Azure headed through the park, happy for the first time in she couldn't remember when. With Aura and Billy's engagement announcement of the day before, it really did look as if things were calming down and going back to normal for the Power Rangers and all associated with them. A nasty voice, and one she knew well, shattered her joyous thoughts, however.
"Hello there, my dearest," Eric said, his usual evil grin spread across his face. For the first time, she didn't feel the gripping fear that had normally paralyzed her when she saw Eric.
"What do you want?" she asked; calmly for the first time in months she looked at him.
"What I always want: you!"
Azure shook her head harshly. "Sorry, Eric, I'm taken!" Eric grabbed her arm in a tight grip.
"I've been trying to do that, and that boyfriend of your keeps getting in the way!"
Fear crept into her voice as she asked, "Why are you doing this to me?"
Eric pulled her closer to him. "Because I love you!"
Azure glared him. She was completely and utterly sick of his games, of his toying with her, of everything he'd done to her since his return to her life. She'd had more than enough. He'd tormented her mentally, physically, and emotionally for years now, and it was going to stop!
"Get it through your thick skull that I don't love you!" with all the power she could muster, she kicked him in the 'patented Aura maneuver'. Eric backed away.
"Oooffff. . .," he glared up at her. "Why do you and your sister keep doing that?!"
"Because you deserve it!" Azure tried to break his grip on her arm, but to no avail. Eric started pulling her in closer to him again.
"Deserve it for what? Loving you?" he regretted getting her closer to him as she punched him in the stomach.
"For harassing me!"
"It's not harassment!"
"It is when the other person doesn't love you back! Take the hint, Eric!" Azure slammed her fist into his stomach one more time, tears flowing from her eyes.
"You will love me!" Eric insisted, trying to pull her in one more time for a kiss. Azure landed a punch on his chin, growling, "I don't think so!"
Eric managed to grab her wrists firmly. "You will love and marry me!" he insisted. The next words out of his mouth were far too hideous to be considered. Azure's stomach twisted as she had to listen to him, and she returned the favor by twisting Eric's arm. He hissed in anger, and started to hit her.
"It's either marry me or die!"
"I'd rather die!"
"Very well," the Z staff appeared in Eric's hands. "If that's the way you want it. If I can't have you, no one can." Azure took a deep breath, then delivered a karate kick to the staff, knocking it across the path.
"You were saying?"
"I can take you with my bare hands!" Eric challenged her. Azure laughed.
"In your dreams!" Azure launched a series of kicks that drove Eric away from the path and across into some trees.
"Hah! You'll never win, Azure! You might as well just give up and come with me willingly!" Eric laughed. Azure shook her head, hate blazing in her eyes, but strengthening her this time.
"Not while Adam is around!" Eric chuckled as the words fell from her lips.
"Not a bad idea!"
Azure growled at him, "You touch one hair on his head, I swear I'll kill you!"
Eric laughed, this was too funny! "You kill me?"
"What's so funny about that?" Azure drove a startlingly fast series of attacks at him, all of which he dodged.
"You can't kill me!"
"Why not?" Azure asked as he pushed her off her feet and hovered over her.
"Because you're either going to marry me, or die now!" Azure smiled humorlessly.
"And you are going to be singing soprano for a long time!" she kicked up and she kicked hard! Eric backed away from her, and squeaked, "Azure?"
"Yes, Eric," Azure scrambled to her feet, a warm feeling of satisfaction filling her.
"Either stop doing that or just kill me!" he demanded; he'd lost count of the number of times she or Aura had kicked him there!
Azure stepped towards him. "I think I'll just kill you!" she snarled, letting herself remember how he'd hurt her, scared her, terrified her, for years! It was time for all of that to stop! She glared with full-blown hatred at him. "This is for the nightmare you made my life!"
She was about to jump and strangle him, as he pleaded for his life. Her only reply was, "You don't deserve any better!"
"Azure!" Aura's voice broke into her rage. Azure turned, hate pouring out of her eyes, to her sister and the other Rangers. "Azure, this isn't right. I hate this scum as much as you do, but murder is never the answer."
"He killed the person I was!" Azure screamed, more pain than any of them had ever imagined in her voice. Aura responded calmly.
"Will killing him bring her back?" Azure looked from her sister to her tormentor, then back again. Adam stepped over beside her.
"Azure, don't do this, killing him would only make you more like him."
Azure stared at Adam, breathing heavily, then dropped to her knees. "Adam," she whispered as he knelt next to her in an embrace. "Oh, Azure," he said. "I love you."
Aura turned eyes as cold as winter snow on Eric. "I didn't do this because of you, don't even think that. I did it for Azure, so she wouldn't become slime like you and your father. Now get out of here!"
"This isn't the last of this!" Eric insisted. "I will have her as my own!" he teleported back to the moon a moment later. Aura shook her head.
"What a fruitcake," she sighed as she turned to Azure. "Azure?"
"I'm going to be okay," Azure looked up at her. Aura examined her closely.
"Are you sure?"
"I'll be just fine, honest," Azure promised. Aura smiled; it was good to see Azure feeling so good again.
"Good, I'm glad," Aura helped her sister to her feet. "Cause our birthday party is tomorrow!"
Azure smiled. "You know. . . I still can't believe we have the same birthday, just a year apart!"
Aura chuckled. "I can't believe that really is my birthday. I was so surprised when Mother told me that when you translate the Kalakan calendar to Earth's, that I've been celebrating the right day all along, you could have knocked me over with a feather!"
"What did you get me for my birthday, Adam?" Azure asked, grinning at her boyfriend. He chuckled.
"You'll see tomorrow!" Laughing and smiling, the shadow of Eric's presence was gone from them. * * *
Zedd watched as Eric reappeared; for one of the few times since acknowledging him, the Lord of Evil was actually annoyed with his offspring. "What happened down there?" he asked; though he'd seen everything.
"I went for Azure, and she. . . she actually hit me!" Eric sounded surprised that Azure had fought back; she'd been terrified by him for so long he'd forgotten what it was like to have her any other way.
"She did more than hit you, she almost killed you!" Zedd reminded him. Eric proved himself his father's son, though, refusing to admit defeat.
"I could've taken her!"
"How?" Zedd retorted; this was almost like arguing with Rita! "Her and her sister keep making you sing soprano! I've already given up hope of becoming a grandfather!!!"
"I still could've!"
"You should have taken some Tengas with you!"
"I don't need their help! I can take Azure on my own!"
Finster, watching from a corner, chuckled softly to himself. Like father, like son. * * *
"Come on, please!" Adam begged Aura and Azure. The two girls looked at each other; it was their birthday, but this was the first time they'd seen Adam all day, and it was almost afternoon.
"Why?" Azure asked. She had the strangest suspicion where everyone else was, but wasn't sure. Aura frowned.
"What's going on, Adam? I haven't seen Billy all day, or any of the others."
Adam smiled at her. "Everything will be explained in time, just come with me!"
Aura glanced at he sister. "Do you have any idea what's going on here?"
Azure shook her head. Aura sighed. "OK, let's get this over with."
As they walked towards the Youth Center, Azure asked her boyfriend, "Why can't you just tell us what is going on?"
Aura nodded. "This is starting to get a little scary, Adam!"
"We're almost there, calm down," Adam chuckled a bit. They had no idea what was in store for them!
"We'd better be almost there," Aura murmured as they came up into the Youth Center parking lot. No one was going in or out of it, as they usually were; it was quiet. Almost too quiet.
"Close your eyes, both of you," Adam told them. Azure was quick to protest, "I'm going to walk into something if I do!"
"Hey, come on, this is me you're with," Adam tried to reassure them. "I won't do anything to hurt you! Honest!"
Aura took Azure's hand and closed her eyes. "If we bump into anything, I'm taking it out on your hide, Adam!"
As Adam took Azure's other hand, he smiled. "We won't bump into anything. Come on," they made their way into the Youth Center and down a corridor. "All right, open them!"
As two pairs of eyes flew open, all their friends and relatives called out, "SURPRISE!"
Aura and Azure jumped a little, then looked around at the surprise party, smiling. "Woah! Whose idea was this?" Aura asked. Billy smiled as he came up to her.
"Mine and Adam's!" he was rewarded by a hug and a kiss from Aura, as Azure hugged Adam.
"You are so sweet!"
"Thanks!" Adam smiled. Tommy smiled as he joined the little group still in the doorway.
"You guys going to come and open up these gifts?" he asked. Aura exchanged a quick glance with Azure, then both of them headed for the table piled high with presents. The first thing Aura grabbed was listed for Azure, so she tossed it over to her sister. "That one's for you!"
Azure read the card, and smiled as she opened it. Inside was a pair of onyx and emerald earrings. "Oh, Adam!" she gave him another hug for the present. Aura, on the other side of the table, opened up one of her own gifts. A sparkling amber and gold engagement ring sparkled at her.
"I thought you'd like it," Billy gave her a hug, and she smiled as she saw the matching one on his own left hand. She kissed him.
"I love you, Billy!"
"I love you, too!"
Azure chuckled as she watched her sister and Billy. "They're getting sappy!" she whispered to Adam. He whispered in return, "Want to get sappy right back at them?"
As they pulled each other into yet another kiss, Azure reveled in the feel of his lips on hers, and the sweet fire that burned through her entire body with him being so near her. "Why do you have this effect on me?" she wondered.
"I don't know," Adam told her. "But I like it!" Azure chuckled and whispered, "We can continue this discussion later."
Tommy looked over at them; both couples had stopped opening presents and were now concentrating on kisses! "Would you two stop that?"
Adam laughed. "No!" he kissed Azure again; he never really wanted to let her go!
Billy glanced at Aura. "Want to follow their lead?"
Aura chuckled. "Yeah, but for now. .. this is our party, and Azure and I both want. . .," she paused dramatically, catching eyes with her sister. Together, they said, "Food!"
Azure chuckled. "You bet! That cake looks delicious!"
"Want to race me to it, Azure?" with just that, the two girls charged next to the three-layered chocolate cake sitting amidst piles of even more delicious food.
"Guys, you've got to make a wish!" Adam reminded them. Aura smiled as she took Billy's hand.
"You can do it, Azure. I have everything I want."
The younger girl looked around at everyone. "There is only one thing I want, besides what I have," she said as she hugged Adam yet again.
"What's that?" he asked.
Azure looked down, guilt passing over her features for a moment. "Justice to be served," Adam lifted her head and kissed her.
"One day, it will be."
Aura nodded. "Somehow, in someway, it will be, Azure."
Azure smiled. "I know. Let's eat!"
As the party got into full swing, the two Robinson girls and their friends were able to forget for a little while that they were also the defenders of the Earth, the Power Rangers.
This forgetting would not, could not, last forever. * * *
"So it's their birthday!" Zedd peered down at Earth. "Let's make this a celebration they won't forget!"
"What do you have in mind, my evil husband?" Rita asked, glaring at the happy events below. She'd never had a birthday party; the closest she'd ever come was when Finster had made a monster for her birthday.
"The Rangers are into saving the Earth, either the environment or as Rangers," Zedd mused. "What if we make a monster that causes earthquakes? The damage it will create will be devastating!"
"I love the way your evil mind works, Zedd!" Rita cackled evilly.
"It is evil, isn't it!" Zedd congratulated himself. He glanced down towards Earth, and raised his staff to transform a petrified tree into his newest creation. "Destroy the Earth, Envirotron!"
"Yes, my lord!" the monster cried out. "And I shall begin with the Power Rangers!" * * *
"Rocky, where do you put all that food?" Tommy asked as he watched the Red Ranger devour his third piece of cake.
"In my stomach, where else?" Rocky glanced over at him; Tommy was still on his first slice!
"You never cease to amaze me, Rocky!" Azure was also staring at the food-munching maniac. Aura chuckled.
"I think he's got a hole in his gut somewhere where all the food goes!" she declared. Adam came over to take a seat next to Azure.
"Believe it or not, he used to eat more than that in one meal!"
Azure giggled at what Aura had said. "Rocky, the man with a black hole in his stomach!"
Everyone was laughing when suddenly the entire room shook with an earthquake. "What's going on?" Azure screamed. A few moments later it stopped, and Adam glanced at the other Rangers. They'd all heard their communicators beeping during the quake.
"Earthquake," he said. "Maybe we should go see how bad the damage is."
Aura nodded. "Let's go," Before anyone could say anything or stop them, the Rangers were heading out the door. Azure looked after them.
"Be careful," she whispered. Didn't Rita and Zedd even give them a break on birthdays?? * * *
"It. . .it's a tree?!" Adam stared at Envirotron as it marched towards the morphed Rangers. The others were just as surprised as he was.
"It's a petrified tree!" Aura exclaimed. She felt a deep sense of nausea at the sight of this thing; it seemed to embody all that went against being the Ranger of the Earth. "I think I'm going to be sick!"
"That's what caused the earthquake?" Rocky couldn't believe his eyes; none of the Rangers could. Tommy nodded. "Has to be!"
"I am here to destroy you and the world, Rangers!" Envirotron roared, drawing it's sword and slamming it down onto the ground. "Bye-bye, Rangers!"
The earth shook under their feet, crevices opening up all around them. The Rangers grabbed light poles and trees, anything they could to keep from falling down them. Aura turned around, trying to find Billy. As she did so, a crack in the earth opened up directly under her.
"Billy!" she screamed as she fell, grabbing onto the edge with her fingertips. Billy ran over to her as the quake ceased, reaching out to grab her hand. He started to pull her up when Envirotron spoke coldly.
"No way, Blue Ranger! This is too good of an opportunity to resist!" the monster raised it's sword again and slammed it into the ground, causing yet another quake. Billy lost his grip on Aura's arm, and she lost her tenuous hold on the side of the crevice.
"Billy!" she screamed as she fell out of sight. He whirled around to see the other Rangers forming the Power Blaster at once; they were going to get rid of this thing in record time now! He joined his Power Lance with it, and moments later, Envirotron was nothing but a bad memory. Tommy laid a hand on Billy's shoulder as the monster vanished into dust.
"Come on, let's see if Alpha can find out what happened to Aura," he told the distraught Blue Ranger. "If anyone can find her, he can."
Billy got to his feet, casting another glance down the crevice. You'd better be all right, Aura. I'll find you, if I have to search through Heaven and Hell to do it. * * *
"Any sign of her?" Billy asked a few minutes later in the Command Center. Adam had just teleported out to get Azure, she deserved to know what was going on.
"No, Billy, I'm sorry," Alpha shook his head. Billy visibly restrained himself from punching the console in frustration.
"Don't blame yourself, Billy," Tommy advised. "It was Rita and Zedd's monster that did it!"
Just then, Adam and Azure returned to the Command Center. "What's going on?" Azure wanted to know. Tommy sighed.
"What?" the younger Robinson girl frowned at once. Could things possibly get any worse?
"We were fighting that monster, it caused another earthquake, and she fell into a crevice," the White Ranger reported dully. Azure's eyes filled with fear and anguish.
"Not again!" she whispered. "I can't lose her again!" Tommy did his best to reassure her right away.
"We're looking for her. If Zedd and Rita had her, Azure, you know they'd be bragging about it by now."
Azure growled, "If they hurt her in any way, shape, or form, I swear what I did to Eric yesterday will look like a walk in the park!"
Adam put a careful arm around. "Azure, please, calm down."
She sighed a little. "I'll try." * * *
"We finally did it!" Zedd crowed in triumph as they watched Aura falling into the depths of the crevice caused by their monster. "That pesky Ranger has met her end!"
"Yes!" Rita screamed with joy. "At last!" Goldar sulked in the corner; his one real goal for the past few months had been to bash in the Amber Ranger's head personally.
"Now the rest of the Rangers will be finished!"
Rita nodded her agreement with Zedd. "We will destroy them one and all! It'll be so easy with the Amber brat gone!"
"Yes!" Zedd thundered. "And then we will rule the world!"
"And no one can stop us!" * * *
Her head pounded furiously, spinning this way and that. "Uhhhhh. ..," she made her way to her feet and looked around. "Where am I?"
Even as she said that, she realized something else. "WHO am I?" her mind was a complete blank, and her surroundings gave no clues as on how to fill up that blank. Towering walls of stone surrounded her, going up as high as she could see.
She glanced down at herself, trying to figure out some clue as to her identity. Hair flowed to her waist in a black stream, she had no idea what color her eyes were, she was dressed in a simple outfit of a brown shirt and blue jeans, wearing a strange amber amulet. She tried to take it off to look at it, only to find it wouldn't come off. "That's odd. It must have some special way to undo it. Wish I could remember it."
She shrugged and dropped the necklace; she had more important things to do than worry over a piece of jewelry. Like getting out of wherever she was and finding someone who knew who she was!
"Looks like the only way out is up!" she startled climbing the rocks, and was somewhat amazed to find out she was scaling them with more or less no effort! "I must be a rock-climber!" she theorized. It didn't take her too long to get to the top, and as she worked her way out, the first things she saw were two very strange individuals.
One of them, looking like a gold-armored monkey, glared at her. "So you survived!"
She looked at him, frowning. "Apparently so. This might seem a rather strange question to you: but. . .do I know you?"
The other creature, looking like a large skeleton with weird paint designs, stared at her. "Huh?"
"Do I know you?" she repeated. "I don't remember you if I do; in fact, I don't remember anything!"
The two strange creatures exchanged glances. "Are you sure?" the first one asked. She nodded. "Not a single thing?"
"Nothing," she told them. "My mind is so blank it's not believable."
She could have sworn they were trying to smile. Then the gold one told her, "We're your friends. I'm Goldar, and this is my friend Rito. We know a place we can take you to help you remember things."
"Really?" she smiled, this was great luck! First people she met could and would help her!
Rito and Goldar exchanged long, evil glances. This was the best stroke of luck to come their way in centuries! The Amber Ranger had no memory of who she was, of who they were, or anything! * * *
"Found her!" Alpha cried out triumphantly! "She's climbed out of the crevice, Billy. But. . .there's something wrong!"
Billy ran over to the little droid. "What is it, Alpha?" he started to scan the readouts. "I don't believe this." he sighed.
"What is it?" every Ranger in the Command Center exclaimed. Billy turned to them, the strangest look on his face they had ever seen. Tommy asked cautiously, "What's wrong, Billy?"
"According to these readings, Aura has lost her memory," he said softly. "And Rito and Goldar are with her right now." * * *
She stepped over to them. "You guys better be able to help me get my memory back!"
"We can," the gold one told her. Just then, six flashes of light become six people, wearing an odd sort of tight-fitting suit, each a different color. One of them shouted, "Don't believe them!"
She glanced over at the one it looked like had shouted, the one in blue. "Who is he?"
"Just a nobody," the bone-person told her. The one in black ran towards her and started tugging at her arm.
"He's your fianc&0233!"
She shook her head. "I'm sorry, I don't remember him, or you!" she pushed the stranger away from her. He stayed away, but kept talking.
"Aura, please, try to remember Azure!" she frowned, searching her memory, but coming up blank.
"Sorry, nothing," she shook her head. She almost wanted to remember, his voice was so nice, and that name, Azure, it seemed to mean a lot to him.
"She's your sister," the one in blue told her. "Come on, try."
She took a deep breath, scanning what seemed to be a totally blank brain. Then, out of nowhere, something popped into her mind.
She circled them, her enemies, a row of six brightly clad warriors. Her master wanted their destruction, and she lived to serve him. With her ax in her hands, she charged, their death her only goal.
"I. . .I think I remember something," she said softly. The black-garbed one nodded.
"I'm fighting. . .all. . . all of you," she said uncertainly, not sure of the memory floating it's way to the top, or of the emotions that were trying to reach her. A white flash of light startled her as it turned into a rather attractive young woman, with a perplexed expression on her face.
"Aura?" she said.
"Excuse me, do I know you?" the woman came closer to her, fear in her eyes.
"I'm your sister, Azure," the woman told her. She frowned.
"I don't know you."
The woman, Azure, grabbed her in a sudden hug. "Please, remember you, saving me from Eric!"
"Who?" she frowned; another memory flashed through her at the contact, but she couldn't grasp onto it. Just then, the two strange beings vanished, after a whispered conversation. "Oh, they left," she frowned even deeper as she noticed this. "They said they'd help me get my memory back."
The one in red shook his head. "They can't help you get your memory back."
"I want it back!" she complained. "I don't know who any of you are, and I'm . .. I'm scared," it felt strange to say that, as if she weren't used to such admissions. From the way they were all looking at each other, if they did know her, she wasn't.
"We're friends," the blue one told her, holding his hand out to her. "Please, trust us."
She stammered a little as she said, "I. ..I want to. I really want to trust you. But right now, I don't know you."
The blue one put his hands to his belt, and a moment later, a very handsome young man stood where he had. "I'm Billy," he said as she jumped a little, startled at the sudden transformation. She smiled.
"You're also cute."
"We're also engaged," he told her, holding up his left hand, then gently taking hers and showing her the duplicate of the ring he wore on it. "See."
The others also changed, proving themselves normal humans under the costumes. She looked around at them. "I. . .are we friends? I know what I'm saying must sound stupid, but I don't know any of you!"
"We're friends," the one in black told her. "I'm Adam. I'm also your sister's boyfriend," he indicated the girl who had called her 'sister'.
"Ummm. . .one question, you," she glanced at Azure. "What did you call me? What name?"
"Aura. Aura Robinson."
Aura. Yes. That's my name. It feels right. But. . .there's more to it, I just can't remember. "That's a nice name," was all she said out loud, though.
"Will you trust us, Aura?"
Aura looked at them all. "You say I know you, that we are engaged," she glanced at the handsome Billy. "I'll trust you. For now."
"Thank you," he smiled, taking her hand.
I just hope I can remember more. . .soon. * * *
"Why did you not destroy her!?" Zedd raged at Rito and Goldar. When he'd seen the Amber Ranger making her way out of the crevice, he'd dispatched these two bozos to do her in once and for all, and they hadn't completed their mission.
"Sire, she has no memory! She didn't know who we were, or who she was!!!!"
Zedd stared; he had to have heard that wrong. "What?"
Rito nodded. "Yeah, she was even gonna come with us!" Goldar agreed once more with him. "She didn't even know Billy!"
"Then why did you not bring her here?" Zedd roared; an amnesiac Power Ranger could be molded to do the greatest evil in the world, managed properly!
"The Rangers showed up, and that brat sister of hers came down! They convinced her to stay with them!!!!" Goldar was quick to throw the blame off himself.
Rita threw in her advice. "So go back down there and unconvince her!"
"Uh, how are we gonna do that, sis?"
"Tell her that the Rangers were lying to her, that they aren't her friends!"
"We'll go right away, come on, Rito!" Goldar started pulling Rito out of the palace. This wasn't going to be an easy mission, he feared. * * *
"So, this is where I live?" Aura asked, glancing around the house. Azure nodded.
"Yeah, this is where we live with our parents. They're still at the Youth Center, helping to clean up," Azure told her. She glanced around.
"Nice place," it was indeed a beautiful home
"Well, what do you think?" Azure asked as she looked around the house.
"I remember. . .being small here," she whispered, as a memory flickered through her brain.
"What do you remember?"
She glanced at the window seat in the eastern window. "I remember. . .me, and a little boy. We were. . .," she blushed. "We were kissing."
"I remember," Azure chucked; she had been eight, Billy and Aura had been nine. "I was hiding behind that chair."
Aura smiled at Billy. "It was you, wasn't it?" Billy nodded. She smiled again. "I remember that. I remember. . .liking you."
Billy stepped a bit closer to her. "We've been friends all our lives. Only recently did we share our true feelings with each other."
Aura glanced at him, then down at the rings on their hands. "I love you," the only thing wrong with what she said was that it was more of a question than a statement.
"We love each other, otherwise we wouldn't be getting married in a couple of weeks," Billy told her. She sat down and put her head in her hands, tired suddenly.
"I just wish I could remember more than just things that happened ten years ago!"
"You will!" Azure reassured her. Aura sighed and looked around.
"I hope so, I really hope so. I'm going to go for a walk. Maybe I'll find something that'll jog my memory."
Azure smiled. "Sounds like Aura to me!"
Aura got up and headed for the door. "I'll be back. Hopefully with more memories than I have now."
"I hope so," Azure smiled at her. As the door shut behind her, Azure looked at the others. "I hope it was a good idea to let her out alone."
"It'll be okay," Adam said, holding her. "I really hope so." * * *
As Aura walked, she looked around for anything that might trigger a memory, any memory, good or bad. But nothing looked familiar, she might as well have been in a different country for all the memories this brought to her.
"Hello again!" it was the gold monkey again, with his friend. What were their names again? Oh, yes, she had it now!
"Goldar and Rito wasn't it?" she smiled a little at them, even though they had made her a bit nervous by appearing gout of thin air. "You scared me."
"I'm sorry," Goldar told her. "We just came to make sure the Rangers haven't been lying to you. You know, those people you went with."
"Oh, them. They've been very nice to me," she glanced at the ring on her hand. "Apparently I'm engaged, even though I don't remember much about him. Billy. He seems quite nice."
"Is that what they told you?" Goldar looked disapproving. "They lied to you!"
Aura frowned. "What do you mean? We do have these matching rings, and they are engagement ring!"
"That means nothing!" Goldar told her. "A lot of people have engagement rings!"
Aura was quick to reply, "I remember a little. I remember the two of us together, as children, but that's about it."
"Come with us, and we will show you the truth!" Goldar promised her. Aura was reluctant, she remembered what they had told her.
"I don't know, they told me that you couldn't help me get my memories back," she murmured. Goldar did his best to look trustworthy.
"Another lie. You can trust me."
"How can I be sure?" she asked; though she was beginning to wonder about them. Why couldn't she remember anything but the vaguest things?
"We can show your past," Goldar offered. "They can't do that."
Aura took a deep breath; this was possibly her only chance to regain her memory, and they wouldn't hurt her, anyway. "All right."
"Come on then," Goldar held his huge hand out to her, and she took it. A moment later, they were no longer on Earth. * * *
"I hope Aura's okay," Azure said as she leaned against Adam, his arms wrapped around her. Adam kissed her lightly on the head.
"She'll be okay; she's still got the Spirit of Earth to watch out for her," their communicators sounded just then. "What is it, Alpha?"
"Rangers, Goldar got to Aura, he convinced her to go to the moon with him!" Adam, Azure, and Billy all sat up straight.
"How?" was the only thing Billy asked. Alpha replied, "I am not sure, Rangers. Teleport back to the Command Center at once!"
"Let's go, this is bad!" Adam said as he got to his feet. Billy nodded.
"This goes beyond bad!"
When they got to the Command Center, the others were already there. Aisha stared into the viewing globe, trying to figure out just what had went on. "He must have told her that they could bring her memories back. It's the only thing I can think of."
"But they're going to bring back the wrong ones!" Azure cried, remembering all the bad memories that Aura must have. Billy nodded, and voiced what she was too afraid to.
"She certainly has a lot of the wrong ones to bring back. And I'm betting Zedd can twist the other memories."
Azure shivered as she thought of every time Aura had been evil, had been under Zedd's control, of the horrors she'd been put through in her life. "No," she whispered, then looked at Adam. "Get her back, please!" * * *
"Welcome, Aura," Zedd almost smiled as she appeared with Goldar and Rito. To have one of his mortal enemies like this, completely vulnerable, with all her power, yet none of her memory! A dream come true! He certainly hoped the plan Rita had come up with while they were waiting would work.
"Hello," Aura said tentatively, looking at the strange couple before her. "Um, who are you?"
"I am Lord Zedd," he told her. "And this is my wife, Rita Repulsa."
Aura was about to say hello, when the woman launched herself at Aura. "My baby is home!"
Aura stared at her. "Excuse me?" What in the world was going on here? The woman hugged her tightly, and Aura uncertainly returned it.
"My daughter! You are my daughter!"
"I am?" Aura glanced towards Zedd; he barely looked human! Rita answered the unspoken question. "Your father didn't always look like that!"
"I don't remember you," she sighed. "Or much about those people I met before."
Rita quickly explained that Aura had been kidnapped when she was just born, and that Azure's parents had adopted and raised her from the time she was six months old. Aura frowned as the story came to an end.
"How can you be so sure that I'm your daughter then?"
"We did a genetic match," Rita told her. "You are indeed my Aura."
Aura sighed. Had she really found her family? "I want to remember you, I really do. I want to remember everything. Can you help me to remember? Mom? Dad?"
"That we can," Zedd nodded. This was going better than they had planned; she'd fallen for it so fast it was incredible! He'd always given the Amber Ranger credit for more sense than this! Perhaps it had something to do with the vulnerability having no memory gave her. . .
"Please do," she was almost begging, she wanted the empty vaults in her mind filled up so badly it hurt.
Zedd smiled, as best he could, at her. "First you must rest. Your brother will show you the way." Eric stepped up to her.
"Hello, sis," he smiled at her. Aura looked at him; they didn't look much alike, but apparently he was her brother. "I'm Eric, your brother."
"Oh, hello," she nodded at him. "I'm sorry, I don't remember you," she'd lost track of how many times she'd said that to someone that day.
"That's okay," Eric told her. "Come on, we can talk on the way to your room."
Aura shrugged. "Let's go."
He led her down a hallway into a fairly comfortable section of the palace, much different from the cold austerity of the throne room. "So," he asked. "How is my ex-girlfriend Azure?"
"She seems to be quite a nice person," Aura told him, a little surprised that he knew the same girl she had met.
"She is," Eric agreed. "But that jerk stole her away from me."
"Adam?" Aura asked, remembering Adam had said he was Azure's boyfriend. She hadn't seemed to object at the time, either. Eric's voice was full of bitterness as he replied in the affirmative.
"Eric," she had to ask this. "What are our parents like? I don't know them at all, but now I'm here, and I have no memory of anything but the past few hours."
"You'll find out everything you need to know tomorrow," he promised her. "Here's your room, and if you need anything, I'm right across the hall. See you tomorrow, sis," he gave her a brotherly good night kiss.
"Good night," Aura sighed and smiled. Home at last. Or. . .am I? I guess I'll find out tomorrow. * * *
"Oh, this is unbelievable, Zeddy!" Rita was even happier than she'd been when they thought Aura was dead in the crevice.
"She actually believes that we are her parents!" Zedd laughed, filled with an unholy glee.
"Who would have thought a little thing like amnesia would bring about the downfall of the mighty Amber Ranger!!!" Rita's dark laughter filled the throne room. Zedd agreed.
"We will soon turn her to the ways of evil!"
"And this time, there will be no going back for her!"
Zedd's final gloating sentence hung in the air for a time. "Her family and friends will turn on her. And she will live out the rest of her days as our slave and our daughter and as our greatest warrior!" * * *
"Billy, you're going to wear a hole in the floor," Adam advised. He, Billy, and Azure were the only ones left in the Command Center, everyone else had went to help clean up after the aborted birthday part, and then went on home to bed. Billy stopped pacing at Adam's insistence.
"Sorry," he glanced over to Adam, who had Azure leaning against him. Sleep had finally conquered the dauntless Robinson girl.
"Any progress on a way to get Aura's memories back?" Adam asked Alpha. The robot shook his head. "Nothing yet, Adam, I'm sorry."
Adam sighed. "What I'm worried about most is what they're going to tell her. About you, Billy, about herself, about us. . .," his voice trailed off.
"Let's just hope we get her and her memories back before they get the chance," Azure murmured. Adam smiled at her.
"Azure, you're going home. You need to get some sleep!" he told her. Azure glared at him.
"Move me, and I'll never talk to you again!" Adam tried reasoning with her; even though he knew perfectly well he wasn't going to win.
"You're not going to be of any help to us if you're asleep, and you're going to be asleep no matter where you are, and I'd prefer it if you were safe in your own home."
Azure turned another of those stern gazes on him. "Adam, please. I need to be here if you find Aura. . when you find Aura. This is important to me."
Adam sighed. "I never have won an argument with you." Azure chuckled.
"And you probably won't anytime in the neat future," Azure told him as she kissed him on the nose. Billy managed to ignore their casual romance as he started searching for Aura yet again. Adam looked at him.
"You should get some rest, Billy," the Black Ranger tried to tell him. Billy threw a cold stare at him.
"Want to lose another argument, Adam?" Billy wasn't going to stop searching for Aura, no matter what it took.
RANGERS, AZURE, IT IS TIME THAT YOU THREE GOT SOME REST. Zordon told them.
"Zordon, please!" Azure begged. "I have to be here in case something happens!
I HAVE MADE ARRANGEMENTS. Three cots appeared behind one of the consoles in the Command Center. YOU MAY REST HERE.
"You know us too well, Zordon," Adam chuckled as he and the others made their way over to them.
WE WILL WAKE YOU IF THERE IS ANY NEWS.
Adam, Billy, and Azure laid down on the cots, Billy fully intending only to close his eyes for a few minutes. The next thing they knew, Tommy was nudging Adam. "Time to wake up," he chuckled.
"Uhhhh," Adam was slow to wake up in the mornings. "Lemme sleep, mom."
"No, and don't call me that," Tommy laughed as Adam woke up fully and sat up.
"Uh, oh, good morning, guys," Adam glanced around to see Billy waking up on the other two cots.
"Morning," Tommy smiled. "We had a funny feeling we'd find you guys here. Azure's parents told us that she never came home last night, we tried your house, but you weren't there, so this was the next logical choice."
Adam sat up. "We were trying to find a way to help Aura."
Tommy nodded. "Billy already told us. You want to go wake up your girlfriend? We've been having problems on that front!"
Adam chuckled as he leaned over Azure, then kissed her on theta lips. Azure's eyes flew open at once and she smiled, the first genuine smile since she'd heard of Aura's disappearance. "Good morning, beautiful." Adam told her.
"I can't tell you what a wonderful thing that was to wake up to," she sat up and looked around. "Any luck finding Aura?"
Adam shrugged. "Dunno, I just woke up myself," he glanced at Billy to see if there was any report; the Blue Ranger had already hit the computers.
"I think we may have found her," he said, causing a ripple of excitement to run through the Rangers. Adam smiled.
"Great. Can you get her memory back?"
Billy glanced at Alpha. "That's going to be the hard part, but Alpha thinks he's found a way."
Alpha explained the solution he'd come up with, and every Ranger stared at him as if he'd lost his mind. Azure was the only one who actually said anything, though. "Alpha! I don't like the idea of hitting her over the head with a large rubber mallet, even if it is a backup plan!"
Alpha defended his idea. "Well, she lost her memory from the fall into the crevice, hitting her on the head might bring it back!"
Azure was visibly trying not to laugh, and Adam jumped into it quickly. "We'll keep it as a very last resort!"
"Extremely last resort!" Billy chimed in. Adam agreed.
"So last resort, I can't even describe how last it is!"
"Can't we just get her out of there first?" Azure asked quietly. Adam started working on the computers as well, doing what he could to help out. His analysis, when matched with Billy's was, "I think so." * * *
"This is too perfect!" Zedd gloated. Rita, standing next to him as he waited for Aura to emerge, nodded.
"I know, but we can't do anything to bring back her real memories, Zedd!"
"It doesn't matter!" Zedd reminded her. "We are replacing them!"
Rita laughed. "There will be nothing the Rangers can do to bring her back this time!" After all, there was no magic involved, no spells, just a few well-placed and fine-tuned lies, on a mind so malleable at the moment it would accept anything!
Aura stepped into the room, clad in an outfit reminiscent of that which her evil half had worn during it's brief solo existence. Eric had helped her pick it out before going off on his own business that morning.
"Good morning, mom, dad," she smiled at them; her father didn't seem half as scary this morning as he did the night before, when she'd first met him.
"Morning, my daughter," Zedd greeted her. "Sleep well?"
Aura nodded. "I still don't remember much, though. Almost nothing at all, actually."
Zedd beckoned her over to him. "Come here, there's something I want to show you. It will help you jog your memory."
He waved his staff and a section of the air turned into a viewscreen of sorts. She saw the people she had been with the day before, talking to her, and about her. "You see, my dear," Zedd explained. "We are not from this world. Our world was destroyed some time ago, by these same people you were with. They were not always aware that you aren't one of them; this was their reaction when they found out."
Aura watched, rage filling her, as she saw them talk behind her back, insult her to her face, give her the cold shoulder, and finally the young man she thought she had been engaged to snubbed her to her face. "And they were so nice to me yesterday when I was with them!" she breathed. As she watched, the scenes stirred up others within her, calling up other times of battle, when she had seen her father, and not known who he was, but had known to obey him, and had fought these folk.
"I know!" Zedd chuckled softly; showing her the scenes from when his evil clones had driven her away from Earth was working!
"Why would they want me to think they were my friends?" she wondered. Zedd had already thought of that, however.
"To turn you against your own family," he explained how they hadn't always known she was their daughter, only recently had that been discovered, when they'd been able to search the world for their missing offspring.
"I can't believe I was actually starting to like them!"
Zedd glanced down towards the Earth, using his visor to scan to see what the Rangers were up to. What he saw infuriated him. "Blast it!"
"Father?" she asked, brows furrowing. "Is something wrong?"
He almost laughed. For the first time, he spoke the truth to a Power Ranger. "The Rangers are planning on getting you away from us. I will not let them have you!"
"Maybe I can just tell them that I don't want to be with them; that I want to be with my real family!"
Rita quickly hid the evil glint that shone in her eyes at this sign their brainwashing was working. "Let us hope it works, but take your uncle Rito with you. And go morphed."
"Morphed?" she turned a curious look on them.
Rita and Zedd exchanged glances; they hadn't counted on her not remembering she was the Amber Ranger. Rita explained, "You are the Amber Ranger, your powers come from the Earth, the planet you are sworn to protect. The Power Rangers are our mortal enemies; you have fought with them, trying to take over the world, for some time now."
Guilt flashed across her face as Aura took that in. Zedd added, "When you lost your memory, we took the opportunity to regain you on our side. We only want what is best for you, my child. You morph using the words 'Amber Ranger Power' and you demorph with 'Amber Ranger, Power Down'."
Aura nodded, and morphed a moment later. She smiled, reveling in the feeling of power that filled her. "Oh, wow!" she breathed. "This is incredible!"
She glanced over at Rito and beckoned towards him. "Let's go, Uncle Rito!"
"OK!" Both he and she teleported out of the Lunar Palace. * * *
"Ready?" Adam took a deep breath as they prepared to teleport to the moon. They had no idea what they would find there, no way to tell just how badly Aura's mind had been warped by Rita and Zedd's lies.
"As ready as we'll ever be," Rocky sighed. They were going to teleport from the park, and Azure was there to see them off. She hugged first Adam, then Billy.
"Bring her back," she told them. "I don't want her hurt, and what they're doing is worse than any spell they've ever tried."
Aura and Rito chose that moment to appear. Tommy took a deep breath as he gestured towards them. "Looks like we don't have to go all the way to the moon."
"Rangers, my parents showed me how you really feel about me, how you hate aliens, like I am. I've got my real family back now, so just leave us alone!"
Adam groaned; he'd been hoping this wouldn't happen. "They had to show her that, didn't they? Aura, that wasn't us, we were cloned! By ZEDD!"
Aura shook her head. "I don't believe you. I just came to tell you to leave me alone. I don't want anything to do with you."
Azure came over to her. "Aura, you are my sister, be it adopted, but I love you, and I can't survive without you!"
Aura pushed the young woman away gently. "I didn't see you saying anything bad about me in what my father showed me, Azure, but you are with them, and that means you must think like they do about me."
All the Rangers' stomachs turned as Aura referred to Zedd as her father, and Billy was almost positive he could sense Neras, Aura's true father, turning over in his long-gone to dust grave. Azure kept speaking to Aura, though, ignoring the nausea that simple phrase had started in her.
"I couldn't say anything bad about you, I love you! You saved my life on more than one occasion!"
Aura looked gently at her. "Then why do you stay with these people who hate me?"
Azure took a deep breath; she hoped this would work, she was willing to do anything necessary to save Aura and restore her memories. "I don't know. Maybe it's my love for Adam."
"Eric still cares about you."
As much as Azure loved Aura, she could not, would not accept that. "If he cared, he wouldn't have tried to rape me!"
"What?" Aura growled, surprised at this. Azure repeated it, and Aura looked over to Rito. "Uncle Rito, is this true?"
He shrugged. "If it is, I dunno!"
Aura looked a trifle confused at this knowledge. "I can't believe he would do that. My brother was so nice yesterday, to me at least."
Adam called out to her, "Aura, you've got to believe us, we don't hate you. You're our friend!"
Azure trembled just a bit at the memory of Eric. "That's how he was to me before he tried to rape me the first time, when I actually cared for him. Aura, you were there the night he tried it the first time, you saved me."
Aura took a deep breath; this was far too confusing for her. "I don't know who to believe, you guys say you care, my parents say they do, I'm very confused!"
"You have every right to be," Azure told her. I think we're going to get her back, she doesn't trust them as much already!
Billy stepped closer to Aura. "Aura, I do love you!" he told her. "I don't know what I'd do without you!"
She looked at him, biting her lip. She remembered seeing his image in what her father had shown her rejecting her. "If I love you," she began. "I don't remember it."
"Remember this?" Billy came closer to her, grabbed her in a sudden hug, pulled her helmet off, then kissed her. In that moment, her entire body tingled with light and love and joy, chills ran up her spine and down again, her heart pounded, her breath came in short pants, and her blood turned to molten lava.
"Oh. . .oh, wow!" she breathed. Oh, that was a KISS!! That was a real and true kiss!
"Does that show you how much I care?" he smiled at her, and her mind shuffled through a thousand images of him smiling at her just that way.
Azure bit her lip, managing to say, "I don't think someone who hated you could kiss you like that!"
Aura stared at him, smiling. "I. . .I love you," her voice was much firmer this time around; she could clearly remembering holding those emotions for this man, but she couldn't remember him! Not completely, not yet. She didn't know why she loved him, how it had happened, all she knew was, the emotions existed.
Billy grabbed her up into a hug and spun her around, calling her name out with joy. She was quick to tell him, though, "I barely remember you, but what I remember is love!"
The semi-reunion was shattered when Rito pulled her away from Billy. "OK, leave my niece alone! Time to go home, your parents are going to want to talk to you!"
Before the Rangers could move, they had both vanished. Adam stared in complete and utter disbelief. "I cannot believe this!"
"We had her for a minute," Azure tried to be positive.
"It's always for a minute!" Adam had grown quite sick of Rita and Zedd have Aura under their thumb somehow, the Rangers coming so close to freeing her, only to have her snatched away yet again. "They can't just let her go!"
"We'll get her back," Billy glanced up at the sky. "We have to."
"I hope so," Azure sighed. Tommy nodded.
"Let's hope we can," he said. "I don't think they're using spells this time!"
Kat nodded. "They're twisting her memories."
Aisha wondered, "Do you think we should still try and get her from there now, or wait?"
"We have to get her back," Billy said firmly. "Before they show her some stuff from her being under their control! If they show her too much of that, we could lose her forever!" * * *
"I can remember loving him, Father!" Aura screamed; she was most annoyed at having been taken away. She knew she'd went down there to tell the Rangers she didn't want to be one of them anymore, but that kiss had awakened memories she hadn't even dreamed existed. Needless to say, Rita and Zedd were not happy over this.
"An illusion!" Zedd snapped at her; he knew it had been a mistake to let her go to Earth with only Rito for supervision! If this kept up, if her memories kept returning, soon she'd recall everything and they would lose their new pet Ranger all over again!
"Prove it!" she retorted; she wanted evidence to match the fire Billy's kiss had lit in her soul. She could feel her mind racing to call up more memories, things that kiss were linked to, and the blank slate her mind had become was already beginning to fill up.
Zedd raised his staff and created yet another viewport to the past, showing Billy escorting a pretty young lady to a fine restaurant. His lips twisted into what might have been mistaken for a smile, Zedd told her, "This happened last night, before you lost your memory! This from the man who supposedly loves you!"
Aura growled in pure rage at this. "I should have never went! I was starting to like them again!" Oh, this Billy would pay for tampering with her heart! She looked at her father. "Father, can you help me remember anything else? Anything at all?"
"Yes. We've tried before to convince you to leave them, but you have always returned to them, not knowing their true nature until now. See your finest moments, my daughter!"
Zedd raised the staff one more time, this time showing her how she'd almost throttled Billy, and how she'd used Adam as a hostage to get the other Rangers prisoner. Naturally, though Aura didn't know it, what he showed her had been heavily edited to avoid stirring up the real memories those scenes were connected to.
"How dare they try to make me like them!" Zedd actually found himself pitying the Rangers should he send her back down again! But he had one last trump card to play, one that set her in stone against them for all time.
"I told you our homeworld was destroyed," he reminded her. "They were the ones who did it! Observe!"
He showed her the destruction of Kalakan, and was pleased to see hate fill her eyes and twist her face almost into a true semblance of Rita's. "How could they have done all that? Someone has to make them pay for it!" she paced up and down the throne room, unable to stand still for a moment.
"The Rangers must be destroyed!" he encouraged the growth of the evil thoughts within her. At this rate, it wouldn't take long for her to charge off after the Rangers! She stopped and looked at him.
"Father, let me do it!"
Yes!! She's one of us, even if she doesn't realize it yet! "Yes! Exact your revenge!" he almost purred the words out. She'd willingly chosen to go destroy the Rangers!
"I'll teach them to lie to me!" she spat in disgust. "No one does that to the daughter of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa and lives!"
"Rito, go with your niece to Earth, and make sure nothing happens to her!" Zedd commanded. "And this time, don't let that blasted boy kiss her!" * * *
Billy slammed his fist into the console as the results from the last set of scans came in. They'd tried to teleport to the moon once Rito and Aura had left, only to find they were somehow blocked from it. Returning to the Command Center in a flash, Billy had found Rita and Zedd had placed a teleportation barrier around the palace.
"Can you break trough their block, Billy?" Tommy asked. Billy shrugged.
"I'm doing my best, but I'm not sure," Azure joined in as Billy and Adam started yet another series of scans, hoping to find some way to shatter the barrier, so they could get in and get Aura out of there.
The alarms flashed a few moments later, and Billy glanced at the viewing globe. "Aura," he said.
"And she does not look happy," Adam observed, watching as she stormed up and down the park, screaming for the Rangers to come out and fight. She wasn't morphed, and they could plainly see the rage in her eyes. Tommy shivered; they all knew how strong Aura was, and she wasn't going to hold anything back when she fought them.
"Let's go see if we can get her and her memories back," he said, reaching for his helmet. "Back to action!"
The minute they were solid after teleporting to the park, the first thing they heard was Aura's screeching of "Liars! Deceivers!" and that was the least of what she insulted them with. She ran towards them, launching a kick at Adam, who just barely managed to get out of the way.
"What did they show you this time?" he wondered. Aura whirled on Billy, hate blazing from her gray eyes.
"You! With another woman! So much for you loving me! And all of you! Destroying our homeworld!"
"Another woman?" Billy had no idea what in the world Aura was talking about this time! But when she described her, his jaw dropped.
"Laura? My ex-girlfriend!" he'd dated and broken up with Laura two months before Aura had even moved back to town!
"I'm not going to listen to your lies anymore!" Aura plowed full strength into them, she'd had more than enough of hearing them say one thing, then being shown something else all together by her father, she was going to stop this once and for all, by getting rid of these vile creatures forever!
"All right!" Rito congratulated her. He came over to pat her on the shoulder, but tripped over his own feet as he did so! He fell against Aura, knocking her down and hard against the ground. "Oops!" he stared down at her, she looked around, confusion reigning in her eyes and face instead of the raw hatred that had been there only moments before.
Adam and Billy stared at her, then chorused, "Aura?"
"What?" she glared at them, and Billy wasn't sure to feel elation or fear when he recognized her 'my head hurts, leave me alone' tone. He hadn't heard it in almost a year, but he knew it. . .and he knew what that could mean.
Rito thought, a rarity for him. Better get her back to the palace, Rita and Ed are gonna kill me. . . again. . . if she's messed up somehow!
He went over and grabbed her, she was too confused to protest it seemed. "Time to go, niece!" With a flash of black light, they were once more on their way back to the moon, to the protesting sounds of Billy screaming denial once again. * * *
Rito and Aura appeared back in the Lunar Palace, and Rito unceremoniously dropped her to the floor. She shook her head, her thoughts in turmoil and her head reeling from the blow she'd taken. Rita rustled over to her, attempting to be motherly and concerned.
"The Rangers. . .did they hurt my daughter?"
What the. . .what have I. . .oh, NO!!!!! Aura's confusion vanished as her head cleared. She stepped away from Rita. "I'm not your daughter!"
Rita looked at Zedd worriedly. "Uh-oh."
"I remember. . .I remember everything!" Aura felt absolutely sick as she remembered what had happened over the past day. What made things worse for her was how easily she'd believed their lies!
"Tengas!" Zedd roared, rising to his feet. "Take her to the Dark Dimension!"
The Tengas appeared, flocking towards Aura, who had no intentions of going peacefully! "Not likely!" she was about to ninja-morph to kick Tenga tailfeather when muscular armored arms grabbed her from behind. She struggled vainly in Goldar's grip as he hissed in her ear.
"You are going!" he dragged her away to the hideous Dark Dimension, having to fight her every step of the way. Rita turned to Zedd, who was furious over this loss.
"At least we still have prisoner, even if she does have her memories back!"
"Yes," Zedd nodded. "And she'll pay at last for everything she's done with her life!" * * *
Azure was staring wide-eyed at the viewing globe when they arrived back. Billy was already racing towards the computers, trying to find Aura yet again. "She's in trouble," Azure said, her eyes fixed on the globe.
"No kidding," Aisha muttered. Azure had watched the fight on the globe, and she'd recognized the look on Aura's face, and the tone in her voice. She'd known at that moment Aura had regained her memories. Azure barely managed to keep her trembling in check; she had no idea of what Rita, Zedd, Eric, Goldar, and all the rest of that insane crew up there might do to her now that she no longer believed the lies she'd been spoon-fed.
"Hurry, Billy, find her," she whispered. "Bring my sister home." * * *
Aura paced up and down the cell she'd been thrown into when they'd reached this Dark Dimension. At least I've got my memory back; that's one comfort. If I die, it'll be as me, not as some toy Rita and Zedd tried to mold in their own image. I know I couldn't help it, but having to relive all those things I did to the others. . .I feel sick and dirty. And I actually accused Billy of not loving me. How could I have been such a fool? I hope they're all right; I hope they can find me!
"Awwww," Goldar's snide voice came from outside the cell. "The little Ranger wanting to see her friends again? It'll never happen!"
Aura glared at him. "You get uglier every time I look at you, you know that?"
"Insults will only get you killed!" he warned her. He looked quite ready to do her in on the spot, as well. He'd wanted this chance at her for a year now.
"It's not an insult when it's the truth! And I don't expect to live much longer if I'm stuck here, anyway!" Which I hopefully won't be. Billy better be breaking his skull open trying to get me out of here! But if I do go down, it's going to be in a clean fight! "And I might as well have some fun insulting you while I'm here!"
Goldar unlocked the cell and gestured her out into the open area outside of it. "Shall we end this now?"
"Sounds good to me!" Aura snarled, leaping towards him in a two-handed technique that Billy had drilled into her. She quite literally entered not just the fight of her life. . .but a fight for her life. * * *
Azure, Adam, and Billy hadn't stopped scanning for one moment since their return to the Command Center. Billy's nerves were shot, he didn't know what they would do if they couldn't get her out of there. Suddenly, one of the computers began to beep. He looked quickly at the readout, and smiled.
"I got her!" he yelled, with a "Where is she?" coming from everyone else in the Command Center. He examined the data and groaned. This wasn't' going to be easy.
"Zedd put her in his Dark Dimension; he must know she has her memories back!" Azure had told them of her suspicions once they'd started the scans for her. Aura's younger sister took a deep breath.
"How do we get her out?"
Tommy shivered as he recalled all the times he'd visited that place, all of them unwillingly. "Billy has a way."
The Blue Ranger nodded. "Let's get to my lab and get them, then get her out of there!"
In less than ten minutes, they were setting up the device Billy had made months before to get Tommy out of the Dark Dimension once. Azure asked, "How exactly is this thing of yours going to get Aura out?"
"It creates a 'back door' of sorts to the Dark Dimension; we can get in, get her, and get out in minutes," Billy explained to her. Adam looked over at him as the final adjustments were made.
"You sure you want to do this alone?" he asked. Billy nodded.
"If Zedd tries anything while I'm gone, you guys are gonna be needed here."
Azure suggested, "Wont' you need the whole team, even if it is minus Aura, to stop them?"
Billy almost glared at her. "Don't tell me, let me guess, you want to go, right?"
Adam grabbed her arm, making sure not to be too harsh about it. "Get that idea out of your head!" There was no way he was letting her go anywhere near Eric or anywhere the scum might be. Azure looked down; she hadn't thought of how strongly Adam would object.
"OK, it's out," she sighed. Billy smiled, and touched her gently on the shoulder.
"I'll be going in and coming out as fast as I can, Azure. If there is trouble, Aura and I will be there as soon as we can."
Azure smiled a little. "Good luck," she watched as Billy activated the portal, then went through it. As he emerged on the other side, he saw Aura and Goldar, fighting. She was unmorphed, he had his sword, and she was doing one excellent job of kicking him all over the Dark Dimension.
"Aura!" he called out her name. She ran straight to him, avoiding Goldar agilely as he attempted to hit her from behind. He put an arm around her, then glared at Goldar. "You've got two Rangers to contend with now, Goldar!"
"Glad to have the help!" Aura smiled.
"Anytime! After all, what else are fianc&233s for?"
"For love!" she gave him a kiss on the cheek. Goldar roared and charged towards them.
"You will never escape, Rangers!" Billy was puling her towards the portal even as he moved towards them. Aura paused for a moment, and looked back at Goldar.
"Funny, I think we're about to!" they jumped through the portal, which was preset to close as soon as they landed on the other side.
"Aura!" Azure raced over to her sister and hugged her. Aura smiled as she returned the tight embrace.
"Hey, kid," she ruffled Azure's hair lovingly. "I missed you, even when I didn't remember you!"
Azure giggled. "I knew it! You got your memories back when Rito knocked you down, didn't you?"
Aura nodded. "I was still a little dazed, then, though," she told them. "That's why I didn't say anything right away."
"It's good to have you back with us, memories and everything!"
Aura kissed Billy, much more seriously this time. Azure chuckled. "Hey, don't you two have a wedding to plan? One that's coming up in just a couple of weeks?"
Her sister nodded. "Yeah," she kissed Billy yet again. "Even when I forgot you, Billy, I still loved you. I just couldn't remember it."
"Hey, remember what I told you?" he smiled. "We'll always love you. I'll always love you. No matter what."
Aura looked around at her friends, and could feel their love pulsing in her heart. "I know. I love you all. Forever."
"Come on, we've got a wedding to get ready for!" Tommy really hated to break up this romantic moment, but two weeks wasn't really that much time to plan a wedding, and they all had things they needed to do. Laughing and talking, the Power Rangers dismantled the portal and headed home.