..........Billy sat at their usual table at Ernie's, alone. He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't notice Ernie as he approached the table..........."Hey, Billy. Here you go," Ernie said as he set the drink that Billy had ordered earlier in front of him. When Billy failed to acknowledge him, Ernie waved a hand in front of Billy's face. "Yo, Billy. Earth to Billy." ..........Startled, Billy looked up at Ernie, almost knocking his drink over as he noticed the portly man for the first time. "Oh, hi Ernie," he said as he grabbed his glass. "Thanks." ..........He started to reach for a napkin to wipe up the spill but Ernie waved him away, pulling out a towel from his back pocket and deftly wiping the table off. "You're welcome, Billy," he said with a smile. "Penny for your thoughts? What's got you so pre-occupied?" ..........Billy smiled sadly. "It's nothing, really. I've just got a lot on my mind," he explained. "Nothing serious, honest," he quickly added as he saw a look of concern cross Ernie's face. .........."Oh," Ernie replied. Whatever is bothering him, he doesn't seem to want to discuss it. Oh well, I guess all I can do is to be available if he decides to talk about it. "Where's the gang?" he said, wisely changing the subject. .........."They should be here any moment," Billy said. "They were supposed to meet me here after school." ..........That's right, Ernie remembered. Billy graduated early. .........."Here they are now. Hey, guys, over here." Billy waved at the group coming through the door. ..........Adam spotted him, waved back and then pointed him out to everyone else. The five teens walked over to Billy and sat down. Ernie took their order, then left. ..........Tommy and Rocky started to discuss their strategies for their upcoming karate competition. Tanya and Kat were looking at the latest fashion magazines, perusing the latest fads. ..........Adam noticed how quiet Billy was. More quiet than usual, he thought. Something is definitely bothering him. He moved his chair closer to Billy's and leaned over. "Hey, Billy. Want to talk about it?" he whispered. ..........Billy looked at him, not comprehending. "What about?" he asked, puzzled. .........."Something seems to be bothering you. I just thought that you might want to talk about it," Adam quietly replied. ..........Billy looked startled. Am I that obvious? he asked himself. No, that can't be it. No one else seems to notice. He thought for a moment. I guess Adam is just more attuned to me than the others. ..........Billy and Adam had become close friends from the first day that they had met. They had found out that they had a lot of things in common. It was if they shared a kindred spirit. They shared a close bond with each other, much like brothers. They shared and entrusted each other with their deepest secrets and fears. Theirs was one of those once-in-a-lifetime friendships. Out of all the Rangers, Billy felt most comfortable with Adam. He knew that the feeling was mutual. ..........Billy had been there since the very start, in fact, the only one left of the Original Rangers. Then it had been Jason, Zack, Trini andKimberly. Then Tommy joined the team. Adam, Rocky and Aisha joined the team when Jason, Zack and Trini were chosen to be peace ambassadors and attend the Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. ..........Kat was selected after Kimberly was chosen to join the U.S. Gymnastics team. Finally, Tanya was added when Aisha decided to remain Africa to help the animals after completing her quest for the yellow Zeo crystal. ..........The current team, now known as the Zeo Rangers, consisted of Tommy, Rocky, Adam, Kat and Tanya. Billy had decided that he was more valuable working in the Command Center when it was obvious that there were not enough crystals to go around. Recently, Jason returned to assume the Gold Ranger's powers when Billy was unable to. ..........Adam was still looking at Billy, waiting for an answer. Billy sighed, then he nodded. "Okay, but later," he said, inclining his head toward the others. ..........Adam nodded, comprehending Billy's gesture. .........."Hi, guys," a deep voice boomed from the doorway. The group turned toward the speaker. Before anyone could respond though, Ernie came from behind the counter and enthusiastically greeted the speaker. "Jason! Welcome back! When did you get back? Are you here for a visit? How long will you be staying?" Ernie asked as he shook the youth's hand. .........."Hi, Ernie," Jason laughed. "It's great to see you again. Let's see now, in answer to your questions...." he paused. "I just got back a few days ago and no, I'm not here for a visit. Actually, I'm back to stay." .........."Stay?" Ernie questioned. "What about the Peace Conference?" .........."I've completed my commitment and well, here I am!" .........."That's great. It's great to have you back. Are Trini and Zack back too?" .........."Nah, they were chosen to be part of this committee who will be advising the President on topics concerning young people." .........."The President of the United States?" Ernie said, awed. Jason nodded. "Wow. Well I see that the gang's waiting for you so I won't keep you. Want your usual, Jas?" .........."You still remember my usual, Ernie?" Jason asked, surprised that Ernie would still remember. .........."Of course. Who can forget the person who introduced me to the wonders of guava? It was the Tropical Sunbreeze smoothie, right?" .........."You're amazing, Ernie. Thanks." ..........Jason walked over to where his friends were sitting. "Hi, guys." ..........Adam noticed that Billy had tensed up as Jason walked up to the table. I wonder what that's all about, he thought to himself. .........."Hi, Jason. Are you all settled now?" Tommy asked. .........."Yup, all set with school and will be starting next week," Jason said as he plopped down in a seat next to Tanya. ..........All of a sudden Billy stood up. All eyes turned toward him. "I... I just remembered. I have some... experiments to get back to," he said lamely. "I've... I've got to go. I'll see you all later, okay?" He turned and started to walk away quickly. Everyone watched him go, surprised. .........."Billy, wait up. I'll walk with you," Adam called out. "I'll see you guys later, okay?" he said as he quickly gathered his stuff and hurried after Billy. .........."What's up with Billy?" asked Jason, looking puzzled. The rest of them just looked at each other and shrugged. .........."Billy. Hey, Billy! Come on, wait up, will you?" Adam called out as he attempted to catch up to him. ..........Billy heard Adam calling and stopped, waiting for his friend to catch up. He looked at Adam quizzically as he came up to him. "I... umm... thought you might still want to talk," Adam said, slightly out of breath. ..........Billy continued to look at him, as if trying to make a decision. Finally he spoke. "All right. Why don't we go over there and sit," he said, pointing to a spot underneath some trees. ..........They went over and sat on the cool grass underneath the trees. Fromwhere they were, they could hear the laughter of the children as they played at the playground nearby. The sweet, delicate scent of roses wafted over from the rose gardens to the right of them. ..........Billy and Adam sat in silence for a few minutes, each seemingly waiting for the other to start. Billy seemed lost in thought. .........."Billy," Adam finally broke the silence. "Please, won't you tell me what's bothering you? Maybe I can help. At the very least, you can get it off your chest." ..........Billy looked at him for a few minutes, then sighed. "It's just really hard for me to express what I'm feeling. It's just that," he paused, then continued. "It's just not fair!" He turned away, staring out over the lake. ..........Adam thought for a moment. Then he understood. "Is this about Jason and the Gold Powers?" he said, placing a hand on Billy's shoulder. ..........Billy refused to look at him. "It's not just that," he said quietly, so quietly that Adam had to strain to hear him. "It's a bunch of things. I thought that I would be of more help to the Rangers when I gave up being a Ranger to work in the Command Center. I thought that I would be satisfied. Don't get me wrong, Adam. It was great; for a while. But as time went on, I felt less and less a part of the team, always the one that was left behind while you all went off to battle Mondo's latest threat. All I could do is just watch from the Viewing Globe." ..........He swiped his hand across his eyes and finally looked at Adam. Adam saw that Billy's eyes were moist. "When I thought that I was getting the Gold Ranger Powers, I got really excited. I was thinking, wow, I'm back! I'm a Power Ranger again!" Billy paused to catch his breath. "Then when I found out that I couldn't have the Gold Powers, do you know how I felt? Do you, Adam?" ..........Adam saw that Billy was trying hard not to cry. Unable to find the words to comfort his distraught friend, Adam was at a loss of what to do. "Billy, I...." he managed to choke out. ..........Billy continued, not hearing his friend's voice. "Then Jason came back to assume the Gold Powers. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that Jason's back. But I felt like I was cheated. Destiny had been snatched away, again. I was being denied once more." The tears began to flow freely. "I feel like this is someone's way of telling me that I am no longer good enough to be a Ranger. That I am expendable and no longer needed." ..........Adam felt Billy's pain and his own eyes started to water. "Don't even think that, William Cranston! You're an important, intricate part of the Power Rangers. We wouldn't be able to defeat any of the monsters that Mondo, much less Zedd and Rita had sent down to defeat us without you and your knowledge. You are a Ranger and will always be one. Maybe Zordon can find some way for you to regain your powers once again. Don't give up. Please believe in yourself, Billy. You know, I do," Adam swiped at his own eyes as he smiled at Billy. ..........Billy looked at Adam and wiped his own eyes. Then he smiled back. He really means it, he thought. He was about to thank Adam when he noticed that something was coming toward them, rapidly. ..........Adam's smile faded as he saw his friend look up and stiffen. "What?" he asked, suddenly concerned again. "What's wrong?" ..........Billy pointed behind him and spoke one word. "Cogs!" ..........Adam whirled around and he and Billy fell into a defensive stance. "This doesn't look good," he muttered under his breath. ..........King Mondo and Prince Sprocket were watching Billy and Adam in the park from their palace on the moon. "Hey, Dad. I have a great idea. Why don't we capture the Rangers brainy buddy Billy? If we have him, the Rangers will be helpless without his help," Sprocket said. ..........Mondo thought this over for a moment. "You're given me a great idea, son," he said. "We'll start by capturing Billy. Send down the Cogs at once with their orders. Now, I need to speak to your mother. Where is she?" .........."Dad, I want to go and lead the attack. It was my idea. Can I go? Please? Please?" Sprocket whined. .........."Well, okay. But be careful, son. Stay a respectable distance. Don't...." .........."Yeah, yeah. Right, Dad." Sprocket waved. "Let's go," he said as he, Klank and a squad of Cogs disappeared. .........."That boy," King Mondo chuckled. "Now, where is Machina?" ..........Sprocket, Klank and the Cogs appeared behind Billy and Adam. The boys slowly backed up, keeping their eyes on the advancing Cogs. "What do you think they want?" Adam whispered to Billy. ..........Billy shook his head. "Don't know. Better call...." ..........Before Billy could finish his sentence, the Cogs attacked. "Adam, you got to morph! Now!" he yelled as he side-stepped a Cog. .........."Right," Adam yelled back. He brought his Zeonizer together and yelled out, "Zeo Ranger Four, Green!" ..........Instantly Adam was engulfed in a green light and was suddenly transformed into the Green Zeo Ranger. He had no time to think as the Cogs closed in. ..........For a brief moment, Billy and Adam were able to hold the mechanical robots back, but the sheer numbers finally overwhelmed them. Billy was getting the worst of it. Having no powers to call upon to protect him, he was no match for the Cogs. The battering that he was receiving was greatly weakening him. An unexpected blow to his stomach dropped him to his knees, gasping from the pain. Two Cogs immediately grabbed Billy by his arms, pinning them behind his back. They started to drag him back toward Sprocket and Klank. He struggled against his captors, but found that he was unable to break their grip on him. "Adam, help!" he yelled. .........."Billy!" Adam attempted to go towards Billy but was unable to as the Cogs surrounded him. He watched helplessly as he saw a Cog punch Billy in the stomach again. ..........Billy ceased to struggle after the Cog hit him again. The wind knocked out of him, he was unable to offer any more resistance. The two Cogs easily dragged him the rest of the way to Sprocket and Klank. Sprocket waved a hand and a gateway opened. He and Klank stepped through, closely followed by the two Cogs carrying Billy. As soon as they stepped through, the gateway closed. .........."Nooooooooo!" Adam yelled frustratively as he saw the gateway closed. He turned his attention to the remaining Cogs. "Okay, you metalheads! Where did Sprocket take Billy?" The remaining Cogs backed away from the angry Green Ranger. ..........Suddenly, the gateway opened again and swallowed up the rest of the Cogs. As suddenly as it opened, it disappeared. .........."Noooooooo!" Adam screamed again as he slammed his fist into the nearest tree in sheer frustration. I've got to get the others, he suddenly thought. He demorphed and tapped on his communicator. "Alpha? Zordon? Come in. This is Adam." .........."Yes, Adam. Come in," Zordon said. .........."Zordon, have the others meet me at the Power Chamber. I'm teleporting there now. It's an emergency," Adam said, trying to calm down. .........."Right away, Adam," he heard Alpha say. Adam touched a button on his communicator and disappeared in a green beam of light. ..........Adam materialized in the Power Chamber. A few moments later, five other beams of multi-colored lights entered the Power Chamber. Red, Pink, Yellow, Blue and Gold. When the beams dissipated, there stood Tommy, Kat, Tanya, Rocky and Jason. ..........As soon as they were all assembled, Adam told them what had happened. "We have a major problem, Zordon. Billy and I were attacked in the park by Sprocket, Klank and the Cogs." .........."What? When did this happen?" Tommy asked. "Zordon, why weren't we contacted?" ..........Jason looked around and saw that Billy was missing. "Where's Billy?" he asked. ..........Tanya suddenly noticed that Adam was staring at the floor intently, as if he had just discovered something extremely interesting at his feet. "Adam, what's wrong? Has something happened to Billy?" ..........His silence did not to quell their rising fear. Adam looked up to find all eyes on him. Gulping, he quickly looked back down. Suddenly, Tanya was beside him, placing her arm around him. "Adam, please. Tell us what's happened," she said. .........."It's all my fault," his voice faltering. "I couldn't help him. I tried.... I really did, but I couldn't get to him." Adam sat down on the step and buried his head in his hands. Tanya gave him a hug. .........."Adam, please tell the Rangers what has happened," Zordon said. ..........Adam looked up at Zordon, and drawing encouragement from him, took a deep breath and began. "I had caught up with Billy in the park. We went to sit under some trees to talk. We were talking about...." he paused, quickly glancing at Jason. "Stuff. Suddenly Sprocket, Klank and a bunch of Cogs appeared. Before we could call you, they attacked us. We tried to defend ourselves, but there were just too many of them. Billy...." he paused again and closed his eyes, re-living the fight in his mind. He winced as he remembered Billy getting beaten. His eyes flew open and he jumped as he recalled Billy's desperate cry for help. The others looked at him, concerned. .........."What happened to Billy?" Rocky prompted him. ..........Adam looked at them, seeing them but not really seeing them. "Billy.....we got separated. Billy was really getting beat up. He went down and two Cogs grabbed him and dragged him through the doorway. It all happened so fast. I couldn't get to him in time." He rested his head in his hands again and began to mumble. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. It's all my fault." ..........Jason sat down on the other side of Adam and placed his arm around the despondent youth. "Adam, stop blaming yourself. It is not your fault. You did all you could under those circumstances." he said as he tried to comfort Adam. .........."Jason's right, Adam. You did all that was humanly possible," Zordon agreed with Jason. "What we should concern ourselves with now is rescuing Billy." .........."Right," Kat said, coming over to give Adam a hug. Adam smiled at her and gratefully hugged her back. .........."Okay, okay. That's enough. Let's break it up," Tanya said, playfully pulling them apart. "Find your own man to hug," she said jokingly to Kat. Everyone laughed and Adam turned a bright red. .........."Zordon, why weren't we alerted when Billy and Adam were attacked?" Tommy repeated his question to his leader. .........."The intruder alarm never went off," Alpha explained. .........."But how can this be?" Tommy asked. .........."The nearest we can figure is that Mondo apparently had something shielding them from our detecting device," Zordon said. .........."Excuse me, but I still don't understand something. What does Mondo want with Billy?" Rocky asked. ..........The sage looked down at the expectant faces of his six teen charges for a moment before he answered. "I think that Mondo thinks that by capturing Billy it would seriously hamper our operations here." .........."Oh no, poor Billy. Do we know where Mondo has him now?" Kat asked. .........."Not yet," Alpha replied as he ran from console to console. "Ai yi yi, I wish Billy were here!" ..........Kat noticed that Tommy had stepped away from the group and was staring at a dark Viewing Globe. She went over to him. "Wherever you are, Billy, hang on, man," she heard him quietly say. "We're coming." ..........She quietly slipped a hand into his and gave it a reassuring squeeze. He looked at her and smiled. "Don't worry, Tommy. We'll get Billy back," she said. ..........In the meanwhile, Adam had gotten up from where he was and started to assist Alpha in analyzing the computer's data. "So, now what?" Rocky asked him. .........."Alpha is scanning for Billy's bio-rythyms," Adam explained as he busied himself at one of the consoles. "We are now searching all known universes and dimensions." ..........The room was dark, damp and cold, illuminated only by the light coming from a containment field. A lone figure lay in the middle of it, quietly still. ..........Billy moaned as he slowly came to. He laboriously turned onto his back, feeling a burning sensation and pains in his rib cage area. He opened his eyes, only to shut them quickly as the pain came crashing through his head. As the pain subsided, Billy took a mental assessment of his condition. The way that he was feeling he probably had some cracked ribs and possibly even a concussion. As a matter of fact, he thought, there doesn't seem like there is anywhere on my body that doesn't hurt. ..........A few moments later, Billy opened his eyes again, this time much more slowly. Fighting the dizziness in his head and the rising nausea, he slowly attempted to pull himself up to a sitting position. He grunted in pain and gripped his rib cage area as he slowly sat up. He leaned back against the wall, waiting for the dizziness, pain and nausea to subside. As it did, he looked around at his surroundings. ..........Where am I? he thought. He felt the hair in the back of his neck start to rise. I don't like this. ..........Then it all came back to him. He was in the park talking to Adam. Then Sprocket and the Cogs showed up and attacked them. He remembered the Cogs grabbing him and pulling him toward.... ..........I must be on the moon! he thought as he suddenly sat up straight. He immediately regretted the sudden movement as his body reminded him of his current condition. ..........He slowly leaned forward, mindful of his injured ribs and reached out a hand toward the containment field. "Owwww," he said as he pulled his hand back quickly and put his fingers to his mouth. That stung, he thought. ..........Suddenly, King Mondo, Queen Machina and Prince Sprocket and a squadron of Cogs appeared just outside the containment field that held Billy. Gritting his teeth against the pain and leaning heavily against the wall for support, Billy slowly got to his feet. Fighting the dizziness, he closed his eyes for a moment as he leaned against the wall. .........."Look darling. Our guest is finally awake," Machina said to her husband. ..........Billy looked at them, trying not to show the fear that was rising within him. "Okay, Mondo. Why did you bring me here?" He got no answer. "If you know what's best for you, you will release me at once. Or else when my friends find me, you'll be sorry." .........."I do not believe that you are in a position to make any demands, my dear boy," Mondo looked at Billy and laughed. .........."What's so funny, you bucket of bolts?" Billy said angrily as he was clenching and unclenching his hands. Mondo suddenly stopped laughing and stared at the boy intensely. Un-nerved by Mondo's stare, Billy gulped and unconsciously took a step back, wincing as he felt a dull pain in his rib area. ..........Mondo finally spoke. "Do you really think those Power twerps scare me? HAH!!!" .........."What do you want with me, Mondo? I couldn't possibly be a threat to you. I'm not even a Ranger," he paused. "Any more," he added quietly. .........."You, my boy, are a very important part of my plan. I will bombard them with attacks to wear them down. Without you there to help them, it will be fairly easy. After they are defeated, they will surrender their crystals to me. Then there will be no one to get in my quest for world domination!" Mondo laughed. .........."You're crazy. The Power Rangers will never surrender to you," Billy yelled. ..........Mondo ignored his outburst. "Machina, my dear, is everything ready?" ..........Billy watched as Machina handed her husband an item that looked suspiciously like some type of ray gun straight out of a sci-fi movie. "Here you go, my dear. All primed and ready to go," Machina said as Mondo took the weapon from her. ..........What is.... Billy thought. He was startled out of his thoughts as he realized that Mondo was pointing the weapon directly at him! "Wha...what are you doing? Watch where you're pointing that!" He tried in vain to get away from the weapon. .........."Hey, Dad! I want to do it! Can I do it? Please? Pleeeeeease?" Sprocket whined. .........."No, baby. You're much too young to handle something like this. Let your father do it," Machina said to her son. .........."Dad?" Sprocket pleaded. .........."You heard your mother, son." .........."Ah nuts! It's just not fair!" Sprocket said. "I never get to have any fun." ..........Billy looked around helplessly as Mondo continued to point the weapon directly at him. "You're... you're going to eliminate me now, right?" he said, resignedly. ..........Sprocket laughed. "Hey, Dad. That's really funny. Billy thinks we're going to kill him." ..........Mondo stared at Billy again and Billy shifted uncomfortably underneath his steel gaze. He tried without success to stay as far away, or at least as far away from the nozzle of the gun as the containment field would allow him. "Oh no," Mondo told Billy. "You would be no value to me dead. Oh no indeed." ..........Before Billy could react, Mondo pulled the trigger and a red beam of light shot out and hit him squarely in his chest, immobilizing him and lifting him off the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, Billy saw Machina signaled to a Cog, who then headed toward him. As the Cog drew near, the containment field disappeared. ..........What's that he's carrying? Billy thought as he watched the Cog approaching him. His eyes widened in fear as he suddenly realized what it was. ..........The overhead lights bounced off the end of the hypodermic needle that the Cog was carrying. Billy struggled but it was to no avail, the ray that was holding him was just too strong. He winced as he felt the needle being inserted into his upper arm and cried out as he felt the burning serum enter his body. ..........As the Cog withdrew the needle and stepped back, Billy noticed that Mondo had opened a panel on the side of the weapon and was flipping a switch. The ray that was immobilizing him now turned a bright blue. .........."Unnnnn." Billy suddenly felt all his energy and strength being drained. It's that ray, he thought weakly. A few moments later, Mondo switched the ray off. Released by the ray, Billy fell to the ground and lay there, utterly exhausted and unable to move. .........."That should do it, my dear," Mondo said gleefully. .........."You're absolutely brilliant," Machina complemented her husband as she snapped open her fan. .........."What did...you...do to me?" It was a tremendous effort for Billy to even get the question out. He closed his eyes tiredly. .........."This is just a precaution. You will be a lot easier to handle this way," Mondo told him. Billy barely heard him as the arms of darkness reached up and claimed him. ..........Klank went over to the prone form and checked him out. "He has passed out, sire," he informed them. .........."Humans are SO fragile," Machina commented. .........."Aren't they, my dear?" Mondo agreed with his wife. He signaled to the nearest two Cogs. "Take him away," he commanded. The Cogs saluted their king and marched toward the unconscious boy. They picked up the prone body with ease and carried him down to the Machine Empire's holding cells, where they unceremoniously dumped Billy in one of the cells and locked the cell door behind them. They left Billy behind, lying unmoving on the cold, damp prison floor. .........."Oh, ai yi yi! Zordon, I found him! I found Billy! Hehehehe!" Alpha exclaimed excitedly. He was jumping up and down, clapping his hands. .........."Excellent work, Alpha. Contact the other Rangers immediately," Zordon boomed. .........."Right away, Zordon," Alpha said as he sent out the message. ..........The Rangers were gathered together at the Youth Center. They went there after their nervous energy was distracting to Zordon and Alpha. The little droid had promised that he would contact them the moment he found Billy. ..........Jason and Adam were on the mats, sparring. Tommy and Rocky stood close by, waiting for their turn. Tanya and Kat were sitting in the stands, idly watching Jason and Adam as they sparred. ..........Tommy's communicator suddenly beeped. He and Rocky looked at each other. Rocky nodded and went to get the girls. Tommy motioned to Jason and Adam. When he had their attention, he pointed at his communicator and then motioned to the empty doorway. Jason and Adam acknowledged him and together they moved toward the doorway, where they were met by Rocky and the girls. ..........As soon as they had checked to make sure the coast was clear, Tommy tapped on his communicator. "This is Tommy, Alpha. Go ahead." ..........Alpha's tiny voice came through the communicator. "Rangers, proceed to the Power Chamber at once. We have found Billy!" .........."All right!! Way to go, Alpha!" Tommy grinned. .........."Yes!" The other Rangers hi-fived each other. .........."That's morphenominal. How is he? Is he okay?" Rocky asked. .........."Rangers, please proceed to the Power Chamber. Immediately." This time it was Zordon. ..........The jovial mood suddenly turned somber. The teens looked at each other, silent. Adam finally broke the silence. "Zordon, has something happened to Billy?" .........."Rangers, proceed to the Power Chamber. All will be explained when you arrive," Zordon said. ..........Jason looked at the others. "Something's going on. Let's go," he said quietly. .........."I've got a bad feeling about this," Tanya said. Kat nodded in agreement. ..........After another check around to confirm that the coast was still clear, they touched the buttons on their communicators and disappeared in a flash of multi-color lights. ..........In a matter of moments, the six teens materialized in the Power Chamber. The Power Chamber was strangely quiet. The only sounds that broke the silence was coming from a console where Alpha was diligently working. They headed toward the little droid. Sensing them, Alpha spun around. "Rangers, I am so glad you are here. Oh, ai yi yi!" .........."What's up, Alpha?" Rocky asked him. "Whoa, dude, slow down." The droid was racing from console to console at a fevered pace. .........."You said that you found Billy," Adam said. "Where is he, Zordon?" ..........Zordon paused for a moment as he looked at the worried teenagers. He saw the rising panic in their faces. "Rangers," he finally said. "Please calm yourselves. You will need to be in control of yourselves before we show you." .........."You won't like what you see," Alpha added quietly. The teens looked at each other, somewhat worried and a little scared. ..........When Zordon felt that they were calm enough, he said to them, "Please observe the Viewing Globe." ..........The Rangers turned toward the Viewing Globe. At first, they could see nothing but white static. Then the picture came into focus and they saw him. They gasped at the sight. ..........Billy. He was lying motionless on the floor in what looked like a prison cell. The Rangers were shocked at what they saw. There were darkening bruises everywhere and what looked like dried blood on the right side of his forehead. He had dark circles under his eyes and looked un-naturally pale. They kept watching, hoping to spot some movement. .........."Zordon, he's so... still. Is he...?" whispered Kat. She couldn't bring herself to finish the sentence. .........."No, Kat, fortunately he is still alive," Zordon said. A sigh of relief went around the room. "But our scanners indicates that his life energies are dangerously low. If we do not get him back here soon...." .........."What? What?" Adam asked, worry evident in his face. ..........Zordon paused. He really hated being the bearer of bad news. "If we don't rescue him soon, we will lose him...forever." The Rangers gasped in horror at the prospect. Both Kat and Tanya's eyes started to fill with tears. .........."Where is he?" Tommy repeated Adam's question. He could not tear his eyes away from the scene on the Viewing Globe. .........."Our scanners has located him deep under King Mondo's palace, in one of the prison cells," Alpha informed them. .........."Can we teleport him out?" Rocky asked. .........."Negative. The force field around the Machine Empire is too strong for us to penetrate with our teleportation beam," Alpha said. .........."So, how do we get in to rescue Billy?" Jason asked. .........."Scanners have located a small opening in the field. Someone will have to travel there and get Billy to this area so that we will be able to teleport him back. It will be extremely dangerous, though. There will be Cogs everywhere," Zordon explained. .........."I'll go," a voice quietly said. They turned to face Adam, who was standing away from the group. "Please let me. I still feel responsible for Billy's being captured." ..........Tommy went over to Adam and placed an arm around him. Adam wouldn't look at him. Tommy sighed. Adam's low self-esteem was getting to him again. "Adam, you've got to stop beating yourself up inside. It was not your fault any more than it was any of ours. We'll all go and get Billy." .........."Tommy's right," Zordon said. "Adam, look at me." A moment later, Adam raised his head to look at Zordon. "You did your best in this situation. You had done all that was humanly possible. The most important thing to do now is to come up with a plan to rescue Billy. However, we cannot risk sending all of you for this mission." .........."What do you mean, Zordon? Is it because it is dangerous? I think that I speak for everyone when I say that we're willing to take that risk," Rocky said. The others nodded in agreement. .........."Rangers, I have no doubt of your courage and your willingness to place yourselves in the path of danger to save a friend, but we simply cannot leave this world unprotected while you all go on this mission," Zordon stated. .........."So what are you suggesting?" Tanya asked. ..........Zordon paused for a moment, as if in thought, then replied. "I think that our best chance is to send two Rangers in. It will be much easier for them to slip in undetected." He watched as each Ranger volunteered to go. They then started to argue among themselves. .........."Rangers," Alpha pleaded. "Please, stop arguing. Why don't you let Zordon decide?" ..........The Rangers looked down, ashamed. "You're right, Alpha," Tommy said. "I'm sorry," he said to the group. "We'll let Zordon choose." The others agreed and all eyes turned toward Zordon. ..........Zordon observed each of them briefly from his glass tube. This will not be easy, he thought. "We will send Jason," he finally said. His eyes rested on Adam. He saw the despair in his eyes and his eagerness to be chosen to go. "And we will send Adam," he finished. Adam flashed him a grateful smile as he went to stand by Jason. "Tommy, you and the rest of the Rangers will remain here and monitor the Earth." .........."Good luck, guys," Tommy said as he shook their hands. He was slightly disappointed that he wasn't chosen but he could understand the reasoning behind Zordon's choices. ..........Tanya and Kat both came forward and hugged them. "Bring Billy and yourselves back safely," Tanya whispered as she hugged Adam. .........."Be careful, guys," Kat added. .........."We will," Jason promised. .........."Give them hell, guys," Rocky said as he hi-fived them. ..........Alpha came up and handed them a map printout and two strange looking devices. He also handed Adam a bag that contained a medical scanner. "I've marked your course. Here is your starting and ending destinations. In the bag, you will find a medical scanner. Be careful," Alpha said. ..........Adam and Jason looked at the small devices that Alpha had handed them. "What are they?" Jason asked, turning his over and over. .........."The devices you are holding are cloaking devices that Billy had invented, Alpha informed them. "An added feature is that if you use them side-by-side, anyone between you will also be covered. They have a total of ten minutes of cloaking capability, so please use them sparingly. Be careful, Rangers. Billy never got all the bugs out." .........."All right," Jason said. "Thanks." .........."Yeah, thanks, Alpha," Adam replied as he placed the map in the bag and slung it over his shoulder. .........."Go quickly. Billy doesn't have much time left," Zordon said. .........."Right. It's Morphin Time! Zeo Ranger Four, Green!" Adam brought his Zeonizer together and was instantly engulfed in a green beam of energy and was instantly encased in the suit of the Green Zeo Ranger. ..........Jason crossed his hands in front of him. "Gold Ranger Power!" he yelled as he morphed into the Gold Ranger. ..........As soon as they had morphed, Adam nodded to Jason. "We're ready, Alpha." Jason said. ..........Alpha pushed a few buttons. "Good luck, Rangers. Oh, ai yi yi!" ..........As they teleported out in a blaze of green and gold lights, they heard Zordon say, "May the Power protect you." ..........Jason and Adam materialized just outside King Mondo's palace. By keeping to the shadows, they were able to avoid most of the Cogs that were patrolling the perimeter. They were soon inside the palace. .........."So far so good," Jason whispered. "Which way now, Adam?" ..........Adam pulled out the map and studied it. "This way," he said, pointing. Jason looked to where Adam had pointed to and found himself looking down a dark stairway. He saw that there were Cogs marching up and down the stairs. He could see no way around them. .........."We will have to use the cloaking devices. There's no other way to get around them," Jason said. ..........Adam looked up and nodded. They took the devices out and activated them with a touch of a button. Instantly, they disappeared. For a minute, Adam panicked when he realized that he wasn't able to see Jason. He reached out and touched Jason's arm. He instantly held on and they quietly headed down the stairs, avoiding bumping any of the Cogs on their way down. It seemed like forever before they reached the bottom of the stairs. They noticed that there seemed to be no Cogs patrolling this lower level. After making sure that the coast was clear, they de-activated the cloaking devices and they materialized. .........."These are great. It shows us how much time we have left. Leave it to Billy to invent something like this," Adam said. .........."Yeah," Jason said. "Now what?" ..........Adam looked at the map again. "The cells should be right over... there," Adam said. They rounded the corner and found a row of cell doors facing them. .........."Let's get started," Jason said. They each took a side, looking into each cell. ..........Suddenly Adam motioned to Jason. "Jase, over here," he hissed. Jason crossed over to where Adam was and looked in. There he saw Billy, just as they had observed him in the Viewing Globe earlier. Jason tried the door but found it locked. .........."Step back," Adam said. He pulled out his Zeo Laser Pistol and setting it on the lowest setting, proceeded to burn out the lock. A moment later, he turned the laser off and tried the door. It quietly swung open. ..........He opened the door and they walked in. "Check on Billy," Jason told Adam. "I'll watch our backs." He took a position by the door. Adam nodded and made his way toward the still figure on the floor. .........."Billy?" Adam said as he knelt beside him. There was no answer, no movement. Adam took out the medical scanner and passed it over Billy, checking for injuries. .........."How is he?" Jason asked from his post at the door. .........."He has some cracked ribs and a slight concussion. Bruises everywhere. The cut on his forehead seems to be minor," Adam replied. "No broken bones or serious internal injuries detected." He put the scanner away before continuing. "Come help me turn him over, Jason." ..........Jason took one more glance outside and satisfied that the coast was clear, went over to Adam. Carefully, the two teens reached over and turned Billy onto his back. They gasped as they looked at Billy. He looked much worse than when they had observed him in the Viewing Globe. ..........There were nasty looking bruises on Billy's face and a giant bruise that seem to cover his right front upper arm. His hair was matted with the dried blood from his cut. His skin seemed un-naturally pale, presumably from the loss of blood. The dark circles under his eyes only emphasized the paleness more. .........."Billy?" Adam said. "Billy, can you hear me?" .........."It's us, bro. Jason and Adam," Jason added. "Come on, wake up. We're here to take you back." .........."Look," Adam whispered. "I think he's starting to come to." ..........Billy moaned and slowly came to. He opened his eyes and noticed two figures beside him. Unable to focus, he weakly began to struggle as one of the figures held him. He winced in pain. .........."Billy," Adam cried out as Billy began to struggle against him. "Billy, it's me. Adam." ..........Billy ceased struggling and visually relaxed as he recognized the familiar voice. "Adam?" His voice was weak and shaky and they could barely hear him. .........."Yes," Adam said, hugging him. "Glad to see you, bud." ..........Billy smiled weakly. "Hi, bro," the person on the other side of Adam said. ..........He squinted, but his eyes still wouldn't focus. He did recognize the voice though. "Jason. Can't... see...." ..........Jason grinned. "Right again, buddy. Don't worry. We're here to get you back home." The grin faded as he saw Billy close his eyes and shudder violently. "What's the matter?" he asked, concerned. .........."Cold... so... cold...." Billy muttered. Pain etched on his face as he shuddered violently once more, tensed and then suddenly went limp. .........."Billy!" Adam said, alarmed. Billy laid in his arms, unresponsive. He looked to Jason, fear creeping in his eyes. "We've got to get him out of here and back to the Power Chamber immediately." .........."Right." Jason nodded. All of a sudden he heard a sound. He silently crept to the door and looked out. "Adam, someone's coming. We have to get out of sight." When Adam didn't move, Jason hissed, "NOW, Adam!" ..........Reluctantly, Adam gently laid Billy back down. He and Jason then melted into the dark corner of the cell, cloaking devices in their hands ready to be activated if needed. A moment later, two Cogs came to the cell door and looked in. Jason and Adam pressed themselves closer to the wall. The Cogs saw Billy lying on the floor, still unconscious. "Sire, the boy is still unresponsive," one of the Cogs reported as they left. ..........Adam and Jason let out their breath. "Boy, that was close. It's a good thing they didn't try the door," Adam said. .........."Yeah," Jason agreed. "Let's get Billy and get out of here." He and Adam went over and together as gently as they could, lifted Billy between them. After making sure that the coast was clear, they started to re-trace their steps. ..........Near the top of the stairwell, Adam suddenly stopped. He signaled to Jason who nodded. Together they stepped back into the shadows, pressing again the wall. They watched and held their breaths as a squad of Cogs marched by. Suddenly, Billy stirred and quietly groaned. Jason quickly placed a hand over Billy's mouth, muffling the sound. They watched as one of the Cogs stopped and looked around. ..........Seeing nothing, the Cog moved on. The two boys let their breaths out slowly. Jason removed his hand from Billy's mouth, who was once again silent. They got back to the teleporting coordinates without any further incident. .........."We did it!" Adam said as they gently set Billy down against a wall. Billy still hadn't regain consciousness. Just as they were about to contact Alpha, they heard the alarms go off. They saw that the Cogs were quickly advancing toward them. .........."Damn," Jason said. "They found us out. Alpha? Alpha, this is Jason. Do you read me?" .........."Affirmative, Jason. Go ahead." .........."We've got Billy. They know we're here. We need to teleport now," Jason said urgently. .........."Ai yi yi! Right away, Jason!" ..........Jason turned to help Adam pick Billy up, but before he could move, the Cogs were upon them. Jason and Adam tried to fight them off but there was too many of them. In the course of their battle, they suddenly realized that they were slowly being pushed farther and farther away from Billy. Suddenly, two Cogs broke away from the battle and headed toward Billy. ..........Adam suddenly noticed the Cogs were heading toward Billy. He tried desperately to get back to him but was knocked back by a Cog. He saw the two Cogs reach Billy and picked him up and started to take him away. "Jason, they've got Billy!" Adam yelled. ..........All of the sudden, Alpha voice came over Jason's communicator. "Ready to teleport." ..........The two Rangers helplessly watched as the Cogs reclaimed their captive. Realizing that they were now unable to get to Billy and that they were in danger of being captured themselves, Jason yelled to Adam, "Adam, we have to teleport." .........."We can't," Adam yelled back. "They got Billy." ..........Leaping forward, he struck the nearest Cog, and landed near Adam. He reached out and grabbed Adam's arm. "Listen, we won't be any good to Billy if we get caught. There's just too many of them," he said. Before Adam could protest, he continued. "We'll come back. I promise." ..........Adam reluctantly nodded. "Alpha, ready to teleport," Jason said. As soon as he spoke those words, they felt the familiar tug of teleportation and they disappeared in a flash of light. ..........The two Rangers re-materialized in the Power Chamber. Adam removed his helmet. "Zordon, we failed. They still have Billy." His shoulders sagged in defeat. .........."There were too many of them too fast. I felt it was better to leave than risk being captured," Jason said. .........."That was a wise decision, Jason. We will devise another plan and try again," Zordon said. ..........Tanya noticed that Adam had separated himself from the group. She went over and stood next to him. "Don't worry, Adam. We'll get him back." He looked up at her and she was surprised to see to see tears forming in his eyes. "Oh, Adam," she said, giving him a big hug. "It'll be all right. We'll get Billy back." .........."We were so close, Tanya," he said, his voice wavering. "We actually had him... and we still weren't able to rescue him." .........."I know, I know. But you have to keep the faith, Adam. Keep believing that we'll get Billy safe and sound," Tanya said encouragingly. ..........Adam was silent for a few minutes. "I'll try," he finally said, quietly. Two hours later.... ..........Adam stood alone in a corner, watching Alpha work as he and Zordon tried to come up with a new plan to rescue Billy. The other Rangers had gathered together in another part of the room, trying to stay out of Alpha's way as he rushed from console to console. It would not be easy, Alpha had said, Mondo will really be on guard now. It will be more difficult to reach Billy this time. ..........The Rangers were exhausted. In just the last two hours since Jason and Adam had gotten back, Mondo had sent down a monster and a couple of squadron of Cogs down to Angel Grove to battle them. After a long drawn out battle, they had finally defeated Mondo's forces. It was only through sheer adrenaline and their concern for Billy that had kept them going. ..........-This is getting us nowhere,- Adam thought to himself. What if he's... No! He couldn't be. Stop thinking that way, Adam. I can't wait any longer. I've got to do something. But how? He looked at the console that Alpha used when he teleported him and Jason the first time. He noted that the coordinates were still set. A thought formed in his mind as he moved closer to the console. He had assisted Billy in the past and was somewhat familiar with the workings of the Power Chamber. He closed his eyes and thought back to the time that Alpha had teleported them. He opened his eyes as he remembered the button that he saw Alpha push just before he and Jason teleported. ..........Quickly, before anyone could notice what he was doing and stop him, he punched the button and immediately stepped forward. Suddenly he felt himself being teleported away. .........."Ai yi yi!" Alpha said, arms waving frantically up and down. "Someone's just teleported out." ..........The Rangers quickly looked at each other and realized who was missing. "It's Adam," Kat said. "Where did he go, Alpha?" ..........Alpha punched a few buttons. "Ai yi yi yi!" .........."So, where did he go?" Tommy asked. .........."He has teleported back to the moon," Zordon said. .........."Well, just teleport him back," Rocky said. .........."Impossible. He has all ready moved out of our range," Alpha said. .........."He was feeling really bad that you guys weren't able to rescue Billy. Isn't there anything we can do?" Tanya asked. .........."Negative. We cannot do anything until we hear from him again." Zordon said. "Let us continue to figure out how to rescue Billy." ..........Adam found himself in the same area that he and Jason materialized in on their earlier attempt. Adam quickly re-traced his steps to the palace. Once inside the palace though, he quickly got turned around, and without the map to guide him, soon found himself in the throne room. He turned to leave. Suddenly he heard footsteps heading his way. He quickly hid himself behind the door, praying that they wouldn't detect him. ..........Mondo swept into the room, followed closely by his wife, Machina. "I can't believe it. These Cogs are useless. Those Rangers almost rescued that brat," Machina said as she angrily snapped open her fan. .........."The Rangers failed though, my dear. We still have Billy and I have doubled the guard around him. They won't get to him this time," Mondo said. ..........Great, Adam thought. How will I get to him now? ..........Mondo continued, "Anyway, Billy will be of no use to them, remember?" He held up the ray gun, similar to the one that he had used on Billy earlier. "Unless Billy is hit with the ray from this gun soon, he will gradually deteriorate, both mentally and physically, eventually becoming nothing more than a vegetable, useless to anyone." ..........Yes! Adam thought to himself. He now knew what was wrong with Billy and what the cure was, but realized that with the guard doubled that there would be no way that he would be able to rescue Billy by himself. He was torn whether to go or stay and try to do something. Finally, with a sigh, he admitted to himself, I'm going to need help. I'd better get back to the Power Chamber and let the others what I know. .........."You are absolutely brilliant, my dear," Machina laughed. .........."Come my dear. Let's gather our troops together and plan our next move," Mondo said. ..........Adam waited until he was sure that the coast was clear. Quietly, he made his way out of the throne room and with some difficulty, finally found his way back out of the palace. Once out of the palace, he was able to find his way back to the area where he had originally transported to. ..........Billy woke up and realized that he was alone again, in the prison cell. He was cold and he couldn't seem to think coherently. Where am I? Adam. Wasn't he here? he thought. Can't....think....straight. What's..wrong..with me? was his last thought as he lost contact with consciousness again. ..........The teens looked up eagerly as they heard his voice. "This is Adam. Do you read me, Alpha?" His voice echoed in the Power Chamber. .........."All right. It's Adam," Tommy said as the Rangers crowded around Alpha. .........."Ai yi yi yi! This is Alpha. Adam, are you okay?" .........."I'm fine. Teleport me back. I found out some important information." .........."Right away." In a flash, Alpha teleported Adam back into the Power Chamber. .........."Adam, man, what were you thinking, going there by yourself?" Tommy asked with an air of disappointment in his voice. .........."I couldn't just...," Adam tried to explain. .........."What you did was extremely dangerous," Zordon interrupted. "I can understand your concern for Billy's safety, but we cannot afford to lose a second member of the them." ..........Adam looked down at the floor, ashamed. "I know, Zordon. I'm sorry." .........."So, what did you find out?" Rocky asked, trying to change the subject and take the heat off of his friend. .........."I overheard Mondo and Machina talking. They had a ray gun that we need to get in order to reverse whatever it was they did to Billy. But they have doubled the guards around him. It will harder to rescue him this time. They will be waiting for us," Adam paused. "We have a major problem, though." .........."What's that?" Jason asked. .........."Mondo said that if Billy isn't hit with the rays of this gun soon, he will mentally and physically deteriorate to the point that he will be nothing but a vegetable." .........."That's awful," Kat said, putting a hand to her mouth. "Alpha, can we locate the gun?" ..........Alpha went over to a console and pushed a number of buttons and levers, which produced a data printout. Alpha picked it up and read it. "The gun is located in a room right off of the throne room. It's guarded by a squad of Cogs." .........."Why isn't it heavily guarded like Billy?" Rocky asked. .........."I believe that because Mondo thinks that we don't know about the existence of this gun that we wouldn't be going after it," Zordon said. "Hence the lighter security." .........."This also changes our plans. With time running out on Billy and the possibility of Mondo sending down more monsters, we will have to work fairly quickly. We will have to chance it and send all of you this time. I don't think that we will be able to succeed otherwise," Zordon said. I believe if we strike fairly quickly, it will throw Mondo off and he won't have time to send any of his monsters down to distract us." .........."Let's do it," Tommy said. The others agreed. ..........Zordon quickly outlined his plan. "Tommy, Rocky and Kat will go after the gun. Jason, Adam and Tanya will get Billy. Alpha will give you maps to where you go. You will coordinate your attack so they will occur one right after the other. This should confuse them. Listen for your communicators, Alpha will signal to when to commence. Wait for his signal before starting." .........."Right. Come on, guys. It's Morphin Time!" Tommy said. .........."Zeo Ranger One, Pink!" In a flash of pink, Kat was instantly transformed into the Pink Zeo Ranger. .........."Zeo Ranger Two, Yellow!" With a burst of yellow light, Tanya was transformed into the Yellow Zeo Ranger. .........."Zeo Ranger Three, Blue!" When the blue flash of light dissipated, there stood Rocky, the Blue Ranger. .........."Zeo Ranger Five, Red!" Tommy was immediately transformed into the leader of the Zeo Rangers, the Red Zeo Ranger. .........."Gold Ranger Power!" With a crackle of golden energy, Jason became the Gold Ranger. ..........As soon as they were morphed, Alpha teleported them to the moon. "Remember Rangers. Billy doesn't have much time." ..........As soon as they materialized on the moon, the Rangers split up, each team intent on completing their part of the mission. ..........With map in hand, Adam quickly led Jason and Tanya though the palace and down the stairs toward the prison cells. "Strange," Tanya whispered. .........."What?" Jason asked as they crept along the wall. .........."That there are no Cogs guarding this area," answered Tanya. "You'd think that Mondo would have the whole castle heavily guarded." .........."Maybe he didn't think that we would have attempted a second rescue so soon," Jason suggested. .........."Shhh," Adam shushed them. "We're getting close." They could see a door that was guarded by two squads of Cogs. "Billy must be in there," he whispered to the other two. .........."Alpha, we're in position," Jason said into his wrist. .........."Affirmative. Hold your position until I get confirmation from the others," Alpha said. .........."Right." ..........Tommy stopped and signaled to the others to be quiet. They looked around the corner and saw the throne room. Mondo, Machina and Sprocket were there with the Cogs. They were planning their next attack. .........."We are wearing them down, my dear," Machina said. "It won't be long now before you will possess the power." .........."You're right, mother. Without their precious Billy, they are sitting ducks, just waiting to be plucked," Sprocket said. .........."Yes, without Billy and his inventions, they cannot find ways to defeat us. The earth is ours for the taking. There will be no one to stop us," Mondo said, laughing. "Get ready to send the next wave of attack down. They won't know what hit them." ..........Tommy motioned to the others to step back. "Come on. We've got to secure the gun and get back fast. Mondo's planning another attack." ..........Tommy, Rocky and Kat were able to get into position without much trouble. "We're in position, Alpha," Tommy reported as they watched the Cogs from around the corner, careful to stay out of sight. .........."Affirmative, Tommy. Hold your position. Jason, it's a go," Alpha said. .........."Right," Jason said. He nodded to the other two and gave them a thumbs up sign. With a loud yell, they charged into the Cogs. The Cogs froze, surprised. They were able to take out half of the Cogs fairly quickly. .........."Adam, look out!" Tanya yelled. Adam whirled around and saw a Cog swinging a fist at him. He tried to block it with his left arm and cried out in pain as he felt the Cog connect with his arm. Jason knocked the Cog out of the way and knelt by Adam. .........."Adam, are you okay?" Jason said. .........."I'm okay," Adam said through clenched teeth. "Let's take care of these metal heads and get Billy." .........."Right," Jason said. A few minutes later, they had taken care of the rest of the Cogs. They hurried toward the cell door and looked in and saw Billy, lying on the cell floor. .........."Step back," Adam said as he pulled out his Zeo Ranger Laser. Wow, he thought. Deja vu. He quickly shot the lock out. ..........Jason stepped forward and opened the door. Adam and Tanya followed him in. "Tanya, keep an eye out while we get Billy." Jason told her. .........."Right." Tanya took up her position at the door. ..........Jason and Adam went over to Billy and knelt beside him. Billy didn't move. "Careful, remember his ribs," cautioned Adam to Jason. ..........Jason nodded. He raised his wrist to his mouth and said, "Alpha, we have Billy. Phase one is complete." .........."Affirmative, Jason. I will inform the others." ..........Jason signed off and turned to Adam. He suddenly noticed that Adam was holding his left arm close to his body. "You're hurt," he said. .........."I'll be okay. Let's just get Billy out of here, okay?" Adam said, gritting his teeth against the pain. ..........Jason looked at him in concern. Seeing Adam's determination, he just nodded. As they lifted Billy, Jason quietly shouldered most of Billy's weight. Slowly, they made their way out of the cells toward the rendezvous. ..........As they climbed the stairs, they could hear a commotion above them. "Phase two has started," Tanya commented. .........."Phase one completed. Commence phase two," Alpha's voice came over Tommy's communicator. .........."Let's go," Tommy said to the others. ..........They plowed into the squad of Cogs. Tommy took a flying leap and kicked two Cogs in the chest, knocking them back. Rocky stepped in, fists flying. Kat flipped over one Cog, then turned and planted a solid kick to his midriff. .........."Kat! Go and get the gun. We'll take care of them," Tommy called out to Kat. .........."Right," she said. She avoided one Cog and headed toward the door. She quickly pulled out her Laser, zapped the lock and went in. She looked around and saw the gun in one corner, surrounded by a force field. Her eyes followed the beam of the force field and she found the machine that was generating the field. She quickly shot at it, causing it to short circuit. ..........Got it! she said as she picked up the gun. She re-holstered her laser and holding on to the gun, ran back out. She found that Tommy and Rocky had effectively taken care of the Cogs. She waved the gun. "Got it," she said. .........."Great! Alpha, phase two is complete," Tommy informed him. "Let's go," he said to the others. They quickly back-tracked, toward their rendezvous site with the others. ..........Jason, Adam and Tanya got to the rendezvous point with little difficulty. They were able to take out the few Cogs they encountered. As they neared the site, they saw Tommy, Rocky and Kat waiting for them. .........."Did you get it?" Jason asked. Kat nodded as she held up the gun. "All right!" ..........Kat accidentally jostled Adam's arm and Jason heard him grunt in pain. Jason looked at him and then quietly said, "Why don't you let Rocky take over for now?" ..........Adam looked at him. Pain shot up his injured arm every time he moved it. Gratefully he nodded and Rocky came around and took over. .........."We got to get back immediately. Mondo is planning to send down another monster. We've got to beat it back to Earth," Tommy said. "Alpha, we're ready to teleport." .........."Right away," Alpha said. Almost immediately, they felt the tug of the teleportation beam claim them and the moon around them seemed to fade away. .........."Alpha, Mondo's planning to send another monster down," Tommy said as soon as they materialized in the Power Chamber. "We need to get ready to meet it." .........."Ai yi yi yi! Doesn't he ever give up?" Alpha wondered. He pointed to a cot that he had set up at the side of the consoles. "Put Billy there," he said to Jason and Rocky. They took Billy over to the cot and laid him down. They stepped back as Alpha stepped forward, holding the gun that Kat gave him. .........."Well, here goes," Alpha said. "Oh ai yi yi yi! I hope this works!" He pulled the trigger and a beam of light shot out and covered Billy. The light got so bright that the Rangers had to shield their eyes against the intensity. In a few minutes, Alpha turned off the ray. The Rangers lowered their arms and looked expectantly at Billy. He didn't move. .........."It didn't work," Tanya said. "We were too late." ..........All the Rangers, except for Adam, turned to look at Zordon. Adam kept watching Billy. "Wait a minute," he said. "Look." The Rangers turned back to look at Billy. ..........Billy didn't look any different. Then they heard him sigh and then his body completely relaxed. Alpha came with a scanner and quickly passed it over Billy. "Oh, ai yi yi yi!" .........."What is it?" Kat said. fearing the worst. ..........Alpha started to jump up and down excitedly. "He's okay. His readings are back to normal. Billy is going to be okay. Hehehehe." ..........The Rangers cheered and started to clap each other on the back. Jason looked at Adam, standing quietly to one side, still holding his arm to his side. "Alpha, could you check out Adam's arm? I think that he injured it." .........."Right away, Jason. Adam, please step over here." ..........Suddenly, the intruder alert sounded. Alpha rushed over to the console and punched up the coordinates. "Ai yi yi yi! Mondo's sent down his monster down to Angel Grove Park and it is destroying everything in sight." .........."Let's go, Rangers!" Tommy said. He saw Adam start over to join the rest of the Rangers. "Adam, you stay here and take care of your arm. We can handle this." ..........Adam started to protest and then with a sigh, nodded and stepped back. The pain in arm had somewhat subsided and a numbing sensation now took over. "Be careful, guys," he said. ..........They nodded. "It's Morphin Time!" Epilogue ..........Adam rang the bell at the Cranston residence. Billy's father answered the door. "Hello, Adam. Here to visit Billy? How's your arm?" ..........Adam nodded. "Hi, Mr. Cranston. I am doing fine, thanks. The doctor said that my arm should be completely healed in about six weeks. How's Billy doing?" .........."He's doing great. He is already up and about. Boy, it was a good thing that Billy was able to find his way back to help after getting lost and getting hurt. Boy, when that boy gets pre-occupied with his observations, he gets oblivious to everything else, isn't he? I hope that he'll be more careful next time," he said soberly. "We almost lost him this time." .........."Don't worry, Mr. Cranston. We'll try our best to see that Billy doesn't do that again," Adam smiled. ..........Mr. Cranston smiled back. "I know you will. Billy is very lucky to have friends like you." He stepped back and pointed up the stairs. "Billy is upstairs in his room. Go on up." .........."Thanks." Adam climbed the stairs to Billy's room. He knocked on the door. .........."Come in," he heard Billy say. He opened the door and saw Billy sitting at his desk. "Hi, Adam." .........."Hi, Billy. You look a lot better. How are you feeling? .........."Better. The ribs are healing up nicely." He grinned. "I'm starting to feel like my old self." He looked at Adam's arm. "How 'bout you? How's the arm?" .........."Fine. I should be able to get this off," pointing to his cast, "in about six weeks. Alpha was able to contact the Aquitian Rangers to who agreed to stand by in case we need help. Hopefully, it will stay quiet for a while," he paused. "Your dad bought your story about getting lost, huh?" ..........Billy looked down. "Yeah. I really hated to lie to him. He even believed the part of how I slipped and fell down a slope and that was how I cracked my ribs. Maybe one day I'll be able to tell him everything." .........."I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way. My parents must think I'm the clumsiest person on earth." Adam said. .........."So you also used the old standby story of slipping and falling down somewhere?" Billy asked. .........."Yeah. I kind of look forward to the day we can tell our parents the truth," Adam admitted. They sat in silence for a few moments. "Billy, can I tell you something?" .........."Sure, Adam. You can tell me anything. You know that." ..........Adam hesitated for a moment. "I'm so glad that we got you back. When we weren't able to rescue you the first time, I felt terrible. I felt like somehow I had failed you. I was so afraid that we wouldn't be able to rescue you and that we would never see you again and that I lost the best friend I ever had. When I heard was possibility that you might become... a vegetable, I kept thinking that I should have, no, could have done something to prevent this," he paused, looking into Billy's eyes. "I wouldn't have ever been able to forgive myself if something terrible happened to you. I've never had a friend who understands me as well as you do." Adam held his breath, watching Billy anxiously for his reaction. .........."The feeling is mutual, Adam. You're like that brother I never had. You're the only person I ever felt comfortable enough to talk to. I feel that I have the freedom to discuss anything with you." Billy replied. Relieved, Adam exhaled and smiled. .........."But," Billy continued. "You have to stop blaming yourself for what happened recently. Everything turned out all right. I'm fine and you all were able to reverse whatever it was that Mondo did to me. I'm back, 100 per cent, safe and sound. Everything's back to normal. Well, as normal as normal can be. I can say though, that there was one good thing that came out of this." .........."Oh, what's that?" ..........Billy smiled. "It's made me realize that even though I don't have my Ranger's powers and not out there fighting side by side with the rest of you, I am still have something important to contribute. My inventions and know-how is still an intricate part of the Power Rangers ability to defeat Mondo. If Mondo took the trouble to kidnap me, then I must still be a part of the threat that is keeping him from conquering this planet." .........."You got that right. Oh, I hate to tell you so, but I told you so." he said as he smiled and made a face at Billy. "Anyway, who knows? With your I.Q., who's to say that one day you and Zordon will figure out how to get your powers back," Adam grinned. .........."Who knows, indeed?" Billy said, smiling quietly. "Do you want to know something else?" Billy asked him. Adam nodded, waiting for Billy to continue. "Having nothing to do this past week but lie here, staring at the four walls, I've come to realize that I maybe was a little jealous of Jason coming back, getting the Gold Powers and possibly taking my place. I finally realized that when Jason came back, he wasn't there to replace me, he was an addition to the team. I've got to stop letting my insecurities get the best of me. Friends forever. All for one and one for all and all that stuff, right?" ..........Adam smiled. "You can say that again. Hey, what to you say that we go over to the Juice Bar? The gang will be there. It will be my treat." ..........Billy grabbed his jacket and smiled at his best friend. "Morphinominal."