I can't imagine any greater fear
Than waking up without you here
And though the sun would still shine on
My whole world would all be gone
But not for long
If I had to run, If I had crawl
If I had to swim a hundred rivers
just to climb a thousand walls,
Always know that I would find
a way to get to where you are
There's no place that far
It wouldn't matter why we're apart
lonely mouths or two severed hearts
Nothing short of God above
Could turn me away from your love
I need you that much
Andros woke up feeling truly rested for the first time since Karone's kidnapping. They were already en route to the Dark Fortress, which was currently situated in the Crynthian system. Today was to be a day of planning, and if all went well, tomorrow he would have his sister back. He got dressed quickly and met the others by the Synthetron. They ordered breakfast, then sat down around the table, their breakfast chatter more lively and animated than usual. They were all happy that Andros's sister would soon be rescued.
After they ate, the dishes were cleared quickly and everyone headed to the bridge. Once there, they sat down at their now familiar stations and began to discuss a strategy.
"So, Zhayne, what's the plan?" Andros asked, hoping his friend had come up with something overnight. As anxious as he was to get his sister back, he couldn't think of a great plan, not like Zhayne could. She was an expert at strategic operations.
"Plan?" She glanced at Andros. "I thought you had a plan. Does anyone else have a plan?" The others shook their heads. "How come no one ever has a plan?" Carlos shrugged. "Fine, I guess I'm making the plan, then." Biting her lip, she pressed some buttons on the strategic computer's console. After several minutes of murmuring to herself, sighing, gesturing and occasionally swearing at and kicking the computer console (at which DECA voiced her unappreciation with a small electric shock), she looked up. "Got it,"
"That was fast," Ashley commented.
"I always was good at plans." She said, and outlined her idea.
"Excellent," T.J. grinned. "So, we'll use that cloaking device Ashley made for us to use while morphed, then grab armour from a group of Quantrons,"
"Sounds like something out of Star Wars," Carlos pointed out. Cassie giggled, and the two Kerovians just looked confused. The others rolled their eyes.
"And then," Ashley continued "Andros and Zhayne will locate Karone and try to talk to her."
"If that doesn't work," picked up Cassie, "T.J., Ashley and I will be waiting just outside the door,"
"We'll have to get her back to the Megaship and well, figure out what to do from there," Carlos finished.
"Exactly," Zhayne gave her boyfriend the thumbs-up signal she
"How else did you think we were going to get her back? Call up the Fortress and say 'Excuse me, yeah, this is the Power Rangers. Yes, those people who keep foiling your plans of Galactic conquest, the very same. I know we're enemies, but you're holding my sister there. Could you let her go, and while you're at it, quit attacking us so much? Have a nice day.' No, I didn't think so," Zhayne snorted.
"Um, guys?" TJ said nervously. "Somehow I don't think sneaking in there is an option." His voice was muffled by the Quantron's helmet, but recognizable. Andros turned to where TJ was pointing, and saw what he meant.
"Uh oh." he muttered.
"Uh oh?" Ashley repeated. "Why do I not like the sound of that?"
"Looks like we've got our job cut out for us," Andros said firmly. He rushed the contingent of six guards. The others followed his lead, and in a moment the Quantrons were on the floor.
"Good thing I thought of a backup plan," Zhayne muttered, glancing at the crumpled forms infront of her.
The door opened, and Astronema emerged from it. TJ held a chloroform-soaked rag infront of her nose and mouth, and she went limp in his arms. Thinking quickly, they slipped armour from one of the fallen Quantrons onto her, then stood her up. As long as the others blocked her from view, the fact that one of the supposed Quantrons was unconcious should not even be suspected by the soldiers on the Fortress.
Zhayne concentrated, and her features shifted, becoming Astronema's. Pulling her now-green hair over her ears, she smiled.
"Let's go home,"
Sometimes, I'd just like to tell my brain to shut up. I'd be fighting the Rangers, who are my enemies, only something in the back of my mind is always telling me how wrong it is to do this. But it's what I'm supposed to be doing! I get this feeling, though. Only it's just out of my grasp, and every time I try and figure it out, it slips from my fingers like sand. There's something I'm missing, something big. I don't know what it is, but I want it to leave me alone. Shut up Shut up SHUTUP!!! My thoughts run away with me, I start wondering, maybe I wasn't meant to be evil, what if I was a Ranger? NO!!! I can't! I'm evil! I have to keep telling myself that, because I'm afraid one of these days I'll forget. I'll forget and I'll lose my purpose. I will start to be like the Rangers. Good. And there is nothing, nothing that I would despise more than that.
Astronema sighed, closed and padlocked her Diary, and stuffed it underneath her matress. She wasn't sure why she had to write that down, only she felt that if she didn't get rid of that burden, it would come back to haunt her.
There was a noise from outsude her door. It almost sounded like a fight. That wasn't really that big of a deal, considering the Quantrons had to practice somehow, and it was usually on each other.
This was odd- after the initial thud in the hallway, no more indications of sparring were heard.
-What if Rangers snuck on board?- She thought with horror, then laughed. -Yeah right. Even a Power Ranger wouldn't be able to sneak on here.-
Peering cautiously out the door, the last thing she saw was a
coming at her, a strange smelling rag in it's hands. Then the rag
her face, and everything went black.
"You are awake," A female voice, one that sounded synthesized. Astronema knew that voice. She'd heard it when she took over the Ranger's MegaShip. It was the original voice of DECA, the ships semi-sentient computer system. So she did the only thing that made sense.
She screamed. Loudly.
"What's going on here?" She asked, frightened.
"It seems that the Rangers have re-kidnapped you, Karone,"
"Re-kidnapped? And who's Karone?"
At that moment, Andros, the Red Ranger, came into the room. She stood up and tried to run and attack him, but only managed to be hit with a transparent force-shield rougly a metre from her bed. As she touched it, a strange, almost mellow feeling overcame her. She shook it off.
"You were kidnapped, when we were little children. *You* are Karone, my little sister."
"I'm Astronema!" She snarled from behind the shield. But what the Red Ranger was saying made that nagging feeling in the back of her mind return. "NO!" She screamed. She would not let them win. "That's not true, it can't be!!"
"Yes it is," Andros said calmly. "Look in the mirror by your bed-table." She looked, not knowing what to find.
Her hair was no longer green, but a plain blonde. Her ever present headband was gone, as was the sparkly makeup she wore on her face. Looking at her reflection, she seemed almost like any other teenage girl.
"What did you do to me?" She whispered, shocked.
"All we did was remove your makeup and hairdye. We had to be sure,"
"That you're my sister," He repeated. Her fingers absently traced the pattern on the locket she always wore, the one that she never had opened.
Glancing up at the Red Ranger, she saw him pulling out a locket from beneath his shirt. It was exactly the same as her own.
"Oh.." she managed, for lack of anything else to say. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, after a moment, however. "You could have had a copy of that made up." She said.
"I could have," he acknowledged. "But look inside," he took it off his neck and opened it, holding the locket right against the force-shield. "The little girl, that's you. The two adults are our parents. They died when Dark Spectre attacked. I wish I could tell them..." his voice broke, "Tell them that I finally found you," he finished.
Hesitantly, she opened her own locket, not knowing what to expect. Inside were two pictures. One of a smiling, happy couple. The other of a young boy with long brown and blonde striped hair.
"That's you," she realized. "Then...then it, it has to be true," her mind was reeling with this new information. The strange mellow feeling she received when she touched the shield returned. -Odd.- She thought to herself. -I don't quite feel like fighting him anymore.-
"But how can everything I've known, everything I've been brought up to believe all be so wrong?" she felt tears trickle down her face, but didn't care about the display of weakness. "All my life, has been a lie," she sobbed. "All of it,"
Andros looked at his sister through the shield, wishing he could take her in his arms, hold her, comfort her, just as they had always done when one or the other had gotten hurt when they were little. But he knew better than to let his joy at seeing his sister again, and his sorrow at seeing her in such a state of confusion, override his common sense. She was not to be let out until they were fully sure that the evil brainwashing she'd gone through as a small child had been eliminated.
"How?" she finally managed. "How did he..Dark Spectre, take me?"
"He was...angry," Andros started. "Angry at his one-time wife for leaving him, and taking their daughter with her. So he took indirect revenge. He found the one family that this woman had managed to befriend, and took their daughter from them, hoping to destroy the friendship the woman and her daughter had built with them." He smiled, somewhat sadly. "It didn't work though. The two families drew closer together in their shared grief."
"Hey," Karone- who had, strangely enough, began to think of herself as that by now. Thinking it over, she realized that it was a bit odd to be that receptive to this new wrinkle in reality, but she shrugged it off, that mellow-ness coming back again- said, trying to break the silence that hung in the room, "remember our favourite joke when we were small?" He grinned. It was such a stupid joke, but one that had amused the youngsters to no end.
"Two men walked into a bar.." he said, smiling.
"The third one ducked," Karone finished, and collapsed into giggles. It felt good to laugh, truly laugh. It was something she had not enjoyed in a long time.
"Andros," she said, turning serious. "You know you're going to have to keep me in this shield for a while yet," He nodded. "I might not be so receptive later. That shield, it had some sort of sedative in it, didn't it? That's why I'm not screaming like I did when I first woke up." Andros nodded, and she continued. "But I want you to know, that I am going to try my hardest to rid myself of..of Astronema." She paused, looking him in the eye. Placing one hand gently on the shield, she waited until he placed a hand on it also, so that, if not for the invisible wall seperating them, they would be touching. "But it's going to take time," she said. "A lot of time, most likely. And it won't be easy. You can't keep me on sedatives 24/7, you know,"
"I know," Andros whispered. He paused, then spoke "When I leave, the shield will dissipate. It's only activated when someone else enters the room. When someone enters, the shield will activate, and its a circle, roughly two metres diameter. It won't hurt you, it's not charged. It just prevents physical contact," Karone nodded. Andros turned to leave, but as he reached the door, he paused, turning again to face her.
"Welcome home, Karone,"