Legal Disclaimer: The Power Rangers belong to Saban Entertainment, not to me. The characters of Morgan St. Clair and the White Comet TurboZord do belong to me; no one may use them without my express written permission. This fanfic takes place after "The Accident". Happy reading.
"Let me guess, the Power Rangers beat you again," Divatox said dryly as Elgar and Rygog teleported back to the SpaceBase. She hadn't even been watching on her periscope, she'd known how this fight was going to come out from the moment she'd sent them down to Earth with the Piranatrons.
"Gee, Auntie D, how'd you guess?" Elgar wondered as he shuffled over to her. "You must be psychic!"
"If I was, I certainly wouldn't have brought you along in the first place," she growled as she pushed him out of her way. "You've done nothing but screw up every time!"
Elgar tried to protest, but she shut him up with one evil glance. Standing on the edge of the Space Balcony, she stared down at Earth with hungry, greed-filled eyes. Such a beautiful world, and it's going to be all mine. I just wish those Rangers weren't in the way! I can't even rob a bank without them showing up!
"Divatox," Rygog came over to her. "There's a message for you from General Havoc."
"What does he want now?" Divatox wondered. She hadn't heard from her brother since he'd left three weeks earlier, promising to have a new Metallasaurus when he got back. She hadn't really been looking for him back this soon.
"He says he's returning to the SpaceBase, and has something you're going to want to see, my queen."
She raised an eyebrow; this was interesting, Havoc didn't normally change his plans like this. Whatever he had promised to be quite worthwhile. "Did he say when he was getting here?"
"Right now, my dear sister," Havoc entered her throne room and came directly over to her. "I have found a way to destroy the Power Rangers once and for all!"
Divatox glowered at him. "I thought that was supposed to be why you were off building that new Metallasaurus! You're not going to make me wait two hundred years for that, are you?"
"I've already got my robot warriors working on it," he told her. "But I have a special surprise for you," she was surprised when he handed her a parchment map. "I believe you might want to take a look at this," There was an expression on his face that might have been mistaken for a smile if one didn't know him well enough to figure out he didn't do things like that. "I stopped to plunder a ship on my way back to start the new Metallasaurus, and I knew you'd want to see something I found on board at once."
"What is it? Gold, jewels, fabulous works of art?" she asked, her attention wandering over the treasure she'd already accumulated over the centuries she'd been plundering the universe.
"Better than that," Havoc actually laughed, a sound she would have wagered much money that he couldn't make! "Take a look!" he urged her as she unrolled the parchment. She ran her eyes briefly over it, then as what it meant hit her, she stared in complete surprise at her brother.
"The White Comet Turbo Powers?"
"Yes, they've been lost for several thousands of years, and this map shows where they're at!" Havoc told her. "On a small planet in the Delta quadrant."
She looked up eagerly at him. "Are they guarded by anything or anyone?"
Havoc shook his head. "No, they've been forgotten; I doubt even Dimitria remembers about them! And the White Comet Zord is there as well."
Divatox threw her head back, laughing in triumph. "Everything we need to create our own evil Ranger to destroy those other Power Rangers!"
"Not so fast, sister," Havoc held up a hand to halt her enthusiasm. "We still need two more things once we have the White Turbo Chargers and the Zord."
"Oh, and what's that?" she glared at him; being disturbed in the middle of one of her evil laughs was never fun.
"We need someone to become the White Ranger, and we need some way to control them."
Oh, he's always coming up with some way to spoil my fun! "Well, pick out some evil human on Earth, there's got to be one we can talk into it."
Havoc sighed; sometimes Divatox was just a little too fixated on being the essence of evil. "The White Powers are still Power Ranger powers, which means they have to be held by someone who's good. That's why we have to control them. If they're controlled by us, they won't lose the powers when they're used for evil."
"Then go grab some kid off the streets!"
I'm going to have to go through this one step at a time with her, I think! "Divatox, the Powers enhance what is already in the bearer; if we find a trained fighter of some type, then they will be made even deadlier once they morph!"
Divatox finally stopped looking at the map to look at her brother. "Oh, that's enough, Havoc! We'll decide that once we have the Turbo Chargers. Come on, we're going to the Delta Quadrant!" * * *
Carlos and T.J. were heading home from school together, enjoying the brief respite they'd had from Divatox's attacks. In fact, as Carlos mentioned, it had been almost a week since there had been any sign of even a Piranatron.
"Well, I'm just glad we've got some time off, I need to do some studying," T.J. decided. "I almost flunked that last biology quiz because of having to take time out whenever Divatox's monsters attack."
"Yeah, that's right," Carlos nodded. "I can use the time to catch up on my sleep, too!"
Their friendly banter was interrupted by the unwelcome beep of their communicators. Carlos glanced around to see if anyone was near enough to see them, then spoke quickly into the wrist device. "What is it, Dimitria?"
"Rangers, report to the Command Center at once!" her soft voice ordered them. Carlos and T.J. exchanged rueful glances.
"Looks like the vacation's over with," T.J. sighed. In flashes of red and green, they teleported to the Command Center. Ashley, Cassie, and Justin were already there, and Alpha was running back and forth between the computers, doing something that they couldn't identify.
"What's going on?" Carlos asked. He didn't like the worried expression everyone seemed to have on.
"Divatox has left the SpaceBase in the company of General Havoc," Dimitria told them quietly. The Rangers all looked at each other; they weren't quite sure how to take this.
"Yo-yo-yo," Alpha shuffled over to them, waving some printouts. "Our readings indicate they're taking off for the Delta Quadrant!"
"What's there that they could be after?" Ashley wondered. Justin shook his head.
"Whatever it is, it can't be good for us!" the youngest Ranger stated solemnly. Cassie nodded.
"Dimitria, is there any way we could get what they're after before they do?" the Pink Ranger wondered.
"Without knowing what they are searching for, or precisely where they are going, we cannot beat them to their prize," their quiet mentor told them. "We can only hope that whatever they seek, we can deal with it when they return." * * *
"So this is the place?" Divatox stared at the lush green planet before them through the viewscreen of their spaceship. "What a dump; no cities bursting with jewels and treasure for me to take, no people for me to conquer and enslave! Nothing but grass and trees and water, bleeech!!"
"And the White Turbo Ranger powers," Havoc reminded her. They were the only two on the ship; neither had wanted to trust even their most loyal minions with this mission. It was simply too important to allow anyone to screw it up. "The map says they're just beyond that plateau over there."
Divatox yawned and put her feet up on the control panel; completely ignoring the several warning lights that blipped on as she did so. Havoc growled a little, but when she paid no attention to him, he simply returned to piloting the ship.
They came down in a quiet clearing next to a stream, and Havoc checked the map quickly. "The Turbo Chargers and the White Comet Zord are in a cave on the other side of those trees; I landed us as close to them as I could."
"Well, fine, come on then, I can't wait to have those powers and my very own Power Ranger!" Divatox growled. She started off through the woods, only to have her brother stop her suddenly. "What is it?"
"It's that way," he gestured briefly. She snorted, then headed off into the direction he indicated. I can't believe we're related at times, Havoc thought. This had better be worth everything.
As they stomped through the woods, Divatox thought longingly over the prospect of having her own Power Ranger; her very own little Ranger to pit against the Turbo Rangers. She considered several prospects for the position, all of them fine fighters, but rejected them all. None of them seemed to have quite the flair or style she wanted, and all of them were known to the Rangers somehow. I want an unknown, an enigma, someone the Rangers haven't met at all. Someone who will be my secret weapon against them. Someone who will destroy them!
"There it is!" Havoc pointed up ahead of them to a wide cave opening. "In that cave rests the White Comet Turbo Chargers and the White Comet Zord: the keys to destroying the Power Rangers!"
Divatox headed for the cave. "What are we waiting for, then? I want to get those powers and get those Rangers once and for all!"
Talk about your one-track minds. The interior of the cave as they entered it was lit by a strange brilliant white light, that was neither sunlight or any artificial source either pirate could identify. It grew brighter as they went deeper into the cave, then suddenly, they could see plainly.
On a pedestal of white marble was a pair of Turbo Chargers, and the key to activate them. Just behind the pedestal was a Zord, magnificently white, in the form of a sleek car that made the Lightning Cruiser look like an old jalopy. Embossed on the hood was a golden comet. Divatox stared in unabashed wonder.
"They're ours," she whispered. "And soon all of Earth will be ours as well!"
Havoc picked up the Chargers and put them away, then waved his sword at the White Comet Zord, teleporting it to the spaceship. "Now all we need is to choose the proper human to become the White Comet Turbo Ranger, and all is ours!" * * *
"It's been two days, and no sign of Havoc and Divatox," Justin reported as he glanced over the Power Chamber computer consoles. "I'm really starting to get worried; whatever they're off looking for, it must be something major."
T.J. had been worried from the moment they'd heard their two enemies were leaving the SpaceBase. "I just wish we knew what they were looking for. How can we fight something if we don't know what we're fighting?"
"Patience, Rangers," Dimitria advised. "Rest assured, Havoc and Divatox will reveal what they have sought in time, and we will deal with whatever weapon of destruction they have come up with."
Carlos muttered, "I wish I were as confidant as she is. This not knowing is freaking me out!"
Ashley tried to calm him as best she could. "Whatever it is, Dimitria's right, we'll take care of it."
Justin glanced over to Cassie, who was staring quietly into space. They all knew perfectly well what was going on with her; she'd been like this ever since the Phantom Ranger had left. She missed him more than any of them did. He hoped she'd be able to keep her mind on business once Divatox and Havoc returned with whatever they'd went to get.
For that matter, I hope I can. Whatever they're going for, it's got to be dangerous. For us, and for the Earth. * * *
Divatox prowled around on the SpaceBase, staring alternately at the Turbo Chargers that rested on a small table and down at Earth. Havoc was pouring over a list of great warriors, hoping to find one that met their requirements for the new White Ranger.
"Someone good enough to hold the Ranger powers, someone who is already a fine fighter, but someone whom the Rangers do not know, yet who is close to them, or will be soon," she murmured as she stopped to stare at the list in Havoc's hands once more. "There has to be someone."
"Not to mention, we need to be able to control them," Havoc reminded her. "Of course, I've already got something in mind for that."
"Oh?" Divatox raised one eyebrow elegantly. "And just how might that be?"
"All in good time, sister dear," he promised her. "First we have to choose our new Ranger. And I think I know just the person."
"Who?" she asked eagerly, sitting next to him and grabbing for the list in his hands. She ran down it quickly, trying to figure out who he had in mind for the important task of being their Ranger.
He gestured towards one of the names on the list, and she quickly checked it. "Perfect! She's going to be moving to Angel Grove tomorrow, she's a fourth-degree black belt in karate, and she doesn't know any of the Rangers, even remotely! A total enigma, just what I wanted! What's her name?" * * *
"Morgan!" Madeline St. Clair called her teenage daughter's name gently, not wanting to disturb her as she practiced her karate moves. She watched for a few moments, enjoying the sight of her child's skill.
She takes after her father so much. Well, he taught her everything she knows about martial arts and then some. But. . .I must admit. . .she gets her looks from me. It was no real vanity to think that; Madeline and Morgan looked as much alike as mother and daughter should. Long red hair, green eyes, and a figure to kill for, currently covered in Morgan's case by a white karate gi, tied by a black belt. As the kata came to it's end, Morgan looked over at her mother.
"What is it? Are we ready to go?"
"We leave in a couple of hours," Madeline told her. "I just wanted to make sure you've got everything all packed."
Morgan nodded as she headed for the shower. "Everything except this," she gestured towards her gi. "I'll shove it into my workout bag, though."
"All right," Madeline headed back inside the house. Morgan chuckled to herself as she stepped into the bathroom. Her chuckle turned into a sigh as she looked around the mini-apartment that had been hers for almost two years now. On her fifteenth birthday her parents had told her she was 'moving out', and she'd been worried for all of ten minutes: until they'd shown her the garage. As a surprise for her, it had been turned into a three-room palace for herself, where her brothers and sisters were absolutely forbidden to enter. The bedroom, workout room, and bathroom were all Morgan's.
She hummed to herself as she showered, thinking over the move to come. By this time tomorrow, we'll be in Angel Grove, California. I wonder what it's like there. I've heard a lot of weird things on the news. Superheroes in spandex, alien invaders. Wonder how much. . .if any of it. ..is true. Wonder if they've got some place I can work out at.
Morgan dropped to the floor in the workout room once her shower was over and took several deep breaths. She closed her eyes, preparing to spend her usual hour meditating before having to start help move. The sound of sudden footsteps broke into her concentration, though, and she looked up, meaning to yell at whichever of her younger siblings dared to intrude on her private space. She got a major surprise.
She saw a batch of creatures that could only be described as 'humanoid fish'. I am not seeing this. This is not real. That thought was quickly banished when the things charged her. She was on her feet and in a fighting stance a moment later. "I don't know what you creeps want, but you'd better get out of here!"
The creatures didn't take her advice, and seemed to be trying to grab her as they circled around her. "Sorry, fishfaces, but if it's a fight you want, it's a fight you're going to get!" Morgan flipped, kicked, punched, and struck with every ounce of strength and bit of skill her father had drilled into her over her entire life. Whatever these things were, they were no match for her. She stepped back as the last of them fell, out of breath and triumphant. "Told you that you were in for a fight!" she smiled a little. The very last thing she'd expected to hear was the sound of someone clapping behind her.
Or more precisely: two someones. She turned to see a tall woman in what looked like gold and red armor of some type, with a golden mask covering most of her face, and a strange, almost robotic-looking person next to her. The woman spoke. "Congratulations, Morgan St. Clair, you have passed your test!"
"What are you talking about?" Morgan tried to catch her breath, not taking her eyes off either of them for a moment. "Who are you? What are you doing in my house?"
"All will be explained to you in good time," the robotic person spoke in a gruff male voice. "All you need to know at the moment is that you have been chosen to serve us."
"In our great and glorious cause to conquer and plunder the world!" the woman laughed, and Morgan had never heard a more evil sound in her life. She stepped away carefully.
"No way," she shook her head. "I don't know what freak show you two crawled out of, but you'd better crawl right back into it, because I'm not going to help you do anything!"
"She's being difficult, Havoc!" the woman stared balefully at Morgan. "She's perfect for the Powers, and she's being difficult about it!"
The robot creature, Havoc apparently, shrugged and pulled a sword out. "That won't be anything I can't handle!" he pointed the sword at her, and utter blackness shut itself all over Morgan. * * *
A brief flash of pain, pain so intense she screamed. Or did she? She couldn't be sure, she didn't hear it, but she was certain that her throat was raw from the scream.
Voices. She recognized them briefly; the strange woman, the robot thing. Others, ones she didn't know. All sounded servile and obedient to the woman and Havoc. Her head ached unimaginably, and as her mind and thoughts cleared, she found herself in a strange and unfamiliar place.
"My queen, she is waking up," was the first sentence she heard and completely understood. Her eyes flashed open and she looked around. To one side was a creature that looked amazingly like a huge marshmallow with a porthole for a face. To the other side was a tall, hideous thing she couldn't even describe to herself. It looked more or less like a person carrying a huge blue turtleshell on his back, with glowing red eyes!
"Well, well, well, so you've made it back to the land of the living," a semi-familiar voice spoke. She turned to see the woman and Havoc standing behind her. "You truly are worthy of becoming the White Turbo Ranger."
She absolutely could not have heard that right! "What?" she asked. "What did you say?"
"It's very simply, my girl," Havoc told her. "I am General Havoc, and this is my sister, Divatox, the most feared pirate queen in all the universe. We are here to conquer and plunder Earth of all it's riches, and the only things that stand in our way are the Power Rangers. You are going to help us, by defeating the Power Rangers."
"Oh, you have got to be kidding!" Morgan laughed. "How do you expect me to defeat the Rangers, even if I wanted to, which I don't?!"
Havoc and Divatox exchanged glances that definitely caused Morgan a few moments of nervousness. What do they know that I don't? "Well?" she tried to get an answer from them.
"How is with these," Havoc pointed to one side, to where the White Turbo Chargers lay on a table. "And you're going to want to!"
She shook her head violently. "No way!" Divatox laughed as she turned to a console near her and touched a button. Incredible, intense agony burst through Morgan at that moment, enough to drive her to her knees. "Ohhhh. . .ohhhhh. . .stop it!"
The pain eased off and she stared up at Divatox and Havoc. "What did you do to me?" she whispered. Oh. . .that was pain to the extreme. That hurt me in places I didn't know I had!
"Feel the back of your neck," Havoc suggested, a gleeful tone in his voice. Hand shaking, she reached behind her to feel a small bandage under her hair. "While you were unconscious, Porto implanted a very special little device in your brain. It's controlled by that console there," he gestured towards where Divatox stood. "To put it simply, if you don't do what we want you to, you're going to suffer enough pain to make you want to die: but you won't."
Morgan quite literally felt as if the ground had been cut out from under her. That pain, that horrible, hideous pain forever? As she stared first at Divatox, then at Havoc, she realized they would do it, without remorse, without a second thought. Her hand touched the implant again, and her stomach cemented itself together with fear.
I can't do it. I just can't. But if I don't. . .who knows what else they'll try? I don't think if I tell them no, they'll just torture and forget. They could do this to someone else, and I could never live with myself if that happened! I won't let it happen. . .no matter what that might cost me. I won't let someone else suffer this if I can help it.
She looked up at them, defeat in her eyes. "I'll do it," she whispered brokenly. I can't believe I just said that. I'm going to serve evil. This is one rotten day.
"Very wise decision," Divatox congratulated her. "Now, you'll need to know who the Rangers are. Look through the periscope," she gestured towards the device. Morgan went over, still playing absently with the bump under her skin.
She saw five young people around a table somewhere. One was obviously the very youngest, he couldn't have been more than twelve or thirteen at the most. The other four looked to be possibly anywhere from sixteen to seventeen; it was odd enough to see them hanging out with the littlest one. If these were the Power Rangers, that was probably the main reason they were together like that.
"The short one is Justin, the Blue Ranger," Divatox's slimy voice came from behind her. "The one in red is T.J., the Red Ranger. The other boy is Carlos, the Green Ranger. The two girls are Cassie, the Pink Ranger, and Ashley, the Yellow Ranger. Remember them all, and remember when you meet them: they are the enemy."
"What if I don't meet them?" she asked quietly; hoping she wouldn't get to know them as people. She might have to fight them, but she didn't want to be fighting friends. She stole another glance at Carlos; something about him caught at her heart. He's gorgeous, that's what he is. And I'm going to be fighting him. Does life suck or what?
"You will," Havoc assured her. "They make a point out of welcoming new people into their lives. Now it's time for you to become the White Comet Turbo Ranger."
He pointed her towards the Turbo Chargers on the table. "Put those on, and morph!" he ordered. She picked them up and slid them onto her wrists, her hands working almost by sheer instinct. "Shift into Turbo!" she heard the words coming out of her mouth with sheer surprise. "White Comet Turbo Power!" a moment later, the newest of the Power Rangers stood before Divatox and Havoc, clad in a glittering white uniform.
"The Rangers are just gonna hate her!"
I already hate myself, Morgan thought. At Divatox's command, she demorphed, though a touch reluctantly. It had felt so good to morph, to wear the costume of one sworn to defend good against evil. . .but it felt hideous to know she had to attempt to defeat the Power Rangers.
"All right, we'll return you to Earth. You haven't been gone that long, and tomorrow. . .you meet the Power Rangers!" Divatox told her. Morgan sighed to herself. Somehow, this wasn't how I wanted to start off my life in Angel Grove.
"When you're there, you aren't to reveal to them just how good of a fighter you are. Keep that part of your life a secret from them," Havoc ordered. She nodded dully. "Don't let them know who you really are as the White Ranger. Don't even attempt to push them away or be unfriendly to them. You can act like their friend all you want. But don't be their friend; you're a warrior and a spy for evil, remember that."
Once again she nodded. Divatox looked harshly at her, then touched the console again. Pain, not as much as before, but enough, tore through Morgan's body. "Remember, White Ranger, we can do that to you whenever we want. Do as you're told."
"I will," she promised. No matter how much it revolts me. Divatox then tossed her what looked to be a golden bracelet, with three gems set into it and ordered her to put it on. "What's it for?" Morgan seriously doubted it was just a friendly gift.
"This is how we'll keep in touch with you, so you know when you're called to service," the pirate queen told her. "The opal is a communications gem, the onyx teleports you anywhere you'll need to go, just keep the place in your thoughts, and the ruby is a homing device, so we can keep an eye on you no matter where you are. You are absolutely forbidden to remove this, waking or sleeping."
Morgan nodded; she'd almost expected something like this. Divatox sent another wave of pain through her, then told her, "That's just to remind you who you serve now. And because I wanted to do it, too!"
Havoc interrupted Divatox's torment of their new Ranger. "She has to be sent home, or else there will be trouble we don't need to attract," Havoc pointed his sword at her again, and she found herself back on Earth, in her workout room. She would have thought it was all a dream, if it weren't for the Turbo Chargers on her wrists, which faded even as she looked at them, and for the small lump under the skin on the back of her neck that reminded her of the implant. It was even hidden by her hair; no one would normally notice it.
She made her way to her bedroom and stretched out on the bed. She was lucky no one bothered her during this time of day usually, since they knew she worked out and meditated most of the afternoon. No one had noticed her abduction or the time she'd been gone afterwards. She glanced at the clock; she had only a few minutes till they'd start the drive to Angel Grove. Another few minutes until I start moving towards the people I have to fight. Towards the people I have to do my level best to defeat, or suffer. Talk about a bad way to make a first impression. * * *
"It's been three days, and no sign of them," Carlos glanced around carefully to make sure no one else in the Youth Center had heard him. "I know it's a long shot, but it is entirely possible that they've given up."
"I don't think so," Justin shook his head. "I mean, think about it, Carlos. They would've at the least taken the SpaceBase with them.
Ashley nodded. "They could come back at any minute, with something totally devastating, way worse than Metallasaurus!"
"Not a pleasant thought," Cassie shivered, trying not to think of the incredible power of Havoc's monster. It had been bad enough facing it twice; anymore than that, and she was going to consider early retirement.
Just as T.J. was about to add something of his own, their communicators all beeped the same tone. "Come on, let's get to the Power Chamber. Maybe there's news."
Leaving enough money to pay for what they'd had, the five Rangers slipped to a quiet corner and teleported quickly away. The first thing they saw once they were solid again was Alpha turning towards them, excited or nervous over something.
"Yo-yo-yo, Rangers, Havoc and Divatox have returned to the SpaceBase!" he told them. They exchanged quick worried glances. T.J. spoke for them all.
"Is there any hint just yet of what they were looking for?"
"No, they just came back aboard the SpaceBase like they never left, I dunno what's going on!" Alpha went over to another console and picked up a printout sheet, muttering to himself.
T.J. glanced up at Dimitria. "Can you tell if they found what they were after?"
"There is no indication of anything of an abnormal size or unusual power being brought aboard the SpaceBase, as would be the case if a new monster or weapon was discovered," Dimitria told them. "But we must remain on guard."
"Whatever they were after, if they found it, we'll find out soon enough," Carlos said. "And I've got the feeling it's not going to be good when we do." * * *
Another day passed, without or any hint from the SpaceBase as to what was going on up there. Carlos and T.J. settled into their seats in homeroom the next morning, both worried about what Divatox and Havoc's next move would be. In a quick, whispered conversation, the five of them had agreed before class to stick close to each other as much as they could, and to keep an eye on their communicators. "We don't want to take any chances we don't have to," was T.J.'s comment. They'd all agreed, then went on to class.
"Students," the teacher called all their attention to the front of the room. An unfamiliar young woman stood uncertainly next to the teacher's desk. "We have someone new joining us today," they were told. "Morgan St. Clair."
It was all Carlos could do not to let his jaw drop in amazement. She was quite literally the most beautiful creature he'd ever seen in his life! A long twisted braid of flame-red hair, green eyes that laughed and danced like springtime, an olive complexion, and just flat out gorgeous! She was casually dressed, in jeans and a white blouse, her only ornament being a simple gold bracelet on her right wrist, and was glancing just as casually around the room.
She's beautiful! Carlos, for the first time since hearing about Divatox and Havoc leaving the SpaceBase, stopped thinking about what they were up to. All that seemed to matter was finding out if she had a boyfriend or not! He glanced over to see T.J. chuckling a little at his obvious reaction.
Morgan, on the other hand, wasn't quite so pleased to see Carlos and T.J.: especially not Carlos. Oh, this is just my luck! Two of them are in my homeroom! And one of them is HIM! Carlos. The Green Turbo Ranger. Quite possible the best looking guy I've ever seen. Fate must hate me; first I have to be an evil Power Ranger, now I'm trapped in homeroom with two of the good Rangers, one of which I've got a major crush on already! Well, at least things can't get any worse!
"Morgan, you can take the seat next to Carlos," the teacher gestured towards the only empty seat in the whole room. Morgan took a deep breath, covering the scream of horror she wanted to make as she sat next to him. I was wrong, they just got a lot worse. He won't say anything, please, God, don't let him talk to me!
"Hi," he held out his hand. "I'm Carlos."
Obviously, God is not taking requests today. At least not mine. She shook his hand; she had to act normal. "I'm Morgan. Nice to meet you, Carlos." I'd rather be a thousand miles away, with this damn implant out of my head, and for this whole thing never to have happened, actually.
"I take it you're new in Angel Grove?"
She nodded. "My family just moved here from Nevada," she told him. "My dad's company transferred him here and we got shipped along with the luggage," she smiled a little ruefully. "It's kind of weird being in a new school after all this time; we'd spent my whole life there."
"Oh, that's too bad," he looked as if he really felt sorry for her. She couldn't help thinking if he knew who and what she really was, he'd be running screaming away from her. It was all she could do not to sigh in sadness. "You think maybe after school you might want to come over to the Youth Center; maybe hang out a little?" he asked, doing his best not to show how excited he was waiting for her answer. After a moment's consideration, she nodded.
"Sure. I should be able to make it. Only one problem; I don't know where it is!" she told him. "Remember, I just moved to town yesterday!"
Carlos chuckled a little. "No problem; I'll meet you after class and walk you over there!"
Great, just what I need, more time around him! "Thanks; that'd be great!" I'm supposed to act normal around them; this is what I would do if I weren't on the other side. How can I act normal around this guy? I'm not going to be able to do this! As she thought that, a mild shock ran through her. She knew precisely what that meant: a reminder that she had to do it. Her life depended on it. I can't let Divatox and Havoc find out I like Carlos. If they do, they'll make things even worse for me! Even he can't know. . .no one can.
She turned her attention to the teacher as class began, sighing a bit under her breath. "This just isn't my lucky week," she murmured lightly. Carlos, just one seat away, was thinking the exact opposite. * * *
"Our little Ranger's going to work out just fine!" Divatox laughed as she observed Morgan's reaction to Carlos. "This is the finest plan ever!!!"
Havoc nodded. "We will send her out soon to meet the Rangers soon, and she will devastate them!"
Divatox nodded, then reconsidered suddenly. "I don't want to just blow them away. I want to tease them some," she giggled evilly. "I want to make them suffer before destroying them utterly!"
"As you wish, sister," her brother agreed. "The White Ranger is the perfect tool to cause them pain with!"
"This afternoon," Divatox decided. "This afternoon, she'll make her grand debut. . .and the Rangers will wish they'd never been born when she's through with them!" * * *
Alpha shuffled from one computer to another, scanning the SpaceBase and everything near it to determine what it was Havoc and Divatox had went to find. This worried the little robot more than he wanted to say; there were so many things in the universe that could be used for destruction if they were found by that evil brother and sister.
"Alpha, has there been any sign of attack from the SpaceBase?" Dimitria asked softly. He looked up at her and shook his head.
"No, Dimitria," he reported. "Whatever they're up to up there, they're being awfully quiet about it!"
"This is worrisome, Alpha," she said. "We must find out what they are planning, before it is too late."
"I'm looking, but I ain't finding anything! Whatever it is, they're keeping it under tight wraps!"
"Keep searching," she urged him. "They are up to something, we know it. We must discover what it is." * * *
Morgan slipped the last of her books into her locker and sighed. It had been a long day, and she'd been on edge most of it. The two classes she didn't have with Carlos or one of the other Rangers, she had sat and worried endlessly over what would happen if. . .no, when she was called on to fight the Rangers. She knew perfectly well Divatox and Havoc weren't going to just forget about their hand-picked Ranger: about her.
I wish they would. Find some other way to get rid of the Rangers, some way that doesn't involve me. I'd be perfectly happy to live out the rest of my life never seeing either of them again.
Something flashing caught her eye; which she saw was the opal in the bracelet Divatox had given her. She glanced around quickly; no one was near her. She touched the opal, and heard Divatox's icy voice speaking to her.
"White Ranger, morph and join the Piranatrons in the park; it's time the Power Rangers met their newest enemy!"
"Yes, Divatox," she whispered her reply. She was glad she'd told her parents she was going to go for a walk and some exercise after school; she wouldn't be missed. "I'll go at once."
She leaned against the locker for a moment, breathing deeply. This is it. There's no turning back once I do it. Once I attack them, we're enemies forever. She sighed. It's either this, or suffer through more pain than I want to think about it. I can't win either way. At least if I fight, the Rangers might defeat me. They've never lost a fight yet. I don't see that changing just because they're fighting me.
A jolt of pain from the implant reminded her of what she had to do. She glanced around again to make sure no one was looking, then quietly morphed. Thinking of the park, and a group of Piranatrons waiting for her, she touched the onyx and teleported.
The White Turbo Ranger was about to make a very viscous appearance. * * *
T.J. and Cassie were about to enter the Youth Center when their communicators beeped. Backing away a little, T.J. asked, "What is it, Alpha?"
"Yo-yo-yo, Rangers, there's a group of Piranatrons causing trouble in the park, you'd better get over there before they hurt someone!" the robot's voice came over the communicator. The two Rangers looked at each other; the same thought was going through their minds. Looks like the vacation's over with!
"We're on the way, Alpha," T.J. told him. "Have the others meet us there."
"You got it, T.J.," Alpha agreed. T.J. and Cassie looked at each other nervously for a moment, then slipped around to a quiet corner behind some bushes.
"Shift into Turbo!" T.J. called out. A moment later, the Red and Pink Turbo Rangers arrived at the park, to be joined by the others a few moments later. The Piranatrons were tearing up things all over the place, and putting the people to swift flight. "Hey, fishheads!" the Red Ranger called out. "Leave those people alone!"
Morgan watched from the shadows, torn between what she knew she had to do and what she wanted to do. She wanted to go out there and fight with the Rangers, alongside of them, defending Angel Grove and the world. But she had to fight them, and help Divatox in her plans.
The opal flashed again and reluctantly she brought the bracelet up to her lips. "White Ranger, attack the Power Rangers! It's time!"
"Yes, Divatox," she said helplessly. She lowered her wrist and took a deep breath. If only. . .
She wouldn't attack Carlos first; that was one thing she wouldn't do. She'd wait till he attacked her, if she could. Any of the others were fair game, but not him. She stepped out of the shadows, and blasted them from behind with the laser pistol at her hip, making certain to get their attention, but not to hurt them.
The Rangers turned as one to face whatever it was that was firing on them from behind. They saw not another monster or even Elgar or Rygog. They might even have been mildly relieved to see Divatox there. At least that would've been a familiar enemy, one they knew something about.
Not like the strange figure that met their eyes as they looked behind them. Clad in a white version of their own uniforms, blaster in one hand, and regarding them with what could only be described as a hate-filled look was another Ranger. "Who are you?" T.J. asked.
The only reply the Rangers received was one of pain as the stranger attacked them. Any thoughts that this might be some new ally, like the Phantom Ranger, were driven out of their minds as they were tossed first to one side, then the other. Silently the White Ranger regarded them, chilling each of them with a mere glance.
"Anyone have any ideas about just who that is?" Justin asked, keeping his eyes on the stranger. One by one the Rangers shook their heads. "Great. An evil Ranger."
"My, my, my, you catch on fast, Blue Ranger," General Havoc appeared next to the White Ranger. With a flick of his hand as a command, she charged towards them again, finally stopping at T.J. The Red and White Rangers stood face to face, visor to visor. Surprisingly similar thoughts passed through both minds.
I can't believe I'm fighting another Ranger. I never thought this would happen! T.J. stared, wishing he could see beyond the dark visor to see the face beneath the helmet.
I'm fighting the Power Rangers. I wish this wasn't happening! I'd give anything to be fighting alongside them, not against them! Morgan glared, wishing with all her heart and soul she could take off her helmet and reveal herself to them.
"White Ranger!" Havoc got her attention a moment later. She turned to see what he wanted, glad she'd decided not to speak whenever morphed. If Divatox asked, she would say it was to make it harder for the Rangers to find out who she was, without a voiceprint to analyze. The real reason was she was too afraid to speak, she didn't know if she'd be able to keep her emotions for Carlos out of her voice, or the reluctance she had for this whole affair. Havoc gestured again towards her. "Go back to the SpaceBase, Divatox wishes to speak with you!"
She nodded briefly, then triggered her teleportation bracelet quickly. Instant obedience seemed to be important to these evil types. Havoc chuckled softly.
"Now you've met our newest weapon, Rangers! The White Ranger will destroy you all, and when you are out of the way, Divatox will have control of the whole world!" he proclaimed.
"You're never going to win, Havoc!" Carlos promised him.
"We shall see, Green Ranger, we shall see!" the general laughed, then vanished, along with the Piranatrons and Elgar. The Rangers all stared at each other in mixed fear and wonder.
"We'd better get back to the Power Chamber," T.J. said finally. "Maybe Dimitria knows something about this White Ranger." * * *
Morgan appeared in the SpaceBase in front of Divatox and demorphed instantly. The space pirate queen looked at her approvingly. "You did well, White Ranger," she told Morgan. "Both in school when you met the Rangers and in the battle."
"I don't exactly have a lot of choices, do I?" Morgan hoped this 'interview' wouldn't take long; there might be difficult questions to answer if she were late meeting Carlos.
Divatox laughed icily. "You don't have any choices! Just keep that little thought in mind and you'll do just fine. Go back to Earth now; I'll call you when I want you to do more damage to the Rangers!"
"I'll be waiting," was all Morgan could bring herself to say before she teleported away. Divatox glanced at Havoc and laughed a little.
"That pain implant of yours was a brilliant idea, Havoc," Divatox laughed. "I've never had so little trouble controlling someone before!"
"Naturally, dear sister. Humans respond to pain and pleasure equally well; but pain is so much more effective. Different humans draw pleasure from different things, but pain. . .that's universal," Havoc glanced at the Earth. "We will have to keep an eye on her, though."
Divatox shook her head. "You worry too much, Havoc! We're going to win this war at last!" * * *
"Dimitria, there was a White Ranger out there!" T.J. stared up at their veiled mentor. "I've never seen a White Ranger before!"
"She was incredible," Carlos' voice held mixed amounts of awe and fear. "But why is she working for Divatox and Havoc?"
Dimitria observed the Rangers quietly; it had been thousands of years since the White Ranger Turbo powers had been forged, and she had thought them lost shortly after that. Apparently Divatox and Havoc had rediscovered them. "Divatox and Havoc obviously discovered the White Turbo powers during their recent absence from the SpaceBase. I am uncertain as to why a being of good, as only such a one can be endowed with any Power Ranger powers, would be working for them, however."
"Maybe they have her under some form of mind control?" Cassie suggested. Alpha-6 shrugged.
"I dunno, but something about her's preventing me from scanning her to find out. It's like our sensors just bounce right offa her!"
Justin came over to him. "Let me take a look, maybe I can figure out a way to bypass the block, or whatever it is."
"Here ya go, Justin, these are the results I got already," the genius and the robot put their heads together, hoping for a way to find out what was going on with this new Ranger. The others gathered in a corner to discuss the battle.
"She's strong," T.J. noted. "Quick. She seems to be ruthless too, I think she wouldn't have minded killing us all right then if Havoc and Divatox hadn't pulled her back."
"I wonder why they did that," Carlos glanced suddenly at his watch and paled. "Oh, man, I've got to run! I promised I'd meet that new girl, Morgan, after school! She's probably wondering where I am!"
"You go, Carlos," Ashley giggled. "Wouldn't want to make a bad impression on her!"
Justin glanced over. "Yeah, we'll get in touch with you the moment there's anything to tell you!"
Carlos nodded, hit his communicator, and was out of the Power Chamber a second later. The others giggled a little, enjoying themselves over his sudden attraction to the new girl, then got back to the serious business of finding out just who the White Ranger was. * * *
Carlos arrived back at school behind a bush, and glanced out quickly to see if Morgan was there yet. His heart sank as he saw her standing just outside the building, books in hand, obviously waiting for him. Divatox and Havoc obviously don't care about my social life or they wouldn't have pulled that stunt with the White Ranger!! he thought to himself as he maneuvered around to where it would look natural to be walking up.
"Morgan!" he waved to her a few moments later, and was repaid with a warm wave and grin of her own. As he came up to her, he asked, "Have you been waiting long? I would have been here sooner, but something came up."
She smiled at him. "No, I had something unexpected to take care of myself. I was only there for a few minutes when you showed up."
He didn't notice the shadow of pain that crossed her eyes as she said that; he was too happy over just being with her. "Come on, the Youth Center's this way."
Less than half an hour ago, I was fighting him and his friends. Now we're going out. . . well, not quite on a date. But we're going to hang out together. Imagine that! Me, the White Ranger, supposed to be their sworn enemy, at least sworn to fight them, and him, the Green Ranger, the sworn enemy of evil! If it wasn't so real, it would be too funny! * * *
"So, this is the Youth Center," Morgan looked around appreciatively. "Nice place."
"Yeah, a lot of people hang out here," Carlos told her. "My friends should be showing up later, if they get done with what they're doing." I hope they do find that White Ranger; she's going to be serious trouble if we can't do something about her.
"I'd like to meet them," she smiled a little. He noticed she was quite beautiful when she did that. What he didn't notice was the slight clouding of her eyes at the same time she spoke, and he most definitely didn't hear the thoughts going through her mind.
His friends. The other Power Rangers, who I just spent a hideous ten minutes trashing all over the park. If they recognize anything about me, I'm toast! I'll have to be careful. I can probably fool them, but one wrong move, one slip of the tongue, and everything's over with. For me, for them, for this whole world.
As the two of them sat there, quietly nursing the drinks Carlos had bought them despite Morgan's protests, she found it easier and easier to forget she was supposed to be his enemy and to think of what was going on as an actual semi-date. She was brought back to harsh reality when the other Rangers joined them.
"Hey, guys," Carlos greeted them. "Everyone, this is Morgan St. Clair, she's new to Angel Grove. Morgan, this is T.J., Ashley, Cassie, and Justin."
She shook hands politely with them all, wondering in the back of her mind if they'd be so friendly to her if they knew she was the one who had torn them up in the park only a short time earlier. She sighed a trifle; she knew the answer to that, and it wasn't a good one.
Carlos looked over at Morgan; she seemed a bit depressed over something. I wonder if she's having a good time; she hasn't said much since the guys got here. "Let me get you another drink," he suggested. She nodded almost absently and as she was handing Carlos her empty glass, a sudden jolt of pain from the implant jerked her hand to one side, dumping Justin's own full glass straight into her own lap!
Things were rather confused for a few minutes, as Morgan apologized profusely, Justin repeated several times it was all right, and Carlos went to get them both fresh drinks and a towel. Without even thinking about what he was doing, he started to help Morgan dry her shirt and jeans off. It was only when a sudden silence seemed to fall over their little group that both Morgan and Carlos realized just how close they were.
Carlos jumped back as if something had bit him, and Morgan blushed a fiery red. "I'm sorry," he said, dropping the towel. Morgan grabbed it quickly and finished drying.
"No, it's my fault," she told him. "I need to get home anyway, I'm going to be late for dinner if I don't hurry. I'll see you tomorrow."
She vanished out the door before Carlos or any of the others could say anything more to her. The Green Ranger sighed a little. "I hope I do see her tomorrow," he murmured half to himself. T.J. grinned.
"I think he likes her!"
"Ooooh, Carlos, are you going to ask her out?" Ashley teased. "There's that dance at school Friday, remember? You don't have a date yet, do you?"
Cassie chuckled. "I think I know who he wants to ask, and she just went running out the door!"
The gentle ribbing continued, with Carlos ignoring most of it. His eyes rested on the door Morgan had left by. I wonder if she would go to the dance with me. * * *
Two days went by, with Morgan doing her best to stay just far enough from Carlos so he wouldn't talk to her much, but close enough so he wouldn't think she was avoiding her. Her job was made a little easier considering that Divatox didn't call her for anything, though there were a few Piranatron attacks that the Rangers dealt with easily. She was almost beginning to hope that Divatox and Havoc had forgotten about her, and was just starting to relax the second afternoon.
They figured some way to get rid of the Rangers without me. That's fine by me, I wish the Rangers the best of luck in destroying them.
Morgan stretched out in her backyard, about to do some sunbathing, when suddenly she saw the opal flashing. Oh, no, not again! She brought the bracelet to her lips. "Yes, Divatox?"
"Join the Piranatrons and my latest monster, Rayzor, in the warehouse district," Divatox instructed her Ranger. "And this time: don't show any mercy to the Rangers."
When did I last time? "Yes, Divatox," she acknowledged her orders. Here we go again. "Shift into Turbo! White Comet Turbo Power!"
She appeared next to the Piranatrons and the monster, which looked to have been made out of a thousand razors. She could see the Rangers just ahead of them, unmorphed and obviously suspecting nothing. Morgan sighed a little, not enough for her 'companions' to notice, and wished, not for the first time, that she didn't have that implant in her.
She watched as the Rangers got a little closer, then closed her eyes for a second under her helmet. "Forgive me, Carlos," was all she mouthed, then she started towards them, silent and deadly. * * *
All the Rangers were nervous; it had been two days since they'd seen any sign of the mysterious White Ranger. Carlos was wondering if he'd somehow offended Morgan; she'd barely spoken to him over those same two days.
"Cheer up, Carlos," T.J. tried to reassure his friend. "Things have to get better with her, you know."
"Why do you say that?" Carlos said glumly.
"Because they can't get much worse!" Justin teased him. Carlos almost raised his head to glare at his small friend, when a sharp sound broke into their conversation: the sound of running feet.
"ATTACK!" the Rangers looked up to see a small army of Piranatrons, a monster that looked like a walking razor, and the White Ranger boiling out of an alleyway.
"Oh, great," Cassie groaned. T.J. shouted, "Shift into Turbo!"
They barely had time to morph before White Ranger and her companions were on top of them. Ashley found herself staring into the visor of the White Ranger's helmet.
We've got to find a way to stop her, the Yellow Ranger found herself thinking. She'll destroy us all if we don't.
Carlos saw Ashley locked in combat with the White Ranger, and raced over to help her. He was surprised to actually see the enemy Ranger falling back when he joined the fight; and he wasn't vain enough to think it was because she was afraid to fight him.
If he didn't know better, he would have sworn she hesitated just before kicking him hard in the chest. If it hadn't been for his powers, he knew she would have just broken several of his bones. As it was, he just staggered back some.
"White Ranger!" Divatox's voice came from her bracelet. "You've had enough fun with the Rangers, report to the SpaceBase for a reward."
White Ranger glared at the Rangers one last time, then she issued a low, echoing, evil laughter, the first sound she'd uttered towards them. It was so much unlike anything she ever used normally she figured it was 'safe' to do so. A moment later, she teleported away.
"Man," Carlos muttered. "That's one enemy down, at least," he turned his attention back to the monster, Rayzor, as it fought with Justin and T.J. "And one more to go." * * *
"Ah, White Ranger!" Divatox looked on approvingly as Morgan appeared and demorphed. "You performed splendidly! That kick to the Green Ranger was beautiful, and you fought so very well against the Yellow Ranger that I am going to give you a reward: something that came with your powers and which I believe you have earned."
"What is that?" Morgan asked carefully. She didn't trust Divatox one tiny bit, and all this talk of a 'reward' was actually making her nervous.
"Come with me," the pirate queen rose from her throne and beckoned Morgan to follow her. Helpless to do otherwise, the White Ranger did so, heading down several corridors to a wide storage bay. Inside was a sleek, trim white car with a golden comet design on the hood. Morgan felt an instant kinship with it, almost recognition. "This is the White Comet TurboZord: your Zord, White Ranger. It is your new weapon against the Rangers."
Something as magnificent as this, and she thinks of it as a weapon. That's so like her. But this is my Zord: my partner. The other half of my powers. She found herself walking over to it almost unconsciously, the magnificent creation seemed to call to her. She ran a hand over it's hood and to the top, it was warm, despite the chill of the storage bay.
"You may take it out for a test drive," Divatox decided. "But don't let the Rangers see you. I'll let you know when I want you back here; I'll have further orders for you when you return."
"Yes, ma'am," Morgan said almost absently as she slid into the driver's seat. With a flip of a switch, she and White Comet were on Earth. Morgan leaned back against the seat, truly happy for the first time since she'd seen the Piranatrons in her training room. "I've been in you five minutes and already I'm in love, White Comet." I love you too, Morgan St. Clair. * * *
"Dimitria, we've got to do something, that White Ranger's dangerous!" T.J. almost shouted as he and the other Rangers materialized in the Power Chamber. It had taken almost a solid hour of fighting before they'd managed to take down Rayzor with the RescueMegaZord. "Carlos, how are your ribs?"
"Not too bad," the Green Ranger eased himself against a console. "If I hadn't been morphed, that could've been deadly, though. I think she was actually trying to kill me."
"The White Ranger is a deadly opponent," Dimitria told them unnecessarily. "We must find out how Divatox and Havoc are controlling her and free her."
Cassie looked worried. "What if she can't be freed? What if whatever they're doing can't be fixed?"
"We'll deal with that when the time comes, Cassie," Dimitria advised. "Alpha, have the scans revealed anything yet?"
"No, Dimitria," Alpha shook his head. "As long as she's morphed, we can't detect the White Ranger, and when she demorphs, we have no idea who she really is!"
Ashley frowned a little. "If we could find out who she is, then could the computers detect her?"
"It's a long shot," Justin mused. "But it might work."
Carlos straightened up a little. "The problem is finding out who she really is. She could be anyone, anywhere!"
Dimitria told them, "Whoever she is, she is also a master martial artist. From the two fights you have had with her, it is evident her fighting prowess is only enhanced by the White Powers; not endowed by them."
"So that means, we need to look for someone who can fight: and fight well," T.J. noted. "Around Angel Grove, that covers a lot of territory."
Justin agreed. "But how many of them are female? That cuts down the people we have to look through."
Alpha looked over at Carlos. "You'd better get some rest; those ribs are going to be all right, but you need to rest them anyway."
Carlos nodded and teleported back to his house; he'd wanted some time alone to think over the situation with the White Ranger, Morgan, and everything. This was almost the perfect opportunity to do so.
"Maybe if we can add up what we do know about the White Ranger, and compare it to every female martial artist in Angel Grove, we can make some educated guesses on who she is," T.J. suggested.
"Let's get to work then," Ashley sighed. This looked like it was going to take a long while. * * *
"Who said that?" Morgan looked around suddenly, eyes wide.
I did. The voice was very quiet, warm, and full of a deep and abiding strength.
"Who are you?" she tried to fight the tremble in her voice, but this was terrifying her.
You are within me, dear child. I am the White Comet Zord. Your Zord, as you are the White Ranger. The engine seemed to almost purr at her.
"Th. . that's impossible. . ."
Nothing is impossible, Morgan. There is even the chance you will be free of Divatox and Havoc one day.
She sighed. "I wish I could be; but this thing's in my head and I can't get it out!"
There are others with power, Morgan St. Clair, and there is a chance, a slim chance, that one day one might help you. But until then, you must remain strong. Hold true to your inner principles, and do not let Divatox take you over completely. Always hold to that one spark of light within.
"Do the other Rangers. . .do their Zords talk to them too?"
No. Only I, of all the TurboZords, can communicate with my pilot like this. This is because I waited so long for one to come to use the White Powers that I became sentient; the other Rangers TurboZords were created only a few months ago, and the RescueZords are even younger than that. I, on the other hand, have existed since the White Turbo Powers, the very first Turbo powers, came to be, a very long time ago. It is a very rare event for a machine to develop intelligence as I have, but I am glad of it.
"So am I," Morgan laid her hand gently on the steering wheel and smiled. In less time than she thought possible, a matter of seconds, it had become perfectly natural for her to be talking. . .thinking. . .whatever. . .to the Zord. "I don't feel so alone anymore."
You will never be alone, dear child, not any more. We are together. You will be able to communicate with me wherever you are, morphed or unmorphed. It is good to be with you at last.
"I know," she whispered. She felt tears brimming in her eyes as she leaned against the seat, feeling the warmth of White Comet surround her. If only things could be like this with Carlos.
They may be one day.
Comet? You heard me thinking?
I hear you always, dear child. I have since you first morphed. I waited until Divatox let you take me out before revealing myself, though. I wanted to make certain you were truly worthy of being the White Ranger.
Guess you were disappointed.
No, I wasn't, dear Morgan. You are everything I hoped for, and more. Be strong. There is hope yet. There is always hope. * * *
Carlos lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. The image of Morgan St. Clair floated behind his eyes. She was beautiful, smart, witty, everything he liked in a girl. But she wasn't talking to him; she'd been almost avoiding him for two days now.
I hope I didn't do anything wrong. I really want to ask her out to the dance, but I don't know. . .
The phone next to his bed rang suddenly; he reached over, grinning a bit as he always did before looking at it. He'd bought it at a novelty shop about a week before becoming a Ranger; it was almost an exact duplicate of the Desert Thunder Zord. If I'd only known. . . he thought to himself as he raised the receiver to his ear. "Hello," only a few people knew this number anyway; he half-expected it to be one of the other Rangers.
He shot straight up. "Morgan! How'd you get this number?"
"That's my little secret, Carlos," she chuckled a little. "Look, sorry I've been kind of distant recently, but I wanted to get settled in from the move before really doing much else."
"So are you settled in?"
She giggled a little. "Yeah."
They talked about this and that for a while, no very serious conversation, just generally getting to know each other. He listened quietly as she described her brothers and sisters, then suddenly something occurred to him.
I should ask her to the dance. What have I got to lose; either she says yes or no. But I'm not going to KNOW until I ask. "Ummm. . Morgan, I'd like to ask you something."
"What's that?" there was a slight nervous twinge to her voice; could it be she'd wanted him to ask her? If so, would she say yes?
"There's this dance at the Youth Center this Friday; I was wondering, would you like to come with me?"
She was quiet for so long he almost thought she wasn't there anymore, and was about to repeat his question when she answered. "Yes."
"Really?" he tried to keep all the excitement out of his voice, "Great!"
"I can't wait," she told him. "What should I wear?"
"It's a formal dance," Carlos began, when she suddenly cut him off, a light note of strain in her voice.
"I'm sorry, Carlos, but I've got to go! I. . .I didn't realize it was quite this late!"
"Sure, I'll see you at school tomorrow," he told her. "Bye."
"Bye," she said hurriedly, then hung up. Carlos found himself staring at the phone in amazement, wondering just what was going on here. * * *
"White Ranger, return to the SpaceBase at once! It is time for the next phase in our plan!" Divatox's voice came through loud and clear on Morgan's bracelet. She sighed a little, she'd cut off the conversation with Carlos the second she'd seen the gem flash.
"I'll be right back, Divatox," she reported.
"See that you are," the gem faded, indicated that Divatox had ended the communications link. Morgan leaned back into White Comet's driver's seat, her heart pounding.
I will drive us to the SpaceBase; you rest and regain your composure. If you give any hint of your emotions towards Carlos, Divatox will suspect something.
I know. I still can't believe you let me use your communications system to call him. Heck, I can't even believe you were able to patch into the phone lines like that!
I would do anything for you, you know that. White Comet settled into the storage bay on the SpaceBase a few seconds later. Remember, Morgan, give no hints that I am intelligent, or of your relationship with the young Green Ranger.
I won't. Morgan saw a group of Piranatrons waiting for her; Divatox still didn't trust her that much it seemed. Sheesh, I've got this thing in my head, and the homing device on my wrist, and she STILL doesn't trust me!
As she entered the throne room/main chamber of the SpaceBase, she felt White Comet's warmth in the back of her mind. I'm here with you, her Zord told her. Always.
"Ah, my White Ranger," Divatox 'welcomed' her. "I have some very special orders for you."
Morgan's eyes flicked to the Earth visible through the Space Balcony, and felt a sudden pang of homesickness. Havoc's voice reminded her of where she was, though. "You performed well fighting the Rangers this last time. Now it's time to get serious."
Serious? I don't like the sound of that. Morgan glanced at them both, fighting the fear that always touched her around them. "What do you want me to do?"
Divatox and Havoc shared a viscous glance. "Kill the Green Ranger."
All the blood drained from Morgan's face at Divatox's cold order. NO! She was about to say it out loud when White Comet spoke sharply to her.
Morgan, agree for now.
"I believe she is reluctant, dear sister," Havoc tapped his swagger stick against one hand thoughtfully. "We can't have that, now can we?"
Divatox shook her head as she reached for the pain controls. Morgan spoke up quickly. "I'll do it. When do you want me to kill him?" I can't believe I just said that! Comet, you know I can't, I WON'T kill Carlos!
Calm down, Morgan. The important thing at the moment is that they believe you are.
Morgan felt a rush of pain as Divatox turned the switch. She could tell the pirate queen enjoyed seeing her in pain. Luckily it wasn't as much as it could be; she had the strangest sense if that control was ever turned all the way up, it could be fatal. They can't do that. But if it came down to me killing Carlos or them killing me: I'd die first.
"Very good," Divatox told her. "We'll let you know when the time comes. For now, get back to Angel Grove, I'll call you when I want you."
Morgan teleported straight to Angel Grove, and made her way home almost in a daze. She must have said something sensible to her parents about why she was so late coming home, since they didn't give her any trouble about it. She found herself in her room and staring at herself in the mirror suddenly.
Things will be all right, Morgan, was White Comet's comment.
Comet, you know I can't do that to Carlos! I just CAN'T!
Sleep, Morgan. You need it. Things will look better in the morning.
In the morning I'll still have to kill Carlos! She was already starting to change for bed, though. White Comet was the only being she could talk to, she knew, whom she could trust with every secret in her life. She couldn't tell Carlos she was the White Ranger; she couldn't tell Divatox she liked Carlos.
And in the morning, you'll have to start looking for something to wear to the dance. You still have a date with him for the dance, remember?
She had forgotten. Being ordered to kill him had sort of driven that out of her mind. She started to drift off into slumber, thinking over the conversation with Carlos in great detail. The dreams she had that night were sweet indeed. * * *
"I still think she's reluctant, Divatox," Havoc glanced down at Earth, to where the White Ranger had fallen asleep shortly after her arrival at her home. "She could turn against us with this."
Divatox shook her head. "Oh, you worry too much, dear brother! She'll obey, because if she doesn't, we'll kill her with pain! And she knows it!"
Havoc shrugged. "Yes. But what if she does turn against us?" he was somewhat surprised by his sister's venomous reply.
"Then she will learn the hard way that I am to be obeyed! Even at the cost of her life!"
Divatox threw herself into her throne and gazed petulantly at the Earth, at the world she wanted so much to conquer and despoil. And with my White Ranger to lead my armies, the Power Rangers will fall! Then Earth and all it's riches will be mine forever!
"Why do you want the Green Ranger killed, sister?" Havoc wondered. After all, the Red Ranger was the leader, and the Blue one was the brains of the outfit. Either of them made a much better target than the Green one.
Divatox grinned with such evil force it nearly shook the SpaceBase. "Because our little White Ranger likes him! If she kills him, then she will have proven herself our slave, and if she doesn't, I'll know her weakness, and will be able to purge it from her. I will have no weak warriors in my army!"
"Excellent!" what a mind his sister had!! What a mind! "The Green Ranger was the perfect target after all! This would make or break their Ranger, he decided. She would either kill: or suffer the consequences of not killing.
Either way, they won. That was the way General Havoc liked things. * * *
After school the next day, Morgan wandered through the mall, half to get her mind off her hideous new orders, half just to get out and do something different. It had been a while since she'd done something like that. She found herself drawn to clothes in white, and half-grinned to herself. Must be something to do with being the White Ranger.
You're right. Rangers are drawn to their Ranger colors to wear. White Comet told her. You've noticed the others wear their respective colors when not morphed.
Won't they be able to figure out who I am then?
No. She could sense her Zord's slight humor. You see, there is a sort of blocking field, for lack of a better term, around a morphed Ranger AND an unmorphed one. Unless someone directly sees you teleport or morph, no one will make the connection. Their own minds will make up the explanation for why you consistently wear white, T.J. wears red, Ashley yellow, etc., etc. Your secret will be safe.
I wish I didn't have this secret. She sighed a little as she continued to mall-trawl. But then again, if I didn't, I wouldn't have you.
I am glad we have each other. White Comet was fast on his way to become Morgan's best, and only, friend, she knew. She didn't care if he was a car or not, it didn't matter to her. He knew the inside of her mind, as no one else could.
"Hey, Morgan!" she looked up to see Ashley and Cassie sitting at a table and waving at her. She waved back before thinking about it, then wished she hadn't.
I can't be friends with them! They're. . .
They're people, Morgan, just like you are. Be calm. Once again, she was grateful to White Comet. "Hello," she went over to them.
Cassie smiled at her. "We've heard Carlos asked you to the dance tomorrow night?"
Morgan nodded. "He did. I said yes."
"I hope you two have a great time," Ashley spoke warmly. She'd thought about dating Carlos at one time, but had realized once they became Rangers that all she thought of him as was a friend. She herself was going to the dance with John, a classmate who'd asked her a couple of days earlier. She noticed something then, on Morgan's wrist. "What's that? Some sort of antique?"
Morgan felt her stomach clench up with fear as she raised her wrist to look at the bracelet there. "Nope, just something I picked up at a junk shop," she said casually. "I happened to like the look of it and got it."
"It looks nice," Cassie said, making room for Morgan to sit between them. "What sort of dress are you going to wear to the dance?"
The three Ranger girls, two good, one forced to be evil, chatted about dresses, boys, and other subjects dear to their hearts for almost an hour. Morgan managed to relax, even knowing at any moment she could get the signal to have to kill Carlos. All of her nerves came back, though, when Ashley asked her, "Want to come to the beach with us? We're supposed to meeting the guys there in about half an hour."
Morgan managed to put forth an effort and not stutter out an immediate denial. White Comet, who had been silent since she'd started talking to the girls, spoke up suddenly in her thoughts again. Why not go, Morgan?
I've risked enough just hanging out with them here! What if Divatox and Havoc seeing me having such a good time?
Take a chance.
"A. . .all right," Morgan finally said. "Just let me drop by my place and pick up my bathing suit." Let's hope they leave me alone. One afternoon to myself, without them forcing me to do anything, that's what I ask. Just that.
"No problem," Cassie smiled. "Let's go." * * *
Carlos couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Morgan getting out of Ashley's car with the Yellow Ranger and Cassie. His jaw actually dropped when he saw the white two-piece bikini she had on underneath the light blouse and jeans. T.J. poked him in the ribs gently. "Careful there, Carlos, you're going to raise the ocean level by about three feet if you keep drooling!"
He looked at his friend. "I'm not that bad, am I?"
"Let's just say, you'd better wipe that off your chin before she gets over here! I don't think girls like guys who drool in public," T.J. advised. Carlos quickly checked to see if he was drooling, then came over to Morgan.
"Nice to see you here," he managed to say without stuttering or tripping over himself the closer he got to her. She glanced at him with a casual eye, seemingly unmoved by his outfit of nothing but swimtrunks.
Oh, my God, he's perfect! I didn't think anyone could look that good, but he DOES! "Well, the girls asked me," she glanced towards Ashley and Cassie. "And I didn't have anything else to do, so I came along."
"You look great," he said, eyeing her as discreetly as he could. "Look, I'm going to go take a swim. Want to join me?"
She shook her head. "Maybe later. I just want to soak up some sun for now."
"No problem," he smiled, then headed for the ocean as Morgan found an empty spot and sunned herself. She sat on the beach quietly, watching the play of the sun on the water and sand. If it weren't for the implant in my head, this would be a perfect day, she mused to herself. As always, White Comet was there with it's own comments.
Just enjoy the day as it comes. Be a teenager, not a Ranger, good or evil, today, Morgan. Look, Carlos is coming back from his swim. The sentient Zord could see through her eyes and hear through her ears; their telepathic link provided him with full sensory capabilities. Morgan looked up, and involuntarily caught her breath.
Standing tall and bronzed in the warm California sunlight, wearing only green swim trunks, Carlos stood a few feet away, shaking the water out of his hair. His chest gleamed with what was either water or sweat; Morgan couldn't think clearly enough to be sure at the moment. Every sense she possessed was focusing totally on him.
Her eyes drank in his handsome face and muscled chest and stomach. Her ears listened to the sound of sand falling from his feet as he stepped closer to her. Her nose caught what could only be described as his scent. Her hands itched to hold him close to her. Her tongue longed to join with her lips in a kiss that would go on forever. . .
Her entire body stiffened as a surge of pain swept through her. Divatox obviously wasn't going to let her enjoy the day completely, at least not without a reminder of who she was forced to serve. She could only hope she'd be permitted to go to the dance without having to fulfill her heinous orders. * * *
"Oh, this place is beautiful!" Cassie breathed, looking around what had been the Youth Center, and was now a wonderland of lights, colors, and people dancing to the music coming from the band in one corner. She glanced over to the young man in green next to her. "Isn't it, Carlos?"
"Yeah," Carlos was looking around for Morgan; she'd suggested they meet at the dance rather than he pick her up. "Looks. . .fabulous," the slightly dazed sound in his voice clued in his friends that Morgan had arrived. Following his gaze, they looked over to see Morgan entering the room.
She wore a knee-length white dress, slender white boots that laced up to her knees, and the same glittering bracelet that was a part of every outfit she used. She glanced around, seeing Carlos, and came over to him.
"Hi, Carlos," she said, almost shyly as she reached the small group.
"Hi, Morgan," he was just as shy as she was. They stared awkwardly at one another for a moment, then were both spared from having to make small talk as the band struck up another song. "Would you care to dance?" he asked. Morgan smiled and nodded.
"I'd love to," she almost murmured. Hand in hand they headed out to the dance floor. T.J. turned to Cassie, smiling.
"What about you?" he asked his teammate. "Want to dance?" Soon they too were out there, joined moments later by Ashley and John. Justin sat by the counter, watching his friends, and admittedly, feeling somewhat left out. He'd only come because T.J. had insisted, he didn't want any of the Rangers being left on their own if at all possible.
He was so intent on watching the others, the girl next to him had to ask twice before he heard her. "Do you want to dance?" she asked, tapping her foot a little impatiently. "Am I going to have to scream to get your attention, Justin?"
"Gia?" she was in his karate class, and he'd seen her around the Youth Center a few times. Blonde hair and blue eyes, she was his height and age, and he guessed she was pretty. "Um, you want to dance with me?"
"No, I just came over here and asked you that twice because I wouldn't dance with you if my life depended on it," she snapped sarcastically. "Oh, if I wait around for you to answer, I'll be standing here all night!"
Before he had a chance to accept or decline, she had pulled him out to the dance floor and started to move with the music. After a moment of disorientation, Justin started to dance as well, and found himself having a good time, to his surprise.
Of course, the Piranatrons that appeared on the dance floor a few moments later, along with Rygog and Elgar, didn't exactly care they'd just ruined one of the best times of his young life. * * *
Morgan stepped away from Carlos as the Piranatrons appeared, her entire body freezing with fear. No. Not now. Not tonight, of all nights! Why did it have to be now? She couldn't have given me one night of peace, just one, could she?
Carlos looked around, catching the eyes of the other Rangers. He wondered where the White Ranger was, if she was going to be in on this attack. That doesn't matter, we don't WANT her here, that's for sure. But we do need to get away from here and morph. If they start causing trouble. . .
The Piranatrons started trashing everything in sight even as Carlos thought that, sending people scattering in all directions. Carlos ran as well, but his flight was just a subterfuge to get to the other Rangers. He looked around as he dodged Piranatrons and henchmutants alike, trying to find Morgan. I don't see her anywhere. I hope she's all right. We've got Piranatrons to deal with now.
"Is everyone out of the Youth Center?" T.J. asked as they grouped in their usual corner. Justin peeked back around and scanned quickly to make sure no one, especially Gia, was in sight.
"All clear, Teej," he reported a moment later. I hope Gia's okay. I'll have to find her later, make sure she's all right. But for now, we've got fishheads to kick around!
A morphing moment later, the Power Rangers were in the center of the dance floor, and in the middle of a fight. Elgar cornered Carlos at one end of the dance floor, while the Piranatrons kept the other Rangers away from him. Ashley called over to T.J., "Something's wrong, they're keeping Carlos over there without us!"
"Tell me about it!" the Red Ranger groaned as he was thrown back by a couple of the fishfaced warriors. "We've got to get to him!"
"How?" Justin asked as he kicked one away from him. "There's almost a full army between us and him!"
Cassie winced as a pair of Piranatrons used her for a punching bag. I wish the Phantom Ranger was here. . .but I'm just as glad the White Ranger isn't! That maniac is the last thing we need now!
Unfortunately, that maniac was the next one of Divatox's minions to arrive on the scene, and she appeared less than a foot away from Carlos. * * *
Gia couldn't believe what she'd seen. When the Piranatrons had appeared, she'd reacted on total instinct, running and hoping the Power Rangers showed up in time to take care of them. She'd cursed herself for it, she knew some karate, she could have at least attacked one or two! Instead, she'd found a quiet corner and hid there.
Then she'd seen T.J., Carlos, Justin, Ashley, and Cassie all converging on a spot just out of her sight. She hadn't been able to see them, but she had heard plainly what was going on. When the Power Rangers came running back out, her jaw had almost hit the floor. I was dancing with a Power Ranger? Oh, WOW!
She was going to go help, when an icy voice stopped her in her tracks. "White Ranger, just where do you think you're going?" she didn't know who it was, but a quick look around showed it wasn't talking to her! She didn't recognize the low voice that spoke; indeed she could hardly hear anything they said! But the first person she heard loud and clear.
"You have your orders. Now morph, and go kill the Green Ranger! Elgar and the Piranatrons have him cornered over there. I don't want any slip-ups, girl. You know what will happen to you if you fail!"
Gia tried to get a bit closer, maybe see who this White Ranger was. She'd heard the rumors there was a new Ranger in town, one who served the space pirate Divatox who was the latest in the line of attempts to conquer Earth. That was probably who the voice she heard clearly was.
There was a flash of white light, then she heard a low, satisfied chuckle. "Very good. You obey orders, and you'll be well-rewarded. Now, go!" A second flash filled the air, and Gia could see the White Ranger now standing in front of Carlos. She looked back to where the voice had been coming from, and listened with all her hearing, trying to see if Divatox, or whoever it was, was still there. When she couldn't hear anything, she turned her attention back to the Rangers. She had to know what happened. * * *
Carlos stared at the White Ranger as she stood before him. He'd known something was up when Elgar and Piranatrons cornered him away from the others, but he hadn't expected a one-on-one confrontation with this evil Ranger.
"All right, White Ranger," Elgar tried to look important. "You heard Divatox's orders. Now, get rid of him!"
Get rid. . .as in kill? Oh, this isn't good! I need the others, and now! Carlos thought to himself. The White Ranger stepped closer to him. He reached for his communicator, only to find himself seized by a half dozen Piranatrons. "Oh, don't you believe in a fair fight?" he snarled.
"Nope, not really!" Elgar said, pushing the White Ranger a bit closer and shoving his sword into her hand. "Go on, girl, do your job!"
She looked long and steadily at him, then back at Elgar. Carlos would have sworn she was. . .hesitating. She took another step towards him as he struggled in the grip of the Piranatrons, then stopped. She pulled the blade back and started it towards him.
Carlos watched as it sped downwards towards his neck, he was helpless to stop it. The Rangers couldn't get to him, there was nothing he could do as death raced towards him.
And stopped an inch from his neck.
He stared up at the White Ranger, who had halted the death blow. Oh, God. . .the control that she has to have to do that! She could've killed me! Why didn't she?
"No," the first word he had ever, that any of them, had ever heard her say. "I won't do it. I will not kill him."
Just as the words fell from her lips, she dropped to her knees, holding her head and screaming in what appeared to be raw pain! "No!" she hissed. "I won't do it!"
In a blast of light, Divatox stood there, only inches away from both the Green and White Rangers. She grabbed her servant by one shoulder and forced her head up. "You will kill him! I have given you an order! Kill him or die yourself! Those are your only options!"
"I don't care!" the White Ranger told her, and Carlos was surprised to hear total conviction in her voice. She really would not kill him! "I would rather die than serve you!"
Divatox growled as she threw the White Ranger into a group of Piranatrons. "There are things worse than death, White Ranger. And you will learn them all!"
Before any of the Rangers could do anything about it, Divatox, Elgar, Rygog, the Piranatrons, and the White Ranger all vanished. Carlos stared at the others as they joined him. "What was that all about?" T.J. wondered as they demorphed.
"I don't know," Carlos shook his head. "But we've got to get to the Power Chamber. Something's up with the White Ranger, and I want to know what it is." She defied Divatox to spare my life, and she looked like something was hurting her. Badly. I have to help her. She spared me. It's only right. If she doesn't want to work for Divatox, I'll do everything I can to get her free.
As they teleported away, Gia stepped out onto the dance floor wide-eyed. Justin's the Blue Ranger. He sure gets BIG when he morphs. No way am I telling them I know. This is gonna be my little secret, for as long as I can keep it, anyway. She headed home, hoping that things would be all right for all the Rangers, especially Justin. She would keep his secret, even though he didn't know she knew it. * * *
"Alpha, were you able to find out anything at all about the White Ranger this time?" Carlos asked as they teleported into the Power Chamber. He half-expected the little droid to tell them he hadn't found anything at all.
He was mistaken as Alpha turned to them, waving a sheaf of paper happily. "Yo-yo-yo, Rangers, good news at last!"
"What is it, Alpha?" Justin ran over to their metallic friend. "What did you find out?"
"Rangers, it appears we know now why the White Ranger serves Divatox," Dimitria told them. "This is more heinously evil than anything any prior evil overlords have tried. Always they resorted to spells, incantations, and potions to do their work. Not this."
T.J. looked up at their mentor. "What is it, Dimitria? How is Divatox controlling her?"
"And why isn't it working now?" Carlos wondered.
"Many thousands of years ago, General Havoc invented a way to control organic life by the simplest means of them all: pain. It is a device planted within the brain of the subject, and connected through microwaves to a controlling mechanism Havoc also designed. In essence, what has happened is that Divatox and Havoc placed this device within a human woman, and have used the pain it causes within her to force her to attack you," Dimitria explained. Carlos took a deep breath, he had never imagined it was pain. Then he remembered what he'd seen, how when the White Ranger had refused to kill him, she'd clutched her head. . ..
"It's all making sense," he murmured. "Them ordering her to kill me must've been the last straw, she just wouldn't do it." I wonder why they wanted to get rid of me. All I do is fight. I'm not a leader like T.J. or a brain like Justin.
Cassie stepped up. "How can we help her, Dimitria? We can't just let Divatox and Havoc kill her! It wouldn't be right! She risked her life to save Carlos!"
Dimitria looked seriously at them all. "Rangers, Divatox's SpaceBase is impenetrable to our scans, and we cannot teleport there. We cannot rescue the White Ranger." * * *
Morgan slammed into a wall, groaning at the pain. Divatox stared at her former servant, eyes blazing. "How dare you disobey me!" the space pirate hissed. "This will cost you your life, you foolish girl!"
She shot her eyebeams out, which Morgan just managed to dodge. Havoc placed a hand on Divatox's arm, as two Piranatrons seized Morgan by the arms. "Sister, there is a much simpler way to deal with her insubordination, and once that is done, she will never disobey again."
"Oh?" Divatox smiled a little; an obedient White Ranger was so much more interesting than a dead one. "What do you have in mind, dear brother?"
A few curt orders later, Morgan was dragged into a dark, windowless room and locked in. Havoc and Divatox stood watching her through a viewscreen. "And this plan of yours is going to work, Havoc?"
"How can it fail?" Havoc chuckled. "Humans respond to pain, I told you. The White Ranger is a human, and she will crumble beneath repeated onslaughts of pain. None born can withstand the amounts she will be feeling. Watch!"
The two siblings of evil watched as the White Ranger lay slumped on the floor of the room. Slowly, she made her way to her feet and looked around.
White Comet, can you still hear me? Morgan thought quietly. For a moment there was nothing, and she feared something had severed their connection.
I am here, Morgan. You have done the right thing by sparing the life of the Green Ranger.
I have to get out of here, somehow. I don't want to be anywhere near Divatox and Havoc.
Be at peace. I have sent for someone who will help you. They will be here soon.
Morgan looked around, her heart pounding. Suddenly, pain tore through her entire body, far worse than any she had ever felt before. It seemed to go on forever, with each second rising in agony. Finally, it ended. Comet. . .oh, Comet, what are they trying to do to me?
Break your will entirely with pain, my dear Morgan. Do not permit them to do this. You must remain strong. Comet's voice held nothing but love for her. He was her true and best friend, she knew that already. She was about to get to her feet when once more the pain filled her soul.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!" she convulsed spasmodically as the pain went on and on. Once again it ceased. She paused for a moment, hoping it wouldn't return. For a few moments, everything was at peace.
Then the torture continued. Morgan was never able to tell how long it went on, only that it seemed to her pain-wrapped brain to be for eternity. When it stopped, she didn't even notice. * * *
"What do you mean we can't rescue her?" Cassie exclaimed. "We have to do something!"
"We have no way onto Divatox's SpaceBase," Dimitria reminded them yet again. None of them had given up hope of somehow finding and helping the White Ranger. "And we must entertain the possibility that this is a trick by Divatox to get you to trust the White Ranger."
Carlos groaned and turned away from the consoles. I just wish I knew why she wouldn't kill me. Is it just because it would be wrong? Or to spite Divatox and Havoc? I don't know. Is it a trick, like Dimitria says it might be?
"Rangers, there is nothing more that can be done," Dimitria stated. "The White Ranger must help herself if she truly wishes to leave Divatox."
"But a little help from a friend is always appreciated," a soft voice spoke. Cassie caught her breath in surprise as the Phantom Ranger appeared in the Power Chamber. Carlos' eyes widened as he saw their strange friend carried the White Ranger, still morphed, in his arms.
"Where have you been?" Cassie wondered as the Phantom Ranger placed the White Ranger onto an examining table. Alpha was about to remove her helmet, when Dimitria stopped him.
"Respect her privacy, Alpha. Let her choose to reveal her identity," she told him. "Phantom Ranger, why have you returned?"
Cassie muttered, "Not that I'm complaining!" I like him. I don't know why, I haven't ever seen him without that helmet on. But I do like him.
"I received a signal in my spaceship that the White Comet Turbo Powers had been activated, and were serving the side of evil," the Phantom Ranger explained. "Thus I came to help when I was needed to. Divatox and Havoc were attempting to break the White Ranger's spirit with repeated assaults of pain. I was able to penetrate the SpaceBase's defenses and rescued her."
A soft groan turned all their attention to the Ranger on the table as she began to come around. Carlos came over to her. "White Ranger. . .," he began. She pulled back from him, evident fear in her demeanor, though she didn't speak. "We're not going to hurt you. We want to help you."
She glanced around nervously, eyes finally landing on the Phantom Ranger. She carefully slid down from the table and shakily made her way over to him. "You saved me," she said gruffly. "Thank you."
"It was my pleasure, White Ranger," Phantom told her.
"White Ranger," Dimitria called to her. "You have within you a pain implant of General Havoc's design. Is this the reason you served them?"
She nodded briefly, obviously not wanting to speak much. "Do you wish it removed?" Phantom asked her.
"Do I want it removed?" she breathed in awe. "I want it out more than anything!"
He continued, "On my spaceship, I have the technology to remove it from you. I will do this only at your request, though."
"Request?" she almost seemed to laugh. "I'll beg for it if I have to!"
He seemed to be smiling. "That will not be necessary. Come. We have much to do," he held his hand out to her. She glanced around at the others briefly, her gaze not lingering on any of them. Without another word, she took his hand and they both faded into invisibility.
T.J. let out a long breath. "Would someone tell me just what happened here?"
That, it seemed, was a very good question. * * *
As they materialized on his spaceship, Morgan asked the Phantom Ranger, "Am I going to have to demorph?"
"Yes," he nodded. "But I will keep your secret, White Ranger, and will give you one in return."
She frowned. "What are you talking about?" Comet, what's going on here?
He is the Phantom Ranger; he is the one I called to help you. He is a friend, you can trust him with your life and your identity.
"If you reveal your identity to me," Phantom continued. "Then I will reveal mine to you. I have told no one on Earth this; but do not offer it as a bribe to learn who you are. I seek to help you only."
Morgan thought for a few moments, then nodded and demorphed. "My name is Morgan St. Clair," she said softly. Phantom Ranger nodded, then his own costume dissolved away. She smiled; he was quite handsome; if she didn't already have a semi-relationship with Carlos she would have been even more impressed. She didn't recognize the name he told her, but didn't care. He could help her, that was what she was concerned over. "How are you going to get this thing out of me?"
He held out his hand; the same glittering ruby that had been in the center of his chest when he was morphed was there. "With my Power Ruby. Just sit here and relax," he gestured towards a comfortable chair. She slipped down into it a trifle nervously, then waited.
When it happened, it was far less painful than she'd ever imagined. The hair on the back of her neck lifted, her entire body was bathed in a warm ambiance that washed away the residual pain entirely. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of being completely free as the Phantom Ranger stepped in front of her, holding something in his hand.
"This was what was within you," he said. It was small, resembling some sort of multi--legged metallic insect. She shivered at the thought of that thing being inside of her head.
"Thank you, Phantom Ranger," Morgan told him. Something else occurred to her just then. She slipped the bracelet off her arm and held it up. "Divatox used this to communicate with me, and to track and teleport me. Is there any way you can alter it so I can just teleport?"
He nodded. "Are you going to join the Rangers?"
Morgan sighed; she'd thought about that when she'd had the time. "No. I couldn't ever be a part of their team, not with what I did. But I will help them, and I'll need that to get around with so they can't find out who I am."
Phantom Ranger took the bracelet and stepped away for a moment. Comet, can you get off the SpaceBase without causing an uproar?
I already have, Morgan. There is a cave near the ocean, where I will remain until you need me in battle.
"Here you go," Phantom handed the bracelet back to her. "I readjusted it to respond to the Power Rangers' communication frequency. They won't hear it, but you will be able to overhear their conversations, so you will know when they go into battle."
Morgan smiled as she snapped it back on. "Thanks. Thank you for everything."
"It was my pleasure," he told her. She took a deep breath and bid him farewell, then teleported to White Comet's cave. She leaned against him quietly, tears sliding down her cheeks.
Morgan, what is wrong? You are free now.
I came so close to killing Carlos today. I don't know how I stopped myself. But I'm glad I did.
White Comet's engine purred warmly in her ear. So am I. Morgan, I waited so long for you. This is only the beginning, I feel. The beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.
Morgan couldn't help but laugh as they watched the sun setting from the cave. Yes, things were definitely looking up!