Legal Disclaimer: Saban owns the Rangers, I don't. I own Kyle Lee, the Dark Angel, and the general concept used here of the Avatars, Saban doesn't! ;) Hope you enjoyed the fic, #3 in the "Gifts of the Avatars" series, coming after "To Everything There is a Season" and "Dark Destiny"!! More to come!!
Ever since that feeling had swept through him of being needed again, Billy had been nervous and jumpy. Something was going on, something he couldn't explain, and since nothing was happening to him, he was getting more and more upset. He could feel eyes on him, but no matter how hard he searched, no matter how frequently he scanned Angel Grove with the Power Chamber's computers, he could find nothing to account for what he'd sensed.
WHAT IS THE MATTER, BILLY? Zordon asked as the young genius searched yet again for whatever it was that was making him so on edge. The ancient mentor kept to himself the knowledge he had of the coming of the Dark Angel, the ultimate Avatar of evil.
"I wish I knew, Zordon," the former Ranger ran his finger through his hair in frustration. "I really wish I knew. I can just feel something's wrong, but I don't know what it is."
YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING VERY HARD TRYING TO DISCOVER IT, Zordon reminded him. PERHAPS IT WOULD BE BEST IF YOU RESTED FOR A TIME.
Billy sighed and stared once more at the consoles, ignoring Zordon for the time being. _It just has to be here. It's not possible that I'm the only one who sensed it. The scanners here would've picked it up, they're so sensitive it's not even funny!_ He was about to start another search when every console went dead under his hands. He looked up in wild terror, only to see Zordon's steely gaze on him.
REST, BILLY, Zordon ordered. IF THERE IS ANY DANGER, THE RANGERS WILL BE ALERTED, BUT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HELP THEM ANY IF YOU ARE EXHAUSTED.
Before the young man could say or do anything, Zordon teleported him out of the Power Chamber and to the park. "Ay-yi-yi, Zordon, was that necessary?" Alpha wondered, staring at Billy on the Viewing Globe.
YES, ALPHA, IT WAS, Zordon nodded. BILLY NEEDS TO REST, AND HE IS ACCOMPLISHING
NOTHING BY REMAINING HERE ALL THE TIME. _And he will find the answers he
seeks now. Or rather, they will find him._
* * *
The Dark Angel hovered invisibly over Angel Grove, snorting at the incongruity of the name. _The only Angel here shall be me. I must find the Avatars to be. If only they were visible to me BEFORE they are about to take on their new roles in life, this would be so much easier._ He grumbled to himself as his eyes flicked endlessly over the city. Only when the old Avatar passed the power to the new would he be able to sense who they were. At all other times, both old and new were shielded.
He paused suddenly as he felt something all around him. A singing. . .a harmony, as if the very air was rejoicing in something. . ."The Avatar of Air!" he whispered, remembering. The elements reacted to their Avatars, and since he was in tune with the world, he could sense the reactions. The air sang: the Avatar of Air was somewhere around. Which meant the new Avatar would be too, and this would be his chance to destroy at least one of them.
Dark Angel turned all his attention to the air, to feeling it's joy and love, though it made him almost nauseous to do so. As he swept through the streets, tuning in to where the air seemed to be the happiest, he smiled evilly.
The Avatar of Air would be the first to die.
* * *
Billy almost growled when he saw Zordon had teleported him to the park. Why hadn't he let him continue his scans? Did Zordon know something Billy didn't?
The young man snorted to himself. _Of course he does! Zordon probably knows everything!_ He sighed. _But he was right, I was overworking myself. Whatever this is, it'll show up in good time. I just hope that we can deal with it when it happens._
As what he'd thought actively hit his mind, Billy stopped in his tracks. "We," he muttered. "We? Who's we?" the Rangers? He shook his head; no, it wasn't them.
Billy pushed thoughts of who he'd be in battle with out of his mind as he walked, trying to clear his mind and rest a little. This part of the park certainly was quiet. He made a mental note to thank Zordon for this, he really did need the downtime.
So deep into his thoughts did Billy get, he didn't notice the tall figure watching him from the shadows. He did, however, notice the flurry of black light that stormed out at him from those shadows. Only three years intensive training in the martial arts enabled him to dodge it in time. With an elegant "What the heck?" he backflipped away and stared at the source of the attack.
Features that almost seemed familiar stared back at him. The eyes gleamed black as the stranger stepped towards him. _I've seen him before,_ Billy thought to himself as he backed away, sheer instinct governing him now. _But where?_
"So you are the one," the black-armored person spoke softly. "Or will be the one. The proper phrasing does not matter, for you shall soon be. . .how goes the modern wordage. . .past tense."
"What are you talking about?" Billy asking, never taking his eyes off his enemy. Every sense he possessed screamed that this was what he had sensed earlier. "Who are you?"
The warrior rose above him, flying with ease! "I am the Dark Angel," the words echoed all around. "And I will destroy you."
_Oh, great! Another would-be world conqueror!_ was the first thought through Billy's mind. Then the only thing he could think of was terror, as the Dark Angel swept towards him.
Steel hands closed about his shoulders and he found himself staring into the eyes of the Dark Avatar. "It might have been fun fighting you. But we'll never know now."
Billy struggled as hard as he could, but to no avail. He might as well have been hitting Dark Angel with a powder puff for all the effect it had. "Zordon!" he screamed, trying to get to his communicator. He winced as he heard a crunch, and felt the device fall to pieces.
"I do not know who this 'Zordon' is, but you will call on no help, for you die this day," Dark Angel told him as they flew higher and higher into the sky. "Farewell, Avatar that never was!"
"Noooooooooo!" Billy screamed, looking down to see Angel Grove
small and distant beneath him. Then he was falling, far far faster than
they'd risen. Dark Angel's mocking laughter surrounded him, then was gone,
as was he. Billy's heart pounded faster and faster as he fell helplessly
to his doom. _I'm going to die,_ flashed through the former Ranger's mind.
_He destroyed my communicator, I'm going to smash into Angel Grove at roughly
two hundred miles an hour, leave a nasty stain on whatever I hit, and there's
nothing I can do about it. Not to mention the fact I don't even know WHY
he did this!_
* * *
Sylos frowned suddenly; she had sensed the presence of the Dark Avatar, as well as that of her successor. They were close together, far too close! As quick as thought, she arrived at the park where she'd planned to meet Billy and growled to herself as soon as she arrived.
_The Dark Angel was here. I can feel his disgusting presence everywhere, like a stain in the world. Billy. Where is Billy?_ A scream alerted her, one that came from high up. Her eyes widened to see his falling, flailing form! _By the Winds of Eternity, NO!_
She was in the air a moment later, shapechanged into her eagle form, and flapping as hard as she could to get to him in time. _I'm coming, Billy, I'm coming! I won't let you die!_
Sylos arrowed in on him and struck, her talons sinking into his shoulders. She winced at the pain that caused and at the scream he let loose when she did that. _Peace, Billy,_ she whispered into his mind. _I am here to help you._
"W. .w. .what?" he stammered, not understanding anything that was going on. "Wh. .who are you?"
_You will know soon enough,_ she promised as she slowed his fall and began the gentle descent to the ground. It didn't take long for to put him almost back where he'd been snatched by the Dark Avatar. He huddled on the ground, holding his shoulders where her talons had pierced him. "Sorry about that," she apologized as she transformed back to her human state. "But I didn't have time to get you to land on my back."
Sylos chuckled at the look on his face. "What are you?" he managed not to stammer this time. "What was that thing that almost killed me?"
"That was Dark Angel, the Avatar of Darkness," she told him. "My name is Sylos, and I am the Avatar of Air. You are Billy Cranston."
"I already knew that," he said, almost sarcastically. She forgave him, though, he'd just been through a lot. "Why did you save me, not that I'm complaining? Is that your job, you go around saving people this. . .Dark Angel tries to kill?"
She shook her head. "No. My job is to stop him. But I'm too old for that now."
Billy did a literal doubletake as her illusion faded to reveal her true form; that of an old, almost bent woman. "Ma'am!" he breathed. "I apologize for my rudeness!"
Sylos shook her head. "It is understandable. But to business. I am too old to fight Dark Angel, and my powers are fading, as is my strength. I must choose a successor to carry on the battle, as I was chosen."
His eyes widened. "You mean me?" she smiled; he'd always been quick. A true warrior of the air.
"Yes, I do," she nodded. "Dark Angel knew you for who you are, the next Avatar of Air. That is why he tried to kill you. If he had succeeded, I would have died, and the powers would have faded away without anyone to go to. And his evil would reign supreme in the world."
Billy shuddered, and she touched his shoulder gently. "But that did not happen. You live, and you are to be the Avatar of Air. If you choose to be. No one can force it upon you."
He closed his eyes for a moment. The sense of all that air flying by him. . .he hadn't noticed at the time, but it had been. ..exhilarating. If he hadn't been so focused on the fact he was going to die, he would have enjoyed it! The air had been his home. . .his element. "Dark Angel. . .he'll be after me again, won't he?" his voice shook a little; for all he'd spent next to no time in the Dark One's company, he feared him.
"Yes," she nodded. "But he won't be able to kill you if you are the Avatar of Air."
He frowned. "Why not? Will I be immortal?"
"No," she shook her head. "You'll just have one long lifespan. You'll live until your successor comes of age, or more precisely just after. You'll know when your time comes. But Dark Angel can't kill you. You will have to fight him, and you can't kill him, either."
He nodded, he'd been raised not to kill, and his training as a Power Ranger only enforced that. "But I'm going to have to defeat him."
"Yes," she agreed. "You and the other Avatars. There are four others: Earth, Fire, Water, and Spirit. They, like me, are searching for successors. You'll meet the new ones in time," she refrained from mentioning he knew them all already. "Dark Angel will attempt to kill them all before they assume their powers. He has but one way to find them; the same way he found you."
Billy raised an eyebrow. "How did that happen?"
Sylos smiled a little. "Your elements respond to your presence, and he can sense that. He homed in on you because quite literally, the air sings of your existence. You'd be the easist to find, the air is everywhere. Earth is almost the same way. Fire and Water won't be that easy, but Spirit will be the hardest of them all."
"Why are you telling me that? So I can help them before they get their powers? Protect them?"
She shook her head. "What you do is your choice. I only tell you so you'll know. But now you have another choice to make: will you become the new Avatar of Air?"
Billy closed his eyes for a few moments in thought. Then he opened them again. He knew his choice.
"Yes," he said simply. "I'll do it."
Sylos smiled a little. "I knew you would," she wasn't surprised at his easy acceptance. He'd looked into the face of evil, and survived. And that was before he'd ever met Dark Angel. He knew what he was getting into, at least part of it. She held out her hand to him. "Take it," she told him. "And become what you were always meant to be."
Billy reached out and as their fingers met, an explosion rocked him back off his feet. He felt a strength and power infusing him like none other, it dwarfed everything he'd ever imagined in his life. "Sylos," he whispered. "What. ..is this?"
"This is you fulfilling your destiny," she told him. "Welcome, Avatar of the Air. Go. Fly. Revel in the element that is yours. We will meet again. Watch for the others. They'll be coming soon."
Before he could ask who the 'others' were, she was gone. Billy shook his head; things had happened so very fast. . .he glanced up to the sky. It was calling him.
He smiled. Time to fight the Dark Angel would come later. When the others. . .whoever they were. ..were with him. For now. . .he took a deep breath and leaped up, knowing without knowing how he did what to do. A blue-eyed eagle spiraled up from where he had been a moment later.
The time for war would come in time. But for now. . .now it was time to fly. To soar. To become aware of the power within him. Words of power whispered in his mind, words to control and shape the winds that flowed over his wings. He cried out in sheer pleasure as he flew, master of the wind. Avatar of the Air.
His time had come again.