The Worst Nightmare
Part One
by Rachel D Dawson

Katherine Hillard is a tall, beautiful, intelligent young woman from Australia. She is also a world class diver and a member of the most exclusive group on Earth--the Terran Power Rangers. She is not the type of person to be self-conscious, but recently she has been. Ever since that fateful day when the Command Center was destroyed, and the super heroes gained awesome power from the Zeo Crystal to command the powers of nature. This event in and of itself isn't what causes her grief. Rather, it is a new-found competition. At this moment, Katherine finds herself lost in a dense white fog, and the only word to describe her is--confused.

"Where am I?" she asks aloud, waving at the mist to try to clear her view, "Is anyone out there?"

In answer to her question, Kat sees a young man in a white gi, with his dark ponytail whipping through the air as he performs an elegant tornado kick.

"Tommy!" she cried, her voice filled with joy and relief, "Thank goodness! Did you come here to rescue me?"

"Why would I waste my time looking for you, Katherine?" he asked coldly, not stopping his practice to look at the shocked and hurt expression on her face.

"I, uh, thought Rita and Zedd captured me or something," she stammered.

"First of all, if Rita and Zedd wanted to capture a Power Ranger, they would go after someone important. You're nothing but a liability."

Katherine was completely unprepared for Tommy's harsh insults. She ran away from him, tears stinging her deep blue eyes and blurring her vision. As she ran blindly, she tripped and fell at the feet of a young woman.

"Watch where your going!" yelled the woman angrily.

"I...I'm sorry," said Kat, looking up at the figure before her, "Kimberly?!"

"Yes, its me," sighed Kimberly, looking down at Kat with an expression of disgust on her face. She ran her fingers through her caramel hair and stepped over Katherine.

"You are unbelievable, Kat," snapped Kim, "Look at yourself! You're clumsy, slow, inexperienced, and weak! All the other Terran Rangers are skilled fighters and experienced heroes. The only reason you became a ranger in the first place is because I had to find someone to take my place immediately. Well, sister, I'm back! So you can just crawl back to the land down under! You'll never belong here!"

"NO!!" cried Katherine, springing out of bed, "No."

Katherine opened her eyes, and saw the familiar pale pink walls of her bedroom. She buried her sweaty face in her arms and breathed deeply to calm herself.

"It was a nightmare," she sighed, "The third one this week."

She looked over at her night table, and glanced at the digital clock. "Oh no," she shrieked, "I'm LATE!!"

Kat leapt out of bed and dressed for school. She tied her thick blonde mane in a hasty ponytail, and hurried to gather her text books into her blue backpack. She tied her white sneakers, and took a look at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were red and puffy, and she looked exhausted.

It doesn't make any sense. All week, I've had horrid nightmares about Tommy and Kimberly. They have never been anything but kind to me, even after I stole Kim's Power Coin. Why do I keep envisioning them as cruel and uncaring?

Kat headed downstairs and immediately hurried out the door. She walked briskly to the school, still emersed in thought.

I admit, I've always been a little jealous of Kimberly. She's beautiful, popular, athletic...and she has the most beautiful relationship with the greatest guy on the planet. Next to her, and all the other Power Rangers for that matter, I feel so out of place. Like I'm an inexperienced rookie playing way out of my league.

Katherine reaches her locker at 8:12 that morning, just in time to make it to first period.

That was close! I have three minutes until Spanish class.

Katherine fumbles with her combination, and hurriedly begins searching for her Spanish textbook when she finally gets it open. In her rushed search, she manages to drop the other textbooks and notebooks in her locker. They fell to the floor, with worksheets scattered everywhere.

"I don't have time for this," she mumbled angrily, kneeling to pick up her books.

"You're a little late this morning," said a gentle amused voice from above, "Need a hand?" "Thanks Tommy," Kat answered dryly, not looking up at him. Tommy kneeled beside her and helped collect her stuff. Once finished, he helped Kat to her feet, and noticed that she was avoiding eye contact.

"Kat, are you okay?" he asked.

Just then, Kimberly exited Mr. Caplan's office and walked to her two friends, smiling cheerfully.

"Hey guys," she said, "Having a little trouble?"

"Nope," said Tommy, "Everything's straight. Ready to go?"

Kimberly nodded and took Tommy's hand. They both waved their goodbyes to Katherine, and started walking up the stairs to the second floor. Katherine frowned and started walking after them, hugging her Spanish text to her chest.

It figures, she thought bitterly, Why would Tommy want to walk with me when Kimberly is around?

Katherine went into the Spanish room, taking her seat beside Adam quietly. Adam, who was talking to Tanya, turned around to see his friend sit quietly and gloomily. That's not like her, he thought worriedly, She's usually so spirited in the morning.

"Hey, Kat," he said, gently touching her shoulder. She turned to face him, her face etched in a weak smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. "Are you okay?"

"Of course," she answered, "I just didn't get much sleep last night. I wasn't feeling well."

Katherine turned away from Adam and looked down at her text book. Adam sighed to himself and exchanged worried glances with Tanya.

Down the hall, in the European History class, Tommy and Kim walk into the room. Zack and Jason wave to them from the back of the room. Zack was sitting on his desk, while Jason was standing beside him.

"Wow," said Zack, "You're on time, Tommy! What's the occasion?"

"Well, Kim had to get to school early, so I walked her over," said Tommy with a shrug.

"What's up, Kim?" asked Jason.

"Well, I had a meeting with Mr. Caplan about the dance tomorrow night," she explained, taking her seat, "I managed to book the Marriot Hotel for the dance as opposed to the gym. Its gonna be a blast!"

"Yeah," said Jason, "The Crystal Ball is the biggest dance of the year! Especially this year, since it's in Angel Grove! Every High School in Crystal County gets to attend, and the winners of the Crystal County Track Meet get special recognition."

"I can't wait for the meet!" said Zack excitedly, "Angel Grove gets the home-field advantage, and our relay team is dynamite! We may bring the Crystal trophy back to Angel Grove, since Stone Canyon had it for the past three years!"

"What time is the meet?" asked Kim.

"Right after school today," said Tommy, "Are you gonna be there and watch us run?"

"No can do, Tommy," she said with a sigh, "Mr. Caplan made me the coordinater of the Crystal Ball, and we have to start decorating pronto. I was hoping you guys could help me set up, but it looks like you'll all be busy after school."

"Not all of us," said Jason, "I didn't go out for winter track this year. I can help you set up."

"You're a life-saver!" said Kim with a smile. Then the bell rang, and their teacher, Mr. Mason, stood up from his desk. He pushed the glasses up his nose, and straightened his striped tie.

"Okay, class. Today, we begin our study of the Holy Roman Empire. I trust you've done all the reading in the text for today, because I decided to give you all a pop quiz."

The entire class moaned as Mr. Mason began passing out the sheets of paper.

In a stone castle on the Moon, the villianess Rita Repulsa watches Katherine get through the day via her Repulsascope.

"Ha, Ha!" screeched the evil queen, "It's working! My magical nightmares are finally affecting that little goody-good. I bet she's so disheartened that she can't even morph!"

"What is all the noise?!" roared Lord Zedd angrily, marching into the throne room with Finster at his side, "Finster and I were working on a diabolical plan to eliminate the Terran Rangers once and for all."

"I already have a plan," said Rita matter-of-factly, "and its working beautifully."

"What are you up to this time, Rita?"

"About a week ago, I started implanting nightmares into Katherine's mind with Finster's Dream Machine."

"What kind of nightmares, your Majesty?" asked Finster curiously.

"In order to dishearten Kat, in each dream she id faced with Tommy and Kimberly, and they constantly criticize her. Now that the Terran Rangers powers are in their hearts, their self-confidence is vital to morph. I believe Kat is the most self-conscious out of the bunch presently. Usually Tommy makes a good target, but now that Kim, Jason, and Zack are back in the picture, his confidence has escalated. Also, Adam, who is usually self-conscious, is thriving off the concept that he was chosen for the honorable position of being a Terran Ranger alongside the others, who he always looked up to. Katherine, on the other hand, who is usually confident, is beginning to wallow in self-doubt, because Kimberly is back in the picture, and she can't help but compare herself to her predecesor. My dream machine is increasing her self doubt at an exponential rate. Even now, she's avoiding the rest of the Power Rangers. Take a look, Zeddie!"

Rita directed Zedd's crimson vision to the Angel Grove High School hallway, where Katherine was walking alone out of the building. The other rangers were all clustered around Kimberly's locker, discussing something. Zedd began to glow with glee.

"You're right, Rita!" he declared excitedly, "Katherine is jealous about all the attention the other rangers are giving Kimberly! She feels out of place among the team. Fantastic! Finster, prepare a squad of Viper Putties!"

Finster nodded and hurried to his lab. Rita stared at Zedd in disbelief.

"What do you think you're doing?!" she shrieked, "Thie is MY plan!"

"Not anymore," said Zedd, sitting on his throne, "My Viper Putties will attack Katherine, and poison her with their venom. Once she is asleep, I shall send the Nightmare Queen into her mind, to further dishearten the Blue Ranger. With Kat out of commission, the rangers will no longer be at full strength. They will be vulnerable--especially to a monster that controls the element of fire! This is a BRILLIANT plan! I'm glad I thought of it!"

Rita mumbled under her breath as she looked back to Earth through her scope.

"Well, if you're gonna attack Katherine, you'd better do it now. Jason and Kimberly are on their way to some hotel, and Adam, Zack, and Tommy are warming up for the track meet. You can contact the Nightmare Queen, and I'll create a fire monster for the Power Rangers to deal with while the Kat's away."

Lord Zedd nodded in agreement, and raised his staff to the air. "Nightmare Queen, I summon you from afar!"

After school, Katherine walks alone through the park on her way home.

I could have gone to the track meet with Billy, to cheer for Tommy, Adam, and Zack. Or I could've gone to the Marriot to help Kim and Jason set up for the party tomorrow evening. I guess I'm just not up to it today. It feels weird going home so early, instead of hanging out with the guys, but I just can't face them right now. Especially Kim and Tommy...

As Katherine strolled through the park absently, six Viper Putties appear, surrounding her.

"Oh, no," said Katherine, dropping her bookbag and looking to see if anyone was watching, "Its Morphin Time!"

Katherine raised her hands to the air, expecting a wash of blue light to envelop her body and transform her, but nothing happened. She looked at her attackers in panic, and struck a defensive stance.

"What's going on here? Rita must've somehow taken my powers! I knew I wasn't up to this!" Kat stood her ground, watching as the six Putties circled her gracefully. She wiped the sweat off her forehead and waited anxiously for them to strike.

Who am I kidding?! I can't beat all of them alone! Not without my powers! Their poison will kill me instantly!

Katherine dodged the first Putty that attacked, and ran frantically though the gap in the circle of monsters. She tried to activate her communicator while she ran, but a Putty leapt into her path.

I can do this! she thought to herself, I'm a Power Ranger! I can't just run away!

Kat tried to fight the Putty, but soon the others all surrounded her once again. Then, the Putty with the red glove stepped forward, while to others grabbed Katherine by the arms to hold her still. Her eyes widened as the Putty approached her.

That's it, I'm doomed. It'll burn me with that acid, and I'm history! How stupid can I be? I'm not Tommy or Adam! I can't fight these guys and expect to win. Some ranger I turned out to be.

Kat stopped struggling when the approaching Putty stopped, just a foot in front of Kat. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see the stream of venom that he would spit at her to burn her alive. Instead, she felt a sharp prick on her shoulder, and opened her eyes in surprise to see that the Putty with the red glove had scratched her with its red claw instead. Then, the two Putties that were holding her let go, and Katherine fell to her knees, touching her hand to her small shoulder wound.

I...I can't stand up! she thought in panic, as her body grew numb. Soon, she collapsed in a heap on the lush green grass, and the Putties vanished, leaving her there.

Every year a different high school hosts the Crystal County Track Meet, where the twelve high schools in the county compete for the Crystal Trophy. Now, at the track outside Angel Grove High School, hundreds of spectators watch the beginning of the one mile race--the final event of the meet.

"And there off!" cried the announcer, "Zachary Taylor of Angel Grove High is taking an early lead. Angel Grove is traling Stone Canyon in terms of total score, and the only way for Angel Grove to win it all is if one of their athletes places first in this race. Tomorrow night, Angel Grove hosts the Crystal Ball, to which all the students of all the high schools are invited! The winning team will be awarded the trophy by a representative of Angel Grove High's student council, and then that team takes part in the victory dance! I hope to see you all there, especially since all the proceeds go to the athletic departments of all Crystal County high schools."

Up in the stands, Billy sits with Rocky and Tanya and cheers as his friends pass him on their last lap. He could barely hear the sound of his communicator whistling.

"What was that?" asked Rocky, looking at Billy's watch curiously, "That's not the tone I'm familiar with!"

"It's the Central Access Complex's remote alert system! One of the Terran Rangers is in danger!"

Billy excused himself and hurried out of the bleachers. Once he reached a secluded spot, he prepared to teleport, buit a strange gurgling sound stopped him. Curiosity got the better of him, and he looked around the corner to see a squad of Viper Putties waiting to strike.

Oh no! Zedd and Rita are gonna attack the track meet! I can't do anything about that now, though. I have to help whichever Terran Ranger is in danger! I think Tommy and the others can handle this emergency.

Billy touched a button on his wrist communicator, and vanished in a wash of white light. When he reached the CAC, he hurried to his desk and activated the life sign scanner for each of the rangers.

"Well, Tommy, Adam, and Zack are fine, so it must be either Kim, Kat, or Jason in danger," he mused, watching the computer screen, "Aha! Katherine is in the park, and she's unconscious. I'd better get over there and get her."

Billy vanishes once again, this time appearing in Angel Grove Park inside a patch of bushes. He hurries to Katherine's location, where he sees two Junior Police officers checking Katherine's pulse.

"Is she dead, Bulkie?" asked Skull who was standing helplessly as Bulk kneeled beside her and studied her face.

"I don't think so," he answered, "Her chest is moving, so she's still breathing."

"Maybe she just fell asleep?" suggested Skull.

"Look!" cried Bulk, pointing at her shoulder, "She's been hurt! She may be bleeding to death!"

Skull looked curiously at the small scratch on Katherine's arm and scrathed his head.

"I guess its possible. Maybe we should call an ambulance?"

"Good idea," said Bulk, standing up, "Let's go find a phone!"

As the two staggered off, Billy hurriedly checked Katherine's vital signs. She's alive, and she appears unharmed. Except for that scratch...I'd better take her to the CAC and scan her better with the med-unit.

Billy stood up and activated his transporter, and the two figures vanished in streaks of white and blue light.

Part Two

At the finale of the Crystal County Track Meet, Zack Taylor crosses the finish line, a good fifteen seconds ahead of the rest of the mile runners.

"And that's it, Ladies and Gentlemen!" cried the announcer, "Zachary Taylor crosses the line waaay before anyone else comes close! He not only sets the new record for fastest mile in Crystal County, but he also wins the Crystal Trophy!"

Zack smiles and raises his arms in triumph as the Angel Grove spectators go wild. Tommy and Adam catch up to Zack, who was still basking in all the glory.

"Way to go, Zack," said Tommy, slapping Zack on the back, "You just won the trophy!"

"Nah," said Zack, wiping the sweat off his forehead, "We all won the trophy!"

"Terrific team effort," said Adam with a smile, "Now, all we have to do is go to the formal ball tomorrow."

The three young athletes begin to walk to the rest of the track team when two student spectators run onto the field. Tommy looks up in surprise.

"Hey, isn't that Tanya and Rocky?" he asked.

"Guys," panted Rocky once he was close enough, "Something weird's going on."

"Yeah," gasped Tanya, pointing to the bleachers, "Look! There's about a dozen Viper Putties in the bleachers! I don't know what their plan is, but they can seriously hurt the spectators."

Tommy, Zack, and Adam turned their heads and saw masses of people running frantically from a group of green and black forms. Zack clenched his fist angrily.

"Man," he growled, "right in the middle of the track meet! Zedd and Rita sure have a bad sense of timing."

"C'mon, guys," said Adam, "Let's move it!"

Adam, Tommy, and Zack ran into the empty locker room, and Tommy fishes for his communicator in his gym bag. Adam and Zack search the room to make sure no one was there.

"Billy," said Tommy into his communicator, "This is Tommy. Do you read?"

^I'm here^, answered Billy, ^Did you discover the Viper Putties at the field?^

"Yeah, Adam, Zack, and I are on it. Contact the others and tell them to get over here ASAP. Whenever Zedd sends down Putties, you can be sure a monster isn't far behind."

^I'll relay the message, but I have come across a certain emergency here regarding Katherine. I'll keep you posted. Good luck.^

"Thanks man," said Tommy, letting go of his wrist and holding his fists out. Zack and Adam mimicked his movements. "Okay guys, It's Morphin Time! TERRA FIRE POWER!!"

"TERRA WIND POWER!!" cried Adam.

"TERRA LIGHT POWER!!" yelled Zack.

As each young man called upon his power, his hands began to glow in his signature color. In a flash of fiery red light, Tommy became the Red Terran Power Ranger, wearing form-fitting red armor, a golden shield attached to a golden belt, a gold and red helmet, and white boots and gloves with gold trim. A green energy cyclone formed at Adam's feet, and soon enveloped his whole body with emerald green light. When the light faded Adam was wearing his Green Terran Power Ranger uniform. A white pulse of light formed at Zacks fists and bathed his whole body in blinding white light. Afterwards, he was wearing the uniform of the White Terran Power Ranger. The three mighty heroes stood side by side, and simultaneously touched their belt buckles.

"To the bleachers!" cried the Red Ranger, and all three rangers vanished in streaks of light.

At the Marriot Hotel in downtown Angel Grove, Kimberly Hart leads a group of volunteers as they decorate the ballroom for the Crystal Ball the following evening. She stands on a ladder, attaching one end of a silver and black banner across the ceiling over the length of the stage. Jason Lee holds the ladder as she climbs down and surveys her work.

"Well," she said, folding her arms, "I guess that's it. All the decorations are up."

"Yep," said Jason with a nod, "And it really looks great, Kim. The color scheme of silver and navy blue really works! This ball is gonna be awesome!"

"Yeah, we're gonna have a blast! Thowing the ball here instead of at the gym really makes the occasion more formal."

"Well, now that we're done, maybe we can catch up with the guys. The track meet may still be going on."

"Nah, we still have to clean up. You can go ahead if you want to. Thanks so much for all your help, by the way."

Just then, Jason's communicator sounds. The two exchange worried glances, and sneak behind the curtain of the stage.

"This is Jason," he whispers into his wrist, "What's going on?"

^Jason,^ said Billy's voice, ^We've got an emergency. Please teleport to the Central Access Complex immediately.^

"We're on our way," whispered Kimberly, and the two Terran Rangers simultaneously activate their teleporters and vanish in streaks of yellow and black light. When they arrived at the CAC, Billy was watching a battle escalate between the other Terran Rangers and a horde of Viper Putties in the Viewing Globe. He turned around when he saw the flash of light that heralded their arrival.

"What's the problem, Billy?" asked Kimberly.

"We have an extremely dangerous situation on our hands. The Crystal County Track Meet has been attacked by a squadron of Viper Putties."

"More than Tommy, Adam, and Zack can handle?" asked Jason.

"Not yet. But my long range sensors are picking up heavy magical activity on the Moon. I can't figure out exactly what's in store, but I do know that Rita and Zedd are up to something."

"Now that's a problem," observed Jason.

"Billy," asked Kimberly, "were any spectators hurt?"

"Nothing too serious, but the problem is that there are numerous Putties and the crowds of students attending the track meet are panicking. Three rangers cannot manage crowd control while at the same time confronting the Viper Putties. They need assistance to insure minimal injuries sustained by bystanders."

"We'd better get moving," said Jason, clenching his fist, "Say, where's Katherine anyway?"

"Well, our emergency is two-pronged, Jason," said Billy with a sigh, "One of you will have to stay here while the other helps out Tommy and the others at the track meet."

"Okay," said Kim, "I'll go to the track meet, and you stay here with Billy, okay?"

"Sounds like a plan," said Jason, "Be careful, and Kat and I will join you guys soon."

With that, Billy and Jason stood back and gave Kim some space. She thrust her fists forward, and they started to glow with crackling yellow electricity. "It's Morphin Time!" she cried, "TERRA LIGHTING POWER!!"

The electricity that formed at her fists soon spread throughout her body, and increased in intensity. Soon, she was completely covered by a web of yellow lightning, and when the light ebbed, she stood as the Yellow Terran Ranger, wearing a lemon yellow form-fitting armor, golden shield, white gloves and thigh-high boots trimmed with gold, a yellow and gold helmet, and a short yellow skirt with white hem. She turned to her friends with a slight wave.

"Catch ya on the flip side!" she called, as she vanished in a wave of yellow light. Once she was gone, Jason turned to Billy, who had started to walk towards the infirmary section of the CAC.

"So," he said, "what happened to Katherine?"

"See for yourself," he said, turning on the light in the darkened infirmary. Lying on the med unit was Katherine, tossing and turning in a fitful sleep.

"What's wrong with her?" asked Jason.

"According to the med-unit scans, she has a magical venom coarsing through her blood stream, forcing her into a feverish sleep. She has no physical injuries, with the exception of a small scratch on her shoulder, which I conclude it the point of entry for the venom. The med-unit is also detecting powerful REM brain activity. In a sense, she's experiencing a powerful nightmare."

"Is her condition serious?"

"Yes, because her life signs have been steadily weakening since I brought her here. She's fighting a battle, Jason, and she's losing."

"What can I do?" asked Jason, crossing his arms in thought.

"I have an idea, but its a long shot. Also, it'll take me a while to set up. I could use your help."

Kat's blue eyes open, and she looks around in confusion. She is surrounded by a misty darkness, and the ground beneath her was damp and cold. She rose to her feet and felt around in the darkness. Her hands made contact with a metallic pole, and she realized that she was surrounded by metal poles. She was in a prison cell.

"Hey!" she cried angrily, grabbing the bars, "What's going on here? Let me out or else! Hello?"

Kat looked around, but she didn't see her captor. She started to think hard, concentrating on the events that led to her present predicament.

I was walking alone in the park on my way home after school, and I was jumped by Viper Putties. I couldn't morph, so I decided to make a break for it. When that didn't work, I fought them, but they grabbed me. Then, one with a red glove scratched me on the shoulder..."

Katherine looked down at her blue blouse sleeve, and noticed that the silk wasn't torn. She rolled up the sleeve and examined her shoulder carefully.

There's no scar! she marvelled, Where am I?

Suddenly, the bars that Kat was leaning on disappeared, and she fell to the cold ground. She pulled herself to her feet, and saw the darkness illuminated by an eerie violet light.

"Now what?" she asked frustratedly, waving away the smoke, "Is anyone here?"

"I am here, child," said a sinister female voice from within the smoke. The cloud parted in the middle, revealing a pale woman with long violet hair wearing a body-hugging black gown. The woman floated to Katherine, and smiled coldly at the young ranger.

"Who are you?" asked Katherine, instinctively stepping back and raising her arms in defense.

"I am the Nightmare Queen, and you a prisoner of my illusions."

"Excuse me?" asked Kat.

"Your low self-esteem is an open door to my telepathic manipulations. The nightmares you have experienced show very clearly that your worst fear is rejection. You couldn't stand being rejected by your teammates. Now you are on the Dreamscape, where I reign supreme. Whatever you dream will become deadly reality, and with your shaken confidence, you can never prevail!"

"That's why I couldn't morph when the Putties attacked me," whispered Kat with realization, "It wasn't Rita, it was me all along."

"Exactly! You began to doubt your right to be a Terran Power Ranger. You feel inadequate, especially when you compare yourself to Kimberly."

Kat's eyes stung as she thought about what the Nightmare Queen was saying. "So," she declared angrily, "you violated my subconscious to attack me?! Zedd and Rita have reached a new low with this one!"

"Actually," chuckled the Nightmare Queen, "its your confidence that has reached a new low! I can now use your low self esteem and bitter feelings toward the Yellow Ranger to create Envy!"

Out of the purple mists stepped out Envy, the newest nemesis created for evil. Her skin was pale green, and she wore a sleek forest green bodysuit with spiked heels. Her green eyes twinkled and her long deep green ponytail whipped in the wind.

"Envy is powered by your jealousy of the abilities and qualities of your teammates," said the Nightmare Queen, "and without your Morphin powers, you can't hope to win!"

Meanwhile, the Green, White, Red, and Yellow Terran Rangers battle the dozens of Viper Putties that had crashed the Crystal County Track Meet.

"We keep destroying these things," panted Zack, piercing a Putty with his lance while dodging its fist, "and more keep coming!"

"At least all the people cleared out," said Kim, delivering a mighty split kick to down two other Putties.

"I wonder why Zedd attacked the meet," said Adam, whip-kicking two Putties with one move.

"It must be part of a bigger plan," said Tommy, lashing out with a series of tornado kicks, "We have to be ready for anything!"

A little later, the last Viper Putty was destroyed by a beam of white light from Zack's Lance of Light. The four heroes immediately stopped to catch their breath, leaning either on the bleachers or their weapons. Suddenly, the soft azure of the sky was replaced with a burning wall of fire. The rangers looked up at the flaming sky in horror.

"My God!" cried Adam, "The sky!"

"What's happening?!" cried Kimberly. She would soon get her answer.

In the Central Access Complex, Billy is busy making adjustments to one of his machines while Jason watches Billy impatiently.

"What can I do to help?" he asked, "I can't just stand here!"

"Here," said Billy, tossing Jason a helmet, "Put this on."

Jason studied the silver metallic helmet, and put it over his head, raising the opaque visor. "Now what?"

"Have a seat," said Billy, pointing to a chair beside Katherine's cot. Jason obeyed and watched as Billy attached three wires protruding from the machine he was working on to a metal crescent. He then placed the crescent on Katherine's forehead, and turned it on. The lights on the crescent began to glow red, and then Billy connected three identical wires to Jason's helmet.

"When I activate this machine," said Billy, "you will find yourself in Katherine's mind. This machine is a virtual reality similator, and by connecting you to her mind, you will appear in her dream. Katherine is in REM sleep, so she is dreaming. The only way we can communicate with her is through this machine. You must access the situation and see if you can help Katherine break the spell she's under."

"How are you so sure she's under a spell?"

"I've been monitoring her for over an hour, and she hasn't left REM sleep yet. Normally, when we sleep, we drop in and out of REM sleep, and the REM periods only last from five to perhaps fifteen minutes each. But Katherine's sleep isn't fluctuating between REM and Stage Four sleep. This isn't natural, so I surmise that Zedd and Rita have cast a spell on her, maintaining her in REM sleep."

"But why?"

"Kat is experiencing a nightmare. I can't discern anymore from the information I have, but I hypothesize that Rita and Zedd are tormenting her in her sleep. Her only means of escape is to wake up, and to do that she had to conquer whatever torture Zedd and Rita have designed in her dream."

"But, can they really torture her in her sleep?" asked Jason, "I mean, they can't hurt her, can they?"

"No, but psychological torture is just as effective as physical torture, if not moreso. She hasn't shaken the effects of the venom yet, so I conclude she's losing this battle of wills. She needs some help, and that's why I'm sending you in."

"Then let's go," said Jason, bracing himself against the back of his chair, "The other's need our help!"

Billy nodded and activated the machine. All the lights that were glowing red before where now glowing green, and Jason was sent by means of virtual reality into the depths of Katherine Hillard's mind.

In the shady mists of the Dreamscape, Katherine Hillard lies motionless on the cold ground. She had cuts along the length of her entire body, the most serious one cutting deeply into the flesh of her thigh. Her clothes were torn and stained with sweat and blood, and her emotionless expression gave away the utter despair that clouded her mind. After what seemed like an endless battle against Envy, Kat learned that her grace and agility, honed by her ballet and diving, are no match to Envy's sharp claws and swift kicks. Envy cut Katherine deeply, both body and soul.

"You know, Kat," mocked Envy, standing over Kat, who was fighting to stay conscious, "I was expecting a little more of a challenge. But, I guess you are just too weak to fight without the other Power Rangers to back you up."

"Stop talking and finish it," muttered Katherine. It was obvious to Envy that Kat had given up. Envy smiled.

"But whyever would I stop? This mental torture is all the fun! I'm enjoying watching your pitiful display of martial arts, and witnessing your downfall. Its about time you faced the fact that you are nothing but a liability to the team! Zordon should have summoned Trini to be the Blue Ranger, or perhaps Aisha! At least they can fight! You just manage to get yourself in trouble, and that's all! No one loves you, Kat! You should just go home to Australia, where people cared about you."

Envy laughed hysterically at Kat, whose head was bowed down in defeat. Tears filled her eyes, and she just let them fall, not bothering to try to hide them. Envy calmed down and extended her claws even longer than before. Now they were a foot long, and razor sharp. Kat looked at Envy's monstrous claws in horror. Envy shrugged.

"What can I say? I guess Envy cuts as deeply as you let it, Kat! Its been nice knowing you!"

Envy dove at Katherine, aiming to pierce Kat's heart with her claws. But before she managed to make contact, Kat rolled out of Envy's path, and painfully rose to her feet and put her arms up in defense. Envy just looked at her prey, surprised.

"Well, I guess I haven't completely broken your spirit. Yet. But since there is no way you can defeat me, your little attempt at self preservation was a waste!"

"I'm not going to let you win," said Kat quietly. Envy started to laugh again, throwing back her long green hair.

"You don't sound too convinced, little girl."

Suddenly, the dark mist parted in the center, and a bright flash of white light heralded the arrival of Jason Scott. Or rather, a virtual reality image of him.

"Jason?" asked Kat in shock, "Is that you? Where are we?"

"Kat," said Jason, "This isn't real. None of this is! You are only dreaming, and Zedd's trying to destroy your self-esteem! This is YOUR mind, Kat, and you can do anything here! Zedd's attacking Angel Grove, and we can't stop it without the Blue Ranger! We need you--"

Before Jason could finish his sentence, a green bolt of energy pulsed through his virtual frame. Jason screamed in agony, since all his senses were connected to the virtual unit, and he could feel the hot energy slice through his back. Jason's image collapsed and faded away, leaving Katherine to stare at the spot he was standing on in mute horror. She then looked up at Envy, who was blowing smoke off from her index finger. Envy then turned to Kat and grinned widely.

"Enough pep talks, Katherine," she said, walking closer to the stunned Kat, "I've destroyed your friend, and now, once again, you must face me alone."

"That's it!" cried Katherine, enraged, "I've had enough of your sick mind games! I was chosen by Zordon, and by fate, to be the Blue Terran Ranger. I admit, I've always felt a little awkward when I replaced Kimberly as the Pink Ranger. I felt like I had to compete with a ghost, with everyone's memory of her. She was well loved, and I knew I couldn't equal her. Well, fine, I've learned to accept that I could never replace Kim. Not because she's better than me, but because she's different than me! I can never be as energetic or as bubbly as she is, and there is no reason for me to try! I am not Kimberly, I'm Katherine, and now, I'm no longer a replacement! I AM the Blue Ranger, and I'll show you what kind of a fighter I can be! TERRA WATER POWER!!"

This time, Katherine's anger and frustration managed to conquer her fear and insecurities, and her Zeo crystal shard, embedded in her heart, obeyed her call for power. A wash of bright blue light crashed into Katherine's body like a wave, and when the light faded, the Blue Ranger stood ready for action. Kat raised her gloved hands to the sky, and her two Water Daggers appeared in her palms. She stood ready to strike, with both daggers pointing menacingly at Envy.

"If you've hurt Jason, I'll--"

"You'll what?" asked Envy, beginning to grow impatient, "You still cannot match me, Power Ranger or not! You've never had to face a monster without help, and I doubt you could!"

"We're about to find out!" said Kat, diving at Envy and releasing her rage through her daggers. Envy was shocked by Katherine's anger, since Kat is usually calm. But Kat had had enough of manipulation, and Jason's last words rung in her ears-- Zedd's attacking Angel Grove, and we can't stop it without the Blue Ranger! We need you...

I'm on my way, guys, said Katherine to herself, blocking Envy's claws with her daggers. Kat then lifted her blade high, and swung down at Envy's hand, slicing the foot long claws down to about an inch in length. While Envy shrieked angrily at the loss of her primary weapon, Kat immediately sliced off the claws on the other hand. Envy fell back, staring at her hands in mute shock.

" should not have been able to do that."

"Why not?" said Kat, grinning beneath her aqua and gold helmet, "After all, this is my mind! I can do anything here, and so I shall! Now that Envy has lost her sting, we'll see how strong she really is."

"We'll see about that!" said Envy, diving backwards and hiding in the dense fog. Katherine chuckled to herself, and raised her left dagger to the air. Immediately, all the fog began to float towards the dagger, and soon all the fog on the Dreamscape was circling the dagger, and it all vanished in a single flash of blue light. Envy, who was no longer under the cover of the dense fog, looked up at Katherine from the ground.

"I thought you knew better, Envy," said Kat, "As the Blue Terran Ranger, I am the mistress of water. That includes water vapor, and that is what fog is, for the most part."

Envy growled and stood up weakly. Katherine's surge of self-esteem has depleted Envy's strength, and she knew there was no way she could avoid defeat. Kat held out both her daggers at Envy. The silver metal of the blades glowed, and became shards of clear ice. The ice of the daggers stretched, and swiftly cut through Envy's chest on each side. Envy screamed in pain, and then melted into a cloud of green gas. Katherine sheathed her Water Daggers.

"I've always believed that revenge is a dish best served cold," she muttered to herself, watching the cloud of gas fade away slowly, "And I doubt a colder dish has ever been served."

In the Central Access Center, Jason wakes up and finds himself lying on a cot next to Katherine's. He looks around, and sees Billy busily reading some computer printout at his desk.

"Billy," said Jason weakly, sitting up on the cot, "What happened?"

Billy sighed with relief and walked over to Jason, scanning his head with a small device that greatly resembled a calculator.

"While you were in Katherine's mind, you virtual image was injured severely. Although no damage was done to your physical body, all your senses were attached to the image. In short, you felt the pain of being sliced in half by a laser beam, and you lost consciousness."

"How long was I out?"

"About ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Katherine has yet to regain consciousness. What did you see while you were in her mind?"

"Kat was fighting this green woman who called herself Envy. Kat looked like she was losing the fight, so I tried to encourage her, and let her know that this was all in her mind. I don't know if I did any good, because Envy sliced me in the back before I could finish."

"Well, I think you managed to get through to her. Her life signs have been improving, and her sleep seems to be less disturbed. Right now, I'm more worried about the other rangers."

"What's happening up there?" asked Jason, hopping off the cot and running to the Viewing Globe. He gasped when he saw a figure of a man, completely black, and flying through the air, surrounded by a red flame. This new creature was battling the Yellow, Red, White, and Green Rangers, and from the looks of the ruined stadium, the monster was winning.

"He has called himself Hyperion," explained Billy, "and he is a monster in control of fire. Apparently, Zedd took advantage of Katherine's present state by creating a monster that her particular powers would be most effective against. She may be our only hope."

Before Jason could agree, a soft moan from Katherine cut him off. Both young men hurried to Kat's bedside, and Jason helped her sit up. She held her forehead, and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

"What's going on?" she asked softly.

"The rest of the team is fighting a fire creature named Hyperion," explained Billy, "Are you ready to go to battle? How do you feel?"

"A little tired," she admitted, standing up, "But I'll get over it. Where are they?"

"At the track field at school," said Jason, "Zedd attacked the track meet with Viper Putties, and then he sent a new monster."

"I'm ready," said Kat, standing beside Jason. Both she and Jason threw out their fists.

"It's Morphin Time!" cried Katherine, "TERRA WATER POWER!!"

"TERRA EARTH POWER!!" cried Jason. The two heroes stepped out of the bright light, clad as the Blue and Black Terran Power Rangers. They immediately teleported to the track, leaving Billy alone in the Central Access Complex. Billy walked over to his desk, and continued to examine the computer printout he was reading before Jason woke up.

"Yes," he said to himself, "I think the Terra Zords are ready for combat. I just hope this battle doesn't escalate any further."

Part Three

The track field of Angel Grove High School is in flames. Only a short time ago, crowds of students and faculty, as well as spectators from around the county, came to this very field to enjoy the most competitive track meet of the year, the Crystal County Track Meet. However, the occasion was spoiled when Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa launched an attack against the good people of Angel Grove by first sending dozens of poisonous Viper Putties. After the Terran Power Rangers had defeated the Putty Patrol, a new, far more deadly terror struck--Hyperion. Hyperion is Zedd and Rita's newest monstrous creation--a monster with the basic form of a man, but his body is completely immersed in dark flames. Since the Blue Terran Ranger, Katherine Hillard, is at the moment out of commission, they decided to take advantage of the lack of the Water ranger by creating a monster of Fire. So, the Red, Yellow, White, and Green Rangers do their best to keep the damage to a minimum, and to prevent Hyperion from injuring anyone until the two other rangers arrive. So far, the battle has been fierce, but from the appearance of the charred grass and melted metal bleachers of the track field, one can easily see that the Terran Rangers are barely holding their own.

"Guys!" shrieked Kimberly, "We gotta do something!"

"What can we do?" asked Zack, pointing his Light Lance to Hyperion, "Our powers don't seem to be doing any damage!"

The prism at the end of the lance began to glow, and a beam of pearly white energy shot at Hyperion. The blast knocked Hyperion down hard, but Hyperion merely shook off the blast and floated into the sky. He then threw a blazing fireball at the White Ranger. Zack managed to move out of the way before the fireball made contact, causing the ball to crash into the track itself, melting the asphalt.

"Wow," said Zack, staring down at the liquid tar, "We are in MAJOR trouble here."

"You okay, Zack?" asked Adam, running over to his friend.

"Yeah, I'm good. But we really need a plan or something."

A whistling sound attracted the two boys' attention, and they turned around to see Hyperion spinning lengthwise about ten feet off the ground. All four of the rangers watched as he began spinning faster and faster.

"What's he doing?" asked Kimberly. Tommy immediately ran to her.

"Kim, guys, get down!" he ordered, "NOW!!"

The Yellow, Green, and White Rangers fell onto their stomachs seconds before a shower of red-hot fireballs flew from Hyperion, who was still spinning lengthwise. Tommy remained standing, blocking as many fireballs with his Flame Sabre.

"Take cover!" he yelled, "I'll watch your backs!"

"What about you?" asked Kim frantically.

"Fire can't hurt me!" he answered, "Now go!"

The three other rangers all immediately sprung to their feet and ran to take cover in the bleachers. Tommy dropped his sword and let himself get hit repeatedly by fireballs. Kim shrieked as he was thrown into the bleachers on the other side of the track. Tommy weakly stood up on his feet, his entire body glowing with a reddish-orange aura.

"Its time to fight fire with fire!" he declared, bringing his palms together. He channeled the flame energy he had absorbed, and created a massive fireball, about the size of a globe. He then threw the ball at Hyperion, knocking the flaming creature out of the sky and into the burnt grass below him. The three other rangers hurried over to stand beside the Red Ranger.

"You did it!" said Adam, slapping Tommy on his back, "Great job!"

Just then, the Blue and Black Terran Rangers teleported to the top of the bleachers. They hurried down to the track to meet the others.

"What's going on?" asked Katherine.

"You just in time to help us end this whole mess," said Zack, "Are you okay, Kat?"

"I'm a bit tired, but otherwise I'm alright."

"Let's finish this guy off then," said Jason, "We need the Terra Tempest!"

The six rangers summoned their Terra Weapons--the Lightning Bow, Earth Sword, Light Lance, Flame Sabre, Ice Daggers, and Wind Shield--and prepared to assemble their combined weapon. However, just before they could initiate the combination, a small silver sphere floated down to Earth and landed beside the semi-conscious Hyperion. Hyperion picked up the sphere, with an evil twinkle in his red eyes, and detonated it. In a flash, Hyperion was now a towering monster, looking down at the now trivial Terran Rangers. The rangers stood back and looked up at the giant menace.

"This is really bad," said Zack quietly.

Suddenly, Tommy's communicator beeped.

"Go ahead, Billy," he said into his wrist.

^Tommy,^ said Billy's voice through the communicator, ^I'm watching the fight on the Viewing Globe! Apparently Lord Zedd has decided to escalate the battle rather than watch his monster be destroyed by the Terra Tempest! According to my data readouts, Hyperion is back to full strength!^

"What do we do?" asked Jason, "Do we have Zords yet?"

^I'm glad you asked. Fortunately, I have just completed primary testing of the Terrazords. Before Zordon and Alpha left, they left behind schematics for six Terrazords, along with the technology to create them. Each zord is activated by the voice of its owner. You must activate your voiceprint scanners and cite your name, color, and element. Tommy will pilot the Phoenix, Jason will drive the Rhinoceros, Kimberly will fly the Thunderbird, Adam will steer the Hawk, Zack will control the Cheetah, and Kat will operate the Alligator. The Phoenix and Thunderbird provide the raw energy, the Alligator and Rhinoceros provide strength and durability, and the Cheetah and Hawk possess speed and agility. Combine the six sub-zords to create the Mega-Terrazord. Good luck!^

"Thanks, Billy," said Kimberly into her wrist. Tommy turned towards the others and nodded. The entire team turned to face the gargantuan Hyperion.

"We summon the Terrazords!" cried the six Terran Rangers in unison.

"Black Rhinoceros...Activate!" bellowed Jason.

"White Cheetah...Activate!" hollered Zack.

"Yellow Thunderbird...Activate!" cried Kimberly.

"Green Hawk...Activate!" yelled Adam.

"Blue Rhinoceros...Activate!" cried Katherine.

"Red Phoenix...Activate!" yelled Tommy.

The rangers watched as the ground parted, allowing the huge and powerful Rhinoceros climb out of the dirt. The zord was silver and black, with metallic legs and sharp silver horns. Then, a beam of light fell from the sky, forming the shape of the Cheetah. The Cheetah was mostly white, but the body was gold with black spots. The fangs shimmered gold, and the eyes were glowing red. A flash of lightning struck in the heavens, forming the Thunderbird high in the sky. The Thunderbird was yellow and gold, with silver lightning bolts decorating the wings. The winds picked up, forming a glowing green cyclone. At the top of the funnel was the graceful Hawk, with forest green frame, silver feathers and claws, and a shiny silver beak. A wave of blue energy appeared from nowhere, resembling rippling water. Out of the energy puddle climbed the Alligator zord, a massive and sturdy machine with blue frame, silver teeth and legs, and a huge blue tail with sharp silver scales. Finally, a fireball formed in the sky, taking the shape of the Phoenix. The Phoenix was all shades of gold and red, and the golden wings appeared to be on fire. The rangers silently admired their new arsenal.

"Amazing," whispered Kimberly.

"Man," said Zack, "they're totally awesome!"

"Let's get going!" said Tommy, touching his belt buckle. He vanished in a flash of red light, and reappeared in the cockpit of the Phoenix. The other five rangers followed suit. Tommy activated the ship to ship communication.

"Okay, team," he said, "Billy said to activate the voice scanners to operate the weapons and engines. Tommy Oliver--Red Ranger--Fire! Phoenix on-line!"

"Jason Lee--Black Ranger--Earth! Rhinoceros on-line!"

"Kimberly Hart--Yellow Ranger--Lightning! Thunderbird on-line!"

"Zachary Taylor--White Ranger--Light! Cheetah on-line!"

"Katherine Hillard--Blue Ranger--Water! Alligator on-line!"

"Adam Park--Green Ranger--Wind! Hawk on-line!"

Immediately, the controls came to life in the Terrazords, and the teens started testing them out for size.

"Wa-hoo!" cried Zack, "Let's rock 'n roll!"

"These zords are great!" added Jason.

"Don't forget, we're in the middle of a fight here, guys!" said Adam.

"Then let's do it!" said Tommy.

"Do you have a plan, Tommy?" asked Kimberly.

"Sort of. First, Kat goes in for the first strike. Kim, you cover her from above."

"I'm on it!" said Katherine, steering the Alligator into Hyperion's path of destruction, "Let's see what this 'Deep Freeze Cannon' can do!"

Katherine fired the Deep Freeze Cannon at Hyperion, which is a broad and powerful beam of liquid oxygen that fires from the mouth of the Alligator Terrazord. The liquid oxygen freezes anything it touches, in this case Hyperion's right arm. Hyperion's expression was a silent cry of pain as he grabbed his frozen arm.

"His arm is frozen solid!" said Zack.

"Yeah," said Adam, "but the ice is already subliming! It won't hold him for long."

"Kat," said Kimberly, steering the Thunderbird high into the clouds, "Coat his entire body in the liquid oxygen! It should give me enough time to try something."

"You got it, Kimberly," said Katherine, using her cannon to completely coat Hyperion with the freezing substance, "He's a popsicle, Kim. Now what?"

"Now's he's frozen solid, it should take him a while to get free. Hopefully, that'll be enough time for me to charge up the Thunderbird's weapons to full capacity. Activating Lightning Rod!"

As the Thunderbird soared in the clouds above Angel Grove, a long, narrow iron beam extended from the forehead of the zord. The Lightning Rod began to absorb the electricity in the atmosphere, storing the energy in the backup battery of the zord. Once the rod absorbed the zord's limit of electricity, the Yellow Ranger steered the elegant zord back down to the fight scene. The other zords all surrounded the still frozen Hyperion, but the ice was nearly completely evaporated.

"Now that I have enough power...Activating Thundernet!"

The tip of the Lightning Rod began to glow with electricity, and it formed a web of lightning bolts, completely surrounding Hyperion. Once Kim finished spinning the electrical web, the Thundernet collapsed all at once, sending a massive amount of electrical power through the remaining ice and into Hyperion's body. Then, Hyperion managed to break out of the ice, and collapsed to the ground. He silently shook his head, and then drove his fist into the ground. The earth began to quake, and a stream of molten lava poured out of the whole. Hyperion directed the lava flow at the Alligator Zord, which was too massive to move out of the way.

"Guys!" shrieked Katherine, "The lava is cooling on top of me! I'm stuck inside an igneous rock!"

"Hang on, Kat!" said Jason, bringing his Rhinoceros Zord to the Alligator's side, "My Seismic Vibrator will shake that rock into dust!"

While Jason carefully chipped at the igneous rock encasing the Alligator, Hyperion struggled to get to his feet.

"He's up, guys!" yelled Tommy.

"Not for long!" cried Zack, "Activating Warp Shield!"

The Warp Shield allows the Cheetah Terrazord to move at speeds approaching the speed of light. Zack circled Hyperion at light speed, entrapping the monster behind a wall of energy as he moved. Hyperion madly swatted at the Cheetah, but the zord was too fast to be hit. Finally, Hyperion floated above the shield, and began to spin around. He then released a spray of massive fireballs, a few of which managed to strike the Cheetah harshly, knocking it on its side.

"C'mon, Adam," said Tommy, "Its our turn!"

"What do we do?"

"We have to stall, to give Jason enough time to free Katherine. We need the Megazord to finish this guy off!"

"Sounds like a plan. Let's see what these Wind Missiles are."

From the broad wings of the Hawk flew a dozen silver feathers, each streaking to Hyperion at once. The feathers penetrated Hyperion's black skin, causing Hyperion to turn around and form a massive fireball. He threw the fireball at the Hawk, who managed to dodge the ball easily. However, the fireball turns around, and pursued the Hawk as it flew across the sky.

"This is not good!" yelled Adam, "Its like a heat-seeking missile!"

"Keep flying, Adam," said Tommy, "Let's see what happens when the Phoenix gets in the way! Activating Hyperflame Shield!"

As the Hyperflame Shield was initiated, the hull of the Phoenix Terrazord began to glow with red flames. Then, Tommy steered the Phoenix into the path of the fireball, which was right behind the Hawk. Upon collision, the red flames of the Hyperflame Shield absorbed the fireball, and diverted that energy into the Phoenix for later use. Once the Phoenix was out of the way, the Thunderbird wove another Thundernet, surrounding Hyperion, but not collapsing into him. The Thundernet kept Hyperion trapped while the Rhinoceros finished destroying the last bits of rock encasing the Alligator.

"Tommy," said Jason, "Kat's free and ready to rumble."

"Great," said Tommy, "Okay Power Rangers, prepare of Mega Terrazord transformation, now!"

The six zords flew into position: the Phoenix hovered high in the sky, with the Hawk on his right and the Thunderbird on his left. Directly below the Phoenix was the Cheetah, with the Alligator on his left and the Rhinoceros on his right. All at once, the Terran Power Rangers touched their right hands to a glowing panel on their control consoles, each with the images of their element etched in the center.

"First, transform the legs," commanded Tommy.

"Right leg ready," said Jason once the Rhinoceros was shaped into a leg and foot. "Left leg ready," said Katherine.

"Okay, " continued Tommy, "the body?"

"Body complete," said Zack when the Cheetah was in place, connected to the two legs.

"Arms?" said Tommy.

"Right arm, ready," said Adam.

"Left arm, ready," said Kimberly.

"Great! Now, I'll form the head," said Tommy, steering the Phoenix in place on the Megazord's shoulders. Once the head was in place, all six rangers teleported to the bridge of the Megazord, which was inside the Phoenix. There were six work stations, set up as three stations on each of two rows. On the top row sat the White, Green, and Blue Rangers, and on the bottom row sat the Yellow, Red, and Black Rangers. The Mega Terrazord stood at the height of the tallest skyscrapers in Angel Grove, easily towering over the track field and stadium of Angel Grove High. But, Hyperion was not impressed, and he silently brought his hands together to create another fireball. However, this fireball wasn't like the red ones. This one was white hot, and as large as the torso of the Megazord. The rangers madly scanned the fireball while Hyperion created it.

"That thing is a condensed version of the heat found at the heart of a supernova!" said Adam, "It'll torch all of Angel Grove, and the surrounding towns!"

"Billy," said Tommy into the communicator, "can the Megazord take that kind of heat?"

^No, but the Hyperflame Shield can absorb the majority of it,^ answered Billy, ^The Megazord has all the elemental attacks of the individual Terra Zords, but at a much grander scale. The Megazord can absorb ten times as much heat as the Phoenix can, so long as the Hyperflame is on.^

"Okay! Activating Hyperflame Shield!"

The Hyperflame Shield was in place just as Hyperion threw his massive fireball at the zord. The shield managed to absorb the brunt of the energy, but it was too much raw energy to absorb it all.

"Guys!" yelled Zack, "That blast was too much energy for the shield to absorb! The Hyperflame's shorted out! We can't take another hit like that!"

"And Hyperion can't deliver another hit like that," said Katherine, "According to these readouts, that Supernova attack took up much of Hyperion's stored energy!"

"Okay, we need the Terra Megasword!" ordered Tommy.

"Coming up," said Adam, typing in the sequence to create a massive golden katana blade in the right hand of the Megazord, "Which element shall I program it to use?"

"Ice," suggested Katherine, "and I'll try to convert the heat energy absorbed by the Hyperflame into cold energy."

"In the meantime," said Kimberly, "I'll keep Hyperion busy. Firing Mega Thunderbolt!"

From the yellow arm of the Megazord, a mass of electricity was channeled into the hand. Then, one massive bolt of lightning shot from the open palm of the Megazord, striking Hyperion directly in the chest. Hyperion was thrown back harshly, landing on the scorched earth below.

"Iceblade's ready," said Adam.

"Then let's finish this!" said Tommy.

The Megazord raised its right arm into the sky, and the silver blade began to glow with a light blue energy. It then sent the sword down in a powerful slash, slicing through Hyperion's shoulder and cutting diagonally through his body, coming out his side. The monster then shattered into a billion small pieces, leaving the Megazord standing upon the destroyed remains of the track field.

"Amazing," said Kimberly quietly, "Without his stored energy, Hyperion was just an empty shell."

"Yeah," said Jason, "and now, he's a broken shell."

The following evening, hundreds of high school students from around Crystal County enjoyed the elegant Crystal Ball in the Marriot's ballroom in Angel Grove. The students danced to a live band, enjoyed food and drinks at the large refreshment table, and sat and conversed at the tables along the walls. Katherine Hillard wandered around the ballroom aimlessly, fiddling with the cuff of her long sleeved, black gown with pink embroidered flowers. She searches for a familiar face among the countless students, and finally finds Jason Lee standing at the refreshment table, pouring glasses of punch.

"Hey, Jason," said Kat, examining Jason's black tuxedo, "You look great."

"You look fantastic, Kat," said Jason with a smile, "What's up?"

"Well, I was looking for the guys. Where is everyone?"

"Adam and Zack were helping me out, but they're dancing now."

"Really?" asked Kat with surprise, "Adam actually built enough courage to ask a girl to dance? Who?"

"Actually, Tanya walked right up to him and asked him to dance! He seemed a little embarrassed, but he accepted."

Kat turns around and searches the dance floor for Adam and Tanya. She finds them swaying gracefully to the music, both grinning widely. Kat smiles when she notices how well they matched--Tanya's flowing, floor-length sleeveless black gown with forest green collar and hem were a perfect match with Adam's black tuxedo and forest green vest and bow tie.

"They make a cute couple," said Katherine quietly, "Have you seen Billy?"

"Uh, he arrived with Laura about ten minutes ago. I haven't seen them since."

Just then, Rocky strolled over to the refreshment table and smiled at his friends.

"Hey you two," he said, "Having fun?"

"I just got here," said Katherine, "Who're you here with?"

"Jennifer," he answered, gesturing towards a tall brunette in a scarlet gown, "She wanted some punch."

"Coming right up," said Jason, pouring a glass of pink punch into a plastic cup, "You want one too?"

"Sure," said Rocky. He then leaned over, coming closer to Kat and Jason. "So," he whispered, "how'd the fight go?"

"Hyperion destroyed the track field," whispered Jason while pouring, "but the damage is reparable. In about two weeks, the track will be good as new, and the bleachers will be renovated as well."

"Good," said Rocky, taking the two glasses, "I'll see ya later!"

Jason and Kat waved as Rocky made his way to his girlfriend. Then, Katherine glanced at the large wall clock above the stage.

"Wow," she said, "its nearly midnight. Its time for the team to receive the trophy, right?"

"Right. I think Kim was voted to present the trophy, since she was in charge of organizing this ball."

As the clock struck twelve, the music slowly faded out, and the room fell silent as a young woman in an flattering, body hugging pale yellow gown stepped out from behind the parted navy blue curtains. As she approached the microphone, the crowd began to applaud. Kim smiled and waved at everyone.

"Hello, everyone. I'm hoping you're having fun at the 1996 Crystal Ball. We've really put alot of work into this occasion."

Her statement was followed by thunderous applause. Kim giggled at the unanimous response.

"Well, I see all our efforts have been worthwhile. Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, its midnight! I'm sure you all saw the track meet, either live or on television, and so you know that it was a close competition all the way through. The Crystal County Track Meet has been this area's most honored tradition for twenty-five years, and on this anniversary, I'm proud to say that Angel Grove has the honor of being the Crystal County champions for its seventh time in a quarter of a decade!"

The room was once again filled with applause, most of which was from Angel Grove High students.

"And now, I'd like to invite the team captain of Angel Grove High to accept the trophy. Let's hear it for Zack Taylor!"

The crowd roared as Zack Taylor skipped up the stairs joyfully, the pale light shining off his white tuxedo. He did a little victory dance, and bowed at the audience. The spotlight fell on the tall, silver trophy standing on a platform in the center of the stage. Kim kissed Zack on the cheek and handed him the trophy. Zack lifted the trophy high in the air proudly. He then carried the trophy down from the stage and put it on the podium in the center of the dance floor, which was now empty. Once the crowd had calmed down, Kimberly cleared her throat on the microphone.

"Okay, everyone, its time for the victory dance! Will the athletes of Angel Grove's Track Team and their dates please take the dance floor? Tonight's final dance will be 'Reach' by Gloria Estefan, which symbolizes all the work and determination placed into a sport, and the joy awarded to the ones who achieve victory."

Once the music started, the handful of couples swayed to the music. Kimberly descended the stairs and met with her date, Tommy. Also on the stage was Zack and Angela, and Adam and Tanya. On the side of the dance floor, Jason, Katherine, Rocky, Jennifer, Billy and Laura watch their friends on the dance floor.

"A perfect end to a not-so-perfect event," said Billy. "Yes," agreed Laura, "if the Power Rangers hadn't shown up at the track meet, hundreds of people could've been killed."

"Well, the Power Rangers have a habit of always being where they're needed," said Rocky, "No matter what the crisis, or when it happens, we can all count on the Power Rangers to fight for us."

The End