Blocked Amber
by: Cynthia and Elizabeth

Two days had passed while the Amber Ranger had been Rita Repulsa and Master Vile's prisoner. They watched with great interest as an incredibly intricate machine Finster had built for them administered torment to her. "This is so much fun!" Rita observed. It had taken a while for Aura to start screaming; she had a high threshold for pain, thanks to Zedd, Rita's now deceased husband. But once she had, she hadn't stopped.

"Oh, yes," Vile agreed. "She hasn't been saying 'the Rangers will rescue me' since we started the torture!"

"She hasn't been saying much!" Rita laughed as yet another of Aura's screams tore the air on the SpaceSkull. Vile nodded his heads in agreement.

"Just a lot of those!"

Rita watched for a few more moments, enjoying the pure pain they were putting her through. _How dare Zedd want her for his queen in my place! I might not be able to do anything to him, but I can and will punish HER for what he did! What else to do to her. . .there are so many options. Ahhh!!_ "Father, I have an idea," she quickly explained to him, and Vile laughed as the beauty of it struck him.

"Yes!" he agreed. "Let her meet a couple of 'old friends'!" he quickly put the plan into action, while Rita went over to Aura and stopped the torture.

Rita lifted Aura's face and stared into her gray eyes. "There is someone here to see you," the evil sorceress intoned. "Actually, two someones!"

"Ge. . .get your hands off me," Aura gasped. "I just want to go home. . .," _I never thought anything could get worse than that month I spent in Zedd's dungeon. Until now._

Rita turned Aura's head to face the doorway. "What? And be rude to our guests?"

The Amber Ranger went chalk white as she saw who stood there. "No! Can't be. . .they're dead!"

Two familiar hideous laughters sounded. "But we're not!" Zedd told her. "Your sister didn't do as good a job as she thought she had!"

Aura's eyes switched to who stood next to Zedd. "I killed you myself, you can't be here!"

The Amber Ranger stared at the Amber Ranger Hunter. "Can't I?" Galan chuckled. "Are you sure you killed me, and not a duplicate?"

"No, I'm having a nightmare, it has to be," Aura whispered over and over again, not wanting to believe her two worst enemies stood side by side there. Galan came over to her, putting an arm around her shoulders.

"I assure you," he almost purred. "It's only going to get worse from here on out!"

"For you and your sister!" Zedd promised. Aura took a deep breath, then screamed at the top of her lungs, "Get way from me! And don't you dare touch Azure!"

Zedd laughed. "You say that so often. I wonder what you can do to stop us from doing anything to her!"

"Whatever I have to do," Aura promised. "Whatever I have to do."

Galan smiled evilly, and Aura felt chills remembering how he had been before. "Oh, I don't think we have to touch her to hurt her!"

"Leave her alone," Aura threatened. "Or I swear to you, whether you're dead or alive, I will kill you again! A thousand times if I have to!"

All the assembled villains laughed. "I think she's been taking lessons from the Heroes' Handbook!" Vile mocked her. Rita nodded and tugged lightly at her father's arm.

"Come, let us leave her to her fate. We must make plans for her precious Azure," Rita said slyly. Vile laughed evilly as he and Rita left Galan and Zedd to deal out the rest of the punishment Aura so richly deserved.

* * *

Adam stood in the bedroom doorway, looking at his sleeping wife. Zack was just behind him. "She should wake up soon."

"I hope so," Adam sighed. "It's been two days," as Katia started to cry, he headed for the nursery to comfort her.

_Azure asleep, Aura missing. Sheesh, these two girls go through a lot even for Rangers, and the families of Rangers!_ Zack thought to himself as he followed his friend. Adam held his daughter gently, soothing her cries as best he could.

"Shhh. ..Mommy will be up any time now. . .shhh," he told her. Zack smiled a little as Azure slipped up behind Adam, and kissed him gently on the neck.

"What time is it," she asked, a touch of grogginess in her voice. Adam glanced at his watch automatically.

"It's four, Azure," he then did something Zack had never seen in actuality: a doubletake. "Azure?"

"What?" she smiled. "You expected the Goblin King?"

"I. . .uh. .. I. .," when words failed Adam, he turned instead to one of his rare expressions of emotion: he grabbed his wife, hugged, and kissed her with all his heart. Azure smiled as she returned the hug, kissing both her husband and daughter.

"Next question, how long have I been asleep?"

"Two days," Adam told her. Azure raised an eyebrow, then continued.

"I take it the Glitter Rose thingie worked, cause I can't see or hear Eric," she observed, and they could both see how grateful she was for that. "Where is Aura?"

Adam hmmmed for a moment, not really wanting to tell Azure the truth just yet. When she pinned him with one of her killer stares, though, he admitted, "We haven't been able to find her."

"What?" Azure almost growled the word out.

"We've been looking all over the planet, even the moon, but nothing!" Adam told her. Azure's eyes flicked out the window, as if she hoped for her sister to appear at that moment.

"Where could they have her then? Venus?"

Adam shrugged. "I don't know, but Billy's going out of his mind."

"Let me guess, Rocky is looking after their kids?" Azure surmised. Adam nodded.

"I think they're going to wind up thinking he's their mom!" Adam almost complained as Azure headed towards their room, saying she'd be back in a moment.

"I wonder what's up with her?" Zack asked, looking at his friend. Adam's face was stern.

"Whatever it is, I don't think I like her going out after being asleep for two days!" he said firmly.

"You might want to keep an eye on her, man, carefully of course!" Zack suggested.

"Are you talking about me again?" Azure asked as she came back in wearing a pair of leggings, and one of Adam's old black tee-shirts. Adam caught his breath at just how fantastic she looked in that, and told her so. "You're avoiding my question."

"Well," he hedged a little. Azure sighed.

"I thought you were!"

Zack came to Adam's rescue as best he could. "He's just worried about you, Azure, after all, you've been asleep for two days!"

"I was tired, really tired!" she retorted. "I was just going to the Command Center, and then for a quick walk in the park! I was going to ask if you two wanted to come, but now I'm not so sure!"

Adam bit his lip. "Azure, I worry because I love you!"

Azure looked at him long and carefully. "There are times when you worry too much," she told him as she kissed him, then picked up Katia. "Hello, little angel," she cooed. _Oh, I love them both!_

"I guess," Adam sighed. Azure smiled at him, he was learning!

"I love you, Adam. Let's go for that walk."

Adam nodded as he reached for a jacket . "Yeah, it's been too long since we just walked!"

"Let's hope we can do just that, and not have to face any monsters!" Azure declared. She glanced over at Zack. "Coming?"

"Nah, you two need some time together," he grinned. "Besides, I've got somewhere else to be right now!"

"You are nothing but a romantic, Zack!" Azure grinned at her old friend. It was still sort of amazing to her that he had spent a year and a half as the Black Ranger, the position now held by Adam. The things that had happened while she and Aura were in New York, she mused for a moment. She smiled briefly to herself. Who would have imagined her life would turn out like this?

* * *

"It's good to be with you again," Adam said as they walked through the park. Azure nodded as she pushed Katia's stroller.

"Same here," she smiled at him. "I missed this."

Adam kissed her lightly. "It's just not the same without you."

Azure blushed. "When was the last time we went for a walk together, just the two of us? Or should I say, three of us?"

"I honestly can't remember!" Adam almost laughed. Azure smiled.

"Maybe before Galan showed up?" _I can't believe it's been almost a year since then! Well, over a year, actually!_

"I think so!"

Before they could take another step, a monster appeared in front of them, a hideous thing that they both recognized as the one Aura had described before. "One Ranger down, so many to go!"

"Oh, great, can't we ever have a peaceful walk?" Adam groaned. "Azure, get Katia and get out of here!" a moment later, both his wife and child were gone, teleported to the Command Center. Adam glared at the creature. "What have you done with Aura, you slime?"

"I see you don't want her getting hut!" Blocker mocked. "No matter, it's you I'm after! I got her sister, and now I get you!"

"We'll find her," Adam snarled. "We'll find Aura, and we'll just see who gets who!"

The monster lurched towards him, laughing. "I'd morph if I were you, quickly!" it taunted him as a beam shot out of it's eyes. Adam flipped away, morphing as he did so. He knew it was no use to call for help, this thing blocked communications just by existing.

"You've got a big mouth, you know that, don't you?" he retorted as he started to fight the creature. Another beam lashed out, and this one hit him hard, knocking Adam to the ground.

"But I know how to shut yours, permanently!" the monster gloated with glee as Adam rolled to avoid yet another beam.

Adam swore visciously as he managed to get back up to his feet. "Yeah, right! Do you know how many times I've heard villains and monsters say that?"

"This will be the last time!" Blocker blasted Adam again, only to have the Black Ranger move away yet again.

"That's what they all say," Adam chuckled. He hoped he could stay away from this thing until the others arrived; Azure was probably already calling them in.

"We shall see!" the creature hissed. Another beam blasted, but this time Adam didn't make it away in time. He fell to the ground, darkness overwhelming him in moments.

Blocker laughed in evil glee and marched towards the fallen Ranger just as the others teleported in. "Leave him alone!" Tommy snapped. The monster blasted Adam one more time.

"I came and did what I was told!" he declared. "Now, I leave!" without another word, he vanished into thin air. Rocky ran straight to his friend and knelt by him.

"This doesn't look good!" he groaned. He had some medical training, it was required of lifeguards, and he was already worried over his friend.

"How bad?" Billy asked, joining him. Rocky touched Adam's morpher, forcing the Black Ranger to demorph, and examined him quickly.

"I think he's in a coma," the Red Ranger whispered. Tommy bit off a few choice oaths, then started to lift Adam up.

"Let's get him to the Command Center," was all he said out loud. Inwardly, he cringed. _Oh, man, Azure is not going to like this!_

* * *

"This plan is going perfectly!" Vile laughed as Blocker teleported in.

"Masters!" the creature declared. "I have one what I was told, the Black Ranger is dying. . .slowly!"

Vile smiled hideously. "Congratulations!" he told the monster. Aura, chained to a wall near them, screamed in outrage.

"No! Adam!"

Rita gazed at her with hate in her eyes. "What? I thought you loved the Blue Ranger?"

"Adam is my friend and brother-in-law," Aura spat at Rita. "Like you'd know anything about real love anyway!"

"I loved my husband!" Rita declared. "Until your sister took that away from me! It is time for her to feel the pain that I am going through!"

Aura growled, "If he'd stayed away from me she wouldn't have killed him!"

"She should never have been born!" Rita clenched her fists in fury. "And soon, she will wish that she hadn't!"

"I've been wishing you'd never been born for years no!" Aura retorted. Vile roared for both of them to be silent.

"Enough! Soon the Black Ranger will be dead, there is no way for Zordon to reverse what Blocker did to him!"

Aura closed her eyes and spoke quietly, almost to herself. "You'll both pay for this."

Zedd laughed from near her, he and Galan had been having a wonderful time tormenting Aura. She glared at them all. "No matter what it takes, you'll pay."

"Yeah, you keep saying that!" Rita groaned. Vile nodded.

"and I'm getting tired of hearing her speak at all! What do you say, Rita, something to shut her up? Except for her screams, of course!"

Rita nodded and gestured to the monster. "Blocker, do your stuff!" the monster came closer to Aura, bathing her in a green light. She tried to scream a denial, only to find she could no longer speak!!

_What can't this thing do? It can split itself into multiple parts, block transmissions just by existing, those rays of it hurt Adam, and now it blocked my voice! Sweet stars, this is getting ridiculous!_ Aura thought briefly. Having no other choice, she gave them all nasty looks.

"At least she's quiet about her 'insults' now! If you can call those pathetic attempts insults!" Vile laughed.

Rita shook her head. "I can't, and don't!"

* * *

Adam sat up, holding his head. Where was he? What had happened? Last thing he remembered was going up against the Blocker monster. . ."Oh, man, my head is killing me," he muttered. "Azure?"

"Adam?" the voice wasn't Azure's, but he recognized it anyway. Or he almost did. It was soft, kind, and gentle, far different from the last time he had heard it.

"What are you doing here?" he asked Galan. The Amber Ranger Hunter smiled warmly.

"I was about to ask you the same thing."

Adam got to his feet and glanced around. They were in a strange, grayish realm, that didn't seem to be anywhere. "Where am I? What's going on?" it struck him as rather odd to be asking advice of Galan, but he seemed to know more than Adam did at the moment.

"You're dead, or rather close to it," Galan said matter of factly. Adam couldn't believe his ears!

"What? No, this can't be!" he protested. _I can't be dead! I'm not dead! No way, this isn't happening! Not at all!_

Galan smiled. "Relax, you're not supposed to be dead yet!" Adam stared at his old enemy.

"Why are you being so nice to me?" he wanted to know. This wasn't like Galan at all!

"I learned a lot after I died," Galan told him. "I realize now how wrong I was before. I could've spent my life helping people with the powers I cultivated, instead of trying to wipe out a line that cannot die."

Adam sighed, and sat down. "I don't understand any of this. How exactly did I 'die' or come this close to dying?"

"I'm not sure," Galan admitted, sitting next to him. "I think a monster of Rita's, perhaps."

Adam thought for a few minutes. "That thing that attacked. . .he said he came for me, he must have wanted me dead to hurt Azure even more."

"I believe you are right," Galan nodded. Adam took a quick moment to look at him. He seemed very real, very solid, but then again, so did Adam himself. Whatever was going on here, he needed to get back to Azure.

He took a deep breath. "How do I stop myself from dying?"

"I can guide you back to your body," Galan told him. "The Rangers are doing all they can to fix it now."

Adam stood up. "Let's go," he murmured softly a moment later, "Azure, I'm coming back to you, my love?"

As they headed out, Galan asked, "So. is Aura?" Adam wasn't really surprised by the question, it was the tone the question had been asked in that surprised him so. There was nothing evil or lustful about it, pure curiosity and concern filled Galan's voice. Adam regretted having to give out bad news.

"Rita's got her."

Galan stopped. "What?" he growled. Adam almost smiled, Galan didn't change in some respects, it seemed.

"Rita and Vile have her," he continued. "I don't know how, probably when we were looking for Azure," he sighed a little. "I'm worried bout her."

"I will look for her once I have guided you back safely," Galan promised. Adam found himself smiling.

"Thanks. For everything."

"It is the least I can do," Galan told him. They hadn't gone much farther, however, when they were most rudely interrupted.

"Hello, Ranger!" the ghost of Eric Matthews reared up in front of them, blocking the way. Galan growled deep in his nonexistent throat.

"Be gone from here, Eric! You will not interfere in this!"

Adam stared wide-eyed. "Eric? What are you doing here?" _stupid question, he's dead, Galan's dead, this is the Realm of the Dead. I just hope no one else shows up!_

"Interfering," Galan said flatly. Eric still stood in front of them, glaring.

"I died, no thanks to that little pest of a wife of yours. She should have died back then! Maybe you would still be alive!" Eric's hideous laughter, a sound Adam had been glad to hear end, sounded once more.

"He is alive," Galan told him. "I am taking him back to his body."

Eric shook his head. " That is what you think! I will stop you, or should I say, we will stop you!"

"We?" Adam wondered. "Who else is here?"

"You will find out in time," Eric laughed as he faded away. "That you will!"

Galan took a deep breath. "If it is who I fear it is, this will not be easy."

Adam shivered. "I think I know who it is, and that's what's worrying me." _Eric never could do anything on his own._

"Let's go," Galan started again. "We might have a chance if we hurry."

Adam nodded as he joined his guide. "What are we waiting for?"

* * *

Azure knelt beside Adam in the Command Center, holding his hand and crying with all her heart. "Adam, come back to me, please," she begged. Alpha was deeply involved in the scans as Azure stared at the comatose Black Ranger with Katia in her arms. "You'd better come back to me."

Alpha put a hand on her shoulder. "I think he'll be all right, but it's too early to tell."

"What the heck, happened?" Billy wanted to know. "How did that thing get to Adam and we not even know about it until Azure told us?"


"What did it do to him?" Azure moaned from her post beside Adam. Alpha told her quietly of the extent of the injuries, and she groaned.

"Adam, wake up, please!" she begged. "I swear, if you don't wake up soon, I'm moving in with my parents again!"

Adam lay there, unresponsive, as his soul searched for the way home.

* * *

Rita entered the torture chamber, and smiled as she observed Galan enjoying himself with the administering of pain to Aura. She laughed. "Maybe I should come back later?"

Aura stuck her tongue out, and Rita glanced briefly down at the glass she held in one hand. A slow cruel smile curved her lips. "You seem to be enjoying yourself," Aura shook her hand and spat at Rita, who came a touch closer. "You simply must stop doing that. Galan,I think you should leave her alone for now, I'm sure she must be thirsty!"

Galan pouted. "I was just starting to have real fun!"

"You can have all the fun you want to later," Rita laughed. "Which I'm sure you will."

Galan backed away from Aura. "That I will!"

Rita came closer to Aura. "Are you thirsty?" she almost sounded nice! "You've been here almost two whole days and hardly had anything to drink!"

Aura looked away from her, she'd learned long ago what it was to accept things from the enemy. "I can make you drink this!" Rita snarled. "And I wouldn't want me to try, not if I were you!" when Aura simply ignored her, Rita hissed, "So be it!" she seized Aura's long black hair, jerked it back, and forced the drink down Aura's throat. Rita laughed as Aura stared at her, then spat. "I wish I could sew your mouth up!" Rita growled. A moment later, she stepped back as Aura screamed, the only sound she was capable of making right now, far louder than Rita herself could ever hope to scream.

"Galan!" Rita snapped as she covered her ears. "Have fun!"

Aura's scream changed in tone as Galan approached her. Instead of anger, now pure fear filled it. She mouthed a silent 'no' as Galan kissed her. "You're going to enjoy this!" he told her. Aura shook her head violently as he began the ultimate torment to the Amber Ranger.

_Billy!_ she screamed the words in her mind. _Help me!_

* * *

"I wish I could see Azure right now," Adam sighed as he and Galan traveled. "She must be so worried."

Galan reassured him, "You will be with her soon. We aren't too far from where you go back to your body now."

"Let's just hope we get there before Eric and the other one come for us!" Galan barely had time to nod agreement before Eric and his companion both appeared in front of them.

"Hello, Ranger!" Eric oozed. "I said I'd be back!"

Lord Zedd laughed. "As am I!" he looked just as hideous as he always had in life.

Galan growled, "Zedd! I knew it had to be you!" Adam hissed an obscenity, to which Zedd laughed.

"Such foul language to greet an old enemy with, Black Ranger!"

Adam rolled his eyes. "What? You expected a hello and how do you do? You are dumber than I thought you were!" _And I didn't think that was possible!_

"Remove yourself from here!" Galan commanded the two deceased villains. "You're not wanted or needed here!"

Zedd looked with distaste on the Amber Ranger Hunter. "Galan, you have changed. You used to be a decent villain!"

Eric shivered. "Now you're a goody-two-shoes! Just like those stupid Amber Rangers you used to hunt and kill!"

"Death gave me time to reflect and realize how wrong I was," Galan stood up to their taunts. "Pity it didn't do the same to you!"

Eric shrugged. "How was I wrong? She deserved everything that I did to her!"

"No one deserved what you did to Azure!" Galan roared. Adam almost launched at Eric, but managed to hold himself back, despite the dead guy's mocking laughter.

"OH, but she did deserve it!"

Zedd was more to the business at hand. "You will never return to life, Black Ranger!"

Adam laughed. Some villains never changed. "Wanna bet? I will return, and I will live knowing my wife destroyed the two of you, and she doesn't have to fear you anymore!" he gazed directly at Eric.

"You're going to have to get by us to live, and that's not possible!" Zedd told him, blocking the pathway. Adam could see a brilliant golden light ahead of them, beyond Zedd and Eric, and something told him that was the way home. Something about it gave him hope.

"Wanna bet?" he said softly, firmly. "I will live."

"Let's go, Adam!" Galan sharply spoke up, beginning to lead him past them. Eric swiftly jumped in front of them.

"You will never return!"

"Never!" Zedd promised. Galan glared at them both, it was plain he was not in a good mood.

"Let us pass!" he growled. "We will pass by!"

"That you will!" a new voice sounded. Adam and Galan looked up to see a tall, burly man striding toward them, a familiar Axe in his hands. Adam knew only one person, other than Aura, would have that!

"Neras?" he breathed. "Aura's father?"

The thirty-fifth Amber Ranger of Kalakan nodded. "Yes. And you have made her sister very happy, thus I came to help, for by doing so, you made my daughter happy."

"How dare you be here, Neras?" Zedd roared, furious to see the Amber Ranger he had slain standing against him yet again.

"He does because he can!" Adam laughed, knowing now they would succeed! "Let's get past these two bozos, shall we?"

Neras, Galan, and Adam surged towards. "Yes, we shall!" Neras bellowed a battle cry and took the lead, with Eric and Zedd falling back from his attack. As they passed them, the two spirits faded away, defeated in death as they had been in life.

"Thank you, Neras," Adam told the father of his friend.

"My pleasure, Adam," Neras replied. Adam suddenly winced, pain filling his entire form as he dropped to his knees. "Come, Galan," Neras glanced at the Amber Ranger Hunter. "We have little time left."

Galan bent down and swiftly picked up the pain-wracked Ranger. "Let's go."

"Azure," Adam whispered, "Wait for me. . ."

They headed for the light.

* * *

Alpha ran another test on Adam, and the results weren't good. "He's getting worse," he reported. "He doesn't have much time left."

"Adam!" Azure cried, laying her head on his stomach and crying with all her heart. She didn't notice two shadowy figures forming near them, but Billy most certainly did.

"What. . . the. .. Galan!" he hissed the name.

The spirit raised a hand. "Be at peace, Billy, I mean no harm." the shade next to him nodded, and Billy's jaw dropped when he saw who it was

"You can trust him, Billy," Neras told him. Everyone looked suddenly at Adam as he began to move, opening his eyes.

"Adam?" Azure whispered, her heart pounding with joy. His eyes cleared as he looked at her.

"Azure," he whispered softly. He wrapped his teary-eyes wife in his arms, glad to be home at last. "Oh, Azure!" he looked over to Galan and Neras. "Thank you both."

"Galan?" Azure stared at the ghost. "You're thanking him? Am I missing something?"

Galan floated to Azure. "Azure, I beg your forgiveness for all that I did to you. I am sorry."

"All is forgiven," Azure told him. "I have trouble holding some grudges when others rear their ugly faces."

Neras was looking at Billy. "So you are my daughter's love?"

"That I am," Billy smiled at the ghost of his father-in-law.

"You have made her happier than you can ever know," Neras informed him. "I thank you."

The Blue Ranger nodded. "Now, if we can just get her back. . ."

"That is what Galan has gone to do," Neras told them. It was only then that they noticed he had faded away. "He will find her wherever she is, and bring back word. He is truly the Amber Ranger Hunter. Only now he will use his skills one last time to find her."

Adam was shakily getting to his feet. "Instead of kill her, he's going to save her. Like he did me."

* * *

Rita laughed as Galan and Zedd committed torment after torment to Aura. "Oh, this is too perfect, she's going to go catatonic again!" Goldar had told them what Zedd had done to her originally, and how.

Vile nodded. "I can arrange it so she never comes out of it this time!"

"Oh, you will?" Galan's voice sounded suddenly. "We shall see about that!"

Vile and Rita looked around, surprised! Their Galan was far too busy to be speaking, but they had heard his voice all the same. "Who said that?"

"I did!" A second Galan was appearing before them. Vile's eyes were wide in shock, as were Rita's. "If I were you, I'd return this young woman's voice and release her, or else, I will haunt you forever!"

Rita did not believe her eyes. "Galan! It can't be, you're dead!"

"True," Galan's ghost nodded. "And she killed me. With just cause! I deserved what happened to me, but she does not deserve this!"

"Do you know what she did with Zedd? With my husband?" Rita growled. Vile nodded.

"She deserves death! We're being nice to her by doing this!"

Galan's ghost shook his head. "Don't you mean what he did to her? I think you got your information wrong! He did everything to her. .he beat her, he drugged her food so she would fall for him, he trapped her in an endless loop of pain!"

Vile glared. "Like you did anything better! You tricked her sister into feeding her a love potion, you kidnapped her husband and sister to force her to come to you! And nearly killed her sister!"

"Azure has forgiven me," Galan told them. " And for that I am grateful. Now, get them away from her, give her back her voice, and release her!"

Rita laughed. "And if we don't, what are you going to do, ghost?"

"Something that you don't think I'm capable of doing!" the shade promised them. Vile mocked him evilly, pretending to fright. A moment later, the false Galan and Zedd vanished, returning briefly to their true forms of Tengas before doing so. "now what do you have to say?"

"That. . .that's not possible!" Vile bellowed. Galan laughed.

"Isn't it? How do you explain what just happened?" not daring much more, Rita waved her wand, releasing Aura from the chains and releasing Blocker's spell so that she could once more speak.

"No. ..stop. . .please," Aura murmured, nearly out of her mind with pain. Galan wished for a moment he could be solid, to touch and reassure her.

"They have," was all he could say. "They are sending you back now," he glanced to Rita and Vile. "Aren't you?"

"Yes," Vile nodded. "For now," he muttered.

"I am going with her, and I will be keeping an eye on you two!" Galan promised them. "Send her, now!" with another wave of Rita's wand, Aura vanished.

"Happy now?"

Galan nodded as he vanished. "I will be keeping an eye on you two!" was all they heard before he was gone.

* * *

Aura appeared in her usual blaze of amber light, and looked around. She'd recovered quickly once the torment had stopped, and smiled to see Azure there. "Azure!"

"You're back!" Azure smiled. She looked over to Galan's ghost, forming near her sister. "Thank you."

Aura looked around. "Billy? Where's Billy?" her eyes widened as they landed on her husband. "No. . ."

"Aura?" Azure asked, seeing the fear fill her eyes. "What's wrong?"

"Snakes," Aura whispered as she looked around the Command Center. "Snakes. .not snakes. .. " her eyes rolled up into her head and she collapsed to the floor.