"Jason." A familiar female voice penetrated Jason's consciousness, slowly bringing him around.
"Open your eyes, Jason."
Jason struggled, then finally managed to do so, only to receive and stunning strike in the face.
"Sneaky little bastard!" Kat snarled as Jason struggled to clear his vision, "You just had to tell Tanya your little suspicions didn't you? Now I've been found out sooner than I wanted!"
She paused then smiled and said in a calmer voice, "But I got back at her."
"What...what did you..do?" Jason whispered weakly.
"Lets just say she'll be lucky to last the night." She suddenly looked at him more clearly, as if seeing him for the first time.
"I might say the same thing about you. What happened?"
It was obvious Jason had been the victim of someone's rage. His face was swollen and bruised with dried blood caked all around. His clothes were tattered and she could see several wounds that still bled.
"I let Goldar go a few rounds with him."
Kat looked behind her and found Zara.
"I discovered a little something Kara left with him," Zara said as she stepped up to him. She took his hand and forced the palm open. "You can't see it, but there's a power source right here." She touched his swollen face and added, "Can't bring him under control, so he's useless. Gotta kill him. Such a shame. I saw so much potential."
"Putting your future chew toy aside for the moment, how are you feeling? The last part of that battle was pretty brutal."
"Oh I'm fine. But when I woke up, I had a hell of a headache."
"You can thank Tanya for that. The detective here told her his suspicions of me before we caught him. Then she turned around and blew the whistle on me." She smiled coldly and added, "But I got her back. Now its just Tommy and Adam. But if things go right, soon, it'll just be Adam."
Zara stiffened then relaxed and said, "I'm being paged. I'll catch ya later."
When Zara had left, Kat turned and stared at Jason. He had lost consciousness during her conversation with Zara, and as she looked at him, something stirred in her heart.
She didn't know what it was she felt sympathy, regret. Whatever it was caused her to dismiss the chains and let Jason crumple to the floor. She put her hand to his face to heal some of the uglier cuts and bruises and frowned when she felt an unnatural heat.
"Hmm, fever," she whispered, "I doubt you'll live long enough for Zara's plans. Well, you brought this on yourself."
She finished her task, then stood and vanished in a flash of jadeish pink light.
* * *
Tommy looked up as Billy emerged from the med. chamber, a solemn look in his blue eyes. "How is she?"
Billy sighed. "Not good. I finally got the bleeding stopped, but she's in a deep state of unconsciousness. I've got her in a stasis field. Right now, she doesn't stand a chance outside it."
"Still out cold."
After Kat and Rocky had left, Billy had had to sedate Adam so he could work on Tanya.
Tommy sighed. "We're in big trouble here. We've got two of ours on the other side, one missing and another critically injured. It's just me and Adam and I'm not sure if Adam's going to be able to handle it. I don't know what to do Billy. I really don't."
"Praying would be a good start," Billy murmured, then disappeared back into the med. Chamber.
* * *
Tommy looked around the park cautiously. Just a few minutes earlier, the had received a signal that he had decided to investigate himself. It had been two days since Kat's betrayal had been revealed and since then, he and Adam had been forced into a nearly a dozen exhausting battles.
Now, he was hoping against hope that this signal was not some sort of trap. "Hello Tommy."
Tommy spun around, dropping to a defensive stance. An uncertain look passed through his eyes when he saw the source of the voice. "Kat."
"Relax Tommy. I'm not here to start anything, I just want to talk."
Looking at her, he decided she was telling the truth, and relaxed his stance, but his guard remained high.
Kat wasted no time. "Tommy, I love you with all my heart. Always have, always will. I want you to know that I didn't do the things I did because Zara is my sister. I joined with her because it's where I belong. Its who I am. And its who you are too. Tommy, I'm asking you to come back to where you belong as well. Then we can be together. After the Earth falls, the three of us, you, me and Zara, we can leave and travel the universes. It'll be wonderful Tommy. We could find a nice little planet, settle down, start a family... "
As she had been talking, she had slowly been moving closer to him and as her voice trailed off, they found they were just inches apart.
"Kat," Tommy touched her cheek gently, "Kat, I love you more than anything. But I proved to myself long ago that evil is not who I am. And its not who you are either. I can see it in your eyes. No matter what you do, you'll never be truly evil. Please Kat, try and see it."
Kat shook her head." You're wrong. This is where I belong and this is where I'm going to stay."
Tommy lowered his hand. "I'm sorry Kat."
"So am I," Kat replied softly, walking back a few steps, "So am I"
She turned to leave, but stopped and turned back when Tommy called, "Wait!"
He looked at her and asked, "Where's Jason Kat?"
Kat shrugged. "He's around. If I were you though, I'd forget about finding him. I looked in on him this morning. He's way past any help you can give him now."
Before he could reply, she was gone.
As Tommy was headed back to the Chamber, on the other side of the park, a portal was opening.
When it was big enough, a figure stepped through, gasped and fell to her knees as the portal closed behind her. "Jason," Kamara whispered shakily. She climbed to her feet and began glowing a silvery color. "Hang on my love," she whispered, then vanished.
* * *
"No," Jason murmured as he opened his eyes and saw Zara kneeling next to him. "Please, no more." Jason closed his eyes, willing himself to pass out so he wouldn't have to consciously endure more of Zara's tortures.
But she had other plans. "I'm not finished with you yet sugar," she whispered, placing a hand on his dangerously hot skin and rousing him with her energy.
"Please Zara," Jason begged weekly, "Please..."
Jason was a disturbing mess. New wounds covered his broken, tortured body, many still flowing with blood. Zara seemed to delight in the blood, constantly opening new wounds to see it flow or, if she was in a particularly savage mood, reopening old ones just to hear his anguished screams mix with the sweet odor of his red, red blood.
A few times, she had even tasted it, which had ended up sending her into a frenzy. It was those times that Jason was scared the most. He desperately needed medical attention. He was sick with an intense fever that, by all rules, should have killed him by now or left him in a deep state of unconsciousness. But, Zara kept the fever had bay while she played with him, which only served to make it worse when she left to take care of other things.
Now, Jason looked in her eyes and intense fear entered his own when he saw the look there. It was one of those moods. She had come once again with the intention of tasting his blood and sending herself into another frenzy. A frenzy he knew would end with her once again taking his body into hers.
She chuckled softly at his fear, licking her lips in anticipation as her hand mutated into one with claws. She was just starting her favorite torture when the star on his hand sprang to life, releasing an angry beam of sliver energy that slammed into her and threw her across the room and into a wall.
'What!' she thought dazedly, 'How did that happen?'
She looked up and found that Jason had passed out, taken by the fever that had grown worse with her meddling. The star, however, continued to glow threateningly, almost daring her to come closer. Zara put her hand to the back of her head, feeling a wet, sticky substance. 'Better go get myself fixed up,' she thought, 'I'll figure this little surprise out later.' Standing, she looked once more at Jason's deathly still figure, then vanished.
* * *
Billy nearly collapsed when the light from the teleport cleared and he saw the last person he ever expected to see standing in the center of the Chamber.
Before he could say anything, Tommy, who had just come from one of the other chambers, exclaimed, "Kara!" He rushed forward and swept her up in a big bear hug.
Laughing, she hugged him back, then moved on to Billy. "It's good to see you again, my friends." She looked around and asked, "Where are Adam and Tanya?"
Tommy's smile faded. "Adam's in the med. Chamber watching over Tanya. We've got a real bad situation here. Kat turned on us and took Rocky with her. She hurt Tanya so badly we've got her in stasis to keep her alive. Jason's missing and Adam's an emotional wreck."
Kara nodded. "I know all about Katherine. She is why I am here." She paused then asked, "Are Zara and Katherine what I think they are?"
"If you think they're sisters, then yeah, it's true," Tommy replied.
Kara let her breath out. "I was afraid of that." She looked at the med. Chamber. "May I see Tanya?"
Tommy nodded and led her into the chamber. She stayed back a few feet and watched as Tommy approached Adam and put a hand on his shoulder. "Hey man," he said softly, "look who's here."
Adam looked at her and surprise flashed through his red rimmed eyes. "Kara."
He stood and she closed the distance and embraced him. She pulled back and looked down at Tanya, who seemed to be in a peaceful sleep.
"Can you help her?" Adam asked quietly.
Kara looked at him, and her heart nearly broke. "I'll try."
She looked at Billy. "Billy, would you turn off the field please?" Billy nodded, went to a council and turned the field off.
Kara sat in the chair Adam had vacated, closed her eyes, and placed her hand over her friend's heart.
The guys watched with bated breath as her hand and the spot beneath it glowed a bright silver. Her facial expression turned strained for several moments, then finally relaxed. She opened her eyes and the glowing stopped. "She had sever internal damage, most of which I managed to heal. You're lucky you got her into stasis when you did, otherwise, I doubt she would have lasted the hour."
"Is she going to make it?" Adam asked.
"To be honest, I don't know," she replied softly, "How she does in the next few hours will determine if she lives or not. Just to be safe, I suggest you keep her in stasis overnight, then we'll see if she can survive outside of it in the morning."
Adam nodded and Billy turned the field back on.
Kara then turned to Tommy. "Do you know where Jason is being held?"
He shook his head, then told her what Kat had told him.
"He's still alive. I felt it when I arrived, but he was in a lot of pain and..." she trailed off, unable to go on.
"Kara, you've come so far, you must be exhausted. I know you're not going to rest 'till you find Jase, but at least let us set you up in one of the living quarters so you'll at least be comfortable," Tommy said.
"Thank you, I'd lie that very much." She placed a comforting hand on Adam's shoulder, then followed Tommy out.
* * *
On a cliff in some remote part of the world, Kat sat, sobbing quietly. She had known Tommy probably wouldn't have agreed to come to the other side, but hearing it had still hurt nonetheless.
"Didn't go so well huh?" Zara asked as she appeared next to her.
Kat shook her head and leaned into Zara's comforting embrace. "I've lost him Zara," she choked out.
"There, there, you haven't lost him. When the time comes, you can put him under a spell and then he'll be yours forever."
Kat shook her head. "No, I know how he feels and I love him too much to do that to him."
She sniffed and looked up, a hard glint coming into her eyes. "It hurts, but we are enemies now. And enemies must be dealt with. This war has begun and, since Jason isn't dead yet and Tanya is on my bad side, she will be the first to die. I'll see to it myself, tonight."
* * *
Late that night, Kat teleported into the dark, silent Power Chamber. Using her stealth, she crept into the med. Chamber. She turned the stasis field off, then gently pressed her hand to the sleeping Adam's forehead, passing energy into him to keep him asleep.
She then turned her attention to Tanya, a small smile playing on her lips. "Just like Jason, Tanya. You should have minded your own business." She raised her hand and dark energy flared.
Before she could release it, however, a calm voice said, "Step away from her Katherine."
Kat stiffened, then relaxed, the energy dying down a bit. She was about to spin around and blast the newcomer, but the girl said, "Don't. You know I could take you out before you could even get into a possible position. Please don't make me hurt you Kat."
Kat thought about it, then lowered her hand and let the energy die out. "When did you get back into town Kara?" she asked as she turned around. Kara had one energy crackling hand pointed at her and if was clear she wasn't going to relax the threat.
But her voice was calm as she replied, "This afternoon. I hear you've been busy."
Kat nodded. "Yeah, I found out some rather interesting things."
"Which is why I'm here, Katalina."
Kat raised a brow. "So, you figured it out."
"Wasn't much to figure out. From what I've heard, it's pretty obvious who's in control of that body."
She paused then added, "Katalina, your soul and power may be in this body, but they are yours no longer. You don't belong here. You died centuries ago, your time is over. This Katherine's time, Katherine's life. Go back to your eternal rest and let her live it."
"Hmm, now let me think about that," Kat replied, pretending to consider Kara's words, "Um...nah. I'm having far too much fun to leave now. No, I think I'll stay where I am. Even if I do have to tolerate Katherine's emotions." She made a face, remembering Kat's earlier grief for Tommy's rejection.
"You do realize that Katherine is a strong girl. Eventually, she will take back control."
Kat laughed. "Please, you and I both know that for every day I'm in control, Katherine merges with me just a bit more and looses some of the goodness in here."
She put her hand over her heart, then continued, "In order for her to take back control, she had to see the goodness, but more importantly, she had to want to. You know that as she merges with me, she becomes like me, which ultimately makes me stronger. Soon, there will be no more Katherine. Just me -- reborn." She shot Kara a chilling smile, then vanished.
Kara let her energy die out and sighed. This was going to be harder than she thought. She checked on Adam to make sure he was okay, then checked on Tanya.
A smile crossed her lips. "You're going to be fine," she whispered, "Sore, but fine."
A frown suddenly claimed her features as she suddenly sensed some kind of presence within Tanya. Before she could investigate further, however, it was gone.
"I found him!" Kara exclaimed the next morning as she rushed into the chamber, "Dear Goddess I found him!"
"Where?" Tommy asked anxiously.
"A dimension. I must go quickly. I could barely feel him!" before anyone could say a word, she glowed a bright silver, and vanished.
* * *
Kara was nearly overwhelmed when she appeared in the dark, cold dimension. She took a moment to regain her senses, then looked around. "Jason," she whispered when she spotted a body lying in a corner. She rushed up to him and rolled him over. "No," she whispered, tears filling her eyes when she saw him.
She put her hand on his head and jerked back with a sharp gasp as she felt the intense heat radiating from him.
'Damn you Zara!' she thought. Out loud, she said, "Hang on Jason. Please hang on."
* * *
Billy had a cot ready and waiting when she returned. He helped her place Jason on it, then quickly pushed him into the med. Chamber. "Where are Adam and Tommy?"
"In the park, fighting with Zara, Kat and Rocky," Billy replied.
She bit her lip worriedly, then made a decision. "Get him into stasis right away. I'm going to go help them."
Billy did so, and she transformed and teleported out.
* * *
She arrived in the midst of a heated battle. It was obvious Tommy and Adam weren't fighting with all their strength, for fear of hurting Kat and Rocky and that tactic was hurting them badly.
Not concerned about harming Kat and Rocky, and definitely not concerned about harming Zara, she gathered an energy ball and threw it close to the trio.
The force of the blast knocked all three back several feet and threw them to the ground.
"Well, well," Zara said as she stood, "So the mouse really has returned. Couldn't stay away huh?"
"You're going to pay for what you did to Jason, Zara!"
Zara smiled. "Am I? Hmm, now where have I heard that one before?" She pretended to think hard, then said, "Oh yes, I remember now. I believe you said that when I made that girl in the Lientan dimension loose her mind and kill her family. You had to kill her didn't you? Oh, and then there was, oh what was his name? Oh yes, Kal, on Baraxian nine. I killed him right in front of you and his family. Remember?"
She chuckled as Kara closed her eyes in pain at the memories. "I have to admit," she continued, "Of all the friends and lovers I've taken from you, Jason is my favorite. Such a great body, and spirit. I enjoyed breaking him."
An enraged scream slipped out of Kara's lips. Her eyes flew open, revealing an angry sliver light. She drew her sword and ran forward. Zara summoned her own and the pair crossed blades.
Zara's amused smile soon faded as she struggled to block Kara's furious blows.
'Could you use some help?' Kat asked.
'Thought crossed my mind,' Zara replied.
She quickly maneuvered Kara around so she couldn't see Kat. Energy flared in Kat's gloved hand and she carefully aimed for Kara's back. Just as she released it, Tommy shouted, "Star! Lookout!"
Kara turned and the energy caught her in the shoulder. The impact knocked her to the ground, but her armor kept her from harm. "That's it," she growled, climbing to her feet, "I don't have time for this."
She raised her hands to the sky and shouted, "Guardian WhiteMist, I invoke thee! Fill me with thy strength and power!"
>From out of nowhere, two bolts of silver lightning shot down and entered her hands. Bringing them down, she wasted no time in releasing the fiery energy at Zara. The impact was brutal, knocking Zara back several feet and slamming her into a tree. The shock waves hit Kat and Rocky, sending them to the ground too.
Certain it would cause the trio to retreat, Kara ran to Tommy and Adam and said, "It'll take them at least twenty four hours to recover from that. We must tend to Jason!"
They nodded and the trio teleported out.
* * *
They entered the Med. Chamber just as Billy was leaving, looking pale and sick. "I don't know if you guys want to see him right now," he warned as Kara went to the cot, "It... it's pretty bad."
"Doesn't matter," Tommy replied, "I've got to see him."
When Adam laid eyes on his friend, he turned as pale as Billy and ran from the room. Tommy, however, stared at his best friend with cold, hard eyes. "She'll pay for this," he whispered, his voice dangerous and just as cold.
"Aye, she will," Kara replied softly, squeezing his hand, "But first things first. It would be better if you left. What is about to occur isn't going to be pleasant."
Tommy didn't really understand what she meant by that, but respected her wish and left the chamber.
Kara looked back at Jason. She pressed her hand to his forehead, ignoring the heat, and was bombarded with images.
"Oh Zara, you horrible, horrible monster," she whispered. She moved her hand to Jason's heart, closed her eyes, and called upon her healing power. Her facial expression became strained and her breathing heavy and ragged. A moment later, the first in a series of agonized screams ripped from her lungs.
* * *
"Ugh, I'm going to get that little witch," Kat said as she entered the throne room, an ice pack on her head.
"Take a number," Zara replied from where she was sprawled across Zedd's throne, "I've go nineteen hundred years of grievances against the little mouse, so I've got first shot at her."
Kat looked around the room then, noticing it was uncommonly quiet. "Where are Rita and Zedd?"
Zara shrugged. "Rito mentioned something about them being bored and going over to the next galaxy for a few days to find something to do. So we've got run of the place, for a few days anyway."
"Well then, we should make the most of it and have that miserable little planet gift wrapped for them when they return and the Rangers' heads on silver platters," Kat said with a small smile.
"Oh sister, you are so right."
Zara pulled a little one button remote from the air. "Time to get serious," she said, pushing the button.
"What is it?"
"Remember those little toys you planted in the Power Chamber?" Kat nodded. "Well, they've just been activated. If they were close to finding Zordon, its over now. They'll never find him."
"Well then," Kat replied with a grin, "I think it's safe to say that once we've recovered from Kara's little attack, it's time for some serious ass kicking!"
"Yes indeed sister dear. Yes indeed."
* * *
Kara's eyes slowly opened and Billy's concerned face floated into view above her. He disappeared for a second, then reappeared with Tommy and Adam.
"Kara? You all right?" Tommy asked, concern in his brown eyes.
She nodded slowly and, finding her voice, asked, "What time is it?"
"'Bout Ten-thirty," Tommy replied, "You've been out for nearly four hours now." He paused then added, "Is Jason going to be all right? We haven't been able to get near him. There's some kind of force field around him."
Kara sat up and got to her feet. She wobbled, then made her way over to Jason's still form and stared down at him silently.
It had been difficult and painful, but she had finally managed to heal most of his internal and external injuries. However, he was not out of danger. In fact, he was far from it.
Feeling the trio's eyes on her expectantly, she looked at them and said softly, "I wish I could tell you he's okay,that he's going to make it, but I can't. He's very ill and has a sever fever. I-I don't know if I can bring him back. He-he's already so far gone." She turned away, squeezing her eyes shut in pain.
Tommy stepped forward and drew her into his arms where she let out a muffled sob. It wasn't just a sob of helplessness, it was also a sob of anger. She knew what Zara had done to him. She had practically relived it when she was healing him. She knew, as well as felt, everything. He would never be the same again, and neither would she.
* * *
"What did Zara do to him?"
Kara looked up with a start to find Tommy standing in the doorway. "I thought you went home to rest," she replied, turning her attention back to Jason.
"I did, but I couldn't sleep. Not until I know what that demon did to Jase."
Kara let out a short, bitter laugh. "If I told you that, you'd never sleep again."
Her tone startled Tommy, but he still insisted on knowing.
Finally, she whispered harshly, "You really want to know? Fine. He was beaten, tortured and raped!"
She nodded. "I'm not going to give you the details. I couldn't even if I wanted to. Go home and get some rest - if you can."
The whoosh of the teleportation stream reached her ears, telling her he had taken her advice.
A low moan interrupted her resumed vigil and she looked up to see Tanya stirring. Rising, she went over to the cot and said softly, "Tanya. Tanya can you h ear me?"
She murmured something incoherent and her eyelids fluttered, but didn't open.
"Come on Tanya," Kara coaxed, "open your eyes."
Tanya struggled a bit, then her eyes slowly blinked open. She looked at Kara and confusion filled her gaze. "Kara?" she whispered hoarsely.
Kara managed a smile. "Yes. Welcome back to the land of the living." "What happened?"
"Katherine. She didn't take you're exposing her very well."
"Jason," Tanya whispered, distress in her eyes.
"Shh, he's right here."
"Is he all right?"
"Don't' worry about it right now. You need to rest."
Tanya murmured a protest, but her eyes closed and she drifted back to sleep.
Kara's gaze ran down Tanya's still form and concern lit her eyes as she once again caught the sense of another presence. As before, it was gone as quickly as it had come, and her attention was drawn back to Jason as he began thrashing about in restlessness.
* * *
The first thing Tanya did when she next awoke was throw up. Luckily, Kara was able to conjure up a bucket, thus avoiding a mess. "There now, you're all right," she soothed as Tanya collapsed, shuddering.
She looked up as the door slid open and Adam walked in. Before he could get too excited she asked, "Adam, would you please get some water?" Adam nodded, hurried out, and a moment later returned with a glass of water.
"Here you go. Drink this," she said, lifting the other girl so she could take a sip.
"How do you feel?" Adam asked anxiously when she finished and was settled back down.
"Terrible," she whispered in reply, "My chest hurts."
"Here," Kara said, placing her hand on her friend's chest and opening an energy flow. She watched Tanya relax as the energy soothed her pain. The girl's eyes closed and sleep claimed her once more.
"She's going to be all right," she reassured Adam, "She just needs a little time."
The door slid open again and Billy entered, wearing a haggard expression. "Adam, I need your help," he said, then disappeared back into the chamber.
Adam glanced at Tanya, then left, Kara following out of curiosity. "What is happening?" she asked.
"We're having problems with the computers," Adam replied as he went to assist Billy. "It keeps mixing up codes, teleportation, communications, everything. Even the search for Zordon."
She was about to ask if she could help when a tingling sensation overcame her, followed by a sense of danger. She closed her eyes, and sent her mind out, quickly pinpointing the source of her unease. "I'll be back in a bit," she said.
Not knowing if they heard her or not, she vanished in a flash of silver flame.
* * *
She arrived in the park in full armor and carefully scanned the area. She stiffened, then relaxed and said, "Hello Katherine."
Kat jumped down from the tree she had been in, landing gracefully before Kara. The tall blonde looked at her in amusement. "Expecting a fight are we?"
"Depends," Kara replied, "Where's that soulless snake you call a sister?"
Kat raised her brows. "My, my, such hostility."
Kara struggled with her rising anger. "Do you know what she did to Jason?"
Kat shrugged. "I'm not her keeper. I don't keep track of what she does with her playthings."
Kara's eyes glowed silver with rage. Her voice shaking she said, "Katherine, I know there's still enough of you in there to carry considerable influence so listen to me carefully. Zara brutally tortured and raped him. He is on the edge of death not only from fever but from loss of blood as well. Can you learn this still remain so cold and uncaring?"
Satisfaction filled her heart when she saw the conflicting emotions in Kat's eyes. She could practically see the inner struggle as Kat tried to push the darkness away. Finally, without a word, Kat vanished.
"She can still be reached," Kara whispered, then vanished as well.
"Did you rape Jason?"
Zara looked up and looked at Kat, standing in the doorway of her chambers. "What?"
"Did you rape Jason?" Kat repeated quietly.
A sickening, cold smile crossed Zara's lips. "That and a lot more," she responded.
"Why didn't you just kill him?"
Zara raised her brows. "You know I always play with my prey before sending them to meet their maker. You did too. It's our nature, or have you forgotten?"
"No, I haven't."
"Then what's the problem?"
"The problem is he was my friend," Kat replied, her voice rising in anger, "No matter who I am or what my nature is, I can't forger that. I knew you intended to smack him around and hurt him a bit, but I didn't expect you to go that far! I love you Zara, but if you ever do something like that again"
"Hey!" Zara interrupted, standing to face her sister, "Who's side are you on? This one or theirs?"
"This one of course!"
"Then act like it! We are of the Bagerian Empire! We do not give the enemy sympathy, and we do not give the enemy mercy! No matter who they are! Now get it together! Soon, they'll just be a distant memory." Zara shot her a glare, then vanished in a flash of black flame.
Kat stared at the spot her sister had just vacated and sudden tears clouded her vision. Before she knew it, she was sitting on Zara's bed, weeping. For the first time since learning who she was, she wondered if what she was doing was really right.
* * *
"This is insane!" Billy muttered as he looked at the scrambled readouts the computer was giving him.
"It's almost like it's got a mind of it's own," Adam commented from where he was looking at more readouts.
Billy blew out a frustrated breath and looked up as Tommy came out of the Med. Chamber. "How is he?"
Tommy shook his head. "He's gotten worse - a lot worse. Kara's doing everything she can but..." he trailed off, and looked away.
"We just have to hope and pray," Tanya said softly. She was sitting in an out of the way place, quietly watching the guys work. She was slowly regaining her strength and Kara expected her to be back in action in another few days.
Her eyes strayed to the Med. Chamber door, and she silently offered up a prayer to whatever higher power was listening.
* * *
Kara stopped the energy she was supplying Jason and let out a helpless cry. Nothing she did was working. Instead of getting better, he was getting worse and slipping further and further away. "Please Jason, don't leave me," she whispered.
She stared at him for a moment and a sudden thought crossed her mind, filling her with hope. Closing her eyes, she opened her mind and thought, 'WhiteMist, I need you. Please, come to me.'
A soft breeze stirred her hair and she opened her eyes to find the softly glowing, human form of the Silvermist guardian. "WhiteMist," Kara breathed with a smile.
"Hello Kamara," WhiteMist said, her voice echoing throughout the chamber, "For what purpose did you summon me to you?"
"It's Jason," Kara replied, looking at him, "He's dying and I can't bring him back. I need your help. I can't loose him."
"I am afraid there is nothing I can do Kamara."
Kara turned shocked eyes on her guardian.
"Only you can bring him back, child."
"But how? I've tried everything."
"No child, you haven't. You have been using the power you use everyday, the power you have easy access to. That is not strong enough. The power you need is in here," She placed a hand over the girl's heart, "In your heart. That is the only way you can save him." She smiled softly, the vanished.
"My heart," Kara whispered. She looked at Jason. "The power of love."
* * *
A few hours passed. The guys were still trying to work with the computers and Tanya was dozing in her chair. Her eyes suddenly flew open and she ran from the chamber, much to the surprise of the guys.
"What was that about?" Tommy asked.
Seconds later, the sound of retching reached their ears.
"I'm really getting worried about her," Adam said, looking at Tommy and Billy.
He looked in the direction she went and added, "I'm going to check on her." Just after he had disappeared from the room, the door to the Med. Chamber opened and an exhausted Kara staggered out. "Kara!" Tommy exclaimed.
He hurried over and caught her as was slipping to the ground. "Kara, what on earth happened?"
During the last few hours, they hadn't heard a sound from the Med. Chamber and had naturally assumed nothing was wrong. Kara looked at him and smiled weakly. "It's all right," she whispered, "everything's all right." Her eyes closed and a deep sleep claimed her.
Picking her up, Tommy followed Billy back into the Med. Chamber, where he placed her in a cot, then joined an astonished Billy at Jason's bedside.
"Incredible," Billy whispered, "His fever's broken."
Tommy looked at Jason and instantly noticed a vast improvement. He also noticed that his friend was glowing softly. The pair looked at each other, then let out joyful yells.
"What's going on?" Adam asked as he entered, supporting a shaky Tanya. Tommy quickly explained what had happened.
"I expect she'll be out for quite a while," Billy said as he looked at Kara's sleeping form. She, too, was glowing softly.
The sudden wailing of the alarm reached their ears, cutting off any other celebration.
"Well, at least that's working," Billy muttered as the three guys hurried out.
The sight that greeted them in the viewing globe was one they had been dreading. A swarm of Tengas and Putties had flooded the park, with Kat, Zara and Rocky leading them.
"Man," Adam said softly, "How are the two of us supposed to beat all that?"
"Billy," Tommy said, "If you've got any new weapons, now would be a good time to share."
Billy shook his head. "Unfortunately, I don't. But I do have an idea. Call on the MegaZord. It'll be breaking the rules a bit, but under the circumstances, I don't think Zordon will mind."
Tommy nodded his agreement. "All right then, lets do it."
They morphed and teleported out just as Tanya entered. Her eyes widened when she saw the scene in the viewing globe. "Good lord," she whispered.
She looked at Billy. "How are just the two of them going to defeat all that?"
"By cheating," Billy replied.
He gestured to the globe and a smile crossed Tanya's lips when she saw the MegaZord.
"Are you all right now?" Billy asked.
Tanya nodded. "Yeah. I don't know what's wrong with me. I haven't been able to hold much down these past few days."
Her attention was drawn back to the globe, and worry instantly crossed her features. "Billy."
Billy looked at the globe and started. The image showed Kat, inside the MegaZord, steadily making her way to the cockpit. "Tommy, Adam come in! Tommy do you read me?"
When no answer cam, he sent a frightened look to Tanya. "Communications are still down! I can't warn them!"
Tanya looked at the globe, then back at Billy. "I can."
"What? Tanya you're in no condition to go into a fight!"
"Well I can't stay here and watch them get ambushed!" Tanya argued. "Look, I'll morph, go warn them, then get back here."
Billy hesitated. Then, realizing there was no other way, said, "Okay, but be careful, and get right back here."
Tanya nodded, morphed, and vanished.
* * *
She arrived just as Kat was bursting in.
"Get down!" she shouted to a surprised Tommy and Adam. She drew her blaster and fired at Kat until she forced the Pink Ranger to bail out. She knew the boys wore astonished expressions beneath their helmets as they looked at her.
"We saw her on the viewing globe, but couldn't warn you through communications," she said by way of explanation.
A blast from the ground jarred the zord, forcing Tanya to grab something to keep from falling.
"As long as you're here, have a seat and give us hand," Tommy said, and Tanya complied.
With the extra set of hands, the trio were finally able to force a very stubborn Zara and Kat into a retreat.
* * *
Tanya winced as she powered down and quickly found a place to sit.
"You okay?" Adam asked in concern.
"Yeah, I'll be all right," she replied, "I just need to rest a second." She leaned back and took a deep breath, calming her racing heart. Her eyes traveled to the council across from her, and down to the floor. Her eyes narrowed as she spotted something laying on the floor, just out of sight of everyone else.
Curious, she got up, retrieved it, and sat back down to examine it. It looked like some kind of computer chip, but she wasn't sure. "Billy, I think something fell off the computer."
Billy came over and took the little device from her. He frowned as he examined it and said, "This isn't part of the system. Where'd you find it?"
Tanya gestured to the floor beneath the council. "Under there."
"What is it man?" Tommy asked.
Billy didn't answer. Instead, he hurried over to another council, grabbed a nearby flashlight, and crawled under.
After several minutes, they heard his muffled, "Ah ha!" He crawled out with two more of the chips in his hand. Almost instantly, the computer began beeping out the correct information..
"All right guys, take a good look at the culprits, pick a council and start looking," he said, "There's probably a lot more where these came from."
* * *
Kat sat in quiet contemplation of the battle that had taken place a few hours earlier. She wasn't sure if she should be angry that Tanya had spoiled her intentions, or grateful.
"What's wrong with me?" she asked out loud, falling back on her bed and putting her hands over her face.
Ever since her little chat with Kara in the park, nothing had felt right and confusion was quickly making itself at home. Her thoughts drifted back to that night she had gone to the Power Chamber to finish Tanya. Kara's words were beginning to make sense, and that disturbed her greatly.
"We've got finish this and get out of here before I turn into a complete wus," she muttered. Getting to her feet, she left her quarters and went in search of Zara.
* * *
She found her black clad sister on the balcony, staring down at the Earth.
"Things are getting weird Zara. We need to finish this and get the hell out of here before I loose my mind."
"Don't I know it," Zara muttered, her gaze never leaving the little planet.
"What are you looking at?"
Kat focused in the general direction her sister was looking in and spotted Rocky wandering around the park in what looked like a deep state of confusion.
"What's he doing down there? And why does he look so confused?" There was a moment of silence, then Zara replied quietly, "I let him go."
Kat stared at the girl, stunned.
Still not looking at her, Zara added, "You were right. I've fallen in love with him."
She slammed her hand down on the railing and turned furious eyes on Kat. "Can you believe it? Me! In love with a human. And a Ranger at that! For some reason I suddenly couldn't stand having him in my power as a mindless zombie! So, I released him with no memory of what happened." She looked back at the Earth. "The thing that really pisses me off is that I plan to get him back later with a proper spell that will turn him into my equal partner!" She fell silent.
"And in the meantime?" Kat asked.
"In the meantime, we plan the battle that will get us the earth, and then get us out of this blasted solar system. This place is just too weird!"
Kara smiled as she lightly touched Jason's cool cheek. It worked. It had really worked.
"He's getting better and better all the time," Billy said as he entered the chamber with a tray of food for her, "I don't know what you did, but it sure did the trick."
Kara's smile widened. She looked at Jason lovingly, then back to Billy and said, "Tanya told me of you're little clean up last night."
Billy nodded. "Yeah, seems Kat decided to do a little sabotage. Took us a while, but we finally got them all and now everything is working fine again."
The door to the Chamber opened and Tanya appeared. "Guys, you'd better come see this," she said.
Billy and Kara followed her back out to the main chamber where she directed their attention to the viewing globe. The image showed a confused and disoriented Rocky, wandering aimlessly around the park with a lost look on his face.
"You guys don't think...?" Adam began, looking at the others.
"Could she have let him go?" Tommy asked, doubt in his eyes.
Kara shrugged. "Zara is very unpredictable. She could have lost interest and let him go without deciding to kill him, or it could be a trap." She looked at them and added, "There's only one way to find out."
Everyone looked at Tommy, who thought for a moment, then nodded. "All right. Billy, teleport him here."
Billy nodded and complied. Seconds later, a blue teleport stream materialized into a very dazed Rocky. He blinked and looked around. "Wha... what's going on?"
Kara stepped forward and put a glowing hand on his forehead. "It's all right," she announced, "He's not under anymore."
"Under? Under what? What's going on?" He looked at Kara. "Where did you come from?"
"Come sit down Rocky," Kara replied, leading him over to the chair Tanya had occupied earlier. "Do you remember anything of the last few days?"
Rocky looked at her, still unsure of what was going on. Finally, he said slowly, "The last thing I remember was meeting that new girl, Kayla, for lunch."
Tanya exchanged startled looks with Tommy, Adam and Billy. "That was over two weeks ago!" she exclaimed.
"This Kayla was probably Zara," Kara said, "She most likely hid the spell well if it was that long ago."
"Would someone please tell me what the hell is going on?"
Kara was listening to her friends fill Rocky in on the events of the past two weeks when a tingling sensation alerted her that Jason regaining consciousness. She quietly slipped away, returning to the Med. Chamber and his side.
"Jason," she said softly, "That's right my love, open your eyes." She continued to coax him gently until he finally opened his eyes. When he saw her, fear took his features and he tried to move away, whimpering something incoherent. Kara, knowing Zara had taken her form a few times during Jason's imprisonment, was not surprised by his reaction. "Jason, shh, it's me, it's me," she said soothingly as his whimpering became more distressed.
She opened herself up and let her feeling flow out, intertwining with his. This calmed Jason considerably, though he still looked at her with a bit of fear.
"How... do I know... it's really... you?"
Wordlessly, Kara took out a necklace that was hidden beneath her shirt. Half of a silver star hung on the golden chain. A necklace similar to hers shimmered into existence around Jason's own neck. She reached over and removed it, fitting the two halves together. There was a flash of light, and then a warmness like no other filled them both.
When the raging torrent of energy and warmth finally died down to a low roar, Jason looked at her and, with tears gathering in his eyes, whispered, "Kara."
She smiled and met his embrace as he rose, tears filling her own eyes. Somehow, his lips met hers and they didn't notice when the door slid open and Tommy and Adam entered, supporting a tired Rocky.
They broke apart at Adam's muttered, "Oops," and a smile crossed Kara's lips as Jason settled back down.
"That was a quick recovery," Tommy teased as he helped Rocky onto a cot. His eyes, however, revealed an intense relief that his best friend was awake and looking a little better.
Kara looked at Rocky, her eyes glowing a soft silver, as the boy fell asleep instantly. Apparently satisfied, her eyes returned to their normal stunning green.
"That was just a little energy surge," she said in reply to Tommy's comment. "He still has a lot of resting and recovery to do, which means, everyone who isn't injured in some way, scram."
After everyone had left, she turned back to Jason and was not surprised to see that he, too, had drifted off to sleep. She made sure he was all right, then settled down in the cot next to him, holding his hand and watching him sleep, until she finally drifted off as well.
* * *
"No... no please, no more!"
Kara awoke some time later to Jason's agonized pleas. Getting up from her cot, she mover to the edge of his and placed her hand on his forehead. "Shh," she whispered, her hand glowing softly, "Rest love, rest."
A moment later, he quieted.
"What's going on?"
She looked up to find Rocky, watching her from the next cot.
"Just a bad dream," she replied softly, moving to sit next to him. "How are you feeling?"
"I've been better. I still can't remember anything, but something tells me that its better I don't know."
"That something is probably right. Sometimes, it's better not to know what happened while you were under another's power."
Rocky nodded, his gaze traveling to Jason. "Is he going to be all right?"
"Yeah, I think he will be." 'Especially after I block a few memories,' she added silently.
She turned her attention back to her friend. "Go back to sleep. You should be back to normal in the morning."
Rocky's eyes closed without argument and he quickly drifted off. Kara returned to her own cot and was soon fast asleep as well.
* * *
When Tommy came in to see Jason the next day, the first thing he noticed was the blank, zombie like look on his friend's face. He looked at Kara in alarm, but she waved it away. "Don't be alarmed. He is well."
"Then why does he look like that?"
"He had four nightmares last night. The first one was pretty mild but the last three were pretty horrific. So, I've taken his memories. As with Tanya, he will remember being held prisoner, but very little else."
"Good idea," Tommy murmured, "I hate to think of what he would go through otherwise."
Kara turned back to Jason and watched him for a minute, then passed her hands over his eyes. He blinked as the focus returned and looked at the pair.
"Hey bro. How ya feeling?"
"Strange. What happened?"
"Healing ritual. You're going to feel strange for a little bit, but when it passes, you'll feel much better."
Just then, the door to the med. Chamber opened and Tanya rushed in. "Guys, come quick! It's Zordon!" she exclaimed, then ran back out. Tommy exchanged quick glances with Kara and Jason, then hurried out.
Kara followed, pushing Jason's cot.
In the main chamber, Billy, Adam and Alpha were gathered around the computers, frantically pushing buttons and twisting dials while Rocky and Tanya were anxiously watching Zordon's tube.
From the tube, Zordon flashed in and out, talking in broken sentences. "Rang...warn...Kath_ine...Danger I Cellairian sec_or"
The image flickered in and out one last time, then all was silent. Billy shook his head sadly. "We've lost him."
There was a moment of silence and then Tanya asked, "What was that sector he mentioned?"
"The Cellairian sector," Alpha replied. "But if he's there, it could take quite a bit of time to locate him."
"Why's that?" Rocky asked.
"The Cellairian sector is so large, it's been divided into smaller, numbered sectors. Without the precise numbered sector, tracking him down in going to be quite difficult."
"Then start a scan right away. Put every bit of power we can spare into it," Tommy instructed. Billy nodded, and immediately set to work.
* * *
It was two days later when things began to change for the better. Jason was finally able to move around on his own, his strength and health returning rapidly. And Billy was getting closer and closer to finding Zordon. The only thing that had everyone nervous was the fact that Zara and Kat had done nothing. Everything had been eerily quiet, not even a Tenga or Puttie attack.
Kara kept them on their toes, warning them that when the next fight came, it would be big and most likely the battle that would decide everything. This information only served to make everyone more nervous, especially Tommy. Kara could practically see what was going through his mind as he sat, staring off into space.
She approached him quietly and said, "Tommy, may I speak with you in private for a moment?"
Tommy looked at her and nodded. Getting up, he led the way to another chamber.
"So what's up?"
"Well, I am aware of your fear for the coming battle and I want you to know that I share those fears. But there are things you must know. She can still be reached. I have noticed it during battles and the few times I have talked with her. She is attempting to push the darkness away, but at the same time, the darkness is closing in on her and she is embracing it. If she succeeds in destroying all of you, then the evil will consume her forever."
She paused, then continued. "The last time I was here, a day or two before I left, Kat and I had a talk. She had me promise her, on my honor, that if she ever fell to evil and could not be brought back that I would kill her. She told me she was evil once and did not wish to return to it, especially with the power she now holds."
She paused again, this time to take a breath and allow Tommy to take all of what she had said in.
"The dreams I had that lead me to come here showed me that if she remained on the side of evil, and was not killed, she would go on to commit act lord Zedd never even thought of doing. This battle will be out last chance Tommy. If you can't bring her back, then I will be obliged to carry out my promise."
Tommy nodded. "I understand," he said softly. "I know what it's like to be evil too, and I'd do the same in her place. I've thought about this long and hard, and I know what must happen if we can't bring her back. I love her with all my heart and more and it hurts me to say this, but her life isn't worth the countless billions she'll take in return."
Kara took his hand in hers and squeezed gently. "It takes a true leader to realize that Tommy. Zordon will be proud, and so will Katherine."
From the main chamber, a commotion rose, interrupting their conversation. They looked at each other, then hurried out to see what was going on.
Everyone was smiling excitedly and talking at once. Looking up, Tommy discovered the source of everyone's excitement, and a huge smile lit his face.
He quickly got everyone quieted down, then said, "Welcome back Zordon. Man, did we ever miss you!"
The next few hours were spent filling Zordon in on the events that had occurred since his disappearance. It left the ancient wizard a little stunned, but glad the tide was turning for them. He was equally glad to see Kara again, and the pair talked until long after the others had left for the night.
Finally, she said goodnight, checked on Jason, who she had insisted spend another night in the chamber so she could keep a close eye on him, then retired to the chamber that had been set aside for her. She sat crossed legged on her bed and entered a deep trance, silently praying to higher powers to help them in the coming battle.
* * *
The alert came mid afternoon the next day. The six teens gathered in the chamber and took in the chaotic scene on the viewing globe. All eyes widened and despair filled them when they saw the large mass of Tengas and Putties along with two vicious looking monsters with the computer indicating a third nearby. In the middle of it all stood Kat and Zara, each contributing their own powers to the destruction.
"Man," was all Rocky was able to whisper as he watched.
"Looks like we've got out work cut out for us," Adam put in.
"Then we best get out there and get started," Tommy said in a surprisingly cold voice.
Kara put her hand on his arm in a gesture that seemed to tell him everything would be all right. She then turned her attention to Jason, who seemed to be back to normal, and looked intently at him, her eyes glowing a soft silver. After a moment, the glowing ceased and she nodded.
"You should be all right. Our bond should help to keep you strong."
The six teens looked at one another, communicating silently through their eyes. Without a word, Tommy put his hand out, and the others all instantly piled their hands on his, including Kara.
"Forever," he said softly.
"Forever," they repeated in unison.
Billy then stepped back and Tommy called out, "It's Morphin time!"
"Good luck guys," Billy said as his friends disappeared. He looked at the viewing globe.
"You're gonna need it."
* * *
The battle was brutally violent from the very beginning. Little was said, even two hours into the fight when Tommy ended up facing Zara. The pair fought viciously for over an hour before Kara intervened, staking her claim on her long time, hated enemy.
Looking around, Tommy was surprised to find only a few dozen of the Tengas and Putties still around. Kara and Jason having taken care of the three monsters.
He froze when he spotted Kat, morphed despite the fact she didn't need to be, strolling casually through the battlefield toward him. He watched her carefully as she stopped just a few feet away, and stared at him from beneath her helmet.
Finally, she said, "I wish it didn't have to come to this."
"So do I," Tommy replied.
"Are you sure you won't reconsider?"
"You know I won't."
Kat nodded. "Yeah, I know." Then she attacked.
For the first little while, Tommy concentrated on avoiding her blows and getting in a few of his own. Then, he began pleading with her and doing everything he could think of to make her fight the darkness. A few times, he thought he might have gotten through, only to have her scream in rage and attack him fiercely.
By this time, the Tengas and Putties had been dispatched and the others, except for Jason, who was helping Kara, were anxiously watching, ready to help if needed.
With another rage filled scream, Kat let loose a burst of power that struck him square in the chest, throwing him back several feet. He lay there, stunned, raising his head when he heard Kat approach.
'De-morph,' Kara's voice floated through his mind.
He looked past Kat and saw the young queen watching him intently, the fight with Zara abandoned.
Zara herself was standing a few feet behind and to the right of Kat, also watching intently.
'De-morph,' Kara repeated, 'You may get through to her if she can see your eyes.'
Tommy gave a slight nod and pushed himself to his knees. In a flash of red, he was back in normal clothes, looking up at her with calm eyes. "All right Kat," he said quietly, "You win."
Energy instantly flared up in Kat's hands.
"Before you finish me off," Tommy continued, "I want you to know that I love you so much it hurts. And I'll continue loving you even after I'm dead and gone. I also want you to know that if this is what you must do, then I forgive you. As long as you're happy...I forgive you."
He fell silent, watching her with calm, loving eyes. There was a flash of jadeish pink light and Kat stood in her normal clothes, looking at him with uncertain eyes.
"Do it Kat!" Zara's voice cut through the air, startling her. "Take your freedom!"
The energy around Kat's hands glowed brighter and she looked as though she was preparing to release it. She stopped and hesitated a moment, however, when her eyes once again locked with Tommy's.
Zara began shouting at her, but to Kat, she sounded far away. Something stirred deep within her as she continued to stare deep into Tommy's brown eyes.
Finally, she let out a blood-curdling scream and raised her hands skyward as a violent wind blew up.
The others watched in startled fascination as a jadeish pink whirlwind began to envelop her until she was completely invisible.
"Kara! What's happening?" Tommy shouted as he struggled to his feet and was joined by his friends.
"She has gone within herself to face down the darkness!" Kara shouted in reply. "All we can do is wait and hope that when it's over, we will have the good Katherine back!"
Tommy shot her a frightened look, then quickly re-morphed and anxiously awaited the outcome.
* * *
Kat opened her eyes and found herself surrounded by darkness, except for the small bit of light where she stood. She stared straight ahead and watched as a figure stepped out of the dark and into the light.
The girl was the mirror image of Zara, only she wore a jade colored uniform instead of black. The two regarded each other for a moment, then Kat said, "I'm taking back control."
Katalina laughed softly and when she spoke her voice was soft and honey like. "Is that a fact? You're not strong enough to defeat me."
"I'm stronger than you think."
"Do you really think so? So much of you has already merged with me. Why don't you make it easier on yourself and let's finish the process. The side of evil can offer you so much more than the side of good."
Kat responded by slipping into a defensive position, pink energy crackling around her hands. "I'm taking back control," she repeated.
Katalina shrugged. "Suit yourself." Then she struck.
For a short while, Kat managed to hold her own, but it soon became obvious that Katalina was, indeed, stronger.
Barely half an hour had slipped by when Kat found herself badly injured and bleeding while Katalina sported only minor injuries.
Katalina laughed softly. "I told you you were too weak. Now it's time to end this." She raised her hand and released a steady stream of energy, which Kat hurriedly met. For a moment, the beams didn't move, then Katalina's began to steadily push Kat's back.
Kat gritted her teeth and fell to one knee as the strain began to overwhelm her. Her opponent's mocking laughter echoed in her ears and, as if from far away, she heard the girl say, "It's over."
Kat squeezed her eyes shut and instantly saw images of her friends, the people she loved the most and who loved her as well. She saw an image of Tommy, his brown eyes pleading with her to come back to him. As the images passed before her, she found herself filling with a strength she never knew she possessed. Her eyes flew open, burning with an intense, pink light. Her energy beam grew stronger and began to quickly and forcefully push Katalina's back.
Katalina's eyes narrowed as she concentrated on her energy and she began showing signs of strain. "No!" she gasped, "This day is mine!"
Kat shook her head. "Wrong, it's mine. Along with this body, mind, soul, and world. You don't belong here. It's time to go back to where you do belong."
That said, she poured the strength and finished the fight. Katalina's scream faded as her body dissolved into a jade colored mist.
Kat walked over and stood in the center of the mist, raising her arms and closing her eyes as it entered her body and merged with her.
* * *
The group watched as the whirlwind finally subsided and Kat crumpled to the ground, glowing an odd mixture of pink and jade.
"Kat?" Tommy began to approach her but Kara put her hand on his arm, stopping him.
"Wait, we don't know who won yet."
They watched as Kat slowly raised her head and looked at them. She then looked at Zara, tears filling her eyes. "I'm sorry Zara,I can't," she said softly.
Anger filled Zara's eyes as she realized her sister had been tamed. "Then I will," she growled.
Before anyone could react, black energy flared around her hands, she took aim at Tommy, and released it.
Kat, however, seeing the danger, was already on her feet and with a scream of "NO!" put herself between Tommy and the deadly energy. The force of the blast flung both of them back several feet, where they hit the ground hard. Tommy sat up and shook his head, then looked at Kat, lying motionless beside him.
"Kat!" he shouted in terror when he saw the rapidly gathering pool of blood.
Kat's eyes fluttered open at his shout, and she looked at him without fear. "I'm sorry," she whispered, then lost consciousness again.
Wasting no time, Tommy grabbed her arm, and teleported out, the others following.
* * *
The Power Chamber was filled with a tense silence as everyone waited fearfully for the report on Kat. Finally, the door to the Med. Chamber slid open, and Billy emerged, his expression unreadable.
"Well?" Tommy asked impatiently.
It was a moment before Billy could say anything and when he finally did, it was thick with emotion. "I'm sorry Tommy...she's gone."
Tommy stared at Billy in shock. Then, he ran past his friend and into the Med. Chamber. Kara was standing next to a cot, staring sadly down at Kat's lifeless form.
"No," Tommy choked softly as he knelt next to Kat. "No."
He buried his head against her neck and let out a muffled sob. He then looked up at Kara, a desperate denial in his eyes. "You have power, bring her back," he pleaded.
Kara looked back at him with tears rolling unchecked down her cheeks. "I'm sorry Tommy, I can't," she replied softly, "My power isn't strong enough yet to go up against something as powerful as death."
Tommy was about to argue when something crossed his mind. "Zara did this," he growled, "And she'll pay for it with her own life."
Before anyone could stop him, he was gone.
* * *
He found Zara still in the park and, drawing his lazer pistol, fired several deadly accurate shots at her.
"You're dead Zara!" he screamed as he advanced on her, "You killed her and I'm going to see you pay for it with your own life!"
"Hey, if I had know she was going to do that, I wouldn't have used that part of my power!" Zara snapped, as she struggled to avoid his deadly blows. "She's my sister! I would never intentionally harm her!"
"Try telling her that now," Tommy replied, preparing to deal another blow.
Tommy turned in surprise and found Kara, watching him calmly.
"Don't do it Tommy. There is a way to bring her back, I just didn't realize it until now."
"She had not yet completely passed to the world beyond, which means that one of her blood can bring her back."
Tommy looked from her to Zara and back again questioningly. Kara nodded.
After a moment of silence, Zara said quietly, "Take me to your base."
Tommy looked at her sharply. "You in the Power Chamber? I don't think so."
"If you want her back, then you must take me there. You have my word of honor that I will do nothing more than bring her back and then leave. When I give my word of honor, it is not something I go back on."
Tommy looked uncertainly at Kara, who nodded. "All right, but if you're lying, I'll kill you on the spot." He stood next to her, and the trio quickly vanished.
* * *
Every occupant of the Chamber was, suffice to say, surprised when Tommy and Kara returned with Zara. While Kara explained things to them, Tommy took Zara into the Med. Chamber and watched as she approached her sister's lifeless body.
Her hand was glowing even before she placed it over Kat's heart. Soon, her whole body was glowing and she was chanting in an alien tongue. Tommy was watching so intently, he never noticed when the others quietly entered. His heart leapt when Kat suddenly took a deep breath and Zara stopped glowing.
She watched her sister a moment then turned and said, "Give her a few hours to wake up and she should be fine."
Her gaze moved to Tanya and her eyes glowed red for a minute. When they returned to their normal color, there was a hint of compassion in them. "I'm truly sorry for what you'll soon be going through."
Then, in a flash of black flame, she was gone.
Two days later....
Kat once again sat on a cliff in a remote part of the world, staring off at the horizon. The whoosh of a teleportation stream signaled an arrival.
"She's my sister," she said without looking up, "Whether I like it or not, that's not going to change."
"I understand," Tommy replied, sitting down next to her. "It's certainly going to put an interesting twist on things."
Kat nodded and the pair sat in silence.
Finally, Tommy asked, "What's with the hair?"
Kat looked at him and shrugged. "I don't know. I woke up this morning and there it was."
Two strips of Kat's hair, one on both sides of her head, had turned a mysterious jade color. Tommy, so far, was the first to see it.
"It'll be easy enough to hide," she added, "I just wish I could figure out why it's there."
Silence fell again. After a short moment, Tommy put his hand on her knee and gently squeezed. "Don't be out here too long, okay? Kara's leaving today and she'll want to say goodbye."
Kat nodded, and he kissed her softly, then left.
"It's a symbol, you know."
Kat didn't start at the voice, already sensing her sister before the girl appeared. "What do you mean?"
"The jade, it's a symbol of who you are and your power."
She was silent for a moment, then she quietly asked, "Are you going to try to get me to rejoin the dark side?"
"No. I love you and I want you to be happy. I want you to know that I will never harm you and will never attempt to force you to the dark side. I only hope that one day, we will fight on the same side again." That said, she kissed Kat's cheek, then vanished.
"So do I sister," Kat whispered, "So do I."
* * *
Kat arrived back in the chamber just as Kara and Tanya were emerging from another chamber, Tanya looking shocked beyond words.
Kat shot Kara a curious look and telepathic communication passed between them. When they finished, Kat looked just as shocked as Tanya did. Kara ignored the looks the others gave them and said, "It's time."
Warm hugs and kisses of goodbye instantly ambushed her. Jason was the last, staring down at her before grabbing her in a fierce hug.
"I know, my love, I know," she whispered.
The rest of the group turned away as the couple shared at long, tender kiss. When they broke apart, she pressed something into his hand, then turned to the portal Billy had opened. She walked up to it, stopping at the entrance and turning back to look at him one last time. Silent communication passed between her and Jason, filled with promises. Then, she turned and stepped through.
As the portal closed, Jason looked down at the object she had given him. It was half of a Silver Star.
It was four days later when the group gathered in the Power Chamber at a request from Tanya, who was not yet there.
"Anyone know what this is about?" Rocky asked, the question directed more at Adam.
Adam shrugged. "Beats me. I haven't been able to get her to talk to me since Kara left."
The small group looked up as Kat and Tanya teleported in, Tanya looking nervous.
"Guys," Kat said, "There's something very important that Tanya needs to tell you. Prepare yourselves, 'cause it's pretty shocking."
After a little coaxing from Kat, Tanya began speaking quietly, "The day that Kara left, she told me something. In order to tell me this information, she gave me back the knowledge that Zedd had...had raped me, but kept the memories. The reason for this is because...."
She trailed off and looked at Kat, who looked back at her encouragingly and coaxed her on.
Looking back, Tanya continued, "The reason for her doing it, the reason for why I've been so sick lately, is because...because I'm pregnant -- with Zedd's child."
End... For Now
Note: Some of you may be saying "What! I thought this took place six months later! How could she only now be finding out she's pregnant?" Well, those questions and probably any others will be answered in my next story, "The Green Order," hopefully coming soon.