Receiving the Destiny
by: Kahva and Ivy

And into this crazy battle the Sisterhood went, prepared or not

Suddenly we were in the middle of the craziest free-for-all I have ever seen. Cogs by the dozens were everywhere, and there wasn't time to think of anything except total demolition. As promised, Alpha had teleported us only a short distance from Kahva and Suzanne. It was heartening to watch as Suzanne managed to trip a Cog with her bound feet. Just because she was down didn't mean she was out! And although I don't dare tell her this, I was rather glad Kahva was gagged at the moment. I'm not sure if whatever she was screaming through the rag would be appropriate to repeat in polite company.

Tommy swept us behind him protectively as he shouted above the din, "Gold, Sapphire! Untie the women and take them to the Power Chamber!" The two Rangers fought their way through the metal figures, and I saw Jason untying Kahva while Billy yanked off the ropes binding Suzanne with a passion that was somewhat startling. As soon as she had been freed, Suzanne leapt up to grab a Cog by the throat and slammed it into a tree with truly astounding force. Billy gave a yell of delight and joined her in the fray, either ignoring or conveniently forgetting Tommy's orders to return Suzanne and Kahva to the Power Chamber. But the Red Ranger had his hands full dealing with all the Cogs attacking him. "Form up!" he shouted at the Rangers, and they immediately formed a 'shield' of sorts around us.

Meanwhile, the Sisterhood hadn't been idle. There was no way the Cogs were going to let us just stand there gawking at the show, so we entered the battle with high hopes and spirits. Grab a Cog and throw it at the morphed Rangers, and watch them dismantle it. Duck under another one, bash it into a tree, and run like hell from a third. Dodge suddenly, allowing it to plow into a fourth headed your way. You get the picture, don't you? Total chaos! There was an indignant howl from somewhere off to the right, and I whirled around to witness Jaycynda helping the Gold Ranger to his feet. His expression was hidden by the helmet, but he was rubbing one shin vigorously. "I pity David!" was his shouted response. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened. Jaycynda must have seen a flash of metal behind her and reacted with fairly predictable results. Only Jason's howl made her realize it was gold and black and not silver and gold she had spied sneaking up on her.

"Look out!" Tanya screamed; I instinctively ducked just in time to avoid the Cog flying over my head, arms and legs windmilling wildly. A glance behind me revealed the source. It was Kahva and one of those devastating judo throws she's entirely too good at.

"Sorry!" came the harried apology from my writing partner. Well, partner, I'm not very liable to forget you trying to brain me with a Cog anytime soon. Attempting to make Suzanne your permanent writing buddy by doing me in, huh? I wondered while knocking a Cog silly with a branch broken in the battle. I threw a grin at her that I'm sure she saw, she knew I'd have my revenge one day, served up cold and on a silver platter. . . Sneaking up behind her with ice cold water in a water gun when she least expects it sounds nice. . .

Despite the Rangers' intervention, we were still getting more than our fair share of Cog paraphernalia. Which was fortunate; we might have panicked if given time to think about what we were doing -- or what was happening. Slowly but surely a wedge was being driven between our two groups. Tommy didn't notice it right at first when he mentally took a head count of everyone and got surprised by our untamed reactions to the kidnapping. Not a one of us were truly prepared for this, but as angry as we were it didn't much matter; we were hanging in there for all we were worth. This battle was for the Sisterhood, and Heaven help anyone, or anything, that attempted to break us apart, by whatever means! Suzanne and Kahva had formed a unified front that little or nothing was getting through, fighting nearly back-to-back in a very professional manner. Nearby, our beloved Rianna was delivering a kick that very nearly decapitated one of Mondo's henchmen {who had the stupidity to go after her beloved Green Ranger}. Katie gave two great bounds and pounced on the one trying to sneak up on Kat while the Pink Ranger was otherwise occupied with two others. She and the unfortunate Cog went down in a heap of burgundy and metal. One quick block and two sharp blows later she rose to her feet, totally ignoring the metal scraps that had been a Cog a moment before. Gayla kicked the Cog nearest her into the lake and sputtered furiously when the resounding splash drenched her. "Don't worry, Sunny!" Jaycynda shouted from further down the lake shore as she turned a Cog into a metal pretzel with the help of an abandoned innertube and a stolen boat oar, "That outfit can't possibly shrink any more, tight as it is!" That made Gayla so angry, she practically wrapped a Cog around a tree trunk.

Tommy vainly tried to get Kahva to retreat from the battle, they had come to rescue her and Suzanne, after all. Both of the women were limping slightly from the rope burns on their ankles, and he was sure they were experiencing the unpleasant sensation of 'pins and needles' in their hands and feet due to cut-off circulation. He'd watched long enough to note Kahva was not a fighter like Suzanne, and he wanted her out of the battle so Jason could fight with a clear head. If the Gold Ranger hadn't been watching after Kahva so intently, Jaycynda wouldn't have been able to kick him the way she had. Even now, Jason was still favoring that leg. "We must get you to safety! Grab that lethal silver dress and let Gold and Sapphire teleport you out of here!" he tried to insist as he grabbed hold of Kahva's arm.

But a snapped, "Move it!" was the only reply he received as Kahva rather unceremon-iously shoved him aside and went to work on the Cog who had tried to attack the Red Ranger from behind. Self preservation made him leap out of the way of her determined retaliation. He was then grabbed again by Suzanne, who whirled him out of the way of yet another Cog closing in. The move was a typical one as far as Ranger tactics went. It allowed the one off-balance a moment to recover before entering the battle once more. But Tommy was on a mission to get as many of the Sisterhood out of the park as soon as possible, and Suzanne's well-meaning inter-ference just broke his train of thought and made him stumble.

I had just sent a Cog back to his maker when I turned around to find Tommy reeling in my direction. I could only brace myself as he tumbled into my outstretched arms. His presence startled me, and I covered it as best I could as I helped him to his feet. I had just enough time to explain my Sister's snapped words, "They are thankful for the rescue, don't worry. Right now both are so mad at being taken captive by Mondo's creations that they have to work out their anger or they will implode. Careful, there's a Cog behind you!" I warned, spying the metal goon stalking up behind him. In the midst of all this chaos, little did I know my calm sentence and serene manner awed Tommy. Normal people do not causally take part in battles such as this, and he clearly remembered his own fear the first time he had faced Rita's Putties. Tommy watched me kick a Cog into a tree instead of heeding my advice, then had to fend off a lone Cog who had gotten through Kahva and Suzanne's line of defense. So I was left to watch him rend the Cog to pieces. Not an unpleasant task, considering how often I've sworn that Tommy has the cutest little tush I've ever seen. . . Sorry, Rianna!

But all the moving and maneuvering had worked to the Cogs' advantage when the battle was joined by something none of us wanted to see. A tall and skinny looking robot teleported in without an invitation. There was a faint -crackle- from around him, then he pointed one arm and let loose with what looked like a lightning bolt {or something near enough to make no never mind}. Suddenly the unified group was split into three pieces; Suzanne and Kahva fighting a few Cogs in a little cul-de-sac of bushes, the ShockWave {as Katie wryly named this pleasant little gift from Mondo} between the Rangers and Suzanne and Kahva, the rest of the Sisterhood separated from the Rangers by Cogs, and any chance of escape blocked by the lake behind us.

Back-to-back and still very angry about Mondo's attempted abduction, Suzanne and Kahva continued to fight. Suzanne's better training was allowing her to take on the majority of the Cogs, which she was doing with a certain amount of glee. It also allowed her to see they'd been cut off from the others. Alarmed, she grabbed Kahva by the arm and switched places with her, putting her in a somewhat sheltered position facing the bushes. Kahva only had two Cogs left to deal with at that point, so she didn't argue with the move. But one of them managed to rip her skirt as it fell, prompting her to a blistering display of temper over the damage done, "Ivy made me this skirt just to meet the Sisterhood, you metal goon!" Angry over the maiming, she ripped the skirt all the way to the waistband to allow herself the luxury of a really good kick, and laid into the Cog. Growl, snarl, kick, kick, punch and -pow!- that Cog was history! But Suzanne had realized they were being separated from the rest for a reason. She and Kahva were only facing enough Cogs to keep them pinned in that area while the Rangers were busy with what ever that thing was out there throwing bolts of energy. Mondo was obviously trying to capture them again while everyone else was distracted. The thought of being trussed up once more nearly put Suzanne into a panic when Kahva accidentally stumbled against her. The blunt reminder of her Sister being captured as well galvanized her, and she buried her fear lest Kahva sense it and become fair game to the Cogs.

"Sapphire!" Tommy shouted all of a sudden, seeing the pair of Sisters all by themselves. "We have to stop this thing! It's another trap to separate us!" He pointed out the two fighting alone, "Quick! Mondo could teleport them out at any moment!"

Adam grabbed hold of Billy and shouted at the Sapphire Ranger to be heard over the din, "Is it possible to overload it?" There were power lines running over this area of the park, and Adam indicated those, "If we somehow wrap it in those power lines? It will cost parts of Angel Grove power for awhile, but can we use them?"

"Yes! That's a splendid idea! Blue, cut that line!" Billy shouted. Rocky coolly drew his blaster and fired once; the severed line fell to the ground, sparking and twitching violently. Using their blasters, the other Rangers herded the machine to the cable and knocked it down -- right onto the cut power line. Man, I thought, what a fireworks display! as the robot went up in flames and electric sparks. The Cogs left continued to fight for a few minutes more, but it was a futile effort. The battle finally ended when the remaining Cogs still in one piece gave up and returned to the Skybase. The sudden peace and quiet was a shock to our systems, and the Sisterhood as a whole breathed sighs of relief at the respite. Across the clearing I watched as Kahva whirled around, a threatening fist raised in response to the touch on her sleeve. But it was Suzanne, and Kahva just did manage to pull back the blow before it collided with her beloved Sister's face. The look on Kahva's face said it all, "Okay, you're not a Cog. . . Thank God!!"

Wearily I sank to the ground to glare balefully at my thigh-high lace-up boots. My left ankle was throbbing, but it took almost an hour to re-lace them and I didn't think I was up to the extended contortions necessary for the job. Adam wasn't far from me as he helped Billy seal off the cut power line so it didn't start a fire. He kept turning around to stare at the various members of the Sisterhood, and I was glad I couldn't see the strange looks he was probably giving us. Billy said not a word about our presence as he directed Adam in the repairs while Tommy called the electric company to let them know just what the problem was, and that they were in the process of fixing the damage they'd inflicted. Rocky passed by, anger evident in every stride, asking Jason in a tightly controlled voice, "Who in the world allowed them to join us? This was a battle-zone, for crying out loud, not a picnic in the park! Does Zordon know about this?"

"Don't yell at me, and don't you dare say a word to Tommy if you want to stay alive. Zordon ordered him to teleport them down with us. Tommy was as against the idea of letting them fight as you are, but when Zordon speaks, my man, the Rangers have to listen, even the leader. I have a feeling we'll be hearing a few mild," his tone was sarcastic, "arguments about it once we reach the Power Chamber," Jason answered. "Now get out of my way. I want to see if Kahva is alright."

Rocky reacted in alarm and tried to stop him, but the whispered warning of, "Don't let her know who you are!!" went unheeded.

The Gold Ranger jogged over just as Kahva was taking a good look at the damage to her skirt. I could easily see the rip, and knew it wouldn't take five minutes to re-sew the damaged seam. With all the weight we've lost worrying our heads off over this crazy dimension, it's a surprise she could wear the skirt to begin with. I've been meaning to take a few tucks in it anyway, guess I've got a good reason now. But with her nerves shot by the night's events, Kahva was not so calm about it, however. "Dismantling was too good for the #$%& thing!" she stated in an irate voice. "Jason, just look at this! Ivy made this skirt specially for me, just to meet the Sisterhood, and now it's ruined!" She held up the ripped end of the skirt for his inspection, but Jason was not in any way surveying the damage. Instead, he was being a typical male and admiring the view of Kahva's legs. That she knew his identity, even in uniform, did not occur to him -- and would not, until some time later.

"I see it. Heartrending, isn't it? God you've got great legs," he said in a stunned type of voice. He passed a gauntleted hand across the front of his helmet in a futile effort to wipe the vision from his mind, "My dreams should be interesting for the next few days, I think." My first impulse was to laugh, but I had the distinct feeling that would only endanger the Gold Ranger all the more.

Poor Kahva couldn't decide if she should be grateful for the off-handed compliment or mad as hell for the inadvertent insult. She took a threatening step toward him with one fist raised, then apparently decided attacking him simply wasn't worth the effort and turned to Suzanne with a puzzled statement of, "Why us? We're just nobodies, why all the attention? What in the world could Mondo want with us?" All of that was said with a rush of escaping tension, adrenaline levels plummeting. . . and her power supply blowing, I thought as her shoulders slumped, causing Jason to step closer. Suzanne was beyond hearing, however. Billy had reached her by then and was holding her in a fierce bear hug. I couldn't hear just what he was saying, but she didn't appear to be listening, too intent on enjoying the feel of his arms around her. Suddenly I was reminded of a goof in the 'Silver Flame' Series, where a typo had turned a line of the story into a really good joke. Somehow, 'Sheena draped an arm around Billy' had ended up as 'Sheena draped an army around Billy'. How appropriate that line sounded right now! But this time the 'army' was one Sapphire Ranger, and a good look at Suzanne's face told you that her enjoyment was because she felt safe. As far as she was concerned right then, nothing bad could happen, nothing could hurt her or anyone else, just as long as he was right there.

Tommy gave a sudden whistle to get our attention, and I'm afraid my badly over-stimulated nerves didn't react very well to the sudden, piercing sound. I jumped and very nearly headed for the nearest tree as he waved to everyone and stated, "We have to get out of here before the electric company arrives to lambaste us for cutting their lines. Form up, and hold on to your socks, Kahva and the Silver Fury you call Suzanne, we're teleporting everyone to the Power Chamber." He spoke into his communicator, "Go ahead, Alpha." Kahva had this, 'you're gonna do whaaa-?!' look on her face, a panicked expression that caused her to grab hold of Suzanne. At least Suzanne didn't react any better than I did to the sudden contact. Kahva was the one who nearly got slugged that time, I thought, watching as Suzanne forced herself to relax, and slowly lowered the fist she'd raised. It was a little frightening to realize just how swift her reflexes were. I could just barely hear a reply from the communicator strapped to Tommy's wrist as Alpha responded to the Red Ranger's command. Forgive me please, but I'm too exhausted to care at this moment. Fighting, I had discovered, was a lot more work that I thought it would be. It'll be awhile before I'll allow Jaycynda to 'volunteer' me for a battle again. Suzanne had a fierce hold on Billy, and it was easy to see just how upset she was. But I just couldn't decide what she was more upset over, the impending teleportation, or the attempted kidnapping. Kahva was handling it a bit better than she appeared to be; she was allowing Jason to support her, no more. There was a barely noticeable frown on her face as she stared up at him, and I figured she was still mad about that comment concerning her legs. Tommy wearily motioned for us to regroup, and we teleported away before any unlucky witnesses could come upon the scene.

We arrived in the Power Chamber to a bit of a surprise. Alpha's teleporting resulted in an interesting arrangement; somehow he had separated us. The Rangers all stood with their backs to Zordon's warp, while the Sisterhood stood in front of the display cases. Did the droid intentionally do this? I wondered. If he did he was very wise, for the Chamber was rather crowded with all seven of us and all seven of them, eye-to-eye and toe-to-toe with each other. Now that the kidnapping was over and the victims rescued, Jason, Kat, and Billy recalled our impertinence to Tommy and were giving us narrowed glances. Adam, Rocky and Tanya were off to the side, waiting impatiently for someone to begin explaining what in the world was going on and why seven total strangers had been allowed inside the Power Chamber itself.

I carefully looked around to make sure all members of the Sisterhood were present and accounted for. Yes, we're all here, I realized with relief. Jaycynda had hold of Rianna and Katie, both of whom still seemed a little shaken by the night's events. Gayla stood near the consoles, while Suzanne and Kahva were clinging to each other, the horrors of the battle not yet buried. I wonder what memories the attempted kidnapping called up for those two, who have spent the last year or more creating nightmarish situations to put their beloved Rangers through. I've accused them more than once of hating their characters, I bet this really brought that home, didn't it? Billy came over and gently separated them with careful hands. He tried to get them to sit down, but he wasn't having any luck, both were far too agitated.

And speaking of luck, ours was about to run out! Whatever patience the Pink Ranger may have had was totally gone. She proved this without a doubt by yanking off her helmet and saying in a heated tone, "Alright, you've managed to turn our world completely upside down. I think we're now entitled to the whole story we weren't told before, don't you? How do you know we are the Rangers, and how do we know you aren't working for Mondo? This whole thing could be some weird plot to get us to trust you. I think you have some explaining to do." There was an edge to her voice that hinted at a formidable and very quick temper. So she and Jaycynda had that much in common, huh? I felt, more than saw, Kahva tense. With all she had been through tonight, Kat's heavy-handed accusations rubbed her fur the wrong way. Her eyes narrowed to slits as she prepared herself for battle. Up went the back, out came the talons. Friend I might be, but even I retreated once I got a good look at her face.

In a flat, too-calm voice so cold I got chills from it, she rounded on the hot-headed Pink Ranger, "Excuse me? Did you really say weird plot?" Her look spoke volumes concerning her opinion of Kat at that moment, "Look, I want to thank you for the rescue, Suzanne and I would probably be henchidiots of Mondo by now if you hadn't intervened. So believe me, I'm very grateful. But as for our presence turning your world upside down?" Instead of getting louder, Kahva's voice actually became slightly quieter, and all the more deadly, "Pink Ranger, our world is gone, vanished, with no way for us to ever get back. So thank you once again for the rescue, but if you think we're in league with Mondo, then so be it. Teleport us back to Mr. Alligood's house and I assure you we'll be happy to never lay eyes on you again." There was a soft choking sound, then Jason desperately pushed his way to the fore, yanking off his helmet as he came. The utter devastation on that face ripped out hearts left and right as he held out a pleading hand to Kahva. His brown eyes were glittering with tears as he silently beseeched her to take back the words she'd just spoken in anger and pain. But Kahva hadn't worked out the rest of her temper, and she told him in an unsteady voice that shook slightly, "Don't worry, you'll forget me in time, Jason. Trust me, in my dimension I was very forgettable." Unable to look into his imploring eyes any longer, she turned her back on him and waited for the slight jerk and nausea that seemed to accompany teleporting. Her eyes betrayed her, however. Although she wasn't crying just yet, it was a mighty close thing. I instinctively laid a comforting hand on her shoulder, but she gave a shake of her head and moved away.

It didn't occur to Kahva --or to the rest of us, for that matter-- that the other Rangers didn't agree with Kat's accusations. Even as Jason gave a heartbreaking cry that echoed about the Chamber, Tanya gasped and took hold of Kat's arm. Pandemonium broke loose as all the tensions of the night came crashing down on us. As one the Sisterhood closed ranks around Kahva, trying to keep her safe. But Tommy quickly stepped into the argument, standing defiantly between Kat and Kahva. His calm voice cut through the babble that filled the Chamber, giving a command to Alpha, "Belay Kahva's request, Alpha. Don't teleport them just yet." A brief expression crossed Kat's face, and she seemed on the verge of saying something else --probably a retort to Kahva's undiplomatic show of temper-- but Tommy cut her off with an abruptness that was startling, "Kat, cool it! If you don't shut up this instant I'll gag you, you hear? Kahva," he then said gently to the shaken young woman, "please wait. There's so much to discuss, and no reason to rush off. Why don't we try and resolve this?" He held out a hand to her, a hand she couldn't see because she hadn't turned back around just yet. The gentle tone he used eased some of the tension level, but before she could respond, Kat made a sudden move toward her. Tommy's reaction to that was not at all calm; he turned and nearly leaped down the Pink Ranger's throat, "I said cool it, Katherine! You can leave if all you can do is throw insults into their teeth!" Suddenly her anger transferred itself from us to her leader, and she laid into him in a way she couldn't the Sisterhood. The Red and Pink Rangers ended up faced off like two weasels, hackles raised and teeth bared. The others had spread out around the arguing pair, determined to keep Kat away from Kahva. They didn't know why she was behaving so badly tonight, but then Kat never did things by halves. If she was going to be bad, then she would be very, very bad!

As far as we were concerned, Kat didn't have a prayer of getting through the Sisterhood to have at Kahva. I was doing some restraining of my own in the attempt to keep Suzanne and Rianna from turning the Pink Ranger into pink sushi. Neither were taking the limitations very well, either. We've known each other long enough to become the Sisterhood, but they didn't care for the fact I was keeping them from strangling Kat. Only my evident dislike of the unrestrained and unprovoked attack on our most beloved Sister kept them from doing me damage. The hot-headed comments Jaycynda was muttering under her breath weren't any better. In fact, the last time I recalled the Sisters being so blood thirsty was over one of the nightmares involving Zimmer. Or was that amusement over the invention of the 'P.A.M.' maneuver? I can't remember which right off hand. But to me, it was becoming very apparent that Kat had spoken only her own opinion, and that the others didn't agree with her in any way.

Suzanne finally calmed down enough to see that. She shook herself good-fashioned, then spoke gently to Kahva, "Let's just see where this might be going, okay? From what I can see, we haven't been tried and convicted just yet." She pointed out the way the other Rangers were keeping the Pink Ranger away from us.

"Haven't we?" Kahva accused flatly, still shaken from the encounter with Jason. "Kat acted as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. How do we know the others don't really agree with her?" She couldn't look at the Gold Ranger, just gazed at the floor with a troubled expression. He hadn't liked the thought of being separated from her and hadn't hidden that dislike at all. His attachment to her was obviously troubling our Kahva.

"The jury is still out," Suzanne replied calmly, earning herself a sharp retort from Jaycynda. Katie was looking at her like she was insane, and Rianna took a threatening step in her direction before something in the argument again drew her attention. But the distraction had worked, for Kahva didn't insist on being teleported home again, much to my relief. If she had ripped out Jason's heart with the insistence that he would forget her, then Jason had done the same to ours with that choked cry and heartbroken look. Gads, that boy has talent! I'd hate to see him on a Soap Opera. I didn't want to leave right at that moment anyway, because I was enjoying the spat between the Rangers. It reminds me so much of the Sisterhood's tussles, I thought. The 'deliberating' was coming to a close anyway, since Tommy had a lot more shouting power than Kat did. Slowly but surely, he was swaying her to his side; with each passing minute the volume of the argument grew less and less. Of course, I would have surrendered in a heartbeat if I had that fierce scowl aimed at me, and Tommy was using it like a bludgeon on the Pink Ranger. I almost felt sorry for Kat. . . almost. Kahva was actually beginning to relax a tiny bit; had even turned to witness the rest of the fight, and I thought in relief, Retract thy claws, Sister; thy name is cat.


Adam yanked off his helmet to blurt out the question, "Why would their arrival upset that tin can? They are just normal people, right?" He winced after that was said, normal people do not casually invite themselves along to an imminent battle-zone in the hopes of helping their friends, no matter how upset they might be over the outcome.


"Zordon, we have no idea why we're here. In our world 'here' is just a show on TV," Suzanne started, then grinned at my snort. "A kid's show, I might add. Happy now, Ivy?" I giggled, so she continued, "We have a few theories we've been kicking around as to how we got here, but I'm not all that sure you're going to believe me."


"Why they've gone after Suzanne twice," Jaycynda remarked quietly, more to herself than anything else. She didn't expect anyone other than us to hear the comment.

But Zordon had, THAT IS HOW IT APPEARS, JAYCYNDA, BUT HIS COGS SEEMED JUST AS EAGER TO TAKE KAHVA WITH THEM AS WELL TONIGHT, SO WE CANNOT YET RULE OUT YOUR GROUP AS A WHOLE. FOR THE DAY BILLY MET YOU AT THE HIGH SCHOOL, HE STOPPED A TRIO OF COGS FROM DOING A SCAN. YOU WERE THE ONLY SISTER THERE AT THE TIME, SO YOU HAVE BEEN A TARGET AS WELL. Zordon's logic was straight and true, and I couldn't help but wonder if he might look a little like Mr. Spock if I were to see him outside of the. . . whatever it was he was in. 'Time warp', my mind supplied in Kahva's voice, as previous coaching sessions returned to my mind to prompt me. NEITHER CAN WE RULE OUT WHAT JAYCYNDA JUST SAID, SUZANNE, Zordon continued, turning his gaze back to our Sister. SO PLEASE, TELL US WHAT THEORIES YOU HAVE, NO MATTER HOW SILLY YOU MIGHT BE AFRAID WE WILL THINK THEY ARE. I ASSURE YOU, WITH MONDO, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

"How come that's not too reassuring?" Suzanne asked. She took a deep breath, trying to gather her thoughts and frayed nerves before she dared go forward. Truth time, with a vengeance. Well, here goes nothing! When she was ready, she began with a simple truth, "Zordon, in my dimension I'm an amateur writer, concocting stories about the TV show 'The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers'. It's a children's show, set up much like this dimension seems to be; Tommy as the Red Ranger, Jason as the Gold, Tanya as the Yellow, Kat as the Pink, Adam as the Green and Rocky as the Blue." She paused in her narrative to look at Billy, "But in the show, Billy never takes up a power after the search for the Zeo crystals. He eventually left the Rangers to live on Aquitar, with a woman named Cestria that he met while helping them fight against the Hydro-Contaminators. The 'whys' are a little time consuming. But in my stories, I have him becoming the Sapphire Ranger, a power that was completely fictional. So that's why I'm so surprised to see him with a power, much less the exact same one I made up." Jaycynda gave Suzanne a little shake of her head, indicating she might want to let that go for awhile. Suzanne nodded and continued, "Also in my stories, I created a fictional character named Sheena Devereaux, a young woman from another dimension who becomes the Silver Ranger, a character based on me." She gave her silver dress a pat, and looked at Tommy with a smile, "You kept calling me 'Silver' all night, and I can't tell you how funny that was, considering what I've written. This dress was created especially for my first real meeting with the Sisterhood, and how they laughed over me parading around as Sheena, the Silver Ranger!" We all laughed again, remembering our remarks over her choice of dress that night. She motioned for us to quiet down, "Kahva helped me thrash out a lot of the original fic, and the story began evolving into a Series. We created a character based on her as well. We've had many days and nights of playing with these characters that we love so dearly, far too many to count. We've fallen so in love with the show, I know we've wished a million times for the Rangers to be REAL, and for us to somehow be right there with them. And then suddenly the fantasy became reality," she grew solemn as she said that. "We were headed for a little night club to go dancing as a way to celebrate our first meeting. I opened the door, and we fell -- right into this dimension. We found ourselves living in the dream, and I can't tell you how frightening it was when we first arrived and remembered just how dangerous the lives of the Power Rangers are. It's one thing to wish upon a star, but it's a whole different ball game when you're suddenly in the middle of much more than you ever expected. We did everything we could to deny we were actually here. After all, we couldn't possibly be in a world that existed in a TV show, now could we? But in the park, during the first battle with the Cogs that you arrived at the tail end of, we were forced to face the truth. For better or worse, we were trapped in this dimension, and it was a long way from home." She sighed, unable to talk about it anymore, "These stories that I wrote with Kahva's help are called the 'Silver Flame' Series."

All the Rangers were stunned over Suzanne's little tale, but Tommy's reaction took everyone off guard. He jumped and looked at Suzanne with wide, almost wild eyes. "No, it can't be. It just can't be!" he declared, taking a step towards her in disbelief.

"Can't be what?" Suzanne asked cautiously, moving backwards to place herself into the circle of the Sisterhood. Kahva stepped closer to Suzanne, a sense of wariness overcoming her. She placed a calming hand on her shoulder as if to say, I'm here. Whatever is going to happen, I'm right here.

Tommy said quietly, "I'm a little ashamed of myself for this, but I've been keeping some-thing from you, Zordon. For several months now I've known of a prophecy that pertains to my brother and I. I think I should repeat it, and see if it could hold some answers to this."

Zordon turned to look at Tommy sternly, WHY HAVE YOU NOT MENTIONED THIS PROPHECY BEFORE?

"Because it seemed so silly. And because you usually know of these things anyway," Tommy admitted sheepishly. "Besides, with Mr. Trueheart involved, I considered it a personal problem, not something that would effect the whole group."


"Prophecy?" Jason asked, tucking his helmet underneath his arm, "Sounds mystic." He glanced at the silent form of Kahva, recalling the exact moment when she had addressed him in the park. Jason, just look at this! she'd said, holding out the ripped edge of her skirt. She had known his identity because of that show Suzanne mentioned. Strange that didn't occur to me then, because she wasn't one of the ones in the Power Chamber. What ELSE does she know about me that I'm not aware of?

"Oh, but you're going to just LOVE how mystic this gets," Tommy predicted. He tossed his helmet onto a console and began to explain, "Several months ago Mr. Trueheart told us of a prophecy he was sure related to David and I. When he learned my spirit animal was a falcon, he called the two of us in and repeated it. It never made much sense to me one way or the other, but Sam says that's what makes it such a challenge. It's made to be difficult to understand. I guess it's because I didn't grow up in the same traditions and beliefs David did, but he was very upset over the prophecy. The gist of it is that David and I are 'fated' to meet two women who will change not only our lives, but the lives of two of our friends as well; Jason and Billy, I think. The whole thing goes like this;

The Winds of Change bring the Storms of Completion;
Out of the Rains come the Ones you've been Seeking.
They weave the Tapestry of Fate for the Warriors brave;
The Falcon -- winged Lord of the Skies,
The Gold -- valiant & brave of Soul.
The Gemstone -- cunning, swift & wise,
The Seeker -- bold & True of Heart.
Fated to the Sisters
The DreamWeaver, ShadowKeeper, SilverFlame, & AuraReader."

Adam gave a low whistle, "Man, talk about riddles. So you think the Gold in the fifth line means Jason?" He turned to look at the Gold Ranger, whose brows were furrowed in disbelief. But Adam's gaze never went farther than Suzanne's very pale face. She was swaying on her feet, a numb kind of expression in her eyes. Thinking the reaction was due to the kidnapping, Adam continued to speak, hoping to draw her back into the discussion, "And the Gemstone in the sixth is Billy?"

Tommy, unaware of Suzanne's upset, continued to speak, "The final part is the really confusing one. David and I tried to take it apart one time and didn't get anywhere with it at all. The last line is a little distressing, because it mentions the name of Suzanne's group;

The DreamWeaver spins the Threads of Fate--
weaving them strand by strand.
The ShadowKeeper wills open the Gate--
leading to another Land.
The SilverFlame receives the Destiny--
foretold from Past to Present.
The AuraReader reveals the Reality--
which lies can only hint at.
The Sisterhood cannot be broken."

When he finished reciting the prophecy in the same sing-song tone Mr. Trueheart had taught him in, he turned to Suzanne, and was so shocked at her paleness he couldn't remember just what his question had been. At first Suzanne's lips moved silently, then slowly the words became audible to everyone present. She was whispering softly, "Jaycynda can see auras, and Kahva's character can open portals. I have no idea about the DreamWeaver, but the Silver-Flame. . ." She pressed a hand to her forehead, fighting against the dizziness that threatened to overwhelm her and the blackness licking at the edges of her vision, "Oh, Goddess, this can't be happening, it's impossible. . ." Her voice trailed off as she wavered and collapsed, only Billy's quick lunge stopped her from hitting the floor.

"The shock, I think, of both the kidnapping and now this," Billy diagnosed softly, cradling the unconscious woman in his arms. He looked up at the Sisterhood surrounding him and asked the closest, who was Jaycynda, "Do you know what she was talking about? Can you fill us in on the rest of the story?"


"At once, Zordon!" And the little droid, armed with the scanner, headed for Suzanne as Billy carefully laid her out on an examination table. Billy took the medical sensor from him and proceeded with the scan while Jaycynda composed herself. Zordon and the Rangers gave her plenty of time to organize her thoughts once it became clear Suzanne would be fine. No one noticed Alpha as the droid entered the results of the scan into the computers, except for Billy. After seeing the readouts, he looked down at Suzanne with a thoroughly confused frown. He couldn't understand why the scanner recorded levels like that on someone such as Suzanne. In his experience, only potential Rangers had that kind of latent power. . . And that thought nearly overwhelmed Billy with concern and fear for her. The life of a Ranger was not easy, not safe. How could fate decide to thrust this on someone like Suzanne? And just when he had found her, the woman of his dreams? Don't jump to conclusions, it might not be what you think it is. But the more rational part of his mind demanded, But what other possible explanation could there be?!

Unaware of the battle going on in Billy's head, Jaycynda carefully began her narrative, just a little leery of the seven Rangers staring at her so intently. "Ever since we got here, we've run up with little things that previously had only been fantasy. . . The town being called Angel Grove for one thing. Before we got here, we would have sworn that only existed on TV. The High School is another. When I got there, I found that it looked exactly as it did on the show. I didn't dare tell anyone this at first, because I was sure they would think I had gone completely starkers. Then I met Billy and got the," she made an indelicate sound, "shocked out of me so badly I nearly fainted. Poor Billy didn't know what in the world was wrong with me. It's a wonder he didn't have me committed right then and there." Jaycynda's voice took on a more serious tone as she continued, "But in the park, Suzanne found a candle embedded in the ground inside a ring of trees. . ." Jaycynda put a hand to her forehead, trying to recall the events exactly. But with everything that had happened tonight, she suddenly drew a very frightening blank.

"And screamed because of it. We saw it on the viewing globe," Kat supplied gently, speaking up for the first time since her 'argument' with Kahva and Tommy. She brought a chair to Jay with a shy smile. Olive branch extended, Pink Ranger? I thought, watching as an exhausted Jaycynda slumped into it.

A grateful smile was given to the Pink Ranger, "She had written a scene where the main character, Sheena, a witch, created a protective circle within a ring of trees. She wanted peace and harmony to think through the difficult decisions of joining the Rangers and being married to Billy, and the circle enclosed her within that which she so desperately needed. Mondo attacked, and in the scuffle one of the candles marking the circle was broken. Suzanne found that broken candle, Zordon, in your dimension." She turned to Kahva to continue the tale, "Your turn now, Sister. Tell them what you found."

"Oh great, Jay. Hit poor Billy with that little bombshell then hand it over to me," Kahva complained with a teasing frown, motioning to the abruptly dazed looking Sapphire Ranger, who stood over Suzanne's unconscious body giving her one of the strangest looks. With a dry laugh, Kahva began, like Jaycynda, with a highly edited version of her story's scene, "I also wrote a story in the Silver Flame Series, entitled 'Visions of Silver'. In it, the character of Kahva Briton is transported from her dimension to this one by Klank, acting on orders from Mondo. She had the hidden talent of 'shifting' herself to other dimensions, and she subconsciously used that ability to alter the portal she and a man named Daniel Whitley were trapped in. Instead of ending up in the Skybase however, she landed practically in Sheena and Billy's laps in the park." Receiving that look from Billy again, Kahva said, "Don't ask, but it was nothing R-rated, don't worry." With a grin she continued, "One of the items with her was her news camera, and the lens cap was broken in the fall. In the story, it is later found by Daniel. I found that broken lens cap exactly where it was supposed to be, right in this dimension where it has no place being. I'm starting to get a little frightened by the coincidences," Kahva admitted, giving her head a shake. All traces of joking had left her voice at that point. "All the events seem to be coming to a head. Why are we here? If I alone am responsible for 'shifting' us through the portal, then why all the coincidences?"

"Let's try taking this apart then, if it disturbs you so much. Maybe it'll start making sense," Tanya suggested quietly. She crossed over to a nearby console and took a seat. "Let's start with the names and supposed talents of the Sisters, as Suzanne has created them in her stories," she said, prepared to type everything in the Power Chamber's computer system.

"Okay, then I'm the ShadowKeeper, I guess, because my character could open portals between dimensions as long as she has a 'Power Ranger battery' handy. As Ivy once described the talent, I can 'slip through the shadows from one dimension to the next'.At least my character can, that is. Jaycynda must be the AuraReader, because she has always been able to see personal Auras. Of course, here she can detect what we're unofficially calling interdimensional Auras, as well. And Suzanne must be the SilverFlame, since Sheena is her character, and Sheena is the Silver Ranger. The Sisterhood is the seven of us," Kahva mumbled most of that in a daze. She automatically turned to Zordon to ask him a question, then realized what she had done and winced. Why did she, too, assume he had all the answers, just as the Rangers? "I'm sorry, I guess I'm like Tommy, I thought you were all-knowing and all-seeing, Zordon."


Tommy winced at such a pointed reminder of his faux pas, "That we have. I've forgotten to formally introduce the Sisterhood to you, Zordon. Sorry."

SUCH THINGS TAKE TIME WITH THE YOUNG, IT SEEMS, Zordon's voice held more than a trace of laughter. PLEASE MAKE THE INTRODUCTIONS.

Rianna bounced forward and impishly wrinkled her nose at the Power Rangers' mentor, "Happy to meet you at long last, Zordon! I'm Rianna Lia. Allow me to expose you to the various elements within our diverse bunch. This," she grabbed for whichever arm was closest and hauled me before the time warp, "quiet little mouse trying to hide in the corner is Ivy Tanté. Line up, you block-heads, I can't reach all of you from where I'm standing." Obediently we filed forward. "The firebrand is Jaycynda Ashleana. I'm assuming she didn't singe your Rangers too badly the last time she was here. Suzanne's near twin with the oh-so-cold temper is Kahva Brittain, and the deadly sunny yellow sundress is Gayla Reese. Don't take a bow, Gayla. Let's not kill them just yet, okay? Katie MaGee is the one who won't keep her hands off the consoles over there no matter what Jason told her earlier, and Suzanne Harrell is the one unconscious on your examining table that Billy won't keep his hands off of."

There was laughter from everyone, including Zordon, as Billy blushed at Rianna's honest assessment of the situation. Kahva automatically went over to him to give a short, reassuring hug, just like her character would have in any of the stories, then stiffened as she realized just what she was doing. Quickly she moved away from him and softly started to repeat the prophecy, using the same sing-song tone that Tommy had. I KNOW I HAVE HEARD THIS PROPHECY BEFORE, Zordon told himself sternly. Hearing it for the first time in a female voice was tickling a distant memory somewhere in the back of his mind, WHY CAN I NOT REMEMBER WHERE I HAVE HEARD IT, AND WHO TOLD ME? But try as he might, the answer would not reveal itself to him as Kahva's voice faded, then the Power Chamber filled with silence.

Rocky finally spoke, voicing the question the Rangers wanted answered, "But who, and what, is the DreamWeaver? Just what part do they play in this?" Rocky's face was a study of confusion, "I mean, that Sister is listed first in this mysterious prophecy, but none of your explanations mentioned her at all. Which one of you is her?"

Alpha jerked slightly as Zordon sent him a message through the console, and he left without another word to do his bidding. No one really saw the droid leave but Tommy, who didn't comment on it because everyone was waiting on the Sisterhood to answer Rocky's question. A soft moan from the examining table interrupted the quiet discussion that had broken out between us. It told us Suzanne was beginning to come around. Jaycynda started for her immediately, then halted in her move toward the examining table to think a few things through before admitting to the Rangers, "The funny thing is, there has never been a DreamWeaver character in any of our stories, nor mention of one. If they play such a vital part in our arrival, why don't we know anything about them?" That last question was directed at Zordon, who didn't answer. He seemed lost in his own thoughts at the moment, and wasn't really aware of everything that was going on.

Rianna gave a short laugh that wasn't at all like her normal, cheerful ones. She waved a hand around the Power Chamber and asked brightly, too brightly, "Million dollar quest, huh, Jay? Which of us is this DreamWeaver? And just what, pray tell, is that DreamWeaver supposed to do with us to 'spin the Threads of Fate -- weaving them strand by strand '? And if you'll forgive me, I'd like to make one more unsettling point in this game of Galactic Twenty Questions. Katie and I recognized places in the park as well. Does the term 'walking across your grave' adequately express the rather eerie feeling it gave us to recall a place we have never visited before?" She bounced forward to take her place beside Jaycynda. Suzanne stirred again, and Rianna all but pounced on her. "So, you have decided to rejoin the party, huh? About time," she told the befuddled brunette looking up at her with more exasperation showing on her face than anything else. Suddenly Rianna realized Alpha was no where around. His absence startled her, and she asked Zordon, "Where did Alpha get off to? He was here a minute ago." She looked around the chamber again for the little droid.

HE IS DOING AS I REQUESTED, RIANNA, Zordon rumbled softly.

"Oh, well. So where does this leave us, Zordon? Do you know what is going on?" Rianna asked, glancing back at the now-conscious Suzanne. Billy was bending over the examination table, speaking to her gently while Tommy had come over to hold her hand tenderly in his. Both were reassuring her everything was alright. She appeared dazed and confused, and kept shaking her head at the quiet questions Billy was asking her. Either she didn't want to answer, or she simply didn't understand what was going on.

Tommy put a restraining hand on Billy's shoulder and cautioned him not to go so fast. "She's had a rough night, go easy on her, bro. Rocky, would you mind getting her some water?" Tommy requested, and Rocky nearly broke both legs hastening to get her a glass.

The arrival of the water was delayed by Alpha's sudden return. He was carrying a small, elaborately carved wooden box protectively against his chest, "It was right were you said it would be, Zordon. What am I to do with it?" The box was very old, even brittle-looking, which accounted for Alpha's great care with it.


With a puzzled shrug, Alpha did just that, handing it to a thoroughly dazed Suzanne, "Whatever could this be, Zordon? I've never owned anything that looks like this." She opened the box and nearly fainted again, for inside the ancient box, nestled snugly in sapphire velvet, rested a sparkling crystal sphere that looked an awful lot like. . . An insane thought, Ivy Tant&233;. Pull yourself together and use some logic here. That CAN'T be what you think it is. . . Can it? Picking it up gingerly, Suzanne held it to the light, enabling us to see not only the crystal, but the hypnotic silver streaks running through it as well. It just did fit in the palm of her hand, twinkling softly in the multi-hued lights from the chamber as if it had a life all its own. Suzanne's reaction stunned the assembled Rangers. "Oh, Zordon, can this truly mean what I wish? Is my life-long dream about to come true?" she cried, tears running down her face.

Billy, alarmed once more at her tears, pushed Tommy away and wrapped a comforting arm about her. She immediately buried her face against his neck, the tears giving way to true sobs as he held her tightly. He gave the crystal a thorough looking over before he spoke. "Zordon, that looks remarkably similar to the crystal Silias gave me, when he passed on the Sapphire Ranger powers to me," he reminded in a low voice. At the mention of the first Sapphire Ranger's name, something that was supposed to be fictional, she began to cry even harder.


Secure within our grasp, Suzanne closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then nodded solemnly. She carefully disentangled herself from us, murmuring reassurances as she did so, and went to stand by herself off to one side of the Rangers. The crystal shimmered as it was again removed from the box Silias had so lovingly carved all those eons ago. Suzanne held the crystal before her and gazed into it lovingly before saying words we had all longed to hear from her. Softly, "Silver Ranger Power." The crystal gave one burst of silver flame before seeming to sink into her hand and disappearing. Then the transformation into the person of her dreams began. The shock of actually seeing the costume of a Ranger form around her simply isn't describable. One minutes she was still our Suzanne; the next the Silver Ranger, in all the glory we had never imagined. When the morphing was complete, she stood quietly for a few minutes, head bowed slightly, and every Sister instinctively bowed our heads as well. We knew full well she was thanking her Goddess for the gift just given, and her happiness was tangible enough to make us wish to honour her prayer. The lights of the Chamber glinted off her silver uniform as time seemed to crawl and the other Rangers began to shift about nervously. Only the serene calm of the Sisterhood kept them from speaking aloud and breaking the spell wrapped around the room. The cheetah design on her helmet seemed to smile at us in thanks, and I swear I saw it wink one eye. If such an occurrence is in my imagination, then so be it! When Suzanne finally removed her helmet, it was in an explosion of movement and sound that echoed about the chamber. "YES!" she thundered, and pelted across the room to grab Sisters left and right in bone-crushing hugs. Eventually the Power Rangers wandered into the fray with embraces and congratulations of their own, Kat and Tanya being the first in line to bestow them, along with laughing comments about how nice it was going to be with another woman in the group to help oppose all the male members of the team. As laughter drifted about the room I realized this meant we were all one big happy family now. Oh, Joy.


"Yes, I do, Zordon of Eltar. And I pledge my undying loyalty to you and to the Rangers," she added, wishing to make her support very clear. Her voice rang out in the Power Chamber as strong and true as she herself was. It was a daunting sight, that of the Silver Ranger standing there so tall and proud. It gave me the uncanny sensation I was facing Sheena Devereaux in the flesh. I exchanged a troubled glance with Kahva, and found that the Sisterhood as a whole had retreated slightly from the Rangers that stood in a tight-knit circle around Suzanne. Isn't this happening awful fast? I thought, pressing a hand to my temple. One minute they treat us like Mondo's spies, the next they're drafting Suzanne into the 'Knights of the Round Table', complete with oath-taking and all the no-no rules.

THEN I PRESENT TO YOU THE NEWEST RANGER, SUZANNE HARRELL, THE SILVER RANGER. TAKE YOUR PLACE AMONG THEIR RANKS. And she did just that, placing herself off to Billy's right. Zordon then spoke, surprisingly to us, SISTERHOOD, BEHOLD THE RANGERS IN THE FULL FIGHTING FORCE THEY WERE ORIGINALLY CREATED IN. It was a daunting sight indeed. Seven Rangers fanned out behind Tommy, who stood in the lead and looked incredibly proud of his troops. He raised a hand to Zordon, then turned and extended it to the others. Even Suzanne knew what he wanted as all the Rangers quickly piled their gauntleted hands on top of his and cried out, "The Power Rangers!!" Though it was happening fast enough to frighten us, there was no way we would deny Suzanne this place she now held in the Rangers' world. We'd throttle anyone who dared suggest such a thing. Despite the growing terror I was experiencing at being trapped in this dimension, her inclusion into the Rangers felt too right to voice any objections.

When everyone had unmorphed to relax, small conversations broke out as the Rangers questioned us on the TV show Suzanne had mentioned. When they were told of the kid's show they 'inhabited' in our dimension, outraged couldn't quite cover their upset over how badly they had been mistreated. Many cute moments were spent planning 'revenge' on Saban for portraying them as colourful clowns, with Rocky and Kat acting out scenes with great exaggeration. Kat's screams of 'You're giving me such a headache!' rivaled the best of Rita Replusa's often loudly expressed complaints. Rocky's imitations of Mondo, Sprocket, Klank, and even Queen Machina had us all laughing so hard we had to support each other, at least I thought it was laughter making us so weak.

The situation lost quite a bit of its novelty when I realized Kahva hadn't gotten over any of her shock, nor had Suzanne. When Kahva staggered somewhat, I immediately glanced at her 'twin' and saw the same type of numbed fatigue showing on her face. The rest of the Sisters were not much better off, and even I felt a little light-headed, when I actually stopped to think about it. The only problem was none wanted to leave just yet, for the Rangers were personable and charming. But the humor was winding down, and all were tired enough they were running out of things to say. Tommy tried to order the Rangers home to no avail.

Too keyed up to obey that command, Kat and Tanya decided to have a little fun. "Why don't you explain that remark you made at the Youth Center, Jaycynda. The one about Billy's safety?" Kat prompted with a giggle.

Tanya laughed at Billy's confused expression, "A comment you didn't hear due to your sparring match, Billy."

Jaycynda turned quite red at this, "Uh, well. . ." She sneaked a quick peek at Suzanne, who had raised her eyebrows in great interest, and floundered on, "Well, you see, Suzanne has this crush on Billy in our dimension and we were worried she might drag him off somewhere and, well, uh. . ." The face she made at that point was horrific, "Ivy has said time and again that the show depicts you guys as hopelessly naive." There were a few snorts of disbelief over that one, and Tanya muttered under her breath, "They don't know Adam very well, do they?" Jaycynda continued to flounder on, digging Suzanne deeper into trouble, "We were afraid that might be how this dimension was based, too, and Suz's always had ulterior motives where Nibbles is concerned."

"Ulterior motives?" Jason repeated, and elbowed the blushing Sapphire Ranger, "Nibbles? Sounds interesting to me." His expression said clearly he wasn't liable to forget this one any time soon. Billy groaned. Suzanne couldn't hold down her giggle as Billy put as much distance between him and Jason as the Chamber would allow.

Rianna couldn't resist, "Well, since the Silver Ranger marries the Sapphire Ranger in the stories, it does make sense, you know. And don't get so cocky, Gold Ranger. You are involved with our dear portal opener here in the Series. Didn't you tell me how fiercely she fought over him, Billy?" She clapped a hand over her mouth as Jason's jaw dropped.

"SHE fought over ME? When I was unconscious? Against all those blasted Cogs?" he asked incredulously, looking at Kahva. Such a slender and beautiful woman had tried to protect him against more Cogs than the entire Sisterhood had battled in the park?

"Yep. She sure did," Billy answered with quite a grin from his position of safety on the other side of the Power Chamber. "Snarling, I might add." Jason gulped.

More teasing arose from this, punctuated by huge yawns. It seemed as though the Rangers were trying to out-yawn the Sisterhood. Suzanne finally requested Alpha teleport the Sisterhood back home so we could go to bed. By this time the little droid had treated the rope burns on the wrists and ankles of both former captives, as well as the assorted cuts and bruises picked up in the battle. The mild medication in the salve was making them sleepy. "I'll call you later in the week, Tommy, to discuss all that has happened, but please give the others time to adjust to the changes. I'm fully prepared to stay in this dimension and fight with the Rangers, but I can't make that decision for the others. They will have to debate it over on their own."

"That's fine, but I need you to call me tomorrow, Suzanne, not in a few days. We have a lot to discuss, training and the like, although you do seem to be pretty proficient in the art of karate. Billy will make you a communicator as well, but in the meantime you can use Adam's old one. It's black, but I think you can live with that," Tommy said with a smile. Then he motioned her off to one side. Suzanne joined him in the indicated corner with something akin to awe, for this was the leader of the Rangers staring back at her so solemnly. There was nothing joking in his attitude at that moment, and his presence brought Suzanne abruptly into the reality of this world. It also, we would find out later, made her realize just what she was in for. Dreams and fantasies had no place in this world of life and death struggle. "You seem to be the leader of the Sisterhood, Suzanne. Is this correct?" At her nod he continued, "We have to be very careful of them. Mondo has kidnapped friends of ours before to try to get us to surrender to him. I watched the fight as best I could, and I saw that they can hold their own, but that might not be good enough in the long run. Would you mind if we train them?" Tommy suddenly laughed, and pleaded with the Silver Ranger, "Please say yes. If they can handle Cogs all on their own, the townspeople will think they have the Rangers pegged. Then we can rush out to mop up, and everyone will be so confused. It might even keep the Press off our back. Hey, that's an idea! Who's the best among you to be a PR? We'll let them handle all the reporters!"

"Kahva already works at the television station, let her do it," Suzanne said with a smile. "In the Series, that's what she eventually becomes, anyway." Then she frowned and laid a hand on her temple, "Excuse me, but this headache is demanding some attention. Can the weighty issues wait until tomorrow? It's been a pretty big day."

Tommy resisted the urge to slap himself for his lack of sympathy for her situation. "And I'm an insensitive beast sometimes. Go home, Suzanne, and take your troops with you. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Here's my number, call me whenever you get up. Any time is fine because I don't have anything pressing that can't be put off, after the workout. Sure you can't join us for it? The Sisterhood doesn't have to come," he said as he handed her a small slip of paper. When she shook her head no, he nodded and added, "You could do me the favor of giving that to Ivy as well, you know." Unaware of the hope in his eyes, he didn't so much as blink at her startled stare.

Suzanne arched an eyebrow at him, this was not at all what she expected of the usually tongue-tied character of Tommy Oliver. But that's the whole point, Suzanne. He's not a character any more! Face that! None of them are! "Well, that's different. Sure, I'll give it to her. Now go away and let me talk to Billy for a moment, then I'm outta here." She made a shooing motion at him, and he actually moved away so she could talk to Billy in private. "I just wanted to thank you for the stimulating date. You're the kind of guy that never gets boring, aren't you?" she teased him as he approached her cautiously.

Billy, though not as shy as his character, still blushed all shades of red, "I'm really sorry about what happened. Hopefully it won't always be that way."

"Don't count on that. I have a bad habit of making things much harder than they have to be, or so the Sisterhood tells me. Forgive me for being abrupt, but I'm going home. Will you call me later? I'd really like to talk to you without all the Cogs getting in the way," her smile was warm, and her touch on his arm sent little tingles running up and down his spine. Suzanne marveled at the miracle that actually allowed her to touch him, hear him, see him. It was the answer to many a prayer and plea, but in this case, the gift was a double-edged sword. Billy came with a world filled with confusion and uncertainly, danger and possible heartbreak. Was the chance to be with him worth that?

Billy's warm voice wrapped around her, a comforting blanket of peace and love. "I'll call you, but you'd better get used to the Cogs. They're pretty much a way of life around here," he started, but was cut off by Rocky's determined attempt to make a date with Gayla. Of course, to do so he had to invite the whole Sisterhood, and that was the tricky part. But the Blue Ranger was and determined to succeed.

"Then meet us for our workout next Saturday," Rocky was suggesting to the Sisterhood with a shy smile in Gayla's direction. "Tommy will arrange sparring matches between everyone, then we can take a walk in the park. Maybe the rest of you wouldn't mind a picnic; Kat's been trying to figure out how to arrange that, anyway, since you arrived here and moved into Mr. Alligood's."

Katie was the first to speak, "Perhaps not the park, but we would certainly like to talk. The park is just a little too dangerous for my peace of mind right now." The Rangers nodded their understanding. With the two battles the Sisterhood had already fought in the park, it was easy to see why we were leery. But you could tell they were determined to talk to us somewhere. Not all their questions had been answered, and they were impatient to ask them.

Rianna giggled, "Invite Cray Nash to come along. I'm SURE the park won't seem so bad to her, then, with him there to protect her so valiantly. I wonder if he knows how to use a sword?" The joke went right over the Rangers' heads, but it tickled us to no end to see Katie blush.

The teasing put everyone at ease. Tommy gave the two jokers a grateful smile, then gestured for Alpha to teleport us, "We all have a date to see you next Saturday at the workout, then. Goodnight, Sisterhood. Sleep well. You've more than earned a good rest." He stopped Billy from speaking by putting an elbow in his stomach with considerable force. "You'll get your chance later, I swear! Now hush!" Tommy whispered in warning. Billy sullenly backed off.

"I know we deserve the rest, Red Ranger," Suzanne said with an impish smile. She waved to Billy, letting him know their conversation wasn't over and that she was thinking of him. Then we all vanished; six in columns of white, the seventh in a flash of silver.

Never had the living room of Mr. Alligood's house seemed such a safe haven before. We collapsed onto whatever piece of furniture was closest; in Gayla's case the floor, with an audible whoosh. Several minutes passed by, spent staring in awe at Suzanne and the crystal she had called forth. It twinkled softly in the palm of her hand now, a precious and priceless jewel that she gazed at lovingly. It was intimidating and a little frightening to think there was now a Ranger within our midst. One by one we struggled to accept the abrupt change, even as Suzanne began speaking softly. Her tone was one of amazement, and the exhaustion I had noted earlier was much worse now, as if dealing with all the changes had taken even more of her strength. "In all my dreams, never did I once REALLY believe this could come true. I am the Silver Ranger, Sisters! And Billy seems as taken with me here as in my stories. . . " her voice trailed off as a serious expression came over her face. "There is something we really need to discuss. How about it, Sisterhood? How many will remain with me and how many will go? Before it was such an easy question, we would all stay, of course. Now it is different; I'm a Ranger, and all of you are targets for Mondo and his Cogs. Kidnap one of you, and it leaves me paralyzed," she grimaced. "But to return, you have to take a Ranger with you. Must I give up this dream to put you back where you belong? Oh, Sisters, how selfish I'm feeling! I don't want to leave this dimension!" She seemed near tears, and in her weakened state it was not healthy for her to be so upset.

Our Caffeine Ranger leapt to the rescue, literally and figuratively. Rianna bounded from her seat and very nearly charged into the conversation, "If there is anyone that wishes to leave, you will have to go through me first, and I ain't gonna make it easy! We started this together and we'll finish it together or by my vow, I'll find out why! This is the Sisterhood, not some sorority you join in college for prestige!" She stamped one foot threateningly, glaring around at us as we gathered in a cluster around Suzanne, searching for the slightest signs of 'treason' from any of us. When she found none, she relaxed and said, "I just KNEW we all had good common sense!"

Laughter erupted. When we could breathe again, Gayla jumped to her feet and said, "Hail to our Silver Ranger! Long may she reign!" She made an extravagant bow in Suzanne's direction, and then curtsied for good measure. Her words and actions were done jokingly, of course. But the message was clear, we were behind her 150% and we intended to stay that way. Even I decided, then and there, to remain in this dimension. What would life be like without this rambunctious group to enliven things? I abruptly realized I never wanted to find out.

Jokes flew and Suzanne endured more teasing than I thought possible. Billy figured prominently in the conversation, and before long we had her blushing furiously. As much as I hated to break the playful mood everyone was in, I brought up a very touchy issue, "I hate to do this, I really do, but can you maintain your job and still be a Ranger?" The Sisterhood pondered this over and decided there was no help for it, she was going to have to quit. The rest of us could easily support her, but this notion made her squirm guiltily.

"I can't ask that of you, and you very well know that," she finally said quietly.

"Then don't ask," Kahva snapped at her. "If we didn't want to do it, then we wouldn't have suggested it at all. We would like to help whatever way we can, and if freeing up your time is it, then so be it. And quit arguing with us, you AREN'T going to win this one, Sister dear."

Jaycynda broke her silence to say to Suzanne softly, "Do this for us, Sister. We have put our hearts in the right place, which is behind you, so don't turn down our offer. It is the only way." She moved to sit beside Suzanne on the sofa, and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, "You have training to endure, and there is no such thing as time off for a Ranger. You will be on call night and day, seven days a week, twelve months of the year. You will need the breathing space. Besides, all joking aside, you and Billy are going to need time to sort out your relationship. Oh! That reminds me, you and Tommy are probably related! You'll need time with him and his brother as well!"

Suzanne leveled a finger at Kahva, "And we need to discuss your pedigree with Zordon as well, ShadowKeeper! There is a remote chance you could have the essence of his daughter, you know. Which could mean that you actually can open portals. . . Oh, Goddess!" At our alarm, she threw up her hands and exclaimed, "We have to rewrite the 'Silver Flame' Series! It's the only way we can determine what changes we have to deal with! Oh, so much to do!" She buried her face in her hands and sighed, "I always knew that story would be the death of me one day, and having to rewrite it just might be the cause."

"Which means you most certainly have to quit your job!" Gayla stated firmly. Once more, it took all six of us to pound an agreement out of her, but she was so tired the battle only lasted a scant hour. Triumphant, we packed her off to bed, and spent a very pleasant two hours filling each other in on our potential romances. Gayla and Rianna had a shooting match over which one would get Adam, and Rianna won without any trouble. Which is just as well, because I think Gayla really wants Rocky in the first place. The only drawback to the Blue Ranger was his appetite; Gayla wasn't sure if she could afford to feed him for long! Through all the laughter though, I could spot Kahva's eyes struggling to stay open, and as I watched her surreptitiously, I realized her yawns were becoming more frequent.Perhaps we should have sent her off to bed as well, she's not a fighter like Suzanne. But I knew that she would have most likely refused any efforts to bundle her off, Kahva has always put everyone else before herself in all the time that I have known her. Then again, we have all been doing that, before we ever even met face to face. I'll say it again, God or Goddess help the poor fool who tries to harm the Sisterhood! Attack one, you've got the other six breathing down your neck. . . and now perhaps, the Power Rangers as well?

The conversation turned serious after awhile. The one question plaguing us was, who was the DreamWeaver? With a face-splitting yawn that had Rianna joking about seeing our old dimension at the back of it, Kahva pointed to me and said simply, "Ivy's out of the picture, because she is the only one who really isn't into the Rangers' world. She got dragged along with us, and only has one character very loosely based on her. The only trouble is, I have never heard any of the rest of you; Rianna, Katie, Jaycynda, or Gayla, make any mention of adding such an ability to their stories."

The four named shook their heads, none had planned such a character. "Where, then, could that have come from?" Katie asked in exasperation. "The rest of the prophecy actually makes sense. . ."

Suddenly Rianna bolted up from the armchair she had thrown herself into and squealed. Clapping our hands over our ears didn't help much against the noise, but she quieted down after she noticed our reaction. "I'm sorry, but something just occurred to me. 'The DreamWeaver spins the Threads of Fate -- weaving them strand by strand '," she quoted. "That means somehow, someone set up not only our arrival in this dimension and the events that would lead up to Suzanne becoming a Ranger, but also the discovery of the others' powers. Can the Dream-Weaver do this through dreams?" The idea was a creditable one, and we debated it over. No answers were forthcoming, however; the only ones noted for dreams were Kahva and Ivy, and Kahva was already the ShadowKeeper. The prophecy stated very clearly that the DreamWeaver was a separate person.

It was very late by then, and we called a halt to the night's discussion. "Let's deal with this tomorrow, when we aren't so sleepy as to be cross-eyed," Jay suggested with a huge yawn. "All of this will still be here to puzzle over tomorrow. Besides, we have the Rangers now, and they are much better at figuring things out than we are. I mean, isn't this more up Billy's alley, saving the whole world by finding out how to reverse this or that spell?" What were we to do but agree? Jaycynda's parting comment would linger in our minds for the week to come, "We might as well not worry about any of this anyway. Whoever the DreamWeaver turns out to be has already made plans in advance for us. How else could we all have gotten jobs the same day we arrived? We had no references and no transportation, yet they were ready to hire us on the spot. Seem kinda strange to you? Funny that it didn't occur to us then that our hiring was a little odd. DreamWeaver again, you suppose?" Caught in mid-yawn, Kahva turned on the stairs to answer that comment, and nearly did a nose dive back down the staircase. Her surprise at actually catching her balance sent her into a nonsensical routine about maybe she should try out for a circus act, as she either forgot what she was going to say to Jay, or had thought better of it. As we all climbed the stairs, Katie and myself keeping an eye on Kahva to make sure she made the climb without falling, Jay half-accused us of running from the question.

Nevertheless, we went to bed in high spirits, choosing to ignore the sharp retort in Jay's voice, each dreaming of next Saturday. I felt sure all the repercussions of the night would hit us later in the week, but for now, everything was just peachy-keen. My only regret was Suzanne's job -- she really seemed to enjoy it and the people she worked with. But I thought it best to end that entanglement while she could; before her life began as a Ranger.

And speaking of Rangers, What am I to do with this phone number? Like I'm really going to pick up the phone and call the Red Ranger. What would I say, 'Hi there, Tommy. I'd like to meet you for a pizza and a movie. Think you can call off the Cogs for next Thursday night?' Yeah, right! My last conscious thought was; What in the world am I going to wear to the workout?

Silence reigned throughout the Power Chamber after the young women left

All the Rangers looked at each other, a bit overwhelmed by the night's events. What had started out as a simple 'lets find out about them' mission had turned into something completely unexpected. The question of who had come through the portal was answered, but the WHY still remained. And now they suddenly had a new teammate and six other people who knew their identities. There were too many questions begging for answers and no one knew where to begin. Jason finally asked what all of them were thinking, "Okay, what do we do next?" He fixed a determined stare on Tommy.

Tommy gazed back at his old friend and wished for a magic answer, but he had none to give. He had a faint idea of what had happened, and was happening, but he dared not voice it just yet, "I wish I knew, Jason. But we can't do anything more until they come to terms with all this. Kat, front and center!" The Pink Ranger stepped up to him, her face reflecting her misery. "Just what in the world did you think you were doing when you all but attacked them?"

Shamefaced, she nonetheless looked him straight in the eye, "I'm sorry, Tommy. But with everything that was going on, I guess I just lost it there for a moment. The only person that's ever found out about us is your brother, and that was for his own safety so he wouldn't go tearing after Mondo for 'capturing' his brother. That seven people not only knew, but were in the Power Chamber just frightened me. You know how I react when I'm frightened."

"Yeah," Adam said with a grin, "You go attacking windmills with a lance, Ms. Don Quixote."

The comment got a few laughs from the rest of the Rangers. "And I'll make it up to them, trust me. They're incredibly brave, choosing to stay here," Kat said, proud of the Sisterhood in spite of her earlier accusations.

"It's not courage that keeps them here. It's love," Rocky said. All looked at him in surprise, so he attempted to explain, "You saw the awed looks they were giving Suzanne. And you saw her as well, how proud she was when she pledged herself to Zordon and our fight. They won't do anything that could make her give that up, even if it means staying in a world where they don't belong. The Sisterhood protects and supports their own. They'll stand behind Suzanne no matter what the cost to them, personally."

"You know," Tanya said after a suitable interval, "I think he may be right. I'd stand behind any of us the same way. Why think they'd do less? They did leap into a battle they were ill-prepared to join just to help Suzanne and Kahva."

"She's right, and so is Rocky. There's nothing to do but accept them, and quite frankly, I feel honoured to know them. How would we react to such a drastic change in our lives? I'm not sure if I posses the courage to do what they've done," Jason admitted.

"Of course you would, you ninny. You're a Power Ranger, which by its very definition makes you certifiably insane. I thought you knew that," Tommy told the Gold Ranger, surpressing his grin at Jason's hard stare.

Kat yawned and stretched, then linked her arm into Tanya's, "Okay, that's it. You guys are keeping us from our beauty rest. If you want to beat this issue into the ground, do it by yourselves. Coming, Tanya? I told Mom I'd have guests. She won't be the least bit disappointed that it's only one instead of the eight I was trying for."

"You were going to invite the Sisterhood for a sleep over?" Adam asked.

"Yep. And I still might. It could be just the way to let them get over my temper tantrum. Good night, all. See you in the workout tomorrow morning." She leveled a finger at Tommy, "If you're late again I'm going to shave you bald, you hear? I stood out there for nearly twenty minutes last weekend, and if you're so much as five minutes late, I'm heading home and going back to bed!" With that threat, she and Tanya disappeared in columns of pink and yellow light. But Tanya's parting giggle echoed about the Chamber, her response to Kat's ultimatum.

Tommy had a wry grin on his face, "First I scold her, then she scolds me. Why can't I ever seem to win? Just once I'd like to be triumphant in an argument with her. Just once."

"Give it up. No man ever truly wins an argument with a woman. Surely you know that," Adam teased. "I gave that up a little while ago."

"And now we come to the amusing part of this conversation: Billy, have you lost your mind? I've never seen you go after a woman the way you've launched yourself after Suzanne. Man, for a while there I was afraid to leave her alone with you," Jason teased with a smirk at the Sapphire Ranger.

"No, not my mind, just my heart,"' Billy told him quite seriously. "And so have you, by the way. I don't know if I'd unmorph until you know Kahva better, though. That was some growl she had going when she was fighting over you."

Jason actually blushed, remembering his response to Kahva's ripped skirt. Trying to take the heat off himself, he shrugged and casually remarked. "Yeah, it was sort of like facing Tommy when he's mad. I think they have identical icy cold tempers." He looked at the Red Ranger, fully expecting Tommy to retaliate for the comment.

But the leader of the Rangers had other things on his mind at that moment. Tommy nudged Adam and said in a sly tone, "And I think our Romeo here has fallen, too. I must say, keeping Rianna out of trouble ought to keep you well amused."

"And Ivy?" Adam asked lightly. "Don't play innocent with me, I know you too well. Billy was subtlety in the extreme compared to your campaign with Ivy." He grinning at Tommy's blush, "Maybe she can convince you to be somewhere on time. She doesn't seem the type to appreciate your chronic lateness."

"Can she succeed where Kat has failed? Tune in to the next episode of 'As the Rangers Argue'. Excuse me, but I'm going to bed before the teasing hits me next. Night all," and Rocky was gone in a flash of blue light, hightailing it out of the Power Chamber before he could be teased over Gayla and his powerful attraction to her.

"You know, Rocky may seem a little dense sometimes but he's actually quite intelligent. That was a pretty smart move, leaving before we could lay into him. I think I'll follow his example Night, guys. See you in the morning," and Jason started to leave. His hand hovered over his communicator, then dropped as he moved to Tommy. Quietly, for Tommy's ears only, he spoke. "Just one thing for you to think about, oh fearless leader," he said with a slight trace of sarcasm, "You've got a new Ranger now, have you given any thought as to what position she's going to hold in our group?"

"I haven't had a chance to think of any positions, Jason. Zordon was the one who invited her into the group. Why, did you have a suggestion?"

"Just this: just because one can be made into a Ranger overnight, that does not a good Ranger make," his voice was flat and emotionless, causing Tommy to give him a very hard look. "Think about it, Red Ranger. She's got an awful lot to learn, and depending on how ticked off Mondo ends up after that failed kidnapping attempt, an extremely short time to learn it. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a Power Ranger." Jason straightened up and began to speak in a normal voice, "And now I'll take my leave before someone teases me more about Kahva," and he was gone as well.

"Cowards," Adam scoffed. "Darn if I don't agree with them, though. Good night!" He teleported away, leaving Tommy and Billy by themselves.

"After tonight, I'm not sure if my brain is still here. I think I've been singed," Billy told Tommy after considering the situation for a moment in silence.

"The only thing I'm sure of is we're too tired to think anything through clearly. We need to go home and get some sleep, and maybe tomorrow we'll have a better idea of where we go from here." He exchanged a knowing glance with Billy. "You thinking what I'm thinking? Tommy asked him.

"I think so, Brain. But how do we get the aardvarks to dance like that?" Billy joked. Then he got serious, "Most likely. We can both agree we have some changes in store, and if the prophecy is any indication, they may already be happening." Neither voiced the thought those very changes may have taken place a long time ago. "But I want to sleep on it before I say anything more. I'll see you tomorrow, bright and early. Don't forget Kat's warning. With all that's happening, I really don't want to add 'look for a new leader' to the things-to-do list." With that, the Sapphire Ranger teleported home, leaving Tommy alone with Zordon and Alpha. For long moments he studied the Power Chamber; its muted lights, the soft mechanical hum from the consoles, the diffused glow of Zordon's warp. In times past, the Chamber's safety had brought him peace, but now he felt trapped by both it and the duty it represented. He watched unseeing as Alpha made minute adjustments to this scanner, recalibrated that sensor, checked this reading, quietly aye-yi-yi-ing to himself all the while. Then Tommy squared his shoulders and approached Zordon purposefully. A thought had wormed its way into his mind as first Suzanne, Jaycynda, then Kahva had spoken so candidly about the stories all of them had written. About how things in them were here, in this dimension, things that should have remained fantasy. Things that had no explanation, and could not be counted mere coincidence.

Zordon had seen that look on the young leader's face before, when Tommy first began the search for David Trueheart -- that frightened but still determined expression that reflected the inner strength he possessed, YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY DEEPLY TROUBLED, TOMMY.

It wasn't easy to say the words that made his fears sound like an accusation, but he had no other choice. He faced his mentor squarely and asked honestly, "We've been altered by those stories, haven't we, Zordon?"


"But I heard Suzanne. Surely we've been changed by her stories, too, if it is truly within her power to do so. I don't think anyone picked up on this but Billy, though." he said quietly.


But Tommy deliberately ignored the subtle reprimand and continued to ponder the issue, trying to puzzle his way through the complicated maze presented to him yet again. He and David had torn the prophecy apart time after time, and never made any sense of it. Now, however, he had some inkling of what it meant, and just who it involved. "So from what we've learned, the Gold is Jason, just as I first guessed. And from what the Sisterhood has revealed, the Shadow-Keeper is Kahva. The Gemstone is bound to mean sapphire, just as David told me earlier, and Suzanne is now the Silver Ranger, so the Gemstone to the SilverFlame is Billy and Suzanne. David is the Seeker that is 'True of Heart', and Kahva admitted Jaycynda is the AuraReader, so David to Jaycynda." Tommy gave a sudden, quiet laugh, "I pity him there, that is one feisty red-head. But the Falcon to the DreamWeaver has me stumped. Jaycynda says there is no such character in their stories, and she has absolutely no reason to lie about that. So why am I so attracted to Ivy? She walked into my line of sight and just destroyed both my sense and my will power. It just doesn't make sense. Unless. . . she showed no power readings at all, did she?" The hope in his voice died at Zordon's negative answer. With a sigh he continued in self-reproach, "And I can't believe I gave Suzanne my phone number and practically ordered her to give it to Ivy. She should have slapped me in the face for that one."

Before his mind could play anymore guessing games, Zordon's voice broke into his chain of thoughts, TOMMY, TO CONTINUE TO WORRY AT THIS TIME WILL DO YOU NO GOOD. I MUST INSIST YOU GO HOME AND REST, FOR YOU NEED YOUR SLEEP JUST AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE, THAN THE OTHERS.

Tommy rarely disobeyed his mentor, but he refused to back down this time, "David has already covered for me with my parents, so they aren't expecting me home any time soon. And I'm not really that tired, Zordon." The last was a lie; he was exhausted. "This really must be thought out. I have to decide what to do and how to approach the other Rangers with this. Maybe Billy can help me define this better. . ."


And reluctantly, Tommy teleported home, his mind still awash with the confusing and conflicting thoughts. He collapsed into bed and spent the night enveloped by dreams of the Prophecy, the new Silver Ranger, and her friends. Especially the one named Ivy Tant%#233;. . . Suzanne is a witch, he thought sleepily, perhaps she will loan me her crystal ball for awhile. What a silly thought, Thomas. She needs it too much right now to let you borrow it. . .

As it turned out, Billy spent the rest of the night going over all the readings Alpha had taken on the Sisterhood. Suzanne, Kahva, and Jaycynda all showed up as having power of various strengths, while the others were normal. Which really puzzled him. The DreamWeaver was listed first in the prophecy. Why, then, did none of the others display any power readings? Did the DreamWeaver NOT make it over into this dimension? He was so tired the questions seemed almost to taunt him. Surely the answer was right in front of his face, so why couldn't he open his eyes and see it? Tommy will skin me alive if I don't get some rest tonight, he thought. There was so much on his mind right at that moment, it was all he could do to concentrate on the problem. Suzanne, especially. But the curious puzzle beckoned to him, and he was soon absorbed in the scans once more, never noticing the sun was beginning to rise. . .

And all the while, Mondo plotted. . .

Klank ducked a flying Cog leg only to receive its mate right across his face, but the harsh, vibrating -clang- of metal striking metal could barely be heard over the grating mechanical bellowing that reverberated through the Throne Room. Mondo paused in his tirade only long enough to rip an arm off another of his unfortunate henchidiots. He violently shook it in the direction of his cringing majordomo, "Why didn't you teleport them?!" The scream echoed and re-echoed about Mondo as he threw down the severed arm and railed at Klank, "We had them! They were as good as mine! Why aren't they here bowing to me in fear and terror?! Give me an answer or I'll rip you apart!"

"Sire, I dinna know!" Desperately he tried to convince his King he had nothing to do with the failure of the mission. "Something, a shield of some kind, prevented me from getting them!" Seeing that Mondo was actually willing to listen to a reason made him continue, "It must have been those blasted Rangers, your Worship! Only they could know enough to think to protect them!" Klank forgot his fear enough to let loose with his own anger and frustration. He'd done every thing but rip out his power core and wire that into the machine, but nothing had worked! How had the Rangers managed to shield the women?! Just as Mondo had so carefully planned, the Cogs had hit without warning. The women been nabbed, trussed up, and ready for delivery in less that two minutes. Klank had felt so proud of the Cogs he'd especially trained for this important mission. Then came the heartrending downfall; Klank had managed to teleport up every single Cog, be it whole or not -- except the ones holding the prisoners. Whatever shielding protected the women also prevented him from getting the Cogs accompanying the captives.

Mondo was staring down at the Earth, still fuming, but accepting of the fact the Rangers had foiled his plans yet again, "They must know of the power readings, then. Nothing else could make them important enough to go through all that trouble. What I can't understand is why they let the other children join them in the park. The Rangers are always so sentimental when it comes to. . . What is that phrase I'm looking for, Klank?"

Anger was still evident in Mondo, but it was directed towards Earth now, and those pesky Rangers. Klank answered his now-safe King without hesitation, "I think it's 'innocent by-standers' my liege. I'd like to run through the battle once more, if I may. I took readings all through it, and they may give you some answers."

"Do it," Mondo growled out, still glaring at the blue orb suspended in space below him. That world should already be mine! he thought furiously. Instead, I'm up to my optical circuits in coloured freaks who live only to defy me, it seems! I must get rid of those Rangers, and Zordon of Eltar along with them! Surely there is a way! Across the room Klank made a puzzled sound. "Well, what is it?" Mondo ground out. At times Klank was a nuisance, engrossing himself in these trivial little details that irritated the devil out of his King. Still, he was useful. . . sometimes. . .

"I'm not sure if you will find this helpful, my King, but I scanned the Rangers right along with the other children," Klank started.

A low, impatient growl rumbled from somewhere deep inside of the mechanical overlord, and it threatened to rattle the entire room. Why is he wasting my time?! "Get to the point if you want all your limbs to stay attached!"

Klank stilled his knees with effort so they wouldn't shake and make Mondo even angrier, then gave his startling findings, "One of the children is showing the same power levels as the Rangers themselves."

"WHAT?" Mondo demanded as he whirled around to confront his majordomo. "The very same levels, Klank? And she didn't morph during the fight?!" The knowledge all but blanked Mondo's circuits for a moment, then he gave an evil chuckle, "THAT'S why they were protecting them! One of them is going to be a Ranger! Which one is it, Klank? Which of these lovely children is about to become my very own Ranger?" Mondo asked eagerly.

"I'm not sure, Sire. The two with the most power were never separated during the fighting. But one was much better in the battle, and even tried to protect the less skilled one. See?" Klank asked as he replayed that bit of the park fiasco. Mondo growled a little at how the Rangers had destroyed yet another of his tools, but saw Klank's point. The tall one with all the hair was by far the better of the two, and had shielded the other from as much as she could.

Mondo rubbed his hands together with glee, "Then bring her to me as soon as you can. If you can avoid using excessive force, then do it. I want her as my Ranger as quickly as possible. Willing or nay, she will be mine, but having her cooperate would be a bigger blow to the Rangers. She's not from this dimension, so she might not have liked the Rangers' tactics. If we can drive a wedge between her and those coloured pests, all the better."

"But she's rarely alone, Sire. It took a week just to find this opportunity as it is," Klank warned, not wanting Mondo to expect instant results. We only stumbled onto one of those girls having power because I just happened to make a sweep for anything at all different in Angel Grove after that portal appeared. When I checked our readings after we failed to get the red-haired one at the park a few days ago, they registered two more of them, and with even higher levels. . . and tonight was the first time I managed to sort out which two they were! I'm not a miracle worker, you blustering pile of circuits! he mentally screamed at his master. But Klank knew better than to lose his temper with his King, and continued calmly, "They're on their guard now. Any further attacks will have to be carefully planned out and executed without the slightest error. You know how cautious the Rangers get when they know you're up to something."

He brushed that aside as if it had no bearing on the situation, "Then grab one of her little friends. The one she protected, or the one we went after in the first place who has the red hair. I'm sure our future Ranger will trade herself for them if she's made to understand they don't have any uses except for your experiments. You'd like some new pets, wouldn't you Klank?"

"Oh, yes Sire!" Klank answered eagerly, and looked down at Earth in exactly the same fashion Mondo was. Experimenting on live subjects always thrilled him, the majordomo loved to push them past their pain thresholds. Together, King Mondo and Klank stood gazing down at the unsuspecting world, already planning what they would do when it was finally theirs. Mondo laughed for the first time in days, already happily plotting away.

"Yes. . . Either she will be mine, or one of the others if you can't get her; I'd prefer the one she protected tonight though, Klank. That one is showing a level at half the power of a Ranger, and I would dearly love to know the reason why." Having them both would be perfect, but I can't plan on that just now. One slave at a time, I always say, he thought to himself. Mondo chuckled darkly as he stared at the blue and green orb his Skybase orbited. "And half a possible Ranger is better than none, after all. . ."


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