The Coin had no powers now. It lay dormant, an empty husk, in the
space between worlds and time. It drifted there for who knows how long,
soaking up power and strength until it was as powerful as it had ever been.
But the one who had once carried it had a new power now. The Coin would
do him no good.
It floated even longer, seeking one who would be a worthy bearer of it. It was blank for a time, seeking the one whose soul mirrored its own true nature. Though not intelligent in the true sense of the word, the Coin could sense that one existed who embodied all that it did. The Coin drifted towards that one.
* * *
"Angel Grove, California," the morning sun blazed off the fiery red hair of the young woman. She glanced at the other woman asleep in the seat next to her. "Amber, wake up. We're here."
"Lemme sleep, mom. I don't have school today," Amber snuggled back down into the seat. Her friend shook her head, then shoved Amber hard in the shoulder. The blonde sat up suddenly. "What the--Andara!! What's with you?"
"We're here," Andara gestured towards the city spread out before them. It looked almost too good to be true. "Angel Grove."
Amber looked out the window. "Nice place," she observed. "Hope it's got a good gym somewhere."
"Athletics isn't everything," Andara told her dryly. They had carried on this conversation many times on their cross-country trip.
"You're one to talk!!" Amber retorted. "We'll both need a good gym, you know."
Andara sighed and nodded. "But first we need our apartment. There's the building. Home sweet home."
Amber noticed that Andara did not look convinced that this place was going to be home to either of them anytime soon. Both of them had excellent reasons to want a fresh start on the other side of the country.
"You aren't exactly thrilled with moving here, are you? You know that we had scholarships for any college we wanted. We could've gone to one closer to home." Amber said. Her soft French accent was a comforting sound to Andara's ears. Her deep brown eyes filled with concern. Amber hated to see Andara unhappy.
"That was the whole point. To get as far away from Richmond as we possibly can." Andara responded, then sighed.
"You're right," Amber agreed. "Can't stay too close to home with him around."
Andara said nothing, but nodded. She pulled the car into a vacant parking space and turned the key in the ignition. The motor quieted.
For a moment they sat there in silence. Then Andara said to her friend, "Let's go."
* * * "AMBER! Come and give me a hand with this couch!"
Amber bounded out of the bedroom, applauding like there was no tomorrow. She was beaming. Andara gave her a disgusted look. "Not that kind of hand, you idiot! Help me get this couch into the living room!"
Amber flashed a quick smile and effortlessly lifted the other end of the couch. They moved the couch into the living room.
After they had finished Andara asked, "What were you doing in the bedrooms?" She wiped the sweat from her brow and drew in a deep breath.
Amber, on the other hand, was as rested as she had been beforehand, and not a single drop of perspiration was noticeable. "Setting up the beds."
"Both of them?"
Andara smiled. "Good! I didn't want to have to sleep on the floor tonight."
They brought in more of the furniture into the apartment. About an hour later Andara looked around the almost-completely furnished place.
"Whew." Andara said. "Time for a break, you think?"
Amber put down the nightstand she had been carrying. "Definitely. We have to see if they have any gyms around here."
Andara playfully punched at Amber's shoulder and Amber pretended to cry out in pain.
"Come on!" she wailed, "Let's at least look for one!"
Andara grinned. "Sure, why not. We've got nothing better to do than lift furniture, and I need some time to rest."
Amber jumped up and down, clapping her hands. "Let's go!" She squealed.
* * * Amber peered into Ernie's Gym and Juice Bar. When she saw the weightlifting equipment she cried out. "Andara! I love this place already! It's perfect!"
Andara followed Amber inside. She laughed. "You and your bodybuilding!" she exclaimed, then turned to glance around. It was then when she saw him. He was absolutely gorgeous. Dressed in black, pale creamy complexion, mysterious dark eyes, possibly of Japanese or Korean decent, nice build. Everything that Andara wanted in the appearance of a guy was in him. Just looking at him made her blush deeply red.
Amber waved her hand in front of Andara's face. "Woo-hoo! Anyone home? Andara!"
Andara smiled slightly, her green eyes glazed over, locked on him. Amber turned to follow her gaze, and found out what she was looking at.
"Oh," Amber sighed. "He's all right."
Andara finally stopped looking at him to face Amber. "All right? He's gorgeous!"
"My taste runs more toward that type." Amber said, gesturing to a muscular blonde, clad in blue, who was seated next to the guy that Andara liked. "He's cute!"
"Whatever!" Andara replied. "I'm going to go sit down."
"It's weightlifting time for me!" Amber yelled, and charged towards the weights.
Andara went over to a booth and sat there, watching the man of her dreams as he had a conversation with his friends. A slight impulse told her to go and introduce herself, but she quickly turned it down. She was far too shy, compared to the ever outspoken best friend of hers. She could never bring herself to do such a thing, for fear of embarrassing herself.
* * * Adam, Billy, Rocky, Kat and Aisha sat at their normal table, having their normal conversation. Kat was reading over a letter she'd just gotten from Kim at the Pan-Globals. Adam was commenting on how he knew she'd take the gold, when he suddenly stopped talking. His eyes got wide, and they glazed over. It was her. The woman of his dreams. She was wearing a green blouse and blue jeans, her long red hair brushed back into a ponytail, her emotional green eyes flashed in the bright lights, her figure, exquisite. Everything that Adam ever wanted in the appearance of a girl.
"Yo! Adam! Earth to Adam!" Aisha taunted.
"What's with him?" Kat asked.
Rocky waved his hand in front of Adam's face. There was no response. Rocky shrugged his shoulders.
"Wait a minute." Billy said and turned in his chair. He followed Adam's gaze. He then turned again. "The one with the red hair?"
Adam's mouth dropped open. He nodded.
"Ewww! He's drooling!" Kat screamed.
Billy reached across the table and pushed Adam's mouth closed. A bit of drool off of Adam's chin got onto his hand, and Billy quickly wiped it off. "She's OK, I guess." He said to Adam.
Adam protested. "OK! She's a knockout beauty!"
Rocky threw his hands up in the air "He speaks!" he screamed.
"Shush up, Rocky!" Aisha said.
Billy smiled. "She's not as pretty as the one lifting the weights. Now she's a knockout!"
"Look at her go! I've never seen a girl lift like that before!" Rocky yelled.
"Shut up, Rocky!" Kat and Aisha screamed.
"How bout we spar, Billy? You know, to show off to the new girls." Adam said, grinning from ear to ear.
"Sure, why not. I have nothing to lose," Billy said. He stood up and pushed his chair in. "Let's spar!"
* * * Adam and Billy were on the practice mat, and they were taking turns tripping each other. One minute, when Billy was looking over at Amber, Adam would trip him. The next, when Adam was looking at Andara, Billy would trip him. This trip-a-thon lasted for 15 minutes, until Adam turned to see Andara peering over at him.
"Billy! She's staring at me!!"
Billy pushed Adam over to her. "Say 'Hi!" and introduce yourself!"
Adam blushed. "Bil-ly!" he whined.
"Just do it!"
"Sheesh. Sounds like a Nike commercial."
Adam looked over at the girl again. She was walking over to the weight-lifting girl; they seemed to be friends. He took a deep breath; she wouldn't bite. She'd just talk. He headed over there.
"Hi," he began. She looked up at him, her ponytail flying back over her shoulder as she turned. She turned a very attractive shade of red as she saw who was talking to her. "You're new around here, aren't you?"
She nodded briefly, then turned back to her friend. The weight-lifter looked over at him, then freed an arm so she could shake his hand. "I'm Amber Douglas. My shy friend there is Andara Collins; we just moved here from Richmond."
"I'm Adam Park. You guys moved all the way across the country?" Adam was surprised; he'd never met anyone from Virginia before. Amber had a light French accent that was rather nice to listen to; he knew Billy would like it, and her.
She nodded; then returned to her weightlifting. Adam realized belatedly she hadn't stopped once while talking to him, not even when shaking his hand. He wondered just how strong she was, and decided he didn't want to know just yet. He turned to Andara.
"So, what made you guys decide to move here?" He was hoping to get her talking; he wanted to hear what she sounded like.
"College scholarships for both of us," her voice was soft, almost too low to be heard.
Andara nodded, wishing she were anywhere but here at the moment. Talking with people had never been her strong point. The guys back home were nothing like this Adam Park. It wasn't just his stunning good looks; it was a confidence that went beyond anything she'd ever dreamed was possible for someone to possess. He was totally in control of himself, and was aware of it, but not in a self-conscious way.
"That's great, for what?" Billy had joined them. Amber nodded at him, not showing a trace of the insecurity that plagued Andara.
"For me, weightlifting," Amber told him. "For Andara, full scholarship in liberal arts."
Adam nodded, then looked back at Andara. "Your friend here sure can lift."
He likes Amber!!! Why is it always like that?? Andara got to her feet and glanced at her friend. "I'm going for a walk. I'll be home later," It was all she could do not to cry as she headed for the door of the Juice Bar.
Adam stared after her. "Man, what did I say?"
Amber finished her workout and slipped the weights back onto the stand. "Andara's fairly sensitive, and it doesn't take much for her to make a wrong assumption about something. I think she thinks you don't like her."
"What?" Adam was surprised.
"I'll go talk with her," Amber headed off after her friend. After a moment's thought, Adam and Billy followed after her.
* * * Andara walked through the park quickly, tears forming in her eyes. Why do the guys always like Amber!? It just isn't fair.
She heard the rustle of footsteps behind her, but didn't turn. She kept on walking.
"Andara! What's wrong? Why'd you leave?" Amber called. Andara didn't answer but kept going. "Andara! Talk to me!"
"Leave me alone Amber! This is another time when you've ruined my life!" Andara replied.
"Me! Ruined your life? Another time? Andara. talk to me! I haven't done anything!"
Then Andara turned to face Amber, green eyes blazing with fury. "You have! You knew that I liked Adam, but that didn't stop you from flirting with him. You and your prissy little French accent, blonde hair and chocolate brown eyes! You were flirting with him before I could even get a chance to talk with him!"
Amber was taken aback. "Andara. It's not my fault that I have all of those things. And I wasn't flirting with him. You know that he's not the one that I like!"
Andara glared at her. When Andara got mad, she got mad. "What about what happened with Tyler!? All of that could've been avoided if you had dumped him."
Amber looked near tears. "That couldn't be avoided. Tyler was obsessed. You didn't have to save me from him. But you did. You did because I'm your best friend. Or should I say was?"
Andara lowered her head. She now noticed how foolish she was acting. "I. . .I'm sorry Amber. I didn't mean to hurt you. You know what problems I have over controlling my emotions. I should stop being so sensitive all the time."
"It's all right. I understand. I was the same way when I moved from France to Richmond."
"Well, you got over it. It's going to take a long time for me to feel secure around anyone but you. And stop taking all of my emotions out on everyone."
Amber smiled. "Don't worry. I have a feeling that you're going to get over it faster than you think."
* * * As always, Rita and Zedd were scheming. They noticed Amber and Andara in the park. "Zeddy!" Rita screamed "Look at those girls down there! I'm bored! Can we send some Tengas to attack them?"
Zedd sighed. "All right, send the Tengas. At least those girls won't give them any troubles. Maybe they'll actually be able to win a fight for once."
Rita waved the Tengas down to Earth and cackled with glee. "Now if only it were that easy to defeat the Rangers." Zedd murmured.
"This is going to be fun," Rita snickered.
* * * Andara smiled. "You really think so?"
Amber chuckled. "I know so. Come on, let's go back to the Juice Bar. Adam wanted to talk to you, you know."
"He did? And I ran out on him," Andara blushed severely red. "Oh, am I an idiot or what?"
"You're an idiot," Amber teased her. "But you're my best friend."
"I don't deserve a friend like you, Amber, I really don't," Andara smiled. The quiet moment was interrupted when dozens of Tengas appeared out of nowhere. "What are these things?"
"Trouble!" Amber replied, falling into an attack position. A Tenga leaped at the blonde girl, only to meet her fist in return. Amber managed to catch one Tenga in her powerful grip, and threw it into another that was aiming for her. Somehow in all the confusion, she caught a glimpse of Andara.
The redhead had backed herself against a tree, and was kicking and punching at the Tengas surrounding her. Amber growled under her breath, then yelled, "Andara!!! You can do better than that!"
Andara ducked under a Tenga, then yelled back. "You've got your own problems, Amber!"
It didn't take the two girls long to rout the Tengas, sending them back to the moon with their tailfeathers between their legs. Amber looked up, and the first thing she saw was Billy and Adam coming down the park path towards them, at top speed.
"Where are the Tengas?" were the first words out of Billy's mouth.
"Those bird-things?" Andara asked. "They left. Why?"
"You guys beat them. . .by yourselves?" Adam was surprised. Andara smiled a little.
"What, do you think we're incapable of defending ourselves? You saw how much Amber was lifting back there."
Adam nodded. "But you-"
Andara's eyes clouded. "I can do what I have to do, Adam. But never ask me to do more than that."
Adam opened his mouth to say something else when Amber's hand landed on his arm. "She means it, Adam. She has her reasons, and they're good ones."
Adam looked at her, then back at the fiery-haired woman before him. He could see the firm muscles on both of them now, and he'd noticed a grace to Andara that liberal arts didn't give: but the martial arts did. If she were anywhere near as good as she'd have to be to handle those Tengas without a Ranger's powers. . .he didn't want her mad at him.
* * * "ZEDD!" Rita screamed. "Those Tengas were beaten by those two human girls!!"
"What???" Zedd leaped to his feet and came over to the balcony where Rita stood watching the battle. The Tengas had returned already in defeat once more: but this time they hadn't been beaten by the Rangers.
"This isn't possible!"
"Do something, Zedd! This is an outrage!" Zedd had never seen his wife this angry. He liked it. "Those girls aren't even Rangers and they beat the Tengas!"
"Rest assured, Rita, this won't go unpunished," Zedd growled. He could understand, and to a degree, accept the Rangers fighting off the huge warrior-birds; after all they had special powers beyond what the average human did. But for these two humans to do that was unforgivable. Those girls would pay, and pay dearly for it.
The Coin sensed the One it sought more strongly now. The One had fought against evil and prevailed. Yes, she was the One. The Coin, had it been human and capable of such emotion, would have smiled. She was strong, even without the Power that it embodied. She was worthy, but the time was not yet right. She had to be tested further still, and events would so arrange themselves. In the proper time and in the proper place, it would come to her.
* * * Not knowing that their enemies were plotting anything at all against Amber and Andara, Billy and Adam offered to walk them both home. Amber suggested a long walk through the park first, hoping Andara took the hint. Her shy friend would probably never talk to Adam alone if not forced into it.
"I'm not really ready to go home yet," Amber continued. "I'd rather just walk around a while first; this park is so beautiful."
Andara looked, almost panicked, at Amber. Amber flashed her a grin, and Andara knew just what her blonde friend had in mind. She also knew there was no way to get out of it without being extremely rude. She took a deep breath. "Well, I'm ready to go home, and I'd like some company, Adam. Those bird-things might come back."
Adam flushed a trifle; he'd hoped that she would accept the invitation. Billy and Amber started off towards the lake, while Adam and Andara headed for the apartment building. Silence reigned between them for a few minutes, then Andara finally spoke.
"Adam, I'm sorry for running out like I did back at the Youth Center. I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. I do that a lot; I don't know why Amber's still friends with me after all these years."
"It's OK," he smiled. "Everyone makes mistakes."
Andara nodded, glad he'd accepted her apology. She'd never liked a guy as much as she liked Adam; and she barely knew him. They spoke for a while, exchanging life histories and future goals. She found out Billy was his best friend, just as she was with Amber, and that he'd only moved to Angel Grove himself a few months earlier.
"Why did you guys choose here to come, if you had as many offers for scholarships as you said?" Adam wondered. "I mean, Angel Grove isn't the greatest place in the world; we're under constant attack by monsters, and those bird-things."
Andara sighed. "We. . .we wanted to get away from Virginia, to go somewhere and do things that we've never done before." And get away from people we never want to see again, she added mentally. "Amber and I have been friends for years, and it didn't even occur to one of us to go somewhere without the other."
"You guys are really close, huh?" Adam questioned carefully, hoping not to provoke another mistaken conclusion on Andara's part. Having her storm away once had been enough, to his way of thinking.
"Yeah, we are," Andara nodded. "We'd die for each other, without even thinking about it hard." She paused suddenly, as if something had occurred to her, then nodded. "She's the best friend I've ever had in my life, and I don't know what I'd do without her."
Adam was impressed. "It's not often you find people who are that close."
"I know, but we've been through a lot together," Andara smiled.
"Just like me and Billy," Adam nodded. "He has saved my life a few times, and I've saved his, too."
Andara was about to say something else, when a strange cry from above interrupted her. She glanced up, but as she did so, her left arm came up almost of it's own will. A hawk landed there, it's talons just barely grazing her skin. "Ooooh," she breathed. "Adam, look!"
Adam looked at the hawk, which was a splendid example of it's species, with golden-brown feathers and eyes as green as Andara's own. Those eyes struck Adam; he couldn't remember if hawks had green eyes to start with. The hawk was ignoring him, staring at Andara instead.
"Andara?" he spoke quietly. Her eyes were locked on the hawk's, as they almost seemed to communicate in some unknown way. "Andara!" he laid a hand on her shoulder. The sudden movement caused the hawk to mantle in outrage, and it's talons dug a little deeper into Andara's arm. She screamed in pain, throwing her arm up. The hawk spread it's wings and was nothing more than a dot in the sky a moment later. "Andara, are you all right? Did it hurt you?"
Andara shook her head; when she and the hawk and been looking at each other, she'd felt almost as if she were being examined by something. She looked up at the speck that was the hawk, and could hear an almost-too faint hunting call. She pulled back her sleeve to look at her arm; the hawk's talons had to have caused some damage, if only a scratch or two.
"Andara?" Adam had no idea what was going on here; hawks had never acted like that before around here. "Do animals usually respond like that to you?"
"No," Andara pulled the sleeve back down; her arm was totally unmarked, as if the hawk hadn't even touched her. She shook her head again, trying to clear her thoughts. "Let's go on back to my apartment, Adam. I really need to get some sleep."
* * * Billy and Amber found themselves walking through the Japanese gardens. Billy cast frequent glances at the young woman by his side; wondering just what such an obviously physical girl liked about him.
"So, do you lift weights?" her accent thrilled him; it was just so. . .so thrilling!
"Nothing like you do," he replied, smiling. "Tommy's teaching me karate."
"I'm not really good at karate," she admitted. "but I can punch a guy and send him hurtling for miles!"
"I'll make sure not to get on your bad side!"
Amber giggled. "You could never get on my bad side!" she told him in French, not really expecting him to understand her. She received a shock, however, when he replied in her native language, "I'm glad!"
Amber laughed. "Finally, someone who can speak French!"
As Billy, in French, recited the languages he spoke, Amber's eyes widened. "Woah!"
Billy blushed. "It's not that impressive," they'd both returned to English; having sufficiently wowed each other with their command of foreign tongues.
"So," Billy took a moment to appreciate the laughing beauty next to him. "What do you do when you're not outlifting every guy in Angel Grove?"
"Lots of things," she replied. "Well, mostly I work out!"
"And you're quite good at it," he saw no reason not to continue complimenting her.
"Thanks," she smiled gently.
"It's the truth," the small talk continued as they wandered through the gardens and found themselves wending their way through the streets of Angel Grove.
"You're a very nice guy, Billy," Amber found herself admitting to something she'd told almost no one. "A lot better than my ex-overobsessive boyfriend."
"Obsessive?" Billy frowned, a concerned look coming into his blue eyes. What Amber said next sickened him as much as any of Rita or Zedd's traps and tricks had.
"He tried to rape me," Amber was growling in anger. "After I broke up with him, the bastard."
"I notice you said tried. . .," Billy said delicately. Amber nodded.
"Had some help," she told him. "I could never have gotten rid of him on my own. He was so close. . .," she began to shake a little as she remembered just how close: and who had helped her.
"But he didn't," Billy put an arm around her carefully. "And now you don't have to worry about him anymore."
Amber shuddered. "I hope he doesn't follow me. .. if he does. . ."
"If he does," Billy told her, "you've got me to protect you."
Amber leaned against him gratefully. "Thanks. But he is the only person I know that I can't hurt."
She quietly began to tell him what her ex had done to her, and by the time the recitation was over, Billy wanted to strangle the jerk. He held her gently in his arms. "It's over now, Amber. He's gone. You don't have to worry about him anymore."
"I certainly hope so," she glanced around. "This is near my place."
Billy smiled; she sounded better already. "Nice place," Indeed; it was in a very good part of town. As he took in the area, he saw something that caught his attention. "Hey, look, Adam and Andara!"
They were locked into a deep and passionate kiss.
"You go, girl!" Amber giggled, her previous dark mood having vanished entirely. Andara looked towards them.
"Oh, great, an audience!" Andara saw her friend and Billy watching them.
"Woah, Adam!" Billy chuckled.
"Just ignore them," Adam told her, smiling. "They aren't really there!"
Amber giggled as Andara returned to the kiss. "I've never seen her do that!" the French girl stared.
"I've never seen him do that!" was Billy's comment.
"That is so cool!" Amber watched, stealing a glance at Billy, who was doing the same thing to her. She spoke quietly in French, even though she knew Andara and Adam were still too involved in their own burgeoning romance to notice. "Come on, just kiss me. You know you want to, and I want you to."
He replied in the same language. "You-you do?"
"Of course I do!" Amber told him sharply, still in French. Billy looked at her for a moment, then gently kissed her. Moments later, as Adam and Andara drew apart from their kiss, the dark-haired young man smiled.
"Woah, check that out!" he laughed a little. Andara looked to see what he was looking at, and her eyes grew wide.
"Yes way!" Adam could hardly believe it himself; but Andara seemed to be in total shock.
"I never thought I'd see her kissing anyone again!" Andara murmured, almost as if she were talking to herself.
"What do you mean?" Adam frowned a touch. "What happened?"
Andara paused for a second, then told him of Amber's last boyfriend, the over-obsessed Tyler. "Man!" Adam's eyes went as wide as Andara's had when she'd seen Billy and Amber kissing. "He tried to rape her?"
Andara nodded, her fists clenched as she remembered her own reaction to the situation: and how she'd dealt with it. "But he was stopped."
Andara spoke almost without thinking; a rarity for her in this case. "I---" She stopped herself in time; what she was doing? Adam had heard her, though. "What was that?"
She covered quickly. "I, uh, wish I could have been the one to stop him."
"Oh," Adam said.
"Well, it's getting late," Andara looked over to Amber and called out, "We've got classes in the morning, Amber!"
"Did you hear anything?" Billy murmured, not paying much attention to anything but Amber's lips on his.
"Nope," Amber replied. Andara chuckled.
"Amber, do you want to be late to your first day of classes here?"
Amber pouted a little, muttering in French, "No, mother!"
"Be nice," Billy told her, smiling. "I'll see you tomorrow, Amber?"
She nodded. "But of course!"
"Until tomorrow, then!"
Andara shook her head, smiling. "See ya tomorrow, Adam?"
"Definitely tomorrow!" he told her. She tried to give him a peck on the cheek, but he was having none of that as he pulled her closer for a deep and true kiss.
"Tomorrow," he promised.
"Bye, Adam," she smiled as she and Amber walked inside, and Billy and Adam headed off for home together.
* * * Zedd and Rita stared balefully down at the Earth at Amber and Andara. "Those girls beat up our Tengas, Zeddy!"
"I know that!" Zedd snapped. "And they will be punished for it, too! Rito, Goldar!"
"Yeah, Ed?" Rito shuffled over.
"Whatever," Rito yawned.
Zedd growled, then delivered his orders. "You two take a double squadron of Tengas down to Earth and bring those two human girls back here with you. They will not get away with beating up my Tengas!"
"Right away, Ed!" Rito turned away as Zedd bellowed.
"That's. . .oh, never mind!" Zedd threw himself back into his throne.
"Whatever," was Rito's only comment as he teleported to Earth with Goldar and the Tengas.
* * * "What a way to end the first day in Angel Grove, huh?" Andara smiled. "Oh, Amber, I can't believe just how good this place is turning out to be!"
"Yeah, I know," Amber sighed dreamily, thoughts of a handsome young man in blue filling her mind.
"You didn't mention to Billy anything about what happened with Tyler, did you?" Andara was struck by a sudden thought.
"I told him everything except who saved me from Tyler," Amber reassured her. Andara smiled as she sat down. "I told him what you would have told him."
"Good," Andara was about to pick up the remote control, when a monkey in gold armor, a pile of badly stacked bones, and a lot more of those bird-things appeared in the apartment.
"Oh, man, now what do they want?" Andara leaped to her feet.
"I don't know," Amber said, readying herself to fight. "But let's kick some butt!"
"You know it!" Andara leaped to the fight, only to be grabbed in an iron grip by the armored ape. She saw the bone-man seizing Amber and cried out, "Let us go!"
The next thing both Amber and Andara knew, they stood in a strange, cold throne room. Before them were a woman in a very strange outfit that seemed to involve quite a few cones and points and what could only be described as a skinless man, holding a large staff with a "Z" on top of it.
"I am Lord Zedd, and you two are going to pay for defeating my Tengas!" the skinless person declared.
"Sure we are," Amber replied. "And I'm the Queen of England!"
"Nice to meet you, Your Majesty," Rito, the bone-person, actually managed to make himself look sillier as he bowed. Andara couldn't help herself; despite the situation, she giggled. Amber's sense of humor had never failed her yet.
"Oh, shut up!" Zedd shouted. "Put them in the cell, I've got some plans for them: some very interesting plans!"
"What are your 'plans'?" Amber imitated Zedd's threatening tones.
"Oh, you'll find out," Zedd promised them. "But you won't like them when you do!"
The girls were taken down several dark corridors and thrown into a cell. Four Tengas were on guard outside of it. Andara glanced at her friend. "This is not good!"
"I'll say!" Amber groaned. Andara examined the lock carefully.
"I don't know if I can break this thing or not, can you?" her French friend took a look at it, then shook her head.
"It's too big," was Amber's assessment.
"Blast it!" Andara leaned against the wall of the cell. "I hate to say this, but we're going to have to wait til someone rescues us. If anyone does!"
"I know," Amber said softly. The two girls looked at each other across the cell; for a day that had held so many wonderful surprises, it was ending rather badly.
* * * Its chosen one was in danger. The Coin, possessing no human emotions or life, still worried. It was not yet time for them to join as one, or the Coin would have at once flown to aid the chosen. But the other Coin-bearers, those in touch with the spirits within them, they would help. It was their destiny and their duty to protect the innocent from evil, and already two of the Coin-bearers, the Power Rangers, loved its chosen and her friend. Its chosen would be safe. She had to be.
* * * "Today was one heck of a day, wasn't it, Adam?" Billy asked as he and the Black Ranger walked home. Both of their hearts sang with joy.
"I'll say!" Adam smiled. Both their smiles faded a moment later as their communicators beeped. "What is it, Zordon?"
TELEPORT TO THE COMMAND CENTER, RANGERS. Billy and Adam exchanged glances, then headed for their headquarters. They were the only ones there, and Zordon wasted no time explaining the problem.
ADAM, BILLY, YOUR TWO NEW FRIENDS ARE IN SERIOUS DANGER. RITA AND ZEDD HAVE HAD THEM ABDUCTED. APPARENTLY THEY TOOK OFFENSE AT THE EASE WITH WHICH AMBER AND ANDARA DEFEATED THE TENGAS.
"Andara!" Adam stared at the Viewing Globe's images, watching as the Tengas, Goldar, and Rito took the two girls away from their apartment. Billy, next to him, clenched his fists.
"If they hurt Amber. . .," Adam interrupted him a moment later.
"Come on, let's go get them back!"
Moments later, with both of them ninja-morphed, they were on the moon, sliding like shadows through the corridors, in search of the two girls that had come to mean so much to them in so short of a time.
"Where would they be?" Billy whispered. Adam shook his head. "I don't know. Come on."
The search could very well have gone on forever, if they hadn't heard a grumbling voice, "The least they could do is feed us! I didn't get dinner before we left!"
"Calm down, Amber," another familiar voice replied. "We'll get out of here. Somehow!"
As Billy and Adam heard this, they came into a wide room with a cell at one end. "Look!" Billy pointed towards it. Amber and Andara sat there, both looking very annoyed.
"Come on," Adam started towards the prison. Amber glanced over at Andara.
"Hey, I could have sworn that I heard Billy and Adam!"
Andara looked around, then her eyes widened in shock. "Oh, man, I am not seeing that!"
"Hi, guys!" Amber waved at them.
"Shhh," the Blue Ninja whispered. "We'll have you out of here soon, ladies.
"Billy?" Andara whispered; not believing what she was hearing. Amber nodded.
"Shhhh," the Black Ninja beckoned them out as the Blue one broke the lock. "Come on, you two!"
Amber jumped out and into the Blue Ninja's arms. "My hero!" she giggled. Andara went for the Black Ninja, with a heart-felt, "Oh, Adam..."
"Ummm. . .," the Black Ninja glanced at his friend. Amber giggled.
"You guys aren't very good at keeping secrets, at least from us, it seems," Amber smiled.
"Besides," Andara chuckled. "We both have excellent hearing. I could tell your voice anywhere, Adam."
Amber pulled the Blue Ninja's mask off to see Billy's handsome face under it as he said, "You guys do know how to keep secrets, don't you?"
"Of course we do," was all Amber said before burying him in a deep kiss.
"Oh, yes, we know how to keep secrets," Andara smiled gently. "But let's get out of here!"
"Right away!" Adam told her, and they went.
* * * "Where are they?" Tommy paced up and down in the Command Center. Zordon had called the other Rangers in shortly after Billy and Adam had left. They'd been surprised that their friends had went into Zedd and Rita's palace without them, but there was nothing that could be done now but wait.
RANGERS, BILLY AND ADAM ARE ON THEIR WAY BACK WITH THEIR FRIENDS.
"They're coming here?" Aisha was surprised.
"Ay-yi-yi-yi, it appears the girls have figured out their secret identities!" Alpha moaned. The other Rangers exchanged nervous glances as the two couples appeared in the Command Center. Billy held Amber in his arms, and Andara and Adam didn't look as if they were going to be separated any time in the near future.
"My hero!" Amber told Billy as they became solid, laughing a little. Billy smiled, then turned serious.
"Why did they take you two?"
Amber shrugged. "Something about beating up Tengas," Andara nodded.
"I guess they don't take defeat well?" was all she had to say.
"You could say that!" Billy chuckled a little.
"If they try that again, they're gonna get their butts beat next time!"
Andara nodded her agreement at Amber's statement. "Badly!"
"And what you don't get, we will!" Adam added. The sound of Andara's knuckles cracking echoed in the Command Center.
"I don't usually leave much, do I?" she glanced at Amber, who nodded.
"Nope, and neither do I," it was obvious to all the Rangers these two girls were used to taking care of themselves: and each other.
Billy looked at Adam. "Do you want to know precisely what they're referring to, Adam?"
"I don't think we do," Adam smiled a little. Andara looked at the Rangers, who were watching with wide eyes and grins.
"We won't tell your secret; we know better than that," she told them. Amber nodded.
"Amber Douglas and Andara Collins aren't idiots!" she agreed.
"That's good to know," Tommy smiled.
WILL YOU SWEAR TO THIS? Zordon asked. Amber and Andara both nodded agreement. THEN REPEAT AFTER ME. I SWEAR ON THE FORCES OF GOODNESS TO MAINTAIN THE SECRET OF THE TRUE IDENTITIES OF THE POWER RANGERS.
The two girls repeated the oath. THANK YOU, GIRLS, Zordon told them when it was done. Amber and Andara looked at each other again.
"One thing about moving to Angel Grove," Andara began, and Amber picked up on her friend's sentence.
"It's certainly not going to be boring!"
* * *
The Coin, if it had been able to be nervous before, would have now relaxed. It's chosen was safe, rescued by the one who loved her. The time was drawing near when they would be united, it and its chosen. On that day, an old power would return, and the Power Rangers would get one very large surprise.
The Green Power Coin, now bearing the emblem of a hawk, waited. The time was almost here.