Note: * Suzy beta-read this! Just thought I'd let you all know! ;) This is the fourth part of a five-part mini-series. This story is in no way related to the Whitney Houston song, "One Moment In Time". The title may be the same, but this is a DIFFERENT "One Moment In Time". ;) Oh and mushy thanks to Jake for giving me the wonderful idea for the video log. ^_^ You're such a great bud. :)

One Moment In Time
Chapter Eighty: "Suicide"
Written By: WhiteZeo

"And I have the sense to recognize
That I don't know how to let you go
I don't know how to let you go"

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

"Not today, Adam. The Red Zeo Ranger will NOT live to fight another day, as far as I'm concerned................."

Katherine Hillard's {Kat} legs nearly gave out from under her as she listened to Tommy Oliver's strangled and heartbroken voice speak. "No, Tommy! Don't do it! Please!" she cried out desperately, breaking the silence that had followed her friend's statement. "We will get Shannon back!"

Tommy rolled his eyes at her pleading. "When Kat? How?" he asked her simply. "You can say those words so many times and yet they will never mean anything until you can actually prove them. Can you prove your claim to be true, Kat?"

A silence befell the Pink Zeo Ranger; she knew she couldn't prove it. "No, I can't," she told him, edging ever so closely to the suicidal Power Ranger. "We can always try though."

"NO!" he shook his head vigorously, forcing himself farther away from his group of friends rallied in a half circle around him. "I am sick of trying and failing! She taunts me! I don't want that fucking pain anymore!"

"Wait!" everyone suddenly turned to face Adam Park. "I think I can prove it, Tommy. Just give us one hour to get the proof."

A glint of curiosity appeared in the teenager's eyes at the Zeo Ranger's proposal. "One hour?" Tommy repeated skeptically.

Adam grinned nervously under his helmet. "One hour," he assured, his voice never wavering.

"Fine then," he agreed, moving his sword away from his abdomen. "Meet me at Angel Grove Waterfalls in one hour," he glanced at his watch strapped to his wrist. "Five o'clock."

Swallowing hard, the Green Ranger nodded his head and watched as his leader teleported away from the top of the grassy hill.

"How are we gonna get evidence that we can free Shannon, Adam?!?!" Rocky DeSantos threw his hands up into the air as he placed his helmet down on the Power Chamber's computer console.

"We aren't," Adam replied cryptically. "We are going to make it LOOK like what we have is the real deal of proof; if he falls for it, then all we have to do is bring him back here."

Tamara Oliver walked up to her brother's friend. "If he doesn't fall for it?" she told, her eyes locking a gaze with Adam's. "What then?"

"You will be forced to bring him here against his will," Alpha Five answered, causing everyone to face the robot. "We can't let Tommy kill himself. He isn't destined for that."

"He's been suicidal like this before," Tanya Sloan whispered, remembering the fateful day that she and Adam had stopped the Red Zeo Ranger from taking the huge plunge off the edge of Angel Grove Bluff. "I mean, it's not a one day deal where he decides that it's all not worth it anymore. Tommy's like a volcano; he'll hold everything inside of himself until he's absolutely ready to explode. Then, he'll let everything out.'"

"But this time, his encounter with Shannon acted like a catalyst," Justin Stewart continued, understanding the Yellow Ranger's line of thought. "She triggered his eruption."

"Exactly," Tanya acknowledged the younger teenager's words. "We need a cork, in a sense. We need something that can plug the top of Tommy's volcano for a few minutes," she sighed, frowning, "Hopefully, maybe something that can stop him for more than a few minutes."

"That's where our 'fake' proof comes into play," Adam chimed in. "We need something that we can use to lure him in; so then if he doesn't bite we can grab him in an instant."

Liyah Hillard shook her head sadly, listening to her fellow rangers talk. "Geez, you guys. It sounds like we're talking about Tommy like he's some kind of wild animal on a rampage or something."

"That's it, though," Camellia Kaze responded to the Red Turbo Ranger's remark. "Tommy is kinda like an animal when he's his angry or in pain like he is now. He doesn't listen to common reasoning or his conscience; he goes on his gut instinct."

"So what are we gonna do?" Ryan Park inquired. "What proof are we gonna be able to get one hour?"

A smile lit Adam's face momentarily. "We're gonna get some proof that'll make Tommy think twice......................."

Shannon Oliver danced around her quarters with a giggling and gurgling Nautica Jillian Scott in arms.

She was happy; Shannon was, that is. She was ecstatic beyond comprehension. She had felt him take in his last foreboding and strangled breath even though she had blocked their telepathic link. It was like something heavy had been taken off the White Zeo Ranger's chest. Proclaiming it one more time, she couldn't help but laugh it out.

"Tommy's dead!" she laughed in utter happiness, causing Nautica to break out into another fit of baby giggles. "He is dead! He is dead! He is DEAD!"

"No," another voice broke in, "He is not dead; at least not yet."

Turning around, the brunette saw Jason Lee Scott standing in the doorway of the room; a scowl lightly touching the features of his face. "I was not able to finish him off and the rangers interrupted before he could kill himself," Jason explained, closing the door behind him and moving towards his wife. "I was so close, but then they HAD to interfere!"

Shannon instantaneously stopped laughing and stared at him; not angrily, but more surprised. "I thought you said you had him!" she insisted, stomping her foot down onto the ground. "It was supposed to be done with! I felt him take his last breath!"

"Yeah, you felt him take his last breath," Jason scoffed, removing Nautica from the brunette's arms. "His last damn breath before the rangers came!"

"What are you going to do about it?"

"What can I do about it?" he reversed the question. "I have no plan and I have no orders. I will just let the dramatic ending play out on its own."

"But we have to be part of his death somehow!" the White Ranger cried stubbornly, "I NEED to have a connection to his death."

Jason rolled his eyes as he sat down on their bed. "Get a grip, Shannon," he hushed his wife, while bouncing his daughter up and down in his arms. "You are a part of his death! You were the one who caused him to snap, thus leading to his death, however it may be."

Remembering the facts, a smile highlighted the young mother's face. "Oh yeah!"

"You must be kidding?!?!" Troy questioned, quite shocked at what Calypso was planning on executing. "You would think by now Scorpio would know who killed Scorpina and is looking to kill YOU!"

Cassie Chan nodded mutely at the Black Astro Ranger's outburst. "It's something Zhane and I have come to agreement on; we're both willing to take that chance."

"We would need to tell the Earth Rangers what we are planning, would we not?" Karone asked, running her hand through her blond hair; which was a sign of slight nervousness for the Yellow Astro Ranger.

"We would," Zhane answered, sticking his hands into his pockets. "It would not be as much of a problem as it was this time though. They know what I am here for, but we will have to explain how Cassie is here."

"It will not be that hard," Andros reassured his four teammates, "They are a lot more understanding and open-minded about things like this than other ranger teams."

Jenna nodded her head silently to acknowledge Andros' words.

"We are receiving a hail from the Power Chamber, Andros," D.E.C.A. informed the leader of the Astro Rangers, "It is audio only."

"Put it on speakers," Andros ordered the online computer. "This is Andros. Who is it?"

"Andros," the voice came out slightly crackled. "It's me, Adam. We kinda have a crisis down her and we need your help."

"What kind of crisis?" Karone chimed for her brother.

"Well, Shannon and Jason came to Angel Grove earlier with their baby and attacked Tommy. He's gone over the edge now; he wants to commit suicide," Adam's voice paused for a moment as background conversation was heard. "Sorry about that. We had to convince Tommy that we have solid proof that Shannon could be freed from the spell she's under."

"Do you have solid evidence?" Davius queried.

There was a long pause on the other side of the communication. "Not really," the Green Zeo Ranger breathed. "That's why we're calling you. We need your help to come up with some kind of faulty proof; proof that will just trick Tommy for a second so we can restrain him."

"Why do you not teleport up here and we can work on that," Jenna suggested. "I think I know what you may want to use as proof."

"What?" Adam's voice inquired.

"Just come up to the Astro MegaShip and we can talk about," Jenna simply explained. "MegaShip out."

Turning back to face her teammates, Andros let out a small laugh at his wife. "You certainly took charge of that situation," he remarked.

"I did, did I not?" the Pink Ranger smugly agreed. "Now, why do we not deal with OUR problem............."

"...And to the day she died, Scorpina fought with valiance and honor serving the darkness as well as for her Mistress and Lady," Scorpio intoned, her head bowed towards the roaring fire standing before her. "Scorpina gave her life for the darkness and we all support her in her quest through the underworld."

As the villainess finished her speech, two other black-cloaked figures nodded their heads and murmured, "We do follow her through death."

Moving her hand to her into one of her pockets on the black cloak, Scorpio pulled out a small package and poured its contents into her open palm. "I do follow her through death," she acknowledged and then blew the powdery dust into the billowing red flames.

A short time of silence followed Scorpio's words, before one of the cloaked figures removed their hood and sighed. "It is a true shame that she had to die," Rita Repulsa frowned, watching some of the ashes from the fire float up into the night sky. "She was a good warrior and a good friend."

"Indeed she was Rita," the other woman agreed, walking over to her niece. "What do you believe, Zedd?"

Lord Zedd removed his own black hood and gazed in his aunt's direction. "She was a good warrior; very loyal. She most definitely knew where her faith was."

"Her faith was in who would give her a chance," Scorpio remarked, joining the two other villains just outside the dungeons in the Netherlands. "It is unfortunate that we could not find any of her other 'employers'," a smile touched her features for a moment, "I hear Darkonda is filing a formal protest with the Alliance of Evil against our family line."

"Darkonda would not be caught dead with a member our bloodline," Rita scoffed, rolling her brown eyes. "He claims that our family line is not loyal to the Lady; even AFTER his stint as Grandfather's 'loyal' lackey!"

"Perhaps; but if he wasn't all the way out on the other side of the universe Darkonda would most likely come and join us in this ritual," the skinless man speculated. "After all, he is one of the most strongest believers in the old ways."

"Does he forget that half our of line resides on the Alliance of Evil Council?" Scorpio laughed, surprised by Darkonda's dumbness. "Filing a protest will get him nowhere!"

"True," the younger villainess nodded her head, taking the moment to stare up at the stars. "But then again, Grandfather is on his way here, you are here, my father is here and Auora is out in the middle of the universe gathering everyone. Right now, we have no real power on that council."

Scorpio dismissed Rita's point with a wave of her hand. "I could care less right now," she puffed, her red eyes glittering from the light of the fire. "All I want to get my hands on Calypso's neck and ring it a thousand times over until she lies dead before me. That little bitch played me for a fool and that I will not tolerate!"

Chapter Eighty-One: "There Are Many Ways To Worry"

"So what kind of proof did you have in mind?" Tamara inquired Jenna as Adam and her walked down the corridors of the Astro MegaShip with the Pink Astro Ranger. "It's gotta be something good enough to fool Tommy; and not a lot of stuff gets past him."

"Do not worry," the red head tried to calm the quivering voice of the young Turbo Ranger. "I learned this trick from my mother. The evidence will be as solid as we can find."

"Yeah, Tam," the Green Ranger placed a comforting hand on the girl's shoulder. "Have some faith. We'll get Tommy back safe and sound."

*You are very strong, Adam* a voice whispered in Adam's mind.

*What?* he spoke mentally *Who are you?*

As they kept walking down the corridor, a small chuckle erupted from Jenna and the Asian man gave her a strange glance. *It is I, Adam. Jenna. I am speaking to you telepathically* she explained, locking a moment's gaze with the other ranger.

*How can you 'speak' to me?*

*All Cindariens have the ability of telepathy, as well as telekinesis. You did not know this?*

Rounding a corner, Adam began to reply her. *Nope, I didn't* he paused, recalling what Jenna had first said *What is, 'I am strong' supposed to mean?*

*It means exactly what I said* she gave him a soft smile *You are very strong of the heart. You push your feelings aside to watch over others' feelings. It is a noble act to do; people like you are held in the highest respects in our culture.*

*It's really nothing* he shuffled his feet absently as they entered the security room of the MegaShip.

Finding their way to the back of the large room, they stopped in front of a large vault door while the Pink Astro Ranger keyed in the codes on the access panel. *It is more than nothing, Adam. With our temporary telepathic link, I am able to feel your dull aches of hurt in your heart; you feel as if you let Syryn down, do you not? That it is your fault that everything has happened the way it has, correct?*

Watching her finish punching the codes, the three of them heard D.E.C.A.'s voice announce their 'intrusion'. "The Astro MegaShip's security video vault has been activated by the sanction of the Pink Astro Ranger; Red Astro Ranger please confirm," the computer requested pleasantly.

Seconds later, Andros' voice could be heard on ship-wide communications. "The sanction of the Pink Astro Ranger is confirmed; Authorization Red Astro Ranger: Delta Two Three Gamma Five."

"Authorization of sanction is accepted," the on-board computer reported. "Astro MegaShip's security video vault is now open."

*You're right about everything, Jenna* Adam admitted as the five-month pregnant woman pushed the vault door open *It is my fault that everything has all turned out like this.*

*How so?* she questioned him, while ushering Tamara and him into the vault.

*If I had been able to stop Scorpina, maybe things wouldn't have dominoed...*

Jenna nodded her head as they walked through the aisles and aisles of security camera tapes. *Scorpina is dead, Adam* she stated mentally, halting her walk and flipping through a shelf of video tapes *Zhane killed her after she attacked Calypso.*

Adam stood in complete shock at her news.

While Jenna, Adam and Tamara were off in one part of the ship, Karone and Camellia were in the Simudeck talking; the subject was Shannon.

The parameters of the Simudeck had been programmed so that they were sitting in Karone's bedroom on KO-35. The bedroom was decorated cheerfully with bright and happy colors. In one corner was a beautiful dresser that looked like it had been made from a material similar to cherry wood and in the opposite corner to it there was a hanging hammock filled with many varieties of patterned throw pillows. Along the walls, were framed pictures, posters and awards. Centered in the middle of the room was the Yellow Astro Ranger's bed, where the two sisters were tentatively sitting.

"Wow," Camellia awed at the room. "You really like to decorate, don't you?"

"When I was in school, I had a job as an artisan's apprentice," Karone explained. "I guess that is why I like to do many things with art; interior decorating is just one facet of my love in art," she smiled gently, then changed the subject. "Besides that, I am curious to know: What is Artemis like?"

"What is Shannon like?" the Turbo Ranger repeated hesitantly, swallowing hard. "Shannon is great; she's a butt, but she's absolutely great. She cares a lot and she's a great big sister. Even when I pester her to the max, she's still there; just waiting," tears began to blur the brunette's vision. "She knows just how to cheer people up and she always knows exactly what's wrong."

A tear trickled down Camellia's cheek and she caught it with her hand. "We do not have to talk about this if you do not want to," the older woman quickly told.

"No," the fourteen-year old insisted. "I want to talk about her; it's the least I can do," she paused momentarily, blinking more tears away from her eyes, "Shannon is a butt, for sure she is. She as well as being a totally caring person, Shannon is head-strong and stubborn; I guess she gets that from Tommy or something," she chuckled lightly. "I love her nonetheless though. She took care of me during the hard times; she was my second mom in a certain sense."

"That is the same way Andros is with me," Karone agreed. "He is this kind of caring and compassionate person. He watches out for me, even when I do not need to be watched. He makes sure nothing happens to me and everything happens to him," she laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling of the room for a long moment. "He always protects me and I have never done anything for him. I feel like I am using him in a weird way."

The Yellow Turbo Ranger gave her a grin. "Not surprising," she nodded her head. "He seems like the protective type; the way he hovers around Jenna is a dead giveaway."

Karone laughed quietly. "I will agree with you on that one," she clasped her hands and laid them on her stomach, giving a slight sigh. "We must get Artemis back, Camellia. I want to get to know her and find out what I missed out on."

"How is Lady Dimitria your mother and my mother anyway?" the brunette asked, lying down next to her older sister. "I mean, we were born on different planets!"

The blonde girl immediately shot up into a sitting position and turned to look at the Turbo Ranger. "Mother does not like to talk about that subject," she murmured, slightly embarrassed.

"What?" Camellia stared at her blood sister strangely. "Why doesn't she like to talk about it?"

Karone's blue eyes glittered for a moment, before she answered. "She just refuses to speak of it," the Astro Ranger stopped speaking for a moment, "You could say that Mother is a very...Private person; she prefers not to open her history up for everyone to know."


"Kim, please calm down," Rocky pleaded with Kimberly Ann Hart. "We had no idea he was going to do what he did."

Kimberly stood up from the sofa and paced the living room of Tommy's house. "You had no idea because you don't know what has been happening to him the last two weeks!" She glared at the Blue Ranger. "He's not well."

"I think we ALL know that by now, Kim," he barked back at her. "Besides, how would we know what was happening to him? You two keep so much to yourselves, it's like you guys are trying to exclude us from your life or something!"

"Well, in a way, we are!" the Purple Ranger growled, stopping directly in front of Rocky. "You guys don't know what it's like being in our situation! You couldn't possibly imagine it! All you do is pity us, and we don't WANT your pity!"

Reaching her peak, the petite girl combusted into tears on the spot. "Shhh, shhh," Rocky gathered Kimberly into his arms and began to rock her back and forth. "We all know we don't know what it's like to be in your shoes, but we want to know; we want to help you two," he paused, as she looked up at him. "You two are our friends. We don't like seeing either of you in so much pain."

"It's so hard, Rocky," she insisted, still sobbing. "It feels like someone has torn me in half and is trying to put me back together without the other part! Whenever I think about it I want to..." Kimberly trailed off, unable to find the word she was looking for.

"We'll get them back; we won't give up until there with us again," the Zeo Ranger comforted his friend, wiping away her tears with his gloved hand. "Do you have the time?"

Bringing her wrist up, the brunette glanced at her watch. "It's four-thirty. Why do you want to know?"

"We only have a half-hour left to get that evidence I was telling you about," Rocky explained quickly, reaching down to kiss the Purple Ranger gently on the cheek. "I've gotta go now."

"Call me when you get him safe and sound, alright?"

He gave her a reassuring grin. "Of course," he promised, backing away from Kimberly. "You just hang in there and keep all your prayers for him."

She returned the grin with a small smile. "I will," she acknowledged.

Rocky placed his hands on his belt buckle and disappeared within a blue flash of light.

Shannon woke up from her tortured sleep with a start.

Even though it really wasn't nighttime yet, both Shannon and Jason had decided to get some well-needed sleep; after all, Nautica wasn't a perfect child.

Now, about half-hour into her nap, she nearly woke up screaming. It was a nightmare. Everything was happening so fast; so quickly. She wanted it to slow down. She needed it to slow down!

Pushing her bed covers off of her nude body, Shannon climbed out of the bed and opened her closet. Grabbing a white tunic and pants off of the top shelf in the small room, the evil ranger quickly got dressed and proceeded to leave the chambers without one look back.

*What is wrong with me?* she mentally yelled at herself as she strode down the corridors of the dungeon *I am a woman in power. I practically have half of the universe's population in allegiance with me due to the fact that they all worship my ancestor's memory within me!*

Rounding the corner, she paused in her thoughts temporarily. *Yet I am still living my life with fear. Fear of what? Do I fear death? Or maybe life? Possibly even pain?*

Then, she heard a voice through her carelessly left open telepathic connection. *No one's gonna catch me off-guard this time. I'm prepared for anything.*

"Tommy..." she whispered snidely, instantly disappearing into a flash of white light.

She was gone now. She had found her fear.


"It is getting late, Scorpio."

"I know that," Scorpio hissed venomously at the voice. "I am not finished with the ritual yet."

A pair of arms wrapped around the cloaked woman's abdomen as she stood in front of the burning remains of her general during the early night. "I believe you are finished, Scorpio," he whispered, his breath on her neck, "Rita and Zedd have already left, why do you not?"

Obviously upset, she ripped the Phantom Ranger's arms off of her body and slapped him straight across the cheek. "I am in no mood for seduction, Phantom; you, of all people, should know that," Scorpio snapped, a snarl growing up her lips.

He stared at her in surprise. "I have never seen you like this," he insisted, backing away from his lover, "I have never seen you so bruised; so angry."

"I was fooled by Calypso, Phantom," she yapped, her hood hiding the tears that had began to trickle down her bare skin, "I do believe I have every right to be angry."

"No, it is not that," the evil ranger nodded his head, then gazed into the flaming fire for a moment. "It is almost as if you are...Mourning Scorpina's death," he spoke with a tainted intrigue in his voice.

The raven-haired villainess emitted a low feral growl towards her companion. "Leave," she commanded, gazing directly into the fiery flames before her.


She quickly turned to the Phantom Ranger, her hood falling from her face. "Leave, NOW!" she repeated the command with menace, her bloodshot eyes reinforcing her words.

Very much alarmed, the Phantom simply gave a nod of his head and faded into the night.

As soon as he had left, Scorpio began to speak to the fire in a hushed tone, as if it was Scorpina. "I will avenge your death Scorpina," she promised fully. "Calypso and Zhane will eventually come back to finish their mission, whatever it is, and I will be waiting for them with OPEN arms..."

*What do you mean, 'Scorpina's dead'?* Adam consciously asked as Jenna pulled one of the video tapes off of the rack.

*Just what it sounds like* she told him. "I've got the tape I need; now for the editing part of it," the red head started to move towards the very back of the vault.

"What's back there?" Tamara queried; hanging on the Pink Ranger's every word.

"The microputer, the computer and every other device we are going to need to make a fake video log," she replied, revealing her idea to the two rangers.

*How did she die, Jenna?* the Green Ranger inquired, still in part shock.

*She was about to stab Calypso with her stinger but Zhane stopped her in time* Jenna thought back *She died instantly, I do believe.*

Making their way to the back of the vault, the red head took a seat at a table covered in video editing equipment and then some. "Okay," she leaned back in the chair and set her hands onto the microputer's keyboard, "Go ahead and sit back and relax. This will only take a few minutes to edit."

Chapter Eighty-Two: "Hitting A Nerve"

Tommy wandered absently through Angel Grove Forest, the sword Jason had left behind held tightly in his hands. *No one's gonna catch me off-guard this time* he told himself mentally *I'm prepared for anything.*

*How can you be so sure?* another voice coalesced with his own mental voice *You let me into your heart so quickly when you thought I was free of my evil; so na´ve you were. You never doubted me for one moment in time did you?*

*How could I?* Tommy whispered softly *You are my heart. I love you more than my life itself, Shannon. Why can't you remember that?*

Ignoring his questions, Shannon's thoughts spoke to Tommy. *Would you die for me if I wished it, Syryn?*

*No* his answer took Shannon at a surprise *I wouldn't do it for you because you AREN'T yourself. You're some evil manipulating thing that's occupied the body of my wife.*

*Then why do you feel so strongly towards me; I am only a spirit in her body after all, right?*

Staring at the metallic blade of his sword, Tommy eyed his reflection; pondering his wife's last coherent statement. *Answer me!* her voice cried inside his head *I want an ANSWER!*

Refusing to reply her cries of selfishness with mental silence, the Red Ranger launched himself into a kata to blind himself to White Ranger's calls. Unfortunately, that tactic didn't work very well and the next thing he felt was being snap-kicked in the abdomen.

Stumbling backwards into a near by tree, he looked up and saw Shannon standing directly in front of him, staring him down menacingly. "Answer my question, Bastard," she sneered huskily, knocking the sword from his hands. "I DEMAND an answer."

"Why should I?" Tommy stepped closer to the brunette woman. "If I answer you, I'll be acknowledging you that you're evil. And we both know you aren't evil, Shannon; you even said it yourself."

"I never said that!"

He threw a smirk her way. Shannon may not have known it then, but Tommy had caught onto her scent of fear and he was going to use it to his every advantage. "Of course you said it. Remember this, 'You let me into your heart so quickly when you thought I was free of my evil'?"

The Zeo Guardian paled in remembrance.

"Aha!" he pointed his finger straight into her face. "You DO remember saying that!"

She rolled her sky blue eyes at him pathetically. "So what if I do remember?" the evil ranger stuck her nose into the air defiantly. "Are you going to report me to the 'Good' Police?"

"No," Tommy retorted, seizing a hold of her wrist and pulling her closer to his body, "I'm gonna make you remember even more."

Struggling against his firm pull, Shannon found herself forcibly punching her former paramour in the shoulder. "LET...ME...GO!"

"No," he restated his earlier statement and ignoring the dull aches that were starting to surface in his left shoulder, Tommy placed his lips upon hers quickly; dulling his own pains in his aching heart.

Scorpio, sitting at her throne in the throne room, suddenly keeled over in pain as she felt a searing pain rip directly through her skull. Lifting her head up, her red eyes went wide with fear and shock. "ARTEMIS!" she cried loudly, the hollow sound bouncing off the walls of the room. "HOW COULD YOU BETRAY ME?!?!?!"

Her voice curdling in her throat, the villainess fell out of her high perch to the stone floor, unconscious.

Dark green blood oozed from the back of her head.

Jason snapped up in his empty bed, a gigantic pain throbbing inside his head. "Ooo..." he moaned, throwing the blankets off his body and dizzily standing up next to the bed. "What the hell just happened?"

Stumbling towards the closet, the Flame Ranger was able to pull on a pair of pants before he heard the ear-piercing scream of his former mistress. "Go to hell, Scorpio," he muttered absently, pulling his red tunic slowly over his head.

Once dressed, he ran into the adjacent room, grabbed Nautica out of her cradle and ran.

Hunched over a large leather bound book in the dungeon's library, Billy Cranston nearly passed out as a throbbing pain encompassed his head and steadily became more painful. "By the gods..." he groaned, holding his head tightly in his hands; literally trying to squeeze the pain out.

Finally, once the ache began to dull, the Light Ranger threw the enchanted book of spells to the ground and wandered towards the door of the room.

Hesitating for a split second, the blond shoved the wooden gateway open and dashed down the corridors of the dungeon.

"What...Is...Happening?" Trini Kwan grunted, as the brush she had been using to comb her hair clattered to the stone floor of her chambers.

Sliding out of her chair and onto the floor, the Wind Ranger keeled over; a resounding pulse of pain sweeping through her head like someone was hitting her head with a hammer.

Moans emanating from her lips in deadly pain, Trini slowly crawled towards her dresser and pulled herself up with the help of the object.

Wobbling her way over to the door of the room, she opened it and started to run down the corridor.

"Aisha," Zack Taylor removed his lips from his girlfriend's neck as he felt a pulsating pain swept through his head, "Can you feel that?"

Confused, Aisha Campbell gazed down at her boyfriend. "What..." she began to speak, but was cut off when the same sort of pain began thumping in her head also.

Both rolling off of the sofa they had been laying on, they slowly crawled towards the chambers' door opening. Reaching the door first, Zack pulled himself off of the ground with the help of the doorknob and quickly helped the Wave Ranger to her feet also.

Hastily opening the door, both Element Rangers stepped into the hall and right away broke into a stride.

"Scorpio I was thinking..." Electra trailed off as she stepped into the throne room to see her older sister lying on the ground. "SCORPIO!"

Quickly making her way over to her sister, the younger villainess picked her sister's body up and cradled her. "Scorpio?" she softly called, trying to revive the immortal. "Can you hear me, my sister?"

Her red eyes slowly fluttering open, Scorpio stared into her sister's green eyes. "Electra," she gasped, the pain still having a strong grip over her skull, "It was Artemis...She...She..."

"She what?" the blonde humanoid insisted, a flame of burning hate rapidly developing inside of her.

"She betrayed me..." the raven-haired woman trailed off, falling into the deep sleep of unconsciousness again.

Laying her sister down onto the stone gently, Electra clenched her fist tightly. So tight, that her nails were digging into her hand causing blue blood to drip from inside her palm. "That traitorous bitch," she growled ferociously.

"Is Adam back yet?" Rocky called out as he teleported into the Power Chamber.

"No," Justin climbed out from under one of the computer consoles, "but we're definitely in luck!"

Just as the Turbo Ranger spoke, the chamber doors opened and Alpha and Tanya came walking through. "We found the chip," the Yellow Ranger voiced excitedly, a small box clutched in her gloved hand. "It was right where Alpha said it was."

"Thank goodness it was still there," the robot sighed mechanically. "After ten thousand years, I sometimes wonder whether my circuits are functioning properly or not!"

Justin laughed as Tanya handed him the box. "I'm sure you're working just fine, Alpha," he assured, brushing a few stray strands of brown hair out of his eyes.

"What's the box for?" Rocky asked curiously, joining the trio near Zordon's warp tube.

"Here," the young teenager carefully opened the box and picked up a small chip from inside the object. "This little chip is going to get us Zordon back."

The Blue Zeo Ranger's eyes nearly bugged. "That little thing?

"Yup," he repeated, climbing back under the consoles. "What happened was when we had our 'accident', the echo shock from Kim's essence blew out all, if not most, circuitry in the Power Chamber; including the circuitry that controls Zordon's warp tube also."

"Oh," Rocky realized where the boy was going with his explanation, "so Zordon's gone because the circuitry is all haywire; we haven't like lost him forever, right?"

"Exactly right," Justin voiced from underneath the console. "When I put this chip in we should get all systems back up and running again."

Tanya stared at the Power Chamber and frowned. "Everything is so different now," she faced Alpha Five, "It doesn't seem like the same Power Chamber."

The short robot placed a mechanical arm on the Yellow Ranger's shoulder. "There have been many changes for the Power Rangers; just think of this one as a small change."

The Power Chamber hadn't changed very much, but enough to make it look...New. Where the glass cases containing the Morphin' armor had once stood, now stood columns of light; five columns of light, each column a different color representing the five main Morphin' Rangers who had, in an essence, founded the larger team of rangers. Also the Viewing Globe was moved from its inconspicuous spot high above the glass cases to a comfortable height on the left side of Zordon's warp. The diagnostic table was moved as well; now residing next to the Viewing Globe, or now called the Viewing Screen. The consoles, now that they were all fixed, had a new configuration of controls; ones that all the rangers had no trouble understanding.

After a few minutes of patient waiting on both Tanya and Rocky's part, the chip was finally in place. "Go ahead and bring the consoles on-line, Alpha," the Turbo Ranger acknowledged quickly.

"You got it, Justin!" Alpha readily responded, flipping on three small switches on the console in front of him.

As soon as Alpha activated the console, the room began to brighten. The consoles sparkled with lights. The columns of lights in the background glowed with an almost neon light. Zordon's warp gave off a heavenly glow that grew until it encompassed the entire room with its shine.

"Look!" Justin heard Rocky's voice cry as the light faded and he crawled out from underneath the console.

"Wha..." he trailed off as he glanced up towards Zordon's warp tube to see the Eltarien mentor's face residing in its original place. "ZORDON!"

Zordon simply gave the Turbo Ranger a smile. "Hello to you also, Justin."

"We thought we had lost you," the Yellow Ranger muttered, biting her lip feverishly to fend off her tears.

"You should have more faith, Tanya," the ancient Eltarien teased gently. "As long as you have my memory, you have never lost me."

Speechless for a time, Alpha finally spoke up. "Iyaiyaiyai! It is very good to see you again, Zordon!" he belted out happily.

"It is good to see you again also, Alpha," Zordon greeted his faithful friend warmly, then changed the subject. "Have you made any progress with saving Calypso and the other rangers since I have been gone?" His gaze locked onto Rocky, hoping and expecting an answer from the Zeo Ranger.

"We've made progress, but it really doesn't seem like enough," Rocky explained, his thoughts falling back to the issue they were presently dealing with. "As you may remember, we found Shannon was pregnant before the 'accident'. Well, somehow Scorpio managed to accelerate her pregnancy and she had her baby sometime a few days ago; we don't know exactly. Tommy found out and went suicidal, but we were able to stall him by claiming we had proof that we could get Shannon back. Now, Jenna, Adam and Tamara are working on that up on the MegaShip."

"The Astro Rangers are here?"

Justin nodded his head to the Eltarien's question. "They arrived after Zhane came here on a undercover situation," the Blue Turbo Ranger explained while examining all of the newly configured consoles.

"I knew Zhane would come," Zordon mused, earning him three peculiar looks from his rangers.

"What do you mean by that?" Tanya asked confused.

Before he could explain, the alarms suddenly started to blare in the Power Chamber. "The sensors are detecting Artemis' presence in Angel Grove Forest!" Alpha cried out, pushing several different buttons on the consoles.

"Where exactly, Alpha?" the Blue Zeo Ranger was instantly at the robot's side.

"Angel Grove Waterfalls."

"There," Jenna smiled removing the videotape from the video formatter. "It's done; we've got our proof."

"That quick?" Adam arched his eyebrow in amusement as they began to walk towards the exit of the vault.

The Pink Ranger looked to the younger man with a twinkle in her green eyes. "I told you it'd be quick. All we really did was manipulate the images that we had on D.E.C.A. security tapes."

Following her as she walked out the door, Tamara sighed heavily. "I hope it works," she frowned in worry. "Tommy's gone through a lot of misery; I don't want him to go through anymore."

"None of us want him to go through it anymore, Tam," the Green Ranger assured her.

"Are you sure you still want to do this?" Andros asked, as he stood around a table with Cassie and Zhane in the Glider Bay.

"Yes," Zhane quickly replied, taking an Astro Blaster and shoving into a black backpack.

Grabbing a pair of infra-red binoculars and handing them to the Green Ranger, the Red Ranger gave his friend a concerned stare. "I am not sure if I want you two doing this."

"You don't really have a choice when it comes to our execution of this plan," Cassie spoke up, zipping up her pack of weapons. "We're the ones in responsible for getting the job done, you're just a helper along for the ride."

"Along for the RIDE?" Andros repeated the Asian girl's words quizzically, marching away from the table, "You call this a ride?!?! If I had it my way, we wouldn't be in this situation at all; we would not be killing an innocent being!" he insisted, punching the wall in frustration.

The Grid Guardian slung her backpack onto her back and walked up behind the upset Astro Ranger. "Don't be so sure of yourself there, Mister I-don't-think-it's-moral. I'm almost sure if the safety of the entire universe rested on your shoulders you'd be choosing the route we're going," she whispered hotly in his ear, "Deep down, you and I are two of a kind, Andros. We both live to protect our mothers."

Facing Cassie, Andros gave her a perplexed glance. "What do our mothers have to do with anything?"

A silence followed his statement for a short period of time before the three Power Rangers slowly began to burst into peals of contagious laughter. "You know what I mean; we both live to protect our people," Cassie clarified with a light voice.

Nodding, Andros simply grinned. "Yeah, I know what you mean," he replied calmly, "I am just worried; the last thing I want to happen is you two getting killed."

"We will not get killed," Zhane assured his best friend, patting him on the back. "We are much to sly to get killed."

"Whatever you say," the Red Ranger mumbled, still unconvinced. "Just be very careful, okay?"

Slinging his backpack onto his shoulders, the Silver Ranger saluted Andros in a joking fashion. "Very well, Sir," he teased in a militaristic voice.

"We'll be back, Andros," Cassie chuckled, watching her boyfriend put on a small production. "After all, with Zhane and his bad jokes we might be back in an hour."

"Hey! My jokes aren't bad!" the blonde protested as they teleported away in streaks of silver and green.

Staring solemnly at the spot where Cassie and Zhane had been standing, the Astro Ranger whispered, "I hope you are right Calypso. I really hope you are right."

The touch of his lips against her own had been the last thing Shannon thought Tommy would do to make her 'remember', as he liked to call it; so since it had been the last thing she was thinking of, the surprise of the kiss was amazing.

Like wild horses needing to run free, the White Zeo Ranger's emotions suddenly broke free from their chains and began to run rampant through her body; making every touch, movement and feeling intensified ten fold.

Along with the emotions, memories came flooding through her mind; memories of goodness and hope. Memories of the light.

Sensing Tommy pulling away from the kiss, Shannon's hand jerked around his neck and drawing him even closer to her. She wanted the moment to last forever. She wanted it to be her one moment in time.

*Sweetcheeks?* her husband's confused mental voice echoed through her mind.

*It's me Oliver* she replied, finally removing from the passionate smooch. Looking deeply into his eyes, she whispered lowly, "I'm back."

Chapter Eighty-Three: "Skepticism Is A Killer"

Striding onto the bridge of MegaShip in silence, Andros headed over to the sensors' console where Davius was standing. "Did they get in safely?" he asked the Blue Astro Ranger.

"Yes," he replied curtly, touching a few of the lit up controls. "We cannot detect them from here on though; they are on their own."

"Good," the brunette nodded his head, moving over to his own console; the trio that had been in the security vault coming onto the bridge at the same time.

"We have got our evidence," Jenna grinned happily, holding up the formatted videotape for her husband to see. "Now all we need to do is meet up with Syryn."

Giving the red head the briefest of glances, Andros returned to look at his console. "D.E.C.A. can you please tell Karone and Camellia to report to the bridge," he ordered the online computer politely.

"Of course," D.E.C.A. responded and went onto call to the two absent rangers.

Noticing the terseness of the Red Ranger's actions, Jenna moved closer to him until she was behind his chair, her hand pinching his shoulder ever so gently. "Did Zhane and Calypso leave yet?"

"Yes," Andros whispered sadly, staring at the view of the Earth on the main screen. "I am very worried about them, Jenna," he reached for her hand and squeezed it with tenderness.

"We all are," Karone voiced as she and Camellia walked onto the bridge, "But we do have other business to worry about; like Syryn's mental well-being."

"Right," he remembered, turning to face Adam and Tamara who were both presently awing over the majestic-looking Earth on the main screen. "D.E.C.A. hail the Power Chamber."

"Hailing the Power Chamber now," D.E.C.A. responded, as a picture of Zordon took over the view of Earth on the main screen.

"Zordon?" the leader of the Astro Rangers gasped incredulously causing everyone to look up at the screen. "You are back!"

"Yes," Zordon replied warmly, but immediately turned the subject to business. "Unfortunately, as much as I wish this call to be of pleasure, I have a feeling it isn't. You have formulated the evidence, correct?"

"Right," Adam spoke up after being silent. "Is Tommy still there?"

The Eltarien nodded his head. "Yes, but you must hurry. The sensors have picked up that Artemis is now with him at the waterfalls."

"I knew she couldn't resist!" the Black Turbo Ranger growled angrily, her hands forming fists.

"You must stop her before she has a chance to manipulate Tommy, Rangers," he informed quite seriously. "I will be sending the other rangers to meet you there. You hurry though; time is of the essence!"

"Very well, Zordon," Andros spoke up for the eight rangers in the room with him. "MegaShip out."

Once the communication was cut, three different morphing calls were let out; literally one after the other.

"It's morphin' time!"

"Shift Into Turbo!"

"Let's Rocket!"

"Zeo Ranger IV, Green!" Adam shouted.

"Dune Star, Turbo Power!" Camellia shouted.

"Black Bolt, Turbo Power!" Tamara shouted.

"Pink Astro Power!" Jenna shouted.

"Yellow Astro Power!" Karone shouted.

"Blue Astro Power!" Davius shouted.

"Black Astro Power!" Troy shouted.

"Red Astro power!" Andros shouted.

Instantly after all the morphing sequences were done, they disappeared within their respective teleportation streaks.

Tommy would have nearly fallen back if Shannon's hand hadn't been wrapped firmly around his neck. His eyes wide, he repeated, "You're back?"

"Of course," the brunette backed away from her husband, smiling widely. "You saved me, Oliver; like you always manage to do," she murmured sensually, caressing his cheek with her fingertips.

Blinking hard, the Zeo Ranger stared at the woman standing before him. She wasn't a clone as far as he could tell; after the Moon Clone, he knew how to tell the differences apart. She wasn't minion in disguise either; no one could put on a smile like the true Shannon could. For some reason though, it didn't feel right to Tommy.

He knew that he should be ecstatically happy, but he wasn't. He was shut off, protecting himself. The Red Ranger wasn't yet perfectly sure that Shannon was to her normal self and he wasn't willing to take the chance in opening up to her like before.

"Olive Oil," Shannon watched as her lover retreated farther away from her, towards the discarded sword lying in the grass, "what's wrong? Is everything all right?"

"I'm fine," Tommy's voice quivered slightly, but went unnoticed by the White Zeo Ranger. "I'm perfectly fine."

Catching gaze of her husband's brown eyes darting from her to the sword, she edged closer towards him. "Are you sure? I mean, maybe we should get back to the Power Chamber," she suggested, her voice smooth and soft.

"No!" he suddenly snapped, grabbing the sword off of the ground and aiming it directly at his abdomen. "Don't come one step closer, you evil whore! You aren't Shannon, you're some evil piece of shit sucking off of her goodness!"

"Tommy!" she cried in fright, eyeing the blade he held to his stomach ominously. "It IS me! You've gotta believe it!"

The descendant of Syryn shut his eyes and nodded his head. "No...I am sick of your seductive hold one me," His eyes shot open, dark and emotionless while his voice turned to cold tone. "You'll never manipulate me again..."

Regarding him with one last pleading look, Shannon stared in horror as her lover and her savior shoved the clean silver blade of the sword directly through his body; the bloodied tip of it sticking out of his spinal cord. "So long, Bitch," he growled his last words heartily at Shannon, red liquid spilling out of his mouth and drooling down his chin.

Watching Tommy's dead body fell to the grass limply, his wife's body continued to tremble viciously. She fell to her knees in front of his corpse and willfully cried, jerking her head back towards the skies while screaming out her infinite loss.


"Thank the gods the dungeons still accepted us," Cassie whispered, pulling her Dragon Dagger out of her backpack. "If it hadn't...Who knows what would have happened!"

"You are starting to sound more and more like Andros, Cassie," Zhane warned quietly, removing his own Astro Blaster from his backpack while the crept carefully down the corridor.

"By the gods forbid!" she teased him in a hushed tone, her brown eyes shining with laughter.

The couple continued to slink down the fairly lit halls of the dungeons in silence. *Do you see anything?* the Silver Astro Ranger queried.

*Nothing but an empty path* the Grid Guardian replied with a casual tone, but quickly stopped in her tracks as she heard hissed whisperings coming from up ahead *Forget what I just said. Vampites are up ahead!*

Frantically looking for a place to hide, Zhane opened the door nearest to him. *In here!* he motioned to the raven-haired woman.

Catching his motion at the very last moment, the Green Ranger literally leapt for the opening as her companion ran in after shutting the door. "By the gods, that was close," Cassie panted, leaning against the door.

"You're telling me," a voice spoke up form the darkness.

Zhane jumped a good two feet off of the ground at the new voice. "Who is there?"

"Relax," another voice calmed the Cindarien while a dim light filled the room. "It's only us."

Holding the light that was radiating from his hand, to his face, the speaker was revealed at Billy. "Are you free from the spell?" Cassie asked incredulously looking around the room at the five Element Rangers.

A second point of light appearing on the other side of the room revealed Jason with a small fire burning in one of his hands and Nautica in his other arm. "Pretty much," he answered the question with a frown. "Shannon did it. She freed us with her kiss."

The Silver Ranger arched his eyebrow. "Her kiss?"

"She spell was sort of like a 'Sleeping Beauty' thing," Aisha explained, from her spot standing next to the Flame Ranger. "Once she kissed Tommy, she broke the spell. Once again, Scorpio was stupid, and connected all our spells to Shannon's; it was a trigger reaction."

"Is that the baby?" the reincarnated Calypso glanced Jason's way at Nautica.

Jason solemnly nodded his head, kissing his child on the cheek. "Her name is Nautica," he informed, locking a tight gaze with Cassie as she stared at the innocent child.

*How can we do this Zhane?* she called mentally, still staring at Nautica *She looks so...At the risk of sounding like Andros, innocent.*

"Why are you two here?" Zack queried, his deep brown eyes glowing in the shadow of Billy's light source. "Scorpio has a bounty on your heads!"

"We are on a mission," Zhane forced out the words, casting his girlfriend a strong glance. "We have to complete it."

Watching the exchanges between the Astro Ranger and Morphin' Ranger extremely carefully, Jason came to an immediate conclusion. "You're here for Nautica," he stated bluntly, clutching his daughter even closer to his body.

"Jason!" Trini gasped incredulously at her leader. "How can you say such a thing!"

Cassie's eyes nearly popped out of her head. "No, we aren't," she stuttered her answer out slowly, to make it seem as if it was the last thought on her mind; that tactic was useless on the former Red Morphin' Ranger unfortunately.

"You can't lie to me, Calypso," he informed her while shaking his head. "The way you look at Nautica...That's all I need to see to know."

Zhane bowed his head down slightly in shame. "We are truly sorry Jason, but we have been told by Lady Sun herself that your daughter is an imminent threat to the survival of goodness," he illustrated, trying to justify their mission in the father's eyes.

"Imminent threat?" Jason's voice quickly rose in anger. "Nautica just a child; MY child! How can she be a threat to goodness?"

"How fast is she growing, Jason?" the Grid Guardian questioned him. "And don't lie to me; I know you know this."

The brunette hesitated for a solitary moment before speaking. "She's slowing down, but Scorpio said she's growing about a year a week," he admitted, breathing a deep sigh.

"How can you say she is not a danger then?" the Silver Ranger inquired. "In the six months she could destroy millions of lives with her wrath!"

Before Jason could protest, the door behind the two spies was blasted open, sending the two flying forward a few feet. "DAMN!" he cursed, turning his head away from the vampites that began to flood the room. "Blast the wall, Billy!"

Hearing his friend's order, the Light Ranger threw an energy blast of his essence at the back wall creating a passageway out of the room. "Come on!" Billy urged, helping Cassie and Zhane up from the rubble-covered floor and through the ragged opening. "This way!"

Crawling over to his fallen body, Shannon forcefully pulled the cold silver sword out of Tommy's torso and threw it as far away from her as she could. "Never again," she whispered, tears trailing down her cheeks.

Then, while cradling his limp corpse in her arms, she pulled him close to her chest; close enough that her nose was buried in his long auburn hair. "Mmmmmm," she sighed sadly after inhaling the scent of her lover. "I can't believe you did it, Tommy. I can't believe you thought I was the demon I hate."

Laying him back onto the ground, the White Ranger looked down at her white tunic now splattered with red blotches of blood from the Red Ranger's large wound that had been pressed against her. She stared at the patterns of red on her clothing for a minute before deciding to take off the shirt completely.

Shannon lifted the tunic over her head slowly and pulled her head out of the neck hole, leaving her nearly topless for the racy red bra she had holding her breasts. "I am so completely vain," she snapped at herself, tugging at one of her bra straps. "Alas, I realize I can only love one man in red."

Taking the shirt top, the Zeo Guardian used it as a rag and wiped some of the blood that had soaked through her tunic off of her stomach; she discarded it by throwing it against a nearby tree. Tears still wetting her cheeks and falling from her eyes, the brunette laid down on the ground next to Tommy's dead body and kissed his cheek. "I didn't mean to drive you to this, Oliver," she told herself confidently. "I truly didn't mean to hurt you."

"Sure you didn't, Shannon," a cold voice cut through her one-sided conversation like ice. "That's why you drove him to the edge, huh?"

Popping up from her 'intimate' position, the Zeo Ranger gazed forward to see a sight she had hoped to see. "Kim!" Shannon excitedly stood up and ran towards her best friend.

"Hold it right there, Bloody Mary," the petite Purple Ranger yapped, aiming her laser pistol at the girl. "Don't come ANYWHERE near me."

"Alright," Shannon agreed, regaining some of her sanity at the sight of the weapon. "You have to believe me though, Kim. I didn't do this to Tommy."

"Oh sure," she muttered from under her helmet. "Then why is evidence so clear. You kissed him and then you killed him," she growled, her glove pressing on the trigger ever so slightly.

Shannon was about to speak up in her own defense, but the she realized something Kimberly shouldn't have known. "How do you know that I kissed him?" the Zeo Ranger questioned, her voice intrigued.

Her grip firmly still on the trigger of her gun, the Sound Ranger began to stutter. "Uh, I...Well..."

"How did you know that he was dead? How did you know that I was here?" A mischievous grin played upon the taller woman's red lips. "I know it's you, Electra, so it isn't any use masquerading as Kimberly anymore," the former evil ranger's voice rang hideously sweet.

Her cover blown, Electra took the laser pistol she was holding and fired directly at Shannon. "TRAITOR!" her screamed loudly, as the girl dodged the onslaught of purple fire.

"Right back at you, Electra!" the White Ranger barked releasing a charge of white energy from her hands; knocking the villainess off of her feet.

With the momentary pause, a voice crept up on Shannon. "Need a hand?"

Turning around, she found herself staring into Rocky's helmet. "Thank the gods!" the brunette flung herself into the arms of the morphed Blue Ranger. "I thought I'd never see you guys again!"

"A little faith goes a long way, Shannon," Tanya teased gently from behind Rocky. "And it's good to see you too."

Chapter Eighty-Four: "Big Bang"

"Trini!" Aisha called as they continued to run down the corridors of the dungeons. "Why don't you get rid of the vampites with your essence!"

"Right!" Trini acknowledged, dropping out of her stride and gathering up a large sphere of yellow energy into her hands. "Play with this!" the Asian teenager hurled her essence at the group of vampites.

Stunned slightly, Electra's minions stumbled back a few feet...And then kept it coming. "Keep GOING!" the Wind Ranger yelled back, as she started to run once again; the shock that her attack had no effect setting in.

Figuring he could divert the vampites if he wasn't part of the fugitive group of rangers, Jason opened one of the passing doors and quickly jumped in, to the surprise of Zack. "Are you sure you want to do that?" the Nature Ranger questioned his leader's motives to the fact that he had Nautica with him and was looking to protect her before anything.

"I'm positive," he assured strongly, pulling the door shut. "Now get going!"

Completely closing the door, the Flame Ranger sighed heavily. "Aren't you the tired one?" a sultry voice came from inside the darkness of the room.

A shiver quickly sped up Jason's spine. "Who's there?"

With a snap of the other person's fingers, the torches inside the room became lit and divulged the voice's owner. "It is just me," Scorpio smiled innocently, the brightness of her red eyes dulled.

Scorpio's former minion literally seethed with anger towards her. "I should've known it was you."

Standing up from the bed she had been laying on, the red head sauntered up to Jason and stroked Nautica's bare cheek with a gentle finger. "She is a calm child, is she not?" Scorpio commented as Jason and Shannon's daughter looked up at the villainess with her ethereal eyes.

"It is the evil she was born to," he replied, shunning the evil woman's hand away from the baby. "She is frightened of nothing."

Scorpio frowned, stepping away from the Element Ranger. "That is fortunate thing for her and a very unfortunate for you."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Jason," Dark Specter's eldest daughter purred softly, reaching out and touching Jason's upper arm tenderly, "you and I both know that Calypso and Zhane are out there in the dungeon running around, hoping to complete their 'mission' successfully, correct?"

Ignoring her obvious ploys at seduction, the Flame Ranger simply listened to the woman's words. "Correct."

"Well," Scorpio paused, tossing her long hair with her hand, "I am just saying that if you left Nautica with me..."

He stepped away from her like she had some kind of lethal disease. "WHAT?!?!" he screamed. "Do you think I'm stupid!"

"...she would be safe," the villainess finished her sentence, silencing the enraged man with her next words, "If she stays with you, she will surely die; Zhane and Calypso would be sure of it. They are much too committed to their cause."

Scorpio watched as flashes of fright and worry passed through Jason's brown eyes. If anything, the woman had learned his vulnerability: Nautica. He loved his daughter even though she had been conceived in evil. It was a contradiction that would eventually work to her advantage.

After a few minutes of deep thought on the Power Ranger's part, he looked up at Scorpio. "If she stays with you, what do I get in return other than her protection?" he asked in a demanding tone.

Her eyes flared with darkness. *He is going to hand her over!* "You and your friends will be granted swift and safe passage out of the dungeons," she spoke in the most monotone voice she could conjure up, "and I will no longer pursue Tommy or you as a target; I cannot speak on the rest of my family's behalf but I can assure my sincerity."

Jason eyed her warily. "What about Shannon?"

The older woman shook her head. "Artemis and the other Morphing Masters are considered the Holy Grail to evil people like me. I could not possibly swear off pursuing her," she forced her voice to sound serious, even though she was nearly chuckling on the inside.

"Okay," he gave in, not having the strength to bargain for anything more. He wasn't willing to battle with Scorpio for simple things.

Reaching for Nautica, Jason handed his child over raggedly. *I can't believe I'm doing this* his inner voice cried, literally wept, inside of him *She's the blood of my blood and I'm leaving her with Scorpio, of all people.*

Cradling the baby in her arms, the villainess glanced down at Nautica then gazed up at her father. "Jason," her voice came out sincere and surprisingly sad, "If there was any other way to keep Nautica alive, I would resort to it in a heartbeat; but in truth, there is not," she stopped speaking for a second, to view as pain filled into his eyes.

"I know you probably cannot see it right now, but I am a good soul," she tried to explain; her loving and caring personality surfacing from under all the wound and scars, "I am not a good soul like Zordon, but I do see good. Artemis knows this; she has seen this side of me. So please, I beg of you, see as I truly am and not the monster I seem to be."

Staring directly into his eyes, Scorpio expected to see disgust in the ranger's eyes. Instead, she saw awe in Jason's brown eyes, which startled her enough to scare her for a split second. Without even thinking, the words simply tumbled from her lips, "Be gone."

Accompanied by trademark snap of the fingers, the Flame Ranger disappeared from Scorpio's sight...But he weighed heavily on her mind.

"Oh, how sweet," Electra menacingly crooned at the large group of rangers reunited with Shannon. "Where is a cavity when you need one?"

Turning to face the shape-shifter once again, Shannon's eyes lit with a burning hate. "Why don't you shut your fucking little trap up, alright?" she snapped heartily. "You and your sister killed Tommy, you nearly killed me...And well, you're an all-around bitch too! Why don't you just go and hide under the protection that you get from you family blood and leave us alone!"

"Ooh, you are so SCARY," the villainess teased, morphing from her terran form into her natural identity. "Unfortunate for you, I am not easily scared." "Neither are we," Adam growled back with the same ferocity, yet to be pulled aside by the White Ranger as the other rangers began to battle with Electra.

"Adam," she whispered to him closely so that no one else would be able to hear, "I'm almost positive that Electra is going to go into gigantic proportions."

He raised an eyebrow. "You're certain?"

"Perfectly certain; she's very arrogant about her powers," she paused, switching the subject quickly, "I have to get Tommy back to the Power Chamber though; I may know a way to bring Tommy back and reverse most of the damage I've done. Knowing Electra the way I do, she knows that I'm going to try to bring Tommy back and she's gonna try to stop me."

"You want us to keep her busy?"

Shannon twiddled her thumbs nervously trying to answer the Green Ranger the best she could. "In a way, yes. If she grows, don't hesitate Adam, and I mean it," she ordered him strongly. "If you hesitate with Electra you'll lose. Use everything in the arsenal if you have to; don't think twice."

"You are an amazing guardian, you know that Shannon?" Adam praised her, stifling his laughter. "You can still manage to give hard-core orders in a bra," he jested her, while she looked down at her chest again.

"Oh," she murmured slightly embarrassed, but covered it quickly with a no-nonsense attitude. "You had better get going and help the others out."

He nodded his green helmet.

Reaching out, morphed Power Ranger wrapped his arms around the Zeo Guardian and hugged her tightly. "We've all really missed you Shannon," he admitted shyly. "You had better not leave us for a LONG time."

Releasing herself from the hug, Shannon smiled coyly. "I'll try not to," she pledged, disappearing into a bright flash of pure white.

Shannon's white teleportation light entered with not much surprise from Zordon or Alpha. The look of determination in her eyes was raw; a look Zordon of Eltare had only seen at one other time from her.

Not even caring for the new look of the Power Chamber, the brunette stalked over to Zordon's warp tube and gazed up at him. "Can you teleport Tommy's body here?" It was more of a request than a question.

"Yes," he granted quite easily, knowing the stress she had been under for the last two weeks. "Alpha?"

"Right away, Zordon," the small robot ran over to the teleportation console and immediately got a lock. "Teleporting now."

Second later a glowing red light appeared on the diagnostic bed, revealing the Red Zeo Ranger's battered dead body. Gazing longingly at his lifeless body for a futile moment, tears threatened Shannon's eyes. She blinked them away with her strength and looked up at her mentor again. "I want to resurrect him, Zordon," she explained bluntly to him. "I want to correct my wrong."

"It isn't your wrong to correct, Artemis," he replied sadly. "You aren't the one who made yourself evil. Scorpio did that; Scorpio can only right that wrong."

"But I caused him to do this," she waved her hand towards his dead body. "I was the one who caused him all this pain. The one who inflicted all of his suffering."

"I cannot allow you to break the Vow, Artemis," Zordon stated quietly, to her displeasure. "If you broke the Vow the entire Alliance of Evil would get wind of your infraction and they would share no mercy on calling for your head; not even the United Universe Council would be able to spare you."

The Morphing Master paced the floor raggedly. "Don't you see, Zordon? This IS my fault; I wouldn't be breaking the Vow," she looked up his warp, her lips pursed and her arms folded over her chest, "You wouldn't be breaking the Vow either." Shannon was literally pleading with Zordon now. "Please Zordon. I love Tommy. I can't let him go without a fight. You and I both know this wasn't supposed to happen."

Taking a moment of silence, the wise Eltarien decided quickly. Even though he knew Artemis was blind to the fact that she was breaking the Vow, he would aid her. It was worth it all to bring back Tommy. He knew of the trouble that would ensue, but Zordon would come to terms with it when it arrived. "Very well," he agreed, watching a small smile light up Shannon's face. "Move over to Tommy's body."

The White Zeo Ranger obeyed his words and she stood beside the diagnostic table. "Zordon, are you sure you want to do this?" Alpha Five questioned carefully as he began pushing buttons all over the forward console, preparing for the resurrection ritual.

"I am sure, Alpha," he answered, his voice empowered and definite. "I did this for Syryn on Cindaria years ago, there is no reason I shouldn't do it again. It wasn't Tommy's time."

"Okay," Alpha reluctantly agreed, fixing the last controls. "I am sending a charge through the White Zeo Crystal Shard...Now!"

Almost instantly, Shannon's silence was broken as a high-pitched shrilling cry was released from her throat. Grabbing onto the side of the diagnostic table, her body began to go through a series of violent convulsions until a white light began to glow in the center of her shirtless chest. Still hanging onto the side of the table, even though her convulsions were completely gone, the woman looked down at her chest and watched it as the glow began to brighten, allowing a knife-stabbing pain to grow within her also. "Zordon?" she coughed, twisting her head so she was able to see the man's face in the warp.

"It will only be a minute longer, Artemis," he assured, his eyes closed tightly and creases forming on his forehead from extensive concentration. If Zordon could sweat, he probably would have.

Soon the white aura was literally blinding Shannon with its rays and the sharp stabbing pain was becoming too much for the Zeo Ranger. That's when it happened.

A solid white object shot out of Shannon's chest and started to hover over Tommy's dead body. "Artemis," Zordon beckoned her, eyes still shut, "Grab your shard!"

The pain dulling, allowing her to be at least partially conscious, Shannon heard his command and took a firm hold on the floating shard before it could fly off to somewhere. "I have it," she reported, her words slurring together ever so slightly. "I draw out Tommy's shard now with my shard, right?"

"Correct," her mentor responded, while Shannon moved her shard over Tommy's chest. "It shouldn't be too difficult..."

"...because he's dead," she filled in the rest of his sentence, just as the Red Zeo Crystal Shard shot up from her lover's chest into her hands. "Okay, I now what?"

"Watch," Zordon simply told, his tone expressing slight exhaustion.

Shannon backed away from the diagnostic table and stared while everything on Tommy body's reverted. All the wounds from his recent encounter closed up, the blood was cleaned away...It was like nothing had happened to him at all psychically. Tears gushed out of the brunette's eyes as she finally saw his chest begin to heave up and down in a normal fashion. "By the gods..."

Once all the healing finished, Tommy easily sat up on the table and the first thing his eyes caught upon was Shannon. "Sweetcheeks?" he murmured in disbelief. "Shannon?"

The crying White Ranger nodded her slowly, still holding the two Zeo shards in her hands. "You're alive," she whispered in an amazed tone. "By the gods, you're alive."

Jumping off the edge of the medical table, he walked over to his wife and wrapped his arms lovingly around her quivering figure. "I am alive," he spoke into her ear, "and it's ALL your fault," Tommy teased.

"This time it's not all my fault," she laughed gently, glancing over at Zordon's tired, but pleased, face. "We have Zordon to thank for your well-being."

He nodded his head, agreeing with the beautiful fatigued woman. "Thank you, Zordon," the Red Ranger motioned towards his warp.

"You are more than welcome, Tommy," Zordon remarked more than gladly.

Returning his gaze onto his wife, Tommy gave her a soft smile. "Thank you, Sweetcheeks," he graciously thanked, moving in for a kiss. "I love you."

Capturing her lips with his lips, the couple shared an intimate moment of devotion, both knowing how far the other would go for the other. Once they disengaged from the kiss, Shannon leaned her forehead onto her husband's chest and sighed in content.

"I love you too."

Electra took in a deep breath as she stared down the seventeen Power Rangers that were before her. She nearly choked; that is on the air. It was teeming with goodness.

So instead, to stall time for her sister AND allow Artemis succeed at her resurrection attempt, the villainess examined her state of form to pass time. Right now, she was in the form of a Kelyian. Dark tanned skin for the hot and dry months that seemed to last throughout the year. Cat-like green eyes that came in handy for looking at far away places; Kelyians had very good peripheral vision...


Snapped out of her time-consuming reverie, Electra looked up at Rocky who had been the one to yell at her. "Yes?" she asked sweetly, playing stupid with the ranger.

"What the hell are you doing?!?!" he yapped, as she kneeled down to the ground and picked a stray dandelion weed.

"Just enjoying Angel Grove's forest," she answered him coyly. "Am I not allowed to do that?"

His body movements giving the evil woman an idea of what he wanted to do to her next made Electra laugh. "Do you really want to kill me, Rocky?" she mocked, blowing on the weed in her hand and watching it's seeds fly away. "I have not done anything to upset you, I hope."

Before the Blue Zeo Ranger could respond, the Yellow Astro Ranger decided to jump in. "Why are you doing this, Electra?" Karone calmly questioned, trying to ease an answer out of her.

"Well, I am really just bored," she explained in a child-like tone. "It all started when I was..." the shape shifter trailed off as seven different flashes of light appeared in between her and the seventeen rangers. "Ooh! Look at that! It is time for me to meet up with Scorpio! I really must be going...So, bye!"

Snapping her fingers, she disappeared into a green aura of light.

"What the heck!" the Pink Turbo Ranger, Kerry Taylor, cried. "Why'd she just leave like that?"

Katherine offered the younger girl a shrug. "Who knows?"

"I do," the two girls heard Andros mutter behind them.

Turning to face the Red Astro Ranger, they saw him kneeling next to Cassie's unconscious body. "The seven streaks we saw turned out to be the five Element Rangers and Zhane and Calypso," he explained, while checking the Green Morphin' Ranger for a pulse. "Looks like Electra knew she was outnumbered and decided to leave."

"Ooo," Cassie moaned as she came to, shielding her eyes with her arm, "What's up with the bright light?"

"It is called the sun, Calypso," Andros held in hand out for her to grasp onto.

Taking his hand graciously, she stood up and snorted. "Oh, look," she mocked, "Andros is trying to be funny!"

Ignoring her insult, he turned around to see all the other rangers heading in his direction. Once everyone was gathered in shape that resembled a circle, Andros spoke up. "Anyone care to tell us how the seven of you got here?"

Chapter Eighty-Five: "Sinking In"

"Did we do it?" were the first words out of Electra's mouth as she appeared in Scorpio's dungeon quarters.

Rolling her eyes at the other woman's use of "we", Scorpio shifted the way she was sitting on the bed. "I am the one who pulled off most of this plan..." she mumbled to herself discreetly, then spoke up louder to her sister. "Yes. We did succeed, Dear Sister Electra."

Sitting down on the bed beside Scorpio, Electra gave a quaint grin. "The resurrection ritual?"

"It was completed by Artemis and Zordon on Syryn; I felt him resurrect." The words slid off of the red head's tongue with utmost ease. "And she broke the Vow too; straight in half. Zordon probably knew it was my wrong, yet he went along with it. How hideously wonderful!"

This time, the younger woman rolled her green eyes. "Yes, I do know that," she scoffed, changing the subject slightly. "When do you plan to release the lovely news about Artemis' broken Vow?"

"Not too soon," Scorpio replied cryptically. "I want to get the chance to raise Nautica up to her full potential. Calypso and Zhane were told that the child would be the downfall of goodness. If they were sent to kill her, it must be true."

The shape shifter arched her eyebrow in the most peculiar fashion. "And how did you find THAT out, Dear Sister Scorpio?"

"Oh, a little green gremlin told me," the red head's voice held a sense of mystery in it. "Anyway, as I said, why do we not take a break from being evil, huh? I mean, Vile is in deep meditation preparing for the arrival of Father and Mother, Divatox and Ivan are locked up in separate confinement rooms on the Subcraft, the Phantom Ranger is probably somewhere brooding and Rita and Zedd are most likely spying on the rangers' personal lives for fun. Leaving you and me," she paused for a moment, watching her younger sibling think about her proposition. "It will be fun. Just talking about the old times and kicking back!"

After a minute, the other villainess came out of her thoughts and gleefully agreed, "You are right! It DOES sound like fun!"

When the twenty-four colored rays of lights arrived in the newly spacious Power Chamber, Alpha and Zordon were both instructing Shannon and Tommy on how to use the new controls on the consoles; Shannon now wearing the top part of her husband's red karate gi, covering her exposed breasts.

As the other rangers began to emerge from their respective teleportation lights, the four turned their attention to watch as they all appeared. The strange thing was that an eerie silence descended between them all over all the different type of shock.

"By the gods..." Cassie was the first person to actually breathe a single word. "Father?"

The Green Dragon Morphin' Ranger was staring directly up at Zordon in awe, but more in sadness. To everyone's surprise, the Asian woman instantly fell to her knees in front of the Eltarien's warp, her hands clasped together in a begging manner. "Oh, dear Father," her forehead was nearly touching the floor, "I have sinned gravely on my behalf. I swore to upright and hold goodness in my heart in the highest standard; I failed."

Watching the act play before them, the rangers, Alpha AND Zordon were overwhelmed; that is for the exception of Tommy and Shannon, who like Cassie, fell right back into their ancestors' personas like second nature. "Calypso, it was not your fault," Shannon insisted, rushing to Cassie's side and touching her back gently. "If I had not stepped down from the Morphing Masters you would not have been fighting Rita alone. We would have fought her together."

"No," Tommy interjected, his voice taking on a strange accent; mixed between a Southern drawl and a British accent. "If I had not had an affair with Kaia none of this would have happened," he joined the woman, as Cassie lifted her head up from the floor to look at her friends. "Artemis, you would not have been upset and Calypso, would not have been alone."

"Oh, really?" Grid Guardian stood up from the floor and stared into the Turbo Guardian's eyes. "Why did you sex Kaia, Syryn? Why was it so important to have her when you had Artemis?"

"Because I fell in love with him!" Liyah jumped out from the crowd of rangers watching the ancient soap opera unfold. Ripping off her own helmet, Liyah found her way to stand next to Tommy; she also had reverted back to her former persona and life. "Syryn knew I loved him; he could see it. And well, I was jealous of you, Artemis," she held her head in shame towards the brunette of the group.

"Jealous?" the Zeo Guardian held her hand to her chest in disbelief. "Why would you ever be? I envied you so much more. You had such a normal life, one I longed for everyday of my life. You had two parents who loved you; I had no parents thanks to Zesta. You were the calm quiet one who was always so innocent; I was the one the school mistress was always punishing because I could not keep my mouth shut," she paused to see the blonde's faze fixed on her. "I never thought of it the other way around."

"Of course you did not because you had everything!" Liyah scoffed, rolling her blue eyes. "You were beautiful, you were out-going, you were popular, you went down in HISTORY! Above all, you had love in Syryn! Something I could only DREAM of!"

Before Shannon could snap back, a commanding voice interrupted their scene. "That is ENOUGH!"

Everyone turned to the other side of the Power Chamber, to see a woman dressed in shimmering golden gown with an aura of power around her. "Lady Of The Sun!" The five characters immediately snapped out of their trances and bowed towards the goddess.

"That's better," she smiled in a funny way at the five rangers. "Now, Calypso did you and Zhane succeed in your mission?"

"No," Cassie dejectedly admitted. "I am sorry, my lady."

"But you did!" Jason quickly interrupted. "Nautica is dead."

"WHAT?" Shannon cried in pain, her eyes wide at the Flame Ranger. "My baby is dead?!?!?!" the White Ranger began to tremble as Tommy wrapped his arms around her in a consoling manner.

Zhane stepped up next to the Element Ranger and queried, "How? What happened?"

He glanced from the White Morphing Master's teary eyes to the Green Morphing Master's shocked expression before weaving a lie to protect his daughter. "I ran into Scorpio when I hid in the rooms from the vampites that were chasing us," he slowly started nervously, "We exchanged a few harsh words and then she got angry. She started blowing up objects with her eyes. One thing lead to another and she made it so that a tall dresser collapsed on Nautica and I," he paused, his on pain rising inside of himself at the horror of his tall tale. "I barely made it out myself; Nautica didn't even have a chance. I got out and when I did, I remember getting that tingly feeling from a teleportation. Next thing I know, I'm in Angel Grove Forest."

The Asian guardian frowned sadly. "I'm sorry, Jason," she turned to her fellow guardian, "Shannon."

Looking over at the mother of the child, Lady Sun was solemn. "I am sorry, Artemis, but you do know that your child was the destined one to be the reincarnated Trakeena, correct?"

The color from Shannon's face instantly drained from her face. "Trakeena?" Jason repeated in confusion.

To help all the Power Rangers understand, Zordon explained, "Trakeena was the first mortal daughter of Lady Of The Moon hundreds of thousands of years ago. She was the one to create the Alliance of Evil and to draw out evil from the once peaceful universe..."

The End... for now

Author's Ending Note:
* I'm sorry this took so long to finish, but with the weather in California being ultra unpredictable nowadays, so was my writing muse and close friend: Tequila. (Yes, it's just a nickname...) Anyway, I also want to give great thanks and appreciation to Suzy and Jake who both, in their own ways, helped me out of the sludge called "Severe Writer's Block". ^_^ If it wasn't for you two, I don't know WHERE I'd be! :P

FINALLY! :) The Conclusion To This Mini-Series That Will Tie Up All The Loose Ends..."Do What You Have To Do"