Aisha Campbell stood by her locker Monday morning. ''God, I hate Mondays.'' She thought. For an Angel Grove student, it wasn`t the school or the teachers. It was the Monday part.
It wasn`t Halloween, but the play her junior class was putting on was set on Halloween, and it brought everything back. The stuff that happened in Stone Canyon and Tommy`s death six months ago. She saw one of her friends, Jason Scott up ahead and called, ''Jason! It`s Aisha!''
Jason waltzed over, humming a song. It was ''Count on Me.'' _The_ song. The last song she had danced to with Gibson. Oh God! Force it out! She commanded herself. Jason said, ''Heya. Zup? Monday Blues?''
Aisha nodded. ''Pretty much. You seen your woman? She`s got my English homework.'' She slammed her locker door shut.
Jason shook his head. ''No, but have you seen Zack? We`ve got a government test to study for. And knowing your man in Gov., he`s going to need a lot of help.'' He smiled and they laughed.
Aisha felt glad to have such good friends and a good boyfriend. She was even a Power Ranger! Her life was good. She had two best girlfriends and Zack. Her boyfriend. At least he was alive. In Stone Canyon........ ''No!'' She screeched. Ooops, had she said that out loud?
Jason looked puzzled. ''Aisha? Are you OK? No to what? I didn`t ask you a question. Jeez, you`re jumpy today!''
Aisha felt one of the dizzy spells come on, and she clutched Jason`s arm. She panicked at first, and then she tried to ride it out. But then the headache came, and she had to sit down.
Jason was getting worried. ''Are you sure you`re OK? You`re not sick or something, are you? I`ll be happy to help you to the clinic.''
Aisha quickly shook her head. ''I get these dizzy spells. And headaches. But it`s gone. I`ll be OK.''
Jason asked, ''Are you sure?'' He looked deep into her soft brown eyes. ''I`m here for you.'' He added, ''Oh, hey, girl!''
Kimberly Hart, his girlfriend and Aisha`s best friend, had approached. ''Hey.'' She kissed Jason hello and noticed Aisha. ''And are you OK, Aisha? You look pale.''
Aisha nodded. ''But I don`t want to talk about it.'' Then she ran off for math class.
Aisha sat in math class. She felt tears slide down her cheeks. She tried to stop the flow of memories, but they just came................
Aisha and her friends Rocky De Santos, Adam Park, and Shawnya Mills were all in English class. There was a Halloween dance the next night. It was all Shawnya could talk about. Aisha wasn`t sure if she was going. She was only a freshman, and they weren`t very well known. Shawnya insisted this didn`t matter.
Rocky was thinking about not going, since the girl he`d asked turned him down. His thought was, ''Why go?'' In class, he flipped Aisha a note. It read, ''Heya, girl! Wassup? Miss Belle can talk a lot, don`t ya think? I hate her. She always gives me detention duty. I hate it! Roc.''
Aisha flipped one back. It read, ''I asked Gibson Sliver to go. But I don`t know if he`ll go with me. I don`t think he will. He`s pretty cute! Roc, you should go. Adam and Shawnya and I won`t have much fun without you! Please go! Ooops, Miss Bell is looking. Gotta go! Aisha.''
All of a sudden, Aisha was transported back to class. Math. 94. Boy, where did _that_ memory come from? The dance hadn`t been until the next night!
As she left the class, she thought, ''The guys can never know. Kim and Trini either. Their lives would be threatened. I can`t let that happen.'' She was so lost in thought, she was startled when Billy Mitchell, a good friend, popped in front of her. ''Why, hello, Aisha. Are you of good health? Jason informed me that you fainted.''
She nodded. ''Yeah, but I`m OK now. How are you? Did you try out for the play?'' God, did she _have_ to mention the play?
Billy nodded and began to talk as Aisha`s mind wondered...........
Rocky stopped Aisha after class. ''If she wasn`t such an asshole, I wouldn`t piss her off!'' He informed her, speaking of the note Aisha had passed him.
Adam asked, ''Miss Bell? God, she gets on my nerves. She lectures too much. Like she owns us or something.''
Rocky put his arm around Adam`s shoulders. ''Listen to this boy, Aisha. He`s smart. So, Adam. Are you hooked up for the dance?''
Adam slid Rocky`s arm off. ''No. I`m not. But there is one girl I want to go with.'' He looked at Shawnya, who was talking on his cell.
Rocky laughed. ''Ask her, duh!''
Aisha watched with interest as Rocky started propelling Adam towards Shawnya.
She was bolted out of her reverie when Billy tapped her arm. ''Aisha? Are you all right? Jason told me, as he put it, 'spacey.'"
Aisha nodded. ''Thanks for asking. Hey, I`m meeting Zack, Kim, Jase, and Trini at the Youth Center after school. Wanna come along?''
Billy got out his orginizer and flipped through it. ''Oh, I have to decline. I am supposed to go to my grandmother`s.''
Aisha smiled. ''OK. Say, have you seen Zack or Jason?'' (both boys are working on the sets for the play.)
Billy thought for a minute. ''I believe Jason is in the gym and Zack is in Math.''
Aisha smiled. ''Thanks, Billy. I`ve gotta go.''
Kimberly stood in the gym, trying to figure out where the sets for the play should go. As a set designer, she was in charge of where everything should go. The play was called ''On Halloween,'' and it was about four kids and their siblings who go and get attacked by ghosts in the cemetary. It was pretty good. Trini was the only one acting in the play.
Jason snuck up behind her and slipped his arms around her waist. ''Heya, girl!'' he kissed her cheek.
''Hey! When does study hall end?'' She kissed him back.
''Uh, twenty minutes. I have gym this period. The play isn`t for three weeks. Why are we working on setting it up now?''
Kimberly made a notation on the pad she was carrying. ''We`re not. I`m making a floor plan. Duh!'' she kissed him again. ''Too bad making out is illegal on school grounds.''
Jason took her in his arms. ''Are you sure about that?''
Needless to say, the play wasn`t worked on much.
Lunch soon came. Aisha, Trini, Billy, and Zack were the 1st to arrive. They waited on Kim and Jason. Zack smiled and made jokes. But Aisha`s mind was far away........................................
Adam found the courage to ask out Shawnya. She accepted. Gibson Silver said yes to Aisha`s request. Aisha and Shawnya were searching for last minute dresses. Neither had found anything. That is, until Aisha spotted a lepard print dress. There were one each in both girls' sizes. True, the girls don`t normally dress alike, but it being a Halloween dance, they could say they came as twins! Shawnya wasn`t so keen on the idea. ''I don`t know, girl. I love the dress, but.....''
Aisha pleaded, ''Come on, girl! We can be twins! It`ll be cool, and I bet we`ll win most orginal costumes!''
''Mmmmmmmmm, ok. But only cuz I`m your best girl.''
''Great, but I believe that`s my size. Not yours!''
Aisha awoke with a start. ''Sorry, Jase. It`s just, never mind.''
Jason smiled. ''Come on, you can tell us anything.''
Beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep went their communicators.
''Great! Just what we need!'' Zack cried. ''A monster attack during school!''
Jason looked suprised. ''You didn`t know? Someone should have told you. Zedd hates us.''
Zack gasped. ''He does? Damn! I was going to invite him to my wedding!'' They laughed and teleported to the Command Center.
Zordon welcomed them. Then he informed them, ''Alpha and I have found traces of poison in two of you Rangers. I got a message from one of my friends from Aquatar telling me that Zedd released a poison into you Rangers. He is working for a woman named Scorpina.''
Aisha gasped. ''Scorpina'' was familar. Why? Did she know a
''Scorpina?'' Kimberly asked, ''Well, Zordon, what two Rangers is it?''
Zordon replied, ''It`s Jason and Zack, Kimberly.''
Aisha finally found why Scorpina was so familar. It had been Shawnya`s middle name! She was making sure Aisha never told anyone about that awful night................ Aisha said aloud, ''Zordon, I know who Scorpina is. And it`s all my fault that she`s doing this.''
Jason quickly said, ''Aisha! No it`s not.''
Zack added, ''Yeah. Don`t think like that! It`s not your fault. Don`t be crazy!''
Aisha began her story. ''Back in Stone Canyon two years ago, there was this girlfriend I had named Shawnya. She was the best friend I`d ever had. We`d been friends since kindergarten. Then, at our Halloween dance freshman year, everything changed. She and my friends Adam and Rocky and I were all going to the dance. Adam and her were going together, and I was going with Gibson Silver, and Rocky was going alone.
''Anyway, Shawnya was having a great time, until she noticed _I_ was with Gibson. She had this huge crush on Gibson. So she dragged him to the bathroom and stabbed him to death. I was the only one who knew.'' She paused.
Zack was serious for once. ''Aisha, baby, what does that have to do with Scorpina and the poison?''
Aisha replied, ''Shawnya`s middle name was Scorpina. Her parents were hippies.''
She continued, ''And there was this song.'' her voice almost broke.
''Count on me. It`s kind of ironic, cuz Shawnya sang it to me at the dance. It was the last dance I danced to with Gibson.''
Jason said, ''No wonder you looked so freaked when I was humming it this morning!''
Aisha nodded. ''Yes. I`ll play it for you.'' She reached into her overall pockets and removed a tape. She let out a breath and continued, ''It`s Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans.''
She popped in the tape and pushed play. Music filled the air.
I can see it`s hurtin you
I can feel the pain.
It`s hard to see the sunshine through the rain, oh
I know sometimes it seems as if it`s never gonna end
, Just don`t give in cause you can
Count on me through thick and thin,
A friendship that will never end,
when you are weak, I will be strong,
Helping you to carry on,
Call on me, I will be there, Don`t be afraid.....''
Aisha just sniffled. Zordon interrupted the quiet. ''I`d also like to introduce the new Green Ranger. I know you wanted to wait until after Tommy`s death wasn`t so fresh, and I did. It`s been six months. So, meet the new green ranger!''
A figure stepped from the shadows. It removed it`s helmet. Long red hair fell around it`s shoulders and green eyes danced. The beautiful face was radiant, and she was smiling. ''Hi, I`m Kellie John. Nice to meet you!''
The Rangers' mouths dropped. Zordon quickly explained, ''I know boys usually fill this role, but Kellie was perfect. And she won`t be in any harm.''
Jason stepped forward and offered his hand for Kellie to shake. ''Hi, I`m Jason Scott. I`m the red ranger. It`s nice to meet you. Then he felt a stab of pain. He fell to the floor. ''The poison must be working.'' He continued, painfully.
Kimberly dropped to the floor next to him and kissed his cheek. Zack soon fell, also. Aisha, feeling helpless, asked, ''Zordon? Is there an antidote for this poison?''
Zordon nodded. ''Yes, Aisha. You and one other ranger should go get it. It`s in the dark dimmension, since Scorpina is working with Zedd.''
Kellie quickly volunteered. ''I`ll go with Aisha, since I`m new. I`ll be able to show you my talents.''
Aisha agreed, and quickly morphed. ''Stegasaurus!'' She cried. Then Zordon sent them to the dark dimmension.
When they arrived, the two girls looked around. Kellie said, ''This place is definitely weird.''
Aisha nodded. ''You said it, girlfriend.''
It was pretty dark and gloomy, obviously. Kellie commented, ''Well, Zordon didn`t say it was anywhere in particular, so let`s start looking.''
While the girls combed the whole dimmension, Kimberly sighed and stood up just as the alarm sounded. ''Oh God! Not now! Only, Billy, Trini, and I can go!'' she exclaimed.
Zordon said, ''Aisha and Kellie can join you when they return, so please don`t, as you would say, 'freak out.' ''
Jason groaned as he felt another stab of pain and tried to get up.
Zack saw him and cried, ''Bro, what the hell are you doing?''
Jason replied, ''I`m going to fight. If I`m gonna die, I`m going to die fighting!''
Trini squealed, ''Jason! No! You shouldn`t. It`s too dangerous! The poison will probably spread!''
Kimberly nodded. ''No way, Jason Lucas Scott!'' She scolded. ''Your butt is staying right here.''
The viewing globe showed as ugly woman in a yellow getup terrorizing Angel Grove. She was in the park. Kimbrly, angered, said, ''All right! It`s morphin` time!''
Trini: ''Saber-toothed Tiger!''
Jason and Zack watched and wished them good luck as they departed.
Then Aisha and Kellie returned, Aisha crowing, ''We`ve got it!''
Zack cracked, ''Then baby, you`ve earned a seat next to the Zackman, cause the pain is killing me!''
Aisha and Kellie quickly gave them the antidote and they morphed.
Then the four of them joined the other three in battle. Trini yelped, ''Oh, thank goodess you guys are here! Scorpina`s a little tough!''
Scorpina saw Aisha and leered, ''Do you recogonize me, Aisha?''
Then she continued in her Shawnya voice, ''I did kill your Gibson.''
Aisha was indignant. ''Leave me alone, Shawnya! Or should I say, Scorpina?''
Scorpina said, ''I owe you big time for stealing my Gibson. If you weren`t going to give him to me, he might as well be dead.''
Kimberly was puzzled. ''Don`t you know how dumb that sounds? Gibson should be able to pick his own girlfriend.''
Scorpina jeered, ''What would _you_ know about picking somebody? You picked a dumb jock.''
This pissed off both Kimberly and Jason, so they rushed Scorpina.
She flung them to the ground and blasted them with her stingers. Then Zack and Billy rushed her and they got the same treatment. Then Kellie and Trini helped out and got double the treatment. Finally, Aisha was left alone. Her friends were lying on the ground, unable to move. She said, seething, ''You aren`t going to intimidate me any longer.''
Scorpina shot back, ''No, I`m going to kill you. Your friends will be first.''
Aisha cried, ''No! You will not! I`m tired of being afraid of you, Scorpina! You are going to leave my friends ALONE!''
Jason yelled painfully, ''You aren`t going to kill any Power Rangers today!''
Kimberly gave a loud groan. ''Ouch! Aisha, please help us! You`re the only one who isn`t injured!''
Aisha knew she had to save her friends. It wouldn`t be impossible. All she`d have to do was defeat Scorpina. That`d be easy, since she knew her weak spots. Gaining more courage, she called, ''Hey, Scorpina! Did you know that Gibson didn`t even like you? He didn`t know you were alive until you killed him.''
Scorpina winced. Aisha felt a rush of triumph. Then Scorpina shot another stinger to Zack, making the black ranger cry out in pain. ''There. That`s much better.'' Scorpina crowed.
Aisha clenched her fists and shot her blaster at Scorpina. It seemed to help, so she got out her numchucks. She quickly lashed them at her adversary, and felt a rush of power as it hit Scorpina.
Scorpina quickly turned herself into a Scorpion. Aisha called, ''I need Purple Stegasaurus Thundermegazord power now!''
Kellie managed to get up and so she called for Dragonzord. Then the two Zords got busy. Aisha had to go out after some heavy hits, so Kellie wore down Scorpina and then Aisha gave the deciding blow. Aisha gave out a loud whoop. ''Yes! I`ve defeated Scorpina! I proved myself!'' she jumped up and down.
Kellie grinned. ''So what do you think of my skills, Aisha? Think I`ll make a great green ranger?''
Aisha smiled. ''Oh, you`ll do. And we`ve got to get to know you right away!''
The two girls got the other Rangers to Zordon and Alpha`s care. Then they chatted. Aisha told her about her about her life in Stone Canyon, the dance thing, her parents' divorce, and her mother`s move to Angel Grove to become the music teacher.
Pretty soon after the girls were finshed, the other Rangers were all right. Kimberly gave Aisha a hug. ''You go, girl!'' Then she gave one to an astonished Kellie.
Jason laughed. ''Kim`s a pretty huggable person.'' He folded his arms and reguarded Kellie as she interacted with his friends. He felt resentful to her. After all, Tommy`s death was still fresh. He still wasn`t over it. Tommy had been a brother to him. There was no way he could handle a new ranger taking over Tommy`s powers! He smiled as Kellie glanced his way. Then he frowned. If he had his way, Kellie wouldn`t be a Ranger at all.
PS: Next is "A Mind Changed". It continues the saga.........