"That does it!" Galan, the Amber Ranger Hunter, snarled. He'd had enough. No more playing around. He'd had her in his palace, she was willing, and they would've been man and wife that very night! But her fellow Rangers had stolen what was rightfully his! That wasn't even considering what Scorpina had done to her! He seized his sword and pointed it at Earth, snapping out three harsh words that disrupted the entire teleportation system. "Now, to get Aura back!"
Scorpina grumbled from next to him, "Don't you ever give up? She doesn't like you, she'll never join you!"
Galan whirled on her, eyes flashing with anger. "As it is, you are still lucky you have a job, much less your life after that last stunt you pulled!"
Scorpina paled; if Galan knew just what she'd done to Aura, it was over for her! "She's alive!" But probably not for much longer!
"No thanks to you," Galan snorted, turning back to Earth.
He had to get her back. He simply wouldn't take no for an answer. That
was all there was to it.
"No!" Billy leaped forward and caught Aura as she collapsed. Tommy ran over and helped him carry her to an examining table.
"What's wrong with her?" the White Ranger wondered. Billy shook his head, refusing to give in to the fear that filled him.
"I don't know."
Adam joined them by the table. "What did he do to her?" he asked. It was obvious to them all he was using this to stop thinking about the fact his wife, Aura's sister, had left him once she'd found out just how horribly he'd spoken to the Amber Ranger.
Alpha started to scan Aura, and as the results came in, they were grim indeed. "Ay-yi-yi, Rangers, it couldn't have been Galan! She's been poisoned by Scorpina's stinger!"
For one moment, everything and everyone was frozen in the Command Center. Finally, Aisha spoke. "What's the antidote?"
"There isn't one," Alpha shook his head. "She should've been dead already; perhaps it's being connected to the Spirit of Earth that's allowed her to live."
"I thought Galan severed that connection," Rocky frowned; he was a bit confused now.
THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTION BETWEEN AURA AND THE EARTH CANNOT BE SEVERED; THOUGH IT CAN BE BLOCKED. THIS IS WHAT GALAN DID, PREVENTING EACH OF THEM FROM SENSING THE OTHER, AND PREVENTING AURA FROM ACCESSING HER POWERS. Zordon explained as Billy started trying to reach Azure to let her know Aura had returned. He growled in frustration a moment later.
"What's wrong?" Adam asked. "What else can happen?"
Billy looked at them all. "Azure isn't answering her communicator."
Adam groaned; this was his fault even more! "Oh, man, she must think it's me calling her!"
"I'm going to teleport her in," Billy decided, starting to punch buttons on the teleportation system. "This is going to be a bad day, isn't it?" he muttered a few seconds later. "Something's blocking teleportation."
Adam clenched his fists; what else was going to go wrong today. His attention was distracted when Tommy stepped forward. "I'm going to Angel Grove to get Azure; it's a long walk, but she has to find out about this. Where is she?" once Billy had told him, the White Ranger started off.
Adam looked around, trying to keep his mind off Azure by helping her sister. "Can we get in touch with the Spirit of Earth?"
Billy shook his head. "I don't know how," None of them knew how to get in touch with that enigmatic spirit; only Aura was connected to her like that. Adam groaned.
"We've got to do something!"
"Maybe Ninjor could help," Alpha suggested; he had taken Aura to the Spirit when she'd returned from Kalakan, maybe he knew something they didn't. Adam nodded, and barely had Alpha begun to move towards the communications area when Ninjor appeared in the Command Center.
"I am here!" he proclaimed. None of them knew how he traveled, he obviously didn't use the Command Center's teleportation system. Billy explained what had happened to Aura to him quickly, hoping against hope that somehow the ancient Ninja Master could just heal Aura right on the spot.
"I shall go to the Spirit now," Ninjor told them. "And find out what needs to be done. But first, someone else should be here," they couldn't even see him so much as twitch a finger, but Tommy and Azure stood in the Command Center a second later.
"What am I doing here?" Azure glanced around, and when she saw her sister, ran straight to her. "NO!"
"She's alive," Billy said wearily. "But we don't know for how long."
Azure took Aura's hand, shivering at how cold and pale she was. Adam
called her name quietly, and she turned to glare at him, still angry over
what he'd said and done. "I wouldn't if I were you."
"Great Spirit of Earth, are you home?" Ninjor asked as he appeared in the Heart of the Earth. He and the Spirit had known each other for untold ages, and he had examined each Ranger who came to him for potential to be the Amber Ranger. What he, and she, hadn't known was that it was Kalakan's defender who would become Earth's.
The Spirit appeared before him, and he was at once struck by how she looked. Unlike every other time, she did not glow with life and health. Instead, she looked as if she were about to collapse. "What is it, Ninjor?"
"Aura," the old Ninja master told her. "She is dying from Scorpina's poison."
The Spirit sighed a little. "Bring her here. I can help."
"Are you all right?" Ninjor asked, noticing the utter weariness in the Spirit's demeanor. The Spirit smiled weakly at him.
"As all right as one can be who is separated from a part of herself,"
being blocked from Aura was every bit as harsh on the essence of life as
it was on Aura herself. Ninjor regarded her quietly for a moment, then
returned to the Command Center. The Spirit sighed. Hurry, Ninjor. This
is Aura's only chance: and mine.
The Rangers all jumped to their feet as Ninjor reappeared in the Command Center. He wasted no words, getting straight to business. "The Spirit says she can help, but Aura must be taken to the Heart."
"I'll do it," Billy said at once. Azure shook her head; she wasn't going to let him do that!
"And what if there's a monster attack while you're gone?" she protested. Galan wasn't intent on conquering the world, but his monsters could serve to distract the Rangers while he tried for Aura again. "I'll go; you're needed here."
Tommy shook his head. "No, Azure, if Galan makes another attempt, you couldn't protect Aura. One of us should go!"
The arguments had been going for almost ten minutes when Azure glanced over to Aura, hoping she wasn't getting worse. Her eyes flew wide open. "Where's Aura?!" she squeaked. What happened while we were fighting over who'll save her?
"And where's Adam?" Tommy noticed someone else was missing! Ninjor chuckled just a trifle.
"They're on their way to the Heart of Earth," he'd been the only one to see Adam quietly picking Aura up and heading away, intent on rectifying the mistake he'd made. Ninjor had sent them a little closer to the sacred place, then just let the others fight. They needed to relieve the tension anyway.
Alarms suddenly blared throughout the Command Center. Alpha rushed to the computers, searching for the monster. "What is it this time?" Billy snarled. His wife was dying, Adam and Azure were fighting, Galan existed in the first place! What else was going to happen?
"Galan has created a monster," Alpha told them. "Made from a. . .," he paused to recheck his figures, then continued, a bit confused. "A chocolate cake?"
"A chocolate cake?" the Rangers chorused. Alpha nodded, as bewildered as they were. Tommy, barely able to control his giggles, reached for his morpher.
"Let's do it," he said. One thing about being a Ranger:
things are NEVER dull! I'm about to go fight a confection!
Galan watched as Adam carried Aura carefully through the woods. He mused softly, "What is he doing with Aura?" there's something wrong with her.
"Looks like he's taking her somewhere," Scorpina said dryly. She'd been annoyed with Galan ever since this whole thing with Aura started. Even the risk of his displeasure did nothing to dispel her irritation. But when he turned to her, pure rage in his eyes, she stepped back in fear.
"Juts what did you do to her?" he asked softly. While Aura was there, he'd caught them fighting. Scorpina had scratched Aura, just two light scrapes across her arms, but had there been more to it?
"Nothing," Scorpina protested. If he finds out I poisoned her. . .
"Why don't I believe you?" Galan turned back to his crystal, ignoring her for the moment. He'd take care of Scorpina later. "I must get her here; I must save her!"
"She's beyond saving," Scorpina hissed far too low for Galan to hear. Her poison had no antidote; she was very proud of that fact.
"I need a monster," Galan muttered, then snapped his fingers, calling ComMonster to him. "Go and destroy him," he gestured towards Adam in the crystal. "Bring the woman to me."
"Yes, sire!" ComMonster teleported off in that same moment.
Galan returned his gaze to the woman he'd sworn would be his own, no matter
what the cost. She had to live, she simply had to!
Adam almost staggered, Aura was a lot heavier than she looked. He sighed a little, and muttered to himself, "Hope it's not much longer. At least you'll be walking on your own on the way back!" I hope. Hope the others understand why I did this. They were wasting so much time, she would've died while they decided who was going to save her! It's my fault she was there, which means it was my fault Scorpina stung her. And my responsibility to get her healed.
"It'll be even longer for you!" a harsh voice said. He looked up to see ComMonster standing in front of him, ready for battle. Adam groaned to himself; he just didn't have time for this! He quickly and carefully placed Aura under a tree and morphed.
"Don't you monsters ever learn?" he snarled as the battle began.
"What's there to learn except that it's your last battle?" the monster retorted as they dueled back and forth.
"It's someone's and it's not mine!" Adam growled. "I won't let you hurt her!" I did enough of that.
"I don't want to hurt her!" ComMonster informed the Black Ranger. "Just you!"
The battle raged back and forth for several minutes, with Adam getting the worst of it. His worry over Aura, his heartbreak over Azure, his guilt over everything he'd said and done the past few hours, all combined to make him a much easier target for ComMonster. The creature knocked him into a tree and stepped on his wrist as he reached for the Power Ax. "Like I said, it's your last fight!"
Adam stared up in disbelief, suffering an unwanted flashback to when Aura had been the one standing over him, under Zedd's power and about to kill him. Tommy had rescued him then, but there was no way anyone could get to him now. . .this was the end. . .ComMonster's blade flew down towards him. . .
And was stopped.
Ninjor stood there, holding the monster's arm in his powerful grip. He threw the creature aside, and as he advanced on it, ComMonster vanished.
"Thanks, Ninjor," Adam breathed, getting to his feet and demorphing. Ninjor nodded.
"No problem," he replied. "Well, maybe just one!" Adam frowned.
"Where's Aura?" Adam looked over to where he'd put the dying Amber Ranger.
"Right over. . . ," his eyes widened in complete disbelief. This just couldn't be happening!
"Nope, not there!" indeed, Aura was gone!
"Galan!" Adam swore viscously. "He must've taken her! We've got to get her back, she'll die if we don't!"
Ninjor put a hand on Adam's shoulder and looked into his eyes. "You must save her. I can't go with you, though. I can send you to the moon, however."
"Then do it, please!" Adam begged. He wouldn't fail in this. He just wouldn't!
"Be careful," the old master advised. "She still loves
you," with that last statement ringing in his ears, Adam found himself
heading for the moon.
Galan stared as the Zalics he'd dispatched while ComMonster distracted the Black Ranger brought Aura into his throne room. She was pale, with sweat beading her forehead, and seemed barely to be breathing. "No," he whispered. Scorpina was just managing to conceal her joy.
"Looks like it's too late," was all she said. At last. To be rid of her!
"It's never too late!" Galan growled. "There must be a way to save her!" Scorpina poked at Aura a little bit, noticing how slack her skin was.
"No, sire. The poison's almost all the way through her!" It should only be a few more minutes. Then she's gone!
"This is all your fault!" Galan snarled. "If she dies, you die, Scorpina!"
In a flash of black light, Galan was surprised to see the Black Ranger appear. "What are you doing here?" he hissed, reaching for his sword. How dare he invade his palace!
"I came for Aura," Adam felt strangely calm as he faced this person who had killed so many of Aura's ancestors.
"You can't have her!" Galan hovered protectively over the Amber Ranger. He wasn't going to let anyone have her but him!
Adam smiled to himself; he knew how to get Aura free now. "So you'd rather let her die than let me help her?"
Galan stared; that was all he could do. "You can help her?" he asked softly. Adam nodded.
"Yes. That's where we were going, to take her to be healed," if Adam hadn't known better, he would've sworn Galan's eyes softened a little.
"And I stopped you," he whispered. A moment later, he looked up. "Where were you going? I shall take her there myself!"
Adam shook his head. "You can't go there. The Spirit won't let you of all people, enter the Heart of the Earth!" The Amber Ranger Hunter, in the home of the Amber Rangers? It was to laugh.
Galan obviously didn't find it so funny, though. "What makes you so special?"
"The Spirit only permits those of good heart to enter the Heart," Adam reminded him. Galan looked down at Aura, his thoughts churning.
I can keep you here with me, and you will die. Or give you to this Ranger, and he will save you. There is no choice to be made here. But I must know. "This Spirit can heal her?"
"Then take her to be healed," Galan said gently, touching Aura's forehead with what might've been mistaken for true love. You will return to me, healed, my love.
"I will," Adam picked Aura up carefully, then said something he never thought he would to one of their enemies. "T. . thank you."
Galan shook his head. "I wish her no harm. I did not inflict this
onto her. But when she is healed, I will seek her again. I will not be
stopped," with a flick of his sword, he'd returned them both to where
they'd been attacked by ComMonster.
Adam reappeared next to Ninjor, with Aura in his arms. Together they started towards the Heart again. "I hope the Spirit can help her," was all Adam said. Ninjor nodded briefly.
"She will," he replied. I hope.
It was a short, silent walk to the Heart, and as they entered the most perfect and flawless place in all the Earth, Adam called out for the Spirit gently, hoping their trip wasn't in vain.
"I have been awaiting you, Adam Park," the Spirit appeared before him, and he caught his breath at how bad she looked. He'd never imagined the blocked link would be so hard on the Spirit.
"Can you save Aura?" he asked, hoping it would also save the Spirit.
"Yes," was all she said as she came over to the Amber Ranger.
Without another word, she entered into Aura's poisoned body.
She was wandering through endless shadows, shadows that reached and grabbed for her. She dodged them as best she could, seeking something that had no name. Why should it? Nothing here had a name, not even her. She was just herself. What else could she be?
She had no memory of what might have happened before she came to this shadowland. She didn't care, either. All she knew was she was seeking, and had been forever, and would forever, if that was what it took to find it.
A light, of purest amber, shone on her out of nowhere, and a voice that was the voice of pure love spoke. You have done enough, my daughter. It is time to come home.
Father? The word had once meant something, and with that voice, it did again. Father, is that you?
Yes, Alaina, my daughter. We are here for you. Your family. She could see them now, a gathering of those like her. Those of her blood, her calling, her people. Her family. One stood ahead of them, his hand held out for her. Come home to us. We are waiting for you.
She found herself looking back, words she didn't understand, but felt in her heart were true coming to her lips. I cannot.
You have fulfilled your destiny, Alaina. Come home.
She shook her head. I wasn't born just to make the oath to Earth. I was born. . .for something more. Something else. I don't know what. But I know I haven't done it yet. It's not time.
There was silence for a time, and she felt somehow she had made a decision that could never be unmade. Aura.
Another voice, this time from behind her. She turned to see a woman there, of unutterable beauty and power, standing there. She felt a connection to her, something even more than the link to her family. Spirit of Earth.
Yes. You must choose to live or die, my beloved other half. You alone can choose this.
There was no choice. She knew it already, she knew what she was born to do. For one brief, flaming second, she knew precisely why she had been born. She knew what she had to do with her life, and she knew she would not remember when she returned to that life. She smiled to herself.
I am coming home. She turned back to her family. I will be back, one day. When it truly is my time.
Her father stepped closer to her and she felt what would've been a hug in full life. I am so proud of you, Aura. You have truly become the Amber Ranger you were meant to. Go, and be strong. Remember, we are always with you.
Always. The assembled members of her family whispered the word. Always with you, Alaina Alantrius, Aura Lynn Robinson Cranston, the Amber Ranger. We are always with you.
Then they were all around her, filling her with all their love, knowledge, and power. Deep within her heart and soul that would remain, until the moment came for her to use them.
Light exploded all around her, light beyond any description of the word light as the Spirit joined with her own. There was a form of barrier between them, that faded to dust and was no more in this eternal realm of light and love. She felt, and was, happier than she'd been in who knew how long. Full memory flooded back, and she smiled.
The Amber Ranger was back.
Adam couldn't see; the light that had enveloped Aura as the Spirit joined with her had blinded him. The first hint he had of anything being wrong or right was when he heard a voice he'd almost despaired of ever hearing again.
"Adam?" Aura asked gently. She could see through the light, but knew he wouldn't be able to.
"Aura?" he asked. "I'm sorry, Aura," the first thing he wanted to do was apologize for what he'd said.
"Adam, it's all right," she'd forgiven him before ever even meeting Galan under the tree.
He shook his head. "No, it's my fault you almost died!"
She came over and put a hand on his shoulder. "Adam, you didn't say anything that wasn't the truth. But I would've went to Galan anyway. I had to get Azure and Billy back, anyway I could. It is because of me that Galan came here. Rita and Zedd were always after me. But we survived them, and we can survive him," she had no idea where this sudden burst of confidence came from, but she wasn't going to question it.
"I wish you could convince your sister of that," Adam quickly explained what had happened when Azure found out what he'd said. Aura sighed.
"That girl is as stubborn as it's possible to be at times!" she turned back to the Spirit, who stood next to her now. . "Thank you. For everything."
The Spirit, now returned to her full health and strength, smiled. "It is good to be able to know that you're all right."
Aura hugged her tightly. "It's good to be healed, all the way healed!"
"You mean you can morph again?" Adam asked. He hoped so; all the Rangers wanted Aura back to her full self again.
"Yeah, I can!" Aura actually giggled. "Joining with the Spirit broke the block Galan placed on my powers! I'm me again!"
"It is time," Ninjor joined them. "Aura, the Rangers need your help. Adam, your eyesight will return in a few hours."
"Let's go!" Adam hadn't seen or heard Aura in this good of
a mood since Galan had shown up! Then again, he thought, she had a right
to be in a good mood. They were going to win, he could feel it in every
fiber of his being.
Billy grunted as he was thrown into a tree. This had to be the most embarrassing fight they'd ever had! "Man, who would have thought we'd get beaten by a chocolate cake?"
A surprising sound echoed around the battlefield, one they had never thought to hear.
"What's the matter, dear, can't handle a cake?" a very familiar voice said. They all looked up to see the Amber Ranger standing there.
"Aura?" Billy couldn't believe his eyes, but wanted to more than anything. "Where's Adam?"
"Back at the Command Center," Aura told him. "I'll explain later. We've got a cake to take care of!"
Tommy chuckled; all their spirits had been raised by Aura's return. "Pity we can't let Rocky eat it!"
"Why can't we?" Rocky asked, curious as to why he hadn't already thought of that solution. Aura laughed.
"Rocky, you don't eat this cake, it eats you! Or it tries to!" she let loose with a powerful kick to the cake's midsection. The cake winced; most of the Rangers had been too amused by the thing to actually try and fight it seriously.
"Ow," it said, in a voice so sweet it gave half the Rangers indigestion, and the other half came close to diabetes! Aura pulled out her Ax, and smiled.
"Time to cut the cake!" she snarled. The cake monster had time only for one last "noooo" before being sliced up. "I am not cleaning this up, either!" she declared.
"It's good to have you back! I was so worried about you!" Billy hugged her with all his strength.
"It's good to be back," she declared. "All the way back! I can morph again, I'm myself again!" the Rangers could somehow tell Aura was in a very good mood. "Now, come on, I've got a sister to talk some sense into!"
Billy smiled, then glanced down at his wrist. His communicator was still
wandering around as a monster. "Guess I'm gone have to make a new
As the Rangers teleported into the Command Center, they were rewarded by the sight of Azure and Adam holding hands and laughing together. "Azure," Aura whispered her sister's name, hoping this meant what she hoped it did.
"Aura!" Azure looked up, then came over to hug her sister warmly.
"Azure. . .are you and Adam all right again together?" Aura had to ask. Azure nodded, smiling. "I'm glad. And there's something you need to know. What Adam told me was the truth. Almost all of this has happened because of me. Galan wouldn't have come here if I wasn't the Amber Ranger," Azure looked down; she'd realized after her temperamental storming out on Adam that he had been right. Azure lifted up her chin. "But we can deal with him, together."
"That we will," Azure smiled as she joined Adam again. They kissed again, looking deeply into each other's eyes as they did so. Adam smiled as the last of the light glare from Aura's healing light faded.
"Whoa, you look beautiful," he whispered. Azure smiled.
"Adam, you can see again!?" she was surprised; they hadn't been able to determine when he'd be seeing again.
"Yeah, I can!" Adam laughed; it was good to see again: especially when the first thing he'd seen was Azure!
"Um, I didn't know he couldn't see!" Tommy raised an eyebrow, wondering just what was going on. Once Adam had explained what happened, he nodded. Why don't I get told these things? The White Ranger wondered, smiling to himself.
Azure hugged Adam deeply, she'd never really been much happier. Even Galan couldn't spoil her joy. "I'm glad I didn't unpack!"
Aura sighed with pure happiness. "This has been one long day!" she smiled. It had begun with terror, continued with panic, and ended with peace.
"So am I," Adam smiled. "I missed you, Azure," he put an arm around her, enjoying the feel of her there.
"And I missed you," she said, kissing him.
"Let's go home," Adam suggested, kissing her again. Azure nodded.
"Lets. I can get my stuff in the morning," she glanced over
at Billy and then handed him her communicator. "Till you get yours
"That blasted Black Ranger!" Galan roared. He'd intended to take Aura directly back from Adam once she was healed, but with Ninjor right there, had been unable to. No one in their right mind wanted to face the ancient Ninja Master.
"What is it, sire?" Scorpina asked; though she had an idea already.
"He's going to pay for this! I want Aura back!" Galan was actually whining! Scorpina groaned.
"Talk about a one-track mind," she muttered. Galan glared at her nastily.
"I heard that," he snapped. "Now, how to get back at him. . ."
Scorpina shrugged. "He seems attached to his wife, the Amber Ranger's sister."
Galan smiled. "Kill two birds with one stone! Now, to wait for the perfect moment. . .she will deliver this to Aura, then kill herself!" he was more than through playing around!
"Deliver what?" Scorpina asked, not really interested. Galan simply wasn't fun to work for anymore!
Galan opened up a box next to him and lifted out a bottle. "This. A love potion of the strongest degree!"