Legal Disclaimer: Power Rangers in Space isn't mine.you know what this is. That.is pretty much all I have to say. Enjoy the fic, and please tell me what you think! I value the opinions of my readers! In my own version of PRiS, all of the rangers are in their early twenties.This is the third fic in "The Universal Judgment" Series. I have gotten a ROUSING response to this new series! I was very happy! I'd like to thank all of the people who e-mailed me and complimented me on my writing, you really made me feel great! Keep the e-mail coming, we fic auhtors LOVE to hear from the readers!
"Okay, Carlos. Just be careful! Ecliptor is still out there." Andros looked at his new friend, the Black Space Ranger, with a concerned look in his eyes. "You sure you wanna go out there? I mean, you could help me look for her here." He and his newly aquired best friend were in the control room alone, talking to each other about some plans that Carlos had made. Carlos was dressed in his black ranger suit, clutching his helmet to his hip. He had his long black hair out in front of his face, and he was smiling widely at the red ranger. Andros gave him a hard look.
Carlos shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. "I want to help you out.and I don't think button pushing's gonna cut it. Your sister needs to be found, and I'm gonna go out and search for her."
"You.you're a really good friend to me, Carlos. I don't even know why you're so friendly to me. When you first met me, I was such a grouch." Andros' face lit up slightly for the first time in a long time. Carlos was someone Andros could relate to.even after such a long time of being alone.
"First impressions don't mean much to me." Carlos laughed. "I knew you were a cool guy underneath that nastiness."
"Actually, I'm rather warm. Ninety-eight point six degrees on average."
Carlos bursted out into laughter, dropping his helmet as he did so. "Oh, you don't get it, do you?"
"You said I was cool.I don't think YOU get it."
"It's slang for a really great guy." Carlos tried to stifle his laughter as he knelt to pick up his helmet, but only fell on the ground and laughed harder. Andros stared down at him, giving him a quizzical look.
"Your people have strange customs." He shrugged and laughed, a sound that Andros had not heard from himself in many years. "I guess that makes you cool too!"
"Nahhh." Carlos stood back up and held his helmet in front of him. "Moderately warm."
Andros tried his hardest to try and hold back his laughter at that comment, but that only sent tears to his eyes. Happy tears. He cleared his throat. "Well." he almost laughed as he spoke. "If you're going to go out searching, you need to get a move on. Report anything of interest you find, and I'll get DECA to transmit the information I gather here from the Megaship."
"I shouldn't be out too long." Carlos promised. "I'm going to go out and patrol on my Galaxy Glider. Call me if you need me."
"Good luck!" Andros grinned and then patted his friend on the shoulder.
He just stood there, looking at the red ranger for a moment and began to laugh again. "Man, Ashley's spreading rumors about you."
"Huh? Like what?"
"Just a little something about the other night when you said you two kissed. She said something more than kissing happened!"
Andros blushed a deeper red than the color of his shirt. "She said that?" his voice nearly cracked.
"Nahh.I just made it up!" Carlos covered his mouth with his hand and continued to laugh. "It's true though, isn't it?"
Andros bit his lip. "Well."
Carlos grabbed onto Andros's shoulders and shook him fiercely. His visage, however, was a large goofy grin. "Hey, man.you treat her right or I kick your butt. Ashley is like a sister to me!"
"I will! I promise! We love each other too much." Andros paused suddenly. "Why do you care so much about my love-life? I thought you were going out to look for Corone!" he pushed Carlos towards the door. "Go on! Get outa here!"
Carlos put his helmet on over his head and nodded, giving Andros a thumbs-up sign. "Don't worry, we'll find her! Maybe not today.but we will!" and with a little wave, the black space ranger turned and headed out of the main control room and went outside onto the docking bay.
Andros sighed a little, waving a slow goodbye. "Be careful."
"GALAXY GLIDER, HANG TEN!" Carlos commanded. Instantly, a floating black surfboard sped up to him, stopping right in front of him. He hopped on, looked back to make sure things were okay, and sped off into space.
Before long, he was far out of sight of the Megaship, headed towards a strange greenish-blue colored planet. He slowed to a stop and began to hover there. Tapping his communicator, he spoke. "Andros.can you give me the info on this planet?"
Andros' voice sounded clearly through the tiny device on Carlos' wrist. "Yes. I've picked you up on the scanner. You are nearing a planet called 'Caeli'. It is very secluded, but it does have life on it. Are you planning to search it for Corone?"
"Yep.just wanted to check the stats on it before proceding. Thanks a bunch!"
Andros laughed. "Any time. Procede with caution though. Censors are picking up that there is a very large cloaked vessel nearby, but we can't determine it's exact location or even whether it's good or evil. It may be Astronema. Keep a lookout for it."
"I'll do what I can." Carlos said, looking around. "It's kind of hard to see a cloaked vessel though. If it starts shooting at me, I'll run."
"Good! Andros out."
He put his wrist back down at his side and turned his gaze back to the planet that floated in the space before him. Caeli? He wondered if Corone could possibly be there.
Carlos was a man with a mission.
His Mission: To Find Andros' Missing Sister, Corone.
He wasn't going to give up until she was found. He wouldn't be able to sleep peacefully until that girl was back with her brother. He would die searching for her if he had to.
And that is exactly what Astronema intended to happen.
"Elgar.I want you to set up the plasma rifles. We're going Ranger hunting today!" Astronema leaned on the control panel of her vessel, her hair purple, dyed purple once more, cascaded down over her shoulders. She had her lips twisted into the most evil grin imagineable, and her eyes were locked on the image of the Black Ranger speeding through space on his Galaxy Glider. Oh this was TOO perfect! He was alone!
"What was that?"
She turned around and slapped him down. "Load the guns so we can shoot at the Black Ranger, dummy! He's out flying on his own, and he's perfect bait! We can destroy him easily out here, the Megaship isn't even in sight!!" She brushed her hair away from her shoulders and behind her back, tapping her foot.
Elgar shook his head. "Uhh.Okay."
Astronema growled. "What use ARE you, anyways? I always end up doing everything myself anyways!" She shoved Elgar across the room in an impatient, controlled rage and took the controls of the plasma rifles herself. "I'm a much better shot anyway!"
Carefully she lined up the unsuspecting Black Ranger in her sights, laughing soft and low to herself. "You're MINE, now, little Ranger... and your plight will bring the others running to rescue you." Astromena grinned, an evil light shining in her eyes. "But who will rescue the Rangers? NO ONE!!" Suddenly the Black Ranger was square in her sights. "Die, Ranger!!" she cried out, laughing as she proceeded to track his path in space, then getting closer... then blasting his Glider, fatally crippling it.
"YES!" she shouted, nearly dancing as she watched the undoubtedly dead, or unconcious Ranger plunge to the planet below. He never even had a chance to fight back, JUST the way Astronema liked it! "Bye-bye, little Carlos," she waved at his spiralling form, then pretended to dust off her hands. "One down... and four more soon to follow. This is turning out to be a VERY good day."
"CARLOS!!!!" Andros' voice rang loud and clear throughought the entire Megaship, rousing the three other rangers from their sleep. They rushed into the room, just in time to find Andros sink to his knees and begin to wail. Utterly confused, they ran to him and kneeled down beside him.
"Andros! Andros, Calm down! What's wrong?" Ashley began to wrap her arms around the panicking red ranger when he threw them off and began to back away from them. He tried to get to his feet, repeating Carlos' name over and over as tears welled in his eyes. His feet slid out from under him and he crumpled onto the floor and yelped.
T.J.'s stood up, then reached out his hand to help Andros up. Wrinkles of worry bunched up on his forehead when their leader refused to take hold, and he repeated Ashley's qustion. "Andros, what's happened? What's got you so upset."
"Carlos!!" Andros cried. "Sh.she shot Carlos! He's dead! Carlos is dead!!"
Cassie gasped and jumped to her feet. "What are you talking about?" she demanded. "Explain!"
Andros stood up and swallowed hard. He clasped his trembling hands together and shut his eyes. Oh, how much he was shaking! Something horrible had happened, they could tell for sure! He took a deep shuddering breath as a tear began to squeeze through his closed eyes. "H.he was helping me look for Corone. He.wanted to go out and search for her himself, and I let him! I let him go out and get killed by Astronema!" he practically collapsed onto the control panel, covering his face with his arms. His shoulders shook and trembled as he sobbed on the controls.
Ashley turned her worried face up to a little camera hanging from the wall as she came up and wrapped her arms around her beloved. "DECA, what's going on!?" she asked, finding that asking Andros this question wasn't a good thing. Something had hurt Andros very greatly, so badly he couldn't even talk to her about it right now. Maybe the shipboard computer could answer their questions on what had happened to Carlos.
There was a tinge of hurt in DECA's voice. "Carlos volunteered to go out and search outer space for Corone, and Andros agreed to let him. Carlos left on his Galaxy Glider, and had neared the faraway planet of Caeli. He asked Andros for information on the planet before he proceeded to search for the young lady there, and Andros told him. He also imformed him of a cloaked vessel near the planet that could not be identified as good or evil. Carlos told him he'd be careful, and proceded on after breaking connections with Andros. And.after that.." She stopped talking suddenly.
T.J. gently patted Andros on the back, trying to be comforting. He looked to DECA. "Continue."
"After that." DECA repeated slowly. "After that.Plasma beams from Astronema's guns on her cloaked vessel near Caeli shot Carlos down.and sent him hurtling into the planet. His lifesource hasn't been detectect since, and Andros saw the whole thing happen."
The Rangers.suffice it to say.were speechless.
Their friend: Carlos, the once Green Turbo Ranger, the Black Space Ranger.had been killed by Astronema without the chance for a fight.
Andros was taking this news the hardest of any of them. And now, one thing was for sure. Andros would not rest until he had avenged Carlos' death. Astronema would pay for what she did to his best friend.
The rainstorms that had swept over the land for the last few days were gone, and the sun finally shone down once more on the young woman walking quietly through the meadows. She almost danced with joy as soft breezes wafted by her, bringing with them the scents of flowers and trees. Puffy white clouds filled the skies, and if she looked hard, she could even see the faint outline of a rainbow to the west.
All of her life that she could remember clearly, she had lived on this planet. There were no humans there but she, but the animals there kept her company. She had landed on the planet when she was only three years old, knocking out her memory of who she was, and where she was from. The animals felt pity for the little girl with amnesia, and took care of her until she was old enough to take care of herself. She was very pretty, with long brown hair with blonde streaks in it, and shining bright silver eyes. Over the course of seventeen years, she had grown into quite a woman, and she was very kind. She was also very lonely.the animals were no longer fitting company. She longed to be with another human, provided she could remember how to speak to one.
She stood in the middle of the meadow and watched the beautiful rainbow from afar, when suddenly a stream of what could have only been fire cut across it and impacted onto the ground. Something a bit smaller, a black hurtling form impacted nearby. She winced as she heard the sound of the crackling flames and metallic crunching, then broke out in a run straight towards it. Someone could have been hurt!
She ran up quickly, looking around for whatever it was that had fallen out. A groan alerted her to the prone figure, dressed in torn clothing and bleeding. "Oh, goodness!" was all she could say. Growing up away from humans had rather limited her vocabulary.
She noticed three things at once about him. One, he was hurt. Two, he was human, just like she was. Three . . .
"He's gorgeous," she whispered. "Absolutely gorgeous."
She slowly knelt down next to him, and placed a hand on his bleeding face. His eyes flew open and he yelped out his pain. He tried to retreat away from her, but found himself to hurt to move from where he lay.
"Shhh!" she demanded. "Calm down. I don't mean any harm. I want to help you!" She touched his face again, this time with a cold wet rag that she always carried with her on warm days. Slowly, trying to avoid causing pain to her unexpected patient, she mopped the blood and dirt away from his face.
"Where am I?" The man asked her. "What happened?"
She slowly began to check him for broken limbs and other major injuries, then propped him up against a nearby tree. He winced, but then relaxed against it. "I wish I could tell you. I probably know even less than you do."
His eyes, which had been squinted shut, slowly opened to look at her. "What do you mean? You live here, and you don't know where you are?"
"I probably did once." she confessed. "There are no other humans here on this planet, and I lost all my memories. I think I was about three years old when I came here. I don't know how I got here, but the animals took care of me. Now I take care of myself. And if you'll stop squirming, I'll take care of you too.you had a bad fall."
"Bad fall?" he leaned back, beginning to feel better a little under her care. Suddenly, he remembered everything that had happened. "The planet..and I was on my Galaxy Glider." He looked at the charred peace of rubble ten feet away. "And the guns.and I fell and.I heard Andros scream.."
She nodded slowly. "You fell onto my planet. With that fall, you probably should have died. It's a wonder you're in as good shape as you are."
"My name is Carlos." he grunted as he scooted up to sit up higher. She doctored his sprained ankle. "What's yours?"
She stopped to look at him strangely. "I.don't know what my name is." She said quietly, then tore another strap off of the bottom of her long dress and tied it gently onto his ankle with a small twig. "There.that should be alright if you don't walk on it."
Carlos groaned as he tried to push himself on his feet, but the nameless woman pushed him back down. "I don't want to impose." he bit his lip "I don't even know what to call you."
"You can call me whatever you want to call me. I'll answer to anything another human calls me. I don't ever rember meeting one before in my life."
"Wow." he looked at her for a while and smiled. She was very pretty.and very kind. He was lucky to have crash-landed near her. "I'll call you Bonita. That's Spanish for pretty."
"What's Spanish?" she asked sheepishly. "I'm not all too smart."
"It's a language that I can speak." Carlos smiled warmly at her. She almost felt her legs give way underneath her.
"And you're name for me means pretty? You flatter me." She blushed a bright read and turned her face away from him to hide it in her hands.
He grabbed onto her hands and took hold of her chin with his hand. Slowly, he turned her face to look at him. "It isn't flattery when it is the truth, Bonita."
_Oh, my.this is strange!_ she thought to herself. _My heart is fluttering like a butterfly! I wonder if I'm getting sick?_
"I can't thank you enough for helping me.I probably would have died if you hadn't come along and rescued me like that.
Deep crimson flushed her face once more. "I was glad to do it. I'd do anything for you." she faded away slightly and found herself gazing into his beautiful dark brown eyes. _I must be REALLY sick.I've never felt like this before! But it doesn't FEEL like a bad thing!_
Carlos sighed suddenly and sank back against the tree. Bonita's heart sank. "I don't suppose there's any way for me to get off of this planet, is there."
She shook her head. "There isn't, I'm sorry to tell you. I wish there was. You must have had a really important mission to do.you look like a very important man."
"Important? Me?" he snorted. "Yeah, right. I did have a mission, though. I doubt that I'll ever get to finish it now.hmph, I never even got started."
"What happened to you?" she asked him. "All I saw was you falling down onto this planet, and I thought that you were dead. I mean, I would assume that someone who just fell from the sky would be dead at least."
"It's a long story." He explained.
Bonita moved herself to lean against the tree next to him. "It's been too long since I have heard a human voice, Carlos. If you are willing to tell this to me, I am willing to listen. My ears are open to you."
Carlos winced slightly as he pulled himself up to a straight position. "Then I'll tell you what happened." He managed a weak smile, though she could tell that he was really in terrible pain. She pushed him down onto the ground and forced him to lie down and told him to relax. "It all started on the Megaship.I was talking to my best friend Andros."
"Yep.I had volunteered to go out and look for his missing sister, Corone."
"Yeah. Well, anyways.I joked around with him for a little bit, then went out on my Galaxy Glider." Carlos pointed to the piece of rubble that was once his vehicle. "I came up to this planet, called Caeli, and then I asked Andros for stats on it. He told me about it, and then that I could procede, so I started on towards it. Then.the plasma cannons from a vessel that Andros had warned me about started shooting at me. The shots hit me before I had a chance to move."
She nodded slowly. "And then you crashed on the planet?"
"But." she looked confused. "That still doesn't explain how the impact didn't kill you!"
"Oh.I'm not sure that you'll understand the logic in this.but I'm a Power Ranger." He felt that this young woman who had not known human's in so long could be trusted with his secret. Besides, he felt strangely attracted to this stranger.he'd never felt this way about anyone before.
"I don't get it."
"That's the only way I can explain it really." he sighed. "Let's just say, that being a Power Ranger is what kept me from dying in that fall.."
"I bet you that your friend.Andros, is worried about you."
Carlos sighed and nodded. "I bet he is. He's had enough loss in his lifetime. I hope that he doesn't think I died."
Bonita smiled. "I'm sure he doesn't. Now.come on. Lying on the ground isn't comfortable for a recovering man. I'll take you to my home, and I'll get you something to eat and you can relax."
With a painful nod, Carlos allowed her to help him to his feet and help him walk all the way to her little cottage in the woods. There, he was fed, and he rested. Carlos was lucky to have found this loving stranger.whom he called Bonita.
"Andros?" Ashley came into his room, where he was laying on his bed face down. She sat down on it next to him and stroked his hair gently. Immediately, she took notice to the wet marks of tears on the pillow.
"Leave me alone, Ashley." he mumbled through his dampened pillow. "I want to be left alone."
Frowning, she rolled him over and started whiping the tears off of his face. "Andros, I just came in here to see if you were okay, and if you wanted something to eat. You havent eaten in days..ever since Carlos." she swallowed hard, finding that she could not finish the sentence.
"I'm not hungry." he grumped. "I want to be left alone."
"I'm not going to leave you alone, whether you want me to or not." She sighed. "We're both going through this together, remember. Carlos was like a brother to both of us. What.happened to him didn't just hurt you. It hurt me too, and all of the others as well. We're all hurting."
"But I'm the only one who is going to get revenge.."
Ashley's eyes widened, and she hugged onto her boyfriend tightly. "Andros, don't you even talk like that! We can't avenge him.what will it do?"
"I'll feel better once I do it, Ashley."
"Yeah, you'll feel better all right." She stood up, growling slightly. "Who else is going to profit from your rage, Andros? Certainly not me, or anyone else of your crew, that's for sure!"
He sat up in the bed and looked up into her flashing eyes. "You don't understand, Ashley."
"I thought we went through this before, Andros!" she declared. "I thought you knew! I do understand, JUST as well as you do!"
"You don't understand.."
"You've thought that for the past week, Andros! I understand better than you do, because I've known Carlos all of my life! Go on.think that I don't understand what you're feeling! See if I care!!" turning on her heel, she stomped out of his quarters.
Andros brought his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them. Biting his lip, he kept the tears from coming to his eyes again. Ashley was angry with him now.the woman he loved was mad at him because she was convinced that she understood what he was feeling.
But she didn't understand, and she never would.
"I will avenge your death, Carlos." Andros promised as he got to his feet, and strightened his rumpled clothing. "Dark Specter and Astronema will pay for what they have done to you.my friend."
Over the next three weeks, Carlos grew stronger and stronger, and he and Bonita grew closer. He told her many things, teaching her what he could about where he had come from and of the fight he and his friends had fought since becoming Power Rangers. He told her of Andros, his best friend, and of his search for his missing sister, and of Astronema, who had shot him down. She listened eagerly, more to learn how to speak with humans than out of any full understanding. And as the weeks passed, the two of them slowly became more than friends.
"Mmm." Bonita opened her eyes slowly as the rays of sunshine trickled through the windows of her cottage. She smiled softly, remembering what had happened, and snuggled her head into Carlos' bare chest beneath her head. Slowly, she turned her head and began to trace a delicate line of kisses along his pectoral muscles.
He stirred slowly, wrapping his arms warmly around her and kissing her on top of her head. "G'morning to you too, my Bonita." He said to her. His voice was thick with sleep, and he stretched his tired muscles. It had been QUITE a night.
"Good morning." She giggled as she moved herself up to kiss him on his mouth. He returned it instantly.
After a while, they discontinued their kissing and just lay together in the bed, watching out of the window as the day slowly unfolded it's splendor to the woods.
"Carlos, I love you."
"I love you too, Bonita."
For a while..there was nothing but silence. Carlos looked down upon the face of his lover, only to find it twisted into a strange look of confusion and fear. He shook her gently.
She gulped loudly. "Carlos.I remember who I am!" she yelped. "I'm scared! I remember who I am!"
"Shhhh." he wrapped his arms around her a little more and rocked her gently. "Tell me, Bonita, what just happened to you?"
"I had a vision." she shivered. "It was horrible. But I know it happened..I know it did."
"What was it?" Carlos' voice suddenly became concerned.
"I was.playing with a ball with my brother....and it got out of our hands. He...he ran to go get it...and something started pulling me...I screamed...and I screamed. But...he couldn't help me!" tears flooded in her eyes as this horrible memory, so long buried, surfaced.
Carlos scrunched his nose. There was something familiar about this story...but he couldn't remember right off hand.. "What is your name, Bonita?"
"I am called Corone."