything he wanted. After awhile they decided they wanted to go down to earth and play basketball. They asked me to come but I told them Iíd rather stay here and get to know my way around the ship better and talk to Zordon. Zordon was really nice and answered all the questions I asked. I listened while he told me about all the rangers. There were about 12 other rangers before me. Not counting the five Astro Rangers. Jason, Zack, Billy, Trini, Kim, Tommy, Aisha, Rocky, Adam, Tanya, and Justin. Tommy was a ranger for the longest. Justin was the youngest at twelve during the Turbo Rangers. He could have come to fight Astronema too, but he chose to stay on earth with his father who had just moved back recently. Zordon told me that in many ways I was like Justin, young, smart, and strong minded. I walked out of the bridge feeling happy for the first time since my parents died.

Chapter Two

The others returned shortly after I finished my conversation with Zordon. They started talking to Alpha about how there hadnít been any monster attacks in almost a week. Zordon told them it might be because they were waiting to catch us off guard or that maybe they found out that there was a new power ranger and they wanted to find out about me first.

" But Zordon. We only found out about Nikki yesterday. How could Astronema find out before us?" T.J. asked.

" Well T.J. it seems as though there might be a device aboard the Mega Ship that allows them to hear all of our conversations."

All of the rangers looked startled.

" Zordon why didnít you tell us this?" Andros questioned.

" I didnít want to tell you until I was completely sure."

" Do you think we will be able to find it?" I asked speaking up for the first time during the conversation.

"I am not sure Nicole. Alpha has been trying to locate it. He thinks they also may have somewhat control over the computers. Which means we will never when the monster alarm goes off if it is for real or not."

"So it could be a trap and weíll never know it?" Cassie asked.

"Exactly. Which means we better keep our important conversations to a minimum until we can find the device."

" What a perfect plan my queen. They will never expect that we put the hearing device on the child."

Astronema turned away from the viewing screen. " Of course it was a perfect plan. Now listen to me Eclipter; this new ranger has the body of a young child. She will not be hard to get rid of. I want you to take her into another dimension and keep her there with the threat of killing her unless the power coins arenít given to me in the next twenty-four hours."

"When would you like me to do so, Queen?"

" As long as we have access to their computers we can set off the monster alarm then when they go down to earth there will be nothing there and you can take the child while theyíre off guard."

"Perfect."

__________________________________________________________________________________

The alarm went off just as we were heading for our sleeping quarters. We rushed back to the bridge where Zordon told us to be careful and watch out for traps.

We then rushed to our jump tubes. I had only one short lesson on flying my galaxy glider and I was wobbly on the trip down to earth. I jumped off my glider and looked around barely noticing that I was a full five inches taller from morphing. The power felt weird as it coursed through my body for the first time. But I didnít pay any attention to it knowing it was unimportant at the moment.

There was not a sign of monsters anywhere. As I had feared. I turned toward the others who were still looking around ready for anything.

About five minutes later we gave up and with the command "power down", we were back in our silver jumpsuits as I called them with the shirts that stated our color. Andros looked mad, as did the others.

I kept looking around disappointed that my first battle hadnít come yet. We sat down on the steps in front of the Angel Grove Library and were quiet for a moment. I finally spoke up.

"How long do you think sheíll keep doing this?" I asked.

"I hope not very long. Itís not very fun getting false alarms and having to come down to earth at 11:30 at night when we should be sleeping." Andros said angrily.

I had already learned that Andros had quite a temper when it came to these sort of things.

We were just about to go when some one forced me to my feet from behind and held a long blade against my throat.

My feet were dangling a couple inches off the ground and struggled trying to catch my breath. The others jumped up in front of me and went into a fighting stance. Whoever was holding me moved back a couple of feet and took the blade away from my throat allowing my feet to touch the ground again. I gasped for breath and began to rub the sore spot on my throat. The being grabbed my arm roughly and I felt something snap in my upper arm. I cried out in pain and the others came closer until the being brought the blade closer to my throat.

" Hello rangers. I seem to have broken the childís arm, which is only the beginning if you donít bring your power coins to Astronema within twenty-four hours." The being said behind me bringing the blade closer to my throat.

" Eclipter let her go. She is no need of you. Take me instead before you break something else." Andros said coming closer.

" Astronema made it quite clear that she wanted to meet the child and what better way then to kidnap her and hold her ransom for the power coins?"

With that he took the blade away from my throat and there was a bright light. When I opened my eyes I was standing in front of a tall slim young women. She was wearing the weirdest thing I had ever seen. It looked to be like a plastic skintight pair of long underwear. She had short bright purple hair that was slicked back and was held by some sort of barrette.

Eclipter let go of my throbbing arm and immediately two huge robot looking things with armor each grabbed one of my shoulders and forced me to stand right in front of the lady I assumed to be Astronema.

She cupped her hand on my chin and lifted my face to look up at her.

"Welcome Nicole. I hope your stay will be pleasant. You will make a perfect hostage. Now after Eclipter has broken your arm the others would never even think about not giving up their power coins. You are weak pathetic child that has no other need from me except to allow me to hear the other rangers conversations."

I guess it really never registered to me then that she was talking about the hearing device she had been using.

When she reached behind my ear I snapped around bit her palm causing her blood to seep into my mouth. I let go of her hand and bent over trying to get the taste of her alien blood out of my mouth.

" Oh you shouldnít have down that child."

I looked up to see Astronemaís hand coming toward me. I didnít have time to react. The sting of the slap went through my cheek. The hunks of metal behind me had let go of me and I was able to bring my fingers up to my mouth where I felt a stream of blood coming down from the side of my mouth.

I never saw the second slap coming and it caught me off guard. I stumbled back and tripped over something making me fall backward and hit my head on a blunt object. I cried out before I became dizzy and let myself slip into the swirling dark hole.

"Zordon they got her!" Andros said breathlessly running into the bridge.

" I saw rangers. We must get her back. Astronema has no concept of how much she can hurt a young human. And we donít know if Nicole will be able to keep her mouth shut or not." Zordon answered.

"Do you know where she is Zordon?" Carlos asked.

"Alpha has located her in another dimension where she will stay until the power coins are given to Astronema." Zordon answered.

" Can alpha make decoys?" Ashley asked.

" He already has rangers. You can give them to her tomorrow morning."

"Tomorrow? I donít want to leave Nikki that long." Andros stated.

" We canít get her out of the dimension until morning so we have to wait until then."

Chapter Three

I woke up with a splitting headache. I waited while my eyes grew accustomed to the dim light before I stood up. I was really dizzy and almost fell over but steadiest myself just in time. The place I was at seemed to have no boundaries. There was a swirling mist low to the ground and the air seemed thick and heavy kind of like a warm humid day. I felt something trickling down my neck and I reached back with my hand and found a stream of blood slowly seeping from a deep wound on the back of my head. My right arm hurt terribly and I took off my jacket and pushed my sleeve up to see the damage done.

I could not even get my sleeve half way up my arm. It was swollen and I could actually feel the bone sticking out of place.

I winced while I used my jacket to make a sling. I walked forward trying to ignore the throbbing pain in my head and arm.

I didnít even get five feet from where I was standing. I was shocked by a strange force and thrown backwards. I sat back up slowly. A field of power had materialized around me and it buzzed with energy.

ĎI bet that witch did that for fun. I would have never gone further if I had known there was a force field.í I muttered.

I drew my legs into an Indian style and carefully tore a piece of cloth from shirt and pushed it gently on the back of my head to stop the bleeding. I was not feeling well at all finally lay down.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is Astronemaís voice.

"How are you feeling white ranger?" She asked smirking at the small pool of blood around my head.

I opened my eyes and saw double Astronema. I closed them again and before long some one brought me to my feet in front of Astronema. I opened my eyes again. She did not look the least bit sorry for my injuries. I was feeling nausea from my head hurting so bad and a few seconds later I threw up my dinner of salad and breadsticks all over Astronema.

I heard Astronema scream and the being holding me dropped my shoulder suddenly causing me to drop to the ground.

I almost smiled. What perfect timing. If I hadnít felt like crap I would have started laughing hysterically.

My good mood ended a minute later when I felt a sharp blow to my ribs knocking the wind out of me. I gasped for breath and rolled onto my stomach hoping the air would be able to flow more easily into my lungs. It was barely ten seconds before a second blow came to my right wrist and I again felt something snap in my wrist. I screamed with pain and rolled away hoping I could escape the next blow. But I didnít and the next one connected with my back. Then the whole world went dark.

" Okay Astronema where is Nikki?" Andros asked holding out the six power coins.

Astronema grinned. "I have to say I am a little upset that Iím losing my punching bag but I suppose that the glory of beating the power rangers once and for all will make up for it."

Ashleyís eyes went wide when Astronema referred to me as her Ď punching bagí.

" Astronema if you did anything to Nikki I swear.."

Ashley was cut off when T.J. put his hand on her mouth and pulled her back.

Astronema smirked. " Itís a good thing I didnít choose you for a hostage Yellow Ranger. Youíre worse than Nikki."

" Enough talk Astronema. We gave you what you wanted now give us Nikki." Andros said firmly.

" Well all right. Eclipter go get the child."

Eclipter disappeared around the corner and returned with an unconscious child in his arms. Andros rushed forward and took Nikki from his arms.

" I swear you will pay for this Eclipter." Andros said before teleporting out.

I woke up in a small medical bay. My arm was in a cast that went the full length of my arm. I sat up quickly and looked at my surroundings. Then I glanced at the huge cast on my arm. I heard footsteps coming down the hall outside and Andros walked in.

" Hey Nik how do you feel?" Andros said placing a panel down on the counter.

" Ok I guess. I have a headache."

" That should go away soon. Alpha put five stitches on the back of your head and he also put that cast on your arm."

"How long will I have to have it on?"

"Well since your powers havenít got used to your system yet you will probably have it on for a month."

"A month?"

"You should be glad youíre a ranger now. If you werenít you would probably have had to have the cast on for six or seven months with that bad of a brake."

" Really?"

"Yeah. Your powers help you heel injuries much faster then they would originally."

He helped me off the table and led me to our cafeteria where every one was sitting.

" Hey Nik. How you feeling?"

"Fine."

" Iím surprised you feel ok. Astronema beat you up until you were close to death." Carlos exaggerated.

T.J. elbowed him. " She was not close to death you moron now stop freaking her out."

I smiled.

" I bet you feel like you want to give up your powers right now and go home." Cassie said.

"Not really. You told me the dangers of being a ranger and I was prepared for anything. Although I wish that she could have waited a couple days until she decided to kidnap me."

" I know what you mean. Astronema is very sneaky and now that she can hear what weíre saying it will make very hard to do anything." Andros said.

"But I guess itís just part of being a ranger, huh?"

"You got that right." Ashley answered nodding.

"Now what do you say we go see a movie?" T.J. asked.

"Yeah Iíd love to just let me go get a shower so I can get the feeling of Astronemaís touch off my skin."

" Go ahead." Andros said.

I walked out of the bridge and down the hall to the large room I shared with Ashley and Cassie. I hadnít yet spent much time in here but I already knew my way around. I walked to my closet and pulled out a pair of overalls and a white T-shirt. Then I headed into our adjoining bathroom. The warm water felt great on my bruises and my sore head. It was hard to wash my hair with a huge clunky cast and a plastic bag covering that but I managed. I wanted to stay in much longer but I knew they were waiting for me in the bridge so I hurried out and quickly got dressed. I ran a brush through my shoulder length hair and pulled into a half up.

I walked out of the bathroom feeling much better and ready to forget about my ordeal with Astronema.

I walked down the corridor and into the bridge to find the others busy at computers. I walked over to Ashley.

" Hey Nik. Weíll be done in a sec. Then we just have to put some real clothes on and weíll be ready to go." She said keeping her eyes on the screen before her.

I turned away and walked over to where Zordonís tube was kept.

"Hello Nicole. How are you feeling?" He asked once I was standing in front of him.

" Okay considering what Iíve been through." I answered smiling.

" I hope this will make you stronger and more prepared to what you will have to face throughout your years as a ranger."

" Tommy was a ranger the longest right?"

"That is correct and he went through things that you could probably never imagine."

"Like what."

" I chose him to become the green ranger. He accepted like you and was prepared, or so he thought, for what Rita would do to him. Rita created a green candle that burned until Tommyís powers were completely gone."

" Well how did he keep being a ranger then?"

"Alpha and I created a White Ranger and he again accepted the responsibilities of being a ranger. He went through many different powers. First it was green, then white, then red and red again. He was a good leader and all of the rangers looked up to him especially Justin."

" Zordon will I ever have the chance to meet Justin?"

" Yes in time young ranger you will meet him and I believe that you will get along very well."

I smiled.

"Yo Nikki stop dreaming about Justin and letís go." Carlos said behind me.

I turned around and found them in street clothes ready to go.

" I wasnít dreaming. How could I dream about some one I donít even know?" I said blushing.

" Would a picture of him help?" Ashley asked.

The others laughed.

I went along with it. " Sure Iíd love a picture."

We left then and went down to the cinema to see ĎOctober Skyí. It was a really good movie. It was only eight when we walked out of the theater so we decided to go get something to eat.

I wasnít hungry so I sat at the table in the Surf Spot looking at a magazine while the others chowed down on fries and sodas. It was 9:30 when we finally walked around the side of the Surf Spot and teleported back to the ship.

The bridge was a mess. Computers were torn apart and smoking, a few of them were in flames and we rushed for the fire extinguisher that we kept in the bridge. T.J. put the fires out and we unplugged the rest off the computers so we could fix on them with out getting burned from the circuits. We didnít realize Zordon was gone for about half-hour when we had finished repairing the worst of the wreckage.

I looked up to where Zordonís tube was and found it not there.

" Zordon! Zordon! Where are you?" I cried jumping up from my chair.

That brought the others to attention and they quickly turned around to where Zordonís tube was usually placed.

They rushed over next to me. Their eyes darted around the bridge checking to see if Zordon had decided to move his tube into a different position. We didnít find him in the bridge or anywhere on the ship for that matter.

We did find Alpha however. He was on the bottom floor of the ship lying on the ground. I kneeled down next to him expecting the worse. But luckily the only thing that was wrong with him was that some one had removed his life computer chip out of his slot. I found the disc lying on the floor a few feet away. I picked it up and placed it back into the slot. He came to life and jumped up ranting and raving about something we couldnít understand.

"Alpha slow down buddy." I said finally.

The little robot took a deep breath and continued on.

" They took him! They took Zordon!"

" Who took Zordon Alpha?" Andros asked.

" Elgar and Eclipter about an hour ago!"

I heard T.J. groan behind me and Ashley sighed loudly.

" If we had come home right after the movie like we said we would we could have saved Zordon." Cassie whispered to no one in particular.

It took an hour to finally get Alpha calmed down enough that we could get him to go to sleep.

When we finished fixing the computers and plugged the power back in Eclipters face was on our viewing screen.

We pushed the play button beneath the screen and Eclipter began to talk.

" Hello Rangers. You seem to be missing something very important to your pathetic lives. I think you would like to know that the reason Zordon was taken from you. Maybe you will stop trying to fool the Queen of Evil. We knew as soon as you left that the power coins were fakes. And this is your punishment. No matter how hard you try to find him he will never be returned. You can look for the rest of your life if you like but he will never be returned to you. Now that you have no mentor perhaps you would like to give up your powers and spare your self the embarrassment when people find out that the power rangers have lost their mentor and have no way of knowing what to do because they canít think for themselves!"

Eclipterís face disappeared to leave us alone and shocked.

" Does he think that weíre a bunch of spineless babies?" Ashley cried out.

" It looks that way. But we have to prove him wrong. He thinks we will crumble now that Zordon is gone and just give up our powers", He paused for a second then slammed his fist down on the panel next to him causing me to jump. " We are just going to have to show him differently wonít we!?"

I think it was more of a command then a question or suggestion.

We nodded slowly still shocked at his out burst.

" Well thereís nothing we can do about it now Andros." Ashley reasoned placing her hand on Androsí shoulder.

Andros shrugged her hand off and began ordering us around.

" Nikki put the ship into cruise and come down to the engine room with me to finish making the repairs, Carlos finish fixing these controls, T.J. and Cassie see if you can find any trace of Zordon in this galaxy and Ashley go wake up Alpha and tell him to come to the bridge and help Cassie and T.J."

I rushed over to the controls and quickly put the ship into cruise control. I had barely finished doing so when Andros grabbed my arm and dragged me down to the engine.

" Andros Ow! Youíre hurting me. Let go! ANDROS LET GO!" I screamed pulling on Androsí arm.

He finally stopped when I yelled and knelt down beside me.

" Sorry Nikki I didnít mean to hurt you. Iím hoping that we can track down Zordon before they get to far into space." He apologized.

I nodded slowly rubbing my arm. I had only known Andros for two days and I had probably seen every side of him already.

He took my arm again, gently this time, and brought me to the engine. There wasnít much damage done but it still took us an hour to finish everything. There wasnít much conversation just word here or there.

By the time we had finished making all the repairs it was two oíclock in the morning and I was falling asleep.

Ashley saw me dozing off while typing all the information back into the computers and told me she would finish up for me so I could get some sleep. I thanked her and headed down the corridor. I slipped my pajamas on and flopped onto my bunk not bothering to put any blankets over myself.

I woke up to smoke surrounding my bunk. I jumped up my eyes and chest burning.

I heard screaming away off down the hall. I ran out of the room and down the smoke-darkened hall.

The screams echoed off the walls. I kept running as though I wasnít getting anywhere. My lungs were sticking to my rib cage and I couldnít seem to control my coughing. And yet I kept running.

" Ashley! Andros! Carlos! Cassie! T.J.! Anybody!" I cupped my hands around my mouth and kept yelling their names.

No one answered and all I could hear was the screams. I suddenly tripped over something and fell on my hands and knees. I turned around to see what I had tripped over. I felt skin and screamed.

I rolled the body over and saw my mom burned to a crisp and the only thing left of her was her face her eye sockets empty and her mouth open chanting the same thing over and over again.

" How could you? How could you?"

Over and over again.

"NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I screamed cradling my motherís corpse in my lap.

Then I heard the screeching brakes and the smashing of metal upon metal and the screaming, the horrible screaming echoing through my head. I cupped my ears and stuck my head between my legs trying to get the screams out of my head.

Suddenly the screams were gone. I lifted my head to find myself in a cemetery. My parents cemetery. Before me was my parents gravestones. I walked closer to them and knelt down beside them. What was on their gravestones shocked me.

"Elizabeth Marie Thompson 1966-1997 Ď Nikki made me go to the mall. Itís her fault!í"

I felt my eyes go wide and I quickly turned to my fatherís gravestone.

"Nicholas David Thompson 1966-1997 ĎI could have done the mowing and weeding myself.í"

I stood up and turned around my surroundings had again changed to my hospital room. My pastor entered.

I was chained to the bed.

" Nikki how could you? How could you just kill your parents like that. The police have declared that you be put on death row." He said shaking his head.

" NO! I didnít kill them! It was accident!" I yelled pulling at the chains.

My pastor changed into Eclipter and Astronema entered the again changed surroundings. I was tied to a chair.

" Dear Nicole." Eclipter said putting his hand under my chin. " How could you kill your parents?"

I glared at him. " I didnít kill them!"

" Then might I ask why theyíre dead? It was your idea to go to the mall and they went because they love you. That therefore makes it your fault. You killed them!"

I woke up in a cold sweat. The words Ď I can torture you in your dreams and when your awake, I can torture you in your dreams and when your awake.í rang through my head.

To Be Continued . . .

Rule

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