Willing Open the Gate
by: Kahva and Ivy

Another week sailed by the Sisterhood

It began as an uneasy one filled with long silences between members of a group that could usually find anything to argue about. Billy Cranston did not make a reappearance, and none of the other Rangers were sighted. Suzanne remained slightly miffed at us for keeping her from Billy, and those who prevented her from doing so made themselves scarce whenever she prowled into a room. Nerves were on edge and tempers flared at the least little provocation. We spent more time apologizing to each other for snapped and waspish comments than we did in normal conversations.

But never let it be said we couldn't roll with the punches. As the weekend approached, Rianna's caffeine enthusiasm started to affect us. Enclosed in such tight quarters with her, we didn't have a prayer of standing fast against her ruthless optimism. She was certain Billy was not a fluke, for what was he without the Rangers? They just HAD to be real for this dimension to 'even out' was her reasoning. Katie succumbed to her theory, and the resulting debates between the two were so funny they enabled the rest of us to slowly relax. Laughter, I discovered, is truly a blessed thing. During these matches I found myself wondering if they were both deranged, or if I was going insane, for I agreed with them on several occasions. Must be insanity, I decided.

Our jobs were going well, despite all the chaos we were going through. With money now available, we began the task of rebuilding our lives. We had no clue as to how long we would be here, and thought it best to get prepared. Luxury items added peace to our motley crew; music, videos, and books. Real food, clothes that fit, and gas for the cars did wonders for us. If anyone really needed to get away, just grab a set of keys and go. For seven people living together, it was heaven to simply flee when the urge hit.

And so Saturday dawned, warm and gloriously sunny. Nothing could keep us indoors, not even the gloomy and depressing thoughts that had kept us so occupied the night before. Home-sickness had set in with a vengeance Friday night when Kahva began wondering how her folks were doing. This started us on a guilt trip that destroyed the high spirits we had worked so hard on. So we started over fresh that morning and went for a walk to banish the melancholy feelings.

The seven of us, dressed in shirts and shorts of wildly differing hues and styles, simply trotted out the front door and headed into the clear and bright morning, no idea as to where we were going and not caring, either. But our differences still stood out; Gayla and Rianna bounced ahead while Jay and Suz lagged behind. Both were looking for Billy {or any other Ranger} so hard, Katie was forced time and again to dash back and stop them from walking into telephone poles or street signs. Kahva and I tried to have an intellectual conversation, but the Power Rangers kept creeping into our topics of discussion and I finally gave up. Intellect and Rangers don't mix, dear one.

By design or fate, we arrived at a place we never thought we would see; Angel Grove Park. For a few minutes we simply stood there wondering what would happen if we ventured inside. Kahva shook off the feeling and marched smartly down the path, silently daring us to follow her. We did, of course. No one would ever say the Sisterhood would not accept a challenge, especially by one of our own. It was eerie, being in this place of great strife and occasional romance in 'our' dimension. Stories and TV shows warred within our memories. It was here Suzanne and Kahva forced their beloved Rangers to tackle the Decharger without the Red Ranger's leadership; Tommy worked up the nerve to kiss Kim for the first time by the lake over there; Amber was attacked and made blind by the poisoned dust; and Aura Robinson joined the Rangers in battle against the Spirit Killer. None of this really occurred to any of us as we fanned out to amuse ourselves on this bright, sunny day.

As we ambled into the park, the Rangers' day wasn't nearly as pleasant. . .


"On our way, Zordon," Tommy assured his mentor. "All clear?" he asked Tanya, who nodded after taking a good look around. The Rangers were clustered together in the park, the fierce game of volleyball forgotten upon hearing Zordon's alarming news. A moment later and the park was empty except for net and ball. . .

And the seven young women who had just hesitantly ventured inside. . .

Their arrival in the Power Chamber was greeted with alarms and an excited Alpha, "Rangers! Our sensors report three groups of Cogs, and a new monster of Klank's, called FlameThrower! He's heating things up on the outskirts of Angel Grove by starting fires. The Fire Department is on the scene, but FlameThrower starts fires quicker than they can put them out! I'm afraid they can't hold out much longer!!"

"Where are the Cogs?" Tommy asked crisply, galvanizing the Rangers into movement.

As one, Billy and Adam attacked the consoles, "About twelve are with FlameThrower, six are harassing the firetrucks, and there's a small group of eight or so in the park," Adam answered after a moment.

"Alright, Jason, Rocky, and I will take on FlameThrower. Kat and Tanya, you handle the ones hampering the firetrucks and fighters. Adam, assist Billy in finding FlameThrower's weakness. Alpha, keep an eye on the park. If the Cogs start attacking civilians, I want Kat and Tanya to lend a hand. Everything clear?" At the nods, Tommy stated, "Then let's do it!! It's morphing time!"

"Zeo Ranger I, Pink!"

"Zeo Ranger II, Yellow!"

"Zeo Ranger III, Blue!"

"Zeo Ranger IV, Green!"

"Zeo Ranger V, Red!"

"Gold Ranger Power!"

"Sapphire Ranger Power!"

And the battle was on. They arrived just in time to prevent FlameThrower from making toast of a couple of the firefighters. Those brave men had refused to back down from the Flame-Thrower's threats, and continued to direct the others in the desperate fight against the spreading flames. Less than a mile away was an oil refinery, and the last thing they wanted to see was the fire reach that installation. All seven Rangers threw themselves at Mondo's latest creation, uncaring about their own safety. Once FlameThrower had been diverted from the firefighters, the Rangers went into the planned action.

"Cajun blackened Power Rangers!" The FlameThrower bellowed, his voice sounding hollow and echoing. "Just the dish to serve my Lord Mondo. Be still, little Rangers! All it'll take is one blast, and you're history!" He let loose a devastating sheet of flame.

Jason threw himself backward to avoid the aforementioned burst of fire, "Man, talk about heated situations!" A well-aimed kick kept the monster away from the firetrucks and fighters Kat and Tanya were guarding. He gave himself a second to look around and saw that Tommy's strategy was working well; most of the Cogs had been disassembled and FlameThrower didn't have as much spunk as he had arrived with. Most of the fires were out, and the firemen kept right on despite the fact two of their number were down from sheer exhaustion. Even as Jason watched, Tommy spoke into his communicator; the two downed men disappeared, no doubt teleported to the hospital to receive treatment.

FlameThrower managed to get a blast into the crowd, and two more firefighters went down. It was not a voluntary fall; the two were on fire and the others around them immediately tackled them to the ground to roll out the flames. Enraged, one older fighter --with salt and pepper beard and hair-- turned the only weapon he had onto the FlameThrower; the powerful spray of the waterhose. The machine was drenched from head to toe in seconds, the spray so forceful FlameThrower was pushed back several feet. Sparks flew as the monster began to overload. "I'll be back, Power Freaks!" he howled as he and the few remaining Cogs disappeared.

"That was great!!" Tanya and Kat chorused to the firefighter, who hadn't paused in his work. As soon as FlameThrower teleported out, he'd turned the hose back on the fire without a second's thought. He did have a rather pleased smile on his face, however, than none of the Rangers missed. It wasn't everyday a regular Joe got to help the Power Rangers. Long and frantic moments were spent trying to put out the last of the fires, with the Rangers helping as best they could. A ragged cheer went up when the last flame was finally extinguished. Kat and Tanya both gave hugs to the exhausted but exuberant fireman with the salt and pepper hair. He blushed bright red at the attention, causing his squad to tease him mercilessly.

The Rangers had gathered a short distance away from the trucks when Tommy suddenly slapped himself upside his helmet and called the Power Chamber. "Alpha," he said in an urgent voice, "did the Cogs in the park leave as well?"

"No! They've attacked a group of civilians near the lake!" Alpha howled in distress. "It happened almost five minutes ago, when Mondo tried to block our communications. I had just broken through it when you called!!"

"Has Mondo teleported anyone?" At the droid's negative answer Tommy let loose a sigh of relief. "Teleport us there at once," he ordered, mentally cursing himself for not thinking to check on that group sooner. God only knew what damage the unrestrained Cogs could have done in the time the Rangers had ignored them. . .

The Sisterhood was about to find out just what damage, indeed. . .

Gayla and Jaycynda roamed about the park in search of nothing in particular {though Jay did find herself looking over her shoulder, if for no other reason than to reassure herself that Billy wasn't anywhere around}, when they stumbled upon a neat little picnic area complete with tables, benches, and a protective overhang just in case the weather got bad. "Now doesn't this remind you of all the times the Rangers have been in the park?" Gayla asked, idly running one hand across a table. As with all picnic tables the world over, this one had initials and hearts carved into the wood.

"No," Jaycynda replied. "It reminds me of Skull using his bandanna as a diaper in 'The Ninja Encounter'," she informed the startled Gayla. "You know, the one Adam, Rocky and Aisha first appeared in."

Gayla laughed at the memory, "Yeah, I'd forgotten about that one. Although I personally was thinking of Billy flipping over the tables to get away from Zedd's putties."

"As a matter of fact," Jaycynda remarked after a good look around, "this place looks exactly like what we've seen in the show. Like the High School." Suddenly the nice little picnic area didn't seem as inviting anymore. Jaycynda and Gayla promptly left in search of their Sisters, trying their best to forget the memories that had just been dredged up.

Katie was the first to find something strange to haunt her as she wandered over to a rather familiar clump of trees. I can't believe it, this can't be real! But familiar they were, and she had to investigate. The trees were arranged just as she had pictured them in the Amber Ranger Series, when Azure had first discovered Adam was a Power Ranger in 'Revealed Amber'. The scenery looked so familiar, she halfway expected to see the Black Ranger fighting Goldar between the trees. "That's just a story, this is just a weird coincidence. A very weird coincidence," she told herself. But she couldn't help but take one last look around before moving on in search of one of us.

Rianna was experiencing an uneasy sensation of deja vu as she walked along the pathway. Have Amber and Andara walked here? she wondered as she glanced around her. Whole portions of the park looked too familiar to be comfortable as she rubbed arms decorated by goosebumps. Too much like the 'Raging Storm Series'. The slightest sound set Rianna's nerves on edge; she fully expected to see her character to come walking up at any moment. Suzanne is not going to believe this. On second thought, maybe she will. Who knows what else we're going to find, if we've already found a Billy. That thought sent shivers down her spine; for all at once she wasn't sure she wanted to find anything else. Unwilling to be alone any longer, she headed for Katie, just emerging from a dense thicket of trees and bushes. Katie was looking over her shoulder in a way that reminded Rianna of her own nerve-tingling experience. Neither Sister spoke as they began to search for everyone else.

My wandering steps led me to the lake where I stood quietly, watching as a group of young kids swam under the watchful eye of an older gentleman with salt and pepper hair and two babies in his lap. I stood staring into the water, my thoughts lost amongst all the confusion. This world was not my own, and yet I felt welcome. I could not understand the unexpected side of me that suddenly longed to STAY. Was it because I really wanted a new start in life, or something much more simple and basic? Tommy just might exist in this dimension, I thought. Is that why I'm so eager to make this world my own?A war was being fought within me, and at times I felt as though something was tearing me apart. Reality is reality, and fantasy is but a land of wishes. Which are you in now, Ivy? Do you know, or are you satisfied with the illusion? Make up your mind, girl. This dream won't last forever, then you'll wake up and all this will be gone, right?

Even as I struggled to cope with my unexpected feelings, Suzanne was forced to deal with more than she bargained for. She had made her way into the trees ringing the park, and stumbled onto a patch that looked just like the one she had described in 'Decisions', where Sheena had set up her protective circle. Out of habit, Suzanne looked for the cardinal positions --north, south, east and west-- wishing she had candles to mark them with. As crazy as everything has been, this would be the perfect spot for my circle. It's exactly how I pictured it in the story. "I've got to find Kahva and show her this!" As Suzanne turned to go, something in the grass caught her attention, causing her to forget all thoughts of searching for her Sister. Imagine her surprise to find a broken candle still embedded in the ground, smashed as though someone {or something} had stepped on it. She yanked it out and stared at it for one horrified moment before she uttered a hoarse cry that echoed about the park.

Kahva found she was grateful for Suzanne's scream, after her own harrowing experience. It was just the reprieve she so desperately needed. Wandering about the park, marveling over the beauty and peace to be found here, she'd found an area that was all too familiar; the spot were Kahva Briton had entered this world. Before she realized just what she was doing, she looked to the ground and her mind's eye placed the character right over there --lying in a heap of body and bags. A small smile tugged at her lips as she berated herself for the sudden flight of fancy. And then right where it should be have been, she found the only evidence the Kahva Briton had left behind to mark her entry into that world. She found a broken lens cap, right where Kahva Briton had first tumbled out of the dimensional portal created by Mondo in 'Visions of Silver'. As Suzanne's cry echoed in her mind, she thought, please don't let this mean what I think it means. The eldest Sister muttered under her breath, "I'm coming, Suzanne!" as she ruthlessly shoved the terror welling up into the back of her mind. Her Sister needed her. That thought alone kept her going as she joined us in search of Suzanne.

We finally located her deep within a ring of trees. Here the realities of this dimension had hit hard and with unerring accuracy, leaving her pale and shaken, hands hiding her face as she all but wept in fear. The explanation of her upset took time, for she wasn't immediately responsive to our questions, but at last we got the gist of the tale. That Kahva, Rianna Katie, and Jaycynda and Gayla had more to add did little for her composure and peace of mind. We consoled each other as best we could, worried and fretful. How could these things be here, when they were only supposed to exist in our stories? Before we could decide what to do, we were interrupted in a way I can honestly say we never expected. All were startled when Cogs suddenly began appearing, it seemed, out of the very wood work. In seconds we were surrounded by the freakish metal creations. One, braver than the rest, seemed to point at Suzanne and began advancing on her. Is this REAL?! our minds shouted in unison as they closed in, boxing us off from retreat. Unfamiliar with the show as I was, I still half-expected to see Klank on the side-lines, looking like a crash-test dummy and shouting in a horrid Scottish accent, "Dinna let'em get away!"

But reality had a way of making itself felt. Suzanne was forced from her daze in one heck of a hurry when a Cog charged her. Fight or flee was the rule, and she responded just as we knew she would, with a classic one-two-and-over-the-shoulder move. She followed this with an excited, "Finally! Here is something I can really tear into! Come on, you metal-heads! You won't take me without a fight!" {Now this comment might not make sense until I explain our 'pact' of a year ago. None of us had yet met, and through the Internet and e-mail, Suzanne admitted she had begun taking karate lessons. She wanted a better understanding of the martial arts to develop the principles of Ki-see to a realistic level. All her partners-in-crime --namely us-- had felt more than a little challenged by this. So we arbitrarily decided if she could learn, so could we. By this time each and every one; through hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, had achieved at least one blackbelt. Suzanne herself had two. So her comment about tearing into Mondo's henchmen was more literal than figurative, even though we could have done without the typical Ranger-style good-guy challenge!}

At her incentive, we launched ourselves into combat with wild battle cries, dismantling Cog after Cog with an unholy glee that would have frightened most. But we had been through so much lately, without the real outlet of violence to vent any frustrations, that it really felt good to lash out and not worry about the consequences. With each blow that landed, and each Cog that hit the dust in pieces, our confidence grew until we were ki-yaing with all the enthusiasm of the Rangers themselves, raising a fearful racket. It was also humorous to watch and hear the comments of the others. And I thought the Rangers made bad puns during battle! Rianna's singing of Duran Duran's 'Come Undone' as she fought was icing on the cake. I started to join in myself, but was distracted by Kahva's alternating between humming the bass-line of 'Come Undone' and then unpredictably bursting into full-fledged 'Planet Earth'. How she could make the jump from one to the other is beyond me, but I've always known her talent for thinking about several different things at once. I just never realized it carried over to her singing.

The fighting had carried us into the main area of the park; in our battle-lust we hadn't noticed the people fleeing from Mondo's metal creations. When we finally paused for breath and to take a head count, all the metallic critters were laying in pieces. To our astonishment, Cog parts were everywhere; in the trees, floating in the pond a short distance away, littering the ground about our feet. One was even hanging from a lightpole, complements of Jaycynda Ashleana and an expert Judo throw. At first we were incredulous over the damage we had wrought; we had quite literally torn eight or more Cogs to pieces. Once more we questioned our sanity -- had the Sisterhood really just battled some of Mondo's henchmen, or were we hallucinating all this? Then we realized to our shock we weren't alone anymore. . .

The Power Rangers had arrived in flashes of their respective colours.

I know not how we looked to them; seven disheveled women wearing elated expressions as we stood surrounded by a junkyard of Cog scraps. I can only guess they were as surprised as we felt, for their faces were hidden by the helmets. They seemed to scan the damage, then looked at us. No one spoke as Suzanne began picking tiny shards of metal from her hair, trying unsuccessfully to smooth its snarled length. As the silence grew more profound, my numbed mind picked up on the slight differences in the uniforms; they closer resembled the body armor worn in the movie than the body suits in the TV show. In fact, the over-all appearance of the Rangers was that of a fit and able fighting force, not at all like the comical picture presented by the show. The firearms at their sides looked more substantial and rather menacing, and they carried themselves with pride and confidence.

The Red and Gold Rangers stood in the front line; Yellow, Pink, and Blue protected their backs while Green and Sapphire formed the rear guard. SAPPHIRE?! I rubbed my eyes, then looked again. Yes, that was most definitely a Sapphire Ranger, with a helmet stylizing a snarling Cave Wolf. I glanced at Kahva, but her eyes were riveted on the Gold Ranger, so she didn't seem to notice the dark blue figure. Or perhaps she did, and hadn't yet recalled that colour wasn't supposed to exist in reality, just the fiction she and Suzanne had written.

Our two groups stood there a minute longer, just staring at one another. I guess their hesitation was justified; usually the Rangers arrive to do battle, not find that a bunch of slender and dazed young women had somehow managed to do the job for them. The Red Ranger took a tentative step forward and raised his hands in a slow and careful gesture, "We mean you no harm. Can we assist you? Was anyone injured?"

Yes, dear ones, it's Tommy's voice. I've heard it in my dreams too many times not to recognize it. Suddenly faced with him, my wits failed me and I bolted to the safety of the surrounding trees. My action seemed to galvanize the others, who followed suit. Our retreat best resembled a starburst as we turned and fled from the Rangers from wherever we happened to be standing. Gayla's departure was perhaps the most flamboyant; she vaulted over the half a Cog haphazardly propped up in her way, then somersaulted over the next two piles of remains. Kerri Strug, eat your heart out!! She landed beside Kahva, and even in their haste they couldn't resist high-fiving each other. I know not what Kahva did to get away, but Gayla called her 'linebacker' for quite some time afterwards. I'll get the tale out of you yet, Kahva dear! We regrouped a few minutes later at the edge of the park. I think we surprised them, because they didn't follow us. A point that caused some aggravation. Jaycynda finally caught her breath enough to say, in outrage, "I don't think I've ever been so insulted in all my life! The least they could have done is try to stop us from leaving!" Like Suzanne, her hair had metal shards entangled in the vivid red curls, and she irritably tried to brush them out with no visible affects. Rianna thought her display of temper was really funny after the battle we had just fought, and proceeded to laugh almost the whole way home. It was her way of blowing off steam, I think. It HAD been an exhilarating fight!

Our arrival at the house had all the makings of one truly spectacular tussle. The Cogs had had it easy compared to the fighting going on in the living room! Everyone was trying to make a point or be heard all at the same time and at the top of their voices. Jaycynda was forced to shout us down; I honestly had no idea that quiet woman's lungs were that strong! When she at last had silence and our undivided attention, she asked tersely, "Why did it never occur to us to ask the townspeople about our Rangers?" She paused a heartbeat then corrected, "Excuse me, 'the' Rangers? Were we afraid to hear the answer, or just too stupid and addled to think of it?" 'Stupid and addled' got through, and we had a good laugh at ourselves. We had made this so much harder than it had to be! But now we knew the truth, prepared or not; The Power Rangers were alive and doing well in this dimension.

Jaycynda's possessive little slip did not by any means make it past Suzanne. She had been sitting in a quiet corner of the living room, just waiting to pounce on us. Which she did with astounding passion, "I kept telling you where we were, but would any of you listen to me? NO!! Everyone just had to doubt me and my sanity, I might add! Now here we are, wrestling with this issue when we could have accepted it sooner and had it out of the way!" Her eyes were flashing fiery green, face determined and fists clenched. She was ready to take on the whole lot of us and pound in the truth if need be. And in her mood, that was fine with her.

Calm had settled. It had to, for none would risk tangling with Suzanne. The situation was talked over; Suzanne and her broken candle, Kahva and her broken lens cap. Rianna filled us in on her uneasy feeling of deja vu, prompting Katie to hesitantly mention the similarity between where she had been and the scene from the Amber Ranger series. Jaycynda and Gayla told us of the picnic area and its familiarity when we finally ran down a little. This started all the shouting all over again. HOW?! was the main question being thrown across the living room. After we argued over this for a while, the existence of both Mondo and his Cogs smacked us all in the face. And the Power Rangers. Fire and Rain, but we've made a mess of things! When I voiced this opinion, six pairs of accusing eyes glared at me for stating the obvious. "If Mondo is after us, we should have thrown ourselves at the Rangers' feet and begged for their protection. Yes, we managed to fight off a half-dozen or more Cogs, but what will happen if he sends a dozen? Two dozen? Eventually he will reach and surpass the number we are capable of defeating, and where will we be then? How many times have we scared ourselves silly with stories of someone's capture and subsequent abuse by the Machine King? The answer doesn't bear mentioning, does it?" I said, more to myself than anyone else. Again I received glares. Since all seemed to take great joy in being angry at me, I decided to REALLY give them something to be mad about, "Look, we're all shocked by this, and there are too many coincidences to be believed. . ."

"Oh, is this where you get around to questioning our sanity?" Katie interrupted dryly as she collapsed onto the couch. I considered this a good sign, for all had been so aggravated before none could stay still, bouncing around the room like a bunch of rubber balls.

"If I question yours, I have to analyze my own, dear one. I would rather not do that right now. But did any of you take a real good look at the Rangers?" They actually had the audaciously to nod, so I let'em have it but good, "THERE WAS A SAPPHIRE RANGER IN THE GROUP!" This made several of them lean away from me, Kahva included, "Didn't you and Suzanne create that particular colour just so Billy could become a Ranger again, Kahva?" I demanded.

Aaaannnddd we were off --{bugles sound, signaling the start of the charge}-- yelling again. Most had noticed the Sapphire Ranger, but the significance hadn't struck them until I knocked them over the head with a two-by-four. What in the world was going on here? Several things Suzanne and Kahva, and Suzanne and Rianna, and Suzanne and Katie had written were real in this place. How could that be?!

The massive shouting match finally began to calm down as we ran out of oaths and swear words. What to do, what to do. A vote was taken on whether or not to face the Rangers immediately. Six for waiting and one for not. I don't think I have to tell you who cast the odd vote, do I? It took all six of us over three hours to pound a grudging concession out of Suzanne. In the end, she promised to let matters lie for the time being. If Mondo made another move, the Power Rangers were sure to assist, now they were aware the Machine King was after us. And believe me, we wanted to know the reason much more than the Rangers did.

We were inordinately proud of our hard-won battle. It wasn't that we really wanted to keep Suzanne from Billy. . . well, maybe his safety {perhaps I should use the word virtue?} might have had a little to do with it. But none of us were ready and willing to deal with the touchy issue just now. Inwardly, Suzanne understood this, and allowed her Sisters our 'victory'. It was a running joke for the next week or so, the offer to show each other our 'scars' from the war fought with Suzanne. Eventually we would have to face the Rangers and all the strange circumstances that seemed to surround us, but not right now. For a little while longer we could breathe easier and try to forget just how dangerous this world was proving to be. We really are dreamers, aren't we?

The Rangers were in no way prepared for the sight that met their startled eyes. . .

Tommy and the others teleported into the park, each of them worried over the state the group of civilians would be in after Cogs had harassed them. What they walked into, however, was not the chaos they expected. It took a moment to comprehend it all. Several young and attractive women were standing, leaning, or sitting amongst what could only be Cog scraps. All the women had slightly dazed expressions on their faces, though none appeared hurt. The brunette in the lead seemed mad as fire, while a blonde in the rear of the group turned to the Rangers almost as if she were about to attack them as well. All froze when they realized the Rangers were there.

Tense silence descended upon the park. Each of the women seemed not to believe their eyes as they stared in shock at the colourful group before them. Tommy held his breath, trying to mentally prepare himself for whatever might come. If they somehow tore apart the eight or so Cogs that Mondo sent against them, what in the World will they do to us? Sent against?! oh dear God, he had to have done this deliberately!! FlameThrower was just a diversion to keep us away from these women. BUT WHY?! He noticed that all the other Rangers had turned to him with this expectant 'Well, do something!' air about them. Alright, here goes nothing! Tommy took a tentative step forward and raised his hands in a slow and careful gesture, "We mean you no harm. Can we assist you? Was anyone injured?"

At the sound of his voice, the one on the left with golden-brown hair started violently and suddenly turned around and ran into the trees ringing the park. The rest followed suit, not more than a second or two behind their companion. They bolted from the park, the unified group shattering and scrambling off in several different directions, their only intent to get away from the Rangers. From somewhere behind Tommy came the stunned remark of, "Hey, did anyone forget to use deodorant today? We must not smell very good if their reaction is anything to judge by." There was also the sound of a gauntleted hand slapping Rocky upside his helmet as Tanya retaliated for that comment.

After the initial shock wore off, the Rangers began to wander about the piles of assorted Cog parts in disbelief. Billy in particular seemed stunned by the women. He sort of hurried over to the spot where the leader of the group had stood and touched the ground with tentative fingertips, as if to assure himself she had indeed been right there a moment ago. Tommy couldn't help but notice Adam picking up a bracelet near the tree the feisty little blonde had been braced against. Wonder if it belongs to her, and if he'll ever get the chance to return it? Adam tucked it carefully into his belt for safe-keeping before he turned back around. Rocky picked up a particularly demolished piece of machinery and commented dryly, "Guess we're the clean up crew. Hey, Billy! If we take this stuff in to be recycled, how much do you think we'll get for it?"

"Ha, ha, very funny, Rocky," Tanya moaned, and swatted at him again.

Nudging an unrecognizable part with one booted foot, Tommy muttered to himself, "Heck of a battle. I wonder what in the world happened here." He also hoped Zordon had recorded all of this. But he didn't hold out much hope, since Mondo had attempted to block their communications. This little occurrence in the park would probably remain a mystery for some time to come. Which is a shame. That one with the golden-brown hair looked at me like I was a God or something. I wonder what she would think of plain Tommy Oliver? Get your mind back on business, you lunk-head, or Zordon will turn you back into plain Tommy Oliver! He spared one last glance in the direction the women had fled, then raised his wrist to speak into his communicator, "Alpha, can you get rid of all this junk metal? It's really cluttering up the park." He glanced around at the vast amount of scraps and fervently hoped the little droid would say yes.

"Affirmative, Tommy. The only reason Mondo hasn't taken it himself is the shield I erected over the park to keep him from teleporting the women away. Should I lower it now?"

"I think you'd better, Alpha. Did Zordon record what happened?"

"Yes, and he wants you back here pronto," Alpha answered. There was a faint shimmer in the air around the Rangers as Mondo retrieved his broken property. "Away it goes!" The scraps of Mondo's henchmen disappeared.

"Why did they run from us?" Jason asked the park at large. "We weren't threatening them in any way. That is what I don't understand. Did any of them seem familiar to you guys?" he asked the others as he looked in the direction one of the women had taken, whose dark brown hair nearly reached her waist. He had been close enough to see her chocolate brown eyes, wide with shock, before she had bolted with the others. In her haste, the woman had barreled over some leftover Cog legs that had been standing, sans an upper body. Who was she? And why the sudden, impulsive urge to run after her? Jason couldn't understand himself right now so he didn't mention it to the others, who were giving him strange looks anyway after his last question. He had better hush up.

People were beginning to creep back into the park, so Tommy ordered everyone to the Power Chamber. Zordon was waiting, THERE IS MORE TO THIS THAN APPEARS, RANGERS. THAT WAS NOT A RANDOM ATTACK; MONDO SENT DOWN THE FLAMETHROWER SIMPLY SO THE COGS COULD GO AFTER THOSE WOMEN, FOR REASONS UNKNOWN. PLEASE OBSERVE THE VIEWING GLOBE. They turned to watch the scene unfolding. It showed the young ladies as they entered the park then split up, each going a different way until one screamed for some reason. When the others went to check out what was wrong, the Cogs appeared. Then the actual battle took place, and this time the Rangers could see what had really happened. I KNOW NOT WHY MONDO WENT AFTER THEM, BUT ALPHA SCANNED THEM ON MY REQUEST. THEIR ENERGY SIGNATURES DO NOT MATCH THIS DIMENSION, RANGERS. THEY ARE NOT FROM THIS PLANE OF EXISTENCE.

"Don't match? Zordon, are you implying they came through the unexplained portal a few weeks ago?" Billy demanded, eyes glued to the woman whose scream had brought the others at a run. She was tall; taller even than Tommy, with dark hair reaching her knees. He had been too far back to notice much else, but her presence had electrified him. He said nothing of this, afraid if the others found out they would try to stop him from meeting her, and he couldn't allow that until he figured out her mystery.


"Jaycynda! She is one of them!" came the excited shout that caused everyone to jump. Billy jabbed a finger at the woman with flashing red hair, "That's her, Zordon. The teaching assistant I met that acted like she knew me. The one who appeared out of nowhere and applied for a job the exact same day the portal showed up on our scans!"

"Then somehow Mondo did bring them over. But are they under his control, Zordon? So far we've not a single confrontation with them yet. And that's odd. If Mondo brought them here to fight us, why did they run? Surely they have orders to kill us, not smash up his own Cogs," Jason began, only to be interrupted by Zordon.


"So what now? What if Mondo did control them in some way and they broke free? We've seen they can protect themselves, but what happens if Mondo sends down more Cogs than that? How will we discover the truth about them and their presence?" Tommy questioned as the other Rangers threw around some theories concerning the reasons behind their arrival. There appeared to be seven women in the group. Was Mondo trying to create his own brand of 'Rangers'? Were they to fight against them? That thought make Tommy sick to his stomach; the one with golden-brown hair had seemed so familiar, like someone from a half-remembered dream. And to his eyes, she was a dream indeed. Fight her? How could he? Something isn't right here, everything is just not adding up. What are you missing, Thomas Oliver? Has that golden beauty blinded you so badly you can't see the truth right in front of you? he chided himself. Unbidden, Billy's definition of a portal forming kept returning to mind, and Mr. Trueheart's words with it. 'As the energy funnel forms it creates within an almost tornado-like blast of wind,' Billy had explained, and Mr. Trueheart, 'The Winds of Change bring the Storms of Completion; Out of the Rains come the Ones you've been Seeking '. Again he wondered if Zordon knew; again he dismissed it.


Kat turned to Billy, and was forced to pull him away from the viewing globe, "You told us they rented Mr. Alligood's house, right? Can you think up a reason for a sudden visit?" She attempted to put his back to the globe so she could have his full attention, but he didn't cooperate, much less answer.

Thus it was Adam who observed with a shake of his head, "No, that is a little too obvious, even for our purposes. I think we should just keep an eye out for them. If they visit the park again. . . no, they aren't likely to do that any time soon, are they?" He gave a dry laugh before continuing, "But Angel Grove is only so big. We're bound to run into them at some point. There are seven of them, so surely they go out once in a while." It took effort, keeping his eyes averted from the viewing globe. He wanted to stare at it just like Billy, at the beautiful blonde he had spied. Her fiery spirit was evident in the way she had turned to the Rangers when they appeared, body poised for a continuing battle. And this was after the Cog attack! Am I bewitched? he wondered, trying to force himself back to the task at hand. Don't run from me next time, fiery one, he pleaded with her silently. I mean you no harm. . . He slid a hand under his belt and touched the bracelet he'd found in the park. The clasp was broken, and he intended to have it fixed. And if I'm lucky, I'll be able to give it back to you.

"So we're bound to run into them somewhere, right?" Jason asked, hoping the eagerness of his tone wouldn't be noticed. He was relieved when no one said anything to him about it.

"Affirmative. And failing that, we do know where they live. The interesting part is coming up with a reason for invading their house that actually makes sense. We just have to hope for one thing," Billy added with a mischievous smile.

"What's that?" Rocky asked.

"They don't run from us like they did the Rangers!" He grinned at the laughing Rangers, all the while silently promising, I will find you. And when I do, I will discover why you seem to be in my blood and in my soul, even though I have no clue as to who you are. I WILL find you!

"Alright, everybody clear out. Zordon has given us a job to do. But as much as I hate to admit it, we may have to get our parents involved in this. Something along the lines of a 'Welcoming Committee' may be necessary to get close to them," Tommy muttered the last to himself, but all the others immediately voiced their opinion that the idea was a good one.