Note: * Ooh! Ooh! This comes before anything. A big thank-you and a Titanic-sized hug goes out to my dear friend, Suzy, for being a darling and beta-reading this fanfic for me. Thanx again, Suzy! To the boring stuff now. JK! ^_^ This is the second of a five-part mini-series. (Yes I changed it to five) Also, the song "I Love You" belongs to Sarah McLachlan. Okay, now I have serious subject to address. For the first time in PR fanfiction history (well, maybe not the first) I going to have major Tommy/Kim spat (and I mean a REAL spat) going on. And to warn you, it starts right at the beginning of the story. The insults they, literally, throw at each other are not meant to insult any Kimberly fans or Tommy fans. You see folks, this is what is called a combo of characterization and good writing. :) One more addition, the haircut I speak of for one of the rangers (I'm not telling who) is the haircut they had in "True Blue To The Rescue" okay? :) One more thing, the name of Caroline's stuffed unicorn comes from Star Trek: Voyager's helmsman's last name. ;) Now please read more of the continuation of "To Deceive". ^_^

Broken Wings
Chapter Seventy-One: "When Cats And Dogs Fight"
Written By: WhiteZeo

"Every moment marked with apparitions of your soul
I'm ever swiftly moving, trying to escape this desire
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do"

-- "Do What You Have To Do"
Sarah McLachlan

* * *

Kimberly Ann Hart's heart shattered into a million pieces as she watched the glass cup she had been holding in her gloved hand hit the floor; after listening to Tommy Oliver scream the words she had hoped to never hear. "Pregnant?"

Everyone's eyes darted in her direction and her eyes caught gaze with Tommy's. "Yeah. Shannon's having Jason's child," he spat easily.

Staring at the Red Zeo Ranger for a minute, the short brunette let the fire burning words sink into her soul. "How can you just say it that easily, Tommy?" she yelled at him, fury providing her the energy to stomp over to him in her weak condition. "We can get them back! We can make them good again! Then everything will be back to normal!"

Tommy placed his hands tightly on the Purple Ranger's shoulders. "'Everything will be back to normal'?" he bore down into his ex-girlfriend's eyes. "Don't you see, Kim? Everything WON'T be back to normal! That thing Jason and Shannon are calling their baby has already been conceived! There's nothing we can do! Even if we get them back from Scorpio, that baby will still be born and NOTHING will EVER be the same!"

As Kimberly began to cry, Katherine Hillard {Kat} began to say something but Tanya Sloan grabbed her arm and stopped her. "Don't Kat. This is good for the two of them; there's always been some, if not any, tension between those two," Tanya whispered in her ear. "Besides, they need to get this issue out of the way before we can do anything productive."

"Everything WILL BE back to normal!" she insisted, denying the truth Tommy was making her face. "Why should I listen to you anyway! You've always had a dark perspective of looking at things; ever since I've known you, you've been like that!"

The Zeo Ranger quickly snapped his hands away from the Element Ranger and growled madly. "Yeah," he yapped. "You've only known me since I was violated; violated by Rita and you," he paused, breathing heavily, "I can't believe I used to think you were Shannon. You may have looked alike for awhile, but you're nothing like her. She wouldn't be yelling at me like this right now."

"NEWSFLASH, TOMMY!" Kimberly came right back and barked. "I hate to inform you four years too late, but...I'M NOT SHANNON! I never have and never will be! I'm not her, Tommy! You never accepted me for me, ya know! I may have been called Kimberly, but in your mind I was either the Pink Morphin' Ranger, the Purple Sound Ranger, Jason's girlfriend, Shannon's best friend, or most of all, the Shannon replacement! I was never Kimberly Ann Hart, a friend, in your eyes!"

"Well, maybe if you acted like yourself, Kimberly Ann Hart," Tommy emphasized the saying of her name, "I wouldn't have thought of you as someone else! When I first met you, you were a bubble-headed valley girl bitch who flirted with every cute boy that happened to pass your way! Smacking your gum, blowing big pink bubbles and impressing the crowd with your lung capacity! Both used to talk and suck lips!"

Next thing the Red Ranger knew, he was taking a hard blow to the cheek. "Oh yeah Tommy," the girl began to rub her hands together deviously. "You wanna go there? You wanna get ugly? I'll show you ugly," she arched her eyebrow.

"When I first met you, the so-called 'good' you, I thought you were nothing but a fucking sad excuse for a Power Ranger; filled with mischievous doings and, obviously, enough secrets to keep the mind reeling. To add more salt to the wound, I thought you were a SERIOUS MAJOR LONER! Hanging out by yourself, talking to yourself," she smiled as Tommy shot her a surprised look, "Oh, yeah. I caught you talking to that lovely person in the mirror who was you about three, maybe three and half, years ago. Brave and strong, I think not. Insecure and insane, I think so. I don't even know how the hell you became leader of the Power Rangers!"

A large ball of red fire built up in Tommy's clenched fist and he lifted it up in front of himself. "You know, Kim, I could throw this beautiful thing of harnessed power at you if I wanted to," he whispered cruelly.

"Go ahead and try, I can always hit back," she grinned madly, a ball of purple energy forming in her own fist. She brought it to her face and let the purple glow light her features. "Come on, Tommy," she taunted. "I dare ya to do it."

"You dare me?" his voice questioned curiously. "I'll take you up on that dare."

"NO!" Tamara Oliver, Tommy's sister, screamed loudly. "Don't Tommy, don't stoop down to that level!"

"I'd listen to your smart sister, Tommy," Kimberly agreed, still wielding the purple essence of her power. "If you throw that thing at me, I just might be able to reflect it back at you. Remember, I'm the SOUND Ranger, echoes are my specialty."

"I'll just have to take that chance, won't I?" he stepped back, until he was practically leaning against the glass cases that held the all the Morphin' Ranger armor.

Throwing it quickly, Tommy watched as his hurled ball of pure energy sped towards Kimberly. Also watching the ball, she targeted her own ball of purple energy in the red ball's trajectory. Smiling wickedly, the ranger was jerked back as Tommy's ball hit hers and reflected right back at the leader of the Zeos. "Holy fucking shit," he cursed as his ball came back at him.

Standing directly in the path of the energy ball, Tommy stood paralyzed by shock. "TOMMY! NOOOO!" the Black Turbo Ranger cried, knocking her brother's body onto the floor with her own before the energy ball imploded and sent a wave of red energy throughout the whole Power Chamber.

* * *

"Shannon?" Jason Lee Scott slowly opened the door to the quarters open, until he heard the soft sound of sobbing, which caused him to throw it open in worry. "Shannon!"

Lifting her aching head up from the black pillows of the bed, Shannon Oliver saw her husband standing in the doorway. "Jason?" she queried, trying to make out his silhouette from the shadows.

"Shannon," he moved over to her side quickly and placed his hand against her stomach, "are you well?"

Wiping her wet cheeks with the back of her hand, she nodded. "I am fine. I just have a slight headache."

"Are you sure?" he insisted, his usual deep and commanding baritone voice tainted with slight fright.

The Zeo Guardian couldn't help but smile widely. *Tommy never treated me this way; he never cared this much.* "I am perfectly fine, Jason," she lifted her hand to his jaw and stroked it gently. "There is no need to hover over me. It is only a small side affect of Mistress Scorpio's spell to make the growth of our baby go thirty times faster than the usual human baby."

With that comment, the Flame Ranger eased back away from his wife and helped her sit up on the bed. "I still cannot believe it has been only three days since we conceived this miracle......." the rest of his words were lost on the brunette's ears as voice popped into her head.

*Looks like YOU forgot to shut our telepathic link, Shannon.*

Taking a moment to realize, Shannon screamed mentally *Get out of my head bastard. You obviously heard what I thought earlier, Tommy, and it is true. I know you already knew I was pregnant with Jason's child; and it is so true what I said. You never treated me the way Jason does. Never.*

There was a silence before his wavering mental voice replied. *I always tried to treat you the best way I thought you wanted to be treated. But you see, when you were MY wife, and MY fiancée, and MY girlfriend, I remember getting hassled for pampering you. Ya see, you're much more of a conceited woman when you are evil than when you are good, Shannon. And whatever you call me, whether it be a rapist or a bastard, I will always love you no matter what happens.*

*Go to hell, Syryn. I do not even know WHY I loved you* she snapped through her thoughts and with that she sealed the telepathic link once again.

"Shannon?" Jason questioned, as she shook her head. "What is wrong?"

"Nothing," she responded truthfully. "I just had another encounter with Tommy. The asshole managed to get into my mind after I forgot to shut our telepathic link."

The Element Ranger's expression hardened for an instant and she was able to see fire flare in his eyes. "When will he learn that you do not want his love nor care for it anymore?"

"Probably never." Shannon answered, sighing. "However, what were you saying?"

"I was speaking of Calypso; I was there when Mistress purified her of her goodness. Strangely enough, she wants to speak with you. She spoke of an 'early conversation'. Do you have any idea what she is talking about?" Jason cocked his head curiously in the girl's direction.

Shannon let a grin play upon her lips. "Very much so, Jason." She stood up from the bed. "And I cannot wait to speak to my old friend once again......."

* * *

Slowly pushing his eyes open, Rocky DeSantos took a much-needed breath of air in and ended up wheezing it out; the air above him was filled with smoke.

Struggling to get up, he called out hoarsely, "Zordon? Alpha? Anyone?"

"We're here, Rocky!" Alpha's mechanically worried voice replied. "Iyaiyaiyai! We can't get you out! You and the other Zeo Rangers are too much under the rubble!"

Looking around himself, he saw shattered glass all around him and broken support beams scattered all over the place. Pulling himself up just enough, the Blue Zeo Ranger was able to spot a four-foot support beam pinning his left leg down to the ground. "Ugh," he grunted, pushing himself into at sitting position. "Kat! Adam! Tanya! Tommy! Any of you in here?"

"Right here, Rocko!" Rocky heard Tommy's voice. "Where are you?"

"I don't really know," he replied, but then glanced up to the spot the Power Chamber's alarm on a near wall. "Wait! I'm near the Power Chamber's monster alarm!"

For a moment, the Red Ranger didn't respond and he panicked slightly. "Okay," Tommy's assuring voice called, "I'm coming. Just sit tight."

"Do I have any other choice?" he snapped back, relieving some of his fright.

Waiting for the next five minutes was torture for Rocky. It felt more like days passing as he waited for someone to free him. However, when he saw a flash of red his worries were put to rest. "It's about time," he yapped, as the boy came around a standing support beam and over to him.

"Sorry," was Tommy's sheepish reply as he knelt down to lift the beam off on Rocky's leg, "I kinda got lost."

Watching as his friend strained and removed the heavy object off of him, Rocky shrugged. "Comes with the territory," he joked, as Tommy helped him up from the ground. "Alpha said only the five of us are under here. We'd better find them."

"Right," Tommy slowly agreed, before stopping in his tracks.

Rocky, who was already ahead of him, glanced back at him. "Are you alright, Tommy?"

A smile crept onto his ash-covered face. "My telepathic link with Shannon," he explained, "it's open. She forgot to block it."

"What'd she think?"

"She thought 'Tommy never treated me this way; he never cared this much.'" He voice stung with the words. "Can you hold Rocky? I want to answer her."

"Sure; but don't take too long."

He nodded his head. "It won't take long."

Watching his leader gaze off into the distance, Rocky stared at his expression, which changed over the next two minutes from happiness, to sadness, and then to surprise. Shaking his encounter off, Tommy turned to Rocky. "Come on let's go."

Deciding to leave the subject alone for now, Rocky followed him. "KAT! TANYA! CAN YOU GUYS HEAR ME?" Rocky cupped his gloved hands around his mouth and yelled.

A low hoarse voice called lowly, "Rocky?"

"ADAM! KAT! TANYA! IF YOU CAN HEAR US ANSWER!" Tommy joined in on the shouting.

A different, and louder, voice replied this time. "TOMMY! ROCKY! We're over here!"

The Zeo Power Shifter identified the voice as Adam Park's. "Where is here, Adam?"

There was a pause before an answer. "Underneath the Viewing Globe!"

Running through the rubble at quick pace, the two rangers found their three teammates in no time. "Adam," Tommy queried him, while helping him up form the floor, "is anyone injured?"

"Just Tanya," the Green Zeo Ranger glanced back to see both Kat and Rocky helping his girlfriend up from the ground slowly. "She managed to take the brunt of a falling support beam; she broke her leg."

Silently sending a prayer up to the gods, the leader of the Power Rangers placed a hand on Adam's shoulder. "Thank goodness........."

* * *

Chapter Seventy-Two: "Cause And Affect

Opening the door to her chambers on the Subcraft, Scorpina stepped inside and forcefully threw her stinger blade at the wall. "Stupid Green Zeo Ranger!" she muttered, as her blade hit the wall and stuck itself into it. "Just another disappointment on my long, long, long list of disappointments."

Entering the adjacent to change out of her snug armor into something lighter, Scorpina's jaw hit the floor and she stared directly at a man standing in the room. "I hope I am not one of those disappointments, am I, Scorpina?"

Picking her jaw up, Scorpina circled the stranger in her room and then coyly poked him in the arm. "You surely are not a hologram," she commented dryly.

"Do I really need to prove my worthiness to you?" he smirked, running a hand through his bleached hair.

The assassin returned the smirk. "It would help to know you are not an imposter."

"Fine then," he approached her and grabbed her by the waist. "How long has it been since we last did this?"

Watching his lips, an inch away from hers, she anxiously snapped, "Come on. Just kiss me."

Bringing his lips to hers, they locked in a passionate kiss. "Umm." He moaned. "I love a demanding woman."

"Now, you definitely are not an imposter," she ran her hand across his jaw. "You are my Zhane."

"So I am," Zhane grinned, leaning in for another kiss. "But we can talk about that later."

Their lips met for another kiss.

* * *

"By the gods..." Katherine trailed off as she stepped out from under the rubble and looked around herself.

"By the gods is right," Kerry Taylor agreed sadly.

The Power Chamber looked like it had been ripped apart and then put back together so badly to the point where not even the powers of Ninjetti would be able to fix it; and that was no exaggeration.

Where the Morphin' Ranger armor once was displayed, was now nothing but a heap up of glass and metal. Glancing up at Zordon's dark warp, they were able to see the thick crack running down it. Gazing down at the many consoles, they could see that all of them had been damaged by the blast; except for the teleportation and communication consoles, those two had been completely obliterated by the onslaught of metal support beams.

"Why didn't anyone stop us?" Kimberly demanded, her finger waving back between her and Tommy.

"Why do you think?" Camellia snapped, wiping the ash from her face. "You two were acting major scary; if we had stopped you, the both of you would have eaten us alive."

"Now we're totally defenseless and clueless," Liyah Hillard piped up.

"And without Zordon," Alpha added. "Iyaiyaiyaiyaiyai!"

As silence descended between all the rangers, Kimberly and Tommy locked gaze with each other; a gaze of anger.

* * *
"What are you doing here, Zhane?" Scorpina asked as she undressed in front of the young man.

"What am I doing here?" Zhane repeated the question skeptically, as he watched the assassin remove her armored chest plate. "You almost sound as if you do not want me to be here, Scorpina?"

"Of course I want you here," Scorpina pulled a long black and gold dress out of her closet. "But the last I heard, you were being prosecuted by the Cindarien government for perjury and treason. And that was three years ago."

"Ah, yes," Zhane leaned back in the chair he was sitting in, "the good old days. I still do not understand why they put me on trial for have an affair with you; it really does not make sense."

As she pulled the slinky dress over her body, she commented, "It makes perfect sense to me. I was hired to seduce you and to gain information on the Cindarien government; instead you and I managed to fall in love. Your lovely friend......" Scorpina trailed off. "What was her name?"

"Karone," he filled in for her.

"Right," Scorpina tugged on her sleeves, "Karone found out about it and told Cindarien Intelligence, who took her word at face value. When asked, you lied about it, under oath, and then later admitted it. Then they tried you."

"And won," Zhane continued, standing up from the chair and wrapping his arms around Scorpina. "Then they took away my Silver Astro Ranger powers and split it into five different powers, creating the Astro Rangers; they left me to rot in jail."

"How nice of them," she grinned sarcastically.

"How nice indeed," the ex-Astro Ranger agreed. "I was able to break out a few months later. I am now on the "Intergalactic Most Wanted" list; I have been on it for two years."

"It is not as bad as being an assassin/bounty-hunter on the run."

Zhane turned away from Scorpina. "But you are not on the run anymore, my dear. You work for Scorpio, who is part of the Alliance of Evil; you have protection under her hand."

"True, but it does not mean I am completely protected," Scorpina insisted. "I must fight against the Power Rangers every day."

The blonde grinned. "At least you enjoy what you are doing though. By the way, I have been meaning to ask, who is this Green Ranger disappointment?"

Her red lips quirked with a smile. "Do you really want to know?"

* * *

As Cassie sat before her dressing mirror brushing her long raven black hair, a simple knock came to her door. *She is here* she thought happily, placing the brush down onto the dresser. "Come in," she allowed, turning around to face the door.

The door opened and revealed shy looking Shannon standing in the doorway. "Cassie?" she questioned from her spot in uncertainty.

She shook her head. "No. It is me, Artemis," she watched as her friend's face lightened up with a smile. "And do not call me this Cassie person; that is not who I am."

Watching as she was motioned into the room, Shannon ran over to her friend and gave her the biggest hug she could possibly give without strangling her. "I have missed you so much, Calypso. So much," the brunette whispered, tears springing from her sky blue eyes.

"As I have missed you, Artemis," Cassie hugged the girl back just as fiercely.

Both slowly letting go of each other, Shannon spoke up. "Jason came to me earlier to tell me that you requested my presence. Of what do I owe this to?"

"Our earlier conversation," the Asian girl commented. "The one about Syryn."

"Syryn," the White Ranger spat the Red Zeo Ranger's name as if it were dirt. "I do believe I told you quite a lot about him."

"I know that," the Grid Guardian laughed, patting her friend's hand. "I want to know about my father," her voice lowered slowly. "I want to know if he knows about me being alive."

Shannon nodded her head. "Zordon knows. If not before, he must now."

Cassie spun around to face her mirror again. Staring at her reflection, she picked up the golden coin that was lying on her chest. "You remember when I got this Morphin' Power Coin, do you not, Artemis?"

"As much as I recall receiving my Zeo Crystal," she assured.

She traced over the imprint of a dragon's claw with her index finger. "Do you believe I failed him?"

"In what essence?" Shannon queried confused.

"I promised him I would do good, Artemis," Cassie looked down at the coin and turned it over in her hands. "Yet the way I remember it, I did more bad than good. I destroyed so many lives; eight Aquatian colonies, ten Cindarien colonies, two Eltarien colonies, five Triforian colonies; I could go on for days. And it was all with this little coin," she held up the Power Coin, "then the Dragon Dagger, and the DragonZord."

The Zeo Guardian shook her head viciously. "What are you speaking of, Calypso?!?!" she cried. "Those were all GOOD things! Do you not remember? We serve the light of darkness, the wondrous goddess almighty, Lady Of The Moon! What has you head been filled with?"

"Lies," Cassie simply smiled wickedly, as Shannon sighed.

"Do not scare me like that, Calypso," she let out a heavy sigh. "I almost thought you were actually GOOD!"

"That is what friends are for, Artemis. To make you jump up onto your toes!" she laughed, receiving a well-deserved smack in the arm from Shannon.

* * *

Tommy stared blankly ahead at the setting sun as he sat at one of the cliffs around the perimeter of the Power Chamber. *What are you thinking, Sweetcheeks? Are you laying in the arms of my best friend or are you thinking about me just like I'm thinking about you?* the Red Ranger wondered, praying for the latter of the two choices.

"Hey, Tommy!" he heard Rocky's voice call from behind him.

Turning around, he caught a glimpse of the Blue Zeo Ranger. "What are you doing out here?" he queried solemnly. "Aren't you supposed to be inside helping Kat reconfigure the main computer console?"

"Plans changed," Rocky shrugged, coming up next to Tommy and sitting down. "Kat was feeling wiped out so I told her to go home. Justin and Tamara took over our job," he paused, "What are you doing out here? Aren't you supposed to be fixing the deflector dish?"

"I already did it," Tommy explained. "I was about to go inside, but when I saw this sunset I knew I had to take a detour in my plans."

The other teenager smiled, looking out at the rouge sky. "It is pretty, isn't it?"

"It keeps reminding about Phaedos; ya know the first time we went," he glanced over at Rocky, who nodded his head. "I keep remembering when we were standing on the edge of Ninjetti Plateau after Dulcea left. I was standing there, just staring at the Monolith sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of the jungle; and with thoughts running through my head like, 'Is time? Is it time to go yet? What if I fail everyone and we lose Zordon?' Ya know, crazy thoughts."

"Crazy thoughts," Rocky agreed.

"But yet, through all that crap, I knew that the rising sun meant something. A new era of the Power Rangers, maybe, but I didn't really know then," he paused to take in a deep breath, "Now, I look at this setting sun and I know exactly what it stands for."

The other ranger looked at him with a questioning glance. "My marriage with Shannon is kaput. The flame's been put out."

"That's not true!"

"Really?" Tommy gazed deeply at the sunset. "How can you be so sure?"

"I'm sure because I am," Rocky insisted persistently. "Geez, you and Shannon have been through more spell-binding hell than any of us and you've STILL made it out alive and well. How can you just give up now?"

"I can give up and that's exactly the point," the Red Zeo Ranger took his hand and brushed a stray hair from his face. "She told me telepathically she didn't love me. That Jason was the only man for her. Does that support my reason?"

"That was the spell talking! You really don't believe she meant it, do you?" Rocky looked at his friend cautiously.

"Birds can't fly with broken wings, right?" Tommy carefully watched as Rocky nodded his head. "So, neither can I............."

Chapter Seventy-Three: "Love's Tears"

"Andros!" Davius cried from his post on the Astro MegaShip. "I have got a lock on Zhane!"

The Red Astro Ranger's attention instantly transferred from the console in front of him to his sister's boyfriend. "Where is he?"

Tapping on some of the sensitive buttons on the workstation, the Blue Astro Ranger looked up. "He is on Divatox's Subcraft," his eyes widened quite a bit when he read the rest of the information, "orbiting Earth!"

*Just where he should be* Andros thought.

*Andros?* another voice entered his mind *What are you talking about?*

Startled, he turned his gaze to his five-month pregnant wife sitting next to him. "You heard me?" he queried.

Moving her hands swiftly across the console's bright panel, Jenna laughed. "No, it was Troy who was asking, Andros," she teased lightly. "What were you thinking anyway?"

Licking his lips, the natural brunette returned to his work. "Nothing," her murmured to her and then turned to call to his sister. "Set a course to Earth, Karone. D.E.C.A. get us going at hyper rush nine."

Karone responded to the order and set the course quickly. "Course set. Time to arrival at Earth is three days, four hours and twenty minutes," D.E.C.A. announced ship-wide.

"Great," Troy piped up from under one of the consoles he was repairing, "three days of free time 'til we meet up with Zhane; the last person I want to see."

"Why is that?" the Pink Astro Ranger asked.

The Black Astro Ranger looked at Jenna, then the rest of the Astro Rangers. "Why? Maybe it is because he betrayed Cindaria AND his people by going and getting seduced by some hired bitch. Or maybe it is because our powers actually derive from his."

"Zhane was not always like that," Karone spoke up, all eyes turning her way. "He used to be kind and compassionate. He loved his people," she shot a warning glare at her fellow ranger, "and he lived for Cindaria. It was not like he planned to fall in love with Scorpina."

"But he did fall for her," Davius chimed, glancing up from his console momentarily.

"Does it make him less a person?" Andros queried them all. "What if I fell in love with Astronema? Am I less a person or a leader because of it?"

Jenna frowned. "If you fell in love with Astronema, you would be using your Galaxy Glider to get to Earth," she scoffed, causing everyone to laugh and at the same time relieving the tension that had grown on the bridge.

* * *

"Mmmmmm," Zhane groaned softly as he awoke from his sleep in the middle of the night.

Prying open his eyes, he stared up at the steel ceiling of Scorpina's quarters. *Zhane?* a voice called him mentally.


*Are you awake?*

*What do you think?*

*Forget it. Anyway, where are you?*

*I will give you three guesses and the first two do not count* the ex-Silver Astro Ranger jested the other voice.

*Scorpina's bed* the second voice declared quite easily.

*Yes, if you must know.*

*I must* the other voice paused for an instant *Are you ready to do execute the second part of the plan?*

*I am sort of ready* Zhane shrugged, slowly moving Scorpina's draped arm off of his body.

*Good. Go do it. Sensor readings from here are showing that the Power Chamber's defenses are down. You will be able to get in easily, but trust me, you will scare the living hell out of the Earth Rangers.*

*There is a slight problem, though* he countered the voice.


*We decided to execute our plan at the wrong time. The rangers of Earth are in a crisis. Scorpina told me that Scorpio is holding not only Calypso, but the Element Rangers and Artemis also!*

Zhane waited for the voice to respond. *What about Syryn? Is he still there?*

*Yes, but they are planning to take him next. It seems whenever Artemis is evil, he is on the top of her hit list.*

*It makes a lot of sense* the voice seemed shrug *You still can succeed with the plan though, Zhane. Just go do it and work your way through it.*

*Fine* he agreed with his 'partner'. *I am gone. Wish me luck.*

*Good luck, Zhane* the voice warmed and bade.

The voice leaving his mind, Zhane carefully got out of the bed he was sharing with the assassin and dressed quickly into the gray tunic and pants he had been wearing before.

Pulling his boots on, the blonde thought about what he had just done with Scorpina and his face immediately soured. *This time I did it just for the information* he told himself then recalled *Just like she had done to me before.*

Removing a device from a pocket, Zhane pushed a button on it and disappeared within a silver streak.

* * *

"Can you hand me that wire cutter, Tam," Justin Stewart queried Tamara as finished hotwiring his tenth console in the Power Chamber that night.

When she didn't respond, Justin looked over at where Tamara was once standing and saw that she was now hunched over another messy console, sound asleep. "TAM!"

"What?!?!" she yapped back almost immediately. "I was just closing my eyes, that's all, okay?"

"Sure you were," Justin smirked. "Hand me those wire cutters next to you."

Grabbing the tool off the floor, she handed it to the Blue Turbo Ranger and told, "You know I really like your haircut, Jay."

Startled by Tamara's unexpected words, Justin nearly cut his finger off. "How should I take that as?" he queried, returning to his work to hide his blush.

"I would take that as a compliment."

"All right then," he paused, "Thank you."

"You're welcome." Suddenly Justin could feel the Turbo Guardian's breath on his collar and could hear the sensual tone that now occupied her voice. "You remember when we talked about how we were only friends, Jay?"

He mutely nodded his head, staring at his fist full of colored wires nervously. "Yeah."

"Well......." she trailed off for a moment, "Out of curiosity, do you still love Liyah?" she slurred the word, love, tediously.

He took in a large gulp of air and swallowed hard. He knew exactly where the Black Turbo Ranger was trying to go with her question and he was sweating like a pig at the thought of touching lips with his teammate. "Tam?" he finally squeaked, after feeling her body lightly pressing against his.


"I really like you and all......"

The brunette grinned, while backing away from Justin a little as he turned to face her. "Good. I really like you too," she replied quickly.

"And I don't love Liyah that much anymore. Even though I still feel a little bit of love but there's also some hatred brewing between us so that diminishes any conviction for the two of us to become affectionate with one another again...."

He was cut off. "You're almost into your brainy-babble, Justin. Tell me what you really feel about me," she insisted, her eyes pleading, "Please, just tell me the truth."

Before Justin could even open his mouth though, a shimmer of silver appearing in the Power Chamber; revealing Zhane.

Grabbing his auto-blaster off a near broken console, he pointed it directly at the stranger. "Who are you and what are you doing here?" the fourteen-year old snapped.

"Whoa, whoa. Calm down," Zhane rose his hands above his head in a peaceful manner. "I am not one of Scorpio's goons. I am on your side."

"Prove it," Tamara was at Justin's side targeting her auto-blaster at the blonde's head.

"I am the Silver Astro Ranger, Zhane," he began to explain cautiously, "I am working for the Eltarien and Cindarien government on a co-operation mission with the Astro Rangers to rescue Calypso from Scorpio.................."

* * *

"JASON!" Kimberly screamed once again, snapping awake from her nightmare.

Throwing the blankets off of her body, the Purple Ranger quickly got out of her bed and ran into the bathroom. Flipping on the light, she examined her features carefully in the mirror for the tenth time that night.

Her doe brown eyes were bloodshot, and bags were slowly beginning to form below them. Looking down at her hands, Kimberly watched as they trembled viciously. "I look dead," she whispered to her reflection, "and I feel dead."

Walking out of the bathroom, she headed into the kitchen and began to make a cup of coffee; but as she started to remove a mug from one of the cabinets, the soft melody of a song floated to her ears, causing her to stop in her tracks.

I have a smile stretched from ear to ear
I see you walking down the road
We meet at the lights, I stare for a while
The world around us disappears It's just you and me on my island of hope
A breath between us could be miles
Let me surround you, a sea to your shore
Let me be the calm you seek But every time I'm close to you
There's too much I can't say
And you just walk away

And I forgot to tell you
I love you
And night's too long
And cold here
Without you
I grieve in my condition
For I cannot find the words to say
I need you so

And every time I'm close to you
There's too much I can't say
And you just walk away

And I forgot to tell you
I love you
And night's too long
And cold here
Without you
I grieve in my condition
For I cannot find the words to say
I need you so

As the song faded away from her hearing, Kimberly allowed the mug to be released from her trembling grip. Watching the ceramic cup fall to the floor, she flashed back to yesterday when the other cup also shattered against the floor.

Millions of little pieces of the mug flew across the tiled surface once the object made impact and that was beyond fine with the girl. Carefully navigating her way through the mess, she went into the living room and found the device that had been playing the song.

It was her CD player. She had left it on by accident and it just happened to be on that certain song.

Kimberly stared at it intently for a moment, eyeing it curiously as if it was a strange foreign object.

Then, all of a sudden, she collapsed in front of it and began to cry. She cried until there were no more tears to elaborate her pain.

* * *

Tommy paced the living of his house as he cradled a quiet and hungry Sean in his arms. Looking down at him, sucking away happily at the bottle of milk he had, the Red Ranger felt a sudden pain that he immediately buried within him.

Somehow, each of his children could evoke that feeling in him; Caroline more so than her brother or sister. It was a feeling Tommy rather disliked, but sometimes did enjoy; those were rare times when he did enjoy the sensation.

Right now, he hated it. It hurt him so much, seeing them so content and without worries; they didn't know what had happened to their mother, all they knew was that she was going to come back. Soon. At least, that's what he was hoping for more than anything.

Still pacing, he could hear the pounding of the late October rains on the glass windows. The rhythm brought him some peace; a peace that told him at least still some things remained the same, even after the five years of torture he had endured as a Power Ranger.

The torture came with the territory nonetheless. So, being the leader of the Power Rangers of Earth, it didn't surprise him too much that he had taken the brunt of all the torture that was meant for rest of the rangers; all eighteen of them.

So when another, quite different, pounding came to the front door, it scared the hell out of him but left Sean still happily drinking away.

Putting his son down in the playpen that was kept in the living room, Tommy headed towards the door and opened it. "Kim?" he queried with a shocked tone; she was the last person he expected to see on his doorstep.

Kimberly, looking much worse than before and wet, stood on the porch. "Can I come in, Tommy?" she shivered involuntarily from the cold.

As much as they had been mad at each other before, that visage seemed to be gone from each of their faces as Tommy replied. "Of course."

He ushered his ex-girlfriend into the house and closed the front door to the outside world.

* * *

Ten minutes later after Tommy had put Sean back into his crib, he walked into the living room to find Kimberly sprawled out on the sofa, in dry clothing and with a mug in her hands.

"I made myself some coffee," Kimberly held up the mug as he sat down next to her, "I hope you don't mind."

He shook his head. "No, I was going to make some anyway once Sean was asleep," he paused, changing the subject, "So I see you took my advice and changed."

"Yeah," she gave a small smile, while pulling on the white sweats she was now wearing. "White. Not exactly my color, but I can see where it would appeal to Shannon," the Purple Ranger chuckled, her bloodshot eyes not seeming to agree with her voice.

Tommy furiously gnawed on his upper lip, trying so hard to not form tears. "Yeah, kinda the same way I love red and you love purple," he laughed in the same falsetto tone.

The two were silent as the rain continued to pound on the windows of the house. "Tommy," Kimberly slowly began, "you know, I really didn't mean all those nasty things I said earlier. I was just trying to deny the truth you were practically shoving into my face."

"No," he stopped her from talking. "You had every right to say all those things, since some of it was true. I do have a dark look on life," he paused, eyeing a picture of him and Shannon that was standing on the table in front of them.

Picking up the frame, he ran his hand over the smooth glass while gazing at it fondly; it had been taken on their wedding day less than three months before. "I wasn't always like that, though," the ranger's lips quirked with a smile for a second, "I was never the broody type in Summer Springs; the teachers used to call me Shiner, because of my happy attitude. But ever since Rita, the spell and the Green Ranger powers that weren't even meant for me, I've just changed, full circle," he placed the picture back on the table.

"But you are the same person," Kimberly insisted, then questioned, "Aren't you?"

"Yeah, sure I'm physically the same person, but emotionally I'm not. I think in terms of either torture or death now. Not life or death, torture or death."

The Sound Ranger placed her half-full mug of coffee down onto the table. "You are great, Tommy," she gazed fondly into his eyes, "Really. You've saved everyone's butt more than one time already. You are the epitome of a Power Ranger to everyone; the Turbo Rangers look up to you as their role model."

"I certainly don't feel like it," Tommy frowned, returning Kimberly's gaze, "I shouldn't even be talking about me; you're the one who came here soaking wet. Why are you here, Kim?"

She nodded her head. "It's not important," she stated simply. "You have more to deal with; you have a family to look after as well as a Power Ranger team to command."

A grin grew upon Tommy's lips. "What's so funny?" she arched her eyebrow at him in a cocky manner.

"Nothing," he shook it off quickly.

"Tell me," the petite girl prodded.

"I was just wondering what it would be like to actually kiss Kimberly Ann Hart," the Zeo Ranger stared down at his thumbs, "and not the Shannon replacement."

A shocked expression took over Kimberly's face and Tommy caught a glimpse of it. "I'm sorry," he quickly stumbled over his words, "I didn't......"

She cut him off. "No, it's okay. I'm flattered," she shyly locked eyes with him, "I was kinda wonderin' the same thing about you; what it would be like to kiss the Red Zeo Ranger instead of the Green OR White Ranger; I mean, you're so much different now than ever."

"Then let's find out," Tommy proposed.

The two merged closer until their lips were an inch apart.

Hesitating, Kimberly whispered, "Your turn."

With those words, his lips made solid contact with hers and they kissed after two years of turmoil.

Chapter Seventy-Four: "Feelings"

Shannon's body shot up in the bed, sweat beading down her brow. "Shannon!" Jason cried, jerking out of his sleep at the sudden movement. "Gorgeous, are you alright?"

Nodding her head ever so slowly, she stared down at her trembling hands. "I felt, I felt," she stumbled over her words apprehensively, "I could feel.........."

The Flame Ranger watched as she reached her hands out towards the darkness in front of her. Grabbing her hands, he soothingly whispered, "Calm down, Shannon. Calm down and tell me what happened in your dream."

"It was not a dream!" the words immediately shot out from her mouth. "I could FEEL the warmth she was giving off, the heat he was demonstrating towards her, the agitation he felt, her breath upon his lips, his lips upon HERS! I COULD FEEL IT!" she let out a blood-curdling scream.

"Shannon!" Jason snapped at her rigidly. "Calm down this instant! You're screaming will wake everyone up!"

Just as the brunette began to respond to his order, a knock came to their door. "Who is it?" he called out.

"It is Billy," the Light Ranger's voice came through the door, "What is going on in there, Jason? Is everything alright?"

"Just fine. Do not worry. Just go back to whatever you do with Trini at this hour," he replied.

"Very well," Billy remarked snappily, his footsteps assuring his departure.

Returning his attention to Shannon, he listened as she held her head in her hands and took in deep heavy breaths of oxygen. "I am sorry," she glanced up at her husband.

"It is of no loss. Though, I would like to know why you had to make that rather loud outburst," the Element Ranger cocked his head teasingly at his wife.

Lying back down in the bed, Shannon answered slowly. "I saw him. I saw Syryn. I could feel everything he felt," she paused as a snarl grew upon her lips, "SHE was with him."

Jason hovered over her partially naked body. "Kimberly?"

She nodded her head in agreement. "Kimberly," she spat.

"So what happened?"

"They kissed and then I woke up," Shannon told bluntly.

"They kissed?" Jason queried skeptically.

The White Zeo Ranger frowned. "Yes, they kissed. Do I need to elaborate every single movement they made with their lips and tongues or can you just use your imagination, my love?" she teased him.

"It would be nice for you to show me an example," he jested, but stopped when she gave him a darting look. "Why are you so worried because they kissed? It is not the end of life as we know it, Gorgeous."

Shannon sighed, pressing a hand to her rapidly growing stomach. "I sincerely do not know, Jason. It is not as if they are going to find love with each other, right?"

"Impossible," he laid down next to her on the bed. "Now, go back to sleep. You need your rest."

"As you wish," she slowly began to close her eyes, when her conscience stepped in and reminded *Nothing is impossible....*

* * *

Feeling his tongue slide into her mouth, Kimberly quickly responded by pulling away from the kiss she was sharing with Tommy. "Is everything all right, Kim?" he questioned with uncertainty.

"No," she voiced strongly, "I know that kiss wasn't meant for me."

"What?" the teenager was startled by the girl's words. "Of course it was meant for you. You are Kimberly Ann Hart, right?"

She nodded her head. "No, that's not what I meant. Your brain may have been registering Kimberly during that kiss, but your mouth was identifying Shannon," she lifted a hand up before he could speak, "And I could tell because you tongued me. Never in our two-year relationship did you EVER tongue me in any way. The only person who has tongued me is Jason."

The Zeo Ranger turned his head away in shame. "I'm sorry, Kim. I should have known better."

"It's okay," she smiled half-heartedly.

Before Tommy could protest her solemn reply, his communicator rang the usually ominous six-note tone. "Tommy here," he responded, holding his wrist up to his mouth.

"Tommy, Tam here. Justin and I were just working on rewiring the consoles here in the Power Chamber when some guy claiming to be working with the Astro Rangers teleported in here. He's asking to speak with Syryn; I believe that's your cue to get on up here," Tamara's voice came from the device.

"Hold on a second," he covered the speaker with his hand. "Can you stay here with the kids while I go up there, Kim?"

A smile slightly brightened her dreary features. "I'd love to," she agreed easily.

Removing his hand, he began to speak, "I'll be down there in a minute, Tam. Just sit tight."

Cutting the connection, the descendant of Syryn stood up from the sofa. "Thank you Kim," he whispered, disappearing into a red light.

"No," she stared at the spot where he disappeared from, "thank YOU............"

* * *

"Can you not point that in my direction?" Zhane requested dryly as Justin kept the auto-blaster trained on him.

"No," the Blue Ranger snapped back.

"Tommy's on his way," Tamara faced the boy, clipping her communicator back onto her wrist.

"Hey," the believed traitor called to the two teenagers, "What happened here?"

"We had an accident," Tommy's voice joined their conversation as he walked down the flight of stairs that lead up to the living quarters. He glanced at Zhane, then at Justin. "Are you sure your back-up teleporter is working right, Justin? I ended up landing up in the living quarters for some reason."

Moving towards on of the rewired consoles, he checked the systems quickly. "The computer says it's working right, but then again, I'm not Zordon so I really don't know diddly."

Tommy smiled at the younger ranger's quirky response. "You're Syryn?" Zhane finally spoke up, awed by the Red Zeo Ranger's presence.

"Syryn, Tommy, Red Zeo Ranger," he listed off a few of his alias', "whatever you want to call me, I'm the same person."

"Good," the ex-Astro Ranger moved now that Justin wasn't targeting him. "I know this may sound like the most insane story you have ever heard, Syryn, but please hear me out."

"All right."

Immediately, the blonde sent a mental prayer up to Lady Of The Sun. "I am Zhane, the Silver Astro Ranger of Cindaria," he paused for a long moment, leading up to his story. "About two years ago, the assassin and bounty-hunter Scorpina, was hired by Darkonda, who is Dark Specter's right hand man. She was sent to Cindaria to gain top secret government information on our defenses and information on our progress of developing new rangers; the five Astro Rangers that you now know. At the time, I was the only official ranger and I worked closely with our Monarch, Cyane."

"Cyane?" Tommy queried curiously. "Isn't she Jenna's mother?"

Zhane nodded his head and continued. "So since I had that close connection, Scorpina decided to seduce me to gain the information; and seduce me she did. We fell in love and no one knew until I told Karone. It was my error, for I was bragging about it to her one night after drinking one too many glasses of Triforian Telax; something quite similar to your Earth whiskey. I was immediately tried for treason and perjury among other things and then things started to get complicated.

"In the eyes of the Cindarien race, I was a traitor. Obviously because of that I thought I would get the highest charge possibly given, rapid aging death; but it was not to be. Cyane, among all people, redeemed me; telling me it was a mistake, a mistake to learn from. So instead, speculation was let out that I had been imprisoned in jail for the rest of my life, which did not happen. I became a kind of spy for both the Eltarien and Cindarien governments.

"Now, two years later, I still work as a spy of sorts. I have fallen out of love with Scorpina, so I am not here to see her. Information was leaked to the Eltarien government earlier this week of the possibility of Calypso being alive; reincarnated, but into an evil vessel. Now, that this is true, I need your help," Zhane ended his story with a plea.

"How do I know you're not lying?" the Zeo Ranger asked. "Besides, if you were telling the truth we really wouldn't be ANY help. We're in so much shit as it is, we can't afford to take on anymore," the words flew from Tommy's mouth before he could even think.

"You have to trust my word and I know you are in trouble. Your Power Chamber is partly in ruins and half of your team is working along side with Calypso," the Silver Ranger stopped, then threw in, "Including Artemis."

Tommy cringed at his last two words. "But there is help on the way. The Astro Rangers are coming here to join me here; they are supposedly in pursuit of me. And I can have Andros back up all that I have said as the truth when they do arrive," Zhane insisted desperately.

Tommy gazed over at the two Turbo Rangers with a look that asked, "Should we trust him?"

Tamara slowly nodded her head. "We really don't have a choice, do we?"

* * *

It wasn't until late that Sunday morning, Tommy was able to escape from the Power Chamber; he had given his sister and Justin a break from their work and began to piece together the communications system from scratch with the helpful hand of Zhane.

*It was fun* Tommy recalled he materialized from his red streak in his bedroom *He had some interesting stories to say the least; especially that one about how he first met Shannon. I've gotta ask Sweetcheeks about that one after we get her back. It's really too bad Rocky and Tanya came to give us a break.*

Continuing to remove his red sweatshirt, he suddenly stopped and realized what he had just thought. "After we get her back..." he mused, a smile creeping up on his face.

Throwing his sweatshirt onto the clean bed, Tommy quickly changed into clean clothes and ran out into the hall.

Noticing all the doors closed to the rooms he figured neither Caroline, Makala, or Sean were up yet; which was actually quite strange because the twins always managed to wake up right before the crack of dawn. Making his way into the living room, he found an even more precious sight.

Curled up into a fetal position under a blanket, Kimberly was sound asleep; Caroline's stuffed unicorn, Paris, gripped tightly in her arms. "Kim?" he whispered quietly, trying not to startle her. "Kimberly?"

Before he could proceed to wake the Purple Ranger up, his communicator went off again. "Tommy here," he responded, moving into the kitchen so not to disturb the sleeping girl.

"Tommy, it's Tanya," her voice sounded fast and frantic, which caused his brows to furrow in worry. "We have sensors partially working and we're detecting something down in Japantown."


"We have no clue whatsoever."

"All right," Tommy allowed after a moment of consideration. "Get everyone down there now and I don't care if they're sleeping in; that means you and Rocky too. Zhane can handle the Power Chamber."

"Are you sure?" there was slight skepticism in the Yellow Ranger's voice.

"Absolutely," he assured her; something in him was telling him to trust Zhane by his face value. "Tommy out."

Cutting the connection, the Red Ranger peeked out the kitchen door to see Kimberly still fast asleep. Smiling to himself, he struck a stance and shouted, "Zeo Ninja, Star!"

Quickly changing from his civilian clothes to his Ninja garb he teleported away in a red light.

* * *

"Was it really necessary for me to come along, Jason?" Shannon moaned as she painfully stood next to her husband in the middle of a deserted part of Angel Grove's Japantown.

"Necessary indeed, my love," he slipped an arm behind her back helping her support her stomach, which had grown twice as large as it was the day before. "Not only does the mistress demand it, but I order it. We must show your tormentor that there is no chance of you returning to him."

"Where are the others?" she queried crankily.

"They are speaking with Mistress; we will join them soon once our business here is finished with."

"Good," she frowned, then smiled when twelve lights set around the couple in a circle. "Looks like they finally arrived."

Watching the streaks materialize with interest, Jason tightened his grip around Shannon protectively. "Jason?" Adam muttered from under his cloth covering his mouth.

"Shannon?" Tommy's eyes went straight to her stomach and then went wide with surprise at how large it was.

"Yes, Syryn?" Shannon grinned wickedly, not even calling Tommy by his real name.

"What are you doing here?" Tanya awed at the two for their guts to stand out in the open without protection.

"We just wanted to show you just HOW real Shannon's pregnancy is," Jason replied. "Though I was hoping for a scream of pure horror from Kimberly, but she seems to not be here."

"That's right," Tommy immediately turned to ice. "I'm glad I made sure she stayed away from here now."

"YOU KISSED HER!" the White Zeo Ranger lashed out at him all of a sudden. "YOU KISSED HER LAST NIGHT! I FUCKING FELT IT! SO DO NOT DENY ME!"

He shrugged at the words being screamed at him. "So I did, Artemis," he snapped back. "Why do you even care?"

"Because I do!" the brunette cried in her rage and she directed her finger in Tommy's direction, shooting him straight on with a bolt of pure light.

Flying back thirty feet, he landed with a grunt of pain. "Shannon! What are you doing?" Camellia Kaze shouted at her sister.

"What does it look like I did," she yapped at the younger girl. "I just blew Syryn away."

Jason looked around himself at the twelve still figures and the moaning red one farther away. "We must go," he suddenly insisted, the words flying from his mouth. "We can take care of them later, Shannon."

"As you wish, Jason," she whispered, turning her darting glare Tommy's way. "I will be back for you, Syryn."

Snapping their fingers they disappeared within columns of red and white.

* * *

While they were facing down Shannon and Jason, Kimberly who was oblivious to the meeting, woke up from her deep and peaceful sleep; finding the stuffed unicorn in her grip.

Smiling, she pushed it aside and sat up on the sofa. For a few moments she just sat there, with a bemused smile on her face; it felt good to have a peaceful slumber after so many nightmares. Especially since he mind wasn't on Jason for the first time in a long time.

Instead, her mind was on Tommy Oliver. Even though she pushed him away when he had kissed her earlier that morning, there was no denying herself that she enjoyed it. Kimberly had never realized he played 'tonsil hockey' so well. She had never got the chance unfortunately.

"I wonder what it would have been like," she mused while spotting a photo album lying carelessly on the table in front of her.

Picking it up, she began to flip through it aimlessly. At the beginning were pictures of the gang when they were juniors at Angel Grove High; before she left but after Jason, Trini and Zack left for the Peace Conference. One picture seemed to catch her attention though. It was of her and Tommy that one Christmas when everything was perfect for her. Tommy was the White Ranger, they were Ninjetti and she was delusionally in love with him. "Would it have worked?" she queried herself.

Still flipping through the album, she began to see pictures of the Zeo Rangers before Zesta. She didn't bother to look at those pictures for long. But after awhile the pictures started to include Shannon in them; and Kimberly slowed her page flipping pace, examining each picture with some detail. "What if Shannon hadn't come back?" Kimberly asked herself again.

Still looking at the pictures, the end of the album was decked with baby pictures of Caroline, Makala and Sean as well as older pictures of Caroline. That was when realization stuck the Purple Ranger like lighting. "It wouldn't have worked no matter what," she whispered to herself, deflating her own high hopes. "He has a family; and no matter how hard I could try I wouldn't be able to replace Shannon as Tommy's wife or as mother to his children. I wasn't destined for that road."

Closing the album on a sad note, the girl muttered, "I guess some broken wings are just impossible to heal......................."

The End... for now
To Be Continued In "A Child's Innocence"