Legal Disclaimer: The Rangers don't belong to me; you get
the idea; Gia, Morgan, and White Comet DO belong to me, yadda, yadda, yadda,
been there, done that. This is the third in the "Comet's Tale"
series, with the other two being "A Ranger By Any Other Name"
and "Partnership". This takes place two weeks after "Partnership";
and a whole lot of things are going to go on. Enjoy the fic!!
Carlos Alvarez kicked the soccer ball around his backyard, deep in thought. He always did his best thinking whenever he was moving around, especially if he was practicing. And he had a lot to think about today. Well, actually only two things. Two very specific things.
His girlfriend, Morgan St. Clair, and the mysterious White Ranger.
Morgan's gorgeous, there's no doubt about that. I really like her, we get along really well. She's understanding about when I have to run off on Ranger business, God only knows why! I certainly don't. I guess I got lucky to find her. Who knew that one simple showing her around would develop into this? he smiled a little. After her initial discomfort at being in a new place, the two of them had hit it off perfectly.
He still remembered his first sight of her, that first day she'd arrived in Angel Grove. Standing in front of the class, nervous and scared. His heart had went out to her at once.
That was the same day the White Ranger hit town. Carlos paused for a moment, frowning. Morgan and White Ranger showed up on the same day. Morgan started opening up the same time the White Ranger was released from Divatox's control.
He shook his head. No. The White Ranger's a magnificent fighter, a hardened warrior. Morgan. . .she's always seemed more innocent to me. And she doesn't know martial arts.
"The White Ranger's a great partner in a fight," he muttered, slamming the soccer ball almost as if it had personally offended him. "But she's too cold by half. She won't tell us anything. I did enjoy working with her, though."
He grabbed the ball as it bounced off the fence in his backyard and started inside, practice and thinking done for the moment. "But I prefer dating Morgan."
It would be kind of nice if they were the same person, but they're
not. Oh, well. I've got a date with Morgan tonight, and I'd better get
ready for it!
Gia shuffled her feet through the sand of Angel Grove Beach, every bit as deep in thought as Carlos was on the other side of town. But while he was debating internally over Morgan and White Ranger, her thoughts were all over Justin, the Blue Turbo Ranger. I should tell him I know about him and his friends being the Rangers. Maybe then he'd tell me if they know anything about those weird beams he shot out during that fight with the Piranatrons that day.
She shivered a little as she remembered how that had happened. The Piranatrons had slammed her into a wall, she'd just barely been conscious when Justin had blasted them with eyebeams. He hadn't mentioned the event since it happened, and if it hadn't been so emblazoned into her memory, she might have thought it hadn't even happened. The look of surprise on his face had been more than enough to let her know he had never done anything like that before.
And as far as I know, hasn't since. At least he hasn't in front of me. She wondered if he'd tell her more things if he knew she knew about him being a Ranger. "Just wish I knew if I should tell him or not!"
"Gia?" it was Morgan St. Clair, Carlos Alvarez's girlfriend. She was sitting on a cliff watching the play of the sun on sand and water, and had turned her head at the younger girl's approach.
"Oh, hi, Morgan," Gia nodded. They didn't know each other well, but felt a light friendship since Carlos and Justin were so close. "What's up?"
Morgan shrugged. "Not a lot. What about with you?"
Well, my best friend's a Power Ranger and shoots lasers out of his eyes. "About the same."
For a few minutes they stood there, just watching the tide going in and out. Finally, Gia asked softly, "Morgan, have you ever had a secret?"
The young woman's lips twitched for a moment. "Well, yes. Why do you ask?"
"I was wondering," Gia paused for a few moments to collect her thoughts. "When is it right to tell a secret?"
"Did you promise to keep it?" was the first thing Morgan asked. There was a strangeness to her voice that would have disturbed Gia if she'd noticed it, but there was far too much on her mind at the moment.
Gia shook her head, then nodded. "I sort of did. To myself, at least. I found out something that wasn't any of my business, and I swore to myself I'd keep the secret. The weird thing is, it was completely by accident that I found out. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and saw. . .," she stopped herself before she said 'them morphing'. Even when asking for advice, she wouldn't reveal this secret to a stranger.
"You saw whatever this secret is," Morgan finished. Gia nodded, and Morgan looked back over the ocean. "Do the people to whom this secret belong know that you know?"
"That's the problem," Gia told her. "I'm thinking about telling them. It doesn't feel right for me to keep this from them. I've kept it long enough."
Morgan nodded slowly. "There's only so long a secret can be kept," she said. "You're the only one who can decide when to tell whoever's secret you know, or even if you tell them, though."
"I know," Gia agreed. "And I think I will tell them. Thanks for listening, Morgan."
The young woman smiled a little. "My pleasure, Gia. We should talk more often!"
Gia grinned as they said their good-byes. Morgan wasn't exactly anti-social,
but she didn't 'hang out' as a regular thing. Gia was glad to have finally
talked with her for a while. Despite the difference in their ages, she
felt she'd found a friend.
Justin Stewart, the Blue Turbo Ranger, stared quietly into a mirror. He'd done that quite frequently over the past two weeks. Ever since Alpha had so unceremoniously told him he wasn't entirely human, he'd looked at himself, wondering what he was, who he was.
I really should tell Dad. But then again, I don't know if HE knows about it. I wouldn't even know where to begin in the first place. "Hi, Dad, did you know Mom was an alien? You didn't? How did I find out? Well. . .."
He shook his head to himself and put the mirror down. "I guess there are some things I can't tell him," he muttered. Dean Stewart was a really nice guy, and ever since he'd moved back to Angel Grove to stay, he and Justin had become very close, closer than they'd ever been in their lives before. Just about the only thing his dad didn't know about Justin was that he was a Power Ranger. And if it hadn't been for the rules concerning the Power, Justin would have told him that too.
They'd even started working out together. Justin looked up suddenly as he heard his dad's footsteps outside. "Justin," was followed by a tapping at the door. "Time for our workout, son!"
Justin jumped up to his feet and grinned. Even being half-human, half-alien, couldn't lessen the pleasure he still took in having his dad back at last. He glanced briefly at the picture of himself, his mom, and dad on the nightstand. I don't know what planet you came from mom, but you came here, and that got me one of the greatest guys in the world for a dad. Thanks. Wherever you are, I love you and I miss you.
He wouldn't have been surprised in the least to see the picture smile as he opened the door. "I'm ready!" he declared. Dean grinned.
"Let's go!" as Justin clattered down the stairs, Dean Stewart looked over to the nightstand, and sighed softly.
You would have been so proud of him, Vivian. I know I am.
Divatox stared into the viewscreen, watching the Rangers and absently tossing popcorn into her mouth. Her brother Havoc was away on some sort of business of his own, involving that mysterious plan he had against the Rangers. He wouldn't tell her anything about it, just that it was going to destroy the Rangers utterly. Then again, she'd heard that before.
"My queen?" she looked up to see Porto hovering over her. "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"You wouldn't happen to have something to destroy the Rangers that won't fail, would you?" she asked dryly. The scientist shook his head.
"I do, however, have some old videos that you might be interested in seeing, your evilness," he told her. Before she could object, he quickly shoved them into the player. Moments later, she found herself staring at battle scenes, very familiar ones.
Porto found himself on the far side of the SpaceBase, with Divatox standing over him, eyes glowing with fury. "How dare you show me scenes of the White Ranger, defeating my troops time and time again?" she hissed. "What kind of sick joke was that supposed to be?!?!"
He did his best to huddle away from her. "Your Majesty!" he whimpered. "I only meant for you to watch the records, and perhaps locate some weakness in the White Ranger! She does not deserve to wield the Power you gave her so generously, and if you could discover a weakness, perhaps you could exploit it and destroy her, and in turn, destroy the Rangers!"
Divatox paused as that sank in. That WOULD be a good idea. She still hasn't told the Rangers who she is, so there's a weakness right there, her lack of trust in the others. That's never happened before, to my knowledge. Those Rangers have always been in perfect, disgusting harmony.
She stepped away from Porto and returning to her throne, gazing intently
at the viewscreen once more. She licked her lips speculatively. This could
be very interesting. Very interesting indeed.
As Gia walked out of sight, Morgan waited another few moments, then hopped down from her perch and slipped into the cave underneath the cliff she'd been on. She'd been on edge the entire time the younger girl was there, hoping that she wouldn't accidentally find the cave.
Even if she did, though, it's very doubtful she'd find me, the words sounded in the White Ranger's mind. The door's very well disguised.
True, Morgan nodded as she unlocked the hidden door to Comet's resting place. She'd carefully colored it the same shade as the stones around it, and set it in the most unobtrusive place she could find. And even if she found the door, I'm the only one who has the key to it.
She walked inside, smiling at the sleek white Zord in there as she did so. The inner cave here had been set up as a mini-bedroom for her, with a cot, a few of her clothes, and some supplies of non-perishable food and drink. She liked to spend time here with White Comet, and occasionally had drifted off to sleep while talking with him.
What Gia said has caused you to think of revealing your own secret, Comet spoke bluntly. Morgan nodded. You should. You're too much alone.
Alone? How can I be alone when I have you? the White Ranger picked up a brush and started absently running it through her flame-red hair. "You're a part of every part of my life, Comet, I've forgotten what it's like to be alone!" she grinned.
Comet's engine purred a little. You do need human companionship, though. And I don't mean just Carlos, though for a human, he is quite handsome.
Tell me about it, Morgan sighed briefly, the mental image of her boyfriend flitting across the back of her eyelids. Before she could sink her mind into the gutter anymore, she put the brush down and stood up. Let's patrol, Comet. I'm bored, and there's not much else to do until my date tonight.
I'm ready! Comet did a mental chuckle. Morgan smiled, then morphed and slipped into her Zord.
They were out of the cave and soaring over Angel Grove less than a minute later. Comet wasn't going to give up on his original assertion, though. You really should tell the Rangers who you are, Morgan.
We've been through this. Quite a few times. They could never trust me after all I did as Divatox's Ranger.
You haven't been her Ranger in over a month, and you saved T.J.'s life less than two weeks ago. I think they will forgive you and trust you. If you trust them first.
Morgan didn't reply to that. She'd thought about telling her secret
for a while now, but always that fear had held her back. The fear that
somehow they would take her powers from her, take White Comet from her.
Carlos would break up with her. And without those powers, what would Divatox
and Havoc do to her in revenge for betraying them? A chill ran down her
spine. "I'm not going to think about that," she muttered. "I'm
just not going to."
"So, what are we going to do today?" Cassie asked Ashley as the two Rangers walked into the Youth Center.
The Yellow Ranger hefted the books she was carrying. "Algebra," she spoke with a great distaste for the subject. "Geez, I hate school sometimes."
"Don't we all?" T.J. waved at them from the table he'd been saving. Carlos and Justin were going to be joining them later, and the five of them were going to be having a major study session.
Plans were interrupted, however, when a familiar beep sounded from their communicators. "Saved by the bell," Ashley chuckled as they asked Lieutenant Stone to watch over their books while they were gone, then headed to somewhere out of sight.
As they arrived in the Power Chamber, they were surprised not to hear the usual alarms. "What's going on, Dimitria?" Cassie asked. "Why'd you call us?"
"Rangers, the White Ranger is under attack in Angel Grove Park," their white-robed mentor told them. "She needs your help."
Carlos and Justin arrived just then in their usual columns of green and blue. "The White Ranger?" Carlos asked, obviously having heard the last few things Dimitria had said. "She's in trouble?"
Cassie nodded, glancing at the monitors where the battle was being shown. Several dozen Piranatrons surrounded the white-clad warrior, and were doing a very good job of beating her down. She wasn't giving up though, and was giving hits at the least as good as she was getting. "We've got to go help her," the Pink Ranger said, wincing at a particularly nasty looking hit she saw.
"Then what are we waiting for?" Justin wondered. He'd had a hard time getting away from his dad since they were right in the middle of their workout when his communicator had beeped, and would have to get back soon. I wonder if I should just tell him I'm a Ranger and get it over with? I'll have to ask Dimitria about that.
T.J. nodded. "Shift into Turbo!"
Morgan dodged back and forth, twisting and turning her body into all manner of contortions trying to get away from the Piranatrons. She growled softly to herself as she fell back from a blow that if she hadn't been morphed would probably have taken her arm off. Comet, tell me again how I got this job?
Do you really want me to?
She backflipped away and threw a park bench at the Piranatrons, hoping to distract them long enough for her to get to White Comet and get out of there. No, not really. She grunted in pain as two Piranatrons jumped her from behind, grabbing onto her arms and not letting go. "This isn't how I wanted to spend my afternoon," she hissed, struggling as hard as she could. Two more Piranatrons grabbed her harshly, starting to drag her over towards their friends.
Morgan! She could see White Comet heading towards her, and grinned. "Oh, boy, are you guys in trouble!" she laughed softly, still fighting.
"White Ranger!" she looked up to see the other five Rangers teleporting in. It was Green Ranger, Carlos, who had spoken. She shook her head softly to herself.
Why is it no matter if I'm morphed or unmorphed, he always seems to bond with me in some way? He's almost always the one who calls for me when they get to where I am.
The Rangers swarmed over the Piranatrons holding her and had them on the run in mere seconds. She grinned and stood up, shaking herself off. "Thanks, Rangers," she grunted, making certain to force her voice down to harsher levels.
"You're welcome," T.J. nodded. "Any idea why they were trying to take you?"
She snorted. "I betrayed Divatox and Havoc, do you really need to ask, Red Ranger?" she was satisfied to see him shake his head. "It's been nice, but I've really got to go. Until we meet again, Rangers."
Before any of them could protest, she'd leaped into White Comet and
the strange pair was out of there.
"No, no, no!" Divatox screamed with anger as her perfect trap fell through. She'd ordered the Piranatrons to attack the White Ranger and bring her to the SpaceBase. She had so many interesting plans in mind for her treacherous servant, most of them spawned from watching the tapes of Morgan's imprisonment between the time she'd balked at killing the Green Ranger and when the Phantom Ranger had somehow slipped onto the SpaceBase and freed her. "All you had to do was bring her back here, and you screamed it up!"
She glared at the Piranatrons cowering before her, then with a flip of her hand, dismissed them back to wherever they came from. "There's got to be a way to get the White Ranger on her own without the others showing up to help her!"
"Dear sister!" she looked up to see Havoc entered the SpaceBase. "What have you been up to while I was away?"
"Trying to get the White Ranger!" she snapped, pacing back and forth. "But every time I try, the others show up and help her out!"
Havoc smiled, or did something that could have been a smile. "Then attack her when she is unmorphed but with one of the other Rangers. She won't reveal her secret to them, so she will be easy to capture then. We shall use her own fear and lack of trust against her!"
Divatox laughed wickedly. "Excellent, my brother!" she declared. "Very soon we shall have her again, and she shall pay for her treachery against us!"
"Indeed," Havoc turned to the Space Balcony and stared first
at Earth, then off to the stars. Very soon, my message should be reaching
the proper people. Then these Rangers get a very NASTY surprise!
Morgan demorphed and leaned back into White Comet's cushioned seat as she let him take over the driving back to the cave. "That was too close, Comet," she whispered, trembling. "Way too close. If the others hadn't come up when they did. . .how did they know I needed help?"
I told them, Comet did the mental equal of a shrug. You needed help, and they were able to provide it.
How'd you do it?
Just the same way I let you call Carlos that one time. I tapped into their communications system anonymously and sent a distress call. Dimitria took it from there.
Morgan sighed, trying to control her shudders. "Thanks, Comet," she whispered. "I really appreciate it."
I will never let Divatox have you again, my beloved Morgan, Comet told her tenderly. Morgan smiled and ran a loving hand across Comet's dashboard.
"We're never going to be separated, no matter what," she promised. Things were quiet for a few moments as Comet parked himself back in the cave. Morgan finally said softly, "I'm going to tell the Rangers who I am, Comet."
She could hear the surprise in his mental voice. After all this? You're going to tell them?
She nodded, getting out of him and testing the strength of her legs. She winced a trifle at a bruise. "Yes. If I'd been one of them, maybe that attack wouldn't have happened, or wouldn't have been quite so bad. I've noticed they tend to stick together a lot."
Are you going to tell them about me? she could also hear a trifle of worry.
I don't think so. They don't need to know ALL my secrets! Our secrets. She took a deep breath, and sat back down in Comet. Connect me to Carlos' phone, would you? I need to tell him I want to talk with him.
Of course, Morgan.
Morgan paced up and down in the park, deep in thought. She'd only talked to Carlos for a few minutes, long enough to set up this meeting with him. And it was a meeting, not a date or anything that could be mistaken as one. She'd told him to hurry, too. She didn't want to give Divatox any more chances at her today, or ever again.
Are you certain you wish to go through with this? White Comet asked. He knew how very important her privacy was to Morgan, and knew just how much she planned to tell him.
"Yes," she muttered, nodding. This part of the park was out of the way of just about everyone, and she'd chosen it for a specific reason. She intended to provide Carlos with physical proof she was the White Ranger if he didn't believe her right away.
That is your decision, Morgan. Comet was still in the cave, but as always saw and heard everything through Morgan's eyes and ears. He watched quietly as she began a kata, one of the most complicated ones she knew, something to calm herself down until Carlos got there.
So deeply did she calm down, she didn't notice Carlos until he'd been there almost ten minutes. When she did notice him, she almost jumped into the trees in surprise. "Carlos!"
"Morgan," he nodded. "I had no idea you were into martial arts!"
She blushed a deep cherry red. "I'm a fourth degree black belt in Shotokan style karate. I've been training since I was about two years old."
His jaw quite literally dropped. "Why didn't you ever say anything?"
"You never asked," she said dryly, then turned at once serious. "Carlos, we need to talk."
He bit his lip. He'd been nervous from the moment he'd hung the phone up from her call about whatever this meeting was about. Oh, God, if she wants to break up, I'm gonna die, I know it!
Morgan took a deep breath. "Carlos, this is the most important
thing I've ever told anyone. The deepest secret in my life. And I've kept
it far too long," she looked at him. "Carlos. I'm. . ."
"There!" Havoc pointed down to Earth, and Divatox's eager gaze followed him. "She's alone with the Green Ranger, we can attack, she won't morph, she's too concerned with keeping her secret, and he won't morph because he can't tell her his! This is too perfect, we can get rid of both of them at the same time!"
Divatox laughed, and called up a school of Piranatrons. "Go down there and destroy them both!" she ordered. With a splashing salute, they vanished. Divatox turned her attention back to two of the six humans she hated most in all the universe, and laughed. This was quite simply, too perfect!
"Thank you, dear brother!" she turned to Havoc. "This day is going to go down in the history books!!"
I've heard that before! Havoc thought.
"You're what?" Carlos asked, a thousand different things going through his mind. He shoved them all away, wanting only to listen for whatever secret this might be. It was obviously eating at her, and he wanted to find out what it was.
Morgan took a deep breath. "I'm. . .I'm. . .," her eyes widened suddenly and she shoved Carlos to the ground, leaping over him in a mighty kick coupled with a warrior's scream that sent a chill down the Green Ranger's spine. He turned to see a group of Piranatrons attacking, and Morgan right in the middle of them, in a dazzling display of martial arts that left him speechless. He shook his head suddenly.
Got to help her! "Shift in. . .," he stopped right in the middle; he couldn't morph in front of Morgan! "Going to have to handle this the old-fashioned way," he started towards the Piranatrons as well. They would have to attack me now!
Morgan's thoughts were surprisingly similar to her boyfriend's. Oh, great, they just have to attack me now, when I can't morph! Just when I was going to tell Carlos who I am, what I am!
Why not simply morph? White Comet asked quietly. You were going to tell him anyway, weren't you?
Love to, Comet, but if I take even a second away from this fight, he's going to be toast, because he won't morph in front of me! Morgan grunted as she knocked a Piranatron away. It had been a while since she'd fought these things unmorphed, and it wasn't fun at all. "Carlos!" she cried. "Get out of here, I can handle these things!"
"No, you leave!" he replied. If she goes, I can morph, and be done with these things in no time!
He probably wants me to leave so he can morph! "Sorry, I'm in this till the end!" she snapped. Hopefully that won't happen too soon!
Morgan backflipped to a low-hanging tree branch, taking a quick moment to survey the battle scene. An idea popped into her head, and she grinned. Comet, get out here, and opaque your windows so Carlos can't see inside. We're about to get rescued by the White Ranger!
She could feel his amusement as he understood her plan. I will there soon! Can you keep yourself in one piece until I get there?
Of cours-she spat out an oath as two Piranatrons leaped up to grab her down by her ankles. "You fishheads have messed with the wrong girl today!" she reached up and grabbed both the Piranatrons by their own ankles, pulling back with all her strength. She glanced quickly over at Carlos, to see him fighting off four of the creatures on his own. She smiled. He's good!
"Morgan, what are you waiting for, get out of here!" he almost snarled at her. Morgan somersaulted over to him and slammed two of the four Piranatrons he was up against into the ground with a powerful split kick.
"Who's the black belt here?" she grinned. "I can handle myself."
"Oh, you can, human?" they both whirled to see Rygog and Elgar there, along with another twenty Piranatrons. "Can you handle yourself against us?"
Carlos groaned and started to back away, wanting at least time enough to call the others without Morgan noticing. "This just isn't my day," he muttered. "If they hurt Morgan, if they so much as mess up her hair, I'm just gonna go flat out postal on them."
Morgan took a long, measuring look at them, and her hand positively itched for the Cometblade. I almost wish I hadn't went with Carlos that one time. If he'd never seen the Cometblade, I could call it up and pass it off as a personal possession now.
Actually, you couldn't, Comet told her a bit primly. You can only summon the Cometblade when you're morphed.
You had to say that, didn't you? She frowned a bit as she deliberately
let Carlos get back to where she couldn't hear him. The others were going
to be needed on this, she sensed, and he had to get in touch with them.
She cracked her knuckles ominously, and grinned at the warriors of evil.
"You guys ready to rumble?" she laughed softly, then charged
towards them, buying time until either the Rangers or White Comet got there.
Justin backflipped away from his dad, dodged a hard kick to his midsection, then retaliated with a sweep that knocked Dean Stewart off his feet. He grinned a little at the expression on his father's face. "I learned that from Tommy Oliver," he told him. "One of the best fighters I know."
Mr. Stewart grinned and got to his feet. "I'm going to have to meet him! Does he live in Angel Grove?"
"Yes, but he's not here right now," Justin tossed his dad a towel as they headed out of the workout room. "He's out on the racing circuit with his uncle. Whenever he gets back to town, I'll introduce you two!"
His dad nodded. "Okay, you get the upstairs shower this time!" he told his son, heading for the one in the lower hall. "I've got this one!"
"Okay!" Justin stiffened a little as he heard the faint beep of his communicator from his bedroom where he'd left it. Wonder how long THAT'S been going on? "Um, dad, once I've changed, I'm gonna go to the Youth Center and see if I can meet up with the guys there, we were going to do some studying earlier, and got interrupted. I think we should try again, we do have a test coming up soon."
Dean nodded. "I'll see you later then," he was so very proud of his son already being in high school, he'd always known he was intelligent!
Justin dashed up the stairs and grabbed his communicator. "This is Justin, what's going on?" he whispered.
"Yo, yo, yo, Justin, get to the park, Carlos and that girlfriend of his are under attack, and he can't morph with her there!" Alpha's voice came over the device. Justin groaned to himself.
"I'm on the way," he replied. And I still haven't gotten
my shower! A few moments later, a blue streak of light coursed out
of the Stewart house, heading for Angel Grove Park. A few moments after
that, Gia followed that streak to the park herself. She was going
to tell Justin, even if it meant getting caught up in a battle!
Carlos jumped over to Morgan and pulled her back from the knot of Piranatrons she was in. "Are you crazy?" he hissed in her ear. "This is something the Power Rangers should handle, not us!" he was rather proud of that 'us', he hadn't given a hint he was a Ranger.
She looked at him, fire lighting her eyes. "I'm not afraid of a fight, Carlos, and I don't see the Rangers anywhere!" Comet, what's taking you so long?
I'm here, Morgan, but so are the other Rangers!
She looked up to see four Rangers teleporting in just as White Comet swooped over the battlefield. Carlos tugged at her again. "The Rangers are here now, we can go!" he was very insistent about it! She knew perfectly well it was because he wanted to get her to safety, then come back and fight himself. Oh, what the heck!
"Come on, let's get out of here!" she faked a note of panic in her voice as they started to back out of the fight. The Rangers were already charging in, turning the Piranatrons into sushi, as White Comet raked Rygog and Elgar with laser fire. Comet, head back to the cave, I think the others can take it from here!
As you wish, my partner! Comet soared off, just as the ground suddenly shook with the force of a Divatox scream.
"Rygog! Elgar! Get back to the SpaceBase at once!" she ordered. No one objected as the Piranatrons and henchmutants vanished without so much as another blow being struck. Carlos shook his head in confusion as the Rangers walked over to him and Morgan.
"Are you two okay?" Red Ranger asked, his attention more on Morgan than the young man next to her. She nodded briefly.
"Yeah. No idea why those things attacked us, though," other than they've got the worst timing in the known universe!
Pink Ranger nodded. "We're glad you're all right."
Morgan could sense the tension in the air, and decided it was time for her to go. "Look, it's really nice to meet you all," she smiled broadly. "But I've really got to go. Carlos, I'll talk to you later, and we need to talk!"
All he could do was wave in wonderment as she ran off. He looked back at the others as they demorphed in the safety of this grove. "What's going on, Carlos?" Ashley wondered. "Why did Divatox attack, then just pull back like that?"
"Probably because I was with Morgan, and an easy target," he shrugged. "I couldn't morph, and I barely got the time to call you guys in. Did you know she's a black belt in karate? A third degree black belt, no less!"
T.J.'s eyes widened. "That was what she was going to tell you?" at Carlos' shake of the head, he asked, "What was it then?"
"No idea," Carlos sighed as they started to the Youth Center, truly hoping they could get to the interrupted study session this time. "Those Piranatrons interrupted before she said whatever it was."
"I'm sure she'll tell you," Cassie reassured him. "Whatever it is, it's obviously important to her."
Carlos agreed. "I just wish I knew what it was!"
Justin grinned and punched Carlos lightly on the arm. "If you knew,
then she wouldn't have to tell you!"
"Why'd you call us back, my queen?" Rygog asked as he and Elgar reappeared on the SpaceBase. "We had those Rangers cornered, two of them couldn't even morph!"
Divatox turned from where she'd been watching something on one of the monitors and growled. "Don't you dare question me!" she snapped. "I know what I'm doing!" she looked back at the monitor, an evil grin on her face. "Porto," she said after a few quiet moments in the SpaceBase.
"Yes, my queen?" the scientist creature popped up next to her. "How can I be of assistance?"
"I've discovered a chink in the White Ranger's armor," she chuckled softly to herself. "Her Zord is intelligent."
The henchidiots looked at each other. "Intelligent?"
Havoc growled, "The White Comet TurboZord is intelligent, and telepathic with the White Ranger! We should've figured it out already by now!" then again, they'd only been scanning her right at that particular moment when she'd been communicating with the Zord. Her brainwaves had altered briefly, and Divatox had recognized them as telepathic communication. When White Comet had responded to it, the connection had been made.
"And I'm going to use that," Divatox laughed again. "Porto, make a device that will give me complete control of the White Comet Zord. I want it following my every whim!"
Porto saluted smartly. "As luck would have it, my queen, I happen to have something very similar to that I've been working on. I'd originally planned it for one of the Rangers, but I can modify it in a couple of hours!"
"Do it, Porto!" the pirate queen snapped, heading over to her periscope and checking out Morgan's location. "Very soon, White Ranger, your little Zord will be my perfect tool to carry out my revenge on you and all the other Rangers! And the first to go will be that dratted Green Ranger!"
Havoc laughed as he gazed down from the balcony to the Earth, utilizing
his own ways to keep an eye on things. Things were going to go their way!
Why didn't you tell them who you are, Morgan? Why did you change your mind? Comet asked as Morgan slowly walked by the beach. She sighed deeply.
I lost my nerve, Comet. I just couldn't do it. I wanted to, I wanted all this secrecy to be over with. But when those Piranatrons attacked, I realized all over again why I kept it a secret. Because they'd never really trust me. The Rangers, that is.
Comet was silent for several long, nerve-wracking minutes. Finally, You're wrong, Morgan. I downloaded quite a lot of information from the Power Chamber's computer banks, especially anything to do with evil Rangers in their past. I wanted also to get myself caught up on their history and ethics, to see what, if anything, had changed since I was trapped. And I found out two things that I think will interest you greatly.
"What are you talking about?" she wondered aloud, then glanced up nervously. Thankfully no one was near enough to hear her accidental speech.
Come to the cave, I'll show you. There was something in his tone that didn't offer her a chance to turn it down. She'd never heard Comet sound like this before, and headed for the cave almost at a run. She wanted to know what it was that he'd found that was so interesting. Once in his little section, she sat down near him.
"What is it?" she asked, here it was safe to do so out loud. A small camera popped itself up from Comet's dashboard, and projected a three dimensional hologram of a tall, long-haired young man. "Who's. . .," she peered a little closer. "Hey, that's Tommy Oliver! I've heard of him, he's one of the hottest new racers around! My dad's a big fan of his already!"
He is, or was, the Red Turbo Ranger. He was also the Green Morphin Ranger, the White Morphin Ranger, the White Ninja, and the Red Zeo Ranger. At Comet's list of the powers this young man had held, Morgan's jaw almost literally hit the floor. He was first introduced to the life of a Ranger when Rita Repulsa kidnapped him and put him under an evil spell, making him her evil Green Ranger. Through various events he was freed, and the Rangers welcomed him with open arms. In time, he became their leader, and it was he who picked T.J. succeed him as the Red Turbo Ranger when his time had ended.
Morgan took a deep breath. The hologram changed to that of a young blonde woman. "Who's she?"
Katherine Hilliard. She was also one of Rita's pawns, but also broke free, and became the Pink Ranger. She chose Cassie as the Pink Turbo Ranger. Do you see, Morgan? These two fine young people were forced to serve evil, just as you were. But in the end, they broke free, and the Rangers welcomed them, knowing what they had done, they did not do because they were evil. They were forced to it, just as you were.
Morgan sighed. "And you're saying that even though the Rangers I know aren't the ones that welcomed them, you believe they'd accept me anyway?"
I know they would. Part of the essence of being a Ranger is to forgive, and you have helped them more than enough for them to forgive you.
For several long, quiet moments Morgan and Comet were both quiet, the young woman staring up at the rocky ceiling over them. "I'll do it. No matter what," she said at last. She stood up, about to teleport out, when her bracelet tingled suddenly. "Oh, great, more trouble!"
She tapped it gently, listening in to the Rangers' communications. "Rangers!" she heard the voice of their robot helper. "Divatox has sent down a monster and some Piranatrons to the old warehouse district!"
"We're on the way!" T.J.'s voice responded. "Let's go, guys! Shift into Turbo!"
Morgan broke off her spying and closed her eyes. "Three attacks in one day," she grumbled. "What's Divatox trying to do, set a world's record? But T.J. had the right idea, and they're going to need my help."
She pulled out her Turbo Key. "Shift into Turbo!"
As Morgan and Comet joined the fight moments later, they could tell that the constant battles of the day were wearing on the Rangers. Their moves were no longer the crisp, clean ones they'd been in the beginning, nor were they making snappy comments to the monster and henchmutants that were trashing them all over the place.
"Looks like you guys could use some help!" she gruffed as she leaped out of White Comet and down to the fight. "Or am I mistaken?"
Carlos threw off a Piranatron and shook his head. "Glad to have you aboard!" he said, running over to her. "Ready to trash some Piranatrons, partner?"
"Cometblade!" was all White Ranger said, her sword appearing in one hand. "Let's do it to it!"
The Rangers quickly got so involved in the fight, none of them noticed Divatox appearing quietly, instead of her usual blast of fire. She chuckled softly. "That's right, Rangers," she purred to herself. "Take care of my monster. I'm about to have a whole new servant."
She looked around and grinned as she saw White Comet only a few feet away. "I know you can understand me," she growled, having the strangest feeling it's eyes were on her. "And it's time for you to serve me!"
Moving too quickly for it to alert anyone, she slapped the device on the car near a wheel, and grinned. "Welcome back to the side of evil!" was all she said before vanishing. Morgan whirled at the sound, and growled softly.
Comet? I heard Divatox, are you okay? Morgan paled under her helmet as Comet was silent. Comet? White Comet? What's wrong?
Suddenly, the monster and the Piranatrons vanished. The Rangers stared at each other, not quite understanding what was going on. White Ranger was staring at her Zord, and they could almost feel the confusion pouring off her. "White Comet?" she whispered aloud, stepping towards it.
"Is she talking to her Zord?" Ashley wondered.
"Maybe it's like Lightning Cruiser and Storm Blaster?" Justin wondered, casting a quick glance around. As they'd teleported over here, he'd seen Gia starting to follow them, and was wondering what was up. I've got to talk to her. She seems to be trying to talk to me!
"Comet?" Worry turned to fear as the Zord's engine revved suddenly. "Comet, what are you doing? Comet, talk to me!" Morgan didn't even bother concealing her speech this time, something was definitely wrong here! She stared in shock as White Comet charged her at top speed.
T.J. ran over to her, pulling her out of the way just before she would have been run over. Comet whirled around, and where his headlights had always seemed like friendly, warm eyes, now they glinted red. Morgan felt her own eyes welling up with tears. "Comet, no! Why are you doing this? Why aren't you answering me?" the pain in her voice struck to all their hearts. The Zord only seemed to glare at them, then vanished in a teleprtation stream of pure fire. White Ranger crumpled to her knees, throwing her head back in a savage howl of pure mental pain.
"White Ranger?" Carlos asked softly. "What's going on? Why did your Zord. . .do that?"
"I don't know!!!" she wailed. "Comet's been my friend, my best friend, since almost as soon as I got my powers. . .I don't know what's going on here!"
The Rangers' communicators beeped suddenly, and T.J. touched his. "What is it, Dimitria?"
"Rangers, return to the Power Chamber. White Ranger, you are invited as well. We must find out what Divatox has done to your Zord," the soft voice of their mentor spoke. White Ranger got to her feet, and her voice hardened.
"Thank you, Dimitria. She will pay for whatever she has done, as
"Oh, this is just too perfect, Havoc!" Divatox stood in the storage bay, staring possessively at the White Comet Zord that was parked there. "Just too perfect! Did you see how much the White Ranger was hurting?"
Havoc nodded and laughed. "Indeed I did! When shall we send our new Zord out again, my sister?"
Divatox paced for a few moments in thought, tossing her cloak to one side and nearly knocked Elgar over as she did so. He was busily wiping the car down, and trying to look busy as he played with some of the controls. Divatox stopped and glared at him. "Get out of there!" she ordered. "Leave my Zord alone!"
"Uh, yeah, Auntie Di!" Elgar almost tore one of his arms off falling out of the car. Divatox snorted and returned to her thinking. It was very hard for her to believe she was related to him at times.
Finally, she decided. "As soon as one of the other Rangers is alone," she declared. "Send my CometZord down to run them into the ground!"
White Comet did the motor equal of a deep sigh as the minions of evil left him in the chilly cargo bay, sealing up the door behind them. Oh, Morgan, I wish I'd called you the moment I sensed Divatox teleporting to Earth. Instead, I'm trapped here. I can't even communicate with you. And I'm forced to attack you and the Rangers!
He could still see and hear what Morgan did, the device only blocked their telepathic communication, not the bond itself. But he knew she wasn't aware of his presence in her mind, and he could plainly feel her heart weeping. Morgan, my sweet Morgan, my partner, my friend, my mental sister, I wish I could help you. But this time, you must help me, and you must be alone. Be strong, dearest Morgan. Be strong. We'll get through this, somehow. I know we will.
They had to.
The Rangers watched as White Ranger paced nervously up and down the Power Chamber. After her initial aching agonized wails of loss, she'd retreated almost into a mental shell, ignoring any attempts to get her to talk. T.J. asked Dimitria softly, "What happened?"
"Our scans indicate there is a device of some sort controlling the White Comet Zord," Alpha told them. "We're not able to pinpoint it's location, though!"
Confused glances were exchanged, then an icy cold voice spoke. "White Comet isn't speaking with me. I'm not sure if it's because he can't, won't, or just isn't."
"Speaking?" Ashley asked, looking over at the White Ranger, who had just uttered her first words in nearly an hour. "What do you mean?"
She flinched back from the steely gaze directed at her from under the pristine helmet. "White Comet and I are telepathically bonded," White Ranger told them. "We have been since first I morphed. He uses my eyes and ears to see and hear through, and is my complete partner. It was he who called the Phantom Ranger to rescue me when I turned against Divatox and Havoc, and who gave me this," she twisted her wrist, calling up the Cometblade. "Now, we've got to get that device off Comet. I'm not going to have my best friend being one of Divatox's toys."
"Best friend?" Cassie questioned. White Ranger nodded sharply, turning away from them all as she did so.
"My best friend, my partner, the only being I trust with all my heart and soul," she grunted out. "Ever since I got these powers, Comet's been the only one I could tell everything. He alone knows all my secrets. He's everything to me, everything that's good.
"White Ranger," she looked up at Dimitria's naming of her. "We will not let Divatox control White Comet for long. I swear this to you."
Dimitria smiled a little as White Ranger relaxed a little. Suddenly, Alpha looked up from his scans. "Justin, your friend Gia's in the warehouse district, near the fight location! She might be in danger, I just detected some Piranatrons in the area!"
Justin groaned. "I can handle this, guys," he told the others. "You keep looking for some way to help out White Comet." he barely waited for them to nod before he'd vanished into his usual blue teleport stream. Morgan watched a trifle nervously as he left.
They trust each other so much. He's the youngest, the smallest, and
they just let him go. They trust him to deal with the Piranatrons, and
to call them if it gets to be too much for him. Could I ever be worthy
of that trust? She knew without having to hear it that White Comet's
reply would have been yes, that she already was. She sighed. This morning
I was all ready to tell them everything. Now I'm in here, hiding from them
again. Will things ever change?
Gia looked up and down the street, trying to figure out where the Rangers were. She hadn't seen them teleporting out yet, but that didn't always mean anything. If they'd already left the area, she was going to be out of luck until she saw them again, or could locate Justin at his house.
I guess that's my best bet, anyway. I'll head over there and wait. Oh, geez, you'd think I was stalking him or something! She shrugged and turned around, intending to head for the Stewart house. Her plans were changed abruptly when a group of Piranatrons sloshed up out of nowhere. She sighed, this was getting very annoying! "What, you guys don't have anything better to do than annoy people?" she snapped even as she took up her usual fighting stance. I am not having a good day.
For several minutes she and the Piranatrons fought, and she was most definitely on the losing end of this battle. She managed to push them just far enough away from her so she had time to catch her breath. "I've got to get out of here," she muttered.
"Excuse me, could you use some assistance?" she looked up to see Justin, or rather the Blue Turbo Ranger, standing next to her. "Ma'am? Do you need some help?"
Oh, I needed this. ..NOT! She nodded briefly, leaning against the wall as Justin took care of the fishy soldiers. A few moments later, she looked up to see him next to her again. "Ma'am? You should really get out of this neighborhood, it's not safe right now."
She sighed. "All right."
They both looked up as a sudden car engine revved, and Gia's jaw dropped to see the White Comet TurboZord heading towards them. Justin groaned. "It would show up now!"
"Blue Ranger? What's going on?" she asked, remembering not to say his name just yet. It wasn't quite the time or place to reveal her knowledge.
"I wish I could tell you," he sighed, wrapping an arm around her waist suddenly. "I'll get you somewhere safe, then I've got to call the other Rangers."
With a powerful jump, he took them up to the top of the nearest building and placed her gently down. Gia grinned at her Ranger companion. "Thanks, Justin," she said, her mouth working before her brain quite caught up with it. "I appre. . .," her voice trailed off as he gave her a shocked look.
"Gia," he said softly. "How did you know?"
"The dance at the Youth Center," she told him. "I found out then, by accident. I saw you guys morphing. I'm sorry, I should've told you then."
He shook his head. "We'll talk about this later, Gia. Stay up here, I've got to call the others and see if we can help that Zord any!" she nodded as he jumped back down, calling the Rangers as he did so. Gia sighed and looked over the edge, watching as five other Rangers arrived. The White Ranger's working with them now? When did this happen, I thought she was a lone Ranger!
The Rangers were involved in fighting off a few more Piranatrons that
had arrived, as well as avoiding the apparently insane car. Gia was involved
in watching them. She never saw the flash of white light that appeared
behind her, but did feel the sword that rammed through her back, and the
hands that pushed her over the edge of the building and sent her screaming
to the ground below.
"Gia!" Justin screamed, staring as she fell. There was no way he could get to her in time as she crashed into a pile of boxes. He looked up to see General Havoc laughing down at them, and growled. "You'll pay for this, Havoc!" he swore. "I swear, you will!"
Havoc pointed down at them. "And you're all next, Rangers!" he told them. A moment later, he vanished. Justin clenched his fists and ran to Gia, tears pouring down under his helmet.
"Gia," he whispered softly. "Gia, I'm sorry. I should have stayed with you!" he gazed down at her pain-twisted expression, and shivered. "I'm sorry!!!"
Morgan looked over to him, and her helmet-hidden eyes narrowed. You're right, Justin. He will pay for it. And the price will be VERY high indeed! Her head jerked around as Comet roared around to face them again. He'd just been playing with them until now, whatever was controlling him seemed to know they could and would get out of the way before they were hit, and there were no other civilians in the area, thank goodness. But this time, it was different, she could somehow sense it.
Comet's engine revved, and she made a decision. If anyone around here's going to get hit, it's going to be me! As swiftly as she could, she ran towards the Zord as it began towards them, ignoring the cries of the other Rangers behind her. Comet's headlights grew larger and larger as she drew closer to it, and she could already almost feel it striking her.
Something did hit her, knocking her to one side. But it didn't have the mass and weight of a Zord, especially not hers. It was a body that had hit her. She whirled to see Carlos standing where she had been, and just as her mind comprehended that, Carlos was flying through the air, and White Comet was driving off. She could almost sense the laughter of Divatox and Havoc as they mocked her and the other Rangers.
"Carlos!" the word was ripped out of her throat with pure pain, every bit as much pain as she had felt when White Comet was taken from her. "Carlos, no!"
She started towards the fallen body of her beloved, her fingers reaching up almost by sheer instinct to unlatch her helmet. This was her last chance, she sensed. If she didn't do this here, she'd never do it. The Rangers stared as her white helmet clattered to the ground, and her red hair flamed in the sunlight.
"Morgan?" three voices chorused. Justin looked over at the name, and stared in surprise to see Carlos' girlfriend kneeling by his side, clad still in the uniform of the White Ranger, but with her helmet on the ground a few feet behind her. "You're the White Ranger?"
"Yeah, I am," she snapped. "And Carlos and Gia are both hurt. What are you guys waiting for, personal invitations to get them some help?"
T.J. shook his head. "Let's go," he said, picking up Morgan's
helmet absently and handing it back to her. Justin carefully picked up
Gia, as Morgan picked up Carlos, and in seven flashes, they went to the
"We've gotten rid of one of the Rangers, and the Blue Ranger's little girlfriend!" Divatox laughed hideously. "We are doing so well!"
Havoc nodded, flexing his fingers ominously. He'd enjoyed pushing that little human off the edge of the building after he'd run her through. The sense of hatred he'd felt from the Blue Ranger was completely wonderful. He'd never imagined any of the sweet and innocent Rangers could feel so strongly. Then he frowned, remembering something else that had happened. "But the White Ranger revealed herself to the other Rangers. I didn't think that was going to happen."
Divatox shrugged. "It doesn't matter, we still have White Comet!" a quick look at the monitor showed that their captive Zord was still in the holding bay. "And we'll send it out again and again, until all the Rangers are destroyed!"
"Oh, you know it, my sister!" Havoc agreed. "One Ranger
down, five to go!"
"Carlos is going to be fine," Alpha reported. "Gia's injuries, though, are somewhat more severe."
Everyone's attention alternated between Carlos, Gia, and Morgan. She'd powered down fully as soon as they were in the Power Chamber, revealing she was indeed Morgan St. Clair, Carlos' girlfriend. She hadn't told them much more than that, indeed, she was too busy staring at Carlos to speak much.
"Is there anything you can do, Alpha?" Justin asked. As much as Morgan's eyes were on Carlos, his were on Gia. She hadn't even fully awakened yet. Alpha slowly shook his head, and Justin's tears spilled over.
"Gia," he whispered the word out slowly. "Oh, Gia, this is all my fault. I should have taken you home, not just to the top of that building! I swear, Havoc will pay for this!"
Morgan looked over at him, and shivered a little. I wish I could help her. The Phantom Ranger helped me get that thing out of my head, maybe he could do something about this.
"I can try, at least, White Ranger," she looked up to see Phantom standing not two feet from her! Her eyes went wide.
"How did you know what I was thinking?" she wondered. Only White Comet had ever known her mind! He shook his head.
"That is for another time," he told her, going over to Gia. "She needs serious help at this time."
The Rangers moved aside as he removed the Power Ruby from his chest. Justin clenched his fists as the Phantom Ranger held it over his fallen girlfriend, and concentrated. Slowly, Gia's eyes opened.
"Gia," Phantom said softly, tenderly. "I can't heal you completely, my Ruby doesn't have that much power. But you will live, and there will be no pain for you. But. . .,"
She looked at him, feeling an instinctive trust of this strange warrior. "But?"
"You will not walk," he said softly. "Nerves in your back were severed in your fall, and I cannot restore those. I am sorry."
Gia felt a tear going down her cheek, and the Phantom Ranger slowly wiped it away. "I am sorry. I wish I could do more."
"It's all right," she whispered. "At least I'm alive," she turned to Justin. "You brought me here," she glanced around. "Where's here?"
"Morgan St. Clair, Gia Cranston, welcome to the Power Chamber," Dimitria announced. "We are glad to have you."
Morgan looked away, eyes on Carlos. She stiffened suddenly as he stirred, eyes opening. "Morgan?" he said softly. "I thought. . .," she was over by his side a moment later as he swung his legs over the side of the table and sat up. "Morgan? What are you doing . . .wait. . .I remember, you. . .you're the White Ranger, aren't you?"
She nodded slowly. "How?" he wanted to know. She took a deep breath, looking around at everyone else. Even the Phantom Ranger was still there.
"I guess I should tell you," she said at last. "It all got started the day before I moved to Angel Grove. I was practicing my martial arts. . .,"
Quietly, she pulled the tale of how she'd fought Piranatrons and wound up being kidnapped by Divatox and Havoc in order to be given the White Ranger powers. Porto had installed the pain device in her head, and she'd submitted to taking up the powers for their evil purposes, rather than let someone else be hurt like that.
"You pretty much know it from there," she shrugged. "We fought a few times, then they tried to get me to kill you, Carlos. I wouldn't do it, they took me back and tried to break me, Phantom Ranger rescued me. You know everything after that."
"Only now we know why you wouldn't kill me," Carlos said softly, hopefully. Morgan nodded slowly.
"Because I won't hurt someone I care about," she told him. "I'm very sorry for everything I did, Rangers, and I understand if you don't want me to help you anymore."
T.J. glanced at Dimitria, who spoke. "That can be decided once we have released White Comet from Divatox's control. For now, is there anything you know that might be able to help us?"
Morgan shook her head. "I wish I did," she sighed. "I
really want my friend back."
For several hours the Rangers remained in the Power Chamber, even the Phantom Ranger stayed, though the only people he talked to were Morgan and Gia. Why them, he didn't say.
"How am I going to explain this to my parents?" Gia sighed softly, looking at her no longer functioning legs. "First my brother moves away, and now I get crippled!"
Morgan took her new friend's hand and squeezed it gently. "I'll help you tell them. Or rather, the White Ranger will." Somehow, having told her secret had freed her internally. That was the only way she could think of to explain the curious relaxation of her nerves.
"You'd do that?" Gia looked up at her, startled. "Why?"
"Well, you need a Ranger to explain," Morgan smiled a little. "And I think it's time I actually acted like one."
The two young girls smiled at each other, and continued their quiet conversation right up until the alarms began to blare suddenly. Dimitria told them, "White Comet has been sighted on the outskirts of Angel Grove, heading for the heart of the city at top speed. You must stop him, Rangers."
T.J. turned at once to Morgan. "White Ranger," he said formally. "Will you fight with us?"
She stood up a little straighter, smiling. "I would be honored, Red Ranger."
T.J. grinned, and turned to ask the same question of Phantom Ranger. "Hey. . .where'd he go?"
Everyone looked around. "He left," Carlos said softly. "Again."
Morgan's lips quirked. "I take it that's usual for him?" she received nods as answers. "Well, we can discuss that later. Let's go get White Comet free."
It felt incredibly strange to morph with the other Rangers, but as they did so, Morgan heard a soft voice in her ear. "Your bond with White Comet still exists, Morgan St. Clair. Use that bond, and the love it represents to save your partner."
"I will, Phantom Ranger," she replied just as softly. "Thank
"There he is!" Cassie pointed out the zooming Zord. "Whoa, he's got to be doing over a hundred and eighty!"
Morgan felt her heart sinking. "And we've got to stop him, without hurting him. I wish Alpha had made some progress on finding that device. If we just knew where it was, we could take it off and this would all be over with!"
T.J. nodded, and gestured them out towards the road. "Dimitria got in touch with the cops and had them block the way into the city. But it's up to us to stop White Comet."
Morgan took a deep breath, remembering what Phantom had told her. "Not us. Me. He's my Zord, my partner, and my friend. This is my responsibility."
Cassie was about to protest, when a school of Piranatrons, Rygog, and Elgar leaped into existence ten feet away. "We'll take care of these!" Cassie growled. "You go help your friend!"
Morgan was already heading for the road as the other Rangers charged towards the Piranatrons and mutants. With a triple forward somersault, she landed about thirty feet in front of the charging Zord. "White Comet!" she snapped out, her arms outspread. "It's me, Morgan! Stop where you are!"
She quite literally stared the Zord in the headlights until it stopped. "Comet," her voice was pure steel. "You can stop this. You can resist the control Divatox has put on you, just as I did. It hurt, I know. I don't know if you feel pain as I did, but I do know you can fight it."
White Comet stayed where he was, the two of them locked into a stare
war that neither dared to lose.
"What's she doing?" Divatox paced angrily, staring frequently through the periscope. "She can't think she'll talk him out of our control, he's just a Zord, he can't fight it!"
Havoc frowned. "I'm not certain of that," he countered. "We know the Zord is intelligent, but do we know just how intelligent? White Comet is an enigma, just as Morgan herself was when she first arrived. That was what you wanted, remember?"
"Don't remind me!" Divatox snarled. "She turned on me, and will pay the price for it!"
Her brother shrugged. "Have the Zord fire on her," he said simply. "That'll remove our problem permanently!"
The pirate queen laughed softly. "Excellent idea!" she declared.
"I'll do it at once!" she moved over to the controls for White
Comet and flipped them, raising a microphone to her lips. "White Comet!"
she snapped. "Fire all weapons at the White Ranger! Obliterate her
from existence! All I want to be left of her is a very bad memory!"
Morgan stared steadily into Comet's headlights, unmoved and unmoving. She wasn't going to let Divatox and Havoc destroy the best friendship she'd ever had in all her life. "White Comet," she spoke sternly. "I'm not going to let you hurt anyone in Angel Grove, even if it costs me my life. You taught me that. To never give up, to stand up for what I believe in. And what I believe in is helping you, and helping everyone else in that city, and the world!"
White Comet inched closer towards her, and her eyes widened briefly to see the missiles and laser cannons start to rise up. They've ordered him to fire on me. If that's what it takes, so be it.
"No, Comet," she shook her head. "Fire on me, but only if you want to. Not because they're ordering you to. You're not like other cars, not even like other Zords. You have free will. You can choose what you do. You can choose to fire or not to."
She stood there, staring intently at the Zord. She could feel the confusion within him, as clearly as she'd ever heard anything from White Comet. "It is your choice. I love you, Comet, and I don't want you to do anything you'll regret. You showed me how to be true to my principals, and I expect no less from you. I know you, Comet, the same way you know me, and I trust you," moving on instinct, she demorphed. "I trust you," she repeated. "With my life."
White Comet revved it's engine and aimed the lasers and missiles at her. She stared steadily at it, not showing one trace of fear, just the absolute trust she had in her partner and friend.
M. . .m. . .Morgan? the mental voice was shaky and weak, nowhere near the strength it normally had. Morgan. . .help me. . ..
I'm trying, Comet, I'm trying! She could see the lasers starting to glow brightly, and smoke emerged from the tips of the missile cannons. She simply stared, unafraid.
Until a blast of fire turned into Divatox, who delivered a stunning kick to the Zord, rolling White Comet back a few feet. "You piece of junk!" she growled. "What's wrong with you?!"
"Hey!" Morgan hissed. "Leave my partner alone!"
The pirate turned to Morgan and with a single blow knocked her halfway across the road. "You stay out of this, traitor!" she turned back to White Comet and ordered, "Fire on her! Kill her!"
A long silent moment passed. Then, White Comet's weapons systems powered down. As Divatox stared in disbelief, the Green Ranger ran quickly up to the side of the Zord, reached under it, and pulled out the device she'd used to control it. "I don't think we need this anymore!" he grinned, smashing it under one booted heel. Divatox took the hint, and was gone as Morgan got to her feet.
Morgan grinned as she felt White Comet's mind once more in full touch with her own. Hey, partner, glad to have you back!
Glad to BE back! I could never have fought off that control without you, Morgan! I could NEVER fire on you, no matter what they did to me!
She smiled as she came over to her Zord, and caressed his hood with
a gentle hand. "I love you, White Comet," she said tenderly.
"And always will."
Havoc leaned back in his chair and watched as Divatox marched up and down the SpaceBase, screaming obscenities to the universe at large. She's going to burst a blood vessel if she keeps that up. Oh, well, that's her privilege, she's the Queen.
He turned his gaze to the Earth, tuning out his sister's mindless ranting.
So once again the Rangers have succeeded in thwarting our scheme. No
matter. This changes little. His eyes flicked up to the stars, and
he chuckled. I wonder how long it'll take my surprise to get here? Whenever
it does. . .the Rangers are going to wish it had never happened!
Over the next three days, quiet reigned, and quite a lot was accomplished. Morgan, as White Ranger, paid a very solemn visit to Gia's parents and doctor, and told them that their daughter had been caught in a serious attack of Divatox's, and injured. They were given a highly edited version of events, leaving out every possible reference to who the Rangers really were, and just how badly hurt Gia actually had been.
Carlos and the other Rangers didn't go very near Morgan, though. They almost seemed to be avoiding her, and that hurt her incredibly. She spent as much of her time as she could with Gia, helping install wheelchair ramps in her house and moving her things to a lower bedroom. The two girls became very close over those three days, despite the age differential between them, and Morgan was very glad for both Gia and White Comet.
The three of them hung out at the cave as often as they could, coming to know each other. Gia told them that while the five Rangers had fought off the Piranatrons, she and Alpha 6 had scanned White Comet during Morgan's confrontation with him. "That's how we found where that device was," she explained. "We told the Rangers, and Carlos went over to get it off you."
We owe you then, Gia. Thank you. White Comet had stunned Morgan by revealing he could communicate telepathically not just with her, but with anyone he chose. He could see and hear only through her, however, which made her feel better. Their communication had always been special to her, and having it ripped from her during that awful time had been heartrending. Things had happened too fast really for her to have felt the pain for more than a few fleeting moments, but she knew it had been intense on them both.
"You're welcome, Comet," she replied. "I'm just glad I was able to help." she glanced idly at her wheelchair, and sighed. "I just wish it hadn't come at such a price."
Morgan placed a hand on her friend's shoulder, and looked into her eyes. "Never give up hope, Gia. Medical science is advancing fast, and who knows what might happen with the Rangers on your side?"
The younger girl saw the pain flickering through Morgan's eyes at her own words, and covered the White Ranger's hand with her own. "They're on your side, too, Morgan. You're one of them."
She sighed and sat down on a convenient rock. "No, I'm not. They're making that plain enough the way they've acted ever since we got Comet back."
Be at peace, my beloved partner, Comet told them both. Remember, it was your faith in me that brought me back. Have faith in them.
Morgan shrugged, then both of them jumped as they suddenly went from being in Comet's cave to being in the Power Chamber. Morgan was on her feet a moment later, reflexively putting herself between Gia and any danger. When she saw where they were, she relaxed marginally.
"Gia Cranston," they both turned at the sound of Dimitria's voice, and saw the Rangers standing in a row, all unmorphed but somehow looking far more solemn than if they had been in their uniforms. "You know the secret identities of the Power Rangers. This information must never become public knowledge. Alpha has investigated your background, to find you are a model citizen, and you have proven already that you can keep our secret, having done so for over a month already. Therefore, we ask that you take a solemn vow, never to reveal the secrets of the Rangers."
Gia nodded slowly. "I will take that vow," she agreed.
"Then repeat after me: I swear upon the forces of goodness, to maintain the secret of the true identities of the Power Rangers."
The young girl repeated the oath firmly, and when it ended, Dimitria turned her attention to the nervous White Ranger beside her. "Morgan St. Clair, you were Divatox's evil White Ranger. You fought against the forces of good, and did what you could to defeat the Power Rangers. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Morgan stood up straight, eyes blazing. "That if you judge me by events over which I had no control, then I will have nothing further to do with you. I acted under Divatox's orders because I had no other choice at the time, and as soon as I was capable of making my own decisions, I did so. I left her service, and have devoted my life and powers since then to making up for the evil that I did. No matter what you say or do to me, I will continue to fight for the right."
Dimitria smiled. "I had hoped you would say that. T.J."
The Red Ranger stepped forward, capturing Morgan's eyes with his own. "Morgan St. Clair, White Ranger, I, T.J. Edwards, Red Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers, hereby formally offer you membership in the Power Rangers. You are a noble and honorable person, you have proven your dedication to the Rangers' ideals many times over, and you already have the Power. Will you be one of us, completely?"
Morgan's eyes widened in shock. They asked me. . .they. . .they trust me.
And this surprises you, Morgan? Comet chuckled. You know what to tell them.
"Yes!" she almost screamed the word out. "Oh, yes!"
Justin shook his head and rubbed his ear. "Wonder if one of her Ranger powers is a superloud voice," he teased. Morgan blushed cherry red as T.J. held his hand out to her. She took it willingly, grinning as they shook.
"Welcome to the team," he said softly. "Glad to have you aboard."
"Glad to be here," she replied. "Believe me, more glad than I can say."
The other Rangers walked over to her, and gently placed their hands on her and T.J.'s. Smiling at each other, they called out the battle cry used for years by a group of people teamed together to battle injustice and evil.