Author's Notes: Fair warning. This story is rated PG-13 for language, and sexual situations. In this timeline, T:APRM does not happen. This is the fifth story in my Ranger of Light series, after Kidnapped.. Please read it first before you read this, or you will be totally lost. If you like this, please let me know. This has been become my baby.
Kimberly Hart made her way down the hall of the dorm, to her room. She'd finished practice a little while ago, and had basically ran to the showers before all of the hot water had been used up. She remembered her first week at Coach Schmidt's gymnastics training center. She'd been gracious enough to let most of the other girls take their turns in the showers first, only to be rewarded for her kindness with a cold shower. She'd learned quickly, and had been able to have a nice hot shower ever since.
Moving down the hall, she pulled her pink terry cloth robe tightly around her, as she continued to rub the water from her long chestnut hair. From three doors away from her room, she could hear the blaring of the TV. Immediately, she knew that her roommate had finally made it back from practice.
"I swear, Denise, I'd think you were deaf, if I didn't know any better." Kim mumbled good naturally.
Reaching the door, Kim entered the room; the sound of the TV even louder than before, if that were possible. Kim closed the door, smiling as she located Denise lounging on her bed, head phones placed firmly over her ears. Kim quickly searched the room for the TV remote. Giving up the hunt, Kim moved to the TV set at the foot of Denise's bed. Finding the volume switch, Kim turned it down.
"Kim? What are you doing? I was listening to that."
"So was the whole dorm. Besides, how could you have been listening to the TV and your CD player at the same time?" Kim chuckled, as she moved to her own bed.
"I only listen to the CD player during the commercials." Denise smiled back.
"Remind me to set you up with a friend of mine, sometime. I think the two of you would get along great." Kim added, dragging a comb through her now, dry hair.
"Oh? And who's this friend? Is it that Billy guy you're always e-mailing or talking to on the phone?" Denise winked.
Kim smiled. "No. It's not Billy." At the look of disappointment on Denise's face, Kim nearly broke out laughing. "His name is Rocky, and you two are very much alike."
"Cool." Kim watched as Denise picked up the missing remote, that had been sitting next to her on the bed, and started flipping though the channels. "Uh...Kim? Where was it that you came from?"
"Angel Grove, California. Why?"
"I can see why you left. Seems like some really strange things have been going on there." Kim leapt off of her bed. Crossing the room, she flounced down next to her roommate. "Sheesh, Kim. Why don't you just sit on me? Here, take the remote. I've got to get to the library and get some studding done."
"Sure." Kim responded, never noticing as Denise got up and left the room.
Looking at the remote in her hand, Kim located the volume button and turned up the sound. When she looked back up at the screen, she gasped in surprise. A familiar face came up beside the news caster.
"William James Cranston became the seventh male under the age of 20, to disappear following an attack on Angel Grove. Six previous young men, have disappeared after other attacks. None have been found. So far, only one female has disappeared in the same fashion; Christie Harlan, of Angel Grove. As of this time, she has not been found.
"Police are looking for this woman; Ahzza Trueheart, age 19, and a male accomplice, who is described as being 6'2, 200 lbs; well built, with white hair and dark eyes. He is approximately between the ages of 25-30.
"These two were last seen with William Cranston at the time of his disappearance. The police would like to question them regarding the disappearances.
"If you or anyone you know sees these two, or know of their whereabouts, you are encouraged to contact the Angel Grove Police Department at this number, immediately.
"We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast."
"No! Billy..." Kim let the remote slip from her numb fingers, to clatter to the floor; the back falling open, the batteries slipping out to roll across the floor.
This couldn't be true. There had to be some mistake. She was suppose to fly to Angel Grove next week to visit.
"I have to go home, now." Kim shot up off of Denise's bed. Dressing quickly, Kim began to pack her bags. A brief knock at the door, stopped her frantic pace. She moved to the door, opening it to see Jason Scoot standing in the hall. Glancing up and down the hall, she quickly pulled him into the room and closed the door. Men weren't allowed in the dorms.
"You heard?" Kim asked. She was glad that he had been visiting family, and was staying close by. She missed all of her friends, and it had been comforting to see at least on of them again.
When Jason had first shown up in Miami, Kim had been surprised to see him. Billy had told her about Jason loosing the Gold Ranger powers, and how they were weakening his body. And that he had finally been able to return the powers to their rightful owner. But, it had left a large hole in his life. He had stayed in Angel Grove for a while; opening a Dojo with Tommy. But, there had been too many ghosts. So, he'd taken his cousins offer of a place to stay for a while. A nice beach house. It had been good to see Jason back then, and it comforted her now.
"I take it you've heard the news as well."
"I did. Are you going to come back with me? I'm leaving as soon as I can." Kim stated, as she continued packing.
"What about Coach Schmidt? Shouldn't you at least tell him that you're leaving?"
"Oh my gosh! I forgot about Coach. Stay in here and don't answer the door. If Denise comes back, she won't tell. I've got too much stuff to blackmail her with, for her to squeal on me. As for anyone else, they'll knock first." Kim had a wild look in her eyes, as she stood between Jason and the door.
"I'll be okay. As soon as you talk to your Coach, we'll catch the first plane back to Angel Grove." Jason took her shoulders in his hands, and made sure that she understood what he'd just told her.
Looking up at him, Kim smiled weakly, "Deal." Jason let go, and watched as she slipped from the room out into the hall, leaving him alone in her dorm room; Jeopardy blaring from the TV behind him. 'I'll take American Tragedies for 300, Alex.'
Sam Trueheart entered his lodge, after a long, refreshing walk, to be greeted with the sounds of angry voices. One voice he recognized, but the other...
"What about my family? I'm afraid for them." Came Ahzza's voice from inside the small bedroom. Sam made his way to the door, stopping with his hand resting on the aged wood, ready to push the door open.
"I will be able to keep an eye on your family. But, you have to remember. Sedra is most interested in you right now."
"And that's what's scaring me. She could use my family to find out where I'm hiding."
"That's why it's important that they don't know where we're going." Zarian replied, as he watched Ahzza gather the things she'd need during her time in hiding.
"I know. I'm also worried about Billy and Christie. Everyone Sedra has ever taken, has never been seen again. And Billy being..."
Sam pulled away from the door. What was going on? Billy? That was Tommy's young, kind, intelligent friend. Had he been taken by the evil Queen as well? Without thinking, Sam pushed open the door, entering the room and surprising it's occupants.
"We must hide you away from Queen Sedra. If she were to get you..." he said, pointing to Ahzza. "...and find the Wolf, she'd destroy everything we know. The Rangers will take care of your friends Billy and Christie. Do you know who or where the Wolf is?"
"Sam?" Ahzza wanted to tell him, but Zarian's hand on her shoulder stopped her from saying anything more.
"Mr. Trueheart. You are a good and wise man, but we cannot involve you in this...for your own safety." Zarian tried to explain. "Everything is being done to protect Ahzza, and get our friends back. As soon as I can get Ahzza away from here, the sooner she'll be safe." Sam nodded his head in understanding, and agreement. There was something familiar about the stranger, and he trusted him. But, Ahzza wasn't finding a lot of faith in Zarian's words.
"How can you be sure?" Ahzza demanded. She hated that Zarian seemed so calm about all of this. Hell, Sedra would know by now that, she was the Light. And what about Billy? The Wolf was her prisoner. "This is driving me crazy!" Ahzza screamed, storming from the room.
"Ahzza will be safe with me, Sam. I promise." In that moment, Sam knew why the stranger seemed so familiar.
"Yes. I know she will. The Earth always takes care of it's people." Zarian stopped at the door, turning to see a sly smile on Sam's face.
"You are a wiser man that I thought." Zarian replied.
"My old eyes may not see too good, but the eyes in here," Sam pointed to the side of his head. "work just fine."
"That they do. And as long as you have those, you'll be fine, as well. You will see her again. I'm not sure when, but you will."
"I trust you to take care of her."
"And I will." Zarian turned, leaving Sam alone in the room.
Moving from the room, Sam reached back, closing the door behind him. He looked around the lodge, finding the front door standing agape, a slight breeze filling the small room. Sam shook his head, "Kids." He crossed the room to shut the door. But, before his hand could close around the knob, Ahzza rushed back into the lodge, wrapping her arms around him. Letting his walking stick fall from his old hand, Sam wrapped his own old arms around her, holding her tight.
His love for this girl started years ago, when he fostered her at age twelve. Back then, she'd been hard and unfeeling. It took a long time for her to trust him, and yet, no time at all for her to trust David, who he had adopted four years earlier, and was two years younger than she was. He didn't really understand, until Social Services explained to him about Ahzza's life, before he took her in. The story had made him angry, and he'd cried.
Ahzza's acceptance of David, had made them close friends. Within that next year, she had given up her distrust of Sam, and began to see him as a father. Something she had never had before. Sam knew all of the memories would remain with her for the rest of her life, they would always be there, but Ahzza was growing stronger, unwilling to let the ghosts of her past control her new life. At age fourteen, Ahzza had finally been able to be adopted by Sam, making her a permanent part of the family.
And...now she was leaving him. True, she had left him to attend the University, but she and David would always come home on the weekends. But, this time it was different. He didn't know when she would return. And she was going to be struggling to survive against an evil she had never thought could exist, as well as attempt to fulfill the Prophecy. A Prophecy that could save the world.
Sam gave Ahzza on last squeeze, before he held her at arms length; watching as tears made slow paths down her cheeks.
"You are the bravest girl I have ever known, and I know, in here," Sam started, pointing to his heart. "that you will be fine." Sam looked past her, at the figure standing in the doorway. Zarian stood to the side, just outside of the door. Sam nodded to him, and Zarian bowed slightly, hands pressed together before him. "You'd better go."
"I love you...Father."
"I love you, too. Now save those tears for a better use, and get yourself somewhere safe." Sam pushed her slightly.
"Tears? What tears? I've got allergies. You know that." Ahzza sniffled, smiling up at Sam.
"Ah, yes. How could I have forgotten? Now, get going, before I change my mind and don't let you go."
"Okay. I'll be back. I promise." Ahzza turned away from Sam, meeting Zarian outside of the door. Turning back, she gave Sam a wink, then walked away; Zarian closing the door behind them.
The darkness was like a cold, unforgiving blanket wrapped around him. He tried to remember things, to actually think, but it only seemed to bring an awareness of the pain. Pain in his head, his arms...and most especially...his back.
For a moment, he tried to recall his own name, before he began to put names to everything else. An avalanche of names converged on him, all at once. Slowly, he began to pick through them, like rubble, looking for the one that belonged to him.
Tommy? No. Adam? No. Rocky? No. He was pretty sure that he was neither a Kat, Tanya, Aisha, Kimberly or Trini. So, he continued to search, turning memories over like rocks. Suddenly, a flicker of a name began to come to him, as he reached out to try to grasp it.
Then, all of the sudden, the name and all the memories were yanked away from him, and the pain seemed to return two-fold. Reminding him that he was alive, and not dead. And why did that realization depress him? Why did he wish he had been dead?
Voices seemed to float all around him, their meanings unclear. Alive. Purpose. Billy.
That was his name. And with that one word, a world of pain and memories came flooding back to him. He had been in the park, fighting with Locan. Ahzza had been tring to make him leave, pulling him away from the monster. He remembered Locan's blade near his head, and then the familiar tingling of teleportation.
That's when the real nightmare had begun.
He'd been brought before Sedra on his arrival. Refusing to bow to her, Locan had taken the broad edge of his sword across his back, sending him to his knees. As if the pain from the blow wasn't enough, he'd had to endure the lascivious looks from the Queen of Evil, herself. The looks making his skin crawl.
Sedra had begun to question him; something to do with telling her where the Light was hiding, and where the Wolf was. At first, Billy hadn't understood what she was asking, then it hit him. She was talking about the two entities or the Prophecy.
When he had refused to answer her, Locan jerked his head back so hard that Billy thought he would rip his head from his shoulders. To add injury to insult, Billy had began to laugh, and he couldn't stop. Through gasps of breath, Billy told her all he could. "I don't know who the Light or the Wolf even is, or if they truly exist." Then he continued to laugh.
A backhand, from Locan, across the side of his head, sent him sprawling to the cobblestone floor, sparks of pain shooting before his eyes. As he struggled to his knees, a huge, clawed hand grasped him around the neck, lifting him from the ground. For a brief, terrifying moment, Billy dangled helplessly in the air, gasping for a breath. Then he was unceremoniously jammed to the floor. Every joint in his body on fire from the impact.
"Oh, I think you know exactly who I'm talking about." Billy watched as Sedra sauntered toward him, her shapely hips swaying enticingly beneath the deep crimson velvet of her skirt. In the same instant he was excited and disgusted by her. As her hands reached out to touch him, her fingers traveling the length of his chest, he began to feel more like a horse at auction. Billy stiffened at her touch, trying to pull away; Locan's hand gripped him tightly around the back of his neck, holding him in place. "Where is the Light, Billy? You know, your little Native American friend...Ahzza?" Billy tried to hide his surprise. It couldn't be true. But, he had seen it with his own eyes. And if Sedra couldn't find Ahzza, it only served to reason that Ahzza had disappeared, and not by Sedra's hands. This mad him relax a little, until he remembered that someone close to him had disappeared by Sedra's hands.
"I don't know where Ahzza is, and what have you done with Christie?" He growled out from between clenched teeth. "You'll get nothing from me." Billy could feel his body shudder. Was it from anger, disgust or excitement? He couldn't tell. He just hoped that his body wouldn't betray him. He wanted Sedra only to see the hate and disgust he felt for her.
Sedra moved a bit closer, grasping the bottom of his shirt, half of which was already hanging out of his pants. With one tug, she pulled the shirt completely free. Billy didn't dare to look down, refusing to give his body any more information to betray him with. He stiffened as he felt her slender fingers; cold against the muscles of his abdomen. Exploring every inch of him she could reach; Billy closed his eyes, willing himself to become numb, to not be able to feel the things she was doing to him. In that next instant, he drew in a startled gasp as he felt Sedra's warm breath at his ear, whispering slightly.
"I have ways of making you talk." Sedra sighed, her tongue flicking out to touch the sensitive spot just below his ear, sending an electrical charge through him. That small charge was enough to help him get control of himself.
Sedra gave a startled squeak, as her arms were grabbed ruffly, and she was shoved away from him. She looked up at Billy, his eyes glazed with a mixture of emotions, most of all...hate. Incensed, Sedra made a slight motion with her fingers, and Billy was shoved ruffly to his knees once more. Sedra, keeping the distance between them, glared at him.
"There is nothing you can do to me, that will make me talk!" Billy growled. Sedra only laughed at his remark, and evil laugh that made the hairs at the back of his neck, stand on end.
"Oh, Billy. Dear, sweet, Billy. Talk isn't the only thing I want from you. You see, it has come to my attention, that there is a certain criteria that needs to be filled, to allow me to bring about the birth of the 'DarkChylde'." Billy's head shot up. So, that's what Sedra's been doing. Trying to create the 'DarkChylde'. "And you, dear Billy, fit the last part of this criteria. Where I am the first part. So, you see Billy, you are a virgin male, and Earthling, and you have the rare blood type that is needed. That makes you the perfect candidate to be the father of my child. The 'DarkChylde'. Christie has been serving her purposes quite well, you see." Billy shuddered at the thought of mating with her. He remembered everything that Sam had told him. And Billy couldn't allow any of it to come to pass.
"I'd rather be dead, then to lay with you!" Billy spat.
"Well, now. That would defeat my purposes. But, you'll yield. It just comes down to one question. How much pain can you endure, until you submit?" Sedra turned her eyes on Locan, who looked excited by the prospects of forcing a submission from the Earthling. "Locan, you know what to do." Sedra dismissed them, with a flick of her hand, she turned away.
"I've a hankering for some blood shed." Billy heard Locan whisper, as he yanked Billy to his feet, pushing him from the room.
"Christie had better be all right, or I will personally kill you myself." Billy yelled out to Sedra. "The only pleasure that I could possibly get from you, would be to see the light dim from your ey..." The door to the throne room closed, cutting off Billy's words.
As soon as the door closed between them, Billy had a chance to look around. The corridor lead off in either direction from where they were, disappearing around corners at each end. A number of doors lined the wall; all closed. Billy couldn't count the number of times he'd been in this castle, when Rita and Zedd had occupied it. Now it seemed so different. A quick shove in his back, brought his thoughts back to the moment. Locan was guiding him down the corridor to the left, their steps echoing hollowly down it's length, as Locan continued to hold a tight grip on his neck.
Billy thought about fighting, but a better idea suddenly came to mind. Billy continued down the corridor, as a willing prisoner, letting Locan set the pace of his steps. He continued to let Locan believe that he'd given up the fight, feeling the pressure around his neck lessen, as Locan's grip became more and more relaxed.
As they neared a set of stairs that descended down into the gloom of another corridor, Billy heard Locan speak.
"You've finally given up to your fate? That's good. It will be so much easier, and a little less painful." Locan chuckled at his own last words.
"Well, what you don't know...can hurt you!" Billy suddenly dropped from Locan's grip, falling into a crouch. Kicking his leg out, he swept a surprised Locan off of his feet. Leaping to his own feet, Billy headed down the stairs, taking as many at a time as he dared, to get a good distance from Locan before he was able to gain his feet. At the sound of a roar behind him, Billy jumped, but continued to run, never slowing down.
Just as he thought the end of the stairs was near, he was hit hard, in the back, sending him falling into the unknown darkness. He couldn't tell how long he was airborne, but the pain in his back made it seem as if he'd been falling his whole life. But, nothing prepared him for the landing that would come. Billy couldn't tell, in the dark, how close to the bottom he was, so he was completely caught by surprise when his flight ended quite abruptly.
The floor was made of stone, of that he was certain, because when he hit, it didn't give...but he did. There was no pain, that he had ever experienced in his whole life that could have compared to the agony that ripped through his body at that moment. The pain was excruciating. Every bone in his body felt as if it had become suddenly liquefied. Gasping for breath, Billy forced his brain to start working, to assess his possible injuries. He couldn't move, and any little twinge, set off sparks of pain.
Just as Billy had come to the conclusion that his right arm had been broken, he was savagely grabbed by his broken arm, and yanked from the floor. A scream of pure agony was ripped from his lips, filling the corridors around them. Locan's face loomed before him in the, now, semi-darkness. From the corner of his eye, he could see that Locan was holding a torch. Billy tried to fight back against the darkness that lurked at the edges of his consciousness. He couldn't let the dark in. He couldn't. There was no telling what they would do to him then. The deep growl of Locan's anger, filled voice caused the darkness Billy was fighting, to fall back in fear.
"The next time you try something like that; regardless of what Queen Sedra wants, I WILL KILL YOU!"
"Then you might as well...go ahead...and kill...me. You'll not get...anything...from me!" Billy spat out between gasps of pain.
"That will come in time. You will not strip me of my chance to have a little fun." Locan growled as he began to drag Billy back up the stairs.
The trip to the cell was long and torturous, and he was beginning to loose the battle with the darkness, wanting to give into it. His mind was in a fog of pain as Locan opened the door to the cell. The metal door crashed against the wall, reverberating down the corridors, making his already throbbing head, throb even more. It was the first time Billy had ever been happy to see the inside of one of cells again. At least now, Locan would leave him alone, and he could allow the darkness in for a short time. But, as Locan continued to drag him to the back of the cell, Billy realized that it wasn't going to be that simple. Looking up, he noticed a new, shinning pair of shackles attached to the wall. It was then that Billy realized that the torture awaiting him had only just begun. Suddenly, he desperately wished for the death that Locan had threatened. But, Billy's wishes wouldn't be granted so easily. His body still screaming in pain from his fall, his broken arm nothing more than a numb throbbing; he was pushed against the wall of the cell, it's cool stones a small comfort to his burning cheeks.
He just didn't have any fight left. At least, not the physical kind. As Locan jerked his arms over his head, locking each wrist into one of the shackles, Billy winced in pain. Even when he heard the shredding of his shirt, and the cool breeze on his bare back, Billy was adamant that he would never tell them anything, or give in to Sedra's lascivious wants. They might break his body, but they would never break his will.
As Billy formed those thoughts in his mind, the sting of the first lash
across his back, threatened to make him eat his own words. He didn't know how
many times the whip hit it's mark, he'd quit counting after seven. And now, as
the blessed darkness reached up to
embrace him, all he could think, was that Ahzza was safe, where ever she was.
Every memory he'd just had, all brought him back to this one moment. He was still in the cell, or at least, that's where he had been when the darkness took him. The voices in the room seemed louder, and more clear.
"Unshackle him, and bring him to me." Came a deep voice from somewhere behind him. Billy tried to open his eyes, as a blinding pain lanced through his left eye in the attempt. Squinting it closed, Billy tried the other eye, letting it drift slowly open. Once open, he blinked against the light, before he could focus enough to look around. Cold hands gripped his arms, and he could hear the clank of chains, as each arm was released from the shackles that held him. As soon as his right arm was released, it fell limply to his side, and he screamed out in pain, as he felt the broken bones in his arm, grind against each other.
Letting himself sink to the floor, he gripped his arm tightly to his side, forcing back the tears of pain. With his left arm against the stone wall, Billy once again tried to look around him. Two figures loomed above him, and he winced as he tried to us his left eye. Tentatively, Billy reached up with his left hand, feeling the tender, swelling around his eye.
"Get him to his feet! He has an appointment with Queen Sedra!" Billy's head shot up at the sound of the voice, his vision clearing enough to see Locan waiting impatiently in the doorway of the cell. Billy tried his best to glower at the beast, but the best he could do with one good eye, was an evil glare.
From either side of him, two figures converged on him to carry out Locan's orders. As they drew closer to him, Billy was surprised to see that they were two of the six men that had disappeared at Sedra's hands. They were dressed in black robes, cowls obscuring the upper half of their faces. But, when they leaned down to grab Billy, their faces were clearly exposed, and what Billy saw, startled him. Their eyes were like two black onyx stones set into each socket. Their faces impassive.
Quickly, they grabbed his arms. Billy tried to jerk away from their grasp, slamming his right arm against the hard stone wall, sending a maddening wave of pain through him.
Growling in frustration, Locan stormed into the cell, pushing past the two servants. Stopping mere inches from Billy, Locan leaned down, getting eye level with Billy. As he looked into Billy's eyes, he smiled maniacally. Billy held his head up, refusing to be cowed.
"Quite a fighter. I respect that. But, you won't be fighting for much longer. Of that, I can assure you." Before Locan had barely finished speaking, he reached out, yanking Billy up by h is one good arm. Billy was then pressed tightly against the wall at his back, while the servants placed shackles on this wrists and legs. He knew right then, that Locan was no Goldar or Rito. This beast was smart, and it only took once to teach him things. And he'd learned fast that if Billy wasn't shackled, he'd be chasing after him again. But, Billy refused to let Locan see the disappointment he was feeling.
Soon the shackles were in place, and Locan pulled him away from the wall. "Now, move!" Locan gave Billy a quick shove toward the cell door. The robed figures stepped back, allowing them an unobstructed exit. Billy quickly got his balance, and holding himself up straight, he limped from the cell, the chains of the shackles clanking as he walked.
Sedra lounged seductively against the pillows that were heaped upon her bed. Patiently she smoothed the wrinkles from her sheer gown, smiling triumphantly. Locan had done a thorough job, so it seemed, of getting the prisoner to submit. Billy had been unconscious for nearly two days, and Sedra was beginning to get extremely concerned. What good would he do her, if he was dead. When she voiced her concerns to Locan, after having seen Billy hanging from the shackles in the cell, he had assured her that Billy would be fine. Though he wished that he could kill the prisoner, he knew that it would mean his own death if that happened.
Locan had recently sent one of the servants to her quarters to inform her that the prisoner was regaining consciousness. Feeling certain that Billy would be willing to do anything she asked of him, after his ordeal; Sedra informed the servant to tell Locan to bring Billy to her quarters as soon he regained full consciousness. As soon as she was alone again, she quickly prepared to receive her mate.
Now, sighing in frustration, she realized that it had been nearly an hour ago when she had sent the servant back to Locan. She tried to fight down the worry that something had happened; that Billy might have gotten away again. Several times she had to stop herself from getting up and pacing the floor. She had to make sure that the mood was right, and she didn't want them to enter and see her pacing immediately.
With a wave of her hand, a few more candles were lit, casting the room into a warm, soft light, and filling it with a sweet tangy aroma. Sedra had made the candles for such a purpose. They were laced with a strong aphrodisiac that would put even the most sexually cold individual into a sexual frenzy. Billy didn't stand a chance against her. After all, what Sedra wants, Sedra gets.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes, letting it out through her slightly parted lips. The sound of the door opening brought Sedra's eyes slightly open. Glancing up, she watched as Billy limped into the room, chains clanking with each step that he took. As soon as he stopped within the glow of the candle light, she caught her breath. He was even more beautiful than she had imagined. Though his back was torn by the whips lashes, his front was unmarked, except for a slight bruising, where Locan's claw marks had healed.
She was stunned by his beauty, and she let her gaze wash over him hungrily. From the well defined lines of his neck, over his chest, slightly dusted with hair, down over the well muscled plains of his abdomen, that stopped where the jagged and torn edges of his shirt hung around his waist.
Billy watched the hunger in Sedra's eyes, as she looked him over. Fighting with himself, he tried to force any feelings but hatred from his mind. But, as Sedra slid from the bed, his body shuddered in response, and he cursed himself.
Sedra moved toward him with slow seductiveness; her body swaying as she drew closer. The soft light of the candles lit up every curve of her body, exposing every luscious inch of her beneath her sheer gown. Billy swallowed hard, tearing his eyes away from her, and holding his body straight.
At the touch of her cold fingers on his hot skin, Billy flinched, but nothing more.
"I would have thought you would have been broken by now? You're stronger than I thought. That's good. You'll need to be strong." She purred at him, pressing her body against him, fingers brushing slightly at the base of his ear.
"Fight it, Billy. Fight it! You can't give in. She'll destroy everything you love if you do." He growled to himself mentally. When her fingers touched the torn flesh of his back, he sucked in a deep breath. That's when he smelled it, the tangy scent in the air. His head beginning to feel light in that same moment. Instinctively, he knew what it was, and he would not give into Sedra, no matter what she tried to get him to submit.
Holding his breath, like Jason had taught him to do in Scuba Diving classes, Billy resigned himself to taking short, shallow breaths every now and again, so that the airborne substance would have little or no effect on him.
Sedra was growing more and more impatient with Billy's lack of response to her wiles. She was doing everything she could to make him submit. And even the aphrodisiac didn't seem to be working at all. Every now and then, when she touched his hot skin, she believed she could feel a tremor rush through his body. But, looking at his straight stance, cold glare and lifted chin, she wasn't so sure what she thought she felt.
Quickly, she let her mind flip through all of the ideas she'd had, while she waited for Locan to bring him to her. Then an idea came to mind, an evil smile curving her lips. Letting her fingers slid up the inner sides of Billy's arms, she brought her arms up over his shoulders, locking one around his neck, she slid her hand into the soft warmth of his hair. Standing on the tips of her toes, she pulled his face down to meet hers. When she looked into his eyes, all she could see was, ice cold defiance. Licking her lips, she whispered against his lips, "I'm going to show you such pleasures, as you have never seen before." With that, she pressed her lips against his in a maddening desire, pulling him into her. It didn't matter that the shackles on his wrists were painfully cold against her abdomen, she was determined to make him submit to her.
As she slid her tongue along the hard lines of his lips, she felt his hands move up her sides. Groaning with pleasure, she attacked his unyielding lips with a new hunger. But, feeling his hands on her arms, she pulled away from him, feeling his warm breath on her swollen lips. An evil smile, almost as evil as her own, curved his lips, and the same cold defiance flickered in his eyes. Lust filled her; she had won.
Leaning forward, to continue her seduction, he held her arms firmly, keeping her just inches away from him.
"I hope...you've been enjoying yourself?" Billy growled.
"Oh, I have." Sedra purred, flicking her tongue out to taste his wet, swollen lips.
"Good. Because...that's...all...you're...going...to...get...from...me!" Billy growled out each word, enjoying the taste of victory each one brought.
Before Sedra could completely comprehend what she had heard, she
was savagely shoved away from him. Billy felt the lancing pain of his broken arm
shoot to his brain, but he didn't care. He wouldn't be broken! He knew what was
at stake if he submitted to her. But, the enjoyment of seeing the shock on her
face was short lived, as he felt the sting of the broad edge of Locan's blade at
the back of his knees, toppling him to the floor.
As his arm took the impact of his body in the fall, Billy couldn't stifle the scream of pain that was unwillingly ripped from his lips. He watched, helplessly, as Locan reached out for him, surprised when he stopped. Locan stood up straight, and backed away, allowing Sedra to take his place.
Her body was cast in shadows now, as the lights from the candles lit her from behind.
"It's too bad it had to come to this, Billy. It could have been the most amazing experience of your life. You could actually have had a place here, by my side. But you had to be stubborn. Oh, well. I've got all of the time in the world to make you submit. And I have a LOT of ways." Sedra growled down at him.
"You will have to kill me, because that's the only way you'll get what you want from me. And if I find out that you have harmed Christie in any way, you will know what it is to fear me!" Billy growled back.
As Sedra's evil laughter filled the room, the hilt of Locan's sword made contact with Billy's head, sending him spiraling toward that deep abyss once more. Billy continued to fight it, holding it back at the edges.
As he concentrated on the darkness, he felt himself jerked from the floor, and slung over Locan's shoulder. As Locan carried him from the room, Billy guessed that he'd be taken back to the cell and chained to the wall and beaten again. But, right now, anywhere and anything would be preferable to being in the same room with Sedra.
Ahzza stumbled through the thick underbrush, as she made her way through the forests of Northern California. She didn't know exactly where she was going, she was just following Zarian's directions. He had told her that she would be safe up here in the mountains. But, she was still doubtful. If Sedra really wanted to get to her, it wouldn't be too hard to find her.
She and Zarian had left the reservation a little over two days ago, using her jeep to get them as far away from Angel Grove as they could go. They had made it up into the mountains, hitting trails that weren't made for motor vehicles. She continued going, even when there were no trails at all, not caring about the damage to the jeep. When the jeep couldn't take them any further, they got out. Loading her pack on her back, they began the long, hard hike deeper into the woods to the place where Zarian had told her about.
Ahzza hadn't wanted to leave the reservation, or Sam, but it was a matter of self preservation now. Sedra was after her, and would stop at nothing to get to her. She had argued with Zarian about the decision during the whole trip. After telling her what the outcome would be, if she had both Ahzza and Billy, she had quietly, terrified, agreed to the decision.
The one hope that Zarian had given her, was the fact that Sedra didn't know that Billy was the Wolf, and neither did he. But, there was only one reason Sedra had Billy, and even that was frightening. But, they had to have faith in the Rangers. Faith that they'd be able to get to Billy and Christie before it was too late. Ahzza could fight against the DarkChylde if it came to it, and Zarian could offer his powers as well, but there would be no assurance of what the outcome would be.
Feet aching, Ahzza stepped over another downed tree, then once on the other side, she moved to sit down, letting the pack slip from her tired shoulders.
"We're nearly there." Zarian coaxed.
"I need to rest. We've been trying to get to, wherever it is you're leading me, for two days now. I'm cold, tired, my feet hurt and I'm hungry. And if you haven't noticed, it's starting to get dark."
"I'm sorry. I never realized that you weren't like me. Take your rest, and I'll scout ahead. We should only be no more than a half an hour away. If you can force yourself to keep going for that long, you'll have a place to rest where it's warm, dry and most of all, safe."
"Are you sure it's only a half an hour away?"
"Then, I guess I can force myself to go for another half an hour." Ahzza smiled, rubbing the stiffness from her shoulders.
Ahzza still wondered about being safe, anywhere. A couple of times, she could have sworn that she had heard Locan in the same area around her, as she hiked through the trees. But, as always it ended up being just her imagination. And recently that's something she found she had. A really good imagination.
As she watched Zarian disappear into the darkness of the trees, she began to feel a deep penetrating fear come over her. She knew what she was running from, and why. But, Sedra and Locan weren't exactly like the wolves and bears that roamed these mountains. They could all of the sudden be right in front of you. There would be not advanced warning to let her know that they were there.
Swallowing hard, Ahzza began to rummage through her pack, pulling from within it, a small spiral bound notebook and a pen.
"I guess I can do something constructive while I wait for Zarian to get back." Ahzza gazed around her, trying to penetrate the darkness that seemed to be closing in fast. Looking up at the forest canopy, she could still see a bit of blue sky. But, it was starting to get darker. But, down here, it was the shade of the trees that made it appear to be nearly nightfall. Feeling a small comfort in that; she didn't know why, she opened the spiral notebook and began to write:
"September 26, 1997
This is my first attempt at keeping a journal, and my first chance to write in it. A lot of things have been happening pretty fast, so I'll have to go back quite a bit.
I find it necessary to write everything down each day from here on out. I don't know why, exactly. Maybe it will help me sort out my own thoughts and feelings.
It all started over two months ago, when David's real brother arrived at the reservation with a friend, Billy Cranston, who was looking for my adopted father, Sam Trueheart..."
Ahzza was beginning to have a hard time seeing to write. Looking up, she realized that it had become very dark, and Zarian hadn't returned. Afraid to use the large flashlight, Ahzza settled for the small penlight she had stashed away in her pocket, along with a map that she had thought she'd need, and didn't.
"Where are you, Zarian? It never takes you this long to get anywhere." Feeling fear rush in on her, she decided to keep writing, to concentrate on something besides where Zarian had gotten to.
"So, now I find myself in the woods of Northern California, letting Zarian lead me to God-knows-where. I'm scared. Worried about my family and my friends, all the while holding onto the knowledge that, if I was to be captured by Sedra, all that I have, all that I love...would be gone in an instant.
And, I worry the most about, Billy. Sedra has taken him, hoping that by mating with him, she will be able to give birth to the 'DarkChylde'.
Zarian, I think, is hiding how concerned he is about all of this stuff, from me. He seems to think that if Sedra doesn't know that Billy is the Wolf, Billy will be alright. I can only hope that he is right. But, what if she does bring about the 'DarkChylde'? I know I can't fight against it with the powers that I have. The 'Darkchyled' is supose to be the only thing that can take away or destroy the powers that Billy and I have. How can I fight it alone? My powers are new, and were barely strong enough, alone, to fight against Locan.
What if Billy's killed? What if he becomes the father of the 'DarkChylde'? Are we all doomed, everyone on the face of this planet?"
As Ahzza was prepared to answer the questions as best she could, the snapping of a twig brought her to her feet; the notebook and penlight falling soundlessly to the dead leaves at her feet.
She wanted to call out, to find out if it was Zarian, but what if it wasn't?
Thinking quickly, Ahzza pushed her pack behind a small evergreen that was growing against the side of the fallen tree. Quickly, she scooped up hands full of leaves, trying to cover it best as she could. Looking around, she saw that the tree she had been sitting on, had fallen over, landing atop a small bolder, leaving it sitting a couple of feet off of the ground. Falling to her backside, she began to slid up under the tree, laying on her back. The bark of the tree scratched her hands and face as she struggled to get all of the way under.
As another twig snapped, Ahzza drew in a deep breath, holding it, while she listened to the erratic pounding of her heart in her ears.
It seemed like forever, that Ahzza lay there, crammed up under the tree's trunk, the strong smell of decaying plants filling her senses. She struggled to hear something, anything. Feeling a bit silly, she realized that she had probably panicked and slid up under the tree over nothing more than a deer walking through the woods. Shaking her head at her silliness, she began to push out from beneath the tree.
Reaching out, she dug her fingers into the damp, soft Earth, pulling herself out. Suddenly, another twig snapped, really close this time, and before Ahzza could push herself back under the tree and pull her hand back, a clawed foot came down, just inches from her fingers.
Wanting to scream, but holding it back, Ahzza quickly pulled her hand back, watching as another clawed foot came down next to the first one.
"Locan." Ahzza's mind screamed. They had found her. Careful not to make a sound, she watched as Locan moved away from the downed tree, his back to her. From the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of something bright in the leaves a few feet away.
Oh, God! She had been so stupid! There, on the ground, lay the notebook she'd been writing in. And within the pages of that notebook was the identity of the Wolf. If Sedra and Locan read that, then the world was doomed. She couldn't let them find it. But, how could she get to it without Locan seeing her? Panic gripped Ahzza so hard, that she nearly choked on it.
"Think, think, think, Ahzza!" She said to herself, as Locan moved a good distance away. She had to do something, even if it was wrong. Screwing up her courage, Ahzza slowly began to pull herself out from under the tree, never letting her eyes move away from Locan's back.
Nearly clear of the tree, Ahzza froze as Locan turned slightly toward her, seemingly to sniff the air. It wasn't until he turned back around, that she realized she'd been holding her breath. Knowing that she didn't have time to relax, she pulled her legs out from under the tree, and moved slowly, as quietly toward the notebook as she could.
She didn't want to take her eyes off of Locan, but she'd make too much noise groping around in the dead leaves for the notebook, if she didn't. Trying not to move her feet, Ahzza leaned out, using a branch of the fallen tree to hang onto. Stretching to a point where she didn't think she'd be able to reach the book, the branch gave away with a thunderous, crack!
With only the thought of survival, Ahzza grabbed up the book, leapt over the tree, and dived for the space under it, where she had been before. She could hear Locan's growl and footsteps, as she tried to squeeze back under the tree.
Wanting to scream in pure terror, Ahzza found that the space was unaccessible from this side of the tree. Pressing herself as far into the space as she could, she tucked herself into a fetal position, hoping that her dark clothes would hide her from his site, in the darkness. As she lay there, she reached up under the tree, pressing the notebook into the small crevice between the tree and the ground.
Locan might get her, but he'd never find the Wolf. Ahzza pulled her fingers away from he crevice just as the tree above her shook with Locan's weight. Listening intently, she could tell that he was standing atop of the fallen tree, sniffing the air.
"If only there was a breeze." She thought. Just then, she could feel the air around her begin to move, blowing against her back, piling the loose leaves up around her. A grumble from Locan came drifting down to her from above. Then the ground suddenly shook, as Locan landed behind her on the ground.
Slowly, he moved around to the end of the tree, and she could see him clearly through it's branches. He paused shortly, then continued on to the other side, the wind shifting directions, keeping any sound she made, or her sent down wind of him.
Ahzza waited for a long, drug out time, hoping that Locan had moved away into the forest. The darkness was so heavy now, she could barely make out shapes. When nothing more happened, Ahzza backed away from the hole, as the leaves rained down from her clothes. Moving carefully, she glanced over the tree.
Ahzza found that she couldn't scream, as a hand grasped her shoulder from behind. But, she was able to force herself to spin toward the owner of the hand, punching him in the chest with the heals of her palms, causing him to stagger backwards, before being able to gather himself. Ahzza took a stance, and prepared to use any force she deemed necessary.
"Could you explain what's going on?" Came Zarian's voice. Ahzza should have been relieved that he was there, and safe. Or at the very least, she should have been surprised, but what she found herself feeling was pure anger.
"What's going on!? What's going on!? I'll tell you what the hell is going on! While you took your dear sweet time coming back, I had a little-no huge visitor! Would you like to know what his name was? Locan!" Zarian starred at her, surprised.
"He was here?" Ahzza nodded, storming around in the small area. "Don't you think you should try to be a bit more quiet then?" Zarian asked, looking around them.
He was surprised to hear laughter coming toward him, laced with sarcasm. He turned just in time to get a face full of leaves. Startled, he watched as Ahzza brushed the dirt from her hands.
"Quiet? Do you realize just how quiet I have been, and for how long? All of this is driving me crazy, Zarian. I don't know if you're really not as worried about all of this as you should be, or if you're just trying to keep me from going insane over what you're not telling me. But, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be safe again."
"I'm sorry, Ahzza. You're right. I am more worried about all of this than you could possibly understand. But, panic and fear will only seek to undo us. We need to be strong, and Billy needs us to be strong for him. I feel that he is safe, but we're not. We have to get to the cave."
"Cave?" Ahzza seemed surprised. She told herself that she shouldn't have been. After all, what was she expecting to find in the woods, for crying-out-loud?
"Yes. That is what has taken me so long. We had some unexpected guests, and I had to help them relocate."
The idea was so ridicules, that Ahzza found herself laughing. "Great. I'm going to have to sleep with the squirrels and beavers." Zarian watched her laugh, and soon it changed into crying.
It had been a long time since Zarian had had to deal with mortal emotions, and he didn't know quite what to do. He tried to remember back, over thousands of years, to a time when he wasn't the Earth's guardian. To a time when he had been a father, and what he did to comfort his children.
Carefully, Zarian moved to Ahzza's side, taking her gently into his arms, enfolding her as she cried into his offered shoulder.
Zarian and Ahzza finally arrived at the cave without further incident. When Locan left, he must have gone in his customary flash of green flames, though Ahzza didn't remember seeing anything. Because after her yelling at Zarian, he had not returned. And if he'd just walked away, he would have heard her, and come running.
The cave wasn't exactly what she was expecting. Zarian kept pointing to a cliff face, and referring to it as a cave. A this point, Ahzza knew she had already lost her mind, and now she was seriously worrying about Zarian's being intact.
"Um...you do know what a cave is...don't you?"
"Of course I do."
"Sure you do. You see, that's a solid wall of rock. A cave is a big hole in the rock, and frankly...I don't see one." Ahzza stated, shinning her flashlight along the solid rock wall.
"Well, I'm sure you know the age old adage, 'Looks can be deceiving'?" Before Ahzza could reply that she did, indeed, know that phrase, Zarian began to walk toward the wall; as Ahzza called out to warn him about walking into the wall, Zarian, literally, did walk into it, or rather, though it.
Ahzza stood agape at what appeared to be a solid wall of stone. Hesitantly, she moved toward it, examining it. The light of the flashlight reflected off of it, and even cast shadows on it. How was that possible? Reaching out, she tried to pass her hand through it, as Zarian had. But, she was brought up short when she jammed the tips of her fingers against the stones.
"Ow! Damn!" Ahzza cursed, shaking her fingers, and holding them under her arm, as they throbbed. "Zarian, this isn't funny. Just what the hell is going on?" She asked angrily.
Suddenly, Zarian appeared from inside the stone, causing Ahzza to squeak in surprise.
"You know, I'll just take my chances with Sedra and Locan. Because you're going to scare me to death before they do. What is this, some kind of game?"
"You don't have much faith in people or things, do you?" Zarian asked pointedly, as he watched Ahzza.
"What does that have to do with anything?" She responded stubbornly.
"Faith, is what will get you though this stone wall. And only faith. You see, you have to have the faith to believe that the cave is really here. When you do, it will be."
"So, you're saying that those animals you had to chase out of there, had faith that the cave is really here, then they just walk on in?" Ahzza questioned sarcastically.
"Not so much faith, as instinct. Animals sense things, that's the way they are. It's part of their survival skills. When they came along, they saw, with their eyes, only a wall of stone. But...with their senses, they could tell that there was something else there, and they believed their senses more than they did their eyes. That's how they came to be in the cave. They believed there was something more than just a stone wall."
Ahzza pondered Zarian's words, trying to find within herself the one thing that she had not had for a long time. Faith. And what would she need to do to find it?
Closing her eyes, she thought of a small little girl whose innocence had been stripped away from her. Then came the visions of Sam and David Trueheart, their love and faith shinning in their eyes. As those visions passed, they were replaced by new ones. Tommy, Billy...the Rangers. She remembered the thoughts she had that day in the Power Chamber. She had been amazed that all of the Rangers had entrusted their lives to a floating head and a droid.
Her words to herself that day, had been, "It must take a lot of faith...to do what they do."
Wasn't Zarian her version of Zordon? Wasn't he helping her and guiding her? Teaching her? And the only answer there was, floated to her on the slight breeze that swept past them.
Opening her eyes, she looked at Zarian, who returned her look, and added a smile. Did he know what she was thinking? She watched him nod. Feeling a lightness of spirit she hadn't felt in years, she took a deep breath, and without hesitation, she walked straight toward the wall.
Concentrating on that one word, she came face to face with the wall...and passed straight through it into the bright, warm light of the cave beyond.
Carefully sliding the backpack from her shoulders, she let it come to rest on the floor, leaning it gently against her legs, she barely noticed Zarian entering the cave behind her. Reaching into the folds of her jacket, she pulled out the bent and dirty notebook. Dusting it off, she placed it atop of the backpack. "Home sweet, home." Ahzza whispered with an edge of sadness, but she already felt safer. And that's what counted.
Billy sat huddled in the furthest corner of the cell, his eyes drifting slowly shut. He'd tried hard to stay awake, but he couldn't stay awake any longer. After Sedra's failed attempt to seduce him, Locan had carried Billy back to the cell, and proceeded to beat the crap out of him. Billy had still refused to talk, which seemed to make Locan happy. It's when his body began to accept the pain, and he no longer cried out, that Locan became enraged, leaving him alone. His lip had been split, blood filling his mouth, and a couple of ribs had been broken. Add to that a few more cuts and bruises.
Billy could only guess at how long it had been since then. He had no knowledge weather it was day or night, or when one day became the next. His internal clock gave him a small indication of the passing time.
The few times he'd allowed himself to sleep, he'd been beaten awake, by Locan, or he'd been plagued with the nightmares he'd had since locking himself away in the Construction Core. The dreams becoming more unbearable than the beatings. Dreams of standing amidst his friends dead bodies, laughing, with Sedra at his side, and a dark woman before them. So, it became the need to escape from the dreams, more than Locan, that Billy had began to refuse to sleep.
During his time in the cell, he'd been brought the barest minimum of food. He ate what he needed to keep him alive, but refused the rest, for fear that Sedra had drugged it. Even at one point, a mattress of sorts had been brought into the cell. And ever so often, a bowl of water was brought in. The water had been the most welcome thing he could have been given. Taking the rag that was brought with it, Billy wet it and tried as best as he could to drape it over his torn back. Taking a sip of the water, enough to quench his thirst, he took a piece of his torn shirt and began to wash his body, paying close attention to the worst of his wounds. The task itself was hampered by his broken arm and ribs, but he could tolerate it for a bath.
But, no matter how long Billy had been in the cell, it didn't stop Locan from beating him whenever the mood struck him. Even Sedra hadn't given up in her pursuit to mate with him. His refusals always brought on more torture. The whip had been used time and again, as well as other, more cruel tortures. At some points, Billy had been close to defeat, but the pure fact that the safety of the world depended on him, kept him from submitting. Many times, Sedra had come to his cell, alone, while he was desperate for sleep. Seeing him vulnerable, she often thought that she would be able to catch him off guard. She'd promise him many things, pretend to care about him, but always, he'd refuse her. But, she never gave up.
And now, with the lack of sleep, which left him susceptible to her demands, and lack of food, it was becoming harder and harder to resist. There wasn't much to do in the cell, in those rare times that he was left alone, and boredom was beginning to work on him. He tried to keep himself entertained by going over formulas, but even now, those things were becoming distasteful to him. He was beginning to feel the effects of the worse torture that any human being could go through. And at unexpected moments, he'd find himself laughing, over absolutely nothing, and it scared the hell out of him. He knew he was beginning to loose his mind. And that would only seek to undo him. If he cracked, then Sedra would have everything she wanted. And he couldn't let that happen.
And every time he demanded to see Christie, or to at least know she was alright, he was ignored for two days, and given no food. Finally, he'd stopped asking, but would listen intently for any conversations that would let him know of her well being. It was during one of these points that Billy had allowed his eyes to rest. He'd ignored the conversations for the most part, but one single word caught his full attention.
Listening intently, Billy heard that Locan had been searching for Ahzza and her companion. Apparently this wasn't the first time. But, they had been unsuccessful in finding her. Billy could hear the rage in Locan's voice, but it only reinforced Billy's will to not give in. As long as Ahzza was safe, they wouldn't get a word out of him. And as he heard Locan coming toward his cell, Billy cringed inwardly. The prospect of the beatings terrified him, because Locan didn't seem to care when he'd beaten Billy unconscious. It just gave him an opponent that couldn't fight back. And each time Billy awoke from the sweet darkness that the beatings had sent him into, to face the hell that had become his prison, he was surprised that he was still alive, and mostly because nothing else seemed broken.
Now, as Billy fought to keep his eyes open, he could hear Locan making his way down the corridor toward his cell. It had been quite some time since Locan had taken his frustrations out on Billy, which had given him plenty of time to recover. But, by the sounds of Locan's growls, Billy knew that he'd been unsuccessful, yet again, in finding Ahzza. Which gave him a small window of opportunity to be happy, and smile.
Billy knew that Locan would be coming through the door at any moment. He steeled himself, and gripped the chains of his shackles tighter in his hands. There was a slight twinge of pain in his arm, but it was more annoying than it was painful, as he tightened his grip. Billy had spent the whole time since the last beating, to plan an escape. He went over all the other beatings in his mind, and found that Locan had a weakness in his attacks. When Locan entered the cell, he always came at Billy the same way. And if Billy could do what he was planing, Locan's weakness would work against the huge beast.
Even though Billy was prepared for Locan's entrance into the cell, he couldn't help but jump when the door was kicked open, slamming against the wall. Using all of the strength he had, Billy pressed his back to the wall, and began to push himself up from a sitting position. Locking his hate filled eyes on the huge beast, Billy prepared to put his plans into motion.
"Perfect. Looks like you have a little more fight in you this time. Maybe you'll actually stay conscious for more than a few minutes this time." Locan said. Storming across the room toward Billy, Locan came at him, his clawed hand out to grab his neck. As soon as Locan's arm was within arms reach, Billy brought the chains up, and in a movement that belied his pain and hunger, Billy wrapped the chain around Locan's wrist. Then, using the chains to swing on, Billy dove between Locan's legs. With a sudden burst of insane strength, Billy came quickly to his feet behind Locan, and with a hard jerk on the shackles, Locan was flipped to his back.
Quickly untangling the chains, Billy placed a few solid kicks to Locan's unprotected head. Once he was satisfied that Locan had been dazed long enough for him to make a run for it, he grabbed the keys from Locan's belt, hesitating for a daring moment. There on Locan's hip, was the hated sword that had brought Billy to his knees more than once. Billy knew that it would be heavy to carry, but he would need a weapon if he was to get out of here.
Acting quickly, Billy grasped the hilt of the sword, to pull it free of the scabbard. Before he could clear the blade, Locan's hand came down over his own, crushing Billy's hand in his grip. Wincing at the pain, he fought against Locan with everything he had. Keeping a hold on the sword, Billy struck out at Locan with the heel of his boot. Locan let out a roar of anger, releasing his hold on Billy and the sword.
With a jerk, Billy cleared the sword of it's scabbard, and headed for the door. Looking carefully down each end of the corridor, Billy bolted from the cell, and down the right side of the corridor.
It had been a while since Billy had been brought to the cell from Sedra's quarters. All of her other seductive tactics had been tried in the cell, giving him little room for escape. But, he did remember the long, slow, torturous length of it, as Locan had drug him down it, to the cell.
From behind him, a ground shaking roar rolled from the cell and down the corridor to meet him. Ducking around a corner, and hiding within a dark alcove set into the wall, Billy pulled the blade of the sword up to his chest, as he held his breath. His escape hadn't been exactly what one would call, quiet. The shackles making more sound in the corridor than they had in the cell. He needed to have a few minutes to remove the chains. But right now wasn't the time. Locan would be able to hear every little movement he made, in this long, dark, quiet corridor.
"Once I get my hands on you, there won't be anything left of you worth mating with!" The walls shook violently, and Billy could picture Locan taking his anger out on them with his fists. Patiently, Billy waited. Waited for Locan to move on. But, Locan wasn't moving away from him, he was coming closer. Billy sucked in another breath, pulling the sword even closer to him, his hands so tightly wrapped around the hilt of the sword, that his fingers had begun to turn white.
To close for comfort, Locan moved slowly past the alcove, sparing just a passing glance in Billy's general direction. At first Billy thought that Locan had spotted him. When the beast had moved on, he knew that Locan hadn't seen him. Carefully, he let out a slow, shaky breath, as he let the tip of the sword come to rest on the cold stone floor at his feet. Closing his eyes, Billy let his head fall back against the ruff stones of the wall. At least he was out of the cell, that was the hardest part, and the first step.
Now, he had to get the chains off of him, and find Christie, then lay low in the bowels of the castle until he could find a way out, or the Rangers came to find them. He'd had a lot of time to ponder the reasons the Rangers hadn't saved them yet. It couldn't be because of a teleportation block on the castle. Those were easy enough to get around. He'd played out all the different sinarios as to 'why' they hadn't been saved yet. And there was only one that made sense.
Sedra and Locan had the ability to transfer the castle, as well as everyone and thing in it, into a alternate dimension. There were so many of these, that it would take quite a long time; even for Zordon and Alpha's advanced technology, to look through them all.
Billy listened for a few minutes more; when no sound was heard, he leaned the sword against the wall next to him, and taking the key's he'd stolen from Locan, he began to remove the shackles that had been kept on him since he had first arrived there. As each offensive metal band fell from his wrist, he let them down gently on the stones of the floor, careful not to make more noise than he had to.
In the half light of the corridor, Billy inspected his wrists. They were bruised and chaffed from a long time of wear. Carefully, he rubbed them, working the blood back into them. Taking a deep breath, he picked up the sword and stood looking down the corridors.
"I've got to find the old control room. I'm pretty sure that I can find a way to get out of here, in that room. And if I can't, I can at least find a way to let the Rangers know where we are. A homing device of sorts." Billy whispered to himself. But, first thing first. He had to find Christie.
Sliding the blade of the sword under his belt, at his side, Billy moved down the corridor, disappearing into the darkness and around a corner. Silently, eyes watched him as he made his escape. An evil laugh, too silent for him to hear, followed him down the corridor. Mocking him.
"Enjoy your freedom, my love. Because it will be the last you'll
ever get." Sedra whispered, as she disappeared in a flash of red