Legal Disclaimer: Rangers don't belong to me, they belong to Saban; this fic was inspired by "If That's What it Takes", by Casey, which I had the privilege of critiquing, check it out, trust me, it is one awesome fic! There's no relation between the two, but it was reading that which started the thoughts boiling in my head which lead to this. Any similiarities this has to other fanfics is entirely unintentional; sorry if anything seems TOO similiar, I didn't do it on purpose, and indeed, I did everything I could to make certain it was unlike others of a similiar plot/theme!!! If I missed out on something and it's too much like your fic, I sincerely apologize, it was not my intention to copy.

by: Cynthia

It was a golden day in Angel Grove, and just the sight of that shimmering sunlight was enough to give a little pain to the heart of the former Gold Ranger, Jason Lee Scott. He had completely recovered by now from both the loss of the Gold Ranger powers and the dip into Maligore's volcano he'd went through. But the sight of gold or black or red would alway send a faint tinge of mixed sorrow and pride through his soul. He knew the other retired ones had to feel the same way. Once you were a Ranger, there was nothing like it.

He thought for a moment on how they had all scattered and changed as the years had went over them. In the begining, there had been him, Zack, Trini, Kim, and Billy. They had been a team, they had been the team. They were the original Rangers, they had started the whole thing. And what was now, was not what had been then.

Then, he had been the Red Ranger, the team's leader. Zack was the Black, Trini was Yellow, Kim was Pink, and Billy Blue. They had been young, full of life and energy and hope and courage, and scared out of their minds that they would do something wrong and the whole world would pay for it. But as time had passed, and they'd slowly learned what they were doing, they had come to realize that maybe, just maybe, they'd luck out and win this war of good against evil.

That faith held true even when Tommy had first shown up, attacking them as the evil Green Ranger. It had been their bulwark against his loss of power, first when Rita drained it with the Green Candle, then when Zedd finally crushed it all together. Their faith had been vindicated when Tommy had returned, stronger than ever, as the White Ranger, and the new leader of the team. Jason had not regretted stepping down, he knew that he was leaving the Rangers, old and new, in the best possible hands, and he was looking forward to finding out what he could do as a teen peace delegate.

And it had been incredible. He, Zack, and Trini had done so much good at the conference, had made so many new friends that would help eventually, they all hoped, bring about world peace, that they had been able to forget for a time that they had spent almost two years defending Earth as the Power Rangers. They had barely noticed the alterations in the world around them when Master Vile had activated the Orb of Doom, but a letter from Billy once things had settled back down had advised them, in careful and hidden terms, of what was going on.

Once he had heard of the loss of the Rangers' powers and the Zeo Quest, Jason had known he had to come home. Tommy would need him, he knew. The formerly evil Ranger had always reacted badly to losing his powers, since his first experience with that sort of thing, and he would need his best friend. Zack and Trini had urged him to go; they wanted to go with him, but he was the only one of them free at that moment. And when he had returned, he had wound up becoming a Ranger again himself; his return coinciding with the need for a temporary Gold Ranger! For three months he had done his best to once more protect the planet he loved, until the alien powers had overwhelmed his system and nearly killed him.

He smiled to himself as he walked; the same day he'd given the power back to Trey, he'd asked Emily to go steady with him. She'd accepted, and the two of them had been a tight couple ever since. She'd not said a word when he'd went scuba-diving with Kim while the former Pink Ranger was back in town, trusting him to be faithful to her since she had to work that day. The way things had turned out, she hadn't really noticed he was missing at all that day, and he was profoundly grateful for it.

Once the adventure on Murianthus was over with, and he'd helped the Angel Grove shelter stay on it's feet, he had hoped to be able to settle down into a relatively normal life with Emily. So far, things seemed to be going his way. With all his heart, Jason hoped they would keep on.

The small periscope peering up from the lake as he passed it would have been a hint that they wouldn't, had he noticed it.

* * *
"I should've done it when I had him here on the Subcraft," Divatox, Pirate Queen and the most recent nemesis to the Power Rangers, grumbled as she peered at Jason through her periscope. "But I did have other plans for him at the time."

Her eyes glowed for a moment as she remembered the horrible screams that her two sacrifices had uttered the moment they had been plunged into Maligore's volcano. Then how well they had fought the Power Rangers; despite having both been Rangers themselves, and being friends to the current team. She shrugged a little; that was the past and a pirate had no place living in the past. What she needed was the present!

"Porto!" she shrieked at the top of her lungs. "Porto, get in here, right now!"

She was gratified by his quick appearance, but covered it quickly with a glare at him. "Is it ready yet, Porto??"

"Not quite yet, my queen," the scientist whimpered. "I still have a few bugs to work out, and Elgar insists on helping! That's put me back some already!"

Divatox growled out an oath that made Porto's hair stand on end, which was a fairly good trick considering he had none in the first place, and howled out her nephew's name. He answered much faster than Porto had; when Divatox screamed like that, none of her crew dared cross her. "What is it, Auntie D?"

"I told you to keep away from Porto's special project!" she snapped, marching over to glare at him. "Now I'm going to have to wait to capture that puny ex-Power punk, and by the time I'm ready, he won't be alone anymore!"

Elgar stared at her a little foolishly, then waved his sword. "I can take some Piranatrons and go capture him now!" he offered. "Then you won't have to wait!" he hadn't expected Divatox to react to his offer by nearly throwing him through the wall of the Subcraft.

"No, you idiot!" she growled. "The project isn't ready yet, and the longer he's here, the more time it would give the Rangers to try and rescue him, or figure out what I'm up to! If I don't take him until it's ready, then I can have my new secret weapon ready before they realize it!"

Her idiot nephew scratched his head, then shrugged. "Uh, if you say so, Auntie D! You're the boss!"

"And don't you forget it!" she steamed. "Now get out of here, and don't bother Porto anymore!" as Elgar shuffled out of the bridge, Divatox turned back to her scientist. "And you!! Get back to your lab and finish things up as fast as you can! Do you understand that??"

"Yes, my queen!" Porto bobbed his head, then quickly raced back to his lab. Divatox followed him at a slightly more sedate pace, and chuckled as she watched him work. Yes, indeed, she was going to have a lot of fun playing with her new superweapon!

* * *
"Hey, Jason!" the pensive former Ranger's eyes lit up when he saw Tommy coming towards him, waving merrily. He grinned as the Red Ranger practically ran up to him, his dark eyes glowing.

"Hey, bro!" Jason waved back as his friend fell into step with him. "What are you looking so cheery about?"

Tommy quite literally was bouncing on his toes as they walked. "Kat and I have tickets for the ballet tonight," he made a slight face. "She said something about doing some research for an upcoming production she's working on, but I'm just glad to spend some time with her."

Jason nodded, he had never seen Tommy quite so happy before. Even when he was with Kim, there had always been that faint tinge of loss and sadness about him. Kim was a wonderful girlfriend for Tommy the way he used to be, so guilt-ridden and sorrowful for all he'd done as Green Ranger, then trying to live up to being the 'perfect Ranger' as White Ranger. They both changed, though, and I think that's why Kim wound up breaking up with him. She knew it wouldn't last between them. Kat is so much better suited for him as he is now. "I guess that explains why you look like you've got a little sun glowing inside you!" he chuckled a little.

"Actually, there's something I wanted to ask you," Tommy's voice was a bit more serious now, but not much. "Kat's got four tickets, do you and Emily want to come with us?"

Jason's eyes widened; he had never been on a double date before, and certainly not with his best friend! Then again, Emily was his first steady girlfriend ever. There were bound to be a lot of 'firsts' in the relationship. "I can ask her, I think she'll say yes, though. She's always loved Kat's dancing."

"Well, let us know as soon as you can," Tommy asked. "You've got at least until six, any later than that and we're going to have to go on without you guys."

"I'll call her right now," Jason swerved to intercept a pay phone, digging a quarter out of his pocket. "I think she gets off soon, anyway."

Tommy grinned a little; he knew Jason, and he knew that his best friend wouldn't let him suffer through three hours of girls and boys twirling around on their toes. The Red Ranger might love spending time with his girlfriend, but that didn't mean he liked all the things they did together! At least with Jason there, they could mutter a few quick conversations about martial arts and other things, and save each other from pure boredom.

He glanced around a little, remembering other times spent in this park, with the other Rangers, with Kim or Kat, by himself. . .all manner of things. Without really noticing he was doing it, Tommy's eyes lazily wandered around the park. He almost laughed when he realized he was checking it out for Piranatrons, Cogs, Putties, or Tengas. Guess four years of being under almost constant attack get your nerves on edge, he thought. Then again, it's no bad thing to be alert. If Divatox does try anything, then I can call the others and get Jason out of here.

He bit his lip a little at that thought. It was so unlike him to even need to think of Jason as being a civilian, someone who needed to be kept out of the way of a fight. Almost every other time they had been together, Jason had been a Ranger, had been able to morph and fight with him against anything that tried to take over. And now he's not. Well, I guess there's nothing that I can do about it. He told me he was glad just to be a normal guy again. But deep inside, Jason will always be a hero, and he knows it. And I'm glad of it.

His attention was diverted from his thoughts when the former Gold Ranger headed back over to him. "She said yes!" Jason chuckled a little. "We'll meet you guys at four-thirty!"

Tommy grinned. "Can't wait! This is going to be great!"

* * *
Emily sighed happily as she hung the phone up, and gazed at it for a moment. Her eyes danced merrily as she picked up the tray and looked around the Youth Center for a moment. She split her time between here and the Beach Club these days; since Ernie had left to build a bridge in the Amazon and given the whole thing to Jerome Stone, she had been doing that. Jerome was every bit as fun to work for as Ernie had been, even though he did allow those two monkeys more or less free run over the place.

She frowned just a trifle as she jerked a soda away from one of them and put it back on her tray. I'm going to have to talk to Mr. Stone about them, she thought, heading over to where Kat and Tanya were seated at their usual table. "Hi, guys," she waved a little at them as she sat the drinks they'd ordered in front of them. "So, Kat, we're going to the ballet?"

The other blonde nodded. "Jason asked you, then? Was that the phone call?"

"Yeah," Emily agreed, her eyes dancing. She hadn't hung out too much with these two lately, but they were her friends. She'd noticed some sort of bond between them, Tommy, Adam, and Justin, as well as Jason and Rocky. It was almost as if they shared some sort of secret, something huge and wonderful. . .she shook her head a little, trying to clear her thoughts. "I've heard of that show, my parents went to see it the other night, but they couldn't get an extra ticket for me. They said it was awesome!"

Kat grinned a little. "I hope so. Guess we'll find out tonight! Any idea what you're going to wear?"

"Not a clue just yet," Emily shrugged, then shifted the tray a little as she saw Jerome coming out from the back. "I'll go through my closet later, I've got to get back to work. See you later!"

She waved a little as she headed back around the room. Whatever secret it was those people shared, she had a feeling it was nothing wrong, like a secret gang or anything like that. They're all just good friends, she thought. They've all known each other for a while, I think. Then again, Justin has just started to hang around with them, and he's just as thick with them as Tommy is, and I know he's known Jason for years. It's weird. I wonder what it could be.

"Hey, Emily!" Jerome waved at her from behind the counter and she quickly hurried over to him, joined by Richie, a long-time employee of the Youth Center. "I've got the schedule for next week worked up," he showed them the list. "And I've been looking to hire some more help, if either of you knows anyone who might want a job, let me know, okay?"

Both of them nodded, their eyes more on the sheet of paper in front of them than anything else. Emily practically danced with joy to see that she had the entire weekend off; that would give her two full days with Jason! Ever since he'd had that strange falling spell a few weeks earlier, they had been growing closer and closer, and she'd been shocked when he'd asked her to go steady. Shocked, startled, and very, very much in love, which was why she had accepted. She smiled to herself as she went to take another order. She still had a few hours before she got off work, and she needed some spare time in order to shower and change before their date. They were going to have one heck of a good evening, she thought. Nothing could go wrong. Nothing at all.

* * *
Some hours later, after a long evening of watching some very skilled dancers, and sitting in small chairs that weren't very comfortable to frames six feet tall covered in muscle, the two young couples were heading back home. It had been, in every sense of the word, a perfect evening. For the two active Rangers, there had been no sign of Divatox and her Piranatrons. For the inactive Ranger and the full out civilian, absolutely nothing had interfered in their plans, as had on a few other dates they had.

"This is wonderful," Emily's smile was broad as she leaned on Jason's arm, hugging him close to her. The dance theater wasn't that far from the residential area of Angel Grove, so they had all decided to walk both to and from there. All being active teenagers, they enjoyed this sort of thing, and it was a warm September night anyway.

"Absolutely nothing has gone wrong today," Kat agreed. "I had a really good time tonight, Tommy."

The Red Ranger smiled as he wrapped an arm around her, kissing her lightly on the forehead. "So did I," he said quietly. "We need to do this sort of thing more often!" if Divatox lets us!

Almost as if the thought had conjured up the presence of the space pirate's minions, a group of what looked to be thirty Piranatrons leaped up in front of them. With the usual odd sounds they made, the fish-things rushed the four young people as fast as they could.

"Oh, great!" Tommy growled, quickly blocking a punch and delivering one of his own as fast as he could. "What do these things want?"

"The same thing they always do," Jason grunted, fighting down the mutual rush of fear and adrenaline to his system. "To cause trouble!" he ducked under a finned fist and did a perfect tornado kick, knocking a Piranatron half way across the street. Glad it's a slow night tonight! We can take care of these things without. . .Emily!!!!! He jerked his head around to see a sight he'd never thought he would! Emily Maddison punching and kicking a Piranaton! She obviously didn't have the strength or skill that a true martial artist did, but it was just as obvious she wasn't gonig to go down without a fight! He couldn't help but feel a flush of pride as she managed to knock one of the things down. Better go help her, though! And just maybe I can get her enough away from them so Tommy and Kat can morph without her seeing!

As he started to make his way over to her, he noticed something fairly strange about the way the Piranatrons were fighting him, as compared to how they were dealing with Emily or the two Rangers. They're trying to grab onto me. They're just fighting with the others, even Emily. Weird. VERY wei. . .wait a minute. ..grab. ..oh, God, Divatox must have sent them to capture me again! What has she got on her foul mind this time!??!

"Kat!" he heard Tommy's voice behind him. "We've got major trouble here!"

"You noticed!" the Australian cracked wryly. "Emily, Jason, how are you guys holding up?"

Emily's voice was somewhat more tired than the other two; she didn't have the extra stamina of even an unmorphed Power Ranger to keep her going. "What is up with these things? Don't they just attack the Power Rangers?"

"They attack anyone in An-look out, Jason!" Tommy shouted, and Emily whirled around at the sound to see five of the Piranatrons grabbing firmly onto her boyfriend. She didn't even bother thinking, she just reacted, jumping over as fast as she could to try and knock them away from Jason. Just as she grabbed hold of his arm, the Piranatrons vanished, taking both of them with them. Tommy and Kat paused as their opponents also vanished, staring at each other.

"Let's get to the Power Chamber," Tommy controlled his panic quickly and deftly. "We've got to get them back."

* * *
Emily held onto Jason as much as she could, her heart pounding in fear and terror at what was going on. Her plan had backfired in the extreme; instead of rescuing Jason, she had been caught as well! And what they had been caught by! A purple-haired freak in a red and gold outfit that looked like she'd been born to walk the streets, a thing that looked like a gigantic marshmallow with a porthole for a face, a huge blue-shelled thing with red eyes, and a . ..ahh. ...she had no words with which to describe Elgar, except as unwaveringly idiotic, as he was staring intently at a bug on one of the consoles.

I'd take a bet that bug is smarter than it is, she thought, a faint smile tugging at her lips. That was washed away as she stared up at Jason, who was quite literally glaring at the woman with unabashed hatred in his eyes. What's his problem? You'd think he knew her or something!

"Well, well, well," Divatox laughed softly as she came over to the two of them, both of whom were being held in the steel/fishy grip of Piranatrons. "If it isn't my old sacrifice, and his cute little girlfriend. Welcome back to my Subcraft, Jason."

Jason growled harshly. "Let us go, Divatox! Maligore's been destroyed, you don't need us!"

The pirate grinned, reaching out to stroke his chin delicately. "Oh, but I do need you, Jason. You see, I did some research into the Power Rangers' history, and I found a little notation about the first Green Ranger. I liked the thought of an evil Ranger so much, I had Porto do some scans on the Turbo Rangers, and had him make up a set of Turbo powers of my very own. And guess who I've picked to be my very own Turbo Ranger?" her hand travelled down from his chin to his chest, then punched him hard in the stomach.

Jason grunted just a little, though he wanted to scream out in pain; Divatox might not look like it, but she packed one heck of a wallop! "Forget it, Divabrat," he growled harshly. "I'm not going to do anything for you."

"Oh, but I think you will," she turned to Emily, fingering one lock of her golden hair. "Because I don't have just you, remember, Jasey-boy? I've got her too!"

The former Ranger wanted to punch Divatox every bit as hard as she'd hit him, but didn't dare. "Leave her alone!" he ordered. "Leave her alone!"

"Jason," Emily's voice quavered just a little. "Jason, what's going on here? What is she talking about? An evil Power Ranger?"

The space pirate laughed. "Why, haven't you told her, Jason? I thought humans never kept anything from their true love! Could it be that you don't love her as much as you think you do. ..?"

"What would you know about love?" he hissed. "What I do or do not tell her is none of your concern! Now let us both go!"

"I don't think so," Divatox suddenly seized Emily's hair tightly, jerking her head back to expose her throat with one hand, while with the other she seized Elgar's sword and held it to the young girl's pulsating jugular vein. "You'll be my Ranger or she pays the price for it, is that understood?"

Jason deflated. Every bit of fight went out of him at the sight of his girlfriend's life being threatened. Never in his entire career as a Ranger had any of their foes done anything like that. Yes, their parents or friends had been threatened on occasion, but never like this, never so up close and personal, never with flat out, honestly stated, death.

And never when he had no powers to help them, and the price of saving the life was to become evil.

"I'll do it," he whispered brokenly. "Damn you, Divatox, I'll do it."

She laughed, knocking Emily back into the waiting arms of Rygog. "Take them both to the dungeons," she ordered. "Porto, test him to make certain he's in tip-top health before you give him the powers," she glanced over to Jason, still held by the Pirantrons. "Welcome back to the Power Rangers, Jason! Or should I just call you. Ranger?"

* * *
Justin and Alpha worked in a rhythm they had perfected over the past few months, hopping back and forth in between the various computers. Adam and Tanya were also helping out, the two of them had done what they could to pick up the technical nuts and bolts of the Power Chamber workings ever since Billy had moved to Aquitar. Tommy and Kat looked at each other, traces of guilt on both their faces, then up to Dimitria.

"We've got to get them back," Kat's voice was firm. "We should've lured the Piranatrons away, instead of just letting them grab Jason and Emily! What are we going to do?"

"Would it not be wiser to control your anger and guilt, Katherine?" Dimitria said softly. "Can we not trust that Divatox will not harm them?"

The Rangers all stared up at their mysterious mentor. "What do you mean, trust Divatox?" Tommy kept the growl out of his voice by sheer willpower alone, they'd all come to understand Dimitria's ways to an extent, but this was. ..odd, even for her.

"Would it not be wiser for Divatox to keep them in an unharmed condition, should she wish to use them as hostages?" Dimitria advised. "Would it not be foolish for her to damage that which she might consider a prize?"

Tommy nodded slowly, seeing the sense in it. "I guess you're right. But we've got to find them before Divatox does anything to them, she might not hurt them, but I'd rather not take the chance. Just in case."

Dimitria watched, a smile hidden behind her veil, as the Rangers redoubled their efforts. She'd never had a doubt that the Rangers would keep looking for their two friends, and she was starting to get the strange feeling that once this little adventure was over, nothing was ever going to be the same for the Rangers. Then again, the Inquirian thought, is anything ever the same for the Rangers from day to day?

Tommy's fingers flew across the keyboard to one of the computers; after all this time, he had learned a few things about how to use the equipment here, and scanning for a missing friend or teammate was something that was quite literally number one on the list of things a new Ranger learned once they got the power. You just never knew when someone might be considered 'inconvenient' for the forces of evil and shoved into a pocket dimension somewhere.

"Wait a second," Justin glanced at the two who had witnessed the kidnapping. "Where would be the most logical place for Divatox to take them? Where should we think we couldn't find them?"

Tommy thought for a few moments. "There's all kinds of pocket dimensions," he said quietly. "But I don't know if Divatox can get to those; I've never really seen anyone but Rita and Zedd use them. The Machine Empire didn't do that much with 'putting us away'."

"All right," Tanya had caught on to Justin's thought-processes. "If she doesn't use a pocket dimension, what would she use?"

The realization hit them all at the same time. "Her subcraft!" five voices echoed. Now they had a clue.

They could only hope it was the right one.

* * *
The minute they were in the cell, Emily had at once started pestering Jason with every question that she possibly could utter without losing breath. Finally, just to give himself some time to think, he'd given her the quick and simple version of the Power Rangers, after swearing her to secrecy. He didn't go into too much detail, but by the end of his short history lesson, she knew that he had been the original Red Ranger, had temporarily been Gold Ranger, and about the trip to Murianthus.

"And now she wants you to be her Ranger," Emily shivered at the thought; she'd seen the predatory gleam in Divatox's eyes, and didn't like it one little bit. That was a woman she didn't want near any man, much less the one she herself was dating! "Oh, Jason, this is all my fault, if I hadn't tried to get you away from those things, then she wouldn't have any way to blackmail you!"

Jason sighed, holding her close to him and trying to ignore Porto as he fussed just outside the cell with some sort of device. "We don't know that for certain, Emily," he said quietly. "If you hadn't, she might have sent the Piranatrons to kidnap you or brainwashed me or who knows what? Heck, she still might, these people don't trust anyone, and she knows one of my first goals would be to try and get you out of here so I wouldn't have to obey her."

"Well, neither of you are going anywhere!" Porto swung the cell door open and marched in with a pair of matching Piranatrons on either side, looking fierce and nasty. They jerked Emily away from her boyfriend, holding her tight as Porto stood over Jason. "Just hold still, human, and this will all be over in a few moments."

Jason did his best to glare at Porto as the chubby scientist waved a device similiar to those used by Alpha every now and then over him. Once it was done, Porto shuffled back out of the cell and glanecd down at the thing in his hands. Jason almost felt a tinge of relief when he heard a strange 'warning' type of beep coming from it. I don't know what that is, but I get the feeling it's NOT going to be good for Divatox!

"Your Majesty!" Porto called, his voice shaking. "Please, come here at once! I have news for you!"

The pirate was in the dungeon almost at once. "What is it, and this had better be good!" she snapped, ignoring both humans as she towered over her servant. "I was getting my nails done!"

"Divatox, according to the scans I did of the human male, the Gold Ranger powers altered his biochemistry so that he can't ever again have Ranger powers," Porto spoke quickly, backing away from the slowly maddening pirate as he did so. I hope she doesn't make me walk the plank!!

Divatox's eyes narrowed. "You mean he can't be my evil Ranger?" her voice was a low, dark growl. "I went to all this trouble for nothing?"

As Porto hemmed and hawed and tried to find a reasonable way to avoid getting himself scorched, Emily couldn't help but laugh. "You might as well let us go, you witch! Jason can't be your Ranger, so why don't you pack it up and go home? Pick up a hobby or something!"

The evil queen turned her attention to the cell, and something in the way she was looking sent chills down Emily's spine. "Porto," her voice was now sweet and reasonable, too sweet. Jason found himself holding onto Emily, as if to protect her from he knew not what. "Run the scans on the girl."

* * *
Every computer the Power Chamber had was running as fast as it could, seeking out the exact location of Divatox's Subcraft. They had reasoned it out fairly well, she was probably close to Angel Grove, in some body of water. But with the ocean near-by, as well as several nice deep lakes, plus who knew how many swimming pools in some of the richer areas, that was a lot of liquid to look through. Several hours had already passed while they searched, and Tommy was getting more and more on edge with each passing moment.

"If she so much as harms one hair on either of them," the Red Ranger muttered as he looked up from yet another futile scan. "I'm going to shove that mask of hers so far down her throat it's gonna come out of her boots."

Kat quickly put an arm around him, hugging him. "It's going to be okay, Tommy," she reassured him. "We'll get them away from her, and all we really have to worry about is if Divatox tells Emily our secret identities."

"Do you not trust Jason's girlfriend with your secret?" Dimitria spoke up. "Do you not believe she would keep it, if the need arose?"

Tommy thought for a few moments. Sure, Emily hadn't exactly started off the best of people, but Jason's influence on her had been magnificent. "If we have to, I think we could trust her," he said finally. "I kind of hope we don't have to, though."

Adam glanced over, a smile tugging at his face. "You know, this does have a slightly familiar ring to it, you know. Bad guy kidnaps friend of the Rangers, tries who knows what on them, friend winds up learning the secret of the Rangers," he deliberately left out the part about the friend also becoming a Ranger, as far as he knew there was no way for either Emily or Jason to gain Ranger powers.

"Let's just hope we save them like we saved you guys," Tommy said quietly. Adam nodded as he went back to the scans he was running.

All of them looked up as a small cry came from the plasma tube. Dimitria's eyes were wide with shock, and her cheeks were paling rapidly. Alpha hustled over to her, worry in every motion he made. "Dimitria, what's wrong? What is it?" variations on that came from every throat in the room.

"A new Turbo Ranger has been born," the shock seemed to have transferred from her to them, as for the first time ever, Dimitria spoke a sentence!

"D. . .Dimitria?" Tommy's voice shook, both at what she'd said and how she'd said it. "Are you all right? I thought you could only talk in questions."

"I can speak without them, if I choose to," Dimitria said quietly, somewhat shaken still. "But it is the custom of Inquiris for it not to be done unless the situation requires it. Divatox has tapped into the power of Turbo for her own evil purposes, and that is more than enough requirement."

Silence reigned in the Power Chamber. "Why would she do that?" Kat asked finally, looking from one to another of her teammates. "And which of them is she making the Ranger?"

"The why's easy," Tommy half-growled, memories he thought he had buried and forgotten surfacing again. "She wants to make us fight another Ranger. It's probably Jason, he's the best fighter I know, and if she knows anything about our history, she'd probably get a big kick out of making us fight the first leader of the Rangers."

A sudden alarm beeped, getting their attention. "Well, I guess we're gonna find out, cause the sensors just registered some Piranatrons in the middle of Angel Grove, and they've got someone with them! Bringing it up now." Justin reported. They all turned to the scanners as the image formed of the center of town, and the damage already being caused there by whatever and whoever Divatox's newest weapon was.

* * *
The citizens of Angel Grove had seen quite a few odd things over the last few years, not the least of which was the occasional evil Ranger or Zord. To have a Purple Turbo Ranger appear out of thin air and start blasting things, while the Piranatrons that came with her trashed everything and anyone in sight was just another aspect of oddness. They reacted as all good inhabitants of towns or cities under evil alien invasion did in this sort of situation: they ran like crazy.

Purple Ranger, also known as Emily Maddison, laughed icily at the way people fled from the sight of her. She might not have originally wanted to serve her queen, but a two-hour session in Divatox's brainwashing facilities had removed all protests she had. Now she was the total slave of the viscious queen.

A few well placed shots from her blaster sent a few cops who had tried to intervene in her rampage running. She preferred not to kill, it was so much more satisfying just to see them go running screaming.

"Purple Ranger!" she turned at the sound, and smiled under her helmet. The Power Rangers had arrived! She laughed internally. Divatox had revealed their identities to her once she had received her powers, which had only confirmed what Jason had told her. She didn't even spare a thought for her boyfriend, still trapped in the Subcraft and at Divatox's nonexistent mercies.

"Well, if it isn't the Power Rangers," her voice was low and sultry. "Come to surrender to the representative of Queen Divatox?"

Tommy shook his head harshly. The images hadn't been clear on the scanners, Divatox was jamming them as much as she could it seemed. Alpha and Dimitria were working on the problem. But now he could see what he hadn't before; just which gender, and therefore which friend, this was. "Emily, don't do this! Believe me, you don't want to work for Divatox! All she is, is evil!"

"I know," she threw her head back and laughed. "What do you think I am, chopped liver?"

"You're our friend!" Kat protested as they circled around. Until or unless she attacked first, there was nothing they could do to her, it was against the Rangers' code. "You don't want to do this!"

The Purple Ranger shook her head. "Oh, but I do want it, Kat. I'm going to enjoy tearing this town apart!"

Without another word, she launched an attack, flipping forward to hit Justin hard in the chest with a kick that knocked him back a few feet. The Blue Ranger shook his head, recovering as fast as he could, then spun around, trying to knock Emily off her feet, hoping they could reason with her still. She was already out of range by then, with a superfast one-two punch combination that caught both Kat and Tanya off their guard and slammed the other two female Rangers into the ground. Adam and Tommy held a quick conference, and came at once to the most reasonable conclusion: hold her down and teleport to the Power Chamber, and hope that there was something Dimitria could do to help her.

"You take her from the left, I'll take her from the right," the Red Ranger muttered as Justin ran over to help Kat and Tanya to their feet. The three of them were staring at the Purple Ranger as she backflipped her way to the two male Rangers, obviously enjoying every moment of her new powers. "And let's pray this works."

"Conspiring against me, boys?" Emily purred, coming to her feet and holding out her hand straight in front of her. "Let me introduce you to a little friend of mine: the Nova Staff!" in a blast of purple light, a long staff was in her hand. The Rangers barely had time to recognize the fact she was now armed before she had swept all of them off their feet once more, moving almost too fast for their eyes to follow. She stood over them, her staff in her hands, and shook her head as if pitying them. With no more than that, she vanished in a stream of purest purple light. Her voice lightly echoed behind her, however.

"Next time. . ."

* * *
"What's worrying me more, actually, is what Divatox did to Jason," Tommy said once they had regrouped back at the Power Chamber. No one had been hurt too badly, and the damage to the city wasn't much more than what it suffered during a basic monster attack, in fact, clean up had already begun. As Red Turbo Ranger, he had assured the people that they would do their best to help Purple Turbo Ranger escape from Divatox's control, and insisted that the new Ranger was being controlled, and was not doing this of her own will. He didn't say anything about Jason also being a prisoner of Divatox, Angel Grove had enough to worry about without knowing one of it's best citizens was a captive of evil. "He's a much better fighter than Emily, but she was the one who Divatox made her Ranger."

Adam turned from one of the computers, and Tommy was struck for a moment on how he almost looked like Billy, looking up from the answer to a problem or the search for the answer. We should get in touch with him, see how he's doing on Aquitar, the Red Ranger thought. It's been so long. . .I wonder if he even knows about Jason losing the powers and our shift to Turbo? "I think I might know why she did that," the Green Ranger said. "I found some old records in the computer, back when Jason was losing the Gold Ranger powers. It seems there was a chance that the damage to his body they caused would have a permanent side-effect: Jason can no longer be a Power Ranger."

Four sets of eyes stared at him. "Whoa," Justin whispered. He hadn't been a Ranger as long as the rest of them, but already he could just barely imagine not being able to be one.

"That would explain why she picked Emily," Tanya said. "She already had her there, and it would be a magnificent stab against Jason, she's got to hate him for not staying corrupted by Maligore's power on Murianthus."

"And against us, too," Tommy added. "She's our friend, and she'd think we couldn't fight against a friend. And we aren't. We're going to find a way to free her, and get Jason out of there."

He turned to Justin and Alpha. "Any progress on finding Divatox's Sub?"

"I think we've got something," Alpha said, shuffling over with a readout in his hands. "There's something shielded in the middle of Angel Grove Lake. We can't penetrate the sheilds just yet, but we're working on it."

Tommy nodded. "Let's hope we can do it before she sends Emily out again; she might not be as good as Jason, but she's mean, and that makes up for a lot."

Kat seemed to be deep in thought as Justin and Alpha put their heads together, running test after test and trial after trial in hopes to either penetrate Divatox's shields, or locate a time or place where they were weak enough for them to teleport in. Tommy glanced over at his girlfriend. "Kat?" he touched her hand gently. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," she looked up. "I was trying to think of a way to get to Emily. I mean, we all saw how just telling her she was doing wrong didn't do any good, but if there was some other way, something else we could try. .."

Tommy nodded. "My spell was broken when Jason destroyed the Sword of Darkness. How'd you break yours?"

"I just did," she sighed. "I remembered what I was, before Rita got a hold of me, and how much you guys had cared for me. And it just. ..broke."

Her boyfriend sighed, squeezing her hand a little. "We'll find a way to get through to her, Kat. We have to. For her sake." and for everyone's.

* * *
"Excellent job, Purple Ranger!" Divatox praised her servant as Emily reappeared in the subcraft and removed her helmet. She bowed stiffly from the waist, her eyes blank and frozen. Jason, who had been removed from the lower cells to the cage in the main chamber where Lerigot and his family had been kept, winced at the sight. It hurt to see her like that, it hurt terribly.

Few events had ever been permanently branded into the young man's memory. The day he had been chosen as a Ranger. The tense moments on the beach when Tommy had chosen to join them. His friend's return as the White Ranger. His own return as the Gold. The terrible moments when he was evil from the fires of Murianthus and had fought the others.

The two hour wait after Porto had prounounced Emily fit to take the evil powers Divatox had in waiting and she had been dragged kicking and screaming away from him. She had returned under her own power, though two Piranatrons had been on either side of her. Her eyes had been just like they were now, completely blank and cold. And she had been totally under Divatox's power.

"Emily," he whispered softly, staring at her. "Please, snap out of it!"

The Purple Ranger ignored him, though, her attention completely on Divatox. The pirate queen filed her nails casually, then glanced up to her Ranger. "You did very well against the Power Rangers, my dear," she said. "And you will continue to do well, I have no doubt. You've already proven yourself much more effective than some people," she shot a narrow-eyed glance at Rygog and Elgar. "But before I send you out again, I do have something that should be taken care of. A loose end. I hate loose ends."

Divatox looked over to see what the reaction was, and was pleased to see there was none. Emily just stood there like a statue, gazing into nowhere. Perfect. Just what I always wanted, a warrior who does a good job and doesn't speak unless spoken to. Her eyes shot over to Jason, her lips curving cruelly. "That nasty little loose end is the former Ranger here. He's of no use to me. I can't keep things around here that are of no use."

"You keep Elgar!" Rygog deadpanned. Divatox punched her second-in-command harshly and almost casually.

"Shut up, Rygog," she ordered, then turned her attention back to Jason. For the first time, she really gave him a good look, her eyes travelling up and down his body. Her eyes widened slightly, and she licked her lips. "Hmmmm. ...then again, I just might have a use for you after all. You're quite built, and I'm certain talented in many areas," she stepped a little closer to the cage, chuckling quietly.

Jason's only reaction was one of purest defiance and disgust: he spat in her face. The pirate's eyes glowed for a moment, then she smiled. "Very well. I could force you, but that's gotten old over the eons, and if I try to seduce you, which would succeed," there was a confidance in her that made Jason uncomfortably certain that given enough time, she very well could at least put a serious dent in his wil to resist her. "That might stir up some trouble with my Ranger," her eyes flicked over to where Emily was still standing, helmet in hand. "So I think instead that I shall kill you."

* * *
"Any luck yet, Justin?" Tommy tried not to bother the young genius as he searched for some way to crack Divatox's shields, but the tension was getting thicker and thicker. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was going to happen to Jason, something very dangerous, if they didn't hurry. Then again, he's with Divatox right now. That qualifies as dangerous right there. But I think something even worse could go on. ..

The Blue Ranger closed his eyes for just a moment, rubbing his forehead. "Nothing yet," he groaned. "I don't know what kind of shielding she's got on that place, but it's tough. I've seen stone easier to crack than these."

"Be patient, Justin," Dimitria advised, mentally noting that it was much easier to deal with these teens without the questions. She would still do what she could to make them figure out what answers they could on their own, however. "Divatox should not be able to keep up her shielding forever."

"Let's just hope it comes down soon!" Tommy walked up and down, grateful as he had been many times before that the Power Chamber had more space than the Command Center, he'd never been able to pace like this in their old place! He did miss it at times, though. "Emily caused quite a bit of damage, and I'm worried over Jason. Divatox. .."

Alpha looked worriedly up at Dimitria, and if he had been human would have paled at the slight nod she gave him, indiciating he should tell them something of what they knew about Divatox. "Divatox'll probably try. . .something on him," he said quietly, much of his accent gone in his concern. "She's famous for being one of the most seductive females in the universe, and very few men can resist her."

"What she might do to Jason is precisely unknown," Dimitria added. "He is very strong and handsome, and she has been known to prefer that type. But he is also strong-willed, and she has a grudge against him from what happened on Murianthus, in addition to Emily being under her power right now. She might not want to risk the brainwashing holding under molestation of her Ranger's beloved."

The Rangers all nodded, each of them paling themselves at the almost clinical description of what their enemy could very well do to their friend. "Let's hope she doesn't do anything," Tanya said, taking Adam's hand almost absently. "But we'd better hurry, just in case."

Adam nodded, patting her hand gently. "Justin, have you tried. .. ," his voice trailed off into a credible version of 'technospeak' he had to have picked up from three years of hanging around Billy, and Justin seemed to understand it perfectly. Tommy smiled briefly as he watched the Green and Blue Rangers working, with Alpha hovering in the background, adding advice and comments as needed. Dimitria even interjected a few of her own views a few times, and the Red Ranger was starting to think that just maybe they could get their friends back after all.

"Tommy," Kat's quiet voice broke into his thoughts and he turned. "Tommy, I think I might have an idea, but I don't know if it could work or not. On how to get Divatox's brainwashing broken."

"What is it?" Tommy refused to let the hope show in his voice just yet. This situation was too new, Divatox had never controlled any of them before, he didn't know quite what she was capable of with it.

Kat took a deep breath. "I'm not really sure, but I think that if we can show her something that shows her being good and being happy, something that she really cares about, that means more to her than anything, that might do it. The only thing is, I don't know what that would be."

Tommy nodded, turning his thoughts that way. "We'll find something," he said. "Come on, let's see what we can come up with."

* * *
Once her death threat had been delivered, Divatox had ordered Emily to rest, she would be sent out again later. Obviously this evil monarch had no intentions of letting her Ranger continue with a relatively normal life, except when in combat, the way Rita had Tommy. Jason knew the Rangers would be racking their brains and wearing out the Power Chamber looking for them both, and he prayed they could at least help Emily, if not him.

"So how are you going to kill me?" he tried to sound off-hand, despite how much his voice wanted to shake at the thought of dying. It had been a very real prospect for him not that long ago, objectively, and it was one he didn't really want to think about that much.

Divatox laughed softly. "Does the phrase 'slow and painful' mean anything to you?" she murmured, snapping her fingers and motioning for the Piranatrons that appeared to take him out of the cell. "Extremely slow and painful, to the point where you're going to beg me to kill you just so the pain will stop."

Jason snorted. "I don't think so, Divatox. I've faced death before, and it doesn't frighten me. In fact, I think I'd rather die than hang around you another moment. You're not very attractive, you've got the I.Q. of a lemon, and you can't seem to get it through your thick head that you can never win against the Power Rangers!"

The queen slapped him harshly, rocking his head back on his neck. "If you weren't already doomed, you stupid human, you'd be dead! Piranatrons, bring him along!"

Jason had no chance to even look for Emily, who had been sent to a small room for her rest, as he was dragged through the corridors of the Subcraft. He couldn't even look around him, until they finally stopped somewhere deep in the bowels of the base. When he got his bearings again, his heart sank. What looked to be every torture device known to mankind was there, and some that he'd enver even heard of or thought of before. He took a deep breath. "I see you've been decorating," he kept his voice as light-hearted as he could. "You should fire whoever you hired to do this, you know."

Another slap rocked his head back, and he laughed, knowing he was at least getting a few good digs into her. "By the time I'm through with you, human, you're going to wish I had raped you, it would be far less painful than this! Tie him up there!" she gestured imperiously towards a pair of handcuffs that dangled from a long chain attached to the ceiling. Jason struggled as much as he could, but to no avail as the piscine warriors dragged him over and latched the cuffs around his wrists. He found himself being hauled up, and caught sight of Divatox leaning over something. A little gremlin nibbled at his mind, and he managed to lean back just enough to propel a kick at her. His foot caught her in the shoulder, knocking her half way across the torture chamber.

"Just a little gift from the forces of good," he laughed harshly, pulling at the chains to no avail. Not one bit of give to them. I'd be surprised if they did, they're steel. Almost makes me wish I was as strong as I was when I was corrupted by Maligore's fire. Almost.

The pirate growled, getting back to her feet and punching him with quite a bit of power behind it in the stomach. "You're going to pay for that," she hissed. "And this is just the beginning."

Jason went pale as she picked up one of the weirder objects and walked towards him, eyes faintly glowing with delight. He swore to himself he wouldn't scream, he wouldn't give her that pleasure, he wouldn't break the stolid facade he was busy immersing himself into. . .

Ten minutes later, his screams of agony awoke Emily from her deep slumber, and a single, unnoticed tear flowed down the cheek of the brainwashed Purple Ranger. Quickly, she went to go see what was going on.

* * *
"Rangers!" Alpha's voice broke into the two discussions going on suddenly, as did the alarms blaring all throughout the Power Chamber. "Emily's back in Angel Grove, and she's upset over something, it seems!"

A quick look at the monitors showed the Purple Ranger busy blasting everything in sight, and punching out the few cops who still had the nerve to come near her. Tommy bit his lip when he saw her kicking a kid who couldn't have been much older than Justin around. "Let's go, guys," he said firmly. "We've got to stop her. Kat, any ideas just yet on how to get to her heart?"

"Nothing just yet," the Pink Ranger shook her head. "Let's see if we can get her calmed down first."

"You got it," Tommy declared, taking up the traditional morphing stance. "Shift into Turbo!"

Five differing shades of light filled the Power Chamber as the Rangers morphed and teleported. Dimitria sighed a bit. The next time they morph, will Purple Ranger be with them? she wondered. Or . ..she cut off that line of thought at once as she gestured for Alpha to show the battlefield on the scanners. She was going to keep an eye on the Rangers, no matter what.

* * *
"Emily!" Tommy called out as soon as they materialized in the street, which was thankfully empty of everyone but the Rangers, good and evil, at the moment. "Emily, you have to listen to us! Remember all the fun times we've had together? Remember all the good times? When we first met you, that gang you were in? We all wound up becoming friends, but you and Jason really hit it off really well?"

A cold laugh was her only response, along with a sharp punch and kick to the Yellow Ranger. Emily was obviously not in the mood for a stroll down memory lane. "Nothing matters," her voice dripped ice. "Nothing matters except power and control, except what Divatox wants, and except for destroying the five of you!"

Despite her strong words, however, and behind the concealing helmet, her eyes were wet with tears. She had seen what Divatox was doing to Jason, and it had not just turned her stomach, it had started her thinking, a dangerous proposition for those in Divatox's service. The evil queen had been somewhat annoyed at her Ranger seeing the torment she was putting the captive through, and had ordered her down to attack the Rangers since she was awake. Her thoughts roiled and boiled around, trying to reconcile what one part of her mind was telling her with what her heart was screaming, to turn and run from this battle, back to the Subcraft, to rip Jason away from that monstrous woman and tend to his wounds until he healed.

But every time she even attempted to take a step away, her body obeyed that part of her that was Divatox's slave, and turned it into another strike against the Rangers. Emily let a soft sob escape from her, praying the Rangers would hear it, would help her. . .

"Tommy!" Kat couldn't believe what she'd just heard, it was almost as if Emily had cried! And with that, she suddenly knew what it was that could get through to her friend. "I know what to do!"

"Then do it!" Red Ranger spoke with his leader voice, the harsh snap that meant he was concentrating totally on the fight. Kat nodded, stepping back and teleporting away from the fight. This could be their only chance, and she wasn't going to waste it.

* * *
Divatox ran a finger down Jason's spine and laughed as he just barely flinched away from her. In the last half hour, she had done so much damage to him she was actually surprised he was still alive. But then again, she had been careful not to do so much to him that she could have done. And she had already decided she was going to do them, in time.

And time is one thing I have plenty of ....but he has almost none! She turned from him to look over her collection of torture devices, tapping one finger against her cheek in deep thought. The thumbscrews. ..the ankle braces. ..maybe just an old-fashioned whipping? No, they're all blase, out of date, that's what a human would do to torment someone. . .then again, the old things are occasionally the best.

She picked up a whip and took a look at it; it was a viscious little thing, with ten spiked barbs on the end, each dipped in a delightful little substance that caused hormonal overload. He'd be screaming for more, and for far more than simple torture once this worked into his system. The thought of having the former leader of the Rangers on his knees in front of her, begging not just for her to torment him, but to satisfy his physical needs, was incredibly arousing to the evil queen.

No, no, you can do much better than him, she reminded herself, picking up another device and pointing it at Jason. Violet light washed over him from the end, and she laughed as he threw his head back, quite literally howling in raw agony from the pain the light caused. "This is a Talion pain inducer, Jason," she told him, coming around to look in his eyes. "It has twelve settings, from least painful to most. Humans have been known to perish from a few moments under the highest setting. I just used the lowest one on you."

A light sheen of sweat beaded Jason's naked chest; his gray shirt had been ripped to shreds by a taloned claw she'd used early in their session. "W. ..why don't you just kill me?" he hated to ask that, but in the short time he'd been in this place, he had experienced pain like he had never thought possible. If he couldn't escape, and he knew he could, all the Rangers had to do was just find him, he wanted to die, if only to end the pain. No, a small voice from within him screamed. Don't die, live to spite her! Live in spite of her! Survive, and grow stronger!

Divatox chuckled, turning up the setting on the device just a little. "Sooo tasty," she murmured, not really answering him, and he didn't care as he indulged himself in a truly loud and exhausting scream. "The sound of a suffering human. Music to my ears. Pure music."

"Um, your Majesty?" she waved a hand to tell whoever it was that was trying to interfere in her amusement to go away. The last thing she wanted was to be disturbed during her torture of this fine specimen! It came again, however. "Your Majesty, there's a problem with your Ranger."

That got Divatox's attention. Tossing the device onto a table, she glared at Porto, who was standing in the doorway. "What did you say?" she hissed. "What sort of trouble is she having? Are the Rangers too much for her? What about that Zord you made her?"

"She hasn't called it yet, but that's not the problem," Porto squeaked. "I think she's starting to resist the brainwashing!"

Divatox wasted not a moment, but left Jason where he was hanging and raced to the throne room, practically leaping on the periscope and aiming it for Angel Grove's business district. She was going to find out what was going on here!!!

* * *

The Rangers were doing everything they could to keep Emily contained until Kat returned. She wasn't making it easy for them, though. Moving faster than they had ever imagined she could, she dodged, swept, struck, and slammed into them in various positions and places. With one away, their options on dealing with her were reduced to just trying to hold onto her. Of course, that meant getting hold of her in the first place, and that wasn't easy.

"She's slippier than an eel!" Adam gasped as he backed off from her slightly. "I hope whatever Kat's doing, she hurries! I don't know how much longer I can keep this up!"

Tanya nodded, flipping over him to land a solid kick on Purple Ranger's chest, causing Emily to stagger back a little. She almost regretted that when the evil Ranger leaped forward, and seized her by the wrist, throwing her with a grunt over one shoulder. "Just what I always wanted," she groaned, managing to jerk her arm out of Emily's grip when Tommy and Justin caught their foe's attention. "To have my arm torn off by one of my best friend's girlfriends."

"You cannot win, Rangers!" Emily's single sob had been the only hint she had expressed during the entire fight that she wanted to be free. Immediately afterwards, the brainwashing had overwhelmed her mind to the point of near-insanity. She knew that meant Divatox had been watching and had done something to her, but what it was and how she could stop it, or even if it could be, she didn't know. Please, Rangers, save Jason, the thought came to her almost unbidden, soaring over what had been done to her. Even if you can't save me, save him. He doesn't deserve what that witch has been doing to him. . .

All the energy seemed to drain from her suddenly, and she stood, her hands dangling by her sides, her breath coming in short pants, and her entire mind a blank. She barely registered the pink flash of energy that was Kat returning from wherever she had been. The pink-armored female came over to her carefully as the others fell back, ready to let her try her solution. It had just as much chance or more as anything else they had tried as succeeding.

"Emily," Kat's voice was quiet and soft as she approached, holding all the tenderness and friendship she possessed. "Emily, please listen to me. It's me, Kat, your friend. Divatox has brainwashed you, she's controlling you. You don't want to hurt us, remember? You're our friend."

Slowly, she extended one hand to show Emily something she'd brought with her. It was a photograph, taken several months earlier, before the Rangers had become the Turbo Rangers, not long after she had started to date Jason. It showed Tommy, Jason, Kat, Tanya, Adam, Billy, and Emily, all sitting together around a table in the Juice Bar, laughing and happy. Jason's arm was around Emily's shoulders, and the two of them looked very much in love.

Emily stared at the picture, her mind flashing back to the day it was taken, to other days when she'd been happy, even back to when she'd first arrived in Angel Grove, and had taken up with Eddie and his gang. In retrospect, she realized that had made her a stronger person, one who was better equipped to deal with life in Angel Grove and the world itself. And if it weren't for that, she would quite probably have never met Jason, never met the man she loved so very much. . .

"Jason," she whispered, her heart pounding with fear and nervousness and she knew not what all. "Jason. in trouble. . . I. . .love him. .."

Kat nodded. "Divatox has him right now, she brainwashed you, you've got to fight it, we're your friends!"

Emily took a deep breath, and slowly demorphed, her blue eyes weary and exhausted, with dark circles under them. "I know you are, Kat," she said quietly, her voice having lost the slightly flat quality that marked Divatox's brainwashing. "And I'm sorry."

The Pink Ranger smiled, demorphing herself to give the newest Ranger a warm hug. "It's not your fault. You didn't have a choice. But we still need to get to Jason."

Emily's eyes hardened. "I know. And I can get you through the shields. We have to hurry, just before I came down here, Divatox was torturing him. That's why she sent me, I think, she didn't want to risk losing me by letting me see it continue," the distaste in her voice was evident.

"Only one of us should go with you," Tommy said quickly. "Divatox is sure to try and do something while we're there, and the others will be needed to stop her."

"We?" Emily raised one eyebrow. "We?"

"Yes, we," Tommy smiled faintly. "Did you think I'd let anyone else rescue my best friend?"

* * *

Jason had effectively lost all track of time and location by now. The only thing he could think of was how good it felt not to hurt anymore. His entire body shuddered with pain, pain that hurt to his very core. Only a few words echoed in his mind with any sense. Rangers. . .help. ..Emily. . .in every combination possible they flowed through his thoughts, the only things he could cling to.

He was only vaguely aware of Divatox leaving the chamber, nor of how much time had passed by after that. He heard screams and shouts, the sounds of battle, coming from outside the torture room door, but made no motions. He didn't seem to have the energy to move, or to think, or anything.

Voices intruded themselves onto his mind. "He's here! Divatox hasn't . . ." a female voice, one softer and tenderer than when he had last heard it, and he felt somehow glad to hear that.

"I know what you mean," it was a male voice this time, one that he thought he should recognize, one that meant more to him than just about anything else in the entire universe. "Let's get him down," he heard a blast, then collapsed into a strong pair of arms. "You're going to be okay, Jason," Tommy said, he could place the voice now, his mind starting to clear.

"I don't think so!" all three of them looked, Emily with fear, Jason with bleary eyes, and Tommy with a growl in his throat, to see Divatox standing in the doorway of the torture chamber, Piranatrons behind her and a cold look in her eyes. "Do you really think you can get out of here in one piece, traitor?"

Emily's eyes flashed angrily. "I should kill you for what you did to me and to Jason, most especially to him. But I'm better than that, Divatox. And you can't stop us from leaving," she flicked her eyes to Tommy. "Can you get us out of here?"

"Just hold onto me and to him," the Red Ranger smiled briefly, then flashed a mocking grin at Divatox. "See you around. . .and thanks for the new Ranger!" in a triple flash of white, purple, and red, the three of them were gone. Divatox stood for a few moments, her eyes burning with the most unholy of fires of hate.

"Auntie D?" Elgar popped up and looked at her. "Um, is something wrong, Auntie? Hey, where's that guy you were torturing? Did you kill him already?"

Divatox turned to face her nephew, and the look on her face was hideous enough to send even him, stupid as he was, running down the corridor of the Subcraft. "I will have my revenge," she growled. "I will have my revenge!"

* * *
"How is he, Alpha?" Tommy asked somewhat nervously as he looked from the Inquirian mentor to Jason, laying still on one of the medical tables. The little robot put down a device he'd been using on the tormented teenager.

"Why don't you ask him?" Alpha's voice actually held a chuckle in it as Jason sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the table. There was still a flash of pain in his eyes, and bruises on his body, but it was obvious he was as alive and aware and awake as he had been before this whole thing had gotten started.

Jason blinked his eyes a little, looking around the Power Chamber almost as if for the first time. He saw Emily in one corner, demorphed, talking quietly with Tanya and Kat. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but if he knew her, she was probably apologizing like there was no tomorrow for what she'd done, and they were assuring her that it wasn't her fault. Tommy was almost in front of him, and it was just as obvious that he was worried.

"Thanks, bro," he said, looking up at the Red Ranger as he stood carefully. "I owe you my life."

"No, you don't," Tommy squeezed his shoulder, and both of them were glad to see that Jason didn't so much as flinch at the strength of it. That boded well for his eventual full recovery. "Friends do that sort of thing for each other."

"More than friends," Jason clutched his friend's arm and smiled. "Brothers."

As the two of them reaffirmed their friendship and camaradiere, Dimitria called out quietly, "Emily Maddison, Purple Nova Turbo Ranger, please approach me."

The young girl took a deep breath, and slowly stepped forward. "Yes?" she asked, her voice holding the slightest quiver.

"You now possess the power of Turbo," Dimitria said. "I would like to formally welcome you to the Power Chamber, headquarters and base of the Power Rangers Turbo. I am Dimitria, their mentor and guide. Though you were given your powers for the cause of evil, you are free now of that, and can choose freely what you do with them. What is your choice?"

Emily took a deep breath, her heart pounding suddenly. She had witnessed Cog and Piranatron fights before, and had participated in fights against the Rangers now. She hadn't done quite as much damage as Tommy had in his rampages as the evil Green Ranger, but she had done enough. She took a deep breath. "If you guys want me. . .," she breathed. "I'd like to join you. I want to see Divatox taken down, and I'm willing to hang in there with you as long as it takes, or as long as you'll let me. No matter what."

Her eyes were nervous as Tommy walked over to her, and held out his hand. "I know how you must be feeling," he said quietly. "When I was the Green Ranger, I went through something similiar. I found my purpose with the Rangers, and I hope that you find the same thing. Welcome to the team, Emily."

She took his hand and shook it eagerly, feeling a strange rising of her spirit as she did so. Justin cleared his throat a little, and held something out to her. "I found this while I was looking through some things in one of the storage rooms," he said. "Until I can make one for you in purple, you can wear it."

Her eyes widened as she took the white-banded communicator and put it on. "Thanks, Justin," she whispered. "Thanks."

"Welcome, Purple Ranger," Dimitria said. "Welcome home."

* * *
Three days had passed since Emily had become the Purple Ranger and Jason had been rescued from Divatox. There had been no sign of the pirate queen since then, either. Everyone assumed she was sulking after the double loss of her prisoner/personal Ranger, and most of them took the opportunity to rest.

Jason and Emily didn't however. They spent as much time together as they could. He had started her on a program of physical fitness and martial arts that would help her in her days ahead as a Power Ranger, and they did quite a bit of talking.

"It's so weird," she said softly. "So those times when you had to duck out on a date, you had to go off to save the world?"

Jason nodded. "Now, it looks like that's what your excuse is going to be," he chuckled a little. Emily blushed, glancing down at the purple-banded communicator Justin had provided her with earlier in the day.

"Guess so," she said. "I'm still kind of nervous about this thing going off, though. I kind of wish Divatox had attacked sooner, so I wouldn't be worrying about it now."

"You get used to it," he advised, then slowly reached down to take her hand and gaze into her eyes. "I'm very proud of you, Emily. You're going to make a great Ranger."

She almost sighed. "I hope so. I really do. I hurt a lot of people, in a short amount of time."

"So did Tommy," he pointed out. "And now look at him. I'm not saying you're going to become the leader of the Rangers, but he did make up for what he did, and I'm certain you will too. We already did a press release stating that you're one of the good guys now, so at least people won't run screaming when they see you. Most of them anyway."


He could hear the uncertainty in her voice, and squeezed her hand. "Some people will always judge by first impressions. Don't worry about them. You're going to do just fine."

"I hope so," she whispered softly. "Oh, Jason, I love you," she wrapped her arms around him and leaned in for a deep, passionate kiss. Jason was in the process of returning it, when a sudden six-toned note sounded, and both of them moved apart.

"Looks like Divatox's sulking is over," Jason smiled, seeing the trepidation fill Emily's eyes. "Go to it, Purple Ranger."

She smiled faintly. "Time to go to work," she whispered, raising the communicator to her lips. "What's going on?" she asked.

"Piranatrons in the park, Emily!" Alpha's voice came over it. "The others need your help! Morph and get there as soon as you can."

The newest Ranger took a deep breath. It was time. "Shift into Turbo! Purple Nova Turbo Power!"

As she vanished in a stream of purple light, Jason smiled, looking to where she was heading. "Good luck, Emily," he whispered. "I love you."