Author's Notes: In this timeline, T:APRM does not happen. This is the seventh story in my Ranger of Light series. If you like this, please let me know. This series has kind of become my little baby, and of course, my muse thinks so as well. :) I'd like to thank all the people on the message board who have helped me out by answering numerous questions. And a special thanks to all of those who have been keeping up with this series, and sticking with me through
this. This is for you guys, and you know who you are. :) PS: This fic is rated PG-13, and maybe real close to 'R'.
But, that was not the case. The whole team was in near hysterics when she and Jason met them at the Youth Center. It was hard forcing herself to be in the same room with Tommy, but the minute she walked through the door, the past seemed to melt away, leaving only the desperation of the moment.
She and Jason were greeted warmly by all of the team, and it just felt so right. Just like old times, except, someone was missing.
Tommy had seen the concern in her eyes when she saw that Billy was not with them. He didn't hesitate in wrapping his arms around her, letting her cry into his shoulder. Pulling away, she glanced at Kat.
Billy had told her that they'd dated a bit; after the letter, but weren't very close. And looking at Kat, she was only given a welcoming smile, instead of the bitterness that she thought she'd find.
Once everyone had been seated, Tommy began to fill her and Jason in on what had happened, and why they were unable to find Billy, to get him back.
"It's bad enough that we have all these parallel dimensions to search through for them, but every time we locate them, they disappear into another one before we can get a lock on Billy, or any of the others." Tommy finished in frustration.
"Not at all like Rita and Zedd, are they?" Jason stated.
"Right about now, I wish it was Rita and Zedd we were dealing with. At least with them, we'd know what to expect next." Adam added.
"What about the two people the authorities are looking for?" Kim asked. She looked across the table at David Trueheart. He'd been introduced as Tommy's brother, and she remember when she'd been watching the news, that they said that the girl's last name was Trueheart.
"Ahzza is our adopted sister. She had nothing to do with Billy's disappearance, nor did her friend, Josh White. Though, because they've not been seen since that day, we can't convince the authorities that they had nothing to do with it." David explained.
"Why would the police think that they had something to do with it in the first place?" She'd asked.
"They were there during the battle. When it was over and Billy was gone, they had disappeared. Sam said that they had stopped by the reservation and picked up some supplies. He figured that they would be gone for a long time. But, they refused to tell him where they were going. They said that it was for everyone's safety. We haven't seen them since, and there has been no reports of anyone seeing them anywhere." Tommy put in.
So had started her extended visit to Angel Grove. Tommy had tried to convince her to head back to Florida, about two weeks after she arrived, promising that they'd keep in touch with her, but she'd adamantly refused, having already explained things to Coach Schmidt, who had given her his blessing to stay as long as she was needed.
Since then, nearly all of their time had been spent in the Power Chamber, trying to locate Billy. The longer it took to find him, the more worried about him she became.
Now, as Kim entered the main control room of the Power Chamber, she was beginning to wonder if Billy was even alive. She didn't want to think about it that way. She wanted to believe, more than anything, that he was still alive. But it had been a little over two months since he'd been taken, and this wasn't Rita and Zedd, or even any of the other aliens that the Rangers had fought in the past.
Jumping at the sound of Zordon's voice, Kim watched as Rocky raced into the room, hands loaded with computer printouts.
"ROCKY, WHAT HAS HAPPENED?" Zordon asked, seeing the frustration in the young Blue Ranger's eyes.
"We had a lock on the castle, then it disappeared again." Rocky tossed the papers on to the console, sending them sliding across it's top, to slide off the edge and scatter onto the floor.
"I UNDERSTAND YOUR ANGER, ROCKY. WE ALL WISH THAT BILLY AND THE OTHERS WERE BACK HOME. BUT WE CAN NOT GIVE UP HOPE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN."
"I know, Zordon. There just has to be another way."
"I WISH THERE WAS, ROCKY. EVERYONE SHOULD GO HOME AND GET SOME REST. ALPHA AND I WILL CONTINUE THE SEARCH AND CONTACT YOU AS SOON AS WE KNOW SOMETHING." Zordon added, when the other Rangers; shoulders slumped and eyes down cast, entered the room.
As the group slowly began to teleport away, Tanya stayed behind, moving to stand a Kim's side.
"Are you sure that you won't accept my offer? My parents have a spare room."
"I know, Tanya. And, thank you, but I feel better staying here and sleeping in the sleeping quarters."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, thank you."
"All right. I'll bring something back for you to eat."
"No problem." Tanya stepped back, teleporting away in a column of yellow light.
"KIMBERLY, ARE YOU CERTAIN THAT YOU WOULDN'T BE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR FRIENDS?" Zordon asked, concerned with Kim's isolation from her friends.
"Actually, I probably would, but I want to be right here, in case you do finally locate Billy." Smiling up at the mentor who had become so much like a father to all of them, she left the main control room, and headed back to the sleeping quarters.
Silently she made her way down the corridors to the room she had called 'home' for the past two months. She had to chuckle at the thought that she was becoming more and more like Billy.
She was beginning to spend all of her time in the Power Chamber, hardly ever leaving. And the quarters proved that Billy had, indeed, not left the Chamber for days at a time. All of the essentials that he needed, were left in t he room. Even the smell of his cologne lingered in the room and on his clothes and bed sheets. It was a comforting smell that brought back happy memories. After all, it was the same cologne that she had given him a few Christmas' ago.
Letting happier memories wash over her, Kim pushed open the sleeping quarter door. The room lit up as she passed through the door; the sensors picking up her movements. Moving to the bedside table, she picked up the book she'd been trying to read. Turning she found a seat on the bed, and opened the book to marked spot.
For several minutes she sat quietly staring at the same word, before coming to the conclusion that she couldn't concentrate. Closing the book, Kim gazed around at the cluttered room. When Zordon had offered to let her use the room, she'd been surprised that it had been used so often, and by Billy. She hadn't quite decided if she was more surprised by the fact that Billy had been living at the Power Chamber, or that he'd let the room become so cluttered.
Knowing it wasn't her place to move things around, she'd only decided to clear away enough room for her to get to the bed, and a small spot in the closet for her clothes, as well as one, unused drawer in the dresser. Surprisingly, that had been the only place in the whole room that was free of clutter.
But now, after two months of having to be careful when moving through the room, she'd decided to do something about it. Even if it was only to straighten the numerous piles of paper into decent stacks. Oh, who was she kidding? She only really wanted to do it to try to keep her mind off of other things.
Sitting the book back on the night stand, Kim got up, taking an assessment of the room. Where to begin? Spotting a pile of papers perched precariously on the edge of his desk, next to his computer, Kim knew that that would be the best place to begin.
Carefully she moved past several other stacks of papers. Slowly she began to sort through the stack of papers, lining them up into a neat new pile. Kim tried to read the things that were written on the pages, but she gave up after several pages. She desperately wished that Trini had been there to translate the things that were written on the pages. But, Trini had gone her own way, as had she and Jason and Zack had. No wonder Billy had gradually toned down his techno babble. Kim shook her head sadly, remembering the old days, when things had been so simple. The worse thing that they had to fight against was one of Rita or Zedd's cheesy monsters. But, nothing had ever prepared any of them for something like this. Or had prepared them for someone like Sedra.
What she wouldn't give to have those simple, carefree days back. To be a Ranger again. She truly was more like Billy than she could have imagined. Giving up the powers they had, because they felt it was the right thing to do, and regretting it all later.
Drifting off into thoughts of the past, Kim continued to straighten the pile of papers, unaware of another precariously stacked pile atop the filing cabinet behind her. As a piece of paper slipped from her hand, Kim bent quickly to retrieve it, bumping her backside into the cabinet in the attempt.
A slow, swishing, sound caused her to turn, just in time to see the stack of papers begin a slow tilt, sending single sheets of paper floating to the floor. But, as she began to react to the falling papers, the stack tipped completely, sending pages cascading to the floor. Kim dove for the pages, but was only able to capture a page or two at a time.
Throwing her hands down in frustration; after all, she was suppose to be straightening up the room, her hands swung back knocking over the stack she'd just straightened.
Moaning in frustration, Kim slapped the few pages she held in her hands, onto the top of the filing cabinet, for which she was rewarded with a slight, clank of medal hitting the floor.
Surprised by the unexpected sound, Kim began to hunt for it's location. The sound had come from the back of the cabinet. Quickly she pushed papers out of her way, as she squatted down, feeling around in the small space between the cabinet and wall. Stretching out her arm as far as she could, her fingers brushing slightly against something cold. Taking a deep breath, and using her free hand, she pulled the cabinet away from the wall, moving it only a few centimeters; and that was enough.
Kim let her fingers slip over the smooth edge of the cool object, pulling it across the floor until she was able to get a good grip. The medal object was cool, and somewhat familiar to the touch, as she wrapped her hand around it, pulling it carefully from behind the cabinet. Sitting back on her heels, Kim opened her hand, exposing the object to her view. She couldn't stop the moan of surprise that passed her lips.
Within her hand, she held a small device, about the size of a man's watch; it's silver and blue finish glinting back at her. She had never seen Billy without it since the day he had created them for the team.
"Oh, Billy. Why did you have to pull a 'Tommy' now, of all times?" She sighed, fingering Billy's communicator. Lifting it from her palm, the communicator's face fell into the pile of papers at her feet. Reaching down, Kim carefully plucked it from the top of the scattered white papers. As she began to grasp it, a single word on a piece of paper caught her attention.
That has become a household name around here, ever since she'd returned. Quickly, she placed the communicator's face in her other hand, as she reached out to pluck that one piece of paper from the pile on the floor.
Kim carefully began to read all the words on the page, tring to grasp their meaning:
"I've been watching the scanners for some time, as Rita and Zedd travel between dimensions. A practice they seem to have been doing for some time.
"I started working on this project when Jason had become trapped in their Dark Dimension. At the time, I created a device that would allow us to pass into that dimension. But, I knew that there had to be another way, and easier way, because we wouldn't always know which dimension they were in, and the number of dimensions is so astronomical, that searching each one would take years.
"So, in watching them travel, I noticed a slight flicker of existence in this dimension, as they passed from one dimension to the next. I've now come to the realization that this dimension must be the main corridor for the dimensional plane. A place from which all other dimensions are accessed. If we could get a teleportation lock on them as they passed through; in that one millisecond of a flicker, we could teleport a Ranger of Rangers, to their location, there by allowing them to travel with them. Then with the lock, we could teleport the Rangers and anyone else back to this dimension.
"I've been trying to perfect a device to test my theory with, before I go to Zordon and Alpha with my discovery. But my creation of a device has been slow; the Rangers needing my help, it seems, more than ever before."
A voice behind her, caused Kim to jump slightly. Turning, she found Jason standing in the doorway.
"Kim? What happened?" Jason asked, looking around at the papers that covered the floor. "I thought I'd come back and tell you that we're all meeting at the Youth Center. Are you alright?" Jason looked at Kim as she stood quietly before him, a familiar looking communicator clutched in one hand, and a piece of paper clutched in the other. "Kim?" Jason felt a sense of dread come over him.
"We need to talk to Zordon."
"Does it make sense to you, Zordon?" Jason asked their wizened mentor.
"INDEED IT DOES, JASON. WE MUST CONDONE BILLY FOR HIS CONSTANT THOUGHT PROCESS." Jason and Kimberly exchanged glances, as she slowly approached Zordon's tube.
"There's something else. A reason we haven't been able to get a teleportation lock on Billy." Kim held out her hand as Alpha peered down at the silver and blue object.
"WHAT IS IT, ALPHA?" Zordon asked pensively.
"Oh, aye, yi, yi, Zordon. It's Billy's communicator. And it appears to be broken."
"THAT WOULD EXPLAIN MUCH."
"Explain what, Zordon? And what was the emergency you contacted us about?" Came Tommy's voice from behind them, as the Rangers teleported into the Power Chamber.
"This," Kim said, turning to face the group, handing the communicator over to Tommy.
"Billy's communicator." Tommy looked up at the group, the overwhelming meaning of it showing in his eyes.
Adam stepped forward, taking the communicator from Tommy. "He took it off the day he was taken; after the first battle with Locan. He said that it had been broken in the fight and that he'd have to fix it. I guess we all got caught up in Ahzza and Josh being here, that he must have forgotten all about it."
"So, that's why we couldn't get a teleport lock on him. He never had his communicator on him." Tanya stated.
"THAT IS CORRECT, RANGERS. I KNOW THAT WE WERE ALL UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT SEDRA AND LOCAN HAD IT, OR AT LEAST THAT IT WAS BROKEN. BUT, REGARDLESS, WE MAY HAVE A WAY OF FINDING BILLY, BUT ALPHA AND I WILL NEED ALL OF YOUR HELP."
"What can we do?" Kat asked, coming to stand at Tommy's side.
"I found a piece of paper that Billy had been keeping notes on. Notes about dimensional travel, and a device used to lock onto a person or persons who are traveling through dimensions, like Sedra and Locan have been doing." Kim stated, standing before the group, Zordon behind her.
"THIS IS WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP. BILLY STARTED A DEVICE FOR JUST SUCH A PURPOSE, BUT HE NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FINISH IT. JASON HAS LOCATED WHAT THERE IS OF THE DEVICE, AS WELL AS THE REST OF BILLY'S NOTES. WITH THESE, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONSTRUCT THE DEVICE WITHIN A MATTER OF A FEW DAYS." Zordon explained.
"What good will that do us? There are so many dimensions, that it could take us months to locate them again."
"It could, Rocky. But Billy discovered something, back when I was trapped in Rita and Zedd's Dark Dimension. He found that when they moved from dimension to dimension, they had to pass through this dimension to get to the next. Apparently this dimension is like a corridor though which they have to pass to get to the next. And when they did pass through there was a brief moment of existence."
"CORRECT, JASON. BILLY FEELS THAT THIS DEVICE WILL ALLOW US TO GET A TELEPORTATION LOCK ON THE INDIVIDUALS PASSING THROUGH, THERE BY ALLOWING US TO TELEPORT YOU TO THEIR LOCATION AND THEY YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO TRAVEL WITH THEM THROUGH DIMENSIONS. FROM THERE, WE COULD TELEPORT YOU BACK TO THIS DIMENSION." Zordon finished.
"Then, what are we waiting for?" Tommy asked, feeling the excitement the new had given him.
Billy slowly approached the hooded figure, taking care to listen to any sounds behind him. The figure before him had casually passed by him where he had hidden in the shadows of another alcove. This one seemed much smaller than the other servants, but with the draping ropes, Billy couldn't take any chances. Muscle was harder to defend against than stature.
He'd been making his way through the corridors, carefully looking for Christie as well as keeping his eyes open for the main control room. At one point he'd nearly been caught when he heard three of the servants approaching him. Billy had made a frantic dash around to find a place to hide. Finding nothing, he risked everything by hiding in a darkened corner. He balled his body up, keeping Locan's sword to his back. He tried not to breath or move, wishing that somehow he could just blend in with the stone walls.
Billy fought the temptation to bolt from his spot, when the servants came into view, mumbling amongst themselves. He waited for one of them to see him, alerting the others to his presence. Squeezing his eyes closed, he chanted to himself in his mind. "Please don't let them see me. Please don't let them see me..."
As the servants drew closer to Billy's hiding place, the tallest of the three stopped, turning in Billy's direction.
"Did you hear that?" He asked, his voice deep and other worldly.
"No. Nothing." The shorter one responded in the same tone of voice.
"It was a scraping sound, from the corner over there." Came the tall one's voice, once more.
Billy began to panic. Every part of him was screaming at him to run, but he forced himself to remain still. Maybe if he didn't move, they wouldn't come any closer to investigate. Billy gripped the hilt of the sword tightly, prepared to fight if he was attacked.
"I see nothing but a dark corner." Came the third servants voice. Billy almost gasped at the words. Could he dare to hope that they truly hadn't seen him? Using that hope to fuel his determination, Billy remained still, listening for them to continue on their way.
The tall servant seemed satisfied with the others' statement, and joined with them in moving on down the corridor. After a time, Billy slowly stood; his legs protesting. Carefully he continued on his own way down the corridor, never to know that he had in fact become part of the wall, his skin shifting it's appearance to match the wall he had been hiding next to. And as soon as he had moved, and the thought was gone, his skin took on it's normal appearance once more.
Now it was several corridors later, that Billy found himself stalking the hooded figure, Locan's stolen sword, in hand. He needed to find Christie, and if the servants knew of his imprisonment, then there would be a chance that they knew of Christie's as well.
He hadn't confronted any of the other servants, as the advantage of surprise had been theirs at the time. Now it was his turn to have the advantage, and he'd use it get any information he needed.
Carefully he checked behind him, once more, making sure that there was no one else; they always seemed to travel in pairs, and this was the first one he'd seen traveling alone. Once again, Billy moved quickly, rounding the servant in a few steps. Billy held the sword out before him, it's point brought quickly up under the chin of the startled servant. A gasp of surprise escaped the figure, as the tray it had been carrying crashed to the floor, reverberating down the corridor. Billy jumped, almost near to panic thinking that they would be heard.
Acting quickly, Billy grabbed the servants arm, forcing it into the dark alcove nearby. Once hidden within the shadows of the alcove, Billy pressed the sharp edge of the blade to the servants neck, once more.
"Please, my Lord. I am sorry for anything that I may have done to offend you. Please forgive me." The voice was familiar, even though it was subservient in tone, instead of the outgoing tone it normally held.
"No." Billy breathed in disbelief. "Christie?" Hand shaking, Billy reached out to push back the cowl that hid her features. As the cowl fell away, Billy expected to see dark, black, soulless eyes staring back at him. But, a moment later, a sigh of relief passed his lips, when dark, brown, tear-filled eyes gazed up at him. "Oh, God. Christie." Billy whispered, letting the blade finally fall away, pulling Christie into his arms.
"Billy? Oh, Billy." Christie sobbed into his shoulder. A gasp from Billy caused Christie to pull away from him, looking up at him confused. "What's going on?"
"Sedra and Locan kidnapped me a few hours after they took you. Are you alright?" Billy asked, touching a small, fading bruise on Christie's cheek.
"I'm fine...so far. You've been here that long? Why didn't I know?" She looked him over, taking in the cuts and bruises, his slightly gaunt features, and the tattered remains of his clothes. "What have they done to you?" She asked, moving around him to look at the torn flesh on his back. A gasp of shock and fear escaped her as she looked at his back.
"I need a place to hide, then we can talk." Billy said, turning to face her.
"I-I know of a place to hide. Sedra and Locan have never been there." Quickly, trying to be strong, she wiped the tears from her eyes.
"Can you take me there?" Billy asked as he helped to wipe away her tears. For a moment, the thought crossed his mind that he shouldn't trust her. She'd been there as long as he had been. He knew what Locan and Sedra had done to him, there was no telling what they had done to her. But, at the moment, preservation was of utmost importance. He needed to trust someone.
"I can't take you there, at least, not now. I'd be missed. But, I can tell you where it is. I'll meet you there later, and bring you some food and clothes."
"Will you be alright?" Billy asked, concerned.
"I will be. I'll come later, with the things that you need. We can talk then." Christie touched the remnant of a bruise around Billy's eye. A touch so soft and gentle, that Billy's head swam with the feeling.
A force, stronger than himself, pushed him forward, his bruised and callused hand touching the stray strands of dark hair at Christie's shoulder. So soft. Looking into her eyes, he saw a glint of hope, and something else that he couldn't describe. Letting the moment carry him, Billy drew Christie to him, taking her lips with his. The kiss was brief and gentle, renewing their hope. Pulling away, Christie pulled the cowl back over her head then picked up the tray she had dropped.
"I-I'm sorry." Billy stuttered out, afraid that he had gone too far. He hadn't ment to kiss her, but he couldn't help himself. He wasn't alone here, and that small bit of happiness made him see things a bit differently.
"No. I wanted it to." Christie stood, moving to stand before him. "We are all that we have." Carefully, she leaned into him, pressing her warm lips against his.
This time the kiss was deeper; a hunger that needed to be fed. Billy pulled her tighter, forcing the kiss deeper, their tongues touching, searching. Suddenly an alarm went off in Billy's head. They were not safe, not yet. Billy pulled away, breaking the kiss with a moan.
"W-Where is the hiding place?" He stuttered out. The kiss had effected him more than he realized.
"Um...oh, yeah. Take this corridor down, about seventy-five feet. There you will come to two sets of stairs. One set going up, and the other going down. Take the set going up. About half way up, fifty steps, I think, stop. To your left, press the fifth stone up from the step, and a hidden door will open. Go through it, and you will pass down a tunnel that will lead you down into the bowels of the castle. At the bottom, you'll find a large room. You'll be safe there."
Billy was surprised that Christie, who was a servant, would know of such a place, when Sedra and Locan didn't know about it. Again, warning flags went up.
"How do you know about the secret hidden door?"
Christie could hear the accusation in his voice. Billy watched the hurt fill her eyes.
"I have been here a long time. And I can understand your lack of trust in me. I know the door exists because when I was going up the stairs, I tripped on the edge of my robes. Falling, I hit against the wall, and the door opened. When I was sure that I was alone, I went through. Masses of cobwebs blocked my path, and the dust on the floor was thick and untouched. It was then, that I knew that Sedra and Locan hadn't found it.
"Satisfied that it would be safe to hid there, I went back to my tasks, planing to make my escape from Sedra and Locan when the time came. When I left the tunnel, I counted the stones up, so that I would know which one was the trigger stone, then I counted the steps down. Then I locked it all in my memory for later use.
"You can trust me, Billy. Who else do you have to trust? Because, right now. I don't have anyone but you to trust in."
Guilt hit Billy like a lead brick to the chest. How could he have even begin to think to accuse her? She'd never given him any reason to suspect her before. Squelching the small warning voice, Billy apologized.
"I'm truly sorry. I'm sure you, more than anyone, can understand why it's hard for me to trust someone right now."
"And I do. Believe me. The same thoughts of mistrust have crossed my mind about you as well. But, your injuries have told me differently." Christie gave him a small, hopeful smile.
"Thank you." Billy returned the smile. Giving Christie a quick kiss, he headed down the corridor. Before rounding the corner, he stopped to look back. Christie gave him a slight wave, then headed away in the opposite direction, passing out of sight.
Relieved that she was safe, Billy could now, focus his attentions on finding the control room, and finding a way for him to get Christie and himself out of the castle.
Checking to make sure that he was alone, Billy moved out of t he darkness, and down the corridor in the direction in which Christie had indicated, the sword gripped tightly in his hands.
Sedra watched from the dark, as Billy moved down the hall away from her, and out of site around the corner. Sighing in frustration she turned to face Locan who stood in the shadows behind her. With a shimmer, like the waves on the water, the image of Christie melted away, leaving Sedra standing in her place.
She had hoped that the persona of Christie would never be needed again. But, with Billy's unwillingness to co-operate, she had no choice. As close as he was to Christie, Sedra knew that the odds were better that he'd open up to Christie. And from the way things had gone a few short moments ago, she may yet be able to mate with him like she'd been trying to do since he'd been there.
"My Queen. Why must I watch you seduce that...that ugly human? It makes my stomach churn." Locan stated with distaste.
"It's not a matter of watching, Locan. It's a matter of doing your job. Protecting me."
"Looks to me like he's the one that needs protection." Locan said sarcastically.
With a harumph of displeasure, Sedra flipped a long strand of white hair over her shoulder, as she moved up next to Locan. Reaching out, she touched her fingers lightly against his face.
"What's wrong, Locan? Are you...jealous?" An evil smile crossing her lips, as she moved away from him, heading down the corridor. "Come, Locan. We have things to do."
Locan watched her, shaken by her actions and words. Confused, he didn't know if he should be honored that she thought he wanted her, or angered by it. As disgusted as he was with the human appearance, he was able to look past it, in Sedra's case, because he knew how black her soul was, and that made all the difference.
With a slight growl, Locan decided to be indecisive about the whole thing, and followed the corridor in the direction Sedra had taken.
Sedra heard him approach her, and smiled, slowing her stride a bit.
"What's our next move?"
"We get Billy to trust Christie. She'll bring him food and water, some clothes and things needed to care for his wounds." At the last part, Sedra gave Locan an accusing glance from the corner of her eye.
"I did what was necessary to break him."
"Didn't work, did it? No matter. Once he's assured that he's safe, and that he can trust Christie, he'll tell her anything, and even do anything, she wants. But, we will need to make him sympathetic to her." Sedra stopped suddenly, Locan nearly walking over her before he was able to stop himself. "That's it!"
Locan glanced toward her, his hand going for his sword; angered when he remembered that he only had an empty scabbard. "What is it?"
"I know the perfect way for Christie to get Billy's sympathy."
"When Christie goes to the hidden room she told him about, she'll not only carry with her food, water and clothing, but a few new bruises. He's so protective of her, that she'd need only to shed a tear or two, and he'd be putty in her hands." With an evil cackle, Sedra continued on toward the throne room, happy with her deceptive plans.
Holding his breath, Jason twisted the last wire into the switch, then tightened the wire in with a screwdriver. Slowly he stepped back, joining the others who were standing by, watching the finishing touches on the device.
It had taken them longer than they had hoped, but through their diligence, the device was finished; each thankful for Billy's thorough note taking techniques. Now, all that had to be done, was for Zordon to turn on the device, and wait. The latter part becoming more and more tedious as time passed. Each Ranger, worrying in their own way, about the safety of their friend.
Tommy's concern was double. It had been over two months since Billy and Christie had been taken, and since Ahzza had disappeared, without a trace, after the battle. Though Sam had assured Tommy and David, numerous times, that Ahzza was fine, they still couldn't help but worry.
The sound of Zordon's concerned voice brought Tommy out of his thoughts, causing him to look up as the device began to pulse with a bright, white light, fluctuating over the exterior of the device. Slowly, a glass tube slid up around it, encasing it's energy.
"How, exactly, it this suppose to work, again?" Rocky asked, uncomfortable with the silence that had descended around the group.
"THE DEVICE WILL SWEEP THIS UNIVERSE EVERY ONE-HALF MILLISECOND, FOR A RIPPLE OF DIMENSIONAL MOVEMENT. AS SOON AS THE RIPPLE IS DETECTED, IT WILL LOCK A TELEPORTATION BEAM ON IT, AND TELEPORT THREE OF YOU IMMEDIATELY TO THE LOCATION. ONCE THERE, IT WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP A LOCK ON YOUR COMMUNICATORS, AND BE ABLE TO TELEPORT YOU BACK." Zordon responded.
"But, there's once little catch." Kim added, looking at the group before her.
"You have twenty minutes to locate Billy and Christie, or any of the others, and teleport back. After that time, the lock will be lost, and so will you, until we can reestablish a lock once more." Came Jason's voice from behind her. Kim turned as Jason came up next to her, putting a comforting arm around her shoulder.
"Oh, aye, yi, yi. We can't mess this one up, Rangers." Came Alpha's electronic voice.
"Why only three of us?" Tanya wanted to know.
"THE TELEPORTATION BEAM IS ONLY STRONG ENOUGH TO LOCK ONTO FIVE PEOPLE AT ONE TIME." Zordon stated.
"What about the others? There were six of them." Adam wondered.
"IF YOU SHOULD HAPPEN ACROSS ONE OF THEM, THEN IT MAY BE BEST IF YOU RETURN WITH THEM INSTEAD OF BILLY AND CHRISTIE. I KNOW THIS WILL BE A HARD DECISION FOR YOU TO MAKE. YOUR FRIENDS, OR STRANGERS. BUT, AS RANGERS, I TRUST YOU TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION."
There was that feeling again. Kim knew that there was something else behind the kidnapping, but everyone seemed to avoid the subject or hem around it, and it happened every time she questioned them about it. But, this time she wouldn't let it go.
"Alright. Enough." Kim slapped her hand against the console. "There's more going on here than what you all are telling me. I want to know, and I want to know right now; why does Sedra have Billy, and why would she want to kidnap him in the first place?"
"Kim..." Tommy started. They'd all been keeping the worst of the situation from her, though they felt that Jason was better able to understand and deal with it. But, Tommy could see the determination in her eyes, and they weren't going to be able to avoid the questions any longer. "...you're right. There is more to all of this than what we've told you." Tommy cast a glance at Jason.
"Wait. You knew, and didn't say anything?" She turned an accusing stare at him. "Am I the only one who doesn't know what's going on?" Looking around at all of the avoiding looks, she could tell that she was. "You thought that I couldn't handle it? Good God people, I used to be a Power Ranger for Christ's sake!" She screamed.
"Kim. We know ho close you and Billy are, and we didn't want to cause you anymore worry than what you were already going through." Kat tried to explain.
It was true. Kim and Billy were close. They'd grown up together and had been best of friends. She'd even begun to have deep feelings for him, until Tommy moved to Angel Grove from Stone Canyon. Until she had gone to Florida, she hadn't realized what she'd given up, when she started dating Tommy. Oh, she loved Tommy, there was no doubt about it, and she always would, but it wasn't until she'd been away for so long, that she realized her true feelings for Billy.
"I appreciate that you all care about me, and my feelings, but I'd really like to know just what the hell is going on." Kim demanded, trying to calm down.
"Sedra is looking to create the 'DarkChylde'. This child will be the one, and only one, who can stop the Powers of the Light, or destroy them. Sedra's been looking for the 'Light' and the 'Wolf', but so far, as we know, she has been unsuccessful. She's decided to bring forth the 'DarkChylde' in case she is unable to locate them." Tommy continued.
"So. What does this...'DarkChylde' have to do with Billy?" Kim wanted to know.
Taking a deep breath, Jason faced her. "There are certain criteria that have to bee met, in order to create the 'DarkChylde'. Sedra completes the first half of that criteria. Then she must find a mate who not only is an Earthling male, but has to fit two more criteria. He has to have a rare blood type..."
"Billy's type AB-." Kim gasped, remembering the day in biology when they had taken a sample of each other's blood to test their blood types.
"...and he also has to be a virgin." Jason finished.
With a hand cupped over her mouth, Kim looked up at Jason; tears filling her eyes.
"But...Billy will never have sex with her. Especially if he knows what is at stake. He'd never submit!" Kim nearly screamed. She hadn't ment to say the words out loud, but it just happened. And she didn't know if she said them to try and convince the Rangers, or to convince herself.
"We don't know what Sedra is doing, or has done to Billy since he's been there." Tommy added, knowing it would upset her more, but it was only fair that he be honest with her at this point.
"WE CAN ONLY ASSUME THAT SHE HAS BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN FORCING HIM TO SUBMIT, BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN NO THREAT FROM SEDRA SINCE HIS CAPTURE, AND SURLY IF THE 'DARKCHYLDE' HAD BEEN CREATED, SEDRA WOULD HAVE LET US KNOW, BY NOW." Zordon added, trying to give them all a little piece of hope to cling to.
"Thank you. I need some time alone to think." Kim said, as she made her way from the main room. Jason moved to follow her, but was stopped by Alpha.
"Let her have some privacy. A lot has been happening, and Kim's been on the outside of the team, and the things that they go through, for some time." Jason nodded in understanding. It was hard for him the first time he returned to the team during the end of their Zeo era.
"Okay. So...which three of us are going to teleport to the castle?" Rocky asked, breaking the silence.
"Fifty..." Billy whispered to himself, as he mounted the final step that Christie had indicated. Looking to his left, Billy counted the stones up from the step. 1-2-3-4...5! Taking a moment to listen for anyone who might be following, or coming toward him, Billy reached out, hand brushing lightly at the fifth stone. Another warning bell sounded in his head, and he pulled back. Searching the wall before him, he found the barely noticeable cracks that indicated that there was indeed a hidden door. Carefully, he traced them, finding that the door would open to the left of the stone. Looking cautiously around, Billy stood with his back pressed to the wall to the right of the door, the cold stones stinging his bare, torn back. Holding the sword up as best he could, clutching it against his chest, Billy raised his foot, slamming his booted heel against the stone.
Holding his breath, he prepared to attack. Billy listened as the stone door rolled back, grinding rock against rock, as it opened. The sound was nearly deafening, as he glanced up the stairs and down, prepared for a figure to emerge from the darkness at either end.
Though it seemed as if it took forever, the door finally came to a grinding halt, the wall shaking at his back. Releasing the breath he'd been holding, Billy slid along the ruff stone wall, the stones tearing at his wounds. Leveling the sword to strike, the weight of it threatening to drag his arms down to his side, Billy stepped forward.
The last remnants of a dust cloud settled on the steps at his feet, having been disturbed by the opening door. Hesitating for a few moments, Billy strained to hear the faintest of sounds. When the silence continued, he moved forward to stand before the open door. Faint lights along the walls seemed to glow eerily. Glancing at the dust covered floor, Billy could clearly make out two sets of foot prints. Both from the same set of small feet. One set lead in, and were distorted by the second set that had lead out of the corridor. Cobwebs hung like wispy curtains from the walls and ceiling, as a slight breeze moved past him to fill the corridor.
Sensing that he was in no danger, Billy stepped up into the doorway, slowly moving in to the stand next to the first light in the wall. Even his scientific mind was surprised to find that the glowing lights were nothing more than stones set into the wall. A stone that seemed to absorb the light that touched it coming in from the doorway. The more the light touched it, the brighter the stone glowed, there by providing light for the other stones that lead down the dark corridor.
"Amazing." He could think of no other word to describe it.
Slowly he moved a few more feet into the corridor. As he took another step, a loud click sounded at his feet. Surprised, Billy glanced down to see a single black stone beneath him, his right foot resting at it's center. Behind him, the door began to grind close. Billy would have been panicked, and should have been if it wasn't for the fact that he knew he'd be safe behind the door for a while. A chance to get some real sleep. He just hoped that the same mechanism that opened the door, would also open it.
Letting the fleeting thought rest in the back of his mind, Billy made his way down the descending corridor, the glowing stones lighting his way.
Billy had no idea how long he'd been descending into the bowels of the castle. No more of an idea than he had about the time he'd been held prisoner within it's walls. He made a quick mental note to ask Christie if she knew, when she brought him some food and clothes. He was tired, and all he could think about was rest. To be able to close his eyes and sleep. At this point, he didn't give a damn if he had nightmares or not. They had become so much a part of his life now, just like breathing was.
Taking a glance behind him, he found that the stones were beginning to dim. Before long, he presumed, he'd be plunged into darkness, along with the corridor, and what ever room or rooms were at the end of it. But, he didn't care. His scientific mind wanted to evaluate and study the amazing stones, to find out what their composition was made up of, but the other part was only concerned about one thing...survival.
Ahead of him, Billy could see that the corridor veered off to the right. Being cautious, not letting the feeling of safety distract him, Billy grasped the hilt of the sword tightly, and inched his way along the wall; cobwebs clinging to his bare skin.
At the corner, he slowly peered around the edge, taking in any and everything beyond it. Before him the corridor opened up into a large room. The room was lightly furnished with a small bed-like structure in one corner, and a small, rectangular table at it's center. Three chairs were placed at three of the sides of the table. To the right of the table, against the wall, stood a cabinet that leaned precariously in towards the room. From where he stood, he could see every inch of the room, and knew that he was completely alone.
Relaxing, and letting the sword down, Billy stepped into the room, his feet kicking up the dust that covered the floor. He watched as it settled down into the smaller foot prints beside him. Curiously, Billy took in the contents of the room, the stones behind him starting to dim.
Gazing at the table's top, Billy found an indication that Christie had intended to return to the room at some point. In the center of the table set a lamp and a few, long, red tipped sticks and a striking stone.
Moving to the table, Billy lay the sword on it's scared, wood surface. For a moment Billy had the sensation that his arm was slowly floating up. He'd almost forgotten how heavy the sword was. Giving his arm a quick shake, Billy carefully lifted the glass dome of the lamp off. Sitting it gently on the table next to the lamp, he picked up one of the sticks; striking it against the stone. A small spark shot out, but didn't light. He wasn't surprised. They appeared to be quite old. A couple of more strikes later, and a small flame finally took hold of the sticks end. Billy held it still, letting the small flame grow brighter. Once satisfied that it would stay burning, he touched it to the lamp's wick. Once it had taken hold of the darkened end, Billy blew out the small flame at the sticks end, as he placed the dome back on top of the lamp.
Looking up from the lamp, he found that the stones in the walls were beginning to flicker, like a bad florescent light, then dim. Letting out a deep sigh, Billy moved around the room, touching the softness of the bed, exploring the empty cabinet. Stretching up, he felt along it's top, surprised when his fingers brushed against something that felt like a book. Unable to grip it, Billy pulled one of the rickety chairs over, and climbed precariously onto it, listening as it creaked and groaned under his weight.
Carefully, he grabbed the old leather bound book, and stepped off the old chair. Quickly, his curiosity getting the better of him, he thumbed carefully thought the old pages. Seeing hand writing, he almost fell to his knees in thanks. He could finally give his brain some exercise. Placing the book on the bed, he pulled the chair up beside it, and placed the lamp from the table, onto the seat. Once satisfied with his makeshift side table, Billy sat down on the bed, sliding back until his back was resting against the wall, then grabbed the book up once more.
Billy opened it carefully; the yellow page edges, brittle to the touch. Opening the book, Billy turned to the first page, and was disappointed to see that it was written in a scrawl that he couldn't decipher, let alone read. Flipping though a few more pages, Billy decided that he'd just look through the book, after seeing a few interesting drawings. All the writings were unfamiliar, and even the few diagrams he'd seen were foreign to him.
At one point, half way thought the book, Billy's eyes locked onto a couple of paragraphs of familiar words. Sitting up straight, leaning into the light, he began to read them aloud.
"It has been nearly one hundred years since Walking Wolf separated himself into two individual entities. I have but one hundred more years to wait for the powers to reunite, manifesting themselves into one being. And I have a plan. While that being is still too young to protect itself from me, the way Walking Wolf did; I will take the powers for myself.
"I've spent this time studying the people of Earth, even having been a part of them. I know their weakness', and what it will take to rule them. The only thing that would make the victory so much sweeter, is if the DarkChylde was at my disposal. But, I have found that the possibility is beyond me. But, I will still take what I can get.
Heratron, Llynorackib "
Billy knew his earlier dreams had been about actual events. That much he'd learned from Sam Trueheart, but to see the things he's actually dreamed of in black and white, made it seem more real, and more frightening. And now, instead of knowing the alien being as the Heratron Lt., he had an actual name to put with the dreamed image.
Hoping to find more information, Billy continued to flip through the old pages. The last page containing the image of a multi-armed creature, with an insect like head. To the sides were images like petrogliphs. One like the sun, and one like a wolf. A bolt of lightning was drawn as if it was coming from the two images and going into the creature.
Billy assumed that the figure in the center was the Heratron's real visage, and that he was predicting that he'd be able to absorb the powers. Sitting the book on the bed next to him, Billy let his head rest against the wall behind him. His eyes were growing heavy, and he knew that he couldn't fight sleep any longer.
As his eyes began to drift shut, Billy spotted the sword laying on the table. For a brief moment, the thought that he should get up and place it next to him, crossed his mind, but he didn't even finish out the thought before the blessed darkness of sleep over took him.
Immediately, images began to form, swirling in the void. A creature with multiple arms, surrounded by bright light, stood at the center of the darkness. A wolf paced the parameter of the light around the creature; it's growls coming from everywhere. Slowly the images began to fade away, replaced by new ones. At first the image was of Kim, her smile and laughter lifting his spirits. Then that image faded replaced by Christie. A different feeling came over him, as she looked at him, smiling. But, this image seemed to be changing, growing darker. Once more the image faded, replaced my Ahzza, who seemed to be glowing; a halo of light surrounding her. Billy listened, as her lips began to form words. "Find the 'Wolf'." Then her image faded as well.
For a time, Billy floated in the darkness, letting it lull him, caress him, soothe him. He was falling under it's spell; feeling safe.
A sudden, bright light exploded in front of him, blinding him momentarily. From out of the light echoed the sounds of battle, and cries of pain. Billy tried to see what was going on, but the light kept him at bay. Unexpectedly, there was a figure appeared before him, gripped in his own hand. A feeling of victory washing over and through him, filling him. But, why? What had he been victorious over?
A voice, a single familiar voice emerged from the sounds of battle around him, becoming the only sound he could hear. Turning to the voice, his vision cleared and now he could clearly see the figure he held. Billy held the figure gripped in one hand, while in the other he held a sword, it's razor sharp edge held against the figure's throat.
The one he held in his hand was dressed completely in red, bands of white encircling each upper arm. Black trimmed the yellow chest plate as well as gauntlets and boots. A helmet complete with chrome trim and lights covered the individuals head, except for the portion that had been blasted away, exposing the left quarter of the person's face; a cheek and one terrified, brown eye. A single word drifted up to him from the figure held in his hand, "Billy..."
"There is no use in begging. It's over...Tommy." Surprised by his own words, and how cruel and cold they sounded, Billy looked down into the face of the man he had once called friend, and ally; and laughed.
"No..." was the last word Tommy spoke as Billy slowly, methodically, pulled the blade cleanly across his neck; feeling the warm, thick blood rush over his gripping fingers, watching as the light slowly faded from Tommy's eye. A smile of satisfaction curved his lips. From behind him, came a seductive voice, whispering in his ear.
"Well done my King. Victory is sweet, and it's ours." Billy pulled his eyes from the dead stare of Tommy's eye, letting his lifeless body slip from his fingers. Looking out around him, from where the sounds of battle had been, he finally saw what the light had hidden from him. Billy saw the remnants of battle laying all around him. Bodies littering the ground. The only figure standing was that of Locan. Billy pulled his eyes from Locan's victorious stance, to take in the bodies that lay lifelessly all around. They were all clothed in colorful uniforms; Pink, Green, Blue and Yellow. All of the uniforms were nearly identical to those worn by the figure laying at his own feet.
Two words escaped him then...Power Rangers. Then he heard his name being called, but the voice calling to him seemed to be growing further and further away from him, letting the darkness enter once more.
Sedra slipped quietly into the corridor, the stones in the wall beginning to glow gently, lighting the descending tunnel ahead. The door behind her ground closed, alerting Billy to her entrance. Once more she'd taken on the visage of Christie, garbed in the black robes of her servants. She hated having to be anyone other than who she was, but after two months of resistance from Billy, she had no other choice.
Slowly she made her way down the corridor, listening for any sound coming from down below her; expecting Billy to appear out of the darkness holding Locan's sword. Her head still ached from all the carrying on that Locan had been doing since Billy had taken his favorite sword.
Ahead of her, she could see a faint glow of light. Good, he'd found the lamp and lit it. Carefully, she passed her fingers over her cheek, testing the tenderness of the bruise there. Though she's used her magic to create the appearance, the full effect would not seem real, unless the bruise truly did cause some amount of pain.
What she wouldn't do to mate with this human. To bear the 'DarkChylde'. Any other options were pretty scarce right at the moment. Locan had returned from yet another unsuccessful attempt at locating Ahzza, and who know where or who the 'Wolf' was? And it seemed as if no one did know.
Sedra had made several trips back to the reservation, and had found nothing in the minds of anyone there that would tell her where Ahzza had gone. She also had checked a few minds of some of the other friends of Billy's and Ahzza's, but no one seemed to know anything about the 'Wolf' or it's identity, which added to her frustration and urgent need to bring forth the 'DarkChylde'.
Sedra stood at the corner, the dim light from the room hiding her in shadows; the stones behind her blinking into darkness once more. Quickly, she checked over the items that she'd brought with her. A pouch of water, a bowl containing cheese, fruits and bread. She'd thought about drugging the food, but thought better of it. She wanted Billy to be able to trust Christie. She'd have a chance the next time.
The bowl, Billy would be able to use to pour water into to bathe with. Over her arm, she'd draped a towel and a change of clothes. She'd seen Billy dressed in black before, and found him to be quite attractive in that color, so she had whipped up a set of clothes tailored to her tastes. Black leather pants, and a loose fitting black, silk shirt.
Satisfied with her procurements, she moved around the corner of the wall, into the light, calling out Billy's name, to let him know that it was only Christie.
As she moved into the room, she was surprised to find Billy asleep on the bed, his back against the wall, legs drawn up, with his arms draped over his knees. His head was leaned back, exposing the fine lines of his chest and neck to her view. Taking a deep breath to calm her sudden pangs of lust, she set the items down on the table's top, noticing for the first time, the he was without the sword.
Sedra had wanted to rush back to this place, almost as soon as she had told him of it's existence, but she had had other things to deal with, and had been detained for nearly 12 hours. She had nearly ran all the way to the door, once she had a spare moment.
Free of her baggage, she moved toward the bed, skirting the chair and lamp. Quietly, she moved the chair away from the bed's edge, as she sat gently on the bed next to Billy. She watched, entranced, at the even, rise and fall of his chest. Slowly, keeping her eyes locking on his, she reached out with her cold fingers, to touch the warm planes of his chest, feeling the light tickling brush of fine hairs against her fingertips. How she would love joining with him. Then he would be hers...forever.
An unexpected touch on her arm brought a gasp from her. She watched from the corner of her eye, as Billy's slender hand moved gently up her arm. She focused on his eyes, and was startled when they slowly blinked open. He seemed to be looking straight at her, and yet through her.
"Billy, I-" Before she could utter another word, Billy's hand grasped her arm painfully, jerking her toward him, pulling her up tightly against the hard wall of his chest. Roughly he wrapped his arms around her, almost as if he were trying to mold her into himself. At first she tried to push away. A reaction from the human part of her that she had duplicated. But the resistance faded as Billy savagely took her lips with his own, mating their mouths in an ancient dance of desire.
The touch of his tongue against hers sent and electrical charge through her body. Suddenly her hunger began to match his, as she accepted the caresses of his hungry hands, and savage kiss. She could feel the caress of his strong hands as they searched the thick folds of the robes she wore. She suddenly wished that she hadn't have worn the robes at all.
As his kisses and caresses deepened, she couldn't help the moan of pleasure and hunger that escaped her, as his passions became more demanding. Shifting, Sedra tried to position herself more comfortably. A sudden jab to her hip startled her. Trying to pull away from Billy's grasp, she tried to see what she was leaning up against, but Billy's grip was like iron.
With one push on his chest, she was able to drag her swollen lips from his hungry kisses, long enough to whisper a few words.
"Billy...something is jabbing my hip." Sedra looked up into his eyes, and saw the lust suddenly fade away, as if he was finally seeing her for the first time.
"Oh, God! Christie! I-I'm so sorry. I-" Billy released her, leaping off of the bed, like she'd just burst into flames in his arms. Which, from Sedra's point of view, wasn't far from the truth.
Standing a few feet away from her, he could see how swollen her lips were, and brushed the back of his hand against his own. What the hell was he doing? The dream! Oh, God! The dream! A sudden feeling of nausea began to swim up from his gut as he looked at Christie; the memories of the dream still vivid in his mind.
Sedra watched as Billy bolted toward the corridor, disappearing around the corner. She felt a bolt of anger wash over her, but she had to carry on with the charade.
"Billy! Where are you going?" She called out, pushing off from the bed, her hand grazing the object that had been jabbing her. Looking down she saw the Heratron's Journal. She'd left the book here, just in case something happened to her, that way no one else would learn of the secrets that she knew, and use them to take her universe. She hadn't even thought that Billy would find it. Not that it mattered, he wouldn't be able to read it anyway.
A groan of anguish, from the corridor, reminded her that she wasn't alone, and that she had better check on Billy. After all, that's what Christie would do. Getting up from the bed, she grabbed up the lamp and went to find him.
As she rounded the corner, the light of the lamp lit up the pale, scarred and torn plains of Billy's back, where he squatted with his head against the stone wall of the corridor. The small stones set into the wall beginning to glow faintly with the light.
She could tell he was breathing deeply, trying to control his overflowing emotions. Even she was confused by what had happened. Carefully she moved toward him.
"Billy? Are you all right?" Billy's response was somewhat muffled by the wall, and she strained to hear him.
"I don't know what I was doing, and I apologize if I've hurt or offended you. One minute I was having the worse dream of my life, and the next I was..."
"You didn't hurt me, Billy. Surprised me? Definitely. But, you know, I've never made a man sick before. I don't know weather I should be insulted, or honored." Sedra chuckled slightly. To her it sounded as forced and fake as her appearance. But it must have sounded genuine to Billy, because he slowly lowered himself to the floor, turning to rest his back against the wall, a slight smile on his lips.
The redness in his eyes indicated that he'd been crying, though she thought better of mentioning it. His face was flushed, but seemed to be getting some of the color back.
"Do you think I could ask you to take it as a complement?" Billy asked, taking a deep breath. He listened to the soft ruffle of fabric, as Christie sat down across the corridor from him.
"Are you okay?" She asked again. "What happened in there?"
"I'm fine. I...I wish I knew. I know I was having the worse dream I've ever had."
"Do you mind telling me about it?" Billy nodded and began to describe the dream, telling her every detail, leaving nothing out, except the names of the Rangers.
"Sedra kept whispering to me that victory was sweet. And I felt evil, and it felt good. Then I woke up, and I was..." Billy stopped, feeling the bile rise up in the back of his throat again.
"In your dreams, you killed the leader of the Rangers, and let the others be killed by Locan." Christie was silent for a time before she continued. "Billy. It was just a dream. True, a very bad one, but a dream none the less."
"I know. But it was so real." Billy looked straight at Christie. He wanted to believe her, to know that it was only a dream, but...what of the other dreams? Billy sighed in exasperation.
Christie stood up, moving carefully to Billy's side, extending her hand to help him up. For a long time Billy just stared at the offered hand. Repeating it over and over in his mind, he told himself that he had to trust her, that there was no one else he could.
A bit reluctantly, Billy took her hand, and rose up to stand before her. That's when he saw the bruise on her cheek.
"Oh, God, Christie. Did I do that to you?" Billy asked, touching the bruise lightly. At her flinch, he pulled away.
"No. You didn't hurt me. I got this complements of Lord Locan."
"Lord, Locan?!" Christie's head snapped up at Billy's biting words.
"Keeps him from taking his anger out on me. I've been using the term so long, that I forgot that I don't need to use it when I'm not in his presence."
"He'll pay. That I promise you." Calming down, Billy tried to remember the questions he needed to ask her. Then it came to him.
"I've been wondering, and your statement about using 'Lord' for a long time, reminded me. How long have we been here? In the castle, I mean?" Billy queried.
"A little more than two months, I believe." The surprise in Billy's eyes startled her. She knew that he had been hoping for a rescue, but there wouldn't be one, and she could see the despair in his eyes. "Come on, Billy. I brought you some food, water and clothes. I've got to be going back before I'm missed." Christie headed back toward the room, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her.
"Stay here with me. You'll be safe here. Tomorrow, I'll go out and try to find a way out of here."
"I can't. If I disappear, the search for you will become two fold. As it is, Locan and Sedra are scouring the castle for you. But, I promise that I'll be back tomorrow." Christie smiled, though Billy's expression never wavered.
"Are you sure you'll be alright?" Christie only nodded.
"Okay." Billy started to turn away from her to look through the items she brought, when he noticed a trickle of blood on the back of his hand. Then Sedra's words; so long ago, came flooding back. 'Christie has served her purposes well.' There were alarms going off again.
"I'll see you tomorrow. Be careful, Billy." Christie turned, heading down the corridor.
"Wait!" Billy called after her. At first he thought that maybe she hadn't heard him, and moved to follow her.
Rounding the corner, he came face to face with her, and she could clearly see the fading trust in his eyes.
"Something Sedra said to me shortly after I was brought here. She told me that you have served your purposes well. She seemed to know a lot about me." Christie let her eyes drop; a single tear running down her cheek.
"She promised me that if I told her all I knew about you, she'd let us go after she'd mated with you. I was scared. I didn't know what to think, or why she want to...you know. So I told her all I knew."
"Okay, so you told her all about me, but that still doesn't explain how she knew about my blood type. I never told you about that, and I never gave you a sample for your biology experiment." His voice was laced with accusation, but she forced her head up, to look him straight in the eye.
"She took the sample of your blood from the clothes I was wearing when she kidnapped me. Listen, if it will set us free, why don't you just have...sex...with Sedra. What harm can that do? She'll let us go." It was pathetic, she knew that, but she was willing to try anything.
"You don't understand, Christie. I won't and I can't."
"If you don't, she'll kill us both."
"If I do, we're all dead. Not just us, but everyone on Earth. You friends and family, as well as mine and millions of others." Christie looked up at him, shocked.
"Sedra wants to give birth to the 'DarkChylde'. This 'DarkChylde' could destroy everything we love. And it's the only thing that can fight the Powers of Light. And to bring this child to life, she has to mate with me. And I can't let that happen."
"I've heard her and Locan speak of the 'Light'. Said that Ahzza is half of the prophecy. That they need to find her. I don't understand. She was with us when I was taken. Where is she now?"
"I don't know. I just know that if Sedra and Locan don't have her, then she's somewhere safe. And that's what's important right now.
"I'm sorry for not trusting you. I think it's going to be something I'm going to have trouble with for quite a while."
"I understand. I have to go."
"Be careful, Christie."
"I will." Billy watched her disappear into the darkness of the corridor, then turned back to the items that Christie had brought.
As Christie stepped from the entrance of the hidden corridor, the stone sliding into place; she appeared to shimmer for a brief moment, her visage becoming that of Sedra. With a thunderous slam, the stone slid into place, lost once again, amongst the rest of the stones in the wall. Dusting the clinging cobwebs from her dress, Sedra moved up the steps, joining Locan who stood sentinel, waiting for her.
"How did it go, my Queen?" Locan asked, gazing at her dusty dress.
"Could have gone better. Damn! Locan, I was this close to conceiving the 'DarkChylde'." Sedra held her thumb and index finger just a few centimeters apart. "Do you know how frustrating that makes a woman?" Sedra stormed past him.
"What do you mean, you were this close? What happened?"
"Apparently our little Billy boy was having a bad dream when I found him. He was incoherent when he grabbed me and...Oh! Why am I even explaining this to you? Needless to say, I'll have to make another visit, and this time the food will be drugged."
"I still do not understand why you didn't drug the food in the first place." Sedra stopped. She had thought that Locan was an intelligent creature, but she was beginning to have some serious doubts. Sedra turned to face him.
"You have been torturing him for two months, and it hasn't accomplished anything. And the one person he seemed concerned about was...Christie. So. Imagine this...I realized that if anyone could get information out of him, it would be her. His affections for her are deep. But, first, he had to trust her. Trust that she wouldn't betray him, until she...I got everything I needed from him." Sedra smiled slyly.
"What information were you able to garner from him today?" Locan asked, seeing the picture more clearly.
"Unfortunately, not much. Though he does have his guard up. He's still isn't sure that he can trust Christie; her having been a servant to me for so long. I almost was caught off guard." Sedra started into the throne room, Locan following behind. "He remembered what I had said to him about Christie in our first meeting. That she had served her purposes well. I had to come up with an excuse as to why Christie had told me everything she knew about him. Then he wanted to know how I found out about his rare blood type, when he had never told Christie of it. This one's a lot more intelligent than we know, and we'll have to be very careful."
Sedra slipped into the seat of her throne, leaning back and closing her eyes.
"That's fine with me. I like an adversary that can give me an intelligent battle. It's a lot more interesting." Locan growled, watching as a slow, evil smile curved Sedra's lips.
"They are more fun when they're smart, aren't they?" Sedra laughed.
When Billy had discovered the contents of the bowl Christie had left, he doubted that it would be enough to fill him; as hungry as he was. But, after a couple of apples, a chunk of the heavy bread, and some cheese, he was having a hard time breathing. He was thankful that there was a lot left. He knew that with as starved as he had been, he wouldn't stay full for very long.
The idea that the food might be drugged crossed his mind, but his hunger over road the thought. And as he stripped the remnants of his clothes from his body and began to bathe as best he could, he realized that if the food had been drugged, he would have felt some sort of ill effects by now. Smiling to himself, knowing that he could trust Christie, he continued to was the months of dirt from his body.
But, one effect the food was having on him, was that it was making him sleepy. He'd just spent; he didn't know how many hours sleeping, but he'd been without it for so long, that it would take ages for him to get all that he would need to help him heal. Giving up the idea of finding the main control room right then, he wandered over to the bed, placing the sword against the chair that held the lamp. He'd sleep a bit, then when he woke, he'd head out and see what he could find.
It seemed like no time at all before Billy fell asleep, his body relaxed by the bath he was able to take. His sleep was free of dreams for the first time since he'd been taken captive in this place.
But, all too soon, he was wide awake again, refreshed and ready to take a look around. As he sat up from the bed, he glanced around to find that he was still alone, and it didn't look like Christie had returned while he was sleeping. Everything was as it was when he fell asleep.
Getting to his feet, Billy stretched, finding that the sleep had stiffened his aching muscles a bit. Working them out as best he could, he made his way across the room to the table, and the stack of clothes Christie had brought. Billy lifted the dark garments from the table, holding them up for his perusal. Surprised at the choice of garments, he decided that Christie probably had a hard enough time finding them, and that he should be glad that he would have clothes, and not have to wonder around the castle naked.
Enjoying the feeling of being clean again, Billy donned the black leather pants, and the loose fitting silk shirt. Topping the whole ensemble off with his scuffed and dirty boots.
"Not exactly my style." Billy commented, as he moved around in the clothes. The clothes fit perfectly, as if they had been made specifically for him. Laughing, he remembered how Tommy had looked in his pirate costume a few years back. That's how he felt now. "They'll do. To much longer in those old clothes, and I would have been wondering the halls stark naked." He chuckled to himself, at the thought that, that is exactly what Sedra was wanting. "I hate to disappoint, but..."
Billy folded the remnants of his old clothes, placing them on the bed. He might need them for something later. Taking in a deep breath, Billy looked at the large sword, then lifting it's heavy weight, he slipped it into the loop of his belt; between his belt and pants. "I guess I'd better start looking for that control room. If I can find a teleportation device, or even rig up a homing device, our chances of getting out of here will be a lot better." Billy told himself, as he picked up the lamp. As he moved past the table, he grabbed up one more of the apples. "One for the road."
Billy moved into the corridor. Immediately the stones began to glow brighter, causing a domino effect; lighting up the others throughout the corridor. Once he was satisfied that the stones had taken enough light; Billy placed the lamp back on the table, then made his way towards the entrance at the end of the corridor. Careful of any sounds or movements ahead of him.
Through the fading light, Billy could see the wall ahead of him, and the dark trigger stone set into the floor. The climb up the descending corridor had taken more out of him than he thought possible. He couldn't believe that he'd become so weak during the duration he'd been held captive in the castle. A few days rest, while he worked to find a way out, would give him some of his strength back.
As the stones began to flicker, and grow dim, Billy knew that he'd be plunged into total darkness within moments. He had to see if the trigger stone worked to open the entrance from this side. Because, if it didn't, then he'd have a short time in which to locate the trigger stone that would open the door. So, if someone, or something was waiting for him outside of the door, then he'd just have to take his chances.
Billy moved as quickly as he could to the entrance, pulling the sword from his belt. Standing over the trigger stone, he stepped down on it with his booted foot, placing all of his weight on the stone.
Nothing happened. For a brief moment, Billy felt a wave of panic threaten to drown him. Holding it at bay, he stepped back, then slowly moved forward onto the stone, as if he'd taken a step onto it. Everything was silent around him. The last glowing stones began to grow dim. He started to loose to the panic that began to seep through his defenses. Just when he thought the stone wouldn't work, a barely audible click sounded, followed by a deep rumble, as the door began to slide open.
Billy stood on the stone, sword raised and ready to strike, as the door slowly opened before him. He knew he'd be in plain view as soon as the door opened completely. He fought the need to hide, afraid that if he stepped off of the stone, the door would close again.
All along the walls behind him the stones began to glow once more, pushing back the darkness as the door opened enough to let some light in. Carefully, he held the sword up before him, keeping it between him and anyone or thing that might be waiting.
As the door came to a rumbling halt, Billy remained where he was, waiting for a sound or movement in the deafening silence. Moving slowly forward, Billy stood in the entrance. Placing his back to the door, he carefully peered out in each direction.
He was completely alone. sighing in relief, he let the sword down at his side, stepping from the corridor. He stood looking at the opening, remembering how it closed the first time. Billy carefully reached over, pressing his palm against the stone. Slowly, after a short wait, the door began to rumble closed again. He kept an eye on the steps above and below him, hoping that no one would hear the sound that seemed to echo thunderously around him. He thought about leaving, before the door could shut completely, but decided against it, worried that is someone came down or up the stairs after he'd left, they might see it, and he'd loose the only place he had to hide.
As he nervously waited for the door to close, Billy tried to think back to the last time he'd been in the castle, and where the control room might be from where he stood. He vaguely remembered it being further down in the bowels of the castle. Placed there to keep unwanted visitors, like the Rangers, from getting to it easily.
With a laud slam, the door closed. Gripping the sword tightly, Billy moved down the steps, continuing on past the prison cell level, where he'd been kept prisoner. He had a brief moment to wonder where Christie was, and what she was doing. Then the thought fled, replaced by the need to find the control room.
Rocky paced back and forth across the Power Chamber floor, his sense of humor having disappeared two days ago. The rest of the Rangers stood at the controls, or sat on the steps of the upper level. Jason kept an eye on the dimensional movements, looking for that instant of a ripple that would indicate that Sedra was passing though to another dimension. So far...nothing.
Kim had returned to the Power Chamber's main room, looking worn; eyes red. No one dared to question her abrupt departure, as she continued on as if nothing had happened.
The decision on who would go to the castle, was left in the hands of the Rangers themselves. And it was unanimously agreed upon that Tommy; as leader of the team, would go, as well as Rocky and Kat. Rocky for back-up strength, and Kat for her medical skills. As soon as the decision was made, they morphed into their uniforms, and began the waiting period. There would be no time to morph once the ripple happened, as they would be teleported in that same instant. So now, they continued to wait, as the time stretched on and on.
"Anything?" Rocky asked Jason, as he paced past him.
"Nothing more since you asked two minutes ago." Jason reported, as he continued to check the monitors.
"PATIENCE, RANGERS. YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO TELEPORT IN AN INSTANT." Zordon explained. Sighing, Rocky continued to pace, wishing that he cold remove his helmet.
Door after door, after door...Billy continued down the corridors, searching every room for the main control room. Several times he'd heard sounds drifting down the corridors toward him, causing him to seek refuge within one of the various rooms. When the sounds moved away, and no one passed, Billy slipped from the room to continue his quest.
Finally, at the last door, Billy stretched up to peer between the bars of the small window set into the door. Beyond it was semi-darkness, a few flickering lights illuminating various consoles.
"Finally." He sighed, as he tried to open the door. But, it didn't budge. "Damn! I don't need this obstacle right now." Billy groaned, taking a deep breath. Listening carefully, he placed the sword into his belt, as he moved back from the door. Using all of the strength he could muster, Billy kicked out at the door with his booted heel. The only response was a hollow, metallic thud, for his efforts.
"Why couldn't the locks be made of wood?" Billy wondered aloud to himself. Standing back, determination driving him forward, he concentrated on the door. A soft creak; almost inaudible, went unnoticed by Billy as he pulled back for one more kick. This time, as his heel connected with the door, it burst open, swinging back to bounce off of the wall behind it.
Checking quickly up and down the corridor, Billy slipped into the room, pushing the door shut behind him, never noticing the lock as it seemed to melt, turning from splintered wood, back into metal.
A few feet into the room and the lights flashed on, illuminating the whole control room. All around him, lining every wall there were computer consoles; and a thick layer of dust coating everything.
"Well, I can tell that Sedra and Locan have never been down here." Quietly, Billy moved around the room, thoroughly checking over every console, looking for the teleportation controls. Spying a familiar set of controls, Billy moved to the console. The controls were arranged a bit differently, but the configuration shouldn't be too hard to figure out; Billy thought to himself.
Quickly, he started the process of figuring out the controls. Nearly finished, Billy smiled to himself. He'd found a way out of here. Now all he had to do was get Christie. With a sigh of satisfaction, Billy turned from the controls, and headed for the door.
Within feet of the door, Billy came to a sliding halt. The door was slowly opening in front of him.
Locan had been searching the halls ever since Sedra said that Billy had left the hiding place. He knew that he wasn't suppose to catch the human, no matter how much he wanted to. Sedra wanted him to keep an eye on Billy, so that when Billy found the control room, Locan could destroy any and everything possible so that there would be no chance of Billy getting away, until she had what she wanted.
As he made his way to the end of the long corridor, he spotted a light coming from a door at the end. Quietly, Locan made his way to the door to see that it was slightly ajar. Carefully, he peered through the bared window into the room. Everything seemed quiet, but Locan couldn't see the whole room from his position. Being as quiet as he could, Locan stood to the side of the doorway; remembering that Billy had his sword, and pushed the door open, slowly.
Cautiously, once the door was completely open, Locan moved into the silent room, his feet scraping on something on the floor. Looking back at the door, he found that the two inch thick bolt appeared to be shattered.
Wondering what it was that had the force to shatter two-inch think metal, Locan moved further into the room, his new sword drawn. All around him lights flickered and flashed. But the room was completely empty. Being cautious none the less, Locan began a thorough search of the room. He could only hope that the human hadn't been able to escape yet.
As the door continued to open, Billy began to panic. He looked all around the room for a place to hide. Every where he looked he knew that those would be the first places that Locan and Sedra would look. With one last hope, Billy looked up at the ceiling. There he found numerous beams, barely noticeable in the darkness above the lights.
Acting quickly, Billy stepped carefully up onto a nearby console. Then, leaping up, he grabbed a beam; using all the upper body strength he had, he pulled himself up out of site, just as Locan stepped into the room.
Carefully, and as quietly as possible, Billy reached out with his other arm, to the next beam beside him, stabilizing his precarious place in the rafters.
Holding his breath, Billy watched as Locan took in the room, looking in all of the hiding places Billy had known he would. Though the clothes he wore weren't his style, he would be eternally grateful to Christie for bringing them to him. The black of his clothes would better conceal him from Locan's sight.
And, just as Billy thought Locan would leave, the unexpected happened.
Roaring in rage, Locan began his slow and methodical destruction of the computers, and he and Christie's only chance of getting home. Unable to bear the sight any longer, Billy closed his eyes, forcing himself from attacking Locan in blind rage. His eminent death would not help protect Christie.
With eyes tightly closed, Billy was startled when the beams he clung too, began to shake, causing a shower of dust and rubble to rain down on him from the ceiling above. As he shook the dust and debris from his face and hair, he tried his best to keep from coughing or sneezing. But, the sudden movement only succeeded in dislodging him.
Thinking quickly, Billy pushed out with his arms, as his feet slid between the beams. Using years of experience, and tons of adrenaline, Billy stabilized himself between the rafters; his feet dangling below him. Pushing his arms out even with his shoulders, his muscles were burning and screaming as he executed the hardest form of the "Iron Cross", that he had ever done. The fear of being found, keeping him in place longer than any "Iron Cross" he'd ever executed in his life.
He could feel his muscles shake, his head starting to pound with the exertion. Billy dared a moment to glance down, finding Locan standing just beneath his dangling feet. If Locan looked up now, it would all be over.
Billy continued to hold his breath, as he tried to pull himself up, but the beams were spaced to far apart, and the attempt was causing him to drop lower towards Locan.
Stopping any and all movements, Billy held deathly still as he kept his eyes on Locan. Time seemed to stretch out, becoming hours instead of minutes. Locan didn't move. Then, as Billy's screaming muscles threatened to betray him, Locan finally moved to the door. Looking back at the smoking, crackling remains of the consoles, Locan took his leave of the room.
Finally, letting his arms give in, Billy dropped hard to the floor, collapsing onto his back, as he wrapped his quivering arms around himself, taking deep breaths as he gazed at the beams overhead.
Now what was he going to do? Locan had destroyed any and everything that could be used to get him and Christie out of this place. Sure, he could put it all back together again, but it would take several hours, over several days or weeks, and then there was the chance that he'd get caught, or that Locan would return and destroy it all again.
He couldn't think about it now. He had to get back to the hideout, then he could take the time to figure out what he was going to do. Slowly, Billy got to his feet, his weak arms barely strong enough to help push him up from the floor.
With one last thread of hope, Billy gazed around him at the destruction. Slowly, he moved along the consoles, hoping that the destruction wasn't as bad as it appeared. But, upon closer inspection, that last threat was snapped in two. It would take a lot longer than he had previously assumed, to put anything back together again. Locan's destruction of the system was complete. As if he knew exactly what he was going after.
Feeling like hope had been yanked out from under him, and despair was crashing in on him, Billy sighed, and moved carefully from the room, down the dark, quiet and empty corridors, to the place that lay hidden behind the walls of his massive prison.
Slowly, and uncaring, Billy made his way down the dark corridor that would lead him to the empty room at the end. In no hurry to be alone, he stopped, looking at one of the glowing stones. Reaching out, he gently touched it's smooth surface. The stone warm against his finger tips, began to grow dim at his touch. As he leaned closer to see how the stones were set into the wall, a clatter from the room below, startled him back from his musings. Pressing himself against the wall, he pulled the sword from his belt. His arms still too weak to hold it very high, Billy leaned the blade against his arm.
Quietly, he listened for anymore sounds. After a moment, the sound of one of the wooden chairs scraping across the stone floor, proved that he hadn't been imagining things.
Carefully, and as quietly as possible, he made his way toward the room. Everything within him told him that he was overreacting, that Christie was the only other being in the castle who knew of the secret room's existence, but every other part of him screamed that he'd been betrayed.
More, softer sounds continued to drift up to him as he made his way down the last few feet of the corridor. Finally at the wall separating him from the room, he stopped. Suddenly, everything was quiet. Lifting the sword as best he could, he stepped around the wall as a metal tray struck the edge of his sword.
Reacting quickly, Billy stepped back, putting some space between him and his attacker. One look told him that he wasn't the one who had been attacked.
"Oh God, Christie!"
As soon as she recognized Billy's voice, Christie let the tray slip from her fingers to clatter to the stone floor. Letting out an aching sob, Christie sank down onto the floor, hiding her face in the folds of her robes.
Lowering the sword, Billy leaned it against the wall as he kneeled at Christie's side. "What happened?" Billy demanded; the anger in his voice rising. Gently he lifted her tear streaked face up to look at him.
Christie tried to look away from Billy's gaze, but she was drawn to his own pale hazel eyes.
"Did you find the place you were looking for? Are we going to be able to leave this place?" Billy could hear the hope in her voice, as he gazed down into her dark eyes. Billy's anger grew as he took in every bruise on her face. The left side of her face was bruised from cheek bone to chin, and her bottom lip was split in the corner. Billy wanted to wipe away her tears, but was too afraid to touch her for fear of hurting her some more.
"Locan did this to you, didn't he?" Christie couldn't tell weather Billy was questioning her, or making a statement; but what did it matter? The fact was, he was right. Locan had done this; at least that's how it was suppose to appear.
Christie nodded her head, and turned away. Billy quickly got to his feet; grabbing the sword up as he turned to the corridor.
"No, Billy! Don't leave me alone down here." She pleaded, struggling to get up from the floor.
"I can't let Locan get away with this. What he did was expected; knowing Locan like we do. But, to hurt you like this, it's unforgivable. I told Sedra that if they hurt you in any way, they'd know what it was to fear me."
"They'll kill you, Billy. I overheard them talking about it. Sedra's going to get what she wants from you, then we're both dead. Just tell me that you've found a way to get us out of here." Christie pleaded, as she stood in the center of the room.
"I'll stay with you for now, but mark my words, Sedra and Locan will pay for what they've done to you."
"What about a way out, Billy?" Christie asked, nearly in tears again.
"I did find a way out..." Billy watched the smile of hope light up her face. "...but Locan destroyed everything." Billy didn't want to tell her, he wanted her to believe that they had a chance to get out, that there was still hope, but it wasn't in him to lie. Especially a lie that couldn't last very long.
He watched as she began to shake her head in denial, new tears washing down her face.
"No! This can't be happening! I've got to get out of here! I don't want to die in this place." Her body began to shake uncontrollably. Quickly, Billy was at her side, wrapping is arms around her, willing some of his own strength into her.
"We won't die here. I won't let that happen. It may take me some time, but I think that I can fix some of the controls, just enough to teleport us out of here."
"How long?" Christie sniffed, looking up into Billy's eyes.
"It could take days, maybe even weeks. It all depends on how often I can get out of here to work on it. But, if I'm caught..." Billy didn't need to finish what he was about to say, Christie understood the implication completely.
Christie nodded her understanding, moving away from Billy's embrace.
"I brought you some more food and water." She indicated the food and picture of water on the table.
"Thank you. Have you eaten?" Billy asked, concerned about her lack of normal optimism.
"Why don't you try to get some rest then. I won't allow you to leave here this time. We are in this together, you and I."
"Thank you, Billy. For everything. Especially for being my friend." Christie attempted a slight smile, then turned to the bed against the wall.
Billy watched as she settled herself down on the bed, pulling her knees and arms up to her chest, closing her eyes to rest. It was all Billy could do to keep himself from bolting from the room to find Locan and kill him for what he did. But he'd promised Christie that he wouldn't leave her alone. And he was one to keep his word. That's why Locan's doom was on it's way...soon.
Glancing at Christie one more time to see that she was sleeping peacefully, Billy moved to the table and grabbing up a large yellow apple. Gently he buffed it against the front of his shirt. That's when he noticed just how much dust actually covered him. Looking over the contents of the table, he took a bite of the apple, savoring it's sweet juiciness. There, at the center of the table, was a huge picture of water. Again Christie had brought him enough water to wash with. For that he was grateful.
Taking another bite of the apple, Billy placed it on the table and took a seat in the chair to remove his warn and dirty boots. As his bare feet touched the cool stones of the floor, he relished the soothing feeling it gave. A comfort he'd never thought of in that way before. But, his time here had changed things. Kicking the boots up under the table, he stood once more, and removed the soft, black, silk shirt . A few quick shakes of the shirt dislodged most of the dust, but he'd have to take a damp rag to it later. Then he laughed. Why was he so concerned about how his clothes looked? Where was he going, and who was he trying to impress? Shaking his head, Billy took another quick bite of the apple, sitting it aside once more. Slowly he began to fill the bowl Christie had brought, with water, careful not to spill a drop of the precious fluid.
Sedra watched Billy's movements through hooded eyes. She tried as best as she could to fake sleep, so that he wouldn't notice her. She thought that the most he would do would be to eat, or even break his promise to Christie, and go after Locan. But what he did next was a very pleasant surprise.
As Billy removed his shirt, his back to her, she could see the scared flesh of his back, and the healing scares. If he'd only succumb to her, she would have made it all go away. Perhaps in time, that might be the case.
The light of the lamp cast a golden glow over his tight, well muscled body, hiding his paleness in a blanket of a healthy glow. He was a splendid specimen. If not for the condition of his body, than for his mind and character. She had expected him to be weak, thus breaking him easily. But that wasn't the case. The more she tried to break him, the stronger he became. But she had found his one weakness after all. His hidden feelings for Christie. The persona that she had hoped to never have to be again. But, so far, Christie had succeeded where she and Locan had failed.
Casually, Billy turned slightly, his profile half hidden in shadows, giving him the appearance of a finely chiseled statue. Sedra steadied her breathing as best she could, giving the appearance of sleep.
As she watched him take a bite of the apple, she almost couldn't help the smile that came to her lips. "Good." She thought to herself. "It will only be a matter of time, now." She had made the decision to drug the food she brought to Billy this time. He wouldn't be suspicious of it, after suffering no ill effects from the last food she'd brought him. He seemed to trust Christie implicitly now.
Grabbing the picture of water from the table, Billy poured the contents into the bowl she had provided him with. She watched him; a deep ache of lust settling over her, as he began to slowly wash the dust and grime from his slender, hard body. The droplets of water gleaming like drops of liquid gold on his body.
Sedra had to force herself not to jump up and take him where he stood. The lust grew stronger as he splashed the water over his face. Then leaning back, small rivulets of water streamed down over his broad chest, down the plains of his abdomen to disappear into the waistband of the tight leather pants that encased his narrow hips and muscular legs. Still holding her breath, she watched as he ran his still damp fingers through his golden hair.
She guessed that she must have made a sound, because Billy suddenly jumped, turning to look in her direction. As he stood there, his body slightly turned toward her, she nearly came undone. The damp locks of golden hair slipped haphazardly down his forehead to dangle gently over his eyes. Quickly she closed her eyes tight, and began to figure out a way to bring Billy over to her, and the hungry seduction that would follow.
Billy had thought that he'd heard a sigh from Christie, who even now seemed to be sleeping peacefully. When he looked over at her, she was fast asleep. "Great." He thought to himself. "Now I'm hearing things."
Turning back to the table, Billy lifted the cloth that Christie had brought, and began to wipe the cool water from his face and arms. As he closed his eyes, running the cloth over his face, he felt a warm sensation course through his body to settle in his lower abdomen. Blinking his eyes and taking a deep breath, his mind began to feel a bit fuzzy.
Pouring some of the water that was left in the picture, into a small glass, Billy downed it in two quick gulps. As the cool liquid settled in his stomach, the sudden heat in his body seemed to dissipate, letting his mind clear a bit.
"The room must be getting too warm." Billy decided, as he reached out for his shirt.
A low moan, followed by an ear piercing scream brought Billy to a stop. He scanned the entrance of the room to find it empty, he and Christie was still alone. Quickly he looked back to where Christie had been asleep, to find her sitting up, her head held in her trembling hands, her body shaking with her sobs. Dropping the shirt back down, Billy moved quickly to her side, taking a seat next to her on the bed.
Gently, he placed a comforting arm around her shoulders, the contact sending a bolt of excitement rushing though him. He tried to ignore it, letting his attentions focus on Christie.
"Are you alright? What happened?" Christie looked up at him, then quickly pulled him into her arms, holding him tight. The warmth of his bare skin against her cheek, thrilling her; the sound of his heartbeat matching her own.
"A bad dream." She whispered into his ear. "I've got to get out of here, Billy. I'll go crazy if I have to stay here any longer."
Her breath against his ear sent a feeling of lust coursing through his body, and he could hardly control the feelings that it brought. He'd never felt anything like it. As soon as his mind stopped trying to analyze the feeling, he found that the feeling was quite erotic, and he liked it.
Billy pulled away from Christie, holding her just inches from him, as he looked down into her dark eyes. He wanted to make her believe that they'd get out, and that he'd keep her safe. But, as he continued to look at her; feeling her warm puffs of breath at the hollow of his neck, he couldn't find the words. Suddenly, all he wanted to do, was kiss her like she'd never been kissed before, and to make passionate love to her. All at once, the world around them melted away, until no one, or nothing existed except t hem. There was no Locan, no Sedra, only Billy and the woman he held in his arms.
"No." He said softly, shaking his head, as he leaned into Christie, slanting his hungry lips over hers, his lips devouring hers, tasting her.
The thrill of defeat washed over Sedra. She knew that the drug would work, but she hadn't expected that it would work so quickly. It seemed that Billy's repressed feelings for Christie had been released by the drugs effects.
Sedra felt Billy's arms tighten around her, as he leaned her back onto the soft cushion of the bed, pinning her beneath the weight of his body. His lips continued their quest from her lips to her body. She smoothed her cool hands over the warm curves of his back and sides, pulling him closer to her.
Sedra let a gasp escape her newly, released lips, as Billy's lips and hands made a path down her body. She had seduced many men, but none had ever effected her in this way. She was loosing her control, turning it over to Billy. And she willingly let him take it, as he slowly, passionately brought them together in an explosive act of love making.
Locan waited outside of the hidden door. He had followed the human to this point, knowing that Sedra was waiting for Billy. She had cast a temporary spell on him, allowing him to read her mind, so that she could call out to him with her mind, letting him know when the perfect time for attack would come.
But, as he waited patiently for her to call to him, he suddenly found his mind filled with erotic visions of Sedra and the human's lovemaking. The visions nearly making him gag. For some reason, Sedra had let the thin wall between them, down, and now she was projecting all the images to him with her mind.
Locan did all he could to try to ignore the visions, to make them go away. He practiced fighting an imaginary adversary, but the images wouldn't leave.
After a long agonizing time, the word finally came. It was time for the attack. Sedra would cast a silence spell down the corridor, that would keep Billy from hearing the door open. After a pause, Locan pressed his clawed hand to the stone, waiting impatiently for the door to slid open.
Sated, and happier than she'd ever been, Sedra wrapped her naked body against Billy's; his arms enfolding her, as he kissed the top of her head. She had chosen that moment of silence to send a mental call to Locan, whom she knew to waiting outside of the entrance to the corridor. Making it appear that she was only drumming her fingers lightly on Billy's chest, she cast her spell of silence.
Locan would make the attack seem real by attacking both of them. Billy would be placed in his cell until Sedra was sure that she had conceived. Once she was certain, he would be released, and her true identity made known to him. Then he'd be given a choice. One, he could join her at her side, raising their daughter together and ruling the universe that they would rule, or two, he would die. It was that simple.
But, after experiencing the feelings that they had just shared, Sedra wasn't so sure that it was that simple. She tried to picture herself killing Billy, but now the images wouldn't come. She couldn't kill him now. What had he done to her? There was only one option left. She would make him join her, some how.
So, silently, pretending to sleep, Sedra awaited Locan's attack. A smile of victory on her face. She finally had what she'd been wanting. Even now the 'DarkChylde' may be growing within her.
Billy held her, unaware of the destruction he'd brought upon the world in one act of passion that he couldn't control.
Alarms sounded in the Power Chamber. Kim barely had enough time to turn and see the remnants of three teleportation beams, as Tommy, Rocky and Kat teleported to the castle.
Her heart lodged in her throat. They had waited and searched so long, that to actually have found Billy, scared Kim. Zordon had prepared them during their wait, telling them that the Billy they knew, might not be the Billy that returned. He had been a prisoner in the castle for over two months. Two months at the hands of Sedra and Locan, and they knew; first hand, how ruthless the two could be.
Kim didn't want to believe that the person she had grown up with, wouldn't come back. And the thought scared her like nothing before. Not even confronting Tommy, after the letter, had scared her this much.
A hand on her shoulder startled her, causing her to jump slightly.
"Sorry, Kim. I didn't mean to scare you. Are you alright?" Jason asked, as he looked at the unshed tears in her eyes.
"I don't know. I don't want to believe that Billy could come back as someone other than our Billy. I want Zordon to be wrong for once."
"I'm scared too. But, Billy has changed a lot in the years we've known him. I think he'll come out of this better than we think."
"I hope you're right." Kim wished, as she watched the numbers on the dimensional tracer, tick away.
The Rangers had twenty minutes, from time of teleportation, to find Billy, and or anyone else, before the teleportation lock was lost, leaving the Rangers in the same predicament as Billy and his friend Christie.
As the numbers changed to nineteen, Kim closed her eyes and prayed silently to herself.
Three Rangers materialized in a dark corridor of the castle. Tommy quickly pulled out the bio-rhythm tracking device that Zordon and Alpha had put together.
Billy's bio-rhythms had been computed into the device to make it easier to locate him. Tommy checked the time on the device. "We've got nineteen minutes, guys. We need to head in...this direction." Tommy pointed, once the scanner had picked up on Billy's bio-rhythms. "The signal's faint."
"What does that mean?" Rocky asked nervously.
"That there is a lot of castle between him and us." Tommy stated.
Rocky nodded in relief, as cautiously, they followed Tommy down the hall.
Billy couldn't say why he felt he should open his eyes, he had heard no sounds, and Christie hadn't even moved. He didn't remember any dreams; but his eyes popped open, just in time to see a large, clawed hand reach down for him.
Quickly, he rolled over, covering Christie's body with his own, her startled scream muffled against the wall of his protecting chest.
As he tried to protect her, he felt the claws dig into his shoulders, ripping him from the bed, like a rag doll.
Not caring about the pain anymore, Billy twisted his body, driving his elbow into Locan's face. With a howl of pain, Locan tossed Billy to the floor.
Gaining his feet, Billy quickly looked for Christie, who was wrapped in a bed sheet, inching her way, unnoticed, toward the corridor. He had to divert Locan's attentions away from her.
Scrambling to his feet, he raced for the sword he had leaned against the far wall, but it was gone. Turning, he saw Locan standing across the room from him, waving the sword tauntingly.
"Might you be looking for this...human?"
Billy slowly stood, his back against the wall. Looking out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Christie moving into the shadows of the corridor. But, Locan must have seen him look in her direction, as Locan suddenly raced into the corridor, wrapping an arm around her, lifting her from the floor. A scream of surprise and fear was ripped from her lips, as she fought to escape Locan's grip.
Billy watched her struggle, tears streaming down her face.
"Let her go!" Billy demanded, defiantly. Coming up to the edge of the table, he carefully looked for anything that he could use as a weapon. From the other side, Locan slowly made his way toward Billy; a struggling Christie in tow.
"Now where?" Kat asked, as they found themselves between two sets of stairs. One set leading up, and another leading down.
Tommy carefully turned, ever so slowly, letting the device home in on Billy's bio-rhythms. Glancing quickly at the numbers counting down, he decided he'd just keep the count to himself. If the others knew how little time they had in which to find Billy, they'd panic, and he needed them right now, and all their senses as well.
"This way." Tommy pointed to the set of stairs leading up. Quickly he began to take them two at a time.
Racing up the stairs at a break-neck speed, they blasted past the hidden door before realizing what it was that they'd done. The louder beeping of the device drew their attention, alerting them to Billy's presence.
Tommy came to a sudden stop, Kat and Rocky nearly running him over. Swinging quickly around, Tommy spotted the entrance in the wall. Carefully, he moved toward it; the device gripped firmly in his hands.
The beeping grew even louder, and faster until it nearly seemed to pulse.
With their hearts in their throats; Kat and Rocky gazed over Tommy's shoulder at the light.
"His heart rate is up." Kat stated, as she looked at the device.
"Something's going on in there, and we have to hurry." Tommy commanded, as he slipped the device into it's place on his belt.
Without another word, Kat and Rocky followed Tommy through the hidden doorway. They moved down the corridor as quickly as they could, trying to be as cautious as possible; as they didn't know what, or who they'd find at the end.
All of it threatened to undo him. Christie's cries of fear, Locan's taunting and his own weariness, and loss of hope. But, as much as it all tried to undo him, he continued to refuse to let it.
Billy growled out to Locan, between clenched teeth, "Let her go! It's me that you want. If you set her free, I'll do whatever it is that Sedra wants." Billy loathed saying those words, as they made him appear to be weak and cowardly.
"Billy, no! She'll kill us all!" Christie cried out to him.
"I have no choice." Billy stated.
"You've got that right." Locan roared in victory. Uncaring, Locan tossed Christie away from him, her body slamming hard against the wall. Billy dug his fingers into the hard wood of the table, forcing himself to stand his ground.
Slowly, Locan approached him, standing just inches away from him on the other side of the table.
"I don't know what Sedra sees in you, but you'll find that compliance will give you more than you could have dreamed of. But, if I had my way, I'd just as soon slit your throat right here and now." Locan grinned at Billy, making a slashing motion with his sword.
"Well, you've forgotten one thing..." Billy warned.
"What might that be?"
"With victory, there is always a price!" In one quick motion, Billy grabbed the lamp from the table's top, over turning the table toward Locan. As the beast roared in anger, Billy flung the lamp at him.
Expecting Billy's actions, Locan dodged the lamp, letting it shatter against the wall behind him. But he didn't move fast enough to keep the small drops of oil that splattered onto him, from igniting along with the oil from the wall.
Billy stood, stunned, as Locan tried to escape the fire. Quickly gathering his wits, Billy rushed to Christie's side. Her body lay still and unmoving on the floor next to the far wall. Frightened, he checked her pulse to find that she was still alive. Gently he reached out to lift her into his arms. As his fingers brushed against her arm, he was grabbed savagely around the neck, and yanked from the floor. His feet dangled in the air as the clawed fists tightened around his throat. Billy couldn't believe what he was seeing. Aside from being slightly singed, Locan was unharmed, and pissed.
As Billy clawed at the hand holding him, he struggled to breath; the pain excruciating. He could feel everything starting to fade. The sounds around him seeming to come to him from inside a tunnel. He wanted the darkness to take him, to end it all, and yet, he was afraid of it as well. What about Christie? What of Ahzza and the Rangers?
Slowly his thoughts slowed, his struggles growing weaker, as Locan's evil laughter grew further and further away from him. This was it. Sedra and Locan had won.
The Rangers could see and smell smoke coming up to meet them as they made their way down the corridor. At the sound of a ferocious roar, the Rangers ignored precaution, and began to run the rest of the length of the corridor; the smoke becoming more and more dense the further they moved.
Suddenly before them, the light of the fire filled the corridor. The smoke was thick, which made them grateful that they were wearing their helmets. Cautiously, they approached the light, preparing for the fire that was ahead.
Drawing their blasters, the Rangers entered the room, stopping just beyond the entrance. Before them, lit by the fire light, stood Locan, a lifeless Billy still gripped in his hands. Kat tried not to gasp at the sight, as Rocky and Tommy moved slightly forward.
"That's it, Locan! Release him, now!" Tommy yelled at the beast, who looked even more evil than they remembered, as he stood before them, back lit by flames. Slowly turning toward them, he released his grip, holding Billy out before them with one clawed hand, taunting them.
"I might as well, he's no good to me dead! You might as well have him back." With an evil laugh, Locan tossed Billy's lifeless body toward the Rangers. He hadn't expected to see the Rangers, but there was nothing they could do now. Sedra had what she wanted.
Tommy and Rocky moved forward trying to catch Billy's body as it fell toward them. Catching him, they slowly lowered his body to the floor, while Kat kept her blaster trained on the beast from hell, that stood before her. From below her, she could barely hear Tommy calling out an order to her. "Kat, you take care of Billy." Kat nodded, kneeling next to Billy's lifeless form, he blaster still held at the ready.
Tommy got to his feet, raising his blaster to the ready once more, Rocky at his back.
"Where are the others, Locan?" Tommy knew that they had to get out fast, but if he knew where the others were being held, they could return and rescue them.
"Why would I tell you pathetic humans anything?" Locan mocked.
Fingering the trigger on his blaster, Tommy prepared to fire. Rocky calling out from behind him, stopped the motion. "Tommy! We've got to go!"
"It's Christie!" Kat called from her place next to Billy. She had been checking to find Billy still breathing, when she spotted a figure at the base of the far wall. Using the magnification of her visor, she was able to get a better view of the figure, finding that it was Christie.
Rocky and Tommy looked in the direction Kat indicated. Lost amongst a pile of bed sheets, lay the still form of Christie Monroe. Rocky raced past Tommy to Christie's side. But, as soon as he made his move toward her, Locan was there, trying to block his path. Abruptly, Rocky ducked the blows that Locan aimed at him. With one more swing from Locan, Rocky locked arms with the beast, and using the force of the swing Rocky catapulted himself over Locan's back.
Once his feet were on the ground, Rocky snap-kicked Locan in the back, knocking him forward and away from him. Using the time the distraction allowed him, Rocky slid to his knees at Christie's side. Laying a hand on her shoulder, he called out to Tommy.
"Let's get out of here!" Immediately Tommy called out to Zordon though his communicator.
As Locan gained his footing and spun to attack the Ranger who had dared to touch him, he saw the Ranger fade into a column of light, Sedra with him. Thinking quickly, Locan sent a blast of energy out in a wave across the room. But the effort came to late. The effect that the wave was suppose to cause was lost as it surged through the columns of light, as the Rangers disappeared from the castle.
With a roar of rage, Locan swung his arms out, the fire behind him immediately dying out.
"You've just sealed your own doom!"
Kim's heart stopped when she heard Tommy's voice fill the Power Chamber. They were ready to come back; but did they have Billy or not? Holding her breath, she listened to the conversation between Jason and Adam; Tanya moved to stand at her side.
"We've got them, and we're bringing them in." Adam called out.
"There are five of them. Three of them Rangers, and two of them Sedra's captives." Jason announced.
"Bio-rhythms match one of them." Called Adam, once more. Quickly Jason glanced at the readouts.
"One of the captives is Billy." He said, turning to see the relieved expression on Kim's face.
"Oh aye, yi, yi!" Came Alpha's cry. Every heart in the Power Chamber stopped. "Something has interrupted teleportation."
"WHAT IS HAPPENING, ALPHA?" Zordon asked, his worry evident in his voice.
"A blast has redirected the teleportation beams trajectory. We can't bring them back to the Power Chamber. I'm working on locating the beams destination point." Alpha stated as his hands moved quickly over the computers.
"We've found it, Alpha." Adam said, with relief. Kim sighed as well.
"They're headed for down town Angel Grove."
"THANK YOU, JASON. TANYA AND ADAM, I NEED YOU TO MEET THEM THERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE."
"We're going as well." Kim stated. Zordon didn't argue with her. There was no point.
"VERY WELL. MAY THE POWER PROTECT YOU." Zordon offered, as the teens left the Power Chamber, leaving him alone with Alpha.
Tommy knew that there was something wrong the minute they began to teleport away from the castle. He felt dizzy and a bit disoriented; not quite one with the teleportation. He'd never felt anything like it before. He tried to look for Kat and Billy as well as Rocky and Christie, but he couldn't make out anything outside of his own teleportation column.
Then suddenly, he was on solid ground. His legs absorbing the brunt of the impact, jarring his knees. As he gathered his senses, he could tell that they weren't in the Power Chamber. With a quick glance, Tommy saw Kat gathering herself up off the pavement several feet away; Billy next to her. Continuing to look around, he found Rocky waving at him from an alley.
They needed to get Billy and Christie to the Power Chamber, fast; but surprised and confused citizens began to gather around them. Cars stopped in the street, seeing the Power Rangers around them. From amongst the group of on lockers, emerged Adam, Tanya, Jason and Kim.
A young woman, a few years older than himself, joined Tommy at his side, as he made his way to where Kat and Billy were. As he watched, an elderly man handed Kat his jacket, so that she could cover Billy's naked form.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Asked the woman at his side. Tommy jumped a bit, forgetting for a moment that she was there. Tommy stopped beside Kat and Billy, looking down at the pale form of his friend. Without a word from Tommy, the woman knelt down next to Billy, inspecting him closely. Kat watched her in stunned silence.
"We're grateful for your help..." Tommy paused, not knowing what to call her.
"Colline. You seem to know what you're doing." Tommy stated, as he watched her look Billy over. When she noticed the bruises on his neck, she looked more closely. Tommy looked up when he heard movement next to him. Kim stopped at his elbow, Jason behind her.
"I'm taking classes to be an EMT." Shaking her head, she stood, facing Tommy and the people surrounding him. "He needs to be taken to the hospital immediately."
"The Police are coming, now." Called a man from back of the crowd, just as they heard the whine of the siren. Tommy looked in the man's direction, seeing Tanya and Adam moving away, to try to find a place to morph.
"Thank you, Colline." Tommy offered his hand.
"Anything to help a Ranger." She smile at him, taking his offered hand.
Kim chose that moment to move to Billy's side. Looking down at him, she slapped a hand over her mouth to muffle the cry that came when she saw him. He was pale, with bruises and scars on his body. His face was even a bit gaunt. She had never seen Billy look so bad. Shaking, she dropped her hand, touching Billy's hair gently, moving it away from his closed eyes.
"Oh, Billy." She cried, trying unsuccessfully to hold back her tears. At a touch to her shoulder, she looked up into Jason's tear filled eyes.
"Billy?" Colline questioned, upon hearing his name. "Isn't he one of the missing men? One of the seven we've heard about on the news?"
"Yes. And the woman over there with the Blue Ranger, as well." Tommy pointed to where Rocky knelt next to another still form.
"How badly is she injured?"
"I'm not sure. The rescue was quick, and there was no time to check."
"I'll take a look at her." Colline moved toward Rocky as two Police officers moved toward Tommy.
"Is everything alright here?" The first officer asked, looking at the crowd. Noticing the Red Ranger standing at the center of the crowd, he and his partner moved forward. "Red Ranger. What is wrong?"
"We've just made a rescue from Sedra's castle, and our teleportation was thrown off. We need an ambulance as quickly as possible."
"We'll get one here fast." Stated the second officer, moving back to where their patrol car was parked.
Tommy glanced down at Kim, then around at the crowd. Talking with the remaining officer, they began to move the crowd back away from them. "Could we have a little room, please? Thank you." The officer said, as the crowd moved back. Knowing that no one would hear them, Tommy quickly moved to Kim, Jason and Kat's side.
"Billy's going to be alright. The ambulance is on it's way." Tommy encouraged them.
"If only we could have gotten him back to the Chamber." Jason whispered.
"It's too late to worry about that now. The remnants of Billy's morphin powers will help keep him stabilized until he can get to the hospital. And even then, it will help to speed up the recovery process."
"Thank God for that." Kim whispered back; Kat gently placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"What happened up there, bro?" Jason questioned, gazing around to make sure that no one was close enough to hear them.
"Locan had him by the neck. Billy was unconscious when we got there. I don't know for how long. They were in a hidden room in the castle."
"But, Billy's naked. Is Christie naked as well?" Kim asked. She didn't know why she wanted to know, didn't know why it even mattered.
"Yes." Kim cast her eyes down, unwilling to carry on the conversation any further.
"Here comes the ambulance now." Kat stated, hearing the sirens approach.
"I'm going to go and check on Christie. Jason, you and Kim go with Billy and Christie to the hospital. The rest of us will head back to the Power Chamber, then meet you there as soon as we can." Tommy said, as he stood and prepared to join Colline and Rocky.
"Sure thing, bro." Jason replied, shaking Tommy's hand.
Tommy and the rest of the Rangers stayed long enough to see that Billy and Christie were safely on their way to the hospital. As they prepared to leave, a news van appeared at the edge of the crowd. With a sigh, Tommy tried to get to an open area where he and the other Rangers could teleport, before the field reporter could reach them.
Tommy wasn't trying to avoid the media, most of their interviews with the media were good experiences, but this particular group always prodded them for more information that the Rangers were willing to give; like their identities.
Quickly he grouped the Rangers together, preparing to teleport. Before they could leave, the lead newscaster approached them on a dead run. It wouldn't be good PR for the Rangers if they left, knowing that the media wanted to talk to them. As it was, there were still a lot of people out there that didn't trust the Rangers.
With a deep sigh, and a glance at the others, Tommy stepped forward to speak to the young woman.
"Hi, can I help you?" Tommy asked.
"I'm Cameel Thorson, with channel 8 news. I'd like to ask you a few questions."
"Why has it taken the Rangers so long to start rescuing Sedra's victims?" Her voice held a bit of sarcasm, but Tommy bit his own tongue.
"Sedra has been jumping through dimensions, which has made it nearly impossible for us to locate them. We were finally able to create a device that would allow us to locate Sedra, and retrieve the prisoners." Tommy replied.
"I've noticed that you've only been able to retrieve just two of the eight victims she has taken. Why didn't you try to retrieve more?"
"The device only allows five individuals to teleport at any given time. Three of us teleport in to find prisoners, and therefore, we can only bring back two at a time.
"I'm sorry. I'd like to stay and continue this interview with you, but if we are to retrieve more prisoners, we have to get back to our base of operation." Tommy explained.
"Sure, I understand, and good luck. By the way..." As Cameel prepared to ask her question, Tommy and the other Rangers teleported away in five columns of light. Turning back to the camera, trying to hide the frustrated look on her face, she continued her report. "As we've reported earlier," She continued, gazing into the camera. "William J. Cranston and Christie Harlan have both been found by the Power Rangers, and are now, at this very moment, on their way to Angel Grove Hospital. We will keep you up to date on any and all news concerning this, throughout the day. This is Cameel Thorson, channel 8 news, reporting."
"This is Cameel Thorson, channel 8 news, reporting." Sam Trueheart switched off the television set, sitting back with a heavy sigh. Slowly he looked to his right, and the man who stood there.
"Something isn't right." Sam stated, matter-of-fact.
"I agree. I have to go, Sam."
"I understand. Thank you for taking care of Ahzza for me, Zarian."
"It is my honor." Zarian bowed slightly.
"What is to happen, now?" Sam asked, fear gripping his heart.
"I need to locate the 'Wolf', and bring the Powers together."
"Will it work?"
"I do not know. I know that isn't what you wanted to hear, or even wanted to hear. But, it is the only answer that I know." Sam nodded his understanding, and watched as Zarian faded away in a sparkle of light.
At the sound of familiar voices, Kim looked up from her clasped hands, to see Tommy, Kat, Tanya, Rocky and Adam enter the doors of the hospital's waiting room.
"How are they?" Kat asked immediately. Jason stood to meet them, but Kim remained where she was.
"We haven't-" Jason started, but stopped as he heard Kim speak behind him.
"The doctors said that Billy will live, but that's all they've told us." Kim didn't look up as she spoke, just kept looking down at her hands.
She felt an arm across her shoulders. Looking up, she met Tanya's warm, concerned eyes. "He'll make it, Kim. He's the strongest person I know."
"I know that, too. But, it hasn't always been that way. Billy use to be the weakest, and it always seemed like we were always watching out for him. He felt like it was that way again, when he gave up his powers. Like the rest of you always had to look out for him, and protect him, because he didn't have the powers anymore."
"But, that's the past now, Kim. Billy's grown a lot. I think he quit needing us to watch out for him shortly after we became Rangers. Though at times, we all still felt like he needed us to look out for him." Jason remarked.
"I know." Kim tried to smile, but the smile faded when she saw a doctor enter the room. She felt her body begin to shake, and even Tanya's comforting hand couldn't stop it.
"Are you all friends and family of William Cranston's?" The doctor asked, glancing around at the group.
"We're Billy's friends. His father is flying in from Chicago, and asked us to stay with Billy until he could be here." Jason explained. After all, he'd been the one chosen to contact Hank Cranston.
"Very well. We are still doing a few tests on William, so I will let you know what we find; if there is anything to find. He's still unconscious, and that's why we're keeping him in ICU."
"ICU? Just because he's unconscious?" Rocky wondered aloud.
"Yes. You see, until William regains consciousness, we won't be able to know the full extent of his injuries, and so far, they appear to be many."
"How many? What about brain damage? I've heard that a long period without oxygen to the brain, will cause brain damage." Kim asked, her voice quavering.
"Again, we won't be able to tell if there is any brain damage, until he has regained consciousness. As for the rest of his injuries...we've found a great number of wounds that are already healing, as well as scares. These seem to be concentrated on his back. The type of wounds would indicate that he had been...whipped, repeatedly, during his imprisonment. His arm was broken at one time, and had set incorrectly. We had to re-break it in order to set it correctly. He also suffered a few broken ribs and various other contusions. The one we are most concerned with, is the damage to his larynx. It's been slightly crushed, but I feel that he will recover from it quickly. My thoughts are, that if he hadn't have been found when he was, he wouldn't have been in ICU."
"Where would he have been?" Kat felt she already knew the answer, but she couldn't stop herself from asking.
"The morgue." The doctor responded, matter-of-fact. The group looked around at each other, looks of shock on their faces.
"What about the young woman who was brought in with him, Christie Harlan?" Tommy asked, as the doctor prepared to leave the room.
"Are you friend of hers as well?"
"Yes." Was the unanimous response.
"She had a few bruises, and a slight concussion. We wanted to hold her overnight, but she insisted that she would be fine, so we released her."
"Just a few bruises?" Tanya queried. From the meeting they had with Zordon, and the way Tommy described what they found when they found Billy and Christie; as well as their state of...undress, she would have thought that Christie's injuries would have been worse than that.
"Yes." The doctor turned to leave, then stopped just inside the door. "I really shouldn't tell you this. It should be left up to her to tell you. But, you are her friends. We did some tests on Miss. Harlan, to find out the full extent of her injuries. One of the tests showed...that she's pregnant. And from what we've been able to decide, she's about eight weeks along. Can I ask you to keep this to yourself, until she's up to telling you, herself?" The group, to shocked to speak, only nodded their heads in agreement.
As soon as the doctor left the room, Kim let out a surprised sigh, one that everyone heard.
Ahzza paced nervously around the confines of the cave. She couldn't believe that she'd let Zarian keep her in here for the past two months. She'd begged and pleaded with him to let her go and see her family, but he always brought up the same reasons why she couldn't. "Sedra knows you're the 'Light'. You'd be risking your life as well as the fate of the world."
She knew that Zarian could cover a lot of distance in the blink of an eye, but always told her that he didn't have a way of 'teleporting' her there and back. A fact, she was pretty sure, he wasn't being completely honest about.
Even now, he was at the reservation letting Sam know that she was alright. He hadn't been gone long, but when something happened just moments ago, it seemed like he'd been gone a lot longer than she cared for.
Over the past two months, she'd gotten use to seeing Locan around the area of the cave. Always searching for her. A few times, Zarian had been gone, but mostly he was there with her. But, this time, Locan had come way too close for her comfort. He'd come right up to the imaginary wall that stood between them. She watched as he reached out a clawed hand to touch it, all the while praying that the wall would remain solid. And, fortunately, it did. But that didn't stop the fear that coursed through her as he looked up, appearing to look her straight in the eye. In his eyes, she saw a rage boiling like nothing she'd ever seen before. Something had to have happened. Was Billy alright? A new panic filled her, as he disappeared in a flash of flames.
Ahzza expected Locan to return almost immediately, and walk right through the stone wall. Every little noise or movement outside of the cave caused her to jump, but Locan had yet to return.
Trying to keep her mind off of it, she sat down in her sleeping nook to write a bit more in her journal, but even that hadn't been enough to divert her thoughts, as she began to merge her words together. Tossing down her notebook in frustration, Ahzza got up, and moved to the front of the cave. "Zarian. Where the hell are you?" She sighed, as she turned to the back of the cave to continue to pace. No sooner had she turned around, when she caught a movement just outside of the cave, from the corner of her eye.
The sun was beginning to set, casting long shadows over everything. It could have been anything; a rabbit, deer, bird... She'd panicked before over a crow as it flitted through the trees a few weeks back, but this time, she was pretty certain it wasn't something local.
Carefully, keeping to the shadows, Ahzza moved to one side of the cave entrance. Taking a deep breath to steel her nerves, Ahzza slowly peered around the edge. A scream was ripped from her throat as she came face to face with her visitor.
Ahzza leapt back, arms up defensively. Flames from the nearby fire, began to raise up into tendrils, stretching out toward the intruder. But, before the flames could reach it's target, a blanket of dirt rose up from the floor of the cave, washing over the flames and putting them out.
"Ahzza! It's me." Zarian warned, as he felt the air around him grow thin. Ahzza hadn't realized that she had closed her eyes. When she heard his voice call out her name, she opened her eyes to see Zarian standing before her, a look of proud surprise on his face.
"I'm so sorry." She apologized.
"Your powers are getting stronger. Good...you'll need them. The 'Wolf' has been returned."
"Billy? He's back? How?"
"We'll have time for questions later. Right now we have to go to him, convince him to come with us, and hide him, before Sedra and Locan find out who he really is."
"Speaking of Locan, he was here earlier. He stood at the wall. I could have sworn that he looked right at me, before he disappeared. That's the closest he's been since we got here." Zarian looked behind them at the entrance to the cave.
"It's not safe here any longer. You'll have to come with me."
"Great. I'll get the supplies. After all, it took two days to get here. Without the Jeep, which I'm sure that someone has found by now, it will take a lot longer." Ahzza quickly began to inventory the things that she would need to make the trip.
"Ahzza." Zarian called, as he watched her move about the cave, gathering things together.
"How long do you think it will take us?" She asked, turning to look at him.
"Only a matter of minutes."
"I can get us to the hospital, where the 'Wolf' is, in a matter of minutes."
"Then, why did it take us so long to get here?" Ahzza questioned, her voice rising in anger.
"I need to use a lot of my energies to teleport a physical body. Myself, I am an entity who can take on a physical body, when needed, but I am not made up of a physical body. When I teleport a physical body, then I am unable to teleport at all for a long period of time." Zarian explained.
"So, you didn't teleport me here, because...you...wasn't sure if you would need that ability soon. Right?" Zarian nodded in agreement.
"But, if the need had been there, I would have teleported you in an instant."
"Well, if that's the case, then why didn't you go to the hospital and teleport Billy back here?"
"It is true that I could have done just that. But it would have only drawn more attention to ourselves to have him mysteriously disappear from the hospital. If Billy had disappeared from the hospital, then Sedra and Locan would have known that Billy was the 'Wolf', and he'd be in grave danger once more."
"Oh, yeah. I forgot that the authorities have an APB our on us."
"Exactly. If I teleport us to the hospital, we can assure Billy that he will be safe with us. And I don't think he'd be willing to trust me, after all he's been through, but he will trust you."
"I understand, now. Will we be coming back here?"
"No. After what you told me happened today with Locan, it wouldn't be safe. I know of a place under the streets of Angel Grove where we can hide until I can restore enough energy to teleport to a safer place."
"Alright." Ahzza placed her few precious belongings into her back pack, making sure that her journal was with her. "I'm ready." She stated a few minutes later, turning to face Zarian, who had stood guard over the entrance of the cave, while she packed.
Zarian smiled and moved toward Ahzza. When he reached her side he noticed, for the first time, that her eyes were fill with fear. Turning in the direction Ahzza was looking, he saw Locan standing outside of the entrance, sword in hand.
Quickly, Zarian placed his hand on Ahzza's shoulder. Gabbing up the back pack, and slinging it over her arm, Ahzza prepared to leave. Just then the blade of Locan's sword began to penetrate the illusional wall, causing a rippling distortion, then everything disappeared around them.
Locan chuckled evilly as he watched the blade of his sword penetrate the wall. He had been lead here by his senses for the last two months, and slowly the idea of them using an illusion came to mind. But, each time he'd returned, everything he touched had been real. Except for the last time. His mind had been clouded by anger and rage, and he was determined that something in the area was not real.
Even when he touched the stone wall, and felt it's rough texture beneath his hand, he let his mind open to any and all possibilities. And that's when it happened. For a brief moment, it seemed as if the solidity of the wall had disappeared beneath his hand. But, at that moment, there had been more pressing things. He had to get back to the castle and see if Queen Sedra had managed to free herself from the Earthlings, and return. And if she hadn't been able to escape, then he had to find a way to get her back; so he had left.
Now he was back, testing his theory. And as he pushed his blade deeper, and deeper into the stone wall, he laughed, knowing that he had been right. Slowly he withdrew the blade, then moved forward to step through the wall. Carefully, he pressed at the wall with his hand first, and as it passed though, Locan followed it with the rest of his body.
He felt a slight chill run over him, as he passed through the illusion. Once through, he found a totally empty cave. Holding back the rage that boiled up inside him, having missed his quarry, he looked around. Only a few items lay around in various places. At the center of the cave was a small fire pit. Slowly, Locan moved around the cave, picking up and examining the few remaining items. At the back of the cave was a small store of food and water. Other than that, there was nothing left in the cave to give him any clue as to where his quarry had gone.
Coming to the conclusion that the former occupants wouldn't be returning anytime soon, Locan moved from the back of the cave to it's center, looking around once more. Sure that he had looked everywhere, he turned slightly; preparing to leave. Something beneath his heal tore as he turned. Looking down he saw a strange looking book. Kneeling down on one leg, Locan picked up the object, pulling it from beneath his foot. Carefully, he turned the strange book over in his hands. A spiral of some form of metal, bound the book. There were thin sheets of paper sandwiched between two thicker pieces, and on the thin pages was some of the Earthling writing.
He had tried to learn to read the Earthlings language, but felt that it was demeaning to him. Earthlings were a subspecies to his own race.
"Sedra will be able to read it." Locan decided. Gripping the book in his hands, Locan disappeared in flames, leaving the cave empty once more.
The group of teens waited patiently in the waiting room of the hospital. It had several long hours since Billy had been brought to the hospital, and they were all tired, but none of them would leave. Jason had gotten a call from Billy's father; when he had stopped by the Cranston house to pick up some clothes for Billy, stating that his flight had been delayed, due to severe weather conditions in Chicago. He expected to be there within a few days time, weather permitting. Jason could hear the deep concern in Mr. Cranston's voice, and knew that if the man had wings, he would have been there hours ago.
But, at least they had gotten some good news. A few minutes earlier, the doctor had told them that Billy had regained consciousness, and that there didn't seem to be any type of brain damage, or any other problems. They wanted to keep him for a few days, just to make sure they weren't missing anything. When the teens had asked if they could see Billy, the doctor had been hesitant, but said that they could see him, but in shifts. "I'll allow two individuals at a time in the room with him, and for no longer than ten minutes. But, I do ask that you wait at least a half an hour between each visit. That way Mr. Cranston will be able to get some rest." He had also told them that Billy's throat was extremely sore, and that they should keep all questions to a minimum, so that he wouldn't have to talk much, and let his throat heal.
When Kimberly had heard the news, she wanted to jump up and run down the hall to Billy's room that very instant. But, looking at the relief in Jason and Tommy's eyes, it was enough to make her change her mind. She would give up her chance of seeing Billy, for now, so that Jason and Tommy could see him first.
As Jason and Tommy followed the doctor down the hall to Billy's room, Kim turned to David, who had arrived a few minutes earlier.
"I think I should head over to Christie's house and let her know that Billy's awake. I know, from Tommy, that you guys were pretty good friends; you, Billy, your sister and Christie. Do you know her address, by any chance?"
"I think I remember her saying something about living on...Primrose Ln. Give me just a minute to gather my thoughts." Kim waited patiently for David's answer.
Watching him, she nearly laughed at the thought that Tommy and his brother could be so much alike, that they both shared the same forgetfulness.
"I remember. It's 2060 North Primrose Ln. Do you want me to take you there?" David offered.
Kim looked around at the others who waited for their turn to see Billy. Rocky had slid down in his chair, head leaned back, eyes closed in rest. Something that all of them had had so little of in the last two months.
Tanya sat beside Adam, both conversing, and using quick hand gestures. To Kim's eyes, it appeared that they might be discussing the finer points of martial arts. Finally, her gaze fell on the last member of the group. Kat. She sat alone on the small waiting room couch, legs tucked beneath her, Indian style, as she calmly flipped though the pages of a magazine she'd picked up off the small coffee table.
"Sure. I'd like that." Kim finally answered. "Do you guys mind if David and I head over to Christie's house, and let her know that Billy's awake?"
"Go ahead. It's only fair that she knows." Tanya said, from her place next to Adam.
"Just be careful, you two." Kat warned. Kim looked at Rocky, who still seemed to be sleeping, but she knew better than that. And she had to smile.
"We will, and we shouldn't be gone long." David promised, as he and Kim left the waiting room.
As they made their way down the hall to the parking lot, they never noticed the two familiar figures approaching them, nor did they hesitate as they passed, exiting the hospital through the glass doors.
Tommy stood back, watching as Jason finished up his visit with Billy. They had both been excited when they heard that Billy was awake. But, as they followed the doctor down the hallway to the ICU room, a bit of trepidation swept over them.
They had a basic idea of what Billy had been through in his two month imprisonment in Sedra's castle. But they didn't know what the emotional and mental side of it had been. Zordon had tried to prepare them as best he could, saying that there would be a lot of changes in Billy. Some for the better and some for the worst.
So they didn't know what to expect when they entered the room, but whatever it was, it wasn't what they found.
Billy just gazed blindly at the lights above him, never once acknowledging their presence in the room. For a few minutes they stood at the doorway, looking at Billy. Several wires ran from patches on his chest to a machine next to the bed. A continuous beep, beep, beep matching the beats of his heart. An IV was taped to his good arm, while his other arm; which the doctors had to re-break, was in a cast to the elbow. An air tube stretched across his face with two small tubes entering each side of his nose.
When Tommy sat next to Billy, he reached out to touch Billy's bruised hand, only to watch in despair as Billy pulled away from the touch.
Both he and Jason had taken turns talking to Billy in the short ten minutes they'd been allowed, and during that time, Billy had neither looked at them, nor talked to them. And for once, Tommy didn't know what to do. All he wanted to do was break down into tears, but he wouldn't let himself.
Soon, Jason joined him at the door, his tears barely held in check behind the rims of his eyes.
"This is not Billy." Jason stated, his voice shaking slightly with his emotions. Tommy didn't know if he could trust his own emotions in order to respond to Jason's statement. But, he'd try.
"It's going to take some time." Jason nodded, wondering how Tommy could be so unmoved by it all.
"We'll have to warn the others about this, so that they're better prepared." Tommy gazed past Jason at Billy, who still continued to stare at the ceiling.
"We'd better go." Jason nodded in agreement as he opened the door, and stepped though.
As the two made their way back to the waiting room, they didn't acknowledge the two visitors who passed them in the hall.
"This doesn't look good, Zarian." Ahzza stated, noticing the glum looks on both boy's faces.
"Things will be alright, as soon as we get him out of here."
"I hope you're right." Ahzza wished. Glancing around, to make sure that there was no one around, she pushed open the door to Billy's ICU room, and quietly entered.
"David? Are you sure you have the right address?" Kim asked as they pulled up next to the Realtor's for sale sign. The two story white house was empty, waiting for someone to buy it and move in.
"I'm sure the address is right. Maybe her family was in the process of moving when Christie was abducted?"
"There's someone home next door. I'll see if they know where the Harlan's have moved to." Kim said as she got out of the Jeep.
"I'll wait here for you." Kim gave him a forced smile, then headed to the small house next door, and the elderly man who was watering his flowers.
Standing on the sidewalk beside the fence, Kim watched the old man watering the beautiful flowers, before calling out to him.
"Excuse me? Hello."
"Oh, hello young lady. Can I help you?" The elderly gentleman asked, laying his garden hose aside. Slowly he move closer to the fence, so that he could better here Kim.
"Yes, I think. I'm looking for a friend of mine, and apparently her family has moved." Kim indicated the house next-door.
"I'll do what I can to help."
"The house next door, the one for sale? How long ago did the Harlans move away?"
"Harlans? That's the old Gabriel house. No Harlans have lived around here. You must have the wrong neighborhood. And as for when the people moved out, that was...about...four months ago. Sorry I couldn't help you." Kim thought over the man's words, and something came to mind.
Kim was from a divorced family. Her mother having remarried, no longer had the 'Hart' last name, though she herself, did. Maybe Christie was from a divorced family, and she was the only one going by Harlan. Kim decided to try something else.
"Did the people who lived next-door have a teen aged daughter?"
"Yes, I believe they did." The gentleman said, reaching down for his hose.
"Would her name have been, Christie?" Kim kept her fingers crossed, because she didn't like where her mind was taking her. The man didn't answer right away, it seemed like he was thinking. Kim cast a hopeful look at David, then turned her attentions back to the man, when she heard him speak.
"I think...her name was...April. She turned...fifteen last may. Yeah, April. Cute little blond girl." Kim nearly fainted. Something was wrong, and Billy was in the middle of it all. "Sorry I couldn't help more."
"That's alright. Thank you." Confused and feeling a small flash of fear run over her, Kim turned away and headed back to the Jeep.
Climbing into her seat, she sat quietly, looking straight ahead.
"Well?" David prompted.
"Something's wrong. Very wrong."
"What did he say?" Kim faced David, and the fear he saw in her face sent chills down his spine.
"There has never been any Harlans living around here, and the people who did live in this house, moved away four months ago."
"You don't..." Kim was nodding before David could even finish speaking.
"It's got something to do with Sedra. And Billy's right in the middle of it all. We've got to get back to the hospital. Billy's in danger!" David put the car into gear and left the neighborhood as quickly as possible, making his way to the hospital as fast as he could.
Sedra stood proudly before her full length mirror, smoothing her hands over the quickly growing swell of her abdomen. It had not even been a full day since she had mated with Billy, and already she appeared to be nearly six months pregnant. Within her, she could feel the soft fluttering of life. Of the baby who would become the 'DarkChylde'.
"With you, my child, we will take hold of the greatest power ever known, and with it we will rule, or destroy galaxies, as we see fit." Feeling the rapid movement inside of her as she spoke, she began to laugh. The child was in complete agreement with here, it seemed.
Slowly, she moved away from the mirror to the door of her room.
"Shall we pay a little visit to your father, little one?" The door opened, allowing Sedra passage, but she was brought up short by Locan's form that filled the entrance.
"My Queen." Locan bowed slightly.
"Did you find her?" Sedra asked. She still held hope that she could find the two entities of the prophecy, and take the Powers away from them before they could merge.
"No, my Queen. They were gone by the time I found the place where they had been hiding. Quite clever, it was how they hid. It was an illusional stone wall that concealed the entrance to a cave."
"Very cleaver, indeed. Keep looking." Sedra ordered, as she moved past him.
"I did find this. It is of the Earthling language, and may contain some important information." Locan held out the book of paper that he had found in the cave.
"Very good." Sedra took the book from his hand, casually flipping through it's pages. "I'll have to translate it when I return."
"Where are you bound, my Queen?"
"We're," She said, placing a hand on her swelling abdomen, "going to see the father, and give him a little message."
"Are you sure that it is wise to go down there?" Locan asked.
"Have no fear, Locan, I shall return, and then we'll have a look at this...book you brought me." Handing it back to Locan, Sedra disappeared in a flash of flames.
Ahzza stood next to Billy's bed, Zarian on the other side from her.
"Oh God! What have they done to him?" Ahzza questioned, seeing the cuts and bruises. At the sound of her voice, Billy's eyes opened again, as he continued gazing up at the ceiling above him.
"We'll have time later, to find out. Right now we have to convince him to come with us."
"How are we going to get him out of here without causing any suspicion? I mean, look at him." Zarian looked at the man in the hospital bed. There was so much about him that had changed since Zarian had last seen him, but as he passed a hand over Billy, he found that physically, Billy was able to walk out of the hospital, but his mind was a jumble of images.
"He's more than capable of walking out of here. We just have to get through to him." Ahzza nodded, as she knelt down next to him.
"Billy? Do you remember me? It's Ahzza." Slowly she reached out to touch his hand, but he drew away. Not giving up, Ahzza wrapped her hand around his, squeezing it slightly. "I'm not here to hurt you. Neither of us wants to hurt you. We're here to protect you." This time, Billy didn't try to pull away, and Ahzza sighed in relief.
"I don't know what has happened to you, but Zarian and I will do what we can to help and understand. But, we need you to trust us, and to come with us. Can you do that?" Ahzza asked, watching Billy's face for any sign that he'd heard her.
Slowly, Billy turned to face her, dropping his gazed from the ceiling to look at her. She rewarded him with a smile. Suddenly, from outside, came the sound of footsteps at the door. Glancing nervously up at Zarian, Ahzza saw him nod, just before he vanished.
"I'm not leaving you. I'll be real close." Ahzza promised as she quickly ducked into the bathroom, pulling the door closed, leaving a small crack to peer out into the room.
It seemed as if she had been waiting for hours before the door to the room opened. She tried to gaze around the room for any sign of Zarian, then turned her gaze back to the door when she heard it open. Quickly she gazed at Billy, to find his gazed locked on the door she was hiding behind.
"Hello, Billy." Came a voice from the doorway. A familiar voice, one that Ahzza felt she should know. She tried to see who had entered the room, and from the corner of her eye, she could see that Billy had turned to look as well.
Being as careful as possible, Ahzza pulled the door open a little more, so that she could see who was in the room with them. As soon as Ahzza cold see who it was, Billy whispered a name, his voice rough.
"Christie." Ahzza nearly pushed open the door, until Christie's next words stopped her.
"Not quite. You see Christie standing before you, an illusion that I've been pained to take on for months now, just so I could get what I wanted. And now that I have what I want, it's time to stop pretending to be someone I'm not." With a wave of her arms, Christie disappeared in a ripple of light, replaced by none other than Sedra herself.
"No!" Ahzza whispered; immediately seeing a mixture of anger and fear wash over Billy's face.
"Surprise, Billy. I must commend you. The time we had together was amazing, to say the least. I've never experienced anything like it before." Sedra had her back to Ahzza, as she made her way around Billy's bed. All the while talking to Billy, who looked like he wanted to bolt, but didn't know where to go.
"Do you wonder why I didn't kill you, and why I'm letting you go?" Sedra asked, smiling as Billy's eyes followed her. "I wanted you to live to see our daughter grow and rule this galaxy, as well as destroy your friends. And then you will be given a choice. You can either join me, and rule at my side where you belong, or you can die like the rest of these pathetic Earthlings. Just a little something else to think about." Sedra reached out her hand to Billy.
Ahzza watched from her hiding place, as Billy tried to pull away from Sedra's touch.
"Where are you, Zarian? Do something!" Ahzza wanted to storm the room, to stop Sedra, but if Sedra caught her, they'd all be doomed. More than what they already were, now that she was caring the 'DarkChylde' inside of her.
As Sedra touched Billy's forehead, the window, usually locked, burst open; a strong gust of wind blowing through the room.
"Maybe another time, then." Sedra stood and moved to the foot of the bed. "See you around, Billy." In a flash of flames, she was gone, and the window was closed once more.
Almost immediately, Ahzza burst through the door into the room. Across the room from her, Zarian appeared, standing next to the previously open window.
"We're too late. She'd pregnant with the 'DarkChylde'."
"All is not lost. She doesn't know that Billy is the 'Wolf'. But, we do have to get him out of here." Both turned their gaze toward Billy, who's eyes were frozen to the spot Sedra had disappeared from.
"How? There's no talking to him now." Ahzza stated in fear and frustration. She couldn't believe that she had been friends with Christie/Sedra all that time. Poor Billy. Believing that he was protecting and falling for the one woman who could destroy them all.
The 'DarkChylde', growing within Sedra, was Billy's own daughter. How ironic that the one being who could destroy you, was your own flesh and blood.
"I have an idea. It has been a very long time since I've done this, but it's our only chance."
"To become one with Billy, so that he can walk out of here." Ahzza stood staring at him, amazed that he might be able to do something like that.
"You can do that? But, what about Billy?"
"He will suffer no ill effects from it. He may not even remember it happening."
"Okay, let's do it, before Sedra decides to come back."
Ahzza sat carefully next to Billy on the side of the bed. Leaning forward, she looked Billy in the eyes. "I need you to trust us, Billy. We're going to get you out of here. Zarian is going to help hide you from Sedra, like he did with me." Ahzza tried to make it sound good, though her voice quivered a bit.
"It's too late." Came Billy's whispered response. "She has what she wants. The 'DarkChylde'. My child." Slowly Billy closed his eyes. Ahzza cast a quick glance at Zarian before responding.
"I know about the child. But all is not lost. You see...you...are...the 'Wolf'." Ahzza stated. Billy's eyes flashed open at her words.
"No..." Billy couldn't believe what he was hearing. Ahzza only nodded.
"And as you already know, I am the 'Light'. Once we've joined the powers together, we are the one and only chance the Earth has to fight against Sedra and the 'DarkChylde'."
"Ahzza, we have to hurry." Zarian called from beside them.
"Okay. Will you trust us to get you out of here?" Ahzza asked. Billy nodded his head, still confused. "All right. Zarian is going to join with you so that he can give you the strength to walk out of here." Seeing a light in Billy's eyes she quickly moved away, as Zarian took her place.
No sooner had David's Jeep stopped in the hospital parking lot, then Kim was out and running toward the hospital doors. Once inside, she headed for the waiting room, David following behind her.
"Kim! I'll check on Billy, while you go and tell the others." David called.
"Alright." Kim responded, as she disappeared around the corner. David made his way to the nurses station just as a loud beep from a monitor sounded.
"What room ins William Cranston in?" David asked the busy nurses.
"Room 218. But we've got a flat line situation in there right now. You'll have to wait." The nurse said as she moved past him and down the hall.
Ahzza watched as Billy carefully pulled the IV out of his arm and continued to disconnect the heart monitor from the pads on his chest. Seeing the air tube stretch, Ahzza reached out to slip it from around his head.
"Is everything alright?" Ahzza asked, concerned about Billy.
"Everything is fine. Billy's resting now." Came Zarian's familiar voice. Ahzza couldn't help but stare at him; strange to hear Zarian's deeper voice coming from Billy. "Is there any clothes?"
"Um..." Ahzza gazed around, trying to locate some drawers or a closet. Finally finding a small closet, she quickly opened the door. At the bottom was a large, blue bag with white handles. Inside was a freshly washed pair of clothes. "I found them." Ahzza handed him the bag.
"Maybe you should step out into the hall for a minute." Zarian stated, as he looked over the clothes.
"Okay." Ahzza stepped from the room and waited patiently against the wall across from the door.
Nervously, Ahzza gazed down each end of the hall, expecting Sedra to pop out of nowhere. When the sounds of rushed footsteps reached her, she ducked around a nearby corner, peeking out at the group of doctors and nurses approaching. She continued to watch as the group raced into Billy's room. They'd been caught. Now what where they going to do? Before Ahzza could pull back around the corner, she heard a familiar voice call out her name. Quickly she pulled back, listening to the food steps approach her.
Suddenly a figure rounded the corner to stand next to her, a look of worry on her face.
"Ahzza. Where have you been? And what are you doing here?" David asked, happy to see his adopted sister for the first time in over two months. Ahzza held her fingers over her pursed lips, and motioned for him to come all the way around the corner with her.
"It's good to see you, David." Ahzza gave him a quick hug.
"Where have you been?" David asked again.
"I've been hiding from Sedra."
"Why? She isn't after you. She was after Billy and Christie."
"Wrong. She is looking for me, David. I'm the 'Light'." Ahzza watched the confusion fill David's features. She almost thought that he wouldn't believe her, and in a way, she hoped that he wouldn't.
"If it's true, then what are you doing here? If you get caught..."
"I'm only here long enough to get Billy out of here."
"Why? The Rangers just saved him from Sedra's castle, and you're saying that he isn't safe now?"
"He's not safe, not yet. David, Christie is Sedra."
"Oh no!" David realized what it all ment. If Christie; who is pregnant, is indeed Sedra, then things just got a whole lot worse. That ment... "The 'DarkChylde'!"
"Yes. And Sedra won't stop until Billy is with her. But there's another reason." She watched as David started to shake his head.
"Don't tell me."
"Okay, I won't, but you know what I was going to say."
"How are you going to get him out of here? The doctors just got a flat line alarm at their station, and it was coming from his room." Before Ahzza could explain, they heard a door open and the sounds of angry voices.
n=left>"We need to observe you for a few more days Mr. Cranston. We don't yet know the full extent of your injuries. If you're more seriously hurt, and you leave, this hospital will not be held liable." The doctor told Billy's retreating form, as they moved down the hall.
"That's fine, doctor. I'll just have to check myself out AMA, then. Just tell me what papers I have to sign."
"Fine. Follow me." The doctor relented, directing Billy down the hall to the nurses station.
David looked back at Ahzza. "That didn't sound like Billy. Ahzza, what's going on?" David demanded. And the look he gave her ment that he wanted an answer right then and there.
"David, I know that I owe you, and a lot of other people and explanation, but I can't. Not right now. You just have to trust me. Please? The less you know right now, the safer you all will be. I promise, that when the time comes, I'll explain everything." David couldn't miss the pleading in Ahzza's eyes, and she had never lied to him before.
"I'll trust you, and I'll keep our secret until you're ready to tell us. But, you better be careful, and watch out for yourself and Billy. He's been through a lot."
"I will. And you be careful too." Ahzza smiled accepting David's quick hug. Ahzza walked away from him, in the direction Billy and the doctor had taken. She didn't want to look back because she knew that if she did, she wouldn't be able to leave again.
David watched Ahzza until she disappeared out of sight, before he turned back to the waiting room and the group who waited there.
Locan had been waiting for Queen Sedra to return, and no sooner had she materialized then he was at her side, book in hand. Without a word, Sedra moved to her throne, where she sat with the book, and started to translate it's words. Locan watched as her annoyance turned to one of surprise, then anger. Suddenly, she was up off the throne, dashing the book to the stone floor.
"What's wrong, my Queen?" Locan asked, gazing down at the offending book.
"How ironic that while we searched for the 'Light' and the whereabouts of the 'Wolf', we had the 'Wolf' right under our noses, and never even suspected it."
"The human? Are you sure?"
"If what this book says is true, then our little Billy boy, is the 'Wolf'. Well, he's not going anywhere right now. He's in the hospital. I'll just drop back by and bring him back with me."
"I'll go with you." Locan stated, placing his hand on the hilt of his sword.
"No. He's no threat to me. Not in the condition you left him in. It will only take a minute to get him, then I'll be back." With that, Sedra was gone.
Sedra stormed around the empty room, the bed still unmade, and the hospital gown tossed on the floor next to a empty, blue plastic bag. She had thought that it would be so simple to come down, retrieve Billy, and return to the castle. Never in her wildest dreams, did she imagine that he would be gone. When she left him, only fifteen or twenty minutes ago, he was barely strong enough to pull away from her touch, and now, he was gone?!
"Could things get any worse?" She yelled, tossing her arms up in the air.
"Defiantly!" Came a response from behind her.
So caught up in her anger and disbelief, she hadn't even heard anyone enter the room.
"You're right. It can, and it just did." Sedra responded sarcastically. "Where is he?!"
"We'd like to ask you the same thing." Tommy demanded, taking a stance between Sedra and the rest of the Rangers.
"Oh, come on. I'm sure someone like you has at least one surviving brain cell in his head. Do you honestly think I'd be standing here talking to you, if I had him? Well, let me rephrase that." Sedra chuckled evilly, turning completely around, exposing her swelled abdomen. "I've already had him, and gotten what I want." Sedra smiled, licking her lips, as she drew her hand over her protruding stomach. "I think the proper way to put it is, he's not with me...yet. So, I'll take my leave now that I've left you with that little thought." In a flash, Sedra was gone.
"Oh, God!" Kim cried. "Sedra's caring the 'DarkChylde'. But...how did she force Billy to...to..." Kim couldn't bring herself to say it. The thought was so sickening.
"She didn't force him to mate with her." Came David's calm reply. All eyes immediately focused on him.
"What? How do you know?" Tanya wondered.
"I talked with a friend. Sedra pretended to be our friend by taking on the appearance of Christie Harlan. That's how she got Billy to give into her."
"If you know so much, then where is Billy?" Kat demanded.
"If you know something, bro, you need to tell us, so that we can help him." Tommy pleaded. David wanted to tell him, and he knew that he could trust Tommy and the others, they were Rangers, after all. But, he had promised. Besides, he couldn't very well tell them what he didn't know.
"All I can say is, he's in good hands, and that he's safe. Sedra won't be able to find him, and he's being taken really good care of. You'll just have to trust me. Okay?"
"But..." Rocky started to protest.
"If you're sure that your source can be trusted..." Kim began
"Then I believe and trust you too." She finished.
"Us, too." The rest of the group relented.
"We'd better get to the Power Chamber and fill Zordon in. As long as Billy's safe, we need to concentrate on defending ourselves from Sedra, and from the look of it, the 'DarkChylde' as well. So it's safe to say, that by the next week, we'll be fighting a battle like none we've ever fought before, and we need to get as prepared as we can." Tommy said, bringing everyone's focus to the present situation. And they also had to worry about the other prisoners she still had in the castle.
"You're right." Jason agreed.
"Let's go then." Adam ordered, as he teleported away in a column of green light. Taking his cue, the others teleported away as well, joining them was three columns of white light.
As the teleportation columns disappeared, a small breeze moved
about the room, blowing small fragments of torn paper around the floor. A small
piece, barely longer than a thumb, caught against the window. On it's white
surface, with dividing blue lines, was two words. "The Wolf". Then, as the
breeze disappeared, the piece of paper flitted down to the floor to join the
other pieces of paper, that were suddenly swept up, and disposed of in a trash