"Gimme your best shot!"
"_That_ was your best?"
"Heads up, Rocko!"
Seven teenagers stood on the sparring mat of the Youth Center. Each ranger wore karate suits in their respective colors. Andros in red faced off with Rocky in white, and Ashley in yellow faced off with T.J. in blue. Karone in purple, Carlos in green, and Cassie in pink sat watching the others, waiting for their turn. With a few expert kicks, Ashley had T.J. down on the mat.
"Let's see you do that again!" Said T.J., picking himself up. A few moments later, he was flat on his back, staring at the ceiling.
"Had enough?" Ashley's grinning face appeared above him.
"Never!" He smiled as she helped him up.
Andros and Rocky kicked and punched, but neither gave an edge. After a few minutes of this, Andros faked a punch, and swept Rocky's feet out from under him.
"Whoa!" Rocky hit the mat. "Got me there, Andros!" He got back to his feet, and the two started again. This time when Andros punched, Rocky used the momentum to flip Andros over and onto the mat. Rocky helped Andros to his feet, the two bowed to each other, and they let Cassie and Carlos take the mat.
Karone handed Rocky a towel to wipe his face. "I'm not kissing a sweaty face like that!" She giggled. They watched the others spar for a few minutes before grabbing a drink.
"I think we've had enough practice for a day." Rocky finished his drink in a matter of seconds.
"Are you still sore because I beat you today?" Karone teased, playing with her boyfriend's hair.
"No way!" Rocky smiled. "I'll get you back next match!"
"I'll see you there!" Karone laughed, and they went back to get the other rangers.
"I have a surprise for you guys!" Andros was grinning from ear to ear as he led Karone and Rocky down the corridor of the Megaship later that afternoon. He led them down to the launch bay and opened the doors. "Ta da!"
Inside the launch bay sat two new galaxy gliders, one white, one purple.
"Oh Andros!" Karone squealed, giving her brother a hug. "Thank you!"
"Do you guys want to test them out?" Asked Andros. "This is how we usually travel to and from the Megaship, so I thought you guys might need one."
"Let's go!" Said Karone excitedly. "Purple Pegasus Ranger power!"
"White Dragon Ranger power!" Said Rocky. When they both were morphed, they hopped onto the gliders and took off into space. "Who-hoo!" Rocky yelled.
Andros laughed at their antics and walked back to the bridge.
Rocky and Karone sped through space, surfing on their galaxy gliders. They spun, flipped, twirled and did more tricks, each trying to outdo the other.
"Hey Karone, do this!" Rocky yelled. He spun the glider, jumped and flipped in the air, landing back on the glider as it faced forward again.
"That's nothing!" Karone laughed. "Watch this!" She turned the glider upwards, pulled her feet off and spun three times, putting her feet on the glider as it completed the circle.
"Oh yeah?" Rocky grinned. "Well…" Suddenly, a laser blast struck the side of Rocky's glider, and he had to grab onto the side to keep from being flung off into space.
"Rocky!" Karone cried. She turned to see their attacker, it was a quantron in a small ship. Rocky pulled himself back onto the glider and pulled out his blaster. He fired on the quantron, who retreated. A minute later it returned, with two more ships.
"Let's take these guys!" Said Rocky. "I'll get the right, you get the left!"
"Right!" Said Karone. "Well, I mean… left… never mind!"
Rocky went past the quantron's ship. It turned the ship around, but Rocky wasn't there. It heard a knocking and looked up to see a grinning Rocky. He took off, and the quantron chased him. At the last moment Rocky pulled up, and the quantron's slammed into the second ship, blowing them both to pieces.
Rocky and Karone wove in front of the third ship, confusing the quantron inside. It didn't know which one to shoot. Suddenly, both rangers pulled out their blasters and fired into the ship's engine, blowing it up.
"All right!" Rocky and Karone exchanged high-fives.
"I say we head back now." Said Rocky.
"I'll vouch for that!" Karone breathed, and they raced back to the Megaship.
"What?!" Rynagore roared. "You had them both! You were supposed to kill that blasted white ranger, and bring the purple back to me!"
The quantrons cowered in front of Rynagore.
"Agh! Send a machine to do a monster's job…" Rynagore sighed. "DECDION!" He yelled.
"Yesss, sssire?" Asked a voice. The lizard like monster maker stood right behind him.
Startled, the giant furred monster jumped. "Don't do that!"
"Do you have any plans for me?' Asked Rynagore menacingly.
"Y-yess, ssire." Said Decdion, careful to stay a safe distance away from his grumpy lord. "The purple ranger, she wass formerly Astronema, nemesiss of the power rangerss, am I correct?"
"And you want her back, you want her and the white ranger to be sseparated?"
"I want that white ranger exterminated!" Rynagore yelled.
"Well, I wasss thinking, she's had dreamss of what she's done as Astronema, we will amplify those dreams of what she hass done to the rangersss, she will feel guilty, and let her guard down. Perhapss she will even run away. When she hass done so, we can get her back! We have to remind her of the past she is trying to forget."
"Brilliant!" Rynagore's eyes lit up.
"… so then we came back here as fast as we could!" Said Karone, as she explained their recent fracas to the wide-eyed rangers.
"Well, I guess Rynagore couldn't have left us alone for long." Carlos shrugged.
"Well, we're ready for him!" Said T.J., and the others nodded.
Only this time they didn't know what they were in for…
Andros sat at the front console of the bridge, typing a few things into the computer. There was no one else around, and the bridge was quiet.
Startled, Andros spun around to see Ashley behind him. "Oh, ah, hi Ashley."
"Do you need some help?" She asked.
"Well, no, I can handle it." Said Andros.
"I'd be glad to help, even if you don't need it." Said Ashley, sitting beside, him. "I know you're not used to it, but it's nice to have friends around, even if it's just to talk."
"But on…" Andros started.
"I know." Said Ashley. "On KO-35 there wasn't many people around, and you have to get more used to it." She smiled. "That's what I'm here for!"
Andros laughed and blushed.
"Come here!" Said Ashley. She pulled him over into a long, deep kiss.
Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine
I'm leaving my life in your hands
People say I'm crazy and that I am blind
Risking it all in a glance
How you got me blind is still a mystery
I can't get you out of my head
Don't know what is written in your history
As long as you're here with me
That night, Karone tossed and turned in her sleep. In her head she saw herself laughing as the rangers crumpled to the ground from an assault by her monster. As Astronema she felt… nothing. No compassion, no anything. She enjoyed watching the rangers cry out in pain.
"Andros!" Karone cried as she saw her brother fall. She suddenly found herself dressed in Astronema's clothing, ordering another attack…
Karone sat straight up in bed, panting and sweating. Why couldn't she get those nightmares out of her head? They were only getting worse.
"Are you all right?" Asked a voice. Karone turned to see Rocky in the doorway. He walked in and sat at the edge of the bed. "What's the matter?" He asked, putting his arms around her.
"Oh Rocky…" Karone buried her face in his shoulder. "How can I get rid of these terrible memories?"
Rocky frowned. "What memories?"
"Of m-me, as… Astronema." A tear ran down Karone's cheek. "I did such horrible things, how did the rangers forgive me?"
"You were under a spell, Karone." Said Rocky, rocking her lightly.
"I didn't exactly fight it." Karone sniffled.
Rocky held her at arms length and looked her in the eyes. "You didn't know, you were only a little girl. You're different now, Karone. You've changed for the better, you fight on the side of good now! For you, for me, for us. All of the rangers."
"How do you know that, Rocky?" Asked Karone. "I could turn on you at any time!"
"Karone, I do know, and I love you, no matter what!" Rocky squeezed her tightly.
I don't care who you are
Where you're from
What you did
As long as you love me
Who you are
Where you're from
Don't care what you did
As long as you love me
The next day at breakfast, Karone pushed at her food not feeling all that hungry. Rocky came and sat beside her, a mound of pancakes, bacon, toast and hash browns on his plate.
"What's wrong?" He asked.
"Huh?" Karone looked up. "Oh, I'm just not hungry."
"Not hungry?" Asked Rocky. "Couldn't imagine it!" He grinned. His grin fell when Karone sighed and looked down at the table.
"Are you feeling okay?" He put his arm around her. "Did you get enough sleep?"
Karone shook her head.
"Maybe you'd like to take a nap a little later or something?" Said Rocky. "Cheer up, okay?"
"Sure." Karone looked into Rocky's concerned brown eyes and smiled slightly, and Rocky gave her a kiss.
The rangers spent the day on the ship, doing various chores, and working out on the simu-deck. Around noon Karone began to feel tired, so she decided to take a short nap and went to bed.
Suddenly, she found herself on Astronema's ship, watching as her monsters tortured Andros. The giant werewolf creature that tossed Andros about, Andros struggling to get back up…
Andros watched helplessly as the third monster came toward him. It was a giant werewolf, saliva dripping from his snarling mouth, lips curled back revealing long, sharp teeth. His fingers curved into deadly claws, itching for the killing stroke. The wolf struck, and Andros was flung almost ten feet from where he had been standing.
Before Andros could recover, the wolf was back upon him, tearing and clawing as Andros cried out in pain. He fought as best as he could, as he felt his consciousness leaving him. He struggled, but the wolf was too powerful.
Karone shook her head to rid herself of the dream, but it wouldn't end. She saw herself smiling as she ordered Rocky's capture, and as Andros trade himself for his friend's lives…
"ASTRONEMA!" Andros shouted. "I KNOW YOU'RE HERE!"
"Hello, red ranger!" Andros whirled to face Astronema, with Hangman behind her who held the two struggling teenagers.
"Let them go, Astronema." Said Andros coldly. "I'm here, now let them go!"
"Oh, I'll let them go, but not until I have you!" Astronema sneered.
"You give me your word?" asked Andros, even though it wouldn't do any good.
"I give you my word." said Astronema. "Now, come to me!"
Andros took a deep breath and stepped forward.
"Andros, no!" Cried Ashley, but it was too late. Hangman struck Andros with his rope, and the red ranger was flung backwards and landed in the dirt, unmorphed. His morpher flew into the sand a few feet in front of him. He reached for it, but one of Hangman's ropes wrapped around him and pulled him back. Rocky elbowed Hangman in the face, and he released him and Ashley who rolled clear. Ashley tried to run to
Andros, but Ecliptor forced them back.
"Your time ends now!" He cried, and fired at Ashley. Before the shot could hit Ashley, she saw a flash of blue as Rocky ran in front of her. The shot caught him in the chest, and he knocked Ashley over as he flew back and landed, unmoving.
"Rocky!" Karone shouted, bolting up in bed.
"It was just a dream, Karone." Came D.E.C.A.'s voice.
Karone brushed her brown hair out of her face. "Why am I having these dreams? How can I get rid of them?"
She hugged her knees to her chest. "I caused the rangers so much pain, I nearly killed them! What's to keep my past from reoccurring?"
"It is not likely, Karone." D.E.C.A. answered. "You broke Rynagore's spell."
"But it's my fault! I did all those things, created those monsters, hurt all those people!" Karone sniffed. "I don't deserve to be a ranger, I don't deserve these wonderful friends! And Rocky…" Her voice trailed off for a moment. "How can such a wonderful person be with someone like me? I was Astronema, hated villianess!"
To this, D.E.C.A. had no answer. Karone hugged her knees tighter and began to cry.
"And now for the icing on the cake!" Rynagore smiled.
"Cake?" Asked Elgar. "Where?"
"There is a monster attacking earth." D.E.C.A. reported.
"Let's go!" Said Andros. The rangers morphed and hurried down to the planet.
Andros stood in the center, with Cassie T.J. and Carlos on his left, and Ashley, Rocky and Karone on his right.
"Where's the monster?" Asked Cassie.
"There!" Andros pointed to a tail that stuck out from behind a building. "Come out and fight!" He shouted. The monster came out from behind the building and rose to it's full height.
Andros and Karone both gasped at the same time. It was the giant werewolf that Astronema had created to torture Andros!
"No…" Karone shrank back. "I created that thing, and now it's going to hurt my friends!"
"No, Karone." Rocky reassured. "We'll destroy it, don't worry!" He spoke with more confidence than he felt, but he was worried about Karone.
The wolf leaped among the rangers, and Andros and T.J. were thrown back. Cassie and Carlos ran in and kicked at the wolf, but it was too fast. It grabbed Carlos and threw him into Cassie, and both rangers went flying. Rocky tried to take the wolf from behind, but it turned and swung at him, slashing him with it's claws. Rocky cried out and staggered back, and the wolf advanced on him. Suddenly Andros came up and slashed at the wolf with his spiral sabre, but the wolf grabbed it and broke it in half. Shocked, Andros stared at the end of the sabre, and the wolf kicked him and sent him flying into T.J., who had been getting to his feet. Karone had shrunk back, trembling as the memories flashed through her mind.
"No!" She cried, shaking her head furiously. "No, this can't be happening!"
The wolf saw her and advanced upon her, saliva dripping from it's jaws. Karone couldn't even scream as the face from her nightmares came closer. The wolf stood above her and raised its massive paw.
"NO!" Cried Rocky's voice. He jumped and kicked at the wolf, who swatted him away like a fly. Rocky came back and kicked the wolf sharply in the side. The wolf howled and slammed Rocky with its paw, sending Rocky tumbling across the ground. Rocky rose to his feet to see the wolf once again advancing upon the helpless Karone, frozen by her fear. The wolf grabbed Karone and held her in the air, when suddenly Rocky leaped onto it and yanked its head back. The wolf staggered back, dropping Karone and trying to get at Rocky. T.J. ran in and tried to distract it, but the wolf took no notice of his attack. The wolf thrashed back and forth trying to get Rocky off of him, when it lost its balance and fell to the ground with a sickening crunch, Rocky beneath it.
"ROCKY!" Karone screamed. The wolf stirred and rolled to his feet, revealing Rocky's seemingly lifeless body that had been crushed under it. The wolf took one last look at Karone, flashed a grin that sent a chill up her spine, and disappeared in a flash of light.
"Rocky!" Karone and the others ran to him. Rocky lay in an awkward position, and didn't respond to his teammates' calls. Karone removed his helmet. "Rocky, answer me!" She pleaded, her eyes filling with tears. "Oh please, please be alive!"
Karone's heart skipped a beat when she heard hear him take a shallow, ragged breath. "He's alive!" Her eyes blurred with tears. "We have to get him to Med Bay!"
"Right!" Andros called Alpha, and they were teleported up.
Rocky, unmorphed, lay on a diagnostic bed, attached to life support. His breathing was slow and shallow, but he was breathing. Karone sat next to the bed, holding his hand. The only sound was the slow beeping of the heart monitor. Andros watched Karone from the doorway, and came to stand next to her.
"He's going to make it, Karone." He said softly, putting his hand on her shoulder.
"I know." Karone sniffed. "But, this is all my fault!"
"Your fault?" Asked Andros, surprised. "How?"
Karone looked up at him, her eyes red. "Andros, how could you forgive me? I was Astronema, queen of evil! I destroyed planets and lives! I caused you so much pain!"
"Karone, that wasn't your fault, that was Rynagore's! We've forgiven you for everything!"
"No…" Karone shook her head. "I created that monster, the werewolf, the one I used to torture you! And Rocky…" She looked at Rocky's prone figure and buried her face in her hands. "This would never have happened if it weren't for me!"
"Karone, this is all Rynagore's fault, he did this all on purpose, to hurt you." Said Andros. "Don't let it take control of you, you have to fight it! We're here for you, Karone, we need you. You help the rangers fight _against_ evil!"
Karone sighed heavily and wiped her eyes.
"Maybe you'd better lie down for a while." Said Andros, leading her to her room. Karone lay down on her bed, and Andros shut the door.
"Is she Ok?" Asked T.J.
Andros nodded. "Well, she thinks this is her fault, since Astronema created the monster that hurt Rocky. It will take some time, but she'll get through this."
"We'll help her." Said Cassie, and she Carlos and T.J. headed down to the bridge.
"You're worried about her, aren't you." Said Ashley.
"Yeah." Andros ran his fingers through his brown and yellow streaked hair. "I finally find my sister, and now it seems like I'm losing her to Rynagore over again!"
"It will be all right." Said Ashley, putting her arm around him. "We're here for her, and I'll be here for you, too."
"Thanks, Ashley." Andros smiled gratefully.
Every little thing that you have said and done
Feels like it's deep within me
Doesn't really matter if you're on the run
It seems like we're meant to be
"It's working perfectly." Rynagore smiled, showing his long, sharp teeth. "Karone's guilt is growing because her monster injured the white ranger! Soon the guilt will overcome her, and she will be mine again!"
Rynagore laughed an evil laugh.
"Yeah, uh, haha!" Elgar tried to laugh. "Oh, never mind!"
Karone stayed with Rocky for as much time as she could, dreading sleep, for with sleep came the frightful dreams of her crimes as Astronema. Days passed and Rocky's condition got better. Karone stayed with him when she could, he came in and out of consciousness.
Late one night Karone sat beside the bed, her eyelids getting heavier. 'I can't go to sleep.' She told herself. 'I can't let myself fall asleep…'
"Rocky, it's me!" Karone stepped towards her boyfriend, who shrank back in fear.
"Stay away, Astronema!" He cried, his brown eyes flashed with panic. "Don't come any closer!"
"She's evil, stay back!" Came Andros' voice. He and the other rangers surrounded her, brandishing their weapons. Karone tried to tell them she was their friend, but the words wouldn't come out. "Stay back!" She found herself saying. Her arms lifted as if they had a mind of their own and fired energy at the rangers, sending them to their knees.
"Karone, how could you?" Rocky groaned, clutching his stomach. "I thought you loved me!"
"No, Rocky, I do love you!" Karone tried to say, but the words would not reach her mouth. Instead, she raised a ball of flame and aimed it towards him…
"Karone…" A faint voice woke her from sleep.
"Rocky?" She raised her head. Rocky's eyes were open, and he tried to smile at her.
"Hey, how are you?" He asked, his voice faint. He sounded very tired.
"I'm fine, how are you feeling?" Karone asked.
"Like I was just squished by an 800-pound werewolf!" Rocky tried to chuckle, but ended up coughing instead.
"Relax, Rocky." Karone felt a lump in her throat. "Take it easy, you took a hard fall."
"Yeah, I'm fine, don't worry about me." Said Rocky. "Are you sure you're all right? Have you been sleeping all right?"
Karone sighed, and Rocky's face grew a concerned look. "What's wrong?"
"I-I've been having those dreams again, about… Astronema." Karone looked at the floor. "I can't help feeling that this is my fault, I created that wolf that nearly killed you! This would never have happened if you hadn't met me!"
"Karone" Rocky's brown eyes locked with hers. "If I could, I wouldn't change a thing. I love you, no matter what. I love you for you, not who you were, not for what you did, it doesn't matter to me!" He reached his hand out to hold hers and squeezed it. "I love you no matter what, Karone."
I don't care who you are
Where you're from
What you did
As long as you love me
Who you are
Where you're from
Don't care what you did
As long as you love me
Over the next few weeks Rocky recovered fairly well, until he was able to get up and walk around. Karone was still bothered by her dreams. She never said anything about them, but Rocky could tell they were tearing her apart inside. It hurt him deeply to see her like that, so he decided to take her for a walk around Angel Grove to lift her spirits.
The walked hand-in-hand along the streets, and towards the larger buildings, enjoying the sights.
"It's so beautiful out today!" Karone breathed in the fresh air. "This is really what I needed, thank you, Rocky!"
"You're welcome." Said Rocky, kissing her forehead. "I just want you to be happy."
Karone smiled and put her arm around him, careful not to squeeze his injured ribs too hard. Together they walked up a flight of stone steps to get to the statue they wanted to see. Suddenly, some images form her dream flashed through Karone's mind.
"What's wrong?" Asked Rocky, concerned, as Karone stopped at the top of the steps. The images were of Astronema, she stood and stared cruelly at the white ranger. She raised her hands and blasted him with energy and the white ranger fell downward, downward…
"Nothing." Said Karone, shaking the images away. "I'm fine."
"O…kay." Said Rocky, not all convinced. They stood for a moment and stared at the view from the steps. The sun was lowering on the horizon, the sky was a breathtaking reddish-orange hue, and the clouds were tinted red.
"It's beautiful." Karone awed.
"Not as beautiful as you." Rocky smiled. He tilted her chin up with his hand and leaned in for a kiss, when he was suddenly thrown off balance by an unseen force.
"ROCKY!" Cried Karone as he was hurtled down the stone steps. "Rocky!" She ran as fast as she could down to him.
Rocky tumbled down the steps, crying out as he was hit in his ribs. The hard steps gave him no mercy as he fell until he landed at the bottom in a crumpled heap with one last gasp of pain.
Karone ran to his side, he was whimpering softly, curled up and shaking.
"Rocky… oh no!" She breathed. "We have to get you back to the ship! I'm so sorry, Rocky!"
"I'll be Ok." He gasped. "Of all the monsters I've fought, am I going to let myself be taken out by a flight of stairs?"
Karone was about to contact Alpha, when more images appeared in front of her. Astronema… the white ranger falling… falling… "Stay back!"… "This is your fault!"… "Karone, how could you…."
"NO!" Karone cried, backing up. "No! It's my fault! I can't!"
"Karone?" Rocky became alarmed. "Karone, are you all right?"
"Rocky, stay back!" Karone was crying, half in, half out of her nightmare. "It's my fault, I can't let you get hurt anymore! This is all because of me! It's Astronema!" Karone took off running.
"No, Karone!" Rocky cried. He tried to go after her, but he couldn't get up. "Karone!" He yelled, holding out his hand, but she was gone. "Come back…" He collapsed back onto the ground.
'I have to… get to Andros…' He thought to himself. He picked up his communicator, to find it had been damaged in the fall. "Alpha, come in!" Rocky tried it, but it wouldn't work.
"Galaxy glider." He gasped. "Hang ten!" The white glider flew down to him. Rocky grasped the side and painfully pulled himself up. His face tightened as he struggled to get himself onto the glider, and headed back to the Megaship.
"The white ranger's glider is headed to launch bay." D.E.C.A. reported.
"Why would he be on his glider?" Asked T.J. "He's supposed to be with Karone!"
"Let's check it out!" Said Andros, and the rangers ran to launch bay. As they arrived, Rocky's glider came in, carrying Rocky, who was sprawled unceremoniously across it.
"Rocky, what happened?" Asked Andros. "Where's Karone?!"
"We…I.. she… " He gasped. "I fell.. she couldn't… Astronema.. she ran off… have to get her back!" He tried to get off the glider but fell to the ground, seemingly fast asleep.
"He's exhausted." Said Andros. "Let's get him to his quarters."
"No, wait!" Ashley knelt beside him, examining him. "I think he passed out, look at this!" She showed the others various new cuts and bruises.
"What happened to him?" Asked Cassie.
"He said something about a fall." Said Andros. "Let's get him to the Med Bay, we shouldn't move him, we'll have to teleport him."
T.J. had D.E.C.A. teleport Rocky to Med Bay, and then they all met Andros on the bridge.
"Rocky said Karone ran off, probably because of the dreams she's been having." Said Andros.
"The dreams of her as Astronema?" Asked T.J., and Andros nodded. "She's blaming herself for everything that's happened. The guilt overcame her, so I guess she ran away. We just have to find her before Rynagore does!"
"How's Rocky?" Asked Ashley as she came up to Andros in the infirmary.
Andros sighed. "He's in pretty bad shape, he took some kind of hard fall, but he'll be Okay."
"That's good." Said Ashley, not knowing quite what else to say. "How are _you_ doing?" She asked.
"I'm all right." Said Andros. "I'm just worried about Karone."
"I know." Ashley put her hand on his shoulder. "We all are. If you ever need anything, Andros, just ask, ok?" Ashley smiled at him. "You have to know, you're not alone in this. The rangers are all here for each other. They're here for you, and so am I."
Andros smiled at Ashley. "Thanks, it's nice to have people around when you need them, I've realized. You've been such a big help, I love you, Ash."
"I love you too, Andros!" Ashley threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.
I've tried to hide it so that no one knows
But I guess it shows
When you look into my eyes
What you did and where you're comin' from
I don't care, as long as you love me, baby
"Madre De Dios!" Rocky exclaimed when he woke up later. "My head is killing me!"
"At least it wasn't the fall that killed you!" T.J. grinned. He Ashley and Andros stood by Rocky's bed. Carlos and Cassie were helping Alpha repair Rocky's damaged communicator.
"What exactly happened?" Asked Ashley.
"Oh, man." Rocky rubbed his temple. He tried to sit up, but it hurt too much. "I was walking with Karone and we stood at the top of the steps near the Englor building, when it seemed like something pushed me, and I fell down the stairs."
"That long flight of stone steps?" Ashley gasped, putting her hand to her mouth. "My God!"
"Yeah." Rocky winced, touching a bruise on his cheek. "No in-flight meal, either!" The others chuckled.
"So what happened with Karone?" Asked Andros.
"It looked like she was terrified of something she was seeing, and started mumbling something about Astronema, her fault, and she can't let us get hurt anymore. It was probably something about those nightmares, and then she ran off. I tried to go after her, but…" Rocky sighed. "I couldn't move, and my communicator was damaged, so I used my Galaxy glider to get back to the ship." He lifted his head and looked up at the rangers, his eyes pleading. "We have to find her! Rynagore will go after her now, and I can't let that happen! Please!"
"Relax, Rocky." Andros pushed Rocky back down onto the bed. "You have to rest, we'll search everywhere for her, and we'll get her back, I promise."
Rocky reluctantly complied, and was fast asleep within seconds.
"This whole ordeal is taking all the energy out of him." Said T.J. "He has to be careful, we can't have him exerting himself in his condition." And the others nodded.
"Any sign of her?" Asked a morphed Andros, jogging up to T.J.
"Nope." T.J. shook his head. "Not a thing."
"Let's keep searching." Said Andros. "She has to be here somewhere!"
T.J. nodded, and the two split up.
"Karone!" Andros called, jogging through Angel Grove. He looked around for a moment, and put his mouth to his communicator. "Anything yet, Alpha?"
"We're searching, Andros." Said Alpha. "But she is not responding to her communicator!"
"Let me try." Said Andros.
Karone sat leaning against the side of a building, exhausted. "Why did this all have to happen to me?" She moaned.
Beep Beep BeepBeep Beep Beep came the familiar noise, but Karone ignored it.
"Karone?" Came Andros' voice. "Karone, I know you can hear me. Please, come back! We need you!"
"I can't help." Karone said sadly. "You don't need me, I was evil, you fight against evil."
"You're good now, Karone!"
"How can you be sure?"
"I'm sure, Karone. You're invaluable as the purple ranger. Think of how many lives you've saved! You help defend the universe against Rynagore, or he'd have control! We need you, your team needs you, and Rocky needs you."
"Rocky…" Karone felt a pang in her heart. She missed him terribly!
"I-I just want to be alone." She sniffed.
"Kor-" Karone shut off her communicator. She closed her eyes and a single tear ran down her cheek. 'Maybe Andros is right.' She thought to herself and sighed. 'I just need some time.'
"Did you get a trace?" Asked Andros.
"Ayiyiyiyi! It was too short to get her directly," said Alpha, "but she's somewhere in the downtown area of Angel Grove."
"Great!" Andros smiled. "Alert the others, we can't let Rynagore get to her!"
"Au contraire!" came a voice. Andros spun to see Ecliptor and Elgar surrounded by quantrons and a two Geckos.
"Yeah," Elgar sneered. "Ow conter! Er… uh…"
"We will have to keep you busy while we find Karone!" Ecliptor smiled. "Fare thee well, red ranger!" Ecliptor hit Andros in the chest with an energy bolt from his sword, and disappeared.
"Uh, what he said!" Elgar waved before disappearing.
"You guys ever hear of a fair fight?" Asked Andros as he was circled by a dozen quantrons and the Geckos.
The quantrons leaped in, and Andros fought back as best as he could, dispatching as many as possible.
"I need some help, here!" He yelled into his communicator, before he was kicked in the stomach. He managed to defeat the quantrons, but wearily hoped his teammates would get there soon as the two Geckos smiled and licked their scaly lips.
His teammates, however, were busy fighting their own swarms of quantrons. Cassie and T.J. fought off dozens of quantrons and a Gecko, while Carlos and Ashley finished off a Gecko and fought even more quantrons. The more they gained the upper hand, the more quantrons appeared.
"Is this never gonna end?!" T.J. yelled.
Andros groaned as a kick caught him in the side. The quantrons had worn him down, and he stood no chance against the two Geckos. He wondered miserably if he was going to get out of this alive as one of the Geckos wielded a sword. One Gecko kicked Andros down and the sword holder was about to run Andros through, when a bright flash of light blinded it, and it backed up.
"Rocky?" Asked Andros. "You're in no shape to be fighting!"
"If I don't, you won't be either." Said Rocky grimly. "Eretar Dragon power!" In moments, he had transformed into a white Dragon, not quite twice the size of the Geckos. The sword wielding Gecko ran in and slashed his arm. Rocky bellowed and backhanded the lizard, sending it flying. The second Gecko ran in at him and they exchanged blows, before the first ran back in to help. Rocky fought back as best as he could, and Andros tried to help, but was flung out of the fight. Finally, the Geckos, beaten, retreated and teleported back to Rynagore.
"Well, they're going back with their tails between their legs!" Andros smiled and ran up to Rocky. His smile faded as he saw the Dragon's expression. "Are you all right?' He asked.
With a mighty groan, the great Dragon collapsed and fell to his side.
"We have to get you back to Med Bay!" Said Andros urgently. He and Rocky powered down, and were teleported back to the ship.
Karone wandered through town, trying to make sense of everything. 'I can't let my emotions get the best of me!' She thought. "But why did this all have to happen?"
"Karone?" A voice came from her communicator.
"Rocky?" Karone looked at her communicator. "I though I turned this thing off!"
"No, please!" Rocky pleaded. "Please listen to me." His voice was low and a little shaky.
"Are you all right?" Asked Karone, concerned.
"I-I'm fine." Rocky coughed for a moment. "We need you, Karone, please come back!"
Karone bit her lip, she wanted to go back, but she couldn't risk her friends' lives. "I-I can't Rocky. I did too much as Astronema. So much pain, so much destruction, because of me! How can anyone forgive me? How can I forgive myself? How can I ever make up for what I've done? You wouldn't have been hurt if it wasn't for me."
"I probably wouldn't be _alive_ right now if it wasn't for you." Said Rocky. "You've saved my life more than once! You've saved your friend's, and others' lives!"
Karone shook her head. "No, I can't change what I've done, I can never make it right. Please, I don't deserve you. You're better off without me! It would have been better if you'd never met me!"
"If I could, I wouldn't change a thing." Said Rocky. "We need you, Karone. The rangers need you, Earth needs you to fight for her! Who will defend her? We need you to help us fight for justice, for all that's good. We need you, Karone. I need you."
"I'm sorry." Karone said sadly as she shut off the communicator. Her eyes filled with tears as she though about Rocky's words. "I love you, Rocky." She whispered.
"Ayiyiyiyi! Her communicator is shut off, we can no longer trace her!" Said Alpha, pacing.
"Relax, Alpha." T.J. put a hand on the little robot's shoulder. "We'll find her and get her back."
He turned to Andros. "How's Rocky?"
"He's in pretty bad shape." Andros explained. "But he'll recover. We have to try to keep him out of the fight, we can't have him injuring himself more."
"And what about Karone?" Asked Cassie.
Andros sighed. "Let's just pray Rynagore hasn't found her yet, we can't give up hope. We will find her. I know Rynagore has something to do with these dreams she's having. Let's just hope that she will be able to figure things out on her own."
The others nodded.
Karone sat down on the steps in front of an apartment building. 'Maybe I should have listened to Rocky.' She thought to herself. 'I just don't know what to do, it's so confusing!'
Suddenly, she heard screams from the street and ran to investigate. When she arrived, she saw two Geckos tearing apart the street, flinging cars and smashing windows.
'I have to help them' She thought 'but… the rangers… I can't!' She looked up and gasped in horror, a little girl was standing in the middle of the street, frozen in fear!
"No, Sarah!" Yelled her terrified mother. "Come here!" Seeing this, Karone knew what she had to do.
"Purple ranger power!" She yelled, and morphed into her ranger suit. One of the Geckos saw the little girl and headed in her direction. As it was about to pounce on her, Karone ran in and pulled the little girl out of harm's way, and the lizard landed on the street. Karone handed the girl to her mother.
"Thank you so much, purple ranger!" She sobbed. "I don't know what I would have done without you!"
"It's what I do, ma'am." Karone was surprised by her own words. "You have to get out of here, I'll take care of the Gec… Monsters."
"Thank you, again!" The woman called as she ran off, holding her daughter tightly.
"All right, you two." Karone stood in a fighting stance, facing the two Geckos. "Time for your come-uppance!"
The two lizards looked at each other and scratched their heads. "Come-what?"
Using this distraction, Karone jumped in and knocked the first over, ducking a tail-swing of the second. The first got back to it's feet and punched at her, but she grabbed it's arm and flipped it over, but was hit by the second's tail. She got to her feet and blasted it with her blaster. She fired at the first, but he ducked out of the way. It came charging at her, but she stepped out of the way and grabbed it's tail as it ran by. Using all her strength, Karone used the tail to swing the lizard, sending it flying into the other one, and they both hit the side of a building. Scrambling over each other, the lizards retreated back to Rynagore in two flashes of light.
The townspeople slowly came out of their hiding places and started clapping. Karone stood in the middle of the street, seeing how many people she had protected from the Geckos. 'Maybe I _have_ changed.' She wondered. 'I can't change the past, but I _can_ make up for what I've done by protecting the people of earth.' Karone thought for a moment. "Galaxy glider, hang ten!"
Rynagore has sent his monster to attack Angel Grove park." D.E.C.A. reported.
"Let's rocket!" Yelled Andros, and the rangers rushed to the planet.
"Your time is up, rangers!" The werewolf smiled evilly. The rangers ran in, but it managed to block most of their hits. The two sides fought, neither gaining an edge, but after a while, the rangers began to tire.
"What's the matter, rangers?" Asked the wolf. "No white or purple rangers to save you? Oh, the purple ranger and I met earlier, you don't need to worry about her anymore!" It licked it's lips.
"NO!" Yelled a voice, and Rocky materialized in front of the wolf, in Dragon form. "You lie!"
"You think so, white ranger?" The wolf smiled. "We shall have to see!"
"No!" Rocky ran in and rammed the wolf, punching it, but he was too weak and the wolf overpowered him. It pinned him down, and a sword appeared in it's claws. "Say good-bye, ranger!" It raised the sword and was about to make the killing blow, when a streak of purple sent it flying backwards.
"Karone?!" Rocky cried as she landed next to him. He demorphed and winced as he hit the ground on his back. Karone ran to him and knelt beside him.
"Karone, I thought…" Rocky began.
"It's ok, I'm here now." Said Karone softly. "For good, I'll never leave you again." A tear ran down Rocky's cheek as he put his arms around her and held her tightly.
"I'll take care of the wolf." She said. "You have to get back to Med Bay. Alpha, teleport Rocky up!"
"Right, Karone!" Alpha answered. "Welcome back!"
"I love you." She whispered to Rocky.
"I love you too." He smiled, before disappearing in a flash of white.
"And you." She turned to the wolf and gave him a glare that made his ears flatten to the side of his head. He backed up a little as she advanced on him.
"Suretar Pegasus power!" Karone yelled and became the purple winged horse. She sent him flying with a kick of her hoof. "That's for the rangers." Another kick sent him sprawling across the ground. "That's for Rocky."
Karone summoned a great ball of energy. "And this one's for me." She sent it flying into the wolf, and it exploded in a fantastic ball of flame.
"Karone!" Andros ran up to her as she demorphed and hugged her. "You're back to stay now?"
"Yes." Karone smiled. "I realized that I'm needed to help against Rynagore. I did some horrible things as Astronema, but not on purpose, and I will make up for the crimes as best as I can. I will still have my memories, but I have my friends to help me replace those memories with better ones."
"Welcome back, Karone!" The rangers smiled, and enveloped her in a big group hug.
"Ow!" Rocky winced as Karone put some alcohol on his cuts. "That hurts!"
"Well you should've stayed in bed, naughty boy!" She teased. "It looks like you got yourself into quite a scrape!"
"Yeah." Rocky muttered. "A scrape, and a bruise, and some broken bones…"
Karone laughed. "Well, I think you've learned your lesson!"
"They look so cute together!" Ashley sighed. She and Andros stood in the doorway, Andros had his arm around Ashley.
"I think they'll be just fine!" Andros smiled. "Thanks for your support, Ashley."
"Anytime!" Ashley grinned, and kissed him.
"You'll have fun on earth." T.J. smiled a few weeks later. "Try not to get in trouble this time!"
"We will!" Rocky laughed. He and Karone stood on the bridge. Rocky had his left arm in a sling and various bandages.
"My mummy and I will be fine!" Karone grinned, teasing her boyfriend.
"Well, you guys certainly have earned this vacation!" Andros smiled.
"I think we're ready for one!" Said Karone.
"Have fun, guys!" Cassie, T.J., Carlos, Andros and Ashley waved as the two teleported to earth.
"This is not over yet, rangers." Rynagore growled as he sat on his throne. "I _will_ have Astronema as my queen, and those power rangers will wish they had never crossed me!"
Rocky and Karone appeared in Angel Grove park in two flashes of white and purple. It was nearly sunset, and Rocky led Karone through the park to a special place. They emerged through a bush and Karone gasped as she saw the view. They stood on the edge of a cliff overlooking the lake, and the sun was settled on the lake, the waves glittered as they reflected the light. The sky was orange and yellow as the sun sank lower, and Rocky and Karone held each other, vowing never to let the other go.
"I love you, Rocky."
"I love you too, Karone."
I don't care who you are
Where you're from
What you did
As long as you love me
Who you are
Where you're from
Don't care what you did,
As long as you love me
So,what do you think? Good? Corny? E-mail me with your comments (good or bad) at email@example.com, I love feedback!