Note: * Hi! Anyone who read "Together Again" in "The Cobwebs Before Her" series, probably remembers the note I wrote at the end about a follow-up story to it in "The Guardian Saga", right? Well, guess what? This is that follow-up story. :) By the way, some of the flashback/memories (You'll understand what I'm talking about when you read the story) are from the "Green With Evil" mini-series. On another completely different subject, PLEASE E-MAIL ME! I would like to know whether you're loving "The Guardian Saga" or hating it. Also, I'm in desperate need of some story ideas for a new series I'm starting. (Oops! Good job, WhiteZeo, you just let the cat out of the bag! ^_^) So if you'd like to drop a few ideas by me or if you'd like to help me out in ANY way, send an e-mail by me and let me know! Now, onto your reading!

Imminent Departure
Chapter Sixty-One: "Fall Of The Protector"
Written By: WhiteZeo

"SIYA!" Tommy Oliver cried, as he kicked a piranhatron into the bush that surrounded the front yard of his home he shared with his wife and children.

Shannon Oliver ran up the steps that lead to front door, carrying two car seats with twin two month old babies wailing at the top of their lungs. "Shhhh, shhhh," she kneeled down, placing the babies on the porch, and began to rock the car seats, trying to calm down her children, Makala and Sean Oliver.

*Dammit, Tommy! Morph! There is NO ONE watching!* Shannon mentally yelled, turning around and catching a glimpse her husband battle off the piranhatrons.

*It's not that easy, ya know, Shannon. These piranhatrons just keep it comin'.* the Red Zeo Ranger responded telepathically, tornado kicking a piranhatron to the asphalt.

*I can understand that, Olive Oil. But if you don't hurry, I don't know what's gonna happen* the Zeo Guardian watched as the piranhatrons began to slip through Tommy's defenses and towards Shannon *The piranhatrons are coming closer to me, Sean, and 'Kala and I can't leave them alone and morph. These two are working their lungs overtime.*

Tommy quickly glanced backwards to Shannon and saw that she was right. About a dozen were approaching the babies and her. Letting down his guard, he immediately shouted, "It's morphin' time! Zeo Ninja, Star!"

Changing quickly, Tommy saw that during the small time that it had taken him to morph, more piranhatrons had managed to go after Makala, Sean, and Shannon. "Tiger Bomb!" the boy cried and released a gigantic fire tiger from his hands that took out the whole lot of piranhatrons

Running up to the White Zeo Ranger, he said, "Looks like I coulda taken them out without morphing!"

"SHHH!" Shannon snapped back at him, Sean and Makala still wailing in their car seats.

"Here," Tommy kneeled down next to his wife, "Let me take care of them. You open the door."

Shannon stood up from her spot and withdrew her keys from her pocket. Sticking the house key into the keyhole, she turned the knob and the door opened. "By the gods............" she murmured, stepping into the house.

As she walked into the house, she gasped at what she saw. In the living room, where she stood, all the furniture was thrown all over, pictures littered the floor, and glass covered the carpet. "Shannon," Tommy called out to her from the porch.

The Zeo Ranger ran back outside and replied quietly, "You better take a look at this Tommy."

"What?" he queried, as he walked inside the house, carrying the now sleeping children, "What's wrong........................."

The leader trailed off as he store at the mess that was the living room. "What happened?" he gasped.

"I don't know," the guardian shrugged, "I walked in and it was like this."

As they walked through the house, further investigation showed that the whole house had been turned upside down; obviously someone had been looking for something. "We weren't robbed," Shannon told, as the two walked out from the kitchen, "The front and back doors are locked."

Tommy shook his head at the mess before him. "Call the others, Shannon. Looks like Scorpio's handiwork..................."

* * *

"Are you sure you know what you are doing, Rita?" Lord Zedd growled at his wife, Rita Repulsa, as she store down at the Earth from the balcony of their Lunar Palace.

"Of course!" Rita replied, her voice no longer scratchy and loud, but smooth and sultry, "Now that Rito and Goldar have returned with the things I told them to get from Tommy, that mangy Red Ranger will be out of our hair forever!"

"You mean, ours," a feminine voice hissed from behind Rita.

The witch's face took on a frightened look as she turned around towards the entrance to the throne room. "Father. Aunt Scorpio. Aunt Electra," Rita bowed gracefully as she faced Scorpio, another woman, and a three faced monster; Scorpio was the one who had spoken.

Zedd immediately hopped from his throne and was right next to his wife, bowing to his elders. "Master Vile. Aunt Scorpio. Mother," he acknowledged their presence.

"Amazing what a little time spent in the brig of the Alliance of Evil headquarters can do, is not, dear brother Vile," the woman who stood next to Scorpio told the three faced monster.

"Yes, it is amazing, dear sister Electra," Master Vile agreed, as he motioned for Rita and Lord Zedd to rise from the floor, "It can make the most resilient children, become as obedient as dogs."

Scorpio a moment to get a good look at her older brother and younger sister. They were, truly, two of a kind.

Master Vile was her oldest brother and the oldest child of the Grand Monarch of Evil, Dark Specter. He was covered in a black cloak that Scorpio had come to like of the centuries. He towered over her by at least a foot; His three faced head had a way of making him look much taller than he was.

Electra on the other hand, looked very normal, by human standards, that day. She was a shape shifter, taking after their father. Electra's long blonde hair was up in a high ponytail and warm hazel eyes disguised her evil extremely well. Scorpio's younger sister wore a midnight blue full length gown, that had a neck line that could compete with the red head's own neck line on her dress. All in all, Electra looked rather human, other than the fact that when she spoke, two large fangs could been seen hanging from her mouth; That was the only thing her shape shifting could not change.

Scorpio motioned to her nephew and niece to rise from their position and asked, "What is your progress, Rita?"

"I am almost finished, Aunt Scorpio," Rita replied, "All I have to do is find out which memory I will have trigger the spell and I will be ready."

"Very good," Master Vile nodded at his daughter, "We will leave you to your work."

"We will be on the Subcraft if you need us," Electra told, as the three disappeared within green, red, and blue auras.

* * *

About fifteen minutes later, Tommy and Shannon had managed to assemble ten of the remaining seventeen rangers; All of the Turbo Rangers were at summer school and couldn't come.

"What happened here?" Aisha Cambell questioned the Zeo Guardian, looking around the house.

"Don't know. We just walked in and it was like this," Shannon remarked, sweeping up some of the broken glass on the floor with a broom.

Kimberly Anne Hart carefully maneuvered her way through the scattered mess over to the kitchen counter and asked, "Are 'Kala, Sean, and Caroline okay, Shannon?"

Before Shannon could answer the question, Tommy walked out from the hallway and replied, "Sean and 'Kala are sleeping, thank the gods. And Caroline's at my parents' house," he turned to the White Zeo Ranger, "I was looking through the drawers in the study, Shannon, and I noticed that our diaries are gone. A whole bunch of picture albums and a box full of my old clothes are missing from the bedroom closet too. Other than that, I couldn't find anything else missing."

"Now if I were a burglar, would I take two diaries, picture albums, and clothing; Leaving all the jewelry and valuables behind?" Trini Kwan pondered out loud, making a good point.

Zack Taylor nodded his head in the negative. "Of course not. Well, unless they're one stupid burglar!"

"Right," Jason Lee Scott agreed with the Nature Ranger, "So this obviously wasn't a robbery."

"But then, what was it..............Exactly?" Rocky DeSantos queried in a spooky voice.

Katherine Hillard {Kat} threw a sofa pillow at her boyfriend's head. "Shut up, Rocko! This is serious stuff!" the Pink Ranger insisted.

"But, Rocko's got a point," Tanya Sloan defended Rocky, helping Aisha Cambell turn over a wooden table, "What was it, exactly?"

Billy Cranston suddenly shouted, "That's it!" from his on the floor, where he was picking up some of the pictures that were strewn on the carpet.

"That's what, Billy?" Jason glanced at the Light Ranger.

"I'll explain in a minute," Billy assured the Flame Ranger, then asked Tommy, "What clothing was in the box, Tommy?"

The Zeo Ranger looked at the Element Ranger quizzically. "Old clothes from back when I was the White and Green Rangers. Why do you ask?"

"Just working on a hunch," the blonde responded, "What pictures were in the albums?"

"I think they were some really old pictures from Summer Springs, I can't really remember," Tommy told him.

"Okay," Billy paced the room carefully, "Now, if I was a sorceress who has grudge against the Power Rangers, mainly one ranger in particular," he threw a glance Tommy's way, "what would I do?"

"Rita?" Zack spoke up, "You think Rita's up to this, Billy?"

Billy shrugged. "It's thought. I mean, remember the time when the Wizard Of Deception needed a lock of Tommy's hair to make his clone?" the ranger's gaze fell upon Kimberly, Aisha, Rocky, and Adam, who all nodded in agreement, "Well, isn't possible Rita's back and she needs some of Tommy's belongings to conjure up a spell?"

"Well, yeah," Shannon had stopped sweeping up the glass for a moment and was staring straight at Billy, "But why would she be targeting, Tommy, of all people?" she paused, looking around the room, "I don't know if y'all remember, but I wasn't here when Tommy was a Morphin' Grid Ranger. So I don't know jack," her gazed changed to fix on her husband, "What happened to make him number one of Rita's hit list?"

Kimberly came up behind her best friend and placed a hand on Shannon's shoulder. "It's heck of a long story, if you're willing to listen, Shannon," the Purple Ranger declared; Trini, Billy, Jason, Zack, and Tommy all making noises and grunts of agreement.

"I bet ALL of us are willing listen, Kim," the brunette slowly sat down on the couch, as the remaining five teenagers also nodded their heads, "Everyone agrees with me, so someone better start the story."

"I will," Tommy volunteered, "I know the beginning the best," he paused, "It all started about two weeks after I moved to Angel Grove......................"

Before Tommy could even continue, wails from the nursery drowned out his voice. "Augh! They're whiny today aren't they, Sweetcheeks?" he questioned Shannon, as he moved towards the nursery.

"Major," she smiled, as he disappeared into the hallway.

"I'll start where Tommy was about to begin," Jason picked up for his best friend, "It all started at the Youth Center.................."

This time Jason was cut off by Tommy's shout, "Guys! We got putties..........OW!"

"Tommy!" Shannon leaped from her spot of the sofa and sprinted down the hallway.

Running into the nursery, the White Ranger gasped. Tommy was sprawled out on the floor, unconscious, and in their cribs safe, the twins were still wailing up a storm. "I don't have time for this right now," Shannon sighed, then placed her hands above herself quickly, "Light of purity, I summon you. Quiet these babies cries, lull them to sleep."

White energy crackled in her hands, and soon enough Makala and Sean had quieted down. "Using your magic to make babies sleep," a voice snapped at her from the door, as she brought her hands down, "Shame on you!"

She glanced over towards the door and saw the gang standing there, staring at her; Rocky had been the one who scolded her. "Well, just don't stand there!" the blue-eyed brunette yapped, "Help me with Tommy!"

Kneeling down next to his limp body, Shannon hopelessly tried to get him to wake up. "Oliver, come on! Get up! This is no time to play games!" she kept yelling at him, as tears began to slide down her face, "Olive Oil! GET UP!"

Around her, Jason, Rocky, Billy, Tanya, and Kat all tried to pick up Tommy's unconscious body, while she kept screaming at the comatose Red Ranger with no avail.

"Shannon," the Wind Ranger's calm and comforting voice called, as she placed her arms around the guardian's shoulders, which were bobbing up and down, "Why don't we go to the living room and let Billy and the others take Tommy to the Power Chamber, okay?"

The Zeo Ranger looked at Trini, who was kneeling down next to her. "But, Tommy.....He's.......He's.....," Shannon's babbling was cut off by her best friend's voice.

"Come on, Shannon. Tommy will be okay. Let's go to wait in the living room," Kimberly suggested.

Trini helped Shannon to her feet, as she mumbled, "Okay," and headed out the door with the two Element Rangers, as the other five rangers teleported away with Tommy to the Power Chamber.

* * *

"Zordon," was the first word that escaped Kat's mouth when she materialized in the Power Chamber.

"Yes, Katherine," Zordon of Eltar's calm voice replied, "I know what has happened to Tommy. Rocky, Jason, Billy. Please place Tommy on the Diagnostic table and come here."

The three boys did as their mentor told and approached Zordon's warp tube where Kat and Tanya were already standing. "Billy," the Eltarien looked down on the Light Ranger, "You're assumption that Rita was conjuring up a spell is correct. Zedd and her have returned to Earth; With them they have brought their parents, Master Vile and Electra."

"But what does that have to do with Tommy?" Tanya questioned.

"The spell Rita has put over Tommy is called a Haunting spell," Zordon explained, "She has taken items of Tommy's that are bound to stir up memories: Tommy and Artemis' diaries, the picture albums, and clothing. There is no known way to remove it."

"What?!?!" Tanya cried up at Zordon, "I don't believe that. Nothing's impossible!"

Billy nodded his head in agreement. "Especially to the Ninjetti," he chimed.

"I am afraid that even the magical powers of the Ninjetti will not be able to help Tommy. He must do this on his own," Zordon's face took on a saddened look, "This is his battle. He must fight against himself alone."

"And if he doesn't win the battle?" Jason looked from Zordon to his teammate and best friend of four years.

Zordon bowed his head, trying to decide whether to tell them the outcome. *They must know. They are strong.* the great Eltarien thought, as his head rose. "Tommy will remain in his state and eventually die."

Silence plagued the Power Chamber.

* * *

Chapter Sixty-Two: "Near Death"

"Hello?" Tommy called out as he walked through a thick haze, "Is anyone here?"

All he heard was his voice echoing for a moment, before another voice answered his call. "Yes, I we here," the voice was deep and slightly raspy.

"Where?" he called out again.

"You must find us yourself," another voice told, "This is your test. If you do not pass, you die. If you do pass, you live."

"Huh?" Tommy was confused; But before he had time to BE confused, the fog thickened around him. "What's going on here?"

As quickly as it came, the fog faded away revealing an all too familiar scene to Tommy.

A little boy, no older than the age of three ran along the banks of Summer Springs, away from his family; Happily running towards another picnicking family near by. "Why, hello," a beautiful petite woman greeted him, as he stopped in front of her, "What's your name?" she asked him.

"Tommy Oliver," the boy replied in his toddler voice gleefully, "Who's that?" Tommy pointed behind the woman's legs, where a little girl, about the same age as himself, was hiding from him.

Taking the little girl's hand into hers, the woman ushered the child from behind her legs. "This is Shannon," the little girl smiled shyly, "Say hi to Tommy, Shannon."

"Hi," she grinned at Tommy, "You wanna play in the sand?" Shannon asked Tommy.

"Yeah!" he cried, taking Shannon's hand into his right away, "Let's go!"

The two skipped off towards the wet sand and began to play.

Tommy smiled to himself as he watched the scene from his childhood unfold. "The first time I met Shannon," he mused, watching the children while they tried to build sand castles from the wet sand, "Even then, I was commanding and demanding."

As the Red Ranger watched the happy moment repeat before his eyes, it suddenly blacked out and was replaced by a rather horrid memory he would have rather forget.

A fifteen year old Shannon and Tommy walked across Fowler Avenue in Summer Springs, hand in hand, oblivious to the car speeding their way.

Just as the car was about to hit them, Shannon became aware of the danger. "Look out, Tommy!" she yelled, trying to push Tommy out of the car's path at the last minute.

Managing to succeed partly, Tommy avoided taking the full impact of the car's hit; Unfortunately for Shannon, pushing Tommy out of the car's path put her right in front of the car. With a sickening thud, the girl was hit by the car and thrown back a good twenty feet.

Lucky for Tommy, he got knocked into a grass patch on the sidewalk and wasn't badly hurt; Just a few bruises and cuts. Not knowing what had happened to his girlfriend, he called out, "Shannon?"

When there was no response, he stood up and looked in the direction of the car that had hit them. It sped down the street and turned at the next traffic light; Screeching as it sped away from sight.

Still staring at the car in shock, Tommy heard a low moan behind him and spun around. There she was; Shannon was laying on the asphalt in a small patch of her own blood. Running to her, he fell to the ground next to his girlfriend and slowly lifted her head off of the ground. Cradling her upper body in his arms delicately, he wanted to scream, but couldn't. He had suddenly become dumb.

Tears slowly finding their way out of his eyes, Tommy gripped Shannon's body even harder and cried freely over her unconscious body.

As Tommy watched his younger self experience the pain he thought could never be rekindled, he collapsed to the ground on his knees; Screaming the pain and emotions that he couldn't verbalize at that horrific moment of his life with one simple word: "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!"

* * *

"Come on, Shannon," Zack tried to comfort the wife of the Red Zeo Ranger, "Don't cry. Tommy'll be alright. He always is."

"That's right," Kimberly hugged her best friend tightly as she continued to cry, "You know Tommy better than any of us. You know he's a fighter at heart."

Shannon removed her head from Kimberly's shoulder and looked at her five friends. "But that's the point. He can't fight it. He doesn't have the ability or the strength," she explained to them, still crying, "Thomas Oliver, my husband, will be eaten alive by his inner self."

Aisha bit her lip at the words the girl said; They scared her. Shannon was starting to scare her.

"What?" Adam looked down on his friend, "Shannon, what do you mean by, 'He doesn't have the ability or strength'?"

Shannon gazed up at Adam sadly, her cries of grief reduced to sniffling. "I mean, what I said, Adam. He doesn't have the ability or strength. Tommy's too weak."

A red streak of light appeared in the living room of the house, materializing into Jason. "So what's the verdict, Jase?" Aisha asked the Flame Ranger.

Kimberly looked at Jason. The expression on his face was scaring her. It was solid. Emotionless. "Jason, what's wrong with Tommy?" she insisted, hoping he would straight forward with the all of them.

"It's a Haunting spell," he told bluntly, moving to sit next to Shannon on the other side of the sofa, "We can't help him," Jason placed a comforting hand on Shannon, "Either he fights it, wins, and he's all better, or he fights it, loses, and dies."

Tears began to flow from the Zeo Guardian's eyes once again as she placed her hand on top of Jason's. "He's not gonna make it, Jase. He's too weak. My Olive Oil doesn't have a chance. He's too susceptible to spells. He's too is easy to break. His emotional side of him is weak. The memories will eat him alive just like his imminent departure will do to me...................................."

* * *

"I can't wait to get home," Camellia Kaze sighed happily, while she walked with her four friends.

"Me too," Justin Stewart agreed, shifting his blue backpack to his other shoulder, "I wanna get as far away from Liyah as humanly possible," he paused, "Change that to RANGERLY possible."

Tamara Oliver, Sheryl Stewart, and Camellia exchanged worried glances. "Don't you think you're taking this whole thing a little too seriously," Sheryl queried her brother, "I mean, it's almost been month and a half since you found out."

"That doesn't matter," he growled, as they approached the Angel Grove shelter, "She took my heart and then stomped on it majorly."

"Justin........." Tamara called out to him, but he was too busy marching down the paved path that lead to the door of the shelter to hear her.

Standing at the front door, Jessica Holmes, a woman in her late twenties, greeted the grumpy boy, "Hey, Justin! How's school?"

"Fine," the Blue Turbo Ranger grumbled, as he walked past her and into the building.

"Don't about him, Jessi," Sheryl told the stunned woman, "He's still our Gloomy Gus," she explained, calling her twin brother by the nickname the younger shelter kids had given him.

Jessica smiled, her hazel eyes understanding. "So I see," she paused, looking at Tamara and Camellia waiting with Sheryl, "You going over to Tamara's again, Sher?"

"No, actually I'm going over to Cam's," the White Turbo Ranger corrected, "I'll be back in time for dinner, though."

"Great," the raven-haired woman acknowledged, "See you tonight! Bye!"

"Bye, Jessi!" the three bade in unison, walking away from the shelter.

"Justin's really hung up on Liyah, isn't he?" Tamara pointed out the obvious.

Camellia snorted. "Like we can't see that," she looked both ways, then began to cross the street with the two girls.

"They've only been dating ever since Liyah moved here two years ago," Sheryl remembered, stepping onto the sidewalk again.

The Black Turbo Ranger picked a flower off of a bush she walked by and began picking the petals off one by one. "I'm just glad Liyah doesn't live near here," she was silent for a moment, "Not that I don't like Liyah or anything. She's my friend. But who knows what would happen if Justin and her tried walking home together."

"Sparks would fly and it'd be the Fourth of July all over again," Sheryl agreed, pulling her long brown hair back into a ponytail, "Hey, that rhymes!"

"Well, I don't think that it's good that Liyah doesn't live near here," Shannon's younger sister pouted.

Sheryl shook her head. "Yeah, that's because Ryan lives near Liyah and he has to walk home with HER and not YOU, Cam," she ducked a swing from the other girl, then added, "But I'm glad you two finally got together. Other than the fact that Ryan's a little stupid in the head, you guys are perfect for each other."

"SHERYL!" Camellia whined, smacking her on the arm.

"Oh, come on, you guys!" Tommy's sister rounded the street corner onto Castleford Court and started sprinting towards the blue house, "I wanna play with my niece and nephew!"

"Hold up, Tam!" Sheryl called after her, as they began to run after her; But she wouldn't slow down.

Reaching the closed front door long before the other two Turbo Rangers did, Tamara rang the loud doorbell. "Ding, ding, dong, dong!" it went and soon after a red-eyed Kimberly opened the door.

"Hi, Tamara," she smiled, obviously trying to hold back her emotions, "Come on in."

The thirteen hesitated for a moment, then walked into the house. "Sheryl and Cam are coming," she told the petite gymnast slowly, "You might wanna leave the door unlocked for them."

"Sure," Kimberly sighed, as she unlocked the door while Tamara waited for her, "Everyone's in the living room, so why don't ya come with me."

The girl nodded her head, and followed the older teenager into the living room, where she was met with a sight.

Everyone, as in Zack, Shannon, Jason, Aisha, Adam, Trini, and Kimberly, were crying. "What the hell is goin' on here?" she questioned the seven sharply.

Lifting her bowed head, Trini told bluntly, "Tommy's dead, Tam."

* * *

"Rita did it!" Electra cried on the Subcraft, as her eyes remained glued to the viewfinder of the periscope, "Syryn is dying and the rangers cannot help him!

"She did?" Scorpio replied skeptically, then grabbed the periscope from her sister, "Let me see!"

Looking into the viewfinder, Scorpio saw a saddened Trini speaking to a shocked Tamara. "She DID do it!" the villianess spun around to face her older brother, "Dear brother Vile, she did it! Your daughter succeeded!"

"Yes she did, did she not, dear sister Scorpio?" Master Vile boasted.

Electra chuckled. "Your boasting is quite allowed, dear brother Vile. But," she paused, looking to her older sister, "how about me and dear sister Scorpio finishing off the rest of the rangers. With her scorpitrons and my vampites, we will have them withering on the ground in no time at all."

"I like the sound of her idea, dear brother Vile. How about you?" Scorpio glanced the villain's way.

"Very well," Master Vile agreed with the two women, "I would like to see how the Power Rangers will fend of these deadly minions of yours."

"Wonderful!" Scorpio clapped her hands in delight, "Prepare for casualties, rangers. You will be eliminated by day's end..................."

* * *

"Oh, Tommy," Katherine stroked the Red Ranger's emotionless face, "Please hold on. We need you. We love you."

Tommy had been moved form the diagnostic bed into the living quarters, which was much more private and quiet than the bustling Power Chamber. The teenager, who was once his girlfriend, was spending her 'quality' time with him at the moment.

"Please, do this for everyone. Your children, Tommy. Your wife. Your friends. Your parents," Kat continued to talk to the unconscious ranger, "Nothing will never be the same if you leave us."

"Is this a private conversation?" a voice startled the Pink Ranger.

She turned around and saw Rocky standing in the doorway. "Oh, Rocky," the blonde ran into her boyfriend's open arms and began to cry, "He can't die, Rocky. He can't."

Surprised, the Blue Ranger couldn't think of anything else to do, but hug Kat tightly. "He'll make, Kat. Tommy's a fighter, we all know it," he comforted her; But even if comforting words helped Katherine's worried thoughts, they didn't help his very much.

The two stood there like that until their communicators went off.

Rocky lifted his wrist to his mouth and answered, "Rocky here."

"Rocky, Scorpio and Electra are attacking in the Business District. They have sent down their deadly minions: Scorpitrons and Vampites. Beware of the scorpitrons' sting and the vampites' bite," Zordon alerted.

"We're on it, Zordon. Rocky out," he turned to Kat, "Ready?"


"It's morphin' time!" he cried.

"Zeo Ranger I, Pink!" Kat shouted.

"Zeo Ranger III, Blue!" Rocky shouted.

Quickly, the two were whisked away in blue and pink lights

* * *

"What are you talking about, Trini?" Tamara frowned turned into a smile, "Cause if this is some sick joke, I'm not falling for it."

Just then, Camellia and Sheryl came up behind her. "Thanks, Tam," Camellia snapped sarcastically, then looked around the room at the other rangers, "What is going on here?"

"They're playing a sick joke on me. Trini just said that Tommy's dead," Tamara explained to the two.

"Tommy is dead," Shannon spat in Tamara's direction as she stood up from the sofa, "This isn't a sick joke," the White Zeo Ranger tried to choke back on her tears, but the ebbed their way past her defenses, "He's dying. I can't do anything about it," her voice wavered with pain, as she collapsed onto the floor in front Tamara and looked up into the younger girl's eyes, "Do you have any idea how helpless I feel?"

"Shannon are you okay?" Camellia kneeled down to her sister and tried to touch her, but she instantly recoiled from the Yellow Turbo Ranger's touch.

"Don't touch me!" she yapped, tears still flowing, "Leave me be."

Their communicators went off right then and Jason answered his. "Yeah, Zordon."

"Jason, you and the other Element and Zeo Rangers must morph and go to the Business District where Scorpio and her sister, Electra, are attacking," Zordon's booming voice told.

"Whatever. Jason out," he moaned and cut the connection.

Rising from the floor as if she was drunk, Shannon shouted, "It's morphin' time! Zeo Ranger VI, White!"

"Element Ranger, Flame!" Jason shouted.

"Element Ranger, Wave!" Aisha shouted.

"Element Ranger, Wind!" Trini shouted.

"Element Ranger, Nature!" Zack shouted.

"Element Ranger, Sound!" Kimberly shouted.

The six rangers teleported away in a rainbow of lights, leaving the girls dumbstruck.

* * *

"Why are you making me see this pain?!?!" Tommy cried, as he sat on the ground; Feeling like a ball of emotions that needed to be let out, "This isn't a test! This is mental murder!"

"You have no idea," the raspy voice chuckled from somewhere in the low mist.

"Dammit!" he shouted, standing up and walking through the fog, "Tell me where you are, so I can strangle your little necks!"

"You have to find us," the second sing-song voice mocked, as the fog began to surround the Red Ranger again.

Once he saw the fog rising, Tommy tried running away from it. "No!" yelled as he ran, but the fog was everywhere he went, "Not again!"

Once again, he was forced to watch a time of his life he badly did not want to relive.

Running down the stairs, a fifteen year old Tommy ran up to the front door and opened it. "Hello..." his cheerful voice stopped short as he realized his girlfriend was standing on the doorstep.

Painfully closing his eyes, the teenager turned around and flew back up the stairs, leaving Shannon standing there dumbfounded.

Dashing into his bedroom, Tommy closed the door behind him and locked it from the inside. Leaning against the door, he sighed in relief. "I can't tell her. Not right now. I can't hurt her," he told himself as he caught his breath.

After a long moment, someone suddenly knocked at his door. "Who is it?" he was pretty sure it was Shannon.

Confirming his thoughts, her voice answered, "It's me."

Hesitating for a moment, Tommy walked over to his bed and sat down on it before he replied. "Go away, Shannon."

"No," her stubborn voice came through the door, as the door knob started to move a little bit, "Open this door, Oliver."

He just sat on his bed as he listened and watched the doorknob as she tried to open his bedroom door. "I won't Shannon. Just go away," he told, the words coming out much harsher that he meant.

As the doorknob kept jiggling around, Shannon professed from outside his room, "If this is all about you moving to Angel Grove, don't bother putting up this stupid charade, Olive Oil. I already know," her voice seemed to encase a frown, "The whole high school knows."

Tommy jumped up from the bed. "How?!?!"

"Teresa Sheredon somehow found out," she explained, then gave a half-hearted laugh, "God, Tommy. You should see the cheerleading squad; They're all in a state of mourning. You'd actually think they were losing their patron god or something."

For a second they were both quiet, until Shannon just burst. "How could you not tell me, Tommy?!?!" his girlfriend exclaimed, as Tommy imagined the tears falling from the beautiful girl's eyes, "I was practically the last one to know in the whole entire high school! I spent half the day walking around like a stupid idiot, not even knowing that my own boyfriend and best friend in the entire world was leaving Summer Springs!

"Kids kept coming up to me; Asking me if I knew the latest 'news'. Of course, I said I didn't and they would just walk away from me and snicker," she paused; Her shouting had evolved into loud sobbing, "As embarrassing as it seemed, what was more embarrassing was finally finding out from Mrs. Kerrington. Of all people, Mrs. Kerrington! SHE even knew before me, Tommy! So you better answer my question, before I break down this door by myself," the girl growled in between her sobs.

"I didn't want to hurt you, Sweetcheeks," Tommy allowed, his voice surprisingly calm; Though, that wasn't the way he felt on the inside.

"Damn straight!" she cried, then added, "But you hurt me anyway!"

"Shit this!" Tommy walked over to the door and kicked it hard, "You think you're the only victim here, Shannon? Well, you're not!" he yelled, as his voice and anger began to crescendo, "I don't want to leave! It's not my choice that I am leaving, so why the hell are you yelling at me, Shannon?!?!"

It became completely silent, until Shannon's soft voice spoke up. "I'm sorry, Tommy. I'm sorry that I yelled at you," she apologized meekly, "But I was mad and..........Well, I'm...I'm carrying...I'm carrying..." she was cut off by Tommy.

"You're carrying what, Shannon? You're carrying a grudge?" he yapped, mad beyond understanding, "That's just fine! Now, go away!"

"But Tommy, I'm carrying your................"

"I said, GO AWAY! And I mean it!" he barked once again.

Shannon started to pound on the door. "Tommy, please............"


The pounding stopped and he heard Shannon's voice mumble, "No. You don't mean that, Tommy. You can't mean that, Tommy. You just can't."

"I can and I do!" he replied loudly.

Listening for a response, all Tommy heard was the pounding of feet running and a few minutes later, the slamming of the front door.

Watching the memory, the older and now wiser Tommy Oliver sunk to the floor once again. "Shannon was carrying my child. She was trying to tell me that she was pregnant.......With Caroline," he held his head in his hands as he cried.

"See how much of your loved one's lives have been destroyed because of you?" the first voice scolded, "It's all your fault."

"It's all my fault," he whispered, "All my fault................."

* * *

Rocky, Kat, Jason, Aisha, Zack, Trini, Kimberly, and Shannon, surprisingly, all arrived at the same time at the battle, where Adam, Billy, and Tanya were already fighting. "Scorpitrons and vampites," Shannon mumbled under her breath.

"You've seen these guys before, Shannon?" Jason queried, as the other four Elements and two Zeos jumped into the fight, leaving the two together.

"Yeah," a smile formed under her helmet, "The scorpitrons have a very nasty sting and the vampites have a bite that can some times be life threatening."

Jason looked at the Zeo Ranger from underneath his helmet. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Shannon?" the Flame Ranger grinned devilishly.

"I think so."

"Then let's do it."

The two threw themselves into an especially nasty group of vampites and scorpitrons and shouted two different commands in unison. "Flame, Power Down!" Jason shouted.

"Zeo VI, Power Down!" Shannon shouted.

Once powered down, the two Power Rangers became snack food for the humanoid bats and scorpions.

* * *

Fighting back to back were Billy and Kimberly, both using each other's strengths and weaknesses to take out the scorpitrons surrounding them. "Kiyah!" the Purple Ranger cried, kicking a scorpitron to the asphalt.

"What's goin' on?" Billy wondered out loud, as the scorpitrons they were fighting began to back away from them and headed towards a rather large group of vampites and scorpitrons.

"Maybe they've finally realized they can't beat us," Kimberly chuckled; The power had done some for her attitude.

"No," the Light Ranger murmured, as he saw a pale human hand through the mess of humanoid minions, "NO! Someone's over there, Kim! They're feeding off them!"

Speaking into his helmet communicator, the Original Blue Ranger ordered, "Don't ask questions, guys. We're doing roll call," he began, "Billy here."

"Kim here," the Original Pink Ranger stood by Billy's side.

"Adam here."

"Aisha here."

"Rocko here."

"Katherine here."

"Zack here."

"Trini here."

"Tanya here."

A deathly quiet silence filled the helmet communicator, as Billy looked from the other rangers who were nearing him and Kimberly's position to the enormous group of vampites and scorpitrons; The deathly white human hand still laying there. "Guys, Shannon and Jason are being attacked!" he alerted, running towards the gathering.

Withdrawing his laser pistol, the blond began to fire absently at the monsters; Spooking them quite enough to get them to retreat. "JASON!" Kimberly screamed at the top of her lungs from behind him.

Slowing down from his stride to a walk, Billy slowly approached the two bodies of his comrades.

Shannon's hand was the one he had seen before, sticking out. All over the guardian's face were bruises that proved she was thrown around like a ragdoll by the scorpitrons and vampites. Purple and blue bruises also covered her chest, abdomen, arms, and legs from many venomous stings inflicted by the scorpitrons. The white tank top she wore was shredded to pieces and her blue jeans were torn in many places. Checking for her pulse, the Element Ranger was able to notice many teeth punctures on her main blood artery that ran through her neck; After for searching for a moment, he did find her weak, but steady pulse.

As the sun slowly set over the horizon, Billy turned to face Jason, but was surprised to find Kimberly and Adam already attending to him. "This is all my fault," he muttered, placing his helmeted head into his hands.

"It's not your fault, Light Ranger," he heard Trini's voice comfort him, "These civilians were just caught up into a monster attack."

"What?" Billy glanced up at his girlfriend, "Are you okay..........."

Then he saw why Trini was talking the way she was. Off in the distance, at least a dozen police cars had pulled up to the scene, accompanied by two ambulances and dozens of antsy reporters. "You guys," he whispered to the rest of the rangers who were gathered around him, "Pick Jason and Shannon up. We'll help'em to the ambulances, then we'll leave. Quickly."

Eight different colored helmets nodded at his order; All of them hiding the true horror that all the faces under them held.

* * *

Chapter Sixty-Three: "Love And Pain"

About two hours after the attack, fourteen Power Rangers paced the hall of Angel Grove Hospital's waiting room anxiously, hoping to receive any news on Shannon and Jason's condition; Tamara was with her brother at the Power Chamber and Kimberly had to be administered a sedative when she went crazy, using the term lightly.

Along with the rangers, Jason and Tommy's parents were also there; The Olivers' had brought Caroline, Makala, and Sean with them.

"This is all my fault," Billy mumbled, as he shook sitting in his seat, "If I had watched them, if I had been........."

"Don't you dare go blaming yourself again," Kat snapped at the Light Ranger, who was now the temporary leader of the Elements and Zeos all together, "It wasn't your fault. Shannon and Jason weren't.............." the Pink Ranger searched for the right word, "They weren't well, Billy. The grief was too much for them. They thought death was the only way out."

Trini placed a gentle hand on her boyfriend's arm. "Kat's right, Billy," she told softly and calmly, "If anyone should be taking the blame it should be Rita. That witch was the one who caused all this horror and pain."

A lopsided grin formed on Billy's face. "You know, I just realized that after so long of trying to defeat us and losing, Rita has finally won. She hit us where it hurt and now it's just a matter of which rangers are going to fall before the others," the two female rangers exchanged a worried glance as he continued, "Tommy, Shannon and Jason are gone. Kimberly's not going to be much help, even when she becomes conscious and emotionally stable enough. And I have a feeling I'm gonna be gone soon too," he paused, "Evil has finally won."

"That's not true, Billy!" Trini yelled quietly, "If you hang on, you can fight it! We all are counting on you!"

Watching Billy wallow deeper into his depression, Katherine suddenly felt something clinging to her leg. "Huh?" looking down she saw Caroline wrapped around her leg, "Oh, hi!"

"Hi, hi!" the little girl giggled as Katherine picked her up form the ground and carried Caroline on her hip.

"Boy, you're getting heavy! Huh, Caroline?" she queried the girl.

She just nodded her head. "Katherine?" a voice called out from behind the Zeo Ranger.

"Yes?" the blond spun around to face Coreen Oliver, "Oh, Mrs. Oliver!"

Coreen gave a small smile. "Please, call me Coreen."

"Okay," the blond replied, "Is there anything you wanted?"

Tommy's adopted mother was silent for a moment. "Sort of," she sighed quietly, watching Caroline jump from Kat's arms and run towards Adam, "I want to know how Shannon and Jason got into the hospital and why Tommy, Kimberly, and Tamara aren't here."

"Shannon and Jason were caught up in a monster attack, that's what I heard," Kat lied through her teeth, then added, "I don't know where Tamara, Tommy, and Kim are though."

The older woman shook her head. "I don't want the reason the hospital gave us about Jason and Shannon, Katherine. I want the real reason," Coreen paused for a moment, as she and the teenager sat down in two chairs, "I think I deserve the real reason. My son's best friend and wife are in the hospital and he is no where to be found," she store the Pink Ranger in the eye, "Why is that?"

Bowing her head for a moment, Kat let a heavy sigh slip from her lips. "Today when Tommy and Shannon came home, their house was trashed," she lifted her head up and looked at worried mother, "We, as in all the Zeo and Element Rangers, gathered at the house. As we cleaned up the house, we all speculated about what had happened. The house hadn't been broken into and a few things of Tommy's were missing. We came to the assumption that Rita Repulsa was back and taking revenge on Tommy by using the missing items to make a spell. As we kept talking, the twins woke up and started crying. He went to go check on them, while we kept talking.

"A few seconds later, we heard Tommy yell and we all went rushing towards the nursery," she bit on her lip hard, keeping her emotions at bay, "We found him unconscious on the floor. We took him to the Power Chamber and we found out he was under a Haunting spell; Which is basically a spell that brings all locked away traumatic memories to the surface. He either fights the memories, wins, and lives or he fights the memories, loses, and dies. We can't help him."

Coreen gasped at the thought of her oldest son, adopted or not, dying.

"So Tommy's at the Power Chamber in his spell, while Tamara's by his side watching him," Kat explained, tears forming in her eyes, "Right away, we were attacked. Somehow during the fight, Shannon and Jason demorphed and threw themselves into a bunch of the monsters. When the monsters left, we found the two in severe condition and we couldn't take them to the Power Chamber because the ambulances had arrived; So had press, but we managed to allude them," the tears were flowing down both women's faces, "After we returned to the Power Chamber, Kimberly broke down and went into mental shock. She started screaming and practically tried to kill the rest of us rangers; We had to sedate her to get her under control," Katherine blinked the tears from her eyes, "So you see, Coreen, I think the hospital's version of what happened is a lot better than the truth."

"I understand," the woman nodded her head, standing up from her seat, "I'm sorry I pried."

"It's okay," the blond told her softly.

Watching Tommy's adopted mother walk away, she called again, "Coreen?"

Mrs. Oliver turned around. "I know they'll all make it," Kat reassured.

The parent gave a small nod. "I hope so, Katherine. I really hope so."

* * *

"By the gods, Tommy Oliver, please hold on!" Tamara cried over her brother's still body, her hand tightly clinging to his.

Crying silently, the Turbo Ranger's tears spilled down her cheeks. "You have to hold on," she whispered, laying her wet cheek against his hand, "I'll never forgive myself if you die, Tommy. Never ever."

"Hopefully, it will not resort to that."

"Huh?" Tamara glanced to the living quarters entrance and saw Maylonus standing there, "Maylonus!"

The Zeo Sprit smiled sadly. "Hello, Tamara," she greeted, walking over to her daughter, "How is Tommy?"

"We don't know," she watched as Maylonus kneeled down next to her, then looked back at Tommy's face, "It's not fair. We can't even help him, Maylonus. He might die alone," the Turbo Guardian shuddered as she even thought of the prospect.

The sprit placed her arms around Tamara's shaking shoulders and whispered soothingly, "Tommy will not die. He is too strong to fall to such a simple death. By the gods, if he dies so easily, it would be as simple to say the words, I love you."

The Black Turbo Ranger shook her head in agreement, her thoughts suddenly lingering back to Justin for a strange reason. Pushing those thoughts aside, she gazed up at the face of her birth mother. "Maylonus," she called softly; Her mind and body aching from the crying she had been doing for the last two hours.

"Yes," the Cindarien sprit replied as softly while stroking Tamara's hair comfortingly.

"Thank you," she answered, her heavy eyelids falling over her watered-out eyes.

A smile touched Maylonus' lips and she kissed the top of her daughter's head gently; tears forming slowly in her eyes. "You are very welcome, Child."

* * *

"Everyone's lives suck because of me," Tommy declared.

"Very true," the feminine voice sung, "Let's watch another memory, shall we?"

The fog enveloped Tommy once more, but this time he didn't resist it; He had already proven there was no use in doing that. This time he embraced it and let the memory overwhelm him.

Tommy, clad in a green jersey and green jeans, fought off a group of putties with audacity. Sand and clay putties flying all over the place, Rita Repulsa, Goldar, Baboo, Squatt, and Finster watched the warrior do his work from a cliff above.

As he defeated the last putty, the clay humanoids all disappeared. Letting out an evil laugh, he looked up to Rita. "You command and I obey, my empress."

Gazing upon Tommy, pleased with his success, she cackled, "Yes, you're done it!"

"Welcome to the club, Bucko!" Baboo cheered.

"You have earned the Sword of Darkness!" Rita declared loudly.

With her words, a sword appeared out of a green mist in Tommy's hands. Eyeing it proudly, the evil Green Morphin' Ranger examined the sword for a moment, then swung it around a few times to get feel for his new weapon; The red pompom hanging from the handle swinging with his every movement. Running his hand along the blade, he glanced up from the weapon and pledged, "The Power Rangers will be destroyed and the Red Ranger will be the first to go!"

Shoving the sword into the air, green lighting emitted from the blade, filling the sky.

"No!" the Zeo Ranger roared, shaking his head, "I am NOT evil! That was a long time ago!"

"We didn't say you were evil, Tommy," the raspy voice yapped strongly, "We're just here to remind you how you hurt the ones you loved by BEING evil for a time."

The fog quickly surrounded him again and made Tommy watch another memory from his evil days.

As Jason dodged another slash from Goldar's sword, a green mist appeared in the Dark Dimension with the two and revealed Tommy morphed as his evil counterpart, Green Ranger. "GOLDAR, STOP!" he commanded the gold-plated monster.

Goldar turned around and faced the human. "I thought Rita wanted ME to destroy him."

Tommy shook his head. "She wants that pleasure to be mine and has ordered me, personally, to see to his end."

Reluctant to leave, Goldar finally did and left the two rangers to themselves.

"So we meet again," the evil ranger's voice was full of power and confidence, "I've been looking forward to this."

After a minute, Jason replied, "You wear a Green Ranger costume, yet your loyalty is with Rita."

As they both circled each other and sized each other's opponent up, Tommy retorted, "I am HER Green Ranger and SHE is my empress."

"SHE'S EVIL!" the Red Ranger spat viciously.

A smirk formed under his helmet, hidden from view. "Yeah, and so am I," he answered ever so calmly.

Following his remark, the two started to fight, Tommy unleashing the first move on the leader of the Power Rangers. A few seconds later, Jason got knocked down to the ground by one of the Green Ranger's kicks. "Soon you and your friends will be a memory," he laughed over his fallen opponent.

"Stop it!" Tommy howled, "Please! Just stop it!"

"Really, Tommy." the deep voice gave a low chuckle, "You know that you have to find the two of us first, then we will stop. Begging really won't help you at all."

Once again the fog descended on the teenager and shrouded him in another evil memory.

Kimberly stepped down the Juice Bar steps and walked over to Tommy, who was working out on one of the exercise machines. Stopping in front of him, she whispered, "Tommy......Tommy, I know."

Turning his gaze to her for a moment, he gave her a mean look and then looked away.

"I know you're the Green Ranger," Kimberly revealed slowly.

"Well then, Pink Ranger," he sneered, letting go of the handle bars on the machine, "You should also know that you and the other Power Rangers will soon be destroyed."

The girl's face took on a stunned expression. "Let us help you. We can break Rita's spell," she pleaded to him.

The Green Ranger stood up from the machine. "Rita is my empress. She will soon rule the world."

"Tommy, please let us help you," the Pink Morphin' Ranger pleaded once again, grabbing his hand in the process.

Glancing at Kimberly, his eyes glowed an eerie green and he pulled his hand from her grip. "You," Tommy pointed directly at the petite girl, "have been warned."

As he walked away, Kimberly stared at him; Stunned and freaked out.

"Oh, Shannon," he murmured, still staring at the image of Kimberly, "I'm sorry I barked at you like that. You know I've always loved you."

As he reached out to touch the Purple Ranger's younger self, she faded away from his vision. "NO! Don't leave me alone, Sweetcheeks! PLEASE!" he called out for his wife, but only heard the echoing of his own voice.

"See how many people's lives you've hurt," the sing-song voice scolded him yet again, after the echoing stopped.

Tommy just nodded his head, not able to speak because he knew the voice was absolutely right.

* * *

"I can't believe it," Rocky murmured as he stood next to the hospital bed where Shannon laid, "We stand to lose three rangers in one day."

Also in the ICU room with the Blue Zeo Ranger, Kat and Tanya nodded their heads. "Or we stand to gain back three rangers," the blond reminded, looking on the upside of the situation; If there was even one.

"Kat's right," Tanya encouraged, "I mean, Shannon and Jason could just up and jump out of their comas any minute now."

"I hope so," Rocky's voice wavered slightly, as he store down at Shannon's sickly body, "But we can't expect them to immediately come out of it."

As a deaden silence fell over the three, Shannon's head started shaking back and forth; The only word falling from her lips being, "Tommy......"

"Shannon!" Tanya cried, trying to revive her friend, "Shannon!"

Her eyes opening slowly, the three Zeo Rangers watched as Shannon woke up. "Guys?" she whispered, her voice hoarse and tired.

Happiness practically radiating from her body, Katherine queried, "Yeah, it's us, Shannon. How are you?"

"Other than the fact that I have a gazillion tubes and needles stuck into my body, I'm just peachy," the White Zeo Ranger replied, giving the Pink Ranger a small smile, "How's Tommy?"

"He's in the same condition he was this afternoon," Rocky took her weak hand into his and squeezed it gently, "We're gonna do everything to help him. But you have to promise to make it, alright?"

The brunette did her best to squeeze his hand back with the same amount of force, but she couldn't. "I promise, Rocko. I'll do everything I can to make it," she closed her eyes for a moment then opened them again, "Do me a favor, Rocky?"


"Go get Caroline and bring her in here. Don't tell anyone I'm awake though," the Zeo Guardian looked to Kat and Tanya, "The last thing I need right now is a bunch of doctors hovering around me."

"You got it," he winked, leaving the room.

Once he left, Shannon weakly moved her hand to touch Kat's hand. "Did you tell him yet?"

Startled by her question, Kat looked down at the hand on top of her own; The hand extremely pale and IV covered. "She hasn't told him yet, Shannon," her best friend answered for her.

"Tanya!" the Pink Ninja hissed, removing her hand from the Zeo Guardian's and nudging the Yellow Zeo Ranger in the ribs.

Shannon's lips took on a mysterious smile; A smile that looked quite painful on her face. "Are you trying to hide the fact that you haven't told him yet from me?" the injured girl inquired, her dull blue eyes gazing at her friend.

She bit her bottom lip. "I can't tell him."

"Yes, you can," the teenager in the bed pushed, her voice cracking as she did, "It's better to tell him, than letting him find out from Zordon," Katherine arched her eyebrow at the other girl. "Believe me, Zordon knows all."

"I guess you're right," she sighed, just as the door opened and Rocky came in with Caroline.

As soon as Caroline set foot into the room, she removed herself from the Zeo Ranger's grip and ran up to the side of the bed. "Mommy!" she yelped in happiness, clasping her mother's hand into hers, "You're okay! Let's go home!"

Shannon's eyes welled up with tears at the notion of her going back to her home in her condition. "I can't," she tried to explain to her daughter, "I'm not all well yet."

"Oh," the little girl frowned, but then immediately smiled, "Then I can make you better!"

As Caroline moved to place her hand on her mother's forehead, the brunette forcefully barked, "No, Caroline," the child recoiled from her body at the loud command and looked into her blue eyes, "No."

The four-year old, looking like she was about to cry, ran back to Rocky and he scooped her up into his arms. "What's wrong, Caroline?" he asked soothingly.

Her next words pierced Shannon's heart like a needle to a balloon. "That's not Mommy," she whispered, burying her head into the Blue Ranger's shoulder.

Glancing back to Shannon, Rocky locked eyes with the injured ranger. Answering his unasked question, she ordered hoarsely, "Take her away."

Watching the two exit the ICU room, Tanya turned to Shannon. "I'm sorry," she said; But the girl couldn't hear her.

Shannon had slipped back into her coma.

* * *

Kimberly walked into Jason's ICU room silently and sat down in a chair next to his bed; Where he lay motionless.

"I'm sorry," she brushed her hand against his bruised cheek, "I'm sorry I let you get yourself into this mess and I'm sorry I wasn't exactly sane when we got back to the Power Chamber."

She giggled quietly to herself, fending off her tears. "You should have seen me, Jason," the Purple Ranger gave a small smile, "It was hilarious. When we got to the Power Chamber I actually attacked Billy. I was strangling him until Zack, Adam, and Trini pulled me off of him," tears began to slide down Kimberly's cheeks, "Then I started to attack them, but Kat, Tanya, Rocky and Aisha grabbed me by my arms and legs and restrained me. Alpha gave Billy a needle of that stuff that sedates people and he stuck the needle into my arm," she wiped some of the tears away with her hands, "I felt all tingly and warm for a second, then I fell asleep."

The Sound Ranger bit her bottom lip hard to cease the creation of anymore tears. "Tommy isn't doing any better either; I haven't seen Shannon yet, but they say she's going in and out of her coma just like you," she informed him, "All of us are missing you three more than anything."

Checking her watch, Kimberly realized it was already late; Later than she had thought. Not wanting to leave the Flame Ranger, but knowing she'd eventually have to, she leaned over Jason and kissed his lips lightly. "I love you, Jase," she reminded herself and him, "So you'd better hold on and make it through; Because you're the light of hope and meaning in my life. And without that light of hope and meaning, there is no reason for me to continue living."

Standing up from the chair, Kimberly continued to leave to hospital room.

As the door shut behind her, four words emanated from Jason's lips softly as he came out of his coma for a slight moment.

"I love you, Kim."

* * *

Chapter Sixty-Four: "Laughter And Lies"

As Justin climbed up the stairs to the living quarters that Saturday morning, thoughts were running rampant through his mind; None about Liyah surprisingly enough. Most of them were actually about him; About his attitude lately.

Opening the door to the living quarters, the Blue Turbo Ranger found Tamara sitting next to the bed her brother was laying in; Both asleep.

Smiling, he shut the door behind him quietly and made his way over to where Tamara was propped up against the bed. *By the gods, she is beautiful* he thought as kneeled down next to her. "Tam," the boy whispered in the other Turbo Ranger's ear as he shook her awake.

"Wha....What? I'm coming, Mommy!" Tamara called out in her sleep as she woke up.


"What?" the now conscious Black Ranger pushed her hair away from her face and looked at Justin, "Justin! What are you doing here?"

Taking a seat next to her, he leaned against Tommy's bed. "I just wanted to apologize about my attitude lately," he explained softly, "I've been acting like a major jerk."

Tamara couldn't help but smile. "You're tellin' me, Jay. But seriously, don't worry about it. That's what heartbreak is all about," she patted his knee with her hand, "Hey, have you seen Shannon or Jason yet?"

"Nope. I'm gonna go see them later today."

"Later today?" she questioned, confused.

Justin looked at her strangely. "Yeah, it's Saturday morning. Didn't you know that?"

"Stupid!" she hit her head with the heel of her palm, "I thought I just dozed off for an hour!"

For moment it was quiet, until both fourteen year olds broke out into a fit of laughter. "Why are we laughing?" he asked as he held his stomach, which was starting to hurt from how long he was laughing.

"I don't know," Tamara giggled out, "You started!"

"Did not!" the boy began to calm down a bit.

"Did too!"

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"Did not!"

"DID TOO!" Tommy's sister was now standing and yelling loudly.

"DID NOT!" Sheryl's brother jumped up from the floor and yelled back.






Just as Justin was about scream, when the living quarters' door flew open and Adam, Aisha, and Trini burst in. "What's going on here?!?!" Aisha roared at the two.

"Ummmm, nothing." Tamara squeaked out, trying very hard to not laugh.

"Then what's up with all the yelling?" Trini inquired, placing her hands on her hips.

"We were just playing around," the Blue Turbo Ranger explained meekly.

"We're sorry if we scared you all," the Black Turbo Ranger apologized.

"You'd better be," Adam grumbled, as the three left the quarters.

Once the door closed behind the three rangers, Justin and Tamara burst out laughing once again; A sound that had yet to be heard in the last two days.

* * *

Tommy wandered around in his foggy prison, calling out to 'the voices'. "Where in the seven blood ridden seas of underworld are you two? Why don't you just come out and face me?!?!"

"Now, if we could do that," the feminine voice changed tone from sing-songy to mocking, "We still wouldn't show ourselves!"

His hands clenching into fists, the Zeo Ninja cursed under his breath.

"Hmmmm. Have you looked at your hands today, Tommy?" the first voice mocked from within the fog.

Looking down at his clenched fists, he saw them glowing in a red aura that he usually affiliated with Caroline's healing abilities. "What's going on?"

"I was thinking maybe you could tell me?" the second voice queried sweetly; Too sweetly.

"Dream on, bitch."

Tommy could have sworn he heard the voice laugh, as it replied, "If you so insist, let's watch another memory!"

Instantaneously, he cried, "NO!" but was too late.

A think fog devoured him again and forced him to stand by and watch another memory.

"Take my hand and you will be fine," Syryn comforted Kaia, as she stared at his open hand.

"I do not know, Syryn," she backed away from his offer, "This is not right. Artemis will be back in two days from Eltar with Zordon; If she found out about what you want to happen between us.........."

The Turbo Morphing Master grabbed the woman by the wrist as she tried to run away from him into the deep forest night. "She will not find out," he insisted, brushing her blonde hair from her beautiful face, "I can block my telepathic link to her."

"But do you not love her?" the Zeo Morphing Master's most trusted friend queried.

He laid a hand on her cheek and gazed deeply into Kaia's blue eyes. "Of course I love her! Why do you not just ask me if a Cindarien and Eltarien are compatible for intimate relations, my dear Kaia?" he laughed, then turned serious, "But Artemis has yet to bare my children and I intend to keep it that way so long as we are fighting evil.

"And since I am not hopelessly devoted to my Artemis yet, I would like to 'experience' life before marriage to its fullest," Syryn smiled sweetly and Kaia nervously returned the gesture.

As the Black Turbo Master leaned in for a kiss, Kaia touched lips with Syryn.

Developing from a small kiss, the two created a kiss that would have broken Artemis' loyal and loving heart with just the sight.

"That's not my memory!" Tommy barked, as she watched the image fade away.

"Are you so sure?" the raspy voice questioned, "You are Syryn, Tommy. And those are HIS memories. He also betrayed the one he loved most. Let's watch more."


Syryn watched as Artemis stood before Zordon and the five other Morphing Masters in the Masters' Chamber. "I am stepping down from my leader status of the Morphing Masters, Zordon," she professed to her mentor; The words flying from her mouth as if they were prisoners fleeing their prison.

Zordon of Eltar gasped at his student's revelation. "Why do you wish to do so, Artemis?" he questioned quite stunned.

The White Zeo Master store down at the pure white marble floor of the chamber. "It is of........." she trailed off, but then glanced into Zordon's soulful brown eyes and replied, "It is of a personal matter I wish not to speak of, Zordon."

Nodding his head, he answered, "Very well. I hereby release you from the elite position of leader of the Morphing Masters."

"What?!?!" a petite Asian-looking woman cried, "You cannot leave us, Artemis!"

"Who says I cannot, Calypso?" Artemis retorted, her voice void of any emotion.

Helious stepped up next to Calypso. "For one, we do. And for second, Zordon should also," the Incarcus Morphing Master looked to the eltarien, "Zordon?"

Bowing his head, Zordon watched as Artemis teleported away from the Masters' Chamber. "I am sorry, Helious and Calypso, but I must abide by Artemis' wishes. I cannot force her to do something she no longer wishes to."

Staying silent along with Apollo and Selene, Syryn bit his lower lip. His lover was leaving the one thing that kept his life in line and he was already starting to miss her dearly.

"That's what this is all about, isn't it?" Tommy called out to the voice, finally realizing what the whole point of reliving his memories was about, "This is about me betraying Shannon, huh?"

The voices didn't answer him.

"I must be getting warmer," he murmured to himself, smiling weakly.

* * *

As the summer sun danced its way through the open window and into Shannon's ICU room, the door to the room opened and let two women enter; One of them a dark blond who looked in like she was in her late twenties and the other a brunette in her late thirties.

Quietly, the two made their way over to the side of the hospital bed where the Zeo Ranger laid and began to whisper in complete unison, "To save one you love you must pray. To love the same soul you must care. To care for the same person you must know. To know the same mind is to be in harmony with the gods."

The dark blond clutched a small wooden figurine in her hand as she smoothed out her long emerald green sarong. "The gods will rescue you, Artemis," she moved to place the wooden figurine on the table next to Shannon's bed, "The gods will save you, my sister."

Stepping away, she allowed her companion to approach the comatose guardian. "You will survive, Shannon," the brunette placed a book bound with white leather next to the wooden figurine on the table, "Calypso is in emergence. She will return with a vengeance. You must be here to tame her wild ways."

Also stepping away from the bed, she tugged on her white blouse for a moment before turning to the other woman. "Let us go," she urged.

The blond nodded her head and was engulfed by a white light. After the light died away, a snowy owl was in her place. "Hoo!" it vocalized as it flew out the open window.

"Good-bye," the brunette called back just as she disappeared within a white streak of pure light.

Once again, the room became quiet and returned to its state before their entrance.

All except for the new wooden figurine and leather bound book.

* * *

Katherine sat on the sandy shore of Angel Grove lake, watching children play in the clean waters on the other side of the lake; While waiting for her boyfriend to arrive at the secluded spot.

Leaning against a large rock, Kat placed her hand on her stomach and stared down at it. *Flat* she thought to herself, *Thin and flat. That's not gonna last for long now.*

"Is Shannon right about this?" she mumbled out loud to herself, "I mean, what if all the tests were wrong and I'm just nauseous and have strange food cravings because of a virus?"

Staying quiet for a moment, she shook off the thought. "I haven't heard of any virus that makes you have weird food cravings," the Pink Ranger smiled slightly, "Shannon probably is right. I mean, she has been pregnant twice. She should know what she's talking about."

Interrupting her mumbling, a blue telportation streak appeared a few feet away from her and revealed Rocky. "You rang, Milady?" he queried in a bad English accent as he took a deep bow.

"Yes, I did," Katherine managed to giggle out, watching Rocky plop down next to her in the sand.

"What was so important?" he questioned seriously; A touch of worry in his voice.

"It's not a real big deal," she understated, her hands fidgeting in her lap as she spoke.

Placing his hands on top of hers, the Blue Zeo Ranger stroked Kat's hand with his thumb. "You're fidgety. Which means you're nervous," he kissed her sweetly on the cheek, "Tell me what's on your mind, Kat."

*If only it was that easy, Rock.* she thought, frowning. "Rocky," the Pink Ranger began, "remember our last night on KO-35?"

He smiled widely. "Do I ever!" Kat's boyfriend exclaimed, his eyes glazing over for a moment, "It was the best night of my life! I NEVER want to forget it."

The blond sighed deeply. "I guarantee you won't, Rocky," she mumbled to herself so Rocky couldn't hear.

"What does that have to do with what you're gonna tell me?" he asked, but suddenly a shocked expression appeared on his face, "Are you..................."

As he trailed off, Kat nodded her head solemnly. "I am."

Expecting a negative reaction from her boyfriend, Kat watched as he did exactly the opposite. Jumping up from the sand, he cried out in happiness, "Ohmigod! Kat, do you know what this means?" the Zeo Ranger pulled her up from the ground and hugged her tightly.

His happiness extremely contagious, Kat couldn't help but laugh out loud. "Of course I do, Rocky!"

Spinning her around once, Rocky set her back down on the sandy shore and leaned his head against hers. "You know, I love you, Katherine Hillard," he whispered for her ears only.

"I love you even more, Rocky DeSantos," she whispered back just before their lips met in a passionate kiss.

* * *

Chapter Sixty-Five: "Emergence"

"This not good," Rita paced the Lunar Palace's throne room back and forth in worry, "Not good at all."

"What is not good?"

Rita spun around to face Electra. "Aunt Electra," Rita acknowledged her presence with a small curtsy, then answered her question, "Tommy is near the point where he can break the Haunting spell if he wishes; And he does definitely wish to break it."

At her niece's news, Electra metamorphosed into a Eltarien sea snake; Purple scales and all. "You guaranteed the Red Zeo Ranger's imminent death to the three of us!" she hissed, her black tongue snapping at the younger villianess.

"Yes, I know," she replied her aunt, looking down at the cold stone floor, "I assumed that since he fell as easy prey to my other spells, he would fall to this spell most easily. I was incorrect, Aunt Electra."

"Look at me when you talk, Rita!" she yapped, spitting green acid onto the floor.

Swallowing hard, Rita changed her gaze to look at the hideous woman. "That is much better," Electra's three snake eyes bore into her brother's child, "You assumed wrong about the Red Zeo Ranger, Rita. Because of that, I will have to launch an attack on Angel Grove to prevent the rangers from figuring out about their leader's good health."

"Yes, Aunt Electra."

Metamorphosing back into her terran form, the blond tightened her ponytail. "Send your putties down to Earth," she commanded, "Make sure they keep the rangers busy."

Keeping silent, Rita nodded her head.

"Very well," Electra bade as she disappeared into a blue aura.

* * *

"'Kay, it's your turn," Tamara told as she watched Justin perform a easy kata.

Finishing off the kata with a tornado kick, the Blue Turbo Ranger switched off places with Tamara and sat under the big oak tree in Angel Grove Park as she began to perform another easy kata.

Sticking together like glue since that morning's yelling incident, the two Turbo Rangers found themselves enjoying their company more than they thought they would; Learning a new thing about each other every minute. "Name my favorite CD," he declared, chuckling. *She's not gonna get this one.*

"Your favorite CD?" Tamara repeated, going into a back handspring.


"That's easy," she laughed, landing the handspring perfectly, "It's 'This Fire' by Paula Cole."

Watching her execute her last move, he jumped up from the grass and demanded, "How'd you know that?!?!"

The Black Turbo Ranger grinned widely. "I'm a very powerful psychic."

"Oh, shut up," Justin brushed her off, getting ready to do another kata.

Tamara gasped. "You dare try to challenge the 'Great Psychic'?" she queried, using lots of bravado.

He smirked and went along with her game. "Yes, I do," he mocked, getting up in her face.

"Then, let's go," she took a battle stance, "Right here."

"Fine then," he matched her battle stance, grinning like an idiot.

Both letting out crazy battle cries, the two sparred heavily until the Turbo Guardian knocked Justin down with a sweep kick. "Ready to give up?" Tamara asked, as she straddled her legs across his body and practically sat on the boy's abdomen.

"To a beautiful girl like you?" he mocked, staring up at his teammate, "Never."

Tamara smiled, returning the stare. "Oh, well," she moved her lips towards the Blue Turbo Ranger's.

Justin also lifted his head up off the ground, getting closer to Tamara's lips. As their lips were a millimeter away from each other, about a dozen putties appeared around them; Ruining the rather perfect moment. "What the hell?!?!" the brunette jumped up from on top of Justin and took a serious battle stance.

Pulling himself off the green grass, the Turbo Ranger immediately stuck a battle stance. Looking over to Tamara, she nodded yes to his unasked question. "Putties," the two groaned in unison as they began to fight.

* * *

"I'm getting closer, aren't I?" Tommy mocked as he walked through the grey fog surrounding him, "You two are getting afraid."

"Us? Afraid?" both voices spoke up after being silent for a time, "No, that's almost impossible. We're just surprised, that's all."

"Surprised that I'm gonna find you soon, huh?"

"Maybe," the feminine voice answered, a slight mystery to her voice, "But first you've gotta relive the two memories that brought you pain the most."

Tommy's eyes widened. "Why? I know why I am here," he paused, "Besides, what if I don't want to relive the memories and the pain?"

As the fog slowly rolled in on him, the deep voice replied, "You have no choice."

Later that week, on Friday night, the Red Zeo Ranger sat across a table from his beautiful girlfriend, who, sadly, he didn't love, in the romantic restaurant, Sweet Angels.

As the couple shared an animated conversation over their dessert after dinner, Tommy was battling himself on whether to tell Kat the truth or not. *I've gotta tell her the truth. I've been putting her on for so long. It's not right.* he thought.

*But she loves you, can't you see that? You would break her heart if you told her now.* a small voice in the back of his head argued.

*But I don't love her. I love my Shannon. And ONLY my Shannon.* Tommy counteracted mentally.

*Who cares? You've been separated for three years and only just a few days ago she bothered to call you and say that she loved you. Katherine's been showing you that she loves you since forever!* the voice declared.

*She had her reasons for not calling sooner. And that doesn't matter anyway. I love Shannon and she loves me. I DON'T love Katherine. It just isn't right to lead her on any longer.* Tommy decided.

Looking up from his apple pie, his eyes fell upon Katherine as she placed a piece of cheese cake into her mouth. "Katherine?" he queried, getting her attention.

"Yes," the blonde answered, her eyes sparkling in the dim lights of the room.

*If she only knew.* Tommy thought as he took Kat's hand from across the table and squeezed it gently. "I have something very important to tell you," the ranger gazed into Katherine's bright blue eyes sadly.

"Yes," Kat responded, the tone of her voice telling Tommy she was slightly anxious.

Hesitating for a moment, he turned his head away from Kat, not being able to tell her what he had to. Suddenly, Shannon voice popped into his head and whispered *Do this for me, Oliver. Do this for Kat. She deserves a man who will love her the same way she'll love him. There is no such thing as a one way relationship and you know it.*

*For you and Kat, Shannon.* Tommy agreed, turning his eyes back to the Pink Ranger. "Katherine, I have known you for a little over a year and a half now and I know how you feel about me," he slowly told, watching Kat blush slightly.

*Please forgive me, Kat* he begged mentally. "Katherine, you have come to my aid when I have been feeling depressed and lonely. You are the shining light that has helped me home. I should be shot in the head for saying this, Kat, but I can't love you the way you love me. I love you like a sister, but not like a lover," Tommy was silent for a moment as he saw a single tear shine in her eye, "I can understand if you hate me right now, but I just didn't want to lead you on, like I did Kimberly. I am truly sorry, Kat."

Kat's watery eyes met Tommy's sympathetic ones. He hadn't mean to hurt Kat, he just wanted her to know the truth. Like Shannon said, "There is no such thing as a one way relationship," and he knew she was right.

Katherine removed her hand from Tommy's grip and store him straight in the eyes with a heartfelt look and whispered, "I'm sorry, too, Thomas Oliver. I thought we had something, that I guess we didn't."

As she stood up from the table and walked out on him, Tommy glanced to where Kat once sat, crystalline tears forming in his eyes. "Forgive me, Kat................"

"I DIDN'T MEAN TO HURT HER!" he cried out loud as tears streamed down his cheeks, "It was a mistake! I wasn't thinking clearly!" wiping the tears from his eyes, Tommy's heart rate slowed down.

"It may have been a mistake," the first voice hissed, "but you hurt her anyway. And that's what lead you to Angel Bluff."

"Angel Bluff," he recalled for a second before protesting, "NO! Please don't make me relive that moment; That memory; That bad time in my life..........PLEASE!"

"Sorry. If you want to find us you've gotta relive it; It's the only way," the sing-song voice explained sadly, as the fog engulfed the Power Ranger once again.

Watching a shooting star streak across the midnight blue sky, Tommy took another heavy guzzle from the large bottle of tequila he held in his hands. "Yummy in my tummy," the Red Ranger mumbled incoherently as he walked across Angel Bluff in a zigzag pattern.

Managing to slip out of the house around midnight, the sorrow-driven ranger who was having trouble sleeping had grabbed a bottle of booze out of the unlocked cabinet where his father usually kept the alcohol; Trusting that his two children would be wise enough to stay out of it until they were of age. Unfortunately on that summer night, Tommy Oliver wasn't feeling at all wise; He was feeling pain, remorse, and most of all: Loneliness.

Savoring every swallow of the pain-relieving alcohol, he was loving every moment of it. The tequila was great, he had to admit. The ranger wondered why he hadn't tried it before; IT was a great companion. IT was the only one who cared. IT listened, unlike his friends. IT comforted him, soothing his pain. Zordon and Alpha could never do that. IT would never abandon him, like Jason, Kimberly and Shannon. IT would never make him feel guilty, like Katherine had.

Taking in another deep guzzle, Tommy licked his lips in contemplation. It felt so good to be free of responsibilities, problems, just free everything. "I wish everyday was like this!" he exclaimed to the emptiness of the night.

Suddenly, in his drunken state, an idea came to the Zeo Ranger. "IT CAN!"

Throwing the tequila bottle to the grass, Tommy started running crazily towards the edge of the bluff, stopping a foot from the edge. Bending over slightly, he looked down to the dirt and rock below and gasped in awe. "Wow......................................."

Pulling himself back up, he took one step towards the periphery and bade happily, "Goodnight Earth. Find another lousy and rotten leader to lead the Power Rangers; Personally, I don't care anymore."

Before he could take his ultimate plunge, two hands grabbed both of his arms and pulled Tommy back onto solid ground and away from the cliff. "Hey!" he garbled, falling on his butt to the grass, "What's the fucking hell is going on?!?!"

His answer was a dark-skinned hand slapping him across his face. "What in devil's name were you trying to do?" Tanya snapped at her leader.

"Thank goodness Zordon contacted us before you did something stupid," Adam also barked, looking back to the cliff.

Keeping silent as his two friends stared down on him from above. "You wouldn't understand!" Tommy yelled at the two rangers, as he rose from the ground slowly.

Biting her lip, the Yellow Zeo Ranger pulled Tommy up from the ground. "You're drunk, aren't you?" she questioned, watching him struggle to stand straight.

"No, I am not," he protested.

Adam laughed half-heartedly. "You can lie all you want, Tommy, but you're drunk and we both know it."

The Red Ranger shook his head. "I only had a wee bit," he pinched his thumb and index finger closely together while squinting, "I can't be drunk."

"Then walk a straight line," Tanya insisted, placing her hands on her hips.

Doing as he was told, the ranger began to walk a straight line; Two steps later he fell to the ground. "Come on," Adam hoisted Tommy up from the ground again.

"Okay, so I'm drunk," he laughed, leaning completely on the Green Zeo Ranger for support, "What are you gonna do? Sue me?"

"Why are you out here?" the female ranger queried strongly; Disappointment registering on her face in the darkness.

Closing his eyes for a minute, all he could see was pain; Inflicted pain by the ones he had cared for and loved. Jason. Kimberly. Katherine. Shannon. Rocky. Aisha. Trini. Billy. Zack. Tanya. Adam. "I don't want pain," he weeped, tears escaping from under his eyelids, "I cared for you all. I loved you all. But you don't care for me or love me. Why?"

Adam and Tanya glanced to each other for a moment through the blackness of the night. "Tommy, we all care for you," Adam insisted gently, "You're our leader."

"Our big brother," Tanya chimed.

Opening his eyes, the teenager looked at his two friends in silence.

"I know I'm loved and cared for," Tommy growled, wiping the tears from his face, "I relived my most worse memory! So, come out and face me!"

"Very well," the voices agreed in unison, as the fog began to fade away from sight.

Once all of the fog had disappeared, Tommy saw two pairs of feet before his eyes. One pair in ranger boots that were white and the second in ranger boots that were black. Looking up at their faces, he gasped. "Hello, Olive Oil," Shannon greeted, fully morphed for the exception of her helmet under her left arm.

"Come on, Tommy," Jason bent down and offered the Red Ranger his hand, which he took graciously, "Get up."

Getting up from the ground, he awed at the two. "What are you two doing here?" he asked, "Were you the voices?"

"We were the voices," the Flame Ranger replied, "But we aren't the people you think we are."

"We took on the forms of Shannon Oliver and Jason Lee Scott because they need you," Shannon continued to explain, "They are dying and only you can help them."

"Are you willing to awaken from your sleep?" Jason questioned, shifting the red helmet under his arm.

"Sleep?" Tommy eyed the two, confused.

"Trust us," Shannon smiled sweetly.

He nodded his head vigorously.

"Very well," Jason remarked, "Good-bye, Thomas Syryn Laronia. Calypso is in emergence."

With his words, the two were flown away in red and white flashes of light.

* * *

Kimberly stared down on Tommy's still body, desperation etched deeply into her face.

She was clinging onto her last threads; her last threads of hope and of sanity. Unnoticed tears falling from her red eyes, the Purple Ranger screamed and cursed mentally in her head. *DAMMIT! Why in the damn hell are you dying? Power Rangers aren't supposed to die! We are supposed to stand for immortal justice and peace! IMMORTAL! WHICH MEANS, FOREVER!* she banged her fist hard on the arm of the chair she sat in.

"Evil's not supposed to win," the petite brunette insisted softly, placing her hand against Tommy's cheek.

Sliding out of the chair and onto the floor, Kimberly removed her hand from his face and folded her arms. Laying her head down on top of her arms, she whispered again, "Evil's not supposed to win."

Just as she was about to close her tired eyes, a voice whispered back, "It hasn't won, Kim."

"Who was that?" the Sound Ranger jerked her head up and looked suspiciously at her surroundings, which revealed no one.

"It's me, Kim," the Red Zeo Ranger's lips voiced louder, as his eyes opened slowly, "Rita can't keep me down."

Recoiling from Tommy in immense shock, Kimberly watched as he sat up in the bed he had been lying unconscious in for over twenty-four hours. "Kim, are you alright?" he asked her as she realized she probably was freaking him out.

Nodding her head, she opened her mouth to speak, but to her surprise, not a single sound came out; she was just too shocked. So instead of trying to move her jaw to create words the other ranger could understand, she did the next best thing. She threw herself at him and hugged him tightly, as if to indicate that she was never letting go. "I've missed you too," Tommy chuckled as the Purple Ranger practically strangled him.

After she finally let go, Tommy's red communicator went off on the table next to the bed. Picking it up, he activated it and spoke, "Tommy here."

"Congratulations, Tommy," Zordon's fatherly tone acknowledged his recovery, "You have managed to yet defeat another one of Rita's spells."

A smiled spread across his lips. "I did, didn't I, Zordon?"

"Yes, you did," the eltarien agreed, "But this is not a call of pleasure. Your sister and Justin are being attacked by putties in Angel Grove Park. They are outnumbered and need help."

"On it, Zordon," Tommy nodded his head, placing his communicator back onto his wrist, "You ready, Kim?"

Kimberly grinned. "I think I can make sounds now," she answered, giggling slightly.

"Great. It's morphin' time!"

"Zeo Ninja, Star!"

"Element Ranger, Sound!"

The two flew away in lights of red and pink.

* * *

"OW!" Tamara cried as she was forcefully slammed into the trunk of a tree.

"Tam," Justin looked over at the girl, as the putty he fought with combusted, "you okay?"

Pushing herself off the tree and ramming into another group of putties, she replied back, "Just peachy. When are the others gonna come? You'd think the Power Chamber detected these claybrains awhile ago!"

Suddenly, flashes of light erupted all around them, revealing five Zeo Ninjas, seven Ninjetti, and three Element Rangers. "Finally," Tamara growled, somersaulting a putty to the ground. But as she eyed the group of rangers, she noticed one extra ranger she hadn't expected to see in uniform. "TOMMY!"

"In the flesh," he remarked, launching himself into the fight.

Soon enough, all the putties were destroyed by the large group and all sixteen rangers were surrounding the Red Zeo Ninja, bombarding him with questions and welcomes.

"Thank goodness you're back, Tommy!"

"How'd you wake up?"

"We knew you'd make it!"

"What was the spell like?"

"It's great to see you up and about again!"

"Do you know about what happened to Shannon and Jason?"

"SHUT UP!" Rocky yelled, causing everyone stare at the Blue Zeo Ninja strangely. "I know everyone's happy to have Tommy back. Welcome back, Tommy!" he belted happily for a instant, then became serious, "But Kat and I have bigger news."

"What could possibly be bigger news than having Tommy back?" Liyah queried her sister's boyfriend snappily.

Feeling the need to bark back at her younger sister, Katherine smugly announced, "I'm pregnant."


* * *

Chapter Sixty-Six: "After Thoughts"

A week after the Power Ranger's run in with Rita's spell and the surprise of Kat and Rocky's big news, things were finally calming down.

A few days after Tommy broke the Haunting spell, both Jason and Shannon came out of their comas in stable condition. Due to that, Kimberly's sanity was saved, Caroline regained faith in who her mother was, and Billy let go of the belief that evil had finally won.

But when Justin met up with Tamara that Sunday, those were the last things on his mind. "Uhhh, Tamara?"

The Black Ranger's gaze snapped away from the blue sky and to the other ranger. "Oh. Hi, Justin."

Replying her greeting with a smile, boy sat down next to her in silence.

Five minutes later, Justin began the conversation. "So................"

Nodding her head, she responded him. "Yeah................"



"Come on!" he exclaimed after her droning, "Let's just talk about this and leave it in the past so we don't have to deal with it anymore."

"Okay," Tamara easily complied, "All we did was play around. Nothing else."

"We didn't kiss," Justin added forcefully, "I'm still hung up about Liyah, just not as much."

"Right," she agreed, "Me and you are just friends."



They were quiet for a instant. "Well, I'd better go," Justin said, standing up from the grass. "Jessi asked me if I could watch some of the younger kids and I promised her I would."

"Oh, yeah," Tamara stood with him. "I have to go and meet up with Cam."

"Great!" the Blue Turbo Ranger feigned a smile as he walked away from her. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Same bat time, same bat channel," she joked, walking the opposite way he was.

As they walked away from each other, the same thought both popped into their heads. *We're just friends.......Right?*

* * *

Shannon laid in her hospital room quietly, relaxing in the silence that surrounded her, when a knock came to the wood hospital door. Popping her eyes open, Shannon saw Tommy's face staring at her through the small glass window that was part of the door. Smiling weakly, she lifted her hand and waved him in. "Where've you been, Oliver?" she queried, her voice still a little hoarse.

Closing the door behind himself and walking over to his wife's bed, he kissed her on the cheek. "Just running some errands. Sorry if I was late," he apologized, sitting down in the chair next to her.

"Oh, no problem," she shifted slightly in her bed. "I've known you almost all of my life so I'm used to it," the White Zeo Ranger laughed, much to her body's dismay.

"Sweetcheeks, you shouldn't laugh," Tommy insisted, watching her cough violently for a moment.

Leaning back against the pillows that helped her sit up, Shannon sighed. "I know, I know. But I can't help it," she coughed once again, "Can you hand me that glass of water on the table, Tommy?"

"Sure," he handed her the glass of water, then took a second glance at the table. "What's this, Sweetcheeks?" he picked up the small wooden figurine and leather bound book of the table.

Swallowing the water, the brunette looked to the objects in Tommy's hands and eyed them curiously. "I have no idea," she picked up the wooden figurine from her husband's hands and inspected it with a more critical eye. "This looks like a panda."

Drawing her hands over the carved animal, she turned it over in her hands so that the belly of the panda was facing up. "Hey! There's an inscription here!" Holding the object closer to her face, she read it slowly, "Zeo Island - Artemis."

"What's that supposed to mean?" the Zeo Ranger asked curiously.

"The Zeo Crystal's power doesn't just come from the Morphin' Grid. In fact, the Zeo Crystal isn't even a part of the Morphin' Grid. It's just connected to it," she explained, placing the wooden panda in her lap, "Zeo Island is the center of the Zeo Crystal's power. Just like the Morphin' Grid is the center of the Morphin' Power and the Monolith in the Neola Jungle on Phaedos is the center of the Ninjetti Power."

"So, if it was destroyed, we would lose our power, right?"

"Right," she agreed, "Hand me that book please, Tommy."

Taking the book from him, Shannon opened it up and a note fell from inside the front cover. "What's this?" she lifted the note from her lap and read it aloud.


Calypso is in emergence. Be ready for her unruly ways. Be well, my child.

Lady Dimitria

"Mother has been here," her gazed turned back to the panda, "And so has Dulcea."

"Calypso is in emergence," Tommy awed quietly, looking back on Syryn's memories, "I first heard that while I was in the spell. So obviously that means........." he trailed off, a smile playing upon his lips.

Shannon nodded her head eagerly. "The Grid Guardian is coming back..............."

The End... for now

What are Tommy and Shannon talking about? Who is this Calypso person? What is going on between Justin and Tamara? What other questions need to be answered? :) Find out in "To Deceive"