Legal Disclaimer: Power Rangers in Space is not my property, but the property of Saban Entertainment and Fox Kids. This is in no way related to my "Universal Judgment" series, and is the first in the "The Things Nightmares are Made Of" series. This is just a strange idea that popped into my head one of the days before school let out! Special thanks go to Cynthia for helping me with the first scene…it was a real killer! The character Lady Dreamcatcher is mine, and if you would like to use her, then all you need to do is ask. Other than that, enjoy the fic and please tell me what you think of it!
The chamber was dark and filled with shadows, but not shadows of living things or mere darkness. What they truly were is unable to be said; some unholy amalgamation of both life and unlife is the only guess that any might make. Enthroned upon a seat of pure blackness was a woman of ice. Not made of ice, as you might think, but with a heart as cold as frozen water, and a soul as wicked and shallow as the essence of hate.
"My Crystal," she shook her head softly and miserably. "Those fools destroyed my beautiful Crystal of Nightmares. I should never have told that foolish son of mine Goldar where it was."
She stood up, snapping her fingers and barking out five strong and strange words. Dust particles and glass shards flew all around her, then formed into a gleaming crystal. Something that might have been a smile traced itself onto her lips. "And this is just the beginning."
With another sharp word, she shattered the Crystal into five fragments, each a different gleaming color, black, blue, green, red, and purple, and each hanging from a shimmering golden chain. "Just the beginning," she purred. A slash of her hand to the side, and the crystals transformed themselves into five medallions. The designs on them were unknown to man, but any who gazed on them would be repulsed and revolted. "Those who destroyed my Crystal so long ago shall be punished," she swore.
Before her there flashed suddenly five faces, three young human males and two young human females. She nodded briefly to herself. "You five. Jason. Zack. Trini. Kimberly. Billy. You shall taste my wrath and my revenge before too long. Let us see how you enjoy being treated to your own worst nightmares by those of your own kind!"
Her eyes flashed silver for one moment, then where the first five had
been, now five others showed. "Andros. T.J. Cassie. Ashley. Carlos.
The five of you shall be the instruments of my revenge," as she gazed
at each, one of the crystals glowed each a different color, and she smiled
once again. "Prepare, Power Rangers...to be plunged into the eternal
darkness of my nightmares. Prepare for the corruption of your innocence..."
"Okay, your move Andros…" Carlos stared down at the chessboard, pondering his next move. "Hmm…"
Andros tossed a crude grin to his friend and teammate, then grabbed hold of one of the white pawns on the board. "Let's…see…" he mumbled, a strange tinge to his voice. He waved the pawn around over the board. "How about…HERE!"
'Thump!' the pawn was nearly slammed back down onto the board.
"AHHH!" Carlos wailed and covered his face in his hands. "Not again!!!"
Andros grabbed Carlos' wrists and pulled his hands off of his face. He was grinning widely, almost wickedly in it's playfulness. "Checkmate!" he declared.
Carlos continued to whine, turning away from Andros. He drew his face up in a fat-lipped pout. "No fair! You do that every time." He snorted in the direction of the two laughing girls. "Stop it! It's not funny!
"Too bad they're not playing strip poker," Ashley giggled, nudging Cassie on the shoulder. "Carlos'd be down to his bare booty with the way Andros is playing!"
As Cassie and Andros burst out laughing, Carlos' cheeks proceeded to turn an extremely bright shade of crimson. He once more covered his face in his hands. "Shut up…" he mumbled.
Just as Ashley was about to continue her embarrassment of her friend, Andros looked around. "Hey…" he interrupted, hushing them all to quick silence. "Where's T.J.?"
"I think he went for his usual jog," Carlos pointed out. " He's missed them a lot. Before we became…" he hushed his voice so that none but the other three rangers could hear. "Space Rangers…he used to go jogging in the woods every day. I think he's trying to make up for lost time."
"Yeah…he really did miss it, I think." Cassie almost whispered, then shook her head. "He said that he would drop by later when he was finished with what he was doing. I don't see why he has to be so secretive about going for a run through the woods."
Ashley shrugged. "That's just T.J. for ya…" she giggled. "So, Andros? Whadaya say? Care to challenge Carlos to a game of strip poker?"
"I'm not in the mood to see Carlos nude, actually!" Andros rolled his eyes. "You two are maybe…but I'm not!"
Cassie and Ashley gasped at his comment, then their faces flushed red. Carlos looked quite a bit nervously at them…and began to inch his chair away.
"Uh uh…no way!" Carlos said. "No strip poker, strip chess, or anything! If you two are so into it…then why don't you do it?"
"Hey!" Cassie declared. "No way! Whatever!"
Andros poked Carlos in the ribs with his elbow. "Now that'd be one heck of a show, huh?" he pointed out, grinning impishly.
"Oh, yeah!" Carlos replied, plastering the same smirk onto his face.
The two girls shrieked and broke out in a mad dash away from the two guys. They laughed after them maniacally, shouting almost obscene remarks. Of course they made sure that they weren't obscene enough to get them thrown out. After the girls exited the building with cries of disgust, they calmed down themselves down and continued with another chess game.
"Have you noticed that things have been really quiet in the way of Astronema attacks lately?" Andros wondered aloud as he watched Carlos make another fatal move in the game.
Carlos nodded, not realizing his mistake. "Yeah…way too quiet if you ask me…"
Andros picked up his queen pawn, snorting. "Wonder what she's up
to…" he thumped it back down in a new position. "CHECKMATE!"
"What a dump…" she muttered. Her tall black boots clanked along the floor of the bridge. The folds of her long midnight black cloak flowed along behind her. "Dark Fortress, huh? What a piece of junk! This should be easy to capture…"
"And just what do you think you are doing here, missy!" Astronema discovered the unknown stalking about on the bridge of her vessel, and growled meanly when she spotted her. "This is my place!"
The tall silver-haired woman spun around and glowered down at Astronema with her silvery eyes. "I think I am capturing this dump for my own…" her voice was so sweet, and yet so chilling that it nearly froze the blood flowing through Astronema's veins. "And do not call me 'missy'. If anyone should be called missy, it should be you…you novice. I will be addressed by you as 'Lady Dreamcatcher'. 'Mistress' would also do quite nicely."
Astronema's voice was momentarily caught in her throat. She wanted to lash out at this woman who had invaded her ship…but something deep down inside of her was preventing her from doing so. There was just something about her…that she couldn't quite discern, that was making her freeze up. Finally, she regained her voice and croaked. "I will call you no such thing! This is my ship, and I am the mistress! Ecliptor! Elgar! Come here!"
As the two members of her ship's crew marched through the corridor and onto the bridge, Lady Dreamcatcher snickered. In a flashing of silvery light, a shining circular object appeared in her spindly fingers. She traced her long black fingernails over the frame of it…the appearance of two silver feathers and something resembling a web forming in the middle of it. "You dared to question the orders of the Mistress of Nightmares?" she cooed. "You have got to be kidding; siccing these mediocre flunkies on me?"
Astronema sneered. "They may be flunkies, but they can do pretty good work!" she declared. "No one busts into my Dark Fortress and gets away with it!"
Lady Dreamcatcher cackled deeply. "I believe that I already have gotten away with it, my dear purple haired child. This base of yours is essential to my plans of revenge…and I am not going to get a novice villainess and her henchidiots get in my way. I don't even file my nails with the likes of the three of you…"
"Hey, Astronema…" Elgar was shivering as he looked to his commander. "This lady's kinda creepy!"
Astronema glared. "Just go get her!" she demanded.
Ecliptor pulled out his jagged sword. "Listen, Lady! No one orders Astronema: Queen of Evil around without having to go through me first!"
"Ooooh, I'm shaking!" Lady Dreamcatcher joked as the two minions tried to gang up on her. "I believe that you are quite mistaken, green one! Those who defy me will get their proper due! Prepare to meet your worst nightmares face to face!"
As she held the Indian dreamcatcher out before her, a sudden high wind whipped through the bridge, causing her hair, cloak, and skirt to fly wildly about her, adding to her already wild and evil beauty. Over the wail of the wind came her high pitched and mocking laughter, matched by the increasing silver glow of the dreamcatcher held forth so boldly before her. The three villains couldn't believe their eyes as a lightning bolt shot from it, wrapping around them and shrinking them into three small circles of light. With not even time to scream in protest, they were drawn back into the dreamcatcher, and dead silence fell upon the bridge.
"Well…that was easy." She spat. "Time for redecorating."
She waved her hand and the silver dreamcatcher disappeared. Dusting her hands off gently, she looked around the ship and clicked her tongue. "As I said…what a dump." She mused, then snapped her fingers. The dank, crudely-formed vessel was instantly transformed to fit her own personal liking. It was a space station shaped like a gigantic silver dreamcatcher… a large scale model of the one she used for a weapon. The interior was bathed in the darkest of black…and in the center there was a throne with a crystal ball positioned in front of it. With another snap of her fingers, she disappeared from her current potion, and reappeared in her throne.
"Now it is time to start preparing for my revenge." She purred and waved her hands over the crystal. "I first must capture those Power rangers and corrupt them into my Nightmare Rangers…And then, those fools who destroyed my beautiful Crystal of Nightmares will pay…"
A light silver fog clouded the large crystal ball that was placed on a pedestal curved into the shape of a crooked claw that held it. She watched it intently as the fogs parted, revealing a dark skinned male running through a heavily wooded area on Earth.
"Ahh, yes…my first victim." She purred. "T.J., the Blue Ranger. You will be the first of your kind to crumble to the powers of fear and nightmares…make no mistake of that!"
She held up one hand, and in it the Green Nightmare Medallion appeared. "Oh yes, no mistake at all…" she laughed, waved her arm in a complete circle…and disappeared in a blast of silver smoke. It was time for her revenge to commence, at long last…
She had waited many a year for this moment…and she would not fail. After all, Lady Dreamcatcher always got what she wanted.
_It's so peaceful around here, I've really missed it._ T.J. thought to himself as he jogged through the woods slowly. _We should come back down here more often._
The woods were absolutely beautiful…everything was peaceful. Rays of golden sunshine streamed through the breaks between the trees and the sky, giving the area a lovely golden tinge. It was early morning…and the sunlight caused the tiny drops of dew on the grass, leaves and flowers in full bloom to twinkle. A gentle breeze swayed the branches slowly, relaxing T.J. as he jogged. There were just some things that you never realized meant so much to you until you went without them, that's for sure. And for T.J., his morning jog in the woods was one of them.
He sighed deeply, taking in the fragrance of the flowers and the overall powerful feel of nature. "Erutan is so lucky, getting to be around this all the time. I just love being out here. Sure, hanging with the rangers is great…and baseball is too…but this is like, where I feel I am really me."
The soft voice of a child replied. "That's nice to know, T.J." the translucent image of a young blonde-haired boy appeared before him, smiling widely.
T.J. stopped his jogging and waved to the image. "Erutan! Hi!" he greeted him, then walked over to him. "Hey, man! How are things going?"
Erutan smiled. "Things are just fine." He said. "Couldn't be better!"
"It's great to see you again!" T.J. gave the Spirit of the woods a quick, tight hug. "I've really missed you…and the woods."
"I noticed that your everyday jogs haven't been everyday anymore." Erutan returned the hug and frowned slightly. "I know your secret T.J., about being a ranger? Have you been really busy with that?"
T.J. nodded slowly. "Yeah, I've been on the MegaShip most of the time working, and haven't had my time for my jog anymore. This is the first time I have been able to take one since the Power Rangers went spacey. I've missed this more than anything else I used to do before…"
"I understand that you have a duty, T.J. I just wish that you could come down more often. These woods aren't the same without you jogging through them. They miss you almost as much as I do."
"The woods miss me?" T.J. wondered. "How is that possible?"
"I'm the Spirit of the Woods…do you really need to ask that?" Erutan cracked a grin and laughed. "Of course they miss you, you're the best human friend they've got."
"I'm flattered…" T.J. grinned. "That's quite an honor to have the woods think of you as their best friend and miss you when you are gone."
Erutan's return smile suddenly vanished, as the entire woods were swept with a cold, icy wind that froze T.J.'s very soul. Silver fog swept across the ground beneath their feet, then gathered into one area and rose up from the ground in an almost cylindrical shape. Lightning bolts flashed and the two of them stared as the fog condensed, melding together to form the image of a woman.
She was tall, almost as tall as T.J. stood, and slender as a willow reed. Her skin was bronzed, contrasting sharply with her silvery-white hair and odd gray eyes. Her body was clad in a tight black gown and cloak that flowed all around her and down to the ground. In her hand was the strangest thing he had ever seen, a circle of silver with what looked like a web inside of it, and a few feathers hanging from it. The spikes on the shoulders of her cloak looked more dangerous, but there was still something about it that gave T.J. the creeps.
What scared him even more the green medallion in her other hand. It drew his eyes and repelled them at the same time, and he shivered even as she laughed softly.
"Hello, T.J…." she whispered in a melodic tone. "How nice to see you…"
"Who are you?" he almost snarled at her. "What are you doing here, and what do you want?"
Erutan walked nervously over to T.J. and stared at the woman as she rose up the hand that held the medallion. Her lips cracked to flash them a dazzling smile…that nearly scared them out of their minds. They had no earthly idea why a woman so beautiful was stirring up so much terror in them!
"I am Lady Dreamcatcher: Mistress of Nightmares." She introduced herself with a sweeping bow, then stood up to full height once more. "And you are to help me with some revenge that I am desperately craving."
As Erutan began to back away, T.J. glared at her. "Look, Lady Dreamsmasher or whoever you are…I'm not going to help you or anyone else get any desperately craved revenge! Got it!?"
Her silver eyes bulged with fury and the dreamcatcher in her other hand began to glow. She roared at him, "My name is Lady Dreamcatcher, you puny excuse for a world defender! You will help me with my revenge, whether you want to or not! You do not have any say in this, bald one…let me make that clear!"
T.J. opened his mouth wide to protest, but found that his voice would not come. As a matter of fact, he could not move a single muscle: everything was frozen. His mind was the only conscious and working part of his body, and his eyes were locked on the green medallion that she was holding. He wanted to turn away, he wanted to run as far as he could…but the pure untapped fear surging through his system would not allow it.
She waved a hand and the silver dreamcatcher that she held disappeared in a small silver puff of smoke. Taking the golden chain of the medallion into both of her hands…she stepped toward T.J. "You will be mine, T.J…." she said. "And so will all of your friends. Say goodbye to all of that pure goodness inside of you, Ranger. From now on you are at the mercy of me and the forces of my nightmares."
In one fluid motion, she slipped the chain and medallion over his head and around his neck. As it hung there, the medallion began to glow a bright green…and his dark eyes soon mirrored that action. As if it was a reflex, his widely open mouth shut and became a dark scowl. His once motionless fists clenched tightly, and he blinked his green glowing eyes to look at his new mistress. A cloak and hood of dark green appeared over his head and around his shoulders…letting only the medallion hang out of it.
"I am T.J., Green Nightmare Ranger of Misery…" he spoke the words softly, but darkly. "Completely at your service, my Mistress." He sank down onto his knee and bowed before Lady Dreamcatcher. The morpher that he had used as the Blue Space Ranger fell off of his wrist and down onto the ground.
Lady Dreamcatcher looked down at her new ranger approvingly, then kicked the offending morpher away from him. Everything was going perfectly, completely as planned. There was nothing that could spoil this moment of triumph for her. "Yes, T.J." she placed her hand on the back of his head and pushed it so that he was looking down at the ground. "Forever at my service. And soon your friends will follow in your footsteps."
Erutan had backed himself back into a tree, watching this spectacle with sheer terror. His friend had, before his eyes, been turned into the warrior of the fear of misery by one of the most evil villainesses in the entire universe. He shook his head in denial. There wasn't any way what he had just seen really happened. Things like that couldn't happen…not to T.J.
But as he looked at his friend, wearing the green medallion around his neck…he knew that it had happened. He needed to find help. Erutan was not going to let this happen to his best friend…he had to find T.J.'s friends; they could help! He turned on his heel and was about to break out in a run to find some of them…
"Not so fast, Nature Boy!" Lady Dreamcatcher hissed. With a flick of the wrist, her dreamcatcher appeared once more in her hand. "Going for help, are you? I think not!"
"I'm not going to let you get away with this, Lady Dreamcatcher!" Erutan demanded, slinking back away from her. He almost fell backwards when he stepped on something on the ground. Looking down…he saw T.J.'s morpher. He quickly snatched it up. "And neither will T.J.'s friends!"
Her silver eyes narrowed to slits as she glared at the Spirit of the Woods. Holding out her dreamcatcher before her, she almost called upon it's magic when she realized what he was going. She parted her lips in a tiny, sinister smile. "His friends? Why…yes, Erutan. Go find T.J.'s friends…they'll be sure to save him from me!" she waved her hand and the dreamcatcher disappeared again.
Erutan stared at her with a look of shock. She had just wasted a perfectly good chance to suck the only thing in her way into her dreamcatcher, and she hadn't! He turned and began to run away from the place…thinking about what had just happened. There had to be some ulterior motive that had caused her to let him go like that… Erutan would have to be on his guard.
But first, he had to find T.J.'s friends…and fast!
"Can you believe those two!?" Cassie demanded, throwing her arms up in the air. "Typical perverted guys!"
"Totally!" Ashley agreed. "What cornballs!"
Cassie shot a hard glance to Ashley. "It was your idea for them to play strip poker in the first place." She reminded her. "Am I right, or am I right?"
Ashley grimaced then stuck her tongue out at Cassie. "Well…yeah. So?"
"So, it was you who started the whole thing." Cassie had a teasing edge to her voice, and she poked Ashley in the arm.
The two of them started giggling and joking when they heard a voice calling their names. They looked up to see a blonde-haired boy running towards them at full speed and stopped walking. Looking at each other they shrugged simultaneously, then looked back towards him.
"Cassie! Ashley!" It was Erutan, letting himself be seen by the two girls…and he was waving his arms frantically. "Lady Dreamcatcher has T.J.!"
"Huh?" Ashley said dumbly. "Lady who?"
"Lady Dreamcatcher!" Erutan was all the way up to them finally, and held T.J.'s morpher out in front of them. He placed it in Ashley's hands. "Lady Dreamcatcher has captured T.J. and made him into her evil Green Ranger! I need one of you to come with me, we have to save him! The other one of you can warn the other two!"
Cassie sighed. "I knew that this day was too good to be true." She muttered. "I'll come with you…Erutan, right?"
He nodded. "Right…please, Cassie…we have to hurry!"
She looked to Ashley. "You go tell Andros and Carlos, Ash. I'm going to go with Erutan…"
Flashing a thumbs up sign, Ashley replied. "You got it!" Clutching T.J.'s morpher, she spun around and dashed back in the direction of the Surf Spot.
"Let's go, Cassie!" Erutan grabbed onto her wrist and pulled her along. The two of them broke out in a run, headed for the woods.
_Great…a new monster that we have to deal with…_ Cassie mused as they
ran. _And she has T.J.…this day was definitely too good to be true. I hope
we're able to save T.J. in time…_
"That's 10 games in a row today that I have beaten you, man!" Andros laughed. "You don't know when to give up, do you?"
Carlos shrugged. "Guess you could say I'm a sore loser!" he said. "Come on, play me again? Please?"
Andros sighed, reached over and tugged Carlos' hair out of it's ponytail. "I have work to do on the MegaShip! Besides, I'm going to win anyway!"
"I've got to win sometime! Maybe 11 is my lucky number!" He remarked, trying to smooth out his hair. "Watch the hair, man."
Andros forced himself to hold back a laugh, sat back and stared.
"What are you looking at?" Carlos demanded.
"You said to watch your hair." Andros replied, grinning. "So I'm watching it!"
Carlos made a face. "I didn't mean literally, you stripy head!"
"Watch who you're calling stripy head!" Andros almost yelled. "At least my hair is different from everyone else's!"
Just as Carlos was about to reply, the Yellow ranger burst into the building and rushed over to them. There was a look of worry on her pretty face unlike any they had ever seen before. "What's going on, Ashley?" Carlos asked her.
She clunked T.J.'s morpher down onto the chessboard, knocking all of the pawns off onto the floor. The two young men stared at it when Ashley answered all of their unanswered questions in a hushed voice. "Some villainess by the name of Lady Dreamcatcher has captured T.J. and made him into an evil Green Ranger. Erutan was with him at the time, I think…and he came running up to me and Cassie. He gave me this…and told me to come and get you guys for help, while he took Cassie with him."
"Things were just going too good, weren't they?" Andros growled. "We can't even have a single day of peace…this doesn't sound good at all."
"One of us should go to the MegaShip," Carlos noted. "See if we can find out about this Lady Dreamcatcher, and about what she's done to T.J."
Ashley nodded. "That sounds like a good idea. I think Andros should do it, he knows the MegaShip controls inside and out."
"Agreed." Andros stood up. "I'll go to the MegaShip. Carlos, you go with Ashley to find Cassie and Erutan and help T.J. If you guys need any help…give me a call and I'll be right down as soon as possible." He picked up T.J.'s morpher. "I'll take this with me…it's going to be harder to track him down now that he doesn't have it though."
Carlos stood up and stretched his legs, pulling his long black hair back into a ponytail once more. "I hear you…let's go, Ash."
Ashley nodded slowly, and all three of them went out into the hallway. That is when they split their paths, however. Andros looked around to make sure that no one was there, and then with the press of a button, had disappeared in a streak of red light. Ashley and Carlos headed out of the front door of the Surf Spot, then broke out in a mad dash for the woods.
So much for a restful day.
"You're sure this is where you last saw them, Erutan?" Cassie asked the Spirit. "There's no one here…not even a trace of a struggle or anything!"
"That's just it," Erutan pointed out. "There wasn't a struggle. She froze him up with fear…put the Nightmare Medallion around his neck and BAM! He's now her Nightmare Ranger. He dropped his morphing thing, and she kicked it…that's when I managed to pick it up…I told her that I was going to look for his friends, because you would help me. She almost zapped me with her dreamcatcher, but then she just let me go!"
Cassie shivered. "I'm not so sure that it was a good thing she did…no offense or anything, Erutan…"
"None taken," he replied. "I had a creepy feeling about it myself. My woods are not happy with this strange uninvited guest. Lady Dreamcatcher has caused them much pain. T.J. was one of their best friends…"
"We're going to get him back, make no mistake of that!" Cassie tried to cheer the young spirit up. "Lady Dreamcatcher is no match for the Power Rangers!"
Erutan frowned. "I think she's trying to get you one by one…when you're most vulnerable…"
"Nature boy is very smart, eh…my Green warrior?" a female voice spoke. Silver and green fog poured into the area, and Erutan shivered. Cassie however was frozen in place instantly.
The fog was soon turned into two solid beings: a tall, green cloaked figure wearing a terrifying looking green medallion…and a silver haired woman wearing all black. In one hand, she held a red medallion…just as horrifying as the other, hanging on a gold chain. In the other, she held a silver dreamcatcher; both were glowing softly in their corresponding color's light.
"My mistress is correct." T.J.'s deep voice was heard from under the green hood. "One by one, your team of nightmare rangers shall be formed…and you will get your long awaited revenge."
Moving her dreamcatcher to the hand of the medallion, she smiled at her new warrior and patted him on the head gently. "There's a good lad…" she said, then turned to Cassie and Erutan. The dreamcatcher switched hands again. "Ahh…yes…the next one to fall. Cassie Chan: Pink Ranger…come closer to me."
Cassie didn't want to do what the evil woman was asking…but the chilling fear coursing through her mind and body didn't allow her to argue. She slowly stepped toward Lady Dreamcatcher, and without wanting to…had dropped to one knee before her. Lady Dreamcatcher smiled with demonic glee…cackling shrilly as Erutan's panicked scream echoed through the clearing.
"Cassie!! Cassie, T.J., no!!" he cried. "Don't let her do this! Please!!" he sank down to his knees as transparent tears coursed down his face. "Please!!"
A scowling Lady Dreamcatcher turned to face him. "I have had just about enough of you, Erutan." She snarled. "You have helped me to get my red ranger…and that should be commended. But I'm not into commending...It isn't my style. Your whining and crying has lost you a lot, little man. You could have been something more than a spirit trapped in the limbo of my dreamcatcher!"
Mirroring the moment when she pulled the three villains into her dreamcatcher on the Dark Fortress…Lady Dream catcher sucked the Spirit of the Woods into her weapon, screaming…
After he was inside, she lifted the weapon to her lips and blew a stream of air on it gently. "So much for your Spirit of the Woods, huh?" she turned her attentions back to Cassie, causing the dreamcatcher to disappear so that she was only holding the red medallion.
"He should have known better than to try and foil the plans of the Mistress of Nightmares…" T.J. said coolly, looking down at his friend. "She will be one of us soon."
Lady Dreamcatcher nodded, taking the chain into both hands. "Indeed she will, my Green Ranger." She slipped it onto Cassie's neck quickly.
The red cloak and hood appeared on Cassie's shoulders and head…just
as the green had with T.J. A light of bright red shone in her eyes and
the medallion that she wore…and then she closed her eyes and bowed her
head. "I am Cassie: Red Nightmare Ranger of Failure…" she whispered.
"At your command eternally, my mistress."
"D.E.C.A., do we have any files in the information database on a villainess called 'Lady Dreamcatcher'?" Andros asked. He sat with his chin in his hands at the control panel. It had been absolutely impossible to locate T.J., and just moments before, Cassie had blipped off of the map. Something was definitely not right here…
"I will search the database, Andros." The shipboard computer replied.
Frowning, Andros pressed a few buttons on the panel. Cassie's morpher appeared before him, and he placed it next to T.J.'s. "This is bad…even Astronema's Dark Fortress has disappeared. In its place is a gigantic dreamcatcher. Something tells me Lady Dreamcatcher has gotten to her and her minions as well." He sighed. "Dark Specter isn't going to like this at all…If she can defeat Astronema in less than 24 hours, then it's going to be hard for us to beat her. Especially now that we are down by two…"
D.E.C.A. chimed in suddenly. "There is a file for 'Lady Dreamcatcher' in the information database, Andros. Would you like me to play the infotape on her?"
"Please…" he sounded desperate. Pressing a button, he brought down a large screen. "Play the infotape."
The tape began to play…first bringing up the words "Lady Dreamcatcher" and then "Related Topics: Nightmares. Crystal of Nightmares. Fear. Mistress of Nightmares.".
After that had faded, the image of a tall, dark-skinned woman with long silvery hair and silver eyes appeared. She was wearing a tight, but long and flowing black dress…and on her shoulders she wore a cloak with gigantic spiked shoulders. In her hand with long painted black fingernails, she held a silver dreamcatcher like those used by the Native Americans on Earth. The image twirled around, showing her from all sides…then stopped for a frontal view. She was absolutely stunning, but the very sight of her caused Andros' blood to run cold.
As the infotape played on, a male voice sounded. "Lady Dreamcatcher is the Mistress of Nightmares. She is pure, untapped evil…controlling all human minds with the forces of the dreams she causes in their sleep. Her primary weapon that she uses when coming face to face with a being is her dreamcatcher…which she calls upon it's magic to draw beings inside of it, floating eternally in a black hole of limbo. For centuries she kept the source of her greatest power, 'The Crystal of Nightmares' in a cave on Earth. Her son Goldar used it to interfere with the dreams of the Power Rangers of that time…and when they found out about it, they destroyed it. She was enraged, and vowed revenge on those five. No one has heard from her since except when she caused nightmares. Infotape feed: complete."
The images during that speech were of Lady Dreamcatcher, pulling helpless people into her weapon…of her son Goldar…of the five power rangers in troubled sleep, and then destroying the crystal…and of her face when she vowed revenge. As the voice ended, the images did so as well…and the large screen pulled itself back up into the ceiling of the MegaShip. Andros shivered involuntarily.
"So that's who we're up against?" he almost gulped. "Oh
Carlos wiped a strand of his long hair out of his face, turning around in a complete circle. His dark eyes scanned the area around Ashley and himself…but there was no one there. "We've been looking for them for a solid 15 minutes, Ash." He pointed out.
"They have to be around here somewhere!" she sighed, blotting her forehead as a line of sweat trickled down from it. "I could have sworn they were headed down the main path!"
"Maybe they went off of it?" he suggested. "I think if we split up…we'd have better chances of finding them."
Ashley nodded. "Sounds like a good plan to me. You go that way, and I'll stick with the path. If you find them, call me up…I'll do the same if I find them."
Carlos saluted shortly. "Got it. Catch ya later!"
He spun on his heel and started off the path of the woods, leaving Ashley to continue down it by herself.
For a few moments, she walked along in silence. There weren't any birds chirping…no animal noises at all. The only noise that could be heard was her feet crunching along the path as she trudged on. As she walked, it was becoming more and more tedious. So much so, that she was nearly falling asleep!
That is, until two cloaked figures jumped out of the brush on either side of her: one red and one green…and grabbed onto her arms tightly. Both laughed gruffly, and when she turned her head to look at their faces, she nearly had a heart attack!
There was T.J. wearing the green cloak, and Cassie wearing the red! Her friends were grabbing her by the arms and holding her fast, laughing evilly in her ear! Something told her that deep down, something was about to go very wrong. As billows of fog began to roll in…she screamed out for Carlos to help her. And then she was frozen stiff.
The fog once more formed a woman: Lady Dreamcatcher, who now no longer held her dreamcatcher, but a purple medallion. "Good work, my warriors." She commended Cassie and T.J., walking up to them and petting them on the head as if they were dogs. "You have captured my purple ranger for me…" she smiled down at the frozen Ashley. "You may release her."
The two cloaked rangers released their friend and slinked away from their mistress…bowing with each step. The sounds of running could be heard in the distance.
"And lo and behold…my black ranger is coming as well!" she laughed. "What luck I am having!"
As if on cue, Carlos leaped out of the bushes. He did a double take when he saw what was going on: two of his friends wearing sinister cloaks and medallions…the other one frozen in place…and a very strange, stunning and terrifying woman staring at him. A black medallion appeared in her hand, and he growled savagely. "You must be Lady Dreamcatcher," he snarled. "What have you done to my friends!"
She smiled at him, almost sweetly. "Why, the same thing that I am going to do to you, handsome one…" she purred at him. "I believe you will enjoy serving me more than the others."
Carlos shuddered. "In your dreams, Lady! The only person that I serve is myself…and no one else!"
She winked at him. "That'll change soon enough." _He has spunk…and he's extremely attractive. Perhaps I can use him for my own purposes once I have him corrupted! He will do anything that I ask of him…_ she laughed slowly to herself at all of the thoughts running through her head…then returned them to her business.
He opened his mouth to disagree…but found himself completely frozen, as all the others had been. He was scared…completely, utterly, and absolutely terrified.
"Let me take care of your friend first…" she said, turning back to Ashley. "Time for the purple ranger to arise and meet her fate…" Stepping up to the Yellow ranger…she placed the purple medallion around her neck.
All of her tensed muscles relaxed as the purple cloak and hood appeared. With a sinister smile, she looked up at Lady Dreamcatcher with glowing purple eyes. Her fingers gently grazed the shining purple medallion around her neck. "I am Ashley: Purple Nightmare Ranger of Fear…" she said. "An ever-faithful warrior to the forces of evil."
Lady Dreamcatcher smiled, nodded, and brushed her away. In one graceful movement, she turned and practically floated over to Carlos. "You cannot escape the inevitable, handsome one." She traced a line down his jawbone with her long fingernails. Leaning down slightly, she pressed her mouth against his fiercely in a passionate kiss. In her other hand, she brought up the black Nightmare medallion. Lifting her head up away from him, she flicked her tongue against his motionless lips and let out a satisfied chuckle. "You will serve me well…" Hurriedly, she placed the black medallion around his neck.
The glowing of black light shone in his eyes, reflecting in her silver ones as she still hovered so closely near him. The cloak and hood materialized…and he became able to move once more, wrapping his muscular arms about her. An impish grin spread across his face as she cooed with delight. "I am Carlos: Black Nightmare Ranger of Death…" he purred into her ear as he pulled her close. "Your willing slave, in any ways you wish…"
"Mmmm…" she replied, kissing him again now that he could return the gesture. "I love how that sounds, my slave…I knew when I saw you that you would be the most useful of any of my rangers…You will be mine!"
Carlos released her from his grasp, and then walked over to his corrupted friends. Lady Dreamcatcher stood before them…and then let the last medallion appear in her hand. "We have one more of you left, and then you will all be mine!" she announced. "Then my plans for revenge can commence! Now…you must take me to where your leader is…so that this phase of my mission can be completed!"
"We will take you, my mistress…" four monotone voices of evil replied.
"Yes, My Rangers…Take me to where Andros is. I must awaken the
Blue Ranger at once!"
"NO!!!" Andros pounded his fist against a wall. "Carlos and Ashley have just disappeared from the map! This cannot be happening!!"
He slammed his finger down on a button, causing the two other morphers to appear. Now here he was, alone again…just like he was before. All of his friends were corrupted to the side of evil, leaving him to not only fight the main villainess alone, but themselves as well! He buried his head in his hands and sighed deeply. Why hadn't they called? He could have shown up to save them then, at least.
"D.E.C.A…please scan the Earth for any signs of the rangers." He commanded. "We have to find them…I'm probably next."
"Acknowledged, Andros." D.E.C.A. replied. "I am beginning to search for their whereabouts now."
"Thank you…" he said, then slumped into a chair. What had started out as such a peaceful, relaxing day was now turning into a living nightmare.
He shivered at that thought. Lady Dreamcatcher indeed was a living nightmare! There had to be something he could do before he himself became corrupted. He closed his eyes to think. Things were so difficult. He had so many huge tasks that he needed to accomplish. Finding his sister, saving Zordon…and now saving his entire team and himself from the forces of the Mistress of Nightmares. Things were never this difficult when he was younger….and he desperately wished that he could be a child again.
For comfort, he let his mind slip back into the days of his childhood…before his sister disappeared. How simple things were back then. Everything was perfect then. Being ignorant was being blind…but then it didn't matter. All things you didn't know didn't matter. All you knew was your own little world, with your little home, and little family, and your little life. Nothing was difficult.
He was suddenly snapped out of his reverie when alarms began to blare on the MegaShip.
"INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT!" D.E.C.A. warned.
Andros jumped up out of his chair, only to be met face to face with four cloaked figures…and none other than Lady Dreamcatcher.
She had her arm around the black cloaked one: Carlos' waist, while her free hand held out a glowing blue medallion.
"Well…look what we have here…" she detached herself from the black ranger and stepped closer to Andros. "The very last ranger that I need to corrupt. This should be a peace of cake!"
Andros narrowed his eyes. "Lady Dreamcatcher," he muttered through clenched teeth. "How wonderful to see you. I notice that you have brought my friends back."
She shrugged. "They brought me here so that I could capture you, Andros. I'd hardly call that bringing them back. Your cool, calm and collected nature isn't going to get rid of me either."
"My mind is a lot stronger than theirs, Dreamcatcher." He snarled. "It won't be so easy to get me under your control."
"It may not be…" she agreed. "But it will happen."
A loud crack sounded as she slapped her hand hard against his right cheek. His head whirled to the left, and he cried out in pain. His hand flew up to the impacted area, which was already turning red. His other hand clenched up into a fist. "Never!"
"Feisty one, aren't you?" she grumbled. "Grab him and hold him fast, my rangers!!"
Before Andros could make a move to escape, the four of them rushed up to hold onto his arms…making it where he was unable to move. He shut his eyes tightly, closing out Lady Dreamcatcher's image in hopes that in not being able to see her, he might not be able to be put under her power. She only laughed at him mockingly, and cracked her hand against his cheek again.
"You are such a fool to defy your destiny. This will happen, no matter what you try and do. I will control you, just like I control your entire team. I am unstoppable, Andros. You are nothing compared to my power and I. And if you must, you will learn the hard way, you defiant do-gooder!" she forced his eyes open with her fingers, and then froze him. The blue medallion hung near his face. "Destiny calls you, Andros!"
She slipped the final medallion over the last ranger's head…destroying the Power Rangers in Space as she did so. All of the usual effects of the medallions occurred, and Andros stood up straight. His friends released him and stood behind…all wearing the same evil grin. "I am Andros," he spoke. "Blue Nightmare Ranger of Ignorance. Finally at last, your team of Nightmare rangers are complete."
Lady Dreamcatcher grinned with evil glee and clapped her hands together. "At last, at long last!" she cried. "Come, my rangers! Let us go to my Lunar Dreamcatcher! You will be briefed on your mission there…At last! This is indeed a momentous occasion!"
Dropping his morpher down next to the other four, Andros nodded. "As my mistress commands." Her final corrupted ranger said. "We do as you please."
"That's right." She nodded. "You do everything I want…and whenever I order it. Now let's go…there are things that we must discuss. I want my revenge as soon as I can possibly get it!"
They had no time to reply before she waved her hand, and every single one of them disappeared in a blast of smoke, headed for the base of their new mistress.
And then there was D.E.C.A…alone…and all of her rangers corrupted and captured. And in being a computer, there was absolutely nothing that she could do about it. She forever cursed the day that her twin sister: Lady Dreamcatcher, had changed her into a computer to be forever trapped in a spacecraft.
She would find a way to get them back, and get her own revenge on her evil twin. She had five available power morphers for space rangers…and she most definitely knew that the five rangers of the past, all of whom Lady Dreamcatcher wanted revenge on for destroying her crystal…were going to need their own type of powers to defend themselves against the evils of the Nightmare Rangers.
She would find them all, and give them the power…hopefully before Lady
Dreamcatcher found them.
Lady Dreamcatcher sat up in her throne, waving her hands over her crystal ball as she gazed at her team of cloaked rangers. They had all assembled before her, waiting for their briefing.
"You all have been chosen," she began, "For the most important of missions. Many a year ago, I placed my greatest power: My Crystal of Nightmares, in a cave on Earth, where I thought that it would be safe. Up until three years ago, it remained there, safe and sound. Then my son: Goldar came upon it, and decided to use it to manipulate the minds of the current Power Rangers as they slept: Just to please his mistress Rita. The rangers: Jason, Trini, Billy, Zack, and Kimberly… discovered the source of their horrible nightmares, and then destroyed it. Those five destroyed my beautiful crystal. Of course…I was enraged."
Taking a deep breath, she continued. "I vowed revenge on them all for what they did to my power…and plotted it carefully. I waited until the perfect time, when each of them were in different places, spread as far apart from each other than they possibly could get…and they no longer held the power. I formed my new Crystal of Nightmares…and then broke it into five shards, which I formed into the medallions that are the source of your powers. Each power corresponds to the greatest nightmare of one of those rangers."
Each of the five looked down upon their medallions, touching them gently. Lady Dreamcatcher nodded in their direction, and started up again. "Billy Cranston is on the planet of Aquitar…farthest away from all of the others. Andros: Blue Nightmare Ranger of Ignorance, you are to destroy him with his greatest fear of not knowing."
"I will not fail you, Mistress…" Andros bowed low.
She looked to the neck in line. "Jason Lee Scott remained in the city of Angel Grove after he became the Gold Ranger. Carlos: Black Nightmare Ranger of Death, this young man…not so long ago, came very close to the doorstep of death. It is his greatest fear, and you shall use it to his disadvantage."
Carlos licked his lips slowly. "It would be my pleasure…" he purred.
The Mistress of Nightmares turned her head slightly. "Zack Taylor moved to New York City after the Peace Conference he was attending. T.J.: Green Nightmare Ranger of Misery…you will cause Zack to crumble due to his nightmare of unhappiness."
He only nodded in reply.
"Kimberly Harte is still stationed in Florida, and training for the Pan Global Games." Lady Dreamcatcher told the Red Ranger. "Cassie: Red Nightmare Ranger of Failure…your job is to defeat the ranger most afraid of losing…"
"Who is afraid of losing?" she snorted. "What a freak…"
She laughed as she turned to the last Nightmare Ranger in line. "Trini Kwan, who moved to Tokyo Japan after the Peace conference, is almost fearless. Ashley: Purple Ranger of Fear…you will attack her nightmare of being afraid…ridding the world of the last of those pesky rangers…"
Ashley snorted. "She takes that saying 'There is nothing to fear but fear itself' a little too hard, I'd say."
Lady Dreamcatcher waved her arms and shushed them all to silence. Standing up, she barked out her words. "Each and every one of you hold the power to complete the assignments that I have just told you. I will warn you now, that if you encounter any difficulties in this mission, or if you fail me…you will be destroyed immediately. I have waited far too long for this revenge…and you all will get it for me…or risk losing your lives! From now on, you are the Nightmare Rangers…the elite force of evil warriors. All you knew as the Power Rangers in Space is now history…long gone, ancient history! It is time for a new era to begin!!!"
All of her rangers shivered as they watched her arms fly up in her fury. Bowing their heads, they knew that they had met their destiny…and that they would follow her command for eternity. Her last words echoed through the Lunar Dreamcatcher, and through their minds…
"It is time for a new era to begin!"