"I don't believe it," T.J. said in an awestruck voice as he stared up at the being known as Zordon.
The ancient wizard had just finished telling the boy the history of the Rangers and the urgency in the latest current events.
"Out of this world, huh?" Cassie said, coming up next to him.
"You ain't kidding," he replied softly.
"T.J.," Tommy said, getting his attention. "We don't have a lot of time. We need your decision. Will you agree to a power transfer and become the Red Ranger until I get back?"
"Keep in mind T.J.," Zordon added, "That being a Ranger can be very dangerous. Make your decision carefully."
T.J. nodded and looked at Cassie, who looked back at him encouragingly.
After a long moment, he looked at Tommy and said, "I'll do it."
Tommy smiled. "We owe ya one, man."
He looked at the others, then added, "Let's get this done."
As with Kat and Cassie, the others formed a circle around the boys and, a few minutes later, T.J. stood clad in the Red Ranger uniform.
"Wow," he whispered, taking the helmet off and looking himself over.
Once again, the others all stepped up to welcome their new teammate and Zordon carefully went through the rules. By the time he had finished, the hour had grown late and he said, "Rangers, it is time for you all to go home and get some rest. Tomorrow can be expected to be hard, sad day."
The teens all nodded solemnly, quietly said their goodnights, and teleported out. All except Kat and, of course, Billy. Zordon looked down at her from his tube, patiently waiting for her to speak her mind.
Finally, without looking up, she said in a tone that betrayed her wonderment, "I can feel the Jade power so strongly now that the Pink power is gone. I don't know why, but if feels....right somehow." She paused, then looked up at Zordon, eyes full of realization. "This is what we should have done all along wasn't it? These are the powers Tommy and I were meant to have from the beginning."
Zordon was silent for a moment, then said, "That is true in your case, Katherine. I can tell you that because your other powers have made you more clear to me. Tommy, however, I am unsure of. In the end, Tommy and the Green power may decide to part and, therefore, the power will move on to the next chosen one."
Kat's eyes flashed. "Dammit Zordon! If you knew all this, then why didn't you tell us? If you we had known, then maybe we could have prevented what happened to Tanya!"
"I am sorry, Katherine, but I was prohibited from influencing any decision made."
"And what about Emerald? She influenced the decision big time!"
"Emerald was able to influence you because of her direct involvement."
Kat let out a long breath and shook her head. "Why does everything have to be so complicated?"
When Zordon didn't answer, she sighed, said her goodnights, and teleported out in a flash of pure Jade light.
As arranged, at first light the next day, the Rangers arrived in the Park ready to face anything. Moments after their arrival, there was a flash of emerald light and Emerald materialized.
She regarded the group for a moment, her gaze lingering on T.J. and Cassie, then said, "Let's get this over with shall we? Tommy, Katherine, please go and stand in that circle over there."
She nodded to a spot a few feet away that glowed a bright green. Tommy and Kat both glanced at their friends, then did as instructed. Both felt something numb their minds and suddenly knew that even if they saw their chance, they wouldn't be able to double cross the female Ranger.
Emerald made a quick gesture and in a flash of yellow light, Tanya appeared halfway between her and the Rangers. The group hurried forward, keeping a watchful eye on Emerald, and Adam knelt next to
Tanya, calling out to her, while Billy knelt on her other side.
Jason looked up at Emerald and called, "Where's the antidote?"
Emerald held out her hand and a little vial appeared in it. She tossed it toward him and he caught it, undid the lid and handed it to Adam, who gently forced it down her throat. A few minutes later, she began to
When Emerald saw this, she went over to Kat and Tommy and said, "I have kept my end of the deal. It is time to leave."
Kat looked at her, struggling with the fog filling her mind, and said,"Let us say goodbye."
Emerald thought for a moment, then nodded. She waved her hand at the light and it vanished, allowing the pair to move over to their friends.Hugs and whispered goodbyes were exchanged, then the focus moved to Tanya as she moaned and opened her eyes.
"What's going on?" she whispered.
Kat knelt next to her and took her hand.
"Don't worry about a thing, all right? Everything is gonna be fine. Go to sleep okay?"
She placed her hand over her friend's eyes and a soft glow appeared.
Tanya moaned softly and then went still as she slipped into sleep.
Kat's hand moved to the girls stomach and her hand glowed slightly brighter. When she finished, she stood and looked at Tommy, who nodded.
The pair looked at their friends, silent communication in their eyes, then turned and moved back to Emerald, who had a portal opened.
"After you," she said softly.
Kat was the first to step up to the brightly glowing wormhole. She stared at it for a moment, looked back at her friends one last time, then turned and jumped inside. Tommy did much the same thing, only when he looked back, he called, "See ya when I get back!" Then he turned and jumped in as well.
Emerald looked back at the group, offered them a salute, then turned and disappeared after the other two, the portal closing behind her.
The group stared silently at the spot for a long moment before Jason said quietly, "Come on, let's get back to the Power Chamber."
"What's the hurry sugar?" a voice called out. "Don't feel like playing today?"
The teens quickly turned and found Zara standing several feet away, a small smile on her lips.
"I noticed a couple of new faces in the group and decided to give them a chance to test out their new powers," she said, her smile growing.
Jason looked at T.J. and Cassie. "You two ready for this?"
Both nodded silently.
"All right then, Jason said, her gaze on the group of Tengas that appeared, "It's Morphin' time!"
Billy quickly disappeared with Tanya as the others morphed and flew into action.
Zara watched the battle from the side, her attention on the two new Ranges. Particularly T.J. She called off the Tenga attacking him and took it's place.
She smiled and said, "Care to dance?" then lashed out with a well placed kick to his stomach.
T.J. reeled, quickly recovered, and returned the blow, beginning an intense fight. Finally, after nearly forty minutes, Zara backflipped away and gave the order to the Tengas to take off. She looked at T.J.
and smiled coldly.
"You're an excellent fighter, Red Ranger. Destroying you is going to be a true honor."
She blew him a kiss, then vanished in a flash of black flame.
"Man," T.J. said as the others joined him, "That girl is crazy!"
"You don't know the half of it," Adam replied, holding his right arm.
Jason glanced around, then said, "Come on, let's get back to the Power Chamber."
The three Rangers nervously watched the opened portal, weapons aimed and ready to fire as they waited to see who would appear. They greeted the form that stepped through with sighs of relief.
"Emerald," Chase said, pulling her into a hug, "Thank the Power you're back!"
Emerald smiled. "Not only am I back, but I found our two missing members."
She turned and nodded to Kat and Tommy, who stood where the portal had been, looking around.
"Chase, Kal, allow me to introduce Tommy, the Green Dragon Ranger, and Katherine, the Jade Fire Ranger. Katherine, Tommy, this Chase and Kal." She looked around, then asked, "Where's Ina?"
Chase and Kal looked at each other, then Chase said, "Sick Bay."
"Why? What's wrong with her?"
Chase hesitated and Emerald immediately grew worried.
Chase sighed, then said, "The Marlentians. She was out investigating a disturbance and was ambushed. Some Zightrens found her and brought her back."
"How is she?"
Chase shook his head. "She's barely hanging on, Emerald. We...we think it was Litara"
Emerald stared at Chase, eyes full of shock and anger. She then turned and rushed out a door, Chase and Kal following on her heels. Kat and Tommy looked at one another, then followed as well.
They found the trio in a room much like the Med. Chamber. Emerald was sitting on the edge of what looked like a cot, where a young girl with Emerald streaked hair lay motionless.
"What sector did she go to?" Emerald asked.
"Sector C-8, lower side," Chase replied.
Emerald looked up sharply. "What! Dammit, she knows no one goes there alone! What the hell possessed her to do that?"
Chase shook his head. "We don't know."
Kal picked up what looked like a scanning device and slowly ran it up and down then length of Ina's body. The look in his eyes betrayed the fact that the new wasn't good.
"Emerald," he said quietly, "I think we'd better prepare the next Zightren. She...she doesn't have much time left."
Emerald stared up at Kal in disbelief. After a moment, she closed her eyes and bowed her head. Kat looked at Tommy, then moved forward.
"May I look at her? I might be able to help."
Emerald looked up at Kat, eyes full of sadness and anger. They stared at one another for a moment, then Emerald nodded and moved away. Kat took the vacated spot, studied the very young looking girl, then put her softly glowing hand over Ina's heart. She closed her eyes and concentrated. A frown crossed her features and the glowing intensified.
After several moments, she opened her eyes and said to no one in particular, "It's the darkness."
"What do you mean?" Emerald asked.
Kat blinked and shook herself. She looked at Emerald and asked, "Who's Litara?"
Emerald's eyes flashed at the name.
"Litara is one of the Marlentians' best warriors. Funny thing is, she isn't even one of them, race wise. She and her husband, Voltin, appeared out of the blue one day and...well let's just say they're both phenomenal fighters. They're a big part of the reason we had to find you two right away."
"They love taking out our Zightrens too," Chase added in a sour tone.
"Zightrens?" Tommy asked.
"Zightrens are chosen ones next in line for the Green Powers," Kal explained. "When a current Ranger and the power decides to part or...the Ranger is killed, then the power moves to the Zightren who is next to serve."
"In Human language, Zightren translates into one who waits," Emerald added.
Kal looked at Ina, then asked, "Can you help her?"
Kat looked back at the girl, studying her intently. Finally, she nodded and said, "I think so. It's not going to be easy though. She paused, then asked, "Is there anyone around here with healing powers, preferably in a high stage?"
"We've got two Zightrens in stage three," Kal replied. "They did what they could, but..." he trailed off and Kat nodded, her gaze once again fixed on Ina.
"I'm not surprised," she said softly. Before anyone could asked what she meant, she asked, "Could someone get them? I could use the help."
"I'll call for them," Chase replied and went into the hallway.
Kat got up and went over to Tommy who drew her aside and said quietly, "There something you wanna tell me?"
Kat hesitated then replied just as quietly, "Do you remember when Zara first showed up chasing Kamara and how she nearly killed you with that darkness?"
Tommy shuddered. "That's something I'll never forget."
Kat glanced back at the girl, then said, "I think she's being attacked by a darkness just like yours. I can't be certain until I use full power though."
"Do you think you can save her?"
"Well, I think I have a good shot. I'm stronger now than I was back when you were attacked and I'm going to have two fairly strong helpers, so I think we can save her.
She fell silent, then looked up at Tommy intently.
"Tommy, I don't think it's a good idea for you to stick around here.
You won't like what's going to happen and I don't want to scare of distress you."
Tommy seemed about to protest, but the look in her eyes changed his mind and he nodded. They looked to the door as Chase came back, a guy and a girl following.
He looked at Kat and said, "This is Raske and Isis, the two we told you about."
Kat stepped forward and offered a smile.
"I'm Katherine and this is Tommy."
Raske smiled back, then turned to Isis, who wore a puzzled expression, and spoke to her quickly in a strange language. She smiled and said something equally quick in response.
The boy looked back at Kat and said, "Isis is glad to meet you too." He looked back at her again as she started speaking. He listened, nodded and said, "She wants to know what the chances of saving Ina are."
"Tell her we're going up against something very evil but I think that with the three of us, we have a good chance of beating it."
Raske quickly translated and Isis nodded.
Kat looked at Emerald and the guys and said, "All right, we're going to get started. It would be best if everyone left so there aren't any distractions."
Emerald nodded and moved to the door, Chase and Kal following. Kat stopped when he reached Tommy and said, "I'll show you to your quarters and then, if you're up to it, I'll show you around."
Tommy nodded, gave Kat a quick kiss, then followed Kal out.
Kat watched the door close, then turned to Raske and Isis and said grimly, "All right, let's get started."
Tommy silently followed Kal down the many corridors on the way to the living section. Along the way, they passed many men and women as well as a few children, all dressed in different types of green uniforms. As
the pair passed, they all stopped and bowed their heads in respect, all looking curiously at Tommy when they raised their heads again.
"Zightrens," Kal explained.
Finally, they entered a circular room with doors all around.
"These are the living quarters for the active Rangers," Kal said, moving to the right and approaching a door with a picture of a Green Dragon engraved on it. "This is your room."
He pressed a button and the door slid open. He stepped aside and allowed Tommy to enter first.
The room was quite large and, except for a blinking computer council on one side, quite bare. Kal looked at Tommy and smiled slightly.
"Come here," he said and led the way to the computer. "Put your right hand there." He pointed to an imprint of a hand in the center of the computer. Tommy glanced at him, then did so.
"Now, think of your living space back home," Kal instructed and Tommy closed his eyes and complied. A moment later, Kal said, "Okay, open your eyes."
Tommy did so and started in surprise. The room, which moments earlier had been bare save for the computer, was now an exact replica of his little apartment back on Earth.
Kal smile and said, "Makes us feel more at home and helps combat homesickness." He paused then said, "Listen, I can tell you're not really happy to be here which tells me Emerald resorted to dirty tactics to get you two here. Whatever she did, don't hold it against her.
You've already seen part of our situation....when you see the rest, then you'll understand why she had to do it."
Tommy nodded and after a moment of silence, asked, "So what power do you hold?"
"I hold the Green Earth power. Chase is the Jade Dragon and Ina is Emerald Water."
"How old is Ina?"
"Well, let's see, you're human right?" He thought for a moment, then said, "That would make her about fourteen or fifteen in human years."
Tommy winced and Kal nodded. "Yeah, I know. She was even younger than that when the power entered her. She's a good fighter though. Good person to have on your side."
Before Tommy could reply, a piercing alarm split the air.
Tommy jumped and looked at Kal who said, "It's the attack alarm. Come on, we need to get to the war chamber."
He turned and ran from the room, Tommy following quickly. They arrived in the war chamber to find Emerald and Chase already there, pushing buttons and staring intently at readouts.
"What is it?" Kal asked, moving to another council and checking the readouts.
"Droids in sector two," Chase replied, turning away from the computer.
"We need to move now," Emerald added, "There's a group of kids right in their path."
"Droids?" Tommy asked.
"You'll find out in a minute, Emerald replied. She moved up to him and added, "Here, wear this at all times. It acts as your morpher."
Tommy took what she offered and quickly examined it. The object was a green amulet attached to a gold chain with the outline of a Dragon carefully carved on it.
He put it on as Emerald said, "To morph, simply touch the amulet and call out the power. And one more thing. Droids are not stupid creatures. They're very smart very dangerous and very brutal fighters so be careful, understand?"
Tommy nodded and Emerald said, "All right then, let's do this. It's Morphin' time!" She touched her amulet and shouted, "Emerald Dragon!"
Chase was next, shouting, "Jade Dragon!"
Tommy instantly touched his amulet and shouted, "Green Dragon!" and then Kal shouted, "Green Earth!"
When the light cleared, Tommy found himself standing in a formation line with the others in the middle of a green tinted street. On his right was Chase, clad in what was obviously the standard Green Dragon uniform,
only Jade instead of Green. Next to him was Emerald and next to her was Kal, dressed in one of the strangest Ranger uniforms Tommy had ever seen.
The color had a strange earthy tone to it but what was really different was the helmet. The whole helmet was thinner than normal and exposed his eyes as well as his mouth. Tommy made a quick mental note to ask
about it later as his attention was turned to the power soaring through him. He had forgotten how good the Green Power felt and hadn't realized just how much he missed it.
"Dive!" Emerald suddenly shouted and Tommy immediately dove to one side with Chase while Emerald and Kal dove to the other.
Seconds later, the spot they had been standing in exploded. Tommy rolled and came to his feet in a fighting stance, looking around quickly. What he saw startled and fascinated him at the same time.
Standing about a yard away from them was a group of eight strangely beautiful girls. They all had blue skin and feline features with wild, fire red hair. Their outfits were similar to Zara's but showed more.
"Man, oh man," Tommy whispered.
"Whatever you do, don't look directly into their eyes," Chase murmured.
"Why? What happens?"
"You don't wanna know. Just don't do it."
Tommy barely had time to nod before the bizarre creatures attacked.
Tommy found himself facing three of the deadly beauties and quickly found out just how true Emerald's description of them were. He had never gone up against opponents with fighting skills such as theirs and it was growing increasingly difficult to keep his eyes away from theirs.
Finally, he managed to get all three of them in front of him, drew his blaster and, quickly setting it to high, blasted them all. It actually seemed to hurt them, so he kept on doing it until two of them let out terrible screams and vanished. The third was still up and wounded, but obviously very angry.
"You will pay for hurting my sisters," she hissed and was about to attack when Kal suddenly appeared, running a sword straight through her. She let out a scream more terrible than the first two and vanished.
"You can only do that if they're hurt," he explained. "You'll have to tell me how you managed to do that when this is over."
Before Tommy could reply, a high pitched whistle split the air and the remaining Droids vanished. Tommy looked around, then looked up and a low laugh and spotted a woman siting on a street light several feet away. She was clad in a black leathery uniform and had short, blonde hair. Tommy felt chills go up and down his spine as a feeling of familiarity came over him.
"Litara," Kal said softly.
"Greetings Rangers," Litara called down. "I was watching the entertainment and noticed something different. First, I'd like to welcome Emerald back. Missed ya sugar."
Emerald didn't reply, the angry glow around her speaking for her.
Litara smiled and jumped down, landing lightly on her feet. "Next," she said, sauntering up to within a few feet of them, "I'd like to welcome the new Ranger." She looked around, then added, "But you still seem to be two short. Now, I know what happened to one of them. How is she, by the way? Dead yet?"
"I thought you were a warrior, Litara!" Emerald growled, "But you're nothing but a coward! Ina is just a child!"
"And this is a war in case you haven't noticed. Dear little Ina is a Ranger and therefore, fair game."
She turned her attention to Tommy and looked him up and down slowly with a small smile. "Now you interest me very much. My Droids are very difficult to hurt and yet, you managed to take two of them out and hurt a third rather badly before Earth man over there ran her through. Tell me, how did you manage that?"
"That's something you'll have to find out on your own," Emerald said before Tommy could reply. "Now either fight us or take off."
Litara smiled coldly. "Normally, I would choose fight. Your new Ranger here has me very curious. But I think I'll wait till I can fight him alone." She stopped and listened to something, then added, "Lord Mantrica calls. I'll give him your regards." She winked, then disappeared in a flash of black flame.
"Mantrica?" Tommy asked.
"Leader of the Marlentians," Kal replied.
"Back to base," Emerald ordered. "We need to talk."
The others nodded and touched their belts, vanishing in flashes of Green light.