Nikole teleported to earth and shooed the quantrons away.
He looked over the new body suspiciously. "It's going to be hard to get used to this body." He mumbled.
Flashes of light behind him, startled him and he turned around dropping into a fighting stance.
"Hey Nikki. We just came down here to help you. Looks like you managed to get rid of them, though." Ashley greeted.
Nikole lowered his fists and clearing his throat he spoke, "Yeah, they ran scared after they saw me get my Star Fire disc out."
The voice came out a little too high-pitched. Nikole cleared his throat again.
"Are you ok, Nik?" Andros asked uncertainly.
"Me?" Nikole squeaked, "Yeah I'm fine."
Ashley elbowed him. "Are you sure you're ok? You're voice sounds a little hoarse."
"Oh, I'm fine. Just a frog or something." Nikole replied his voice beginning to fill out a little more.
"Ok. Well let's get back to the ship and hope that Astronema doesn't decide to bug us anymore today." T.J. offered.
Nikole skipped over to the group and flashed a childish grin.
They looked down funny looks on their faces.
"Nikki, I think I want Alpha to run some scans. You just don't seem your self at the moment." Andros explained his eyes still holding an odd look.
Nikole shrugged. "Sure!" He squeaked.
Zhane laughed again, silencing when Cassie and Ashley glared at him.
They teleported back up to the ship and Ashley and Cassie walked Nikki-Bob down to the Medical bay.
He sat fidgeting while Alpha scanned his body for anything unusual.
"That tickles." Nikole giggled.
Ashley and Cassie exchanged worried glances.
"Ay yi yi! I don't see anything wrong! But she sure is acting strange." Alpha reported.
Ashley and Cassie nodded in agreement.
"Do you think it could be indictable?" Ashley questioned.
"A possibility. But highly doubtful. Probably just tired." He answered.
"I'm fine guys!" Nikole declared. The voice finally sounded normal.
Nikole stood up and walked calmly out of the medical bay and up to the bridge.
"What a swing. I don't know what's up with her, but I hope it's nothing serious." Ashley was still staring off in space.
Cassie agreed with her and then the duo left. ___________
Nikole jumped a mile when he heard his wrist beep.
He snapped out of it and reached down to answer it.
"Bob! What the heck is wrong with you? They already suspect something! You've only been in that body for an hour! You better knock it off or I can just put Nikki under some spell and have her kill off the rangers!" Astronema screeched through the communicator.
"I'm sorry! I'm not used to a 13 year-old's body! Give me the rest of the day to get used to it. Don't worry I'll get better." Bob answered.
"Ok. Fine. But this is your last chance!"
Communication was cut off and Nikole sighed.
"I'm definitely not working for her again." Nikole mumbled.
He walked out of the room and down to the bridge.
"Hey Nikki, Justin told me to tell you he want's you to come to earth and go see a movie." Alpha reported.
"Justin? Oh right Justin. I'll go right now. Thanks, uh.robot guy." Nikole finished and quickly teleported out.
"Robot guy?" Alpha repeated. _____________________
"Hey Nikki! I was waiting for you!" Justin greeted after Nikole materialized in his family room.
" I was talking to that metal guy, sorry." He answered.
"You mean, Alpha?" Justin asked raising his eyebrow.
"Yeah that's it!" Nikole exclaimed.
"Are you feeling alright Nikki? We could wait to go to the movies."
"No! Let's go. I'm fine."
"Just let me get my coat."
Nikole nodded and watched him walk off.
"I need a knife to bring. If he tries to touch me, he's gonna get it." Nikole muttered walking down the hall looking for the kitchen.
He found it after wandering into the bathroom and tripping over a baseball bat in the hall.
He glanced happily at the display of knives on the counter. He picked out the sharpest one he could find and wrapped into a cloth before slipping it beneath the pair of jeans and into the sneakers he was wearing.
He reached the family room just as Justin was coming down the stairs.
He walked over to the front door and opened it.
"Aren't you coming?" Justin asked.
"Wha'? Oh right, yeah." Nikole answered jogging over to the door.
Once on the sidewalk Justin reached for his hand and grasped it.
Nikole grimaced but held it anyway. I can't kill him just yet. Too many people around.
As they neared the theater Justin stopped and turned to Nikole.
Concern filled his eyes. "Are you sure you're ok?"
"Me? I'm fine. Really." Nikole answered quickly.
Justin didn't look convinced.
"You seem so distant. Did anything happen I should know about?"
"Happen? No nothing happened!" Nikole squeaked.
Justin bit his bottom lip for a moment before speaking again.
"Ok. I understand. If you want to tell me about it though, I'm ready to listen."
He then took Nikole hand much to his dismay and led him into the theater.
They sat down in the theater and waited for the movie to start.
Before long Nikole was screaming unmercifully and clinging to Justin's arm.
They were watching `Might Joe Young'. (go figure)
Nikole escaped the theater as soon as the movie ended and breathed in the fresh air. Justin came running after him.
"Nikki! Nikki what's the matter? I thought you wanted to see that. You love gorillas!" Justin argued.
"I'm sorry. It was scary." Nikole stuttered.
"Do you want to go up to the ship?"
They rounded the theater and teleported out.
They wandered into the lounge and sat on the couch uncomfortably.
Justin closed the distance between them on the couch and took his hands inside his.
Please don't try to kiss me, please, please, please. Nikole pleaded silently.
To Nikole's relief he didn't, but began talking softly.
"You can tell me what's going on Nikki. I'll understand."
"Justin I told you nothing's wrong." Nikole insisted.
"Ok. I'll drop it then."
"Listen, I'm going to go back down to the house, if you want to talk, you know where I am." Nikole nodded slightly and watched him teleport out.
"I thought he'd never leave." Nikole mumbled, "Now time to get this ship working how I want it to work."
He stood up and exited the lounge wandering back to the bridge.
He saw Alpha working at a computer.
"Hey Alpha." He greeted.
"Hi Nikki. Where's Justin?" Alpha questioned.
"He wasn't feeling very well so he went back down to earth."
The other rangers entered the room then and briefly said hello before sitting down in their respective places and fiddling with the computers.
Nikole strode over to them casually and watched them for a moment before asking, "Hey Ash, will you help with something I bought at the mall? I can't decide what it will match with."
Ashley shot her head up, "You bought something at the mall? And you want me to help you find things to go with it?"
"Oh no she's turning to the dark side!" Zhane shrieked dramatically.
The boys laughed.
Nikole looked confused. "Doesn't Nikki, I mean, don't I always by things at the mall?"
Ashley raised an eyebrow. " No you never do. But since you did let's go see it."
She stood up and followed Nikole out of the room.
Nikole led her down to their room and sat down on the bed.
"So where is it?" Ashley asked looking around their room.
"In the closet. I want you to find it." Nikole lied.
Ashley turned away from him and opened the closet doors.
As she searched through the clothes Nikole stood up slowly and bent over pulling the knife from beneath her pant leg. Raising it to plunge in Ashley's head she moved forward.
Ashley turned around and Nikole flung the knife down just barely before Ashley could see it.
"What color is it?" She asked as if nothing was happening.
"Um..white." Nikole answered.
"Everything you wear is white."
Ashley turned back to the closet and Nikole closed the gap between them. Raising the knife up and just about plunging it into her back Ashley turned back around and saw the knife.
Opening her mouth to scream Nikole quickly clamped his hand over her mouth silencing her.
"Why? I can't kill you now. I'll just send you up to be with Nikki." Nikole scowled.
Ashley stared hesitantly at the sharp knife in the imposter's hand.
Before she could react Nikole spoke into his communicator telling Astronema that they had a visitor.
Ashley was teleported out and Nikole slipped the knife back beneath his jeans again.
"One down, 5 to go." He mumbled walking out into the corridor.
I sat silently in the corner of the room, letting things, things I really didn't want to think about, but couldn't help, flow through my mind.
I turned my head as footsteps neared the dungeon I was in.
The door opened and the light blinded me and I couldn't make out who it was.
"It's your own fault Yellow Ranger." That was Ecliptor.
The door closed and locked and I waited until I heard the steps far off down the hall before I scurried over to who I assumed to be Ashley.
It was and I helped her into a sitting position.
Ashley looked at me and then threw her arms around me.
"Nikki. Thank God. I thought they'd killed you." Ashley mumbled.
I pulled away and looked at her solemnly.
"Close, Ashley. Really close. They took my powers away." I stopped for a sec brushing a tear out of my eye, "Every last drop."
Nikole made his way back down to the bridge.
"Hey Nikki. Where's Ashley?" Andros asked glancing around Nikole.
"Oh, she didn't feel very well. She decided to lie down until dinner." Nikole replied smiling.
"Maybe I better go check on her." Andros volunteered.
"No! She doesn't want to be disturbed."
Andros stopped his treck to the door.
"Ok. I'll check on her later." He said, looking at Nikole oddly.
Nikole sighed inwardly.
"Uh.guys. I'm gonna go down to see Justin. We uh.had a fight and I want to settle it." Nikole lied again.
"Ok. Remember we're having a Christmas dinner at six." Carlos called as Nikole teleported out.
Nikole landed right outside Justin's front door. He looked down at his watch/communicator and found he had only eight hours until Christmas. What a wonderful Christmas present. Finding your kids missing Christmas morning.
Nikole grinned at himself. What a thought. He knocked on the door. He heard footsteps coming and then the door opened to reveal Justin.
"Hey Nik. Why didn't you just open it? It's unlocked." Justin asked curiously.
Nikole shrugged and stepped into the house.
He wandered into the Family room and plopped down onto the couch.
Justin followed slowly, he sat down next to Nikole still looking at him oddly.
"Justin I just wanted to apologize." Nikole explained so believable even he believed himself.
Justin's odd stare turned to wonder. "What are you apologizing for?"
"For the way I uh.acted this afternoon. I was um..stressed out. It's my first Christmas without my. you know."
"You mean your parents?"
"Well don't worry about it. You know my mom died right after Christmas too. I know the hurt will never stop, but it gets better. I promise."
Justin took Nikole's hands in his and held them tightly.
It was all Nikole could do, not to pull away from him.
Justin leaned forward then and wrapped his arms affectionately around Nikole.
Nikole stayed stiff and felt ready to puke.
Use this as an advantage! Nikole told himself. He reached down with his hand and pulled the knife slowly out from beneath the pair of jeans.
He slowly wrapped one of his arms around Justin, so he wouldn't let go just yet.
He raised the knife slowly his hand shaking from excitement. He had it so close to Justin's back, and then Justin just had to decide that he needed to cough. He pulled away from Nikole and turned his head.
His cough stuck in his throat as he saw the knife held straight toward him.
He jumped up from the couch and backed away.
"Nikki! What the heck are you doing?" Justin asked. He dropped into a fighting stance ready to protect himself.
"Well if you weren't so stupid you would have held still a little longer so I could plunge this in your back!" Nikole screamed.
"Who are you? What did you do with Nikki?"
"Is that any of your concern? I think not. Just hold still so I can get this knife to do it's job."
"Yeah right. I'm contacting the other rangers."
Justin reached down to his communicator and spoke into it.
Nikole jumped from the couch and tackled Justin to the floor.
Justin easily pushed the weight off him and brought himself back to his feet.
He reached to speak into the communicator once more and Nikole reached up with his knife and sliced the device right off his wrist cutting Justin's wrist in the process.
Justin grasped his wrist tightly and glanced down at Nikole bringing himself up off the floor.
He knew he better get out of the house where neighbors could hear them. Half way to the door
Nikole lunged at him knocking him off his feet. He fell forward clipping his jaw as he hit the wood entry floor.
He screamed in pain and tried desperately to fight the swirling mist trying to pull him. If went unconscious he knew he'd never wake up.
He lost the fight and fell into a dark sleep.
Nikole looked down at him happily.
"Finally." He mumbled, "Now for some fun."
He took the knife tightly in two hands and brought it above his head ready to plunge it into Justin's chest.
Ready to bring it down he felt a strong grip on the knife. Not his own. Some one else's. He tugged at the knife wanting to kill Justin and get it over with, but someone pulled the knife right out of his hands.
"Hey!" Nikole whirled around to find Andros, Cassie, Zhane, Carlos and T.J. Nikole glared up at them. "You don't scare me. I can take you all."
Carlos and Zhane snickered.
"I don't think so. Not in that body." T.J. scoffed.
"Fine." Nikole answered closing his eyes and concentrating on his other original form.
When he opened his eyes he was once again, Bob.
The 5 rangers stood a little farther back now trying to regain their composure.
Bob pulled a dopey grin on his face and stuck his hand out. "G'Day. I'm Bob. And you're going to die."
"Ok guys. Let's rocket!" Andros called.
A few seconds later five morphed teens stood in the Stewart's family room.
Bob shrugged. "You still don't scare me. Now I'm bigger and stronger."
He lifted his hand up as if tired and shot a bolt of power toward the rangers.
The rangers were thrown back unmercifully.
Bob looked down at the unconscious form of Justin. He bent over and lifted the limp boy into his arms.
The rangers pulling themselves up noticed that Bob had Justin and stopped half way.
"That's right rangers. Surrender or I'll make sure your little friend doesn't wake up. Ever." Bob said laughing.
Andros and the others stood firmly in front of them giving an inch. "You have a really sick personality, you know that?"
A deep laugh rumbled from Bob. "Isn't it great?"
The rangers said nothing.
"Ok. Say goodbye to blue boy." Bob ordered lifting his hand up with a bolt of energy forming around it.
He was stopped when someone hit him with their own bolt of energy.
Bob's bolt became unstable and it shot of his hand toward the rangers.
The rangers ducked quickly.
Bob turned quickly to find.a purple Astro Ranger!
Bob forgot about Justin in his arms and dropped him. Carlos dove forward and caught the unconscious boy in his open arms.
Andros ran forward forgetting Bob and wrapped his arms tightly around the purple ranger.
"Karone." He mumbled softly.
Karone returned the hugged and broke away from him. "Let's talk later. We got to get rid of this guy."
Zhane still stood staring.
Andros walked over and shoved him. "Knock it off. I'll introduce you later. Right now we have to worry about this idiot in front of us."
Zhane was still slightly dazed but snapped himself out of it and concentrated on the satellite resembling monster in front of him.
"I'll be back rangers." He said simply, then disappeared.
"Man! We need to find out where Nikki and Ashley are." Cassie exclaimed.
Andros turned toward her. "Don't worry we will. Right now we have to get Justin down to the ER. Stay morphed. Less questions."
They nodded in agreement and teleport with Justin to the hospital.
"You failed me."
Bob was kneeling in front of Astronema aboard the Dark Fortress.
"They are terribly smart, my queen. I injured one of them, and we have to up here."
"The one you injured isn't even a ranger, you dope! That was Nikki's boyfriend. He used to be a ranger. And now we have another ranger to worry about. Who was that anyway?"
"They called her Karone, my queen."
"Karone? She's a slave that I kidnapped on KO-35 a long time ago. Nikki and Justin managed to rescue her about three months ago. I want her back."
"Right now, it's not a very good idea to concentrate on one ranger is it?"
Astronema raised her staff to strike but lowered it. "I suppose you're right. Let's get them all at once."
Bob sighed as Astronema left the throne room.
Mike came running into the waiting room then to find the 6 teens sitting quietly in a row of chairs. They lifted their heads with Mike's entrance.
"Hey Mike." Andros greeted standing up.
"Hi Andros. How's Justin?" Mike asked anxiously.
"He's fine. The doctor said he could go home in a couple of hours." Carlos reassured.
"Can I go see him?" Questioned Mike.
"He's sleeping but sure." Cassie shrugged.
They walked down the hall to Justin's room and opened it quietly.
The only sign of Justin's life was the slow movement of the blankets as his chest rose and fell as he breathed.
Mike sat down next to him and watched silently.
He turned back to the teens, "Ok. I've only heard half the story. I need to know all of it. And where's Nikki?"
The five others shoved Andros forward to explain. Andros shot them a nasty look but spoke, " Uh.Nikki's is on the Dark Fortress along with Ashley." Andros swallowed visibly.
"Again?! You're not serious. Ok guys. Start from the beginning." Mike demanded crossing his arms over his chest.
This time Andros stepped back and pushed Cassie forward. She sighed but went on to explain.
"Well we just found out that Nikki is up there. We've been with her clone all day. It's a good thing it wasn't a good clone so we found out quickly. Anyway. The clone managed to get Ashley alone and tried to kill her. Instead the imposter sent Ashley up to the Dark Fortress. Then the clone, or Bob, went down to your house and tried to kill Justin. He almost succeeded to. It's lucky for him that he got through with his communicator. So we just stopped Bob and now he's gone. We can't figure out how to get Ash and Nikki back. We have to get them back today. There's no way we're letting them spend Christmas aboard Dark Fortress." Cassie finished with a determined look on her face.
"Oh my gosh. This whole ranger thing is getting way out of hand. I wish I could just show Astronema a thing or two myself! I mean, come on! Who the heck has such a sick mind that she feels she's gotta torture a bunch of teens?" Mike was utterly discusted.
"What's with all the screaming?"
A mumbled voice came from beneath a pile of blankets and Justin pushed them away glancing at all the people in the room.
" Where am I?" He asked.
Mike turned to comfort his son. "In the hospital. Don't worry. You're fine and can go home in just a little bit."
Justin nodded groggily and leaned back onto the pillows. His eyes darted over to the group.
"Hey! Karone! When did you get here? And where's Ashley?"
"Hey Justin. I got sick of being with the rebels to say the least. I love all of them like family but I needed to be with my real family. Besides. I have to keep my big brother in line." She said mischievously.
Andros smiled. "And Ashley I assume is aboard the Dark Fortress. Along with Nikki."
Justin jumped out of the bed. "We have to go get her. Now!"
The room was deathly silent all eyes on Justin. Then they burst out laughing.
"That's a lot of ambition you got there, Justin." Zhane observed.
"Yes. But you really aren't in any condition to be fighting. Know what I mean?" Andros realized.
"Who cares. I'm going with you guys, that's final." He crossed his arms and stood stubbornly in the hospital flannel pajamas and an IV still stuck in his arm.
"Do I have any say in this, young man?"
Everyone turned to Mike.
Justin blushed. "Well.of course dad. But um.you know I just really wanna go right? Please?"
" Yes I really don't think there's any stopping you so lemme get a doctor to make sure it's ok, and then you can leave ok?"
Justin nodded and hopped back onto the bed.
Mike exited the room leaving it quiet again as Karone and Zhane stared at each other.
Andros walked in between them. "Ok. Now I'll introduce you guys. This Karone is Zhane. I'm sure you remember him from KO-35. And this my dear friend, is Karone. I'm positive you remember her."
Karone smiled shyly and Zhane broke the silence between the two and stuck his hand out.
"My, my. You are much more beautiful than I remember. Nothing like Andros." Zhane greeted.
Carlos turned instantly and stifled a laugh. T.J. joined him and Cassie simply covered her mouth with her hand. Andros scowled.
Karone blushed and ducked her head slightly.
Zhane turned and winked at Andros.
Andros punched him in the arm, in response.
Karone lifted her head and returned the comment, "You're much nicer than I remember, Zhane. This is a big change from being picked on constantly and having spiders placed in my hair."
It was Zhane's turn to blush. The group laughed.
"You put spiders in her hair? How mean is that? Cassie asked jokingly.
"I was only 7 give me a break." Zhane blushed harder.
The group laughed again.
They stopped when Mike returned with a doctor.
As the doctor walked toward Justin, Justin stood up by his bed and told the doctor firmly. " I'm leaving now. Whether or not you let me."
The doctor chuckled. "I was just going to tell you, you could go. Just take it easy ok? You're going to have a nice bruise on your chin and your wrist has ten stitches in it. You'll have to come back in about a week to get the stitches out, ok?"
Justin nodded happily.
The doctor left then a nurse came in to take the IV out of Justin's arm. "Take it easy, sweetie." The nurse told Justin.
Justin retreated to the bathroom to get his jeans and T-shirt back on. He exited the bathroom with determination still clearly written on his face. "Let's go."
They walked out of the hospital and rounded the building. They said goodbye to Mike and teleported up to the Mega Ship.
They met Alpha and Zordon aboard the bridge.
"Hello Karone." Zordon greeted. "What brings you to earth?"
Karone smiled up at the mentor. "I was homesick. I needed to be back with family."
Zordon turned to address all the rangers plus Justin. " I have found that Astronema has let her guard down. You can easily teleport to the Dark Fortress, but it's dangerous. We need to make sure that you are properly disguised."
"Maybe all of us shouldn't go. I think that all 7 of us would be too much." T.J. reasoned.
All eyes turned toward Justin.
"NO. I'm going." Justin demanded.
"Justin, please. Don't be difficult. You know you should stay here. It's safest for you." Carlos pleaded.
Justin was beginning to waver.
"Yeah, Justin. We can get Karone to stay here too. I think five of us will be enough." Andros said turning toward Karone.
Karone smiled. "Yes. I'll stay. I'm not to thrilled about meeting up with Astronema any time soon."
Justin still looked like he wanted to argue.
Andros stopped him. "Don't say it. I know Nikki will be fine. We'll get her back safe and sound. I bet my life on it."
The rangers went over to one of the computers and got a lock on the Dark Fortress. After finding a secluded deck of the massive ship Alpha teleported them there.
Karone and Justin watched anxiously through the viewing screen.
"Ok guys let's get Ashley and Nikki out here and get the heck out of here ourselves." Andros whispered once aboard the Dark Fortress.
The others nodded in agreement.
" How are we going to find them though? We have no idea where they are. We just can't go around the ship looking for them. We're bound to get caught." Cassie whispered back.
"Cassie's right. We have to find out what we're doing before we go searching this place." Andros agreed.
"Maybe we can ask Zordon for a scanner. With the power still with them we'll be able to find them easily." Carlos whispered to the group.
Andros nodded and spoke into his communicator, explaining his idea to Zordon.
A few seconds later a small tracking device appeared in his hands.
Andros activated it and a small red dot appeared on the screen. They were right above them.
"How come there's only one light?" Carlos asked, "Shouldn't there be two?"
"Yeah. I wonder if Ashley isn't here after all." Cassie responded.
The group flashed each other worried glances.
"Let's just hope something's wrong with this, ok?" Andros replied waving the scanner around.
They nodded and looked up toward the ceiling.
"They're right above us. How are we going to get them out of there?" Cassie questioned.
"Let's look for a ceiling grate. It might go into wherever they are. Be careful and try not to make any noise. The last thing we need is for us to be caught too." Andros told the others.
They broke up and walked around slowly their heads upward toward the ceiling.
A loud shot rang through the deck and the teens stopped short.
There were feet directly above them. Some one screamed.
The teens looked at one another, their eyes all told the same thing. Nikki.
Carlos suddenly let out an excited squeak and all eyes turned toward him. Carlos motioned for them to come where he was standing.
They did and found exactly what they were looking for. A ceiling panel leading up to where the two were being held.
T.J. lifted Cassie up to his shoulders and she silently pushed the panel away causing dirt to fall into her face.
She moaned and motioned to put be down.
She brushed the dust away and looked up through the panel.
"It's in a corner. I hope they can't see it. Be quiet. Some one's in there." Cassie whispered.
The five teens stood under the hole in the ceiling unexpectedly.
"Knock it off Ecliptor. Leave her alone!"
That was Nikki.
"Shut up White Ranger. Or wait. You're not. What am I going to call you now? Dead in a few seconds." That was Ecliptor.
The teens glanced at each other. What did Ecliptor mean Nikki wasn't the White Ranger?
"Just because you took my powers away, dimwit, doesn't mean I'm not going to stand up to you."
"Nikki really does need to shut up." T.J. whispered to the group.
I stood up in front of Ecliptor boldly daring him to hit me. He didn't and I kneeled back down to help Ashley up.
Ecliptor grabbed the semi-unconscious Yellow Ranger and brought her to his arms.
I bolted up and glared at Ecliptor, "Put her down, Ecliptor. I'm not going to let you take her away."
"How are you going to stop me? You're nothing but a simple earthling now."
He was right. I was only an normal child now. But I couldn't let that stop me.
I backed up looking for something to defend myself with. I kept backing up until my feet slipped right down into a hole!
I screamed and was caught below by strong arms.
I waited as my eyes adjusted to the light below and realized my hero was Zhane!
I wrapped my arms around his neck and began crying. I really thought I wasn't going to make it this time.
"Cassie get Nikki out of here. Ecliptor is going to be really ticked now." Andros mumbled listening to the pounding steps coming toward the hole.
Cassie nodded and she grabbed my hand and teleported us both out.
As soon as my body materialized on the bridge I felt arms wrap around me and I almost fell over.
I realized it was Justin and felt all my emotion that had built up all day and let it pour out.
I must have cried forever. When I pulled away from Justin my eyes were puffy and red.
"They took `em Justin. They really did." I choked, my tears threatening my already clammy face.
"Took what Nikki?" He asked gently.
"My powers. Every last trace!" I managed to get that out before I broke down again.
Justin stood for a moment with pure shock on his face.
"Oh my gosh. They really did didn't they?" He asked blankly.
I nodded afraid my voice would fail me.
Justin brought me into his arms again and buried my face in his shoulder crying again.
"It's going to be ok. I promise." He whispered into my ear.
I wanted to trust him. I really did. But how could I? My powers had already been turned to the side of evil. It's not like I could convert them back.
I pulled away from Justin and looked toward the Kerovian girl standing silently watching us.
"Karone? What are you doing here?" I asked.
She smiled. "I decided I was homesick."
I grinned weakly at her and then turned my gaze toward the viewing screen where my teammates were fighting fiercely. Even Ashley. If they hadn't come when they had Ashley would have had her powers drained too.
Why did she have to be the fortunate one? Why couldn't they gotten to me before my powers were drained? My tears flooded with tears again and I quickly wiped them away.
It's was going to be a really long night.
Justin, Karone and I watched through the viewing screen as the rangers fought against Ecliptor and a band of Quantrons. It was a close match. They finally managed to get Ecliptor far enough away that they could teleport out.
I turned toward the group as they teleported in.
They looked at me uncertainly for a second before coming over all at once and pulling me close for a group hug.
A hug wasn't going to bring my powers back. They were gone. Period.
They finally pulled away and looked down at me. "Come on Nik. Let's go get some scans done ok?" Andros told me taking my arm gently.
"Don't bother, Andros. They're gone. I stood and watched them be drained from my body. It hurt so much. They're gone. You can't bring them back. You know that. Just don't try ok? I don't want to get my hopes up over anything." I broke through the circle around me and walked quickly from the bridge and down to my room.
I closed the door and put in a new password so they would have to leave me alone for a while. I flopped down on my bunk and let the thoughts silently move through my head.
I wasn't a ranger anymore. Just like that. Ok, now I know it's true. I've been to Hell and back in a total of one year. My parent's leave me, I go to a orphanage, I become a power ranger, I meet Justin, I get kidnapped by Astronema and almost die over summer break, We find Karone, then Zordon, then Zhane, then I find out I have a long lost cousin and he tries to kill me too, I spend two days in Purgatory with a little spirit, and then I get adopted by Mike, then I get kidnapped by Astronema and some Bob guy takes over as my clone almost killing Justin and Ashley, and he also takes my powers. My only reason for living. Saving the world. Life just isn't worth living anymore. With that thought I climbed out of my bed and walked in a daze over to our bathroom.
I pulled open the medicine chest and looked over all the bottles of pills.
I began pulling bottles out of the chest and pouring them into my mouth. I was in total obliviation to what I was doing.
On the fourth bottle of Aspirin I felt the whole world become a roller coaster. I clutched my stomach and fell to the floor.
What have I done? What was thinking? I asked myself as the pain became so great and I felt my throat close in.
"Shouldn't we go check on her?" Ashley asked the group.
"No. We've got to give her some space. I don't even know how we're going to fix this. I already know there is no way to get her powers back. They already turned the powers to evil. I have no idea what to do." Andros replied.
"Don't worry about the powers right now Andros. We need to worry about Nikki. Losing powers is a really big deal. It's devastating. And it will be especially for Nikki. She's lost everything she's ever loved. Now she's lost the only thing that relates her to you. Her powers." Zordon explained.
"Are you saying we should stay with her as much as possible? Comfort her? Just be there?" Justin spoke up.
"Yes Justin. That's exactly what I mean. Tommy never would have made it with out his friends to help him. Nikki needs some one to talk to." Zordon responded.
"Well, ok Zordon. I trust your judgement. D.E.C.A. can you tell Nikki we're coming down to see her?" Andros asked the on ship computer.
The bridge was silent for a moment waiting for D.E.C.A. 's response.
There is no answer. She may be sleeping.
The rangers turned to each other.
"Sleeping? She just went in there five minutes ago. Let's go check it out." Andros suggested.
They followed him out of the bridge and down to the sleeping quarters stopping at the door.
"Nikki? Do you want to talk?" Andros asked through the door.
Andros reached for the automatic door opener finding it shut off. He turned it back on expecting the door open instantly.
"She put a password on the door! D.E.C.A. this is important. What is the password to Nikki's door?" Andros asked the computer.
That information is not for me to repeat.
"D.E.C.A this is important! Give me the password!" Andros ordered.
I am not programmed to give away secret information.
"D.E.C.A.! I swear the next chance I get I'm reprogramming you!" Andros promised.
He reached for the blaster in his belt holder and aimed it at the door shooting it down. The teens walked in finding the room empty.
They ran into the bathroom and found her, unconscious, a sickly shade of blue, and not breathing.
"Ohmigosh!" Ashley screamed. She looked ready to pass out.
Andros kneeled down and picked her up quickly. "Come on guys we've got to get her down to the ER now!"
They teleported out and ran into the hospital after reaching earth.
"Help! We need a doctor over here!" Andros screamed once inside.
A doctor took notice of the group of teens and hurried over.
He looked down at Nikki. "What's happened?"
"I don't know. I think she tried to commit suicide. Please help her!" Andros had a stream of tears running down his cheeks as he spoke.
The doctor gently lifted Nikki out of Andros' arms and laid her on a near by gurney. He motioned quickly for another doctor and they strapped an oxygen mask over Nikki's face and ran off through a pair of double doors.
Andros hands were shaking as he ran his fingers through his hair.
T.J. pulled Andros over to a row of chairs and sat down.
It was the second time they'd been in those very chairs.
Andros buried his head in his hands and stared at the floor.
Justin paced nervously in front of the chairs. "What possessed her to do that?" He asked quietly.
"We don't know Justin. She must have a lot of stress built up over this year. Look what's happened to her. She gone through more in one year than most people go through in a lifetime!" Cassie responded quietly.
The doctor that had met them walked out into the waiting room then. The 8 teens turned unexpectedly toward him.
"It's ok, kids. We have her stabilized."
A sigh of relief passed through the group.
"She took a hefty amount of Aspirin. It's a miracle she's even alive. We pumped her stomach quickly enough and she'll be fine. She's still unconscious but she should be awake in a few hours. I'm not a psychiatrist, but she will need to see one. She obviously has a really deep problem that needs to be solved. You can go see her if you want."
The teens silently followed the doctor down the hall and into a small room. Nikki had spent too much time here over her year as a Power Ranger. The pale girl looked lost underneath the oxygen mask and sheets.
An uncomfortable sheet of dread settled over the group. In their hearts was all the same question. `Was it my fault?'
The teens stood around the bed willing Nikki to wake up. Justin looked completely devastated. He and Nikki were so young. This sort of stuff wasn't supposed to happen to kids so young. It shouldn't happen at all!
"Guys? What's gonna happen after this?" Justin asked glancing up at the older teens.
To be continued...
Author's note: I tried to finish it I really did! I just felt that
was the perfect spot to stop. I want to get rid of Nikki so bad! My
mind tells me `kill her!' but each time I think about that Adli comes
along whaps me over the head with his newspaper. Stupid muses. *
grumble * Ok. Really. I think I'll be able to finish up this in my next
fic. In my head it looks pretty good but who knows what will happen
when it gets on paper. ~.^ Ok, anyway. Thanks so much for Reading! I've
been getting a lot of e-mails from people saying they like my series,
but to leave Nikki alone! ^.^ Yes I know, I'm too hard on my own
character. But I've been really stressed out from school and I had to
let it all out somehow. * grin *