Disclaimer:This fanfic takes place somewhere after Jason lost his Gold Ranger powers. So, I guess it takes place right before the Turbo movie. The characters in this story are all Saban's, with the exception of Renee Ryan, the rest of Team USA and the Venusians.
As usual, its a beautiful day in Angel Grove, California. In the Youth Center, the students of Angel Grove High School enjoy some rest and relaxation, and most of them talk excitedly about the upcoming weekend's events. That weekend is the finale of the Pan-Global Games, an international sports competition second only to the Olympics. This year, the Pan-Globals are held in Orlando, Florida, and the Americans have a very strong chance of medalling in all the major competitions--track and field, swimming/diving, and gymnastics. Actually, the American gymnastics team had just won the gold in both the men's and women's competitions, and they're favorites in numerous individual events. Team USA's gymnasts are quickly becoming celebrities, and are appearing on an exclusive interview that afternoon at four. The teens at the Youth Center eagerly await the interview, mostly because one of the young stars of the women's team is a hometown heroine--Kimberly Anne Hart.
"What time is it?" called Tommy, who was preparing to break a pile of seven bricks with his hand.
"It's a quarter of, Bro," answered Jason, who was standing beside him, "We've got plenty of time. Go for it!"
Tommy took a deep breath and measured up the bricks with his eye. He then closed his eyes and raised his arm into the air. He brought it down with a mighty hi-ya, and shattered all seven bricks cleanly. He brushed off his gi from the dust of the crumbling bricks, and stepped back.
"Nice one, Tommy," said Jason, setting up another seven blocks, "Now its my turn. I see your seven--and raise ya two."
Jason added two more bricks to the pile and prepared himself physically and mentally for the exertion. Just as Tommy had done, Jason closed his eyes to clear his mind, and raised his arm high. He managed to shatter all nine bricks, and received a round of cheers from the other martial artists present.
"That's nine for me," Jason said with a smile, "Adam, its your turn."
"Uh, I think I'll pass," said Adam, shaking his head, "I've never been really fond of brick-breaking. Its one skill I haven't quite mastered."
"I'll go," said Rocky, stretching his arms, "I've always loved brick-breaking!"
While Rocky readied himself to break ten bricks, Adam moved away from the mat towards the Juice Bar itself, where his girlfriend Tanya Sloan was writing in her notebook while sipping on a banana smoothie. He set his arms on her shoulders and looked over her head at her work.
"What're ya doing?" he asked, sitting beside her. She looked up to him and smiled.
"Sociology," she responded, turning back to her notebook, "This essay is due on Monday, and since we're all flying to Florida to see the gymnastics finals on Sunday, I won't get much of a chance to do it later."
"Maybe I can help you. What's the topic?"
"Gender inequality in the ninties."
"Oh, really?" said Adam, slightly surprised, "I didn't really think there was much gender inequality nowadays. I mean, women's lib has really accomplished a lot since the sixties."
"Yeah, and there's still a lot to be done. Think about it, Adam--there has still never been a women president in the US. There has never even been a female candidate, and there are only a handful of women on the Senate or House of Representatives. There are also very few women governors or mayors, even though women make up more than half of the population. Most top executive positions are held by men, and women who have similar jobs, and similar workloads, only get a fraction of the men's salary. If you think about it, even the Power Rangers are slightly gender-biased."
"What?" asked Adam in shock, "That's not true! There have been five women Power Rangers on the team and only six guys. That sounds pretty equal."
"Well, there have never been more than two girls on the team at once, and they have never had positions of power. For example, the first team of rangers had Jason as a leader and Zack as second-in-command. Billy was the brain. So, what roles did Kim and Trini play? Also, once Zack, Trini, and Jason left, Tommy was made leader and Rocky was his second. Now, considering that Rocky was new to ranger-ing, and Kim had been a ranger for months, I would assume that she would've made an excellent second in command. I mean, you guys always said she was a great person, and a good fighter. I doubt Zordon even considered giving her a position of leadership."
"Well..." stammered Adam, "what about the Aquitians? Delphine is a woman."
"Delphine is an alien, Adam! We're talking about American society here. In other countries, women have positions of power. England has a queen, and a few years back there was a woman as Prime Minister also. Its funny-- America is built on the premise that 'all men are created equal'. What does that imply about women?"
Adam was desperately trying to find something to say. He had to admit, Tanya was mostly right. He was saved by the start of the news report on the American gymnastics team.
"The reports' on!" announced Ernie, turning up the volume on the small television. The dozens of teenagers all hurried to sit down and watch as a group of seven athletes walk out and take seats in front of Oprah Winfrey, who was doing a special Pan-Global series this whole week. Today was the culmination of her series of episodes--an exclusive interview with the six best American gymnasts right before the beginning of the individual competition.
^So, ladies and gentlemen,^ said Oprah, ^I'm thrilled to introduce to you America's Six Shining Stars--Richard Harvey, Kimberly Hart, Renee Ryan, Eric Vera, Dennis Hammond, and Patricia Armstrong! They are the American athletes competing in the individual events and all around tournaments this weekend. The guys compete tomorrow, and the girls compete on Sunday. So tell me, how does it feel to have already won medals in the team competition?^
^Its absolutely amazing!^ answered Renee, sitting up tall, ^I think this is the first time in history that the USA has won gold in both the men and the women's team competitions in the same year. The competition was tough, but we came out on top!^
^You're right, it was close,^ said Oprah, ^The Chinese men were leading through most of the events, and the Romanian women were always right on your tails, right?^
^Yep,^ said Dennis, ^The Chinese team looked like they were gonna win, and no one was shocked by this--China is known for having excellent gymnastics teams. We got lucky that the second to last guy on the bars fell on his dismount. That was the crack in the Chinese armor, and we took advantage of it.^
^What about you girls?^ asked Oprah, ^Was it really stressful to have the Romanian team just one step behind you practically the whole way?^
^Yes it was,^ answered Kimberly, ^Its fabulous to reach first place, but the challenge is to keep it. The Romanians actually passed us after the second rotation. We were on the uneven bars, and that's not really our best event. If Renee hadn't pulled a 9.9 on the bars, we would've been done for!^
^The highlight of the competition was the last rotation,^ said Patricia, ^When Kimberly pulled off a perfect ten on the balance beam. I have to admit that in all my days of competing, I have never seen a more graceful performance on the beam.^
^I just did my best for the US,^ said Kim modestly, blushing a little, ^It was a team effort though. The event that really paid off was the floor. Our entire team averaged a 9.85, which is pretty good, since Romania averaged a 9.74. That event put us ahead.^
^Yeah, but the balance beam kept us there!^ said Renee.
^You're vault got a ten also, 'Ne!^ said Kim, ^Stop trying to give me all the credit!^
^The thing is, both teams did magnificently,^ said Eric, ^and I mean teams. Every member of Team USA did their best, and their best was good enough to bring home the gold!^
^I couldn't have said it better myself,^ said Oprah, ^Now, which individual events are you competing in?^
^Horse,^ said Eric.
^Bars and floor,^ said Richard.
^Rings^, said Dennis.
^Floor and uneven bars,^ said Patricia.
^All four,^ said Renee.
^Balance beam and floor,^ said Kimberly.
^Wow Renee, you seem to be an excellent all-around gymnast,^ said Oprah.
^Well, she's competing for the gold in the all-around Sunday,^ said Dennis, ^Tonight she's gonna sweep up the gold in the individual events.^
^Everyone knows who ESPN and Sports Illustrated chose to be the winners in the all-around, but I'd like to hear your opinions.^
^I'd put my money on Rick for the silver, and that Chung guy from China for the all-around gold. He's really an amazing athlete. Bronze could either be me or Eric, or possibly that guy from Ukraine, but I forgot his name,^ said Dennis, "As for the girls, there is no doubt in my mind that Renee will get gold and Kim will come in close for silver. The bronze is up for grabs.^
^I think Rick will win gold,^ said Patricia, ^and Kin Chung will come in second. There's also an excellent Romanian gymnast that may just beat Eric to bronze. Renee will win the gold hands down, and Kim will come in either silver or bronze. I really don't know who else will medal, but the Germans had an amazingly strong team this year.^
^I'm not really sure,^ said Richard, scratching his golden blonde hair, ^Its a toss-up between Chung, me, and I think Dennis. I don't know who'll get what. As for the girls, Kim and Renee will definitely come out on top, and I honestly think Pattie has great chance for bronze.^
^I really can't say who'll win,^ said Kimberly with a shrug, ^I mean, this whole team has dedicated a good amount of their lives to these games, and they're all amazing athletes. I honestly think any one of us can get the gold.^
^You're so modest, you make me sick, Kim!" moaned Renee melodramatically.
^Look who's talking!^ said Kimberly with an smile, ^The only way for you not to get the gold is if you break a leg tonight. And you'd probably still get the gold! I mean, you twisted your ankle only two days ago, and your performance hasn't suffered at all from it!^
^Yes, Renee I was meaning to ask you about that injury. What happened?^
^Well, I was practicing my vault, and I landed wrong. I twisted my left ankle. But I'm okay now. I pushed past the pain, and now it doesn't hurt at all anymore.^
^You're dedication is truly admirable. All of you, congratulations on your gold medals, and good luck this weekend. Now, I'll open the floor to any audience questions.^
^Is it true that you six are the Power Rangers?^ asked one twelve year old boy from the stands, ^Daddy said only the Power Rangers can move like you do!^
^I can safely say that none of us are Power Rangers,^ said Richard with an amused smile, ^They're heroes, we're just athletes.^
^How did it feel to leave your families behind and move to Florida?^ asked an elderly woman, ^You're all so young!^
^I didn't have a very close relationship with my family,^ said Richard, ^so leaving wasn't that hard.^
^It was hard for me at first,^ said Renee, ^But, I talk to my mother and step-sister all the time, and its not so bad.^
^I couldn't wait to get out of my house,^ said Dennis.
^It wasn't leaving behind my family that was hardest,^ said Kim, ^It was leaving behind my closest friends that made me really think about joining Team USA.^
^I was raised with the goal of becoming a world class gymnast,^ said Patricia, ^so my parents prepared me for that kind of life.^
^It was a real challenge for me,^ said Eric, ^Since I'm an only child, my parents were kinda reluctant to let me move to Florida from New Mexico. But we talk on the phone and write each other constantly, and I'll be going home soon.^
^Is there any jealousy on the team?^ asked a teenaged girl, ^Especially between Renee and Kimberly. Both of you have been called the greatest gymnast in history, and you're competing in numerous events for the gold. Is there any animosity between you?^
^Absolutely not^ said Renee, crossing her arms over her chest, ^Kim and I are friends and roommates, and we get along fabulously together. Honestly, I'd be just as happy seeing Kim get the gold than I would being on that podium myself. We're practically sisters.^
^The same with me,^ said Kimberly, ^We're really great friends, and I'd like to think our friendship is strong enough to surmount whatever competition may exist between us. If we work together, we can sweep the medals! All of us. Its Team USA who won those gold medals the other day. It wasn't me, or Renee, Pattie, Rick, Eric, or Dennis. Or any of the other athletes. It was a team effort, and teamwork is really what is necessary for success.^
^Okay everyone,^ said Oprah, ^we have time for one more question, and then it's time for a break. Uh, the young man up front.^
^My question is, what kind of endorsements are you doing?^
^Well,^ said Richard, ^the whole mens and womens teams will be on Wheaties boxes. I think the guys are on the Wheaties Honey Gold, and the girls are on the original. I'm on a Sprite commercial myself. Or at least, I will be. I haven't actually filmed it yet.^
^I'm on a Champion commercial, as well as Gatarade,^ said Kim.
^I'll be on a Pepsi commercial, a Reebok commercial, and I'm going to guest star on a few episodes of Moesha,^ said Renee, ^I'm beyond cyked about that one!^
^I've got a Nike commercial, and a Taco Bell one also,^ said Dennis.
^McDonald's and a cover shot on TV Guide,^ said Eric.
^I'm in a commercial for the Care For Kids fund,^ said Pattie.
^Terrific,^ said Oprah, ^And its time for a break. When we get back, we'll speak to Coach Schmidt and his two assistant trainers--Trevor Monroe and Ashley Stevens.^
When the commercial came on, Ernie turned the volume back down to the normal intensity and went back into the kitchen. The crowd then dispersed, leaving behind Tanya, Adam, Tommy, Jason, and Rocky.
"Hey," said Rocky, "where's Kat anyway? She missed the interview!"
"She has a major Calculus exam on Monday," said Tommy, "and since we're all going to spend the weekend at the Pan-Globals, she won't have time to study then."
"When does the flight leave again?" asked Jason.
"Tonight at ten," said Adam, "We should get to Florida at about six in the morning Eastern Time. Kim said she'd be able to pick us up herself, since she doesn't start practice until noon. Then, she'll introduce us to the team, and we'll get breakfast or something. The guys competition starts at four, and we'll be sitting with Kim and the other gymnasts not competing in the individuals. Sounds like fun, eh?"
"So, is Kimberly coming back to Angel Grove after the Pan-Globals, or is she moving to Paris with her mother?" asked Tanya. Everyone automatically turned to Tommy for the answer.
"I...I don't know," he said, bowing his head, "I haven't spoken to her since...uh..."
"Don't worry, bro," said Jason, patting Tommy on the back, "you'll get a chance to talk to her in Florida. You have some...unfinished business."
"But that's the thing, Jay. She finished it for us. I don't know what I'd tell her. I don't even know how I'll react when I see her again. I doesn't matter anyway. She dumped me for some other guy--end of story. So, you wanna break more bricks?"
"Yeah!" said Rocky, standing up from the bar, "I believe it's your turn Tommy. I broke ten. How many will you try?"
"Twelve," said Tommy with a sly grin. With that, Tommy, Rocky, and Jason returned to the mat. Tanya returned her attention to her essay, and Adam sat with her, eating a hamburger.
Meanwhile, on the Moon, Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa watch the Power Rangers relax at the Youth Center. They also witnessed the television interview, and are obviously upset because the rangers are happy.
"We have to ruin the Pan-Global Games!" ranted Rita, stomping around the throne room, "Kimberly can't be allowed to win any more medals!"
"Why do you care so much about Kimberly?" asked Zedd, sitting on his throne, "After all, she isn't even a Power Ranger anymore! Besides, we don't have any spare power to be throwing at the rangers! We have tons of cleaning to do, after that infernal Machine Empire took over my castle. Why should I care about the former Pink Ranger?"
"There's something about her that just rubs me the wrong way," said Rita, "I don't know."
Just then, Goldar and Rito enter the throne room. Finster was right behind them.
"We've searched the entire castle for any signs of the Machines," said Goldar, "I think we've melted every last remnant of them!"
"Excellent!" said Zedd, "Now, I don't have to worry about those overrated tin cans again! Now, we have to rebuild our evil army. Rita, what happened to Scorpina anyway?"
"She took a leave of absence after our wedding," said Rita, "She returned to Venus Island. It was some kind of anniversary or something."
"I didn't know Scorpina lived on Venus Island!" said Rito, "I didn't know anyone lived there except those big man-eating plants."
"That's because you're a moron!" roared Zedd, standing up, "You don't know a thing about this Solar System's history, do you? It doesn't matter, though. Rita, I want you to send for Scorpina. I want her to be here with us. She is one of our greatest warriors, and her aid will be most beneficial. On second thought, perhaps I shall pay her a visit. After all, Venus Island is my island. Perhaps her evil sisters, the Venusians, will help us destroy the rangers!"
Venus Island is a tropical island of magic and mystery. Every so often, Venus Island appears on the map, usually out in the deep Pacific Ocean, far from any other land mass. Very few humans know of its existence. And even fewer beings know of the creators and inhabitants of the isle. In a flash of lightning, Lord Zedd appears on the sandy shores of the isle, and walks briskly up the tall mountain in the center. As he passes, the deadly venus fly-traps bow before their master, allowing him easy passage. Once Zedd reaches the summit of the mountain, he lifts his "Z" staff to the overcast sky, causing a web of lightning to surround the area. Then, a city magically appears, in the ancient style of Athens Greece, with white pillars climbing to the heavens, statues of great heroines, and strings of ivy decorating the white stone. Zedd enters the gates, and the inhabitants of the city, all beautiful women appearing to be in their twenties and wearing clothing that looked like Grecian togas, stopped whatever it was they were doing and kneeled humbly to their emperor. Zedd's visor flashed with delight as he saw the respect the women afforded him.
"You may rise, Venusians!" he roared. All the women heeded his command.
"What brings you to the peak of Mount Ambrosia, on Venus Island, my liege?" asked a young blonde woman standing near him, "It has been centuries since your last visit."
"I have come to speak to Scorpina, Dalal. I am told she has returned to her sisters. I also would like an audience with Queen Syren, immediately."
"I shall take you to the queen now," answered Dalal "and I shall send scouts to find Scorpina. She left Ambrosia earlier today. She likes to practice her magic by the shore."
Dalal lifted a sword into the air, which had been attached to her belt, and the women all formed two lines from the gate to the large white palace in the center of the city. The women all lifted their swords, creating a canopy, and Dalal and Zedd walked between the two rows to the palace. Once inside, Dalal bowed deeply to the throne, in which sat the fair Queen Syren. Syren was wearing a floor length toga, with a golden crown and matching belt. Her cherry red hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and held with a gold band. Her gray eyes twinkled and an evil smile crossed her face as she saw the menacing figure of Lord Zedd enter the room. She stood up and bowed low before the emperor of evil.
"To what do I owe the honor, m'lord Zedd?" she asked, standing upright.
"I am here to ask a favor of you, Syren," he answered, "No doubt you have heard of the Power Rangers?"
"Of course. They were here on Venus Island only a year or so ago. I ordered the venusians not to interfere with them, since we received no order from you. I thought you had forgotten about your troop of Amazon Warriors."
"No, I merely was awaiting the right opportunity to call you into service, Syren. I want you personally to defeat the rangers. Your skills of mesmerizing men are second to none."
Syren smiled at the compliment. "I thank you for your vote of confidence, m'lord, but I must remind you that my spells render only men helpless. I may be mistaken, but two of the rangers are women."
"That is true, but the Yellow Ranger brought up a very interesting point earlier," said Zedd, "She said that the women on the team have never played key roles on the team, and that is indeed true. The men do all the fighting, the thinking, and the leading. The women who were fighters--Trini, Kimberly, and Aisha--have all retired. The two female Zeo Rangers are the least experienced, and neither of them are very accomplished as fighters. After you capture the men, it shouldn't be too difficult to destroy the women."
Just then, a young brunette in a short toga ran into the throne room.
"What is it Jezebel?" asked Syren, "I am speaking with Lord Zedd!!"
"I have brought Scorpina as you requested," said Jezebel, bowing and leaving the room. Scorpina entered the palace, also wearing a snow white toga that reached about mid thigh. She had a black onyx belt, and a golden sword in her hands. Her long ebony hair was pulled into two French braids.
"Zedd, what are you doing on Venus Island?" she asked in surprise.
"I have come to seek the aid of the mighty Venusian warriors to destroy the Power Rangers. That includes you, Scorpina."
"But Lord Zedd, I requested a leave of absence from Rita. It is of vital importance that I stay and help the queen."
"Help her do what?" asked Zedd, "What's going on here?"
"The day after tomorrow is the one-hundredth anniversary of the Naya Massacre. One hundred and twenty years ago, a group of former queen Naya's rebel Venusians escaped the dungeon, and fled the island. Dulcea managed to reach Zordon of Eltar, and he sent her to guard the Power on Phaedos. Many of them remained on Earth, hoping to save Venus Island from my tyranny. They adopted human names, and dwelled among them. Some of them even took mates and had offspring. We managed to find them all with Queen Naya twenty years later in England. They had joined together to plot to recapture Venus Island, and we stopped them. The only problem is, one of them, called Leila, managed to escape the carnage. The others were all killed. So, there now exist two free rebel Venusians--Dulcea and Leila."
"What can two women possibly do against your army of Venusian warriors?" asked Zedd.
"Well, Leila may have wed, and therefore may have had children. Venusians can only bear female offspring, because the Y chromosome cannot survive in a Venusian body. That is why we are all women. The offspring of the other Venusian turncoats will be the great-grandchildren of the Venusians, because being crossbreeds they do not inherit the immortality of their mothers. However, they do inherit the physical agility, intelligence, enhanced healing, agelessness, and beauty of the Venusians. Leila is still alive, and that means that she may have children, and a half-Venusian may have enough magical power to be a problem. The sooner Leila is killed, the sooner the rebellion will truly come to an end."
"About how many rebels were there?" asked Zedd.
"There are at least a hundred rebels still imprisoned in the catacombs of the castle. Naya led a group of her generals in an escape. There were five total--Naya herself, Leila, Dulcea, Erwina, and Avangone. Dulcea immediately went to Zordon to protect the power of Ninjetti, since she was the keeper of the Ninjetti power. Therefore, she never had children on Earth. Erwina had one daughter, but she brought her to the meeting, so she was killed as well. Avagone's two daughters each had two daughters, and three of the four grandchildren had children, making a total of four great-grandchildren. All the great grand-children still live--the youngest is twelve and the oldest is twenty-two. Two of the grandchildren still live, one being forty-seven and the other fifty three. So, there are a total of six descendents of Avagone still living. Naya had two daughters, and one of them married and had three daughters. Those three each had one daughter, and one of the three grandchildren of Naya is dead. So, there are five descendents of Naya. Since Leila is still alive, it is impossible to know whether or not she has living descendents, but there are none to my knowledge. To celebrate the anniversary, we plan to capture all the descendants of the traitors, and kill them together in a blazing fire. Leila herself shall be killed by my hand. So, we have been watching the descendents, and have a great deal of information on them."
"If you know their names and you know where they are, there shouldn't be a problem," said Lord Zedd, "Just send a few Venusians to grab them. If they are the great-grandchildren of Venusians, then they have only one-eighth of the magical powers of Venusians, and shouldn't be much of a threat."
"I have a list of the eleven descendents," said Syren, standing again from her throne and pulling out a blood red parchment, "Each of them may have limited supernatural powers. All should be inhumanly agile, extremely beautiful, fast healers, very intelligent, and should all look younger than they truly are. The list reads: from the tribe of Avagone--Elisa Manning, her daughter Janette Manning, Silvia Turner, her daughter Andrea Turner, her other daughter Elizabeth Turner, and finally Christina Hendren. From the tribe of Queen Naya--Josephine Trent, her daughter Kelly Trent, Caroline Hart, her daughter Kimberly Hart, and Courtney Davis."
Upon the mention of Kimberly's name, Scorpina's chin dropped, and Zedd's visor began to glow brightly red.
"Did you say Kimberly Hart?" asked Zedd in disbelief, "As in Kimberly Anne Hart, the gymnast in the Pan Global Games in Florida?"
"The very same," answered Syren, "Why? Do you know her?"
"Of course I know her! She was the original Pink Ranger!! So, she isn't even human, and she possesses Venusian powers. This isn't good. Syren, you must attack the Power Rangers. Immediately. If you wait until the anniversary, the rangers will be with Kimberly in Florida, and you will be unable to capture her. Get the rangers, and send a Venusian to the games at the same time. She can capture Kimberly, and you can capture the male Power Rangers. Do this for me, and you will no longer be indebted to me. Deal?"
Syren rubbed her chin. She then smirked. "Deal."
"Excellent. Scorpina, are you coming?" asked Zedd, turning to leave the castle.
"Scorpina is my greatest assassin," said Syren, "and my best tracker. If anyone can find Leila for me, it is she."
"Very well. Once you find Leila, though, I want you to return to the Moon."
"Yes, Lord Zedd," said Scorpina, bowing low.
"Things may turn out well for me after all," said Zedd with a smirk.
In Angel Grove, Katherine Hillard has locked herself in her room. The television has been unplugged ever since she saw the Oprah Winfrey show a few hours ago, and the telephone has been disconnected. Even the shades are drawn, to block out any distractions from the outside world. Katherine knows that these extreme measures are absolutely necessary; since she's spending the entire weekend in Florida with her friends, there is no way she'll get a chance to study for her Calculus midterm any other time. Although Katherine is an excellent student, her Calculus grade is slipping, since that's the class she has right after lunch, and the Machine Empire had a practically clockwork habit of sending down monsters at lunchtime. So, Katherine misses a lot of Calculus classes, and hasn't been doing well on the tests she's taken so far. Now that the Machine Empire hasn't attacked in over a week, there is no excuse for failing this test. Except for the Pan-Global Games. P>
Katherine has mixed feelings about her trip to Florida this weekend. Although she really misses her friend Kimberly, and is really excited about seeing her compete for Pan-Global glory, she's also a little apprehensive. After all, Tommy has only recently been showing signs of getting over Kimberly after that letter a few months ago. Tommy has even begun to show signs of affection for Katherine, much to her delight.
Kat has had a serious crush on Tommy since day one, but she's way to reservedto do anything about it, and she's also too good a friend to approach Tommy while Kim was still in the picture. When Kim dumped him, Tommy was so destroyed that whatever happiness Kat felt about finally having a chance with Tommy was immediately drowned with pity for his broken heart.
Many times when Tommy was sitting at the lakeside, skipping stones across the water, Kat wished that Kimberly hadn't left Tommy, since she could tell he still loved her more than anything. Eventually, though, Tommy's young heart seemed to mend, to the point where he and Kat have gone out on a handful of little dates. Of course, they weren't romantic--usually just to a movie or to grab a bite at Ernie's. No candles, no strolls in the moonlight, and absolutely no kissing. Not even close. Still, Kat is completely happy with the pseudo-relationship she and Tommy have. She is willing to be patient--to let him heal completely. First and foremost, she's Tommy's friend. Whatever else may happen between them will grow from that friendship.
But now, the trip to Florida is bringing Kimberly back into the picture. Kat really isn't sure what kind of effect this will have on Tommy, and on his feelings for Kat. After all, Kat is pretty sure that Tommy still loves Kimberly, and he will either be depressed to see her again, or happy. If they come to terms, then Tommy will feel better being with Kat, since there will no longer be any unfinished business. However, if Tommy and Kim just ignore each other, then Tommy's emotional scars will only deepen, and all the progress he's shown over the past couple months will vanish. But then again, there's always the possibility that Tommy and Kim will get back together. This is probably the scenario that Kat fears most. If Kim apologizes for dumping him, he'll forgive her, since he still loves her, and Katherine will be completely out of the picture.
"Stop it!" she said to herself, slapping her forehead, "If they get back together, then Tommy will be happy. That's all that matters. Now stop thinking about him! You have a test to study for!"
Kat once again began doing the practice exam problems Mr. Weatherspoon handed out in class that day.
"Why don't I understand derivatives? I wish Billy were still here! He's the only one who could guide me through Calculus."
Katherine's thoughts were interrupted by a familiar six-tone signal. She sighed aloud and searched in the pile of loose Calculus worksheets for her communicator. She lifted it to her mouth and pressed the button.
"Katherine here," she said into the receiver, "What is it?"
^KATHERINE, PLEASE REPORT TO THE POWER CHAMBER IMMEDIATELY. THE OTHERS ARE ALREADY HERE.^
"I'm on my way," said Kat, activating her teleporter. In a wash of bright pink light, she was in the Power Chamber with the other Zeo Rangers.
"What's going on?" she asked, "Is Mondo back?"
"NO," boomed Zordon, "THE ATTACKER IS NOT MONDO. TURN YOUR ATTENTION TO THE VIEWING GLOBE."
The rangers all turned to the globe, and there appeared a beautiful woman in golden armor, with long curly red hair and dazzling gray eyes. Rocky couldn't help but whistle, which earned irritated glares from Kat and Tanya. He only shrugged and grinned sheepishly.
"Who is she?" asked Adam, "And why is she wearing armor identical to Scorpina's?"
"HER NAME IS SYREN, AND SHE IS THE PRESENT QUEEN OF THE VENUSIANS. THE VENUSIANS ARE A RACE OF FEMALE WARRIORS AND MAGICIANS, WHO LIVE ATOP MOUNT AMBROSIA ON VENUS ISLAND."
"We didn't see anyone on Venus Island when we went there," said Jason.
"The Venusians didn't show themselves," explained Alpha, "They have been ruled by Syren for millenia, and she is ruled by Lord Zedd."
"So Zedd's back in the picture?" asked Tommy, "If its not one thing, its another!"
"So, who are the Venusians?" asked Tanya, "Are they like the Amazons of myth?"
"THEY ARE THE BAND OF WOMEN WHO SPAWNED THE LEGEND OF THE AMAZONS. THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO, THE VENUSIANS LIVED IN PEACE ON THE PLANET VENUS. THERE, QUEEN NAYA RULED THE PEOPLE, AND THERE WAS PEACE AND JOY. THEN, ONE OF THE VENUSIANS, CALLED DIVATOX, DECIDED THAT SHE WANTED TO RULE.
"SHE WAS THE SISTER OF THE QUEEN AND SHE DESIRED THE THRONE. SO SHE AND A BAND OF DISSIDENTS STARTED A CIVIL WAR, WHICH FORTUNATELY WAS QUELLED WITH THE HELP OF THE POWER OF NINJETTI, WHICH WAS GUARDED BY DULCEA, NAYA'S OTHER SISTER. DIVATOX AND HER ARMY WERE DEFEATED, AND AS PUNISHMENT THEY WERE EXILED FROM VENUS TO WANDER THE COSMOS. NAYA COULDN'T BRING HERSELF TO DESTROY HER SISTER. BEFORE SHE LEFT, DIVATOX CAST AN EVIL SPELL ON THE ENTIRE PLANET, CAUSING ALL THE WATER TO EVAPORATE. WITHOUT WATER, VENUS SOON BECAME UNINHABITABLE, SO THE VENUSIANS WERE FORCED TO ABANDON THEIR HOME.
"NAYA LED HER SUBJECTS TO EARTH, AND CREATED VENUS ISLAND, WHERE THEY ONCE AGAIN LIVED IN PEACE. IT WAS DIFFICULT, BUT AT LEAST THERE WAS WATER THERE, SO THE PEOPLE COULD SURVIVE. THIS WAS MILLENIA BEFORE MANKIND CAME INTO BEING. THEN, SYREN, ANOTHER WOULD-BE DICTATOR, SET HER SIGHTS ON THE THRONE. BUT, SHE KNEW THERE WAS NO WAY SHE WOULD BE ABLE TO DEFEAT NAYA AND DULCEA BY HERSELF, SO SHE ALLIED HERSELF WITH LORD ZEDD. TOGETHER, THEY MANAGED TO CONQUER VENUS ISLAND, AND SYREN BECAME QUEEN, WHILE STILL INDEBTED TO ZEDD.
"MOST OF THE VENUSIANS WERE PERSUADED TO ALLY THEMSELVES WITH SYREN AND PLEDGE LOYALTY TO ZEDD, AND THOSE WHO DID NOT WERE IMPRISONED IN THE CATACOMBS OF THE CASTLE. ZEDD ALSO HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE WHICHEVER VENUSIAN HE WANTED TO BE HIS PERSONAL ASSASSIN, AND HE CHOSE SCORPINA. THAT IS HOW SCORPINA CAME INTO ZEDD'S SERVICE."
"But why didn't they kill Naya immediately?" asked Adam.
"BECAUSE IT IS PART OF THE VENUSIAN CODE TO NEVER KILL ANOTHER VENUSIAN. SO, EVEN THOUGH SYREN WAS QUEEN, THE MAJORITY OF HER SUBJECTS WOULD HAVE REVOLTED IF SHE KILLED THE FORMER QUEEN IN COLD BLOOD. SO NAYA, DULCEA, AND THE OTHER FAITHFUL VENUSIANS WERE IMPRISONED."
"But we saw Dulcea on Phaedos," said Rocky, "She isn't anyone's prisoner."
"A LITTLE OVER A CENTURY AGO, A SMALL BAND OF VENUSIAN PRISONERS, LED BY NAYA, MANAGED TO ESCAPE VENUS ISLAND. THEY ENTERED THE WORLD OF MANKIND, AND SEPARATED IN ORDER TO HIDE THEMSELVES FROM SYREN. THERE WERE FIVE ALTOGETHER: NAYA, DULCEA, AVAGONE, ERWINA, AND LEILA. DULCEA CAME TO ME IMMEDIATELY, AND ASKED ME TO TRANSPORT HER TO A WORLD FREE OF INDUSTRIALIZATION AND POLUTION, SO SHE COULD KEEP THE SECRET OF THE NINJETTI SAFE. THE POWER RELIES ON THE SPIRITS OF FREE ANIMALS, AND THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF THE 19TH CENTURY MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR HER TO CULTIVATE THAT POWER ON EARTH. SO, I SENT HER TO PHAEDOS, A PLANET MUCH LIKE EARTH BEFORE HUMANS CAME INTO BEING."
"Are they still alive now?" asked Katherine, "Maybe they can help us!"
"NO, NAYA, AVAGONE, AND ERWINA ARE ALL DEAD. LEILA IS STILL ALIVE, BUT IF I CALL FOR HER HELP, I WILL BE PUTTING HER LIFE IN GREAT JEOPARDY. I MAY BE ABLE TO SUMMON DULCEA, THOUGH. IN THE MEANTIME, RANGERS, YOU MUST STOP SYREN. I DO NOT KNOW WHY SHE HAS DECIDED TO ATTACK YOU NOW, BUT SHE HAS."
"What powers do Venusians have?" asked Tanya.
"VENUSIANS ARE IMMORTAL. ONLY FIRE CAN DESTROY THEM. THEY ARE ALSO SUPREMELY AGILE, AND NATURAL FIGHTERS. THEY ARE ALSO MAGICAL, AND EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL. SOME HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHARM HUMAN MALES, SO BE CAREFUL, RANGERS."
"We can handle it, Zordon," said Tommy, "Its Morphin Time!"
"Zeo Ranger 1--PINK!!" cried Katherine.
"Zeo Ranger 2--YELLOW!!" yelled Tanya.
"Zeo Ranger 3--BLUE!!" shouted Rocky.
"Zeo Ranger 4--GREEN!!" called Adam.
"Zeo Ranger 5--RED!!" bellowed Tommy.
The five Zeo Rangers teleported to the park, where Syren was awaiting them. Jason stood by the Viewing Globe, with a scowl on his face.
"Man, I wish I could help them!" he sighed.
"JASON, THE POWERS OF THE GOLD RANGER WERE SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS FOR A HUMAN TO WIELD."
"I know, but I feel so--useless."
"HELP ALPHA FIVE ESTABLISH COMMUNICATIONS WITH PHAEDOS. PERHAPS DULCEA WILL BETTER UNDERSTAND SYREN'S ATTACK."
Jason nodded mutely and got to work.
The five current Zeo Rangers arrive at the scene, where a beautiful woman in golden armor waits patiently for them, stoking her sharp blade with her gloved hand.
"Okay Syren!" yelled Tommy, stepping forward, "What do you want here?"
"I see you already know who I am, Red Ranger," said Syren with a seductive smile, "If Zordon has informed you of my identity, he no doubt has told you of my abilities. Yet, you bravely come to face me. I am impressed."
"Zordon's told us enough about you," said Katherine, standing beside Tommy, "and we can handle whatever you throw at us!"
With that said, the Zeo Rangers all strike fighting positions. Syren stares curiously at the Pink Zeo Ranger.
"I think I'll start with you, half-breed!" cried Syren, swiftly lunging at Katherine with her sword. Syren moved so quickly that the other Zeo Rangers had no time to stop her before she was already pummeling Kat with the magical sword. Kat barely managed to deflect the sword with her shield, but she never managed to get a hit in. Soon, Syren made contact with Kat's arm, leaving a deep wound on her shoulder. Kat clutched her injury tightly, dropping her shield and looking up at Syren in horror. Syren's expression was only disappointment as she stepped away from Kat and sheathed her sword. Tommy quickly ran between Syren and Kat, holding up his sword towards the enemy.
"Kat," he said quietly, not taking his eyes off Syren, "are you okay?"
"I...I will be," Kat answered weakly, rising to her feet. Tommy stood his ground, making sure Syren didn't again try to attack Katherine. Syren only smiled at shook her head.
"Lord Zedd had said that the Pink Ranger was of Venusian blood," she said with a sigh, "but obviously he was incorrect. You are not a Venusian, Pink Ranger! If you were, you should have been able to defend yourself effectively against my sword."
Tommy swung his sword at the Venusian queen, letting his instinct take over. Syren immediately unsheathed her sword and deflected each thrust expertly. She chuckled at Tommy's attack, and with a mighty swing, disarmed him. She then lifted him by the collar with one hand and smiled up at him.
"Not bad," she mocked, "For a male that is. So, you are the valiant leader of the Power Rangers, eh? So protective of your teammates. An honorable and powerful man, but a man nonetheless--and therefore susceptible to my unique charms."
As Syren spoke, her gray eyes shimmered with unearthly golden light. Tommy's struggles against Syren's grip slowly died out, and soon he hung from her mighty grip limply. Syren cackled and turned her gaze towards the remaining Zeo Rangers, who stood helplessly and watched.
"Tommy!!" cried Katherine, touching her fingers to her mouthplate, "NO!"
"If you want your leader back, my dear," said Syren, "take him!"
Syren threw Tommy's limp body like a rag doll, bowling over the other rangers. Katherine hastily pulled Tommy's helmet off, and saw his eyes wide open and glowing gold.
"Kat!" ordered Adam, "Get Tommy to the Power Chamber and get your shoulder checked out! We'll do what we can here!"
Katherine nodded mutely as she and Tommy vanished in two columns of colored light. The Yellow, Green, and Blue Zeo Rangers all summoned their Zeo Weapons and rushed Syren. Syren managed to battle all three at once, and delivered a mightly tornado kick to Rocky's head, knocking him off his feet. She threw a sphere of golden light at the Yellow and Green Rangers as she approached Rocky, who was shaking off the last attack. She gingerly took off his helmet and smiled down at him. Rocky blushed furiously at her gaze.
"You think I'm beautiful, do you not, Blue Ranger?" asked Syren sweetly.
"Yes," answered Rocky dully, his eyes glowing gold.
"And you would do anything I ask of you?"
"Yes, my fair Queen," he answered again. Syren helped him stand up and kissed him on the cheek. She then handed him back his helmet.
"Go then, by brave blue knight, and protect your queen from these attackers," she commanded, pointing her blade at Tanya and Adam. Rocky put on his helmet and lunged at Adam, while Syren attacked Tanya.
"Rocky, snap out of it!" cried Adam, blocking each of Rocky's attacks, but never countering, "I don't want to hurt you! We're best friends!"
"Any enemy of my beloved queen is an enemy of mine!" declared Rocky, "Now fight me or DIE!"
Meanwhile, Tanya desperately defended herself against Syren's superior strength and speed. Syren smiled gleefully as she savagely struck Tanya in the gut. Tanya doubled over and fell to the ground in pain.
"You are a better fighter than the Pink Ranger," said Syren, "But you are not of Venusian blood either. You too are too slow and weak. Still, I had a good work-out. It is almost a pity to dispatch of you..."
With that, Syren slowly raised her sword in a ceremonial final strike. Adam's eyes widened as he saw Tanya sprawled out on the grass, defenseless against Syren' oncoming attack. Adam immediately delivered a mighty kick to Rocky's head, rendering the Blue Ranger unconscious. Adam then ran at Syren at full speed.
Sorry, Rocko, but I can't let anything happen to Tanya! he thought as he plowed into Syren's back. Tanya leapt to her feet to help Adam, but by the time she collected her bearings Adam was standing beside Syren, his fists clenched tightly. Tanya's eyes narrowed as she struck a defensive pose.
"Looks like you're the only one left," said Syren , approaching the lone ranger, "Who shall step in and save you now?"
As if in answer, a white owl floated down from the sky and landed on the grass between Tanya and Syren. Syren scowled angrily and readied her blade and Tanya stared in shock as the small owl transformed into a beautiful woman wearing a green bikini. The woman held a long stick and approached Syren menacingly.
"Hello, traitor," said the woman angrily, "I see you are still in command of Venus Island."
"Of course I am, Dulcea," said Syren, "After all, I destroyed the resistance. I do not know if you were aware of this, but I killed Naya and her followers a century ago. Are you on Earth to celebrate the anniversary of your sister's demise?"
Dulcea's lips curled into a snarl, but she managed to remain calm. "Yellow Zeo Ranger," she said without turning her head from her opponent, "Return to the Power Chamber, and take you enchanted companions with you. I shall deal with Syren."
"That's Queen Syren to you, Ninjetti Priestess!" cried Syren, leaping at Dulcea. The two women warriors clashed weapons furiously while Tanya spoke into her wrist communicator.
"Alpha, can you teleport Rocky and Adam to the Power Chamber?"
^Aye yi yi! Teleporting all three of you now!^
Instantly, Tanya, Rocky, and Adam vanished from the park, and rematerialized inside the Power Chamber. Tanya removed her helmet and looked at Rocky, Adam, and Tommy, who all lay still on cots. She then saw Katherine, whose shoulder was bandaged up. Tanya turned to Zordon with confusion etched on her dark face.
"Zordon, who is that woman out there fighting Syren?"
"SHE IS DULCEA, THE KEEPER OF THE POWER OF NINJETTI," explained Zordon, "JASON AND ALPHA CONTACTED HER WHILE THE ZEO RANGERS WERE FIGHTING THE VENUSIAN QUEEN. AS I HAD FEARED, SYREN HAS ENTRANCED TOMMY, ADAM, AND ROCKY."
"How do we break the spell?" asked Katherine, glancing at Tommy worriedly.
"I AM NOT VERY FAMILIAR WITH VENUSIAN SPELLS, KATHERINE. I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO REVERSE THE SPELL--PROVIDED THE SPELL CAN BE REVERSED."
Katherine sat down on a chair beside Tommy and buried her face in her palms. Tanya began pacing around the Power Chamber angrily, muttering to herself. She stopped when she saw the mannequines of the original Power Ranger costumes. Her focus turned towards the statue of the Pink Power Ranger.
"Zordon," she said, "Syren said something about the Pink Ranger being a Venusian descendent. Do you know anything about that?"
"I DO KNOW THAT SOME OF THE VENUSIAN REBELS LEFT DESCENDENTS. HOWEVER, SINCE THEY WOULD ONLY BE PART VENUSIAN, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE THE FULL POWER OF VENUSIANS. AS THE LINE PROGRESSES, EACH GENERATION WOULD HAVE LESS AND LESS VENUSIAN BLOOD, AND THEREFORE LESS AND LESS OF THEIR POWERS. I SUPPOSE KATHERINE COULD BE A VENUSIAN, THOUGH. BUT IF SHE WERE, THEN THE ATTACKS SYREN INFLICTED WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN SO SERIOUS."
"But, Syren said that I wasn't a Venusian," said Kat.
"But, you weren't always the Pink Ranger!" said Jason excitedly, "Maybe she meant Kimberly! After all, Venusians are supposed to be really agile, and Kim is one of the greatest gymnasts of all time!"
"IF KIMBERLY IS A VENUSIAN, AND SYREN KNOWS THIS, THEN SHE IS IN GREAT DANGER," said Zordon, "WE SHOULD INFORM HER OF THE SITUATION."
Just then, Dulcea appeared in the Power Chamber. She rested her staff against the computer consol and began pressing buttons furiously.
"What happened?" asked Jason.
"Syren decided to retreat," explained Dulcea, "She was never a match for me one-on-one. However, she said something about the anniversary of Naya's assassination and the descendents of Avagone, Naya, Leila, and Erwina. I haven't contacted them since I left for Phaedos, so I do not know if any still live."
"AVAGONE, NAYA, AND ERWINA WERE ALL KILLED, DULCEA." said Zordon quietly. Dulcea bowed her head in remorse.
"Then Syren spoke the truth. My sister the Queen is truly dead. There is no hope for Venus Island now. What of Leila?"
"LEILA STILL LIVES, BUT I DO NOT KNOW WHERE SHE IS. SHE LIVES AS A HUMAN, IN HIDING FROM SYREN AND HER FOLLOWERS."
"Syren is probably trying to capture Leila now. I can think of no other reason why she has come here. But why did she attack the Power Rangers? What could they possibly mean to her plan?"
"Syren said something about the Pink Ranger being a Venusian," explained Tanya, "Maybe she wanted to kill her."
Dulcea looked at Tanya in surprise, and then glanced at Katherine.
"I did not know that she knew the Pink Power Ranger is of Venusian blood," said Dulcea quietly, "Then she probably knows the identities of all the descendents of Naya and the others. This does not bode well for the rebellion."
"Aye yi yi!" cried Alpha, "You knew Kimberly was a Venusian?!"
"I did indeed. I knew it when I gave her the power of the Crane Ninjetti. The Ninjetti powers were created on Venus, and so they are most powerful with Venusians. Whereas the other Power Rangers needed the coin to become Ninjetti, Kimberly does not. She shall always be the Pink Ninjetti."
"But, when she gave me her coin, I became Ninjetti as well," said Katherine.
"You did wear the costume, but the Ninjetti powers were weak with you. Your animal guide is not the Crane, so the power wasn't with you as it was with Kimberly. You weren't able to call on the Crane for guidance, and you wouldn't have been able to pilot the Crane Ninjazord."
"What kind of Ninjetti power does Kim still have?" asked Jason.
"She can still summon the Crane to guide her, and she can transform into a Crane, just as I transform into a Snow Owl. The Snow Owl is my Ninjetti animal, and since I am Venusian, I can become an owl."
"Does Kim know she still has the Power?" asked Katherine.
"I do not think so. Although I immediately knew she was of Venusian blood, I did not tell her. I felt that the knowledge may be a burden, because if she knew, she would have used her Venusian powers, and then Syren could detect her. And since Kimberly was a Power Ranger, she would no doubt come face to face with Scorpina, and then Scorpina would inform her queen of Kimberly's existence. Apparenly though, my attempts to hide the descendent of my sister were in vain. Syren knows of Kimberly, and since Kim is a Ninjetti, she possesses powers comparable to full-blooded Venusians, even though the blood line is thinned. We must find her, as well as all the other descendents of Venus Island. They are all in life-threatening danger."
In a small town called Hillsdale New Jersey, a tall beautiful woman with auburn hair and twinkling eyes is putting away groceries. As she busily goes about her business, she watches a taped recording of that afternoon's Oprah Winfrey show. The woman smiled as she heard the voice and saw the dazzling smile of her only child--Renee Ryan, the champion gymnast. The woman is so busy with the groceries and the television program that she doesn't hear the stealth approach of a sinister assassin. Just as the assassin was about to reveal herself from the shadows, the telephone rings, and the woman hurries to answer it.
"Hello?" she asks into the receiver, still watching the program, "Hi, Ron! How are you, Honey? Yes, I taped the show. I'm watching it now. I'm so proud of our little girl! Yes, I'm fine here. When will you get back from the conference in Germany? Oh, you're going directly to Florida? I'm leaving this evening, and Diane flew in this morning directly from college. Okay, I'll see you in Florida, dear. Bye!"
As soon as Leila hung up the phone, the assassin leapt from the shadows with her sword drawn. Leila managed to dodge the attack, but the sword cut through the phone cord. Leila stood up and looked at her attacker calmly.
"Scorpina. I thought you now served only Lord Zedd. You seem to still be Syren's favorite flunkie!"
"And you seem to be just as spirited as ever, Leila," said Scorpina with an evil grin, "Now, are you coming with me peacefully to Venus Island, or will I have to use force?"
"What do you think?" asked Leila, quickly grabbing a butcher's knife from the drawer, "I admit I may be a little rusty, but I can hold my own against the likes of you!"
"You were never my equal, Leila," said Scorpina angrily, sheathing her sword and pulling out a smaller dagger, "You have no hope of defeating me!"
The two women circled each other cautiously in the spacious kitchen of the Ryan family. Leila made the first offensive move, striking at Scorpina with the sharp knife. Scorpina easily dodged the attack and delivered a high swing, which Leila managed to dodge. Scorpina drew first blood--cutting Leila accross the cheek. Almost immediately, the cut began to stop bleeding, and in a few minutes all that was left was a faint scar. Leila's eyes flashed in anger as she leapt from the tile floor and stabbed Scorpina in the chest. The blade didn't penetrate the golden armor, and Scorpina delivered a mighty kick into Leila's stomach, causing her to fall to the floor again. Before Leila could rise, Scorpina grabbed her by her auburn hair and positioned the dagger on Leila's neck, drawing a bit of blood.
"I ask you again, will you come with me, or do I have to dispose of you on the spot?"
"Your metal blade cannot finish me," said Leila, "I am full-blooded Venusian. I am immortal!"
"Almost," said Scorpina with a wicked laugh. Suddenly the blade of the small dagger began to glow with heat. Leila winced as the flame burned her neck.
"This is no ordinary blade," said Scorpina, pressing the dagger deeper into Leila's soft flesh, "It is a Hyperion Dagger, forged in magical fires. It has internalized the power of an inferno into its magical metal, and Venusians are susceptible to fire. I knew what I was doing when I came here."
Leila's face curled into a frown as she looked down at the blade. "What do you want of me, Scorpina? If you only came to take my life, I would no longer be breathing."
"Indeed. Syren wanted to kill you and the descendents of Naya and Avagone at a ceremony celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of the Naya Massacre."
"No matter what may happen to me, the rebellion will live on! The day shall come when Dulcea will return, and Venus Island will be freed from the tyranny of Zedd and Syren."
"Not in this lifetime, 'Sister'! Oh, and one more thing--you mentioned something while you were on the telephone earlier. Something about your 'little girl'?"
Scorpina could feel Leila's entire body tense. She smiled in triumph. "So, you have a daughter, eh? Where can I find her?"
"You might as well end my life, Scorpina. I shall not help you track down the living descendents of Naya, Avagone, or myself."
"We already know of the descendents of the others. You are the only uncertainty, since you have lived in hiding for a century."
"Well, I plan to remain the uncertainty," declared Leila indignantly. Scorpina only cackled. "Lord Zedd certainly has a magic spell capable of loosening your tongue, Leila. Telling me of your own free will shall no doubt be easier for you. In either case, the result is the same--your child shall die, along with the other hybrids!"
Leila smiled weakly as she swiftly grabbed hold of Scorpina's wrist. She held the fist holding the dagger, and lowered it to her heart.
"You are right. There is only one way I shall be able to keep my secret. You may have found me, but you know nothing about me. Therefore, you need me to get the information you need. And you shall not have it, one way or another! For the future of Venus Island!"
Leila plunged the dagger into her heart, and in a flash of fiery light, all that remained was a pile of ashes and spots of blood on the white tiles of the kitchen. Scorpina rose to her feet mutely, her fist clenched in rage.
"Blast!" she cried, "She has cheated me! It shall take me forever to find the child now! But at least I know of her existence. Mark my word, Leila, your sacrifice shall be in vain! The girl shall be found. Soon."
In the gymnasium in Florida, Kimberly, Renee, and Eric practice routines under the stern eye of Coach Schmidt and his two assistants--Trevor Monroe and Ashley Stevens. Ashley monitors Eric, while Coach Schmidt watches Renee and Trevor watches Kim. As Kimberly dismounts from the balance beam, Trevor tosses her a towel.
"Nice job, Kim," he said as she approached him, wiping her forehead with the towel, "But you really need to work on your dismount."
Kim smiled and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Okay, but first lemme get a bottle of water."
"I can get it for you," he offered with a smirk and bowing, "Anything for my graceful angel."
Kim giggled and punched him lightly in the shoulder. "Whatever," she said, walking out of the room.
"You got five minutes, Beautiful!" he called after her, "You don't have much time left before the individuals!"
Kim nodded and jogged to the hallway. She stopped and leaned against the wall, rubbing her arms with her hands. She looked down at her feet sadly.
Oh, I HATE it when he calls me 'Beautiful'! she thought as she slowly made her way to the vending machine, It only reminds me of Tommy, and how happy we were together. We felt that nothing could ever come between us--not Rita, not Zedd, not duty, not a thing! In the end, life just led us in two separate directions.
Kim absently dropped a few coins in the machine, and waited as the bottle fell to the opening. She picked it up and took a long sip.
I still feel so guilty about that letter! I know I could have handled the situation better. Instead, I let my own insecurities take precedence over Tommy's feelings, and I selfishly sent him a letter instead of talking to him, and making him understand. Nonetheless, I know what I did was for the best. We couldn't stay together. There's just too much to come between us, and like Renee always said--long distance relationships never work. Someone always gets hurt. She was right.
Kim walked down the hall towards the gym entrance, when someone tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around to see the face of a beautiful blonde woman in a shimmering suit of gold armor. Kim gasped as the woman proceeded to punch Kimberly in the face. Kim fell to the ground, dropping her bottle of water. The bottle rolled down the hall and past the open door of the gym. Trevor, who was waiting for Kim to return, saw the bottle roll past.
"Kim?" he called, running down the hall. He stopped when he saw Kim lying on the floor, barely conscious, and a woman in golden armor standing above her with a glowing red sword. "KIM!!"
The woman glanced at Trevor and smiled wickedly. She stepped over Kim and approached the shocked young man. Trevor froze in place, as he watched the woman's green eyes turn gold.
"Trevor," cried Kim weakly, "RUN!!"
"He cannot hear you, child of Naya," said the attacker, turning back towards Kim. Kim rose to her feet and looked in horror at Trevor's still body.
"What have you done to him?" she cried angrily, "Who are you? What do you want from me?!"
"I am Dalal, Venusian warrior and enchantress. I have entranced this male with my powers. I am here to put an end to your life, Kimberly Anne Hart. Any other questions?"
Kim stared at Dalal in shock, and touched her hand to her nose. Seconds ago, her nose was bleeding profusely, but now it was completely dry of blood. Kim looked at her hand curiously.
"I see you have already healed from that punch. But you cannot heal from a Hyperion blade!"
Dalal dove at Kim at superhuman speed, but Kim managed to leap out of the way at equal speed. Kim flipped gracefully through the air, and landed a good twenty feet from her jumping off point. She blinked in surprise as she landed, and continued to dodge the energy blasts Dalal fired. All the noise attracted the attention of the other gymnasts in the building. Renee, Eric, and Coach Schmidt ran into the hall to investigate, and witnessed Kimberly's amazing flips.
"What is going on?" asked Coach Schmidt in his thick accent.
"Sorry, gentlemen," said Dalal, her eyes glowing gold, "But I don't need any complications."
Immediately, both the coach and Eric froze in place. Renee stood her ground in mute shock as she saw her friends freeze before her eyes. Dalal lifted her hand into the air, forming a sphere of energy.
"I am unable to entrance human females," she said, "so I have to deal with you in a more--permanent manner."
Dalal fired her sphere of energy at Renee, who was too surprised to move. Kimberly screamed and ran to intercept the attack, but she wasn't fast enough. The sphere of pulsing energy crashed into Renee's body, throwing the girl into the wall. Kimberly dropped to her knees and cradled the still body of her roommate, tears filling her eyes. She then glanced at the frozen bodies of her friends, and suddenly, she felt a pulse of power in her heart. Her eyes began to glow pink, and much to her surprise, she saw her hands pulse with radiant pink light. Kim gently lay Renee's head on the ground and turned her attention to Dalal. She didn't notice the blood dripping from Renee's mouth slowly dry up and vanish.
"Okay, Dalal," said Kim, clenching her fists angrily, "Now you've gone too far! Release my friends from your magic spell!"
"Surely you jest!" laughed Dalal, "You aren't even of full Venusian blood! You are by no means my equal!"
Kimberly leapt into the air, leaving a streak of pink light behind her. Kim plowed into Dalal, and Dalal heard the sound of a mighty crane screeching with rage. On impact, Dalal was thrown back into the other side of the hall, cradling her side painfully.
"You...you are Ninjetti," she whispered, "You are stronger than I thought."
"Darn straight!" cried Renee, standing up and walking over to stand beside Kimberly, "Kim here is the toughest gal I know!"
"Renee!" cried Kim in surprise. Dalal's eyes widened as she gazed at Renee.
"No human could survive such an attack," said Dalal, standing up, "You are Venusian, but not one of the descendents Syren mentioned."
"Come again?" said Renee in confusion.
"I must tell Syren," muttered Dalal, as she vanished from the hall. As soon as she disappeared, Eric, Trevor, and Coach Schmidt collapsed to the floor, waking up from their trances.
"Kim?" asked Trevor, standing up and running to her, "Are you okay?"
"I...I have to take care of something," she stammered, stepping back from Trevor, "Renee, could you come with me?"
Renee nodded and followed Kim down the hall. The two girls ran as quickly as they could to their apartment, where Kim immediately picked up the phone and dialed a familiar phone number.
"What are you doing?" asked Renee, sitting down on Kim's bed.
"I'm calling Tommy," she explained, "Something is going on here!"
After several rings, the answering machine picked up. Kim left a brief message and tried Adam and then Rocky. Then she tried Katherine, and Jason, and even Tanya. But no one was home.
"They must be on a mission or something!" she moaned angrily, hanging up the phone, "Now what do I do?"
"Well," said Renee, "you can start by telling me what the heck is going on here!"
"Its a long story," sighed Kimberly, "but I guess its okay to tell you, considering the circumstances. Y'see, before I came to Florida to train for the Pan-Globals, I was the Pink Power Ranger."
"You mean the Power Rangers are real?" Renee gasped.
"Yes. Me and my friends were chosen to protect the Earth from invading aliens. Its all true. Well anyway, I retired from the team to pursue my gymnastics career. I gave my Power Coin to another friend of mine. The coin is where the super powers come from. I guess Lord Zedd, the ruler of the invading aliens, wants me as a hostage to trap the other rangers or something. He's used that trick a dozen times before."
"So you knew that blonde woman that attacked us?"
"No, but her armor looks alot like that of an old enemy of mine. We're lucky to have escaped, 'Ne. Zedd's servants are pretty tough."
"Okay, I have one more question. How were you able to pull off those amazing flips? And when you dove at Dalal, you turned into a pink glowing bird. You said you gave your Power Coin to someone else. You're not a Power Ranger anymore, are you?"
"No, I'm not. Actually, that's the first time I exhibited super powers since I gave up my coin. That's why I wanted to contact the other rangers, but they seem to be on a mission. Okay, 'Ne, now I have a question for you. How did you survive that energy blast from Dalal? She was so shocked that you still were alive that she retreated."
"I don't know," said Renee with a shrug, "I've always been an amazingly quick healer. Mom always says I have a very efficient self-healing system, or something like that. My mother's like that too, so I guess it just runs in the family."
Suddenly, there was a flash of white light, and a small snow owl appeared above the bed. Both Kimberly and Renee looked at the small bird curiously as it flew to the ground and transformed into a tall woman in a green armored bikini. Renee raised her eyebrow and looked at the woman, while Kim got up and greeted the strange visitor.
"Dulcea!" she cried, "What're you doing here? I thought you could never leave the plateau on Phaedos!"
"It is true, one of the costs of being keeper of the Ninjetti powers is a loss of my agelessness. When I am not near the power source, I begin to age rapidly. Fortunately, Zordon has created a temporary solution to that problem--a portable time warp."
With that, Dulcea touched the silver headband she wore.
"It slows the aging process significantly, and I hope it will be enough to allow me to stay on Earth until my mission here is complete. Kimberly, I have something extremely important to tell you and your friend. I witnessed the last part of your battle against Dalal through the Viewing Globe in the Power Chamber, and I now know for certain that both of you are of Venusian blood."
"Yeah, that blonde woman said something about that," said Renee, standing up, "Now, you two seem to know each other, but I'm completely in the dark at this moment. Could you please clue me in?"
Kim smiled and turned to her friend. "Renee, Dulcea. Dulcea, Renee Ryan. Renee is my roommate here in Florida, and a fellow gymnastics champion. Dulcea is keeper of the Ninjetti powers. She is the one who gave me the power of the Crane."
Dulcea and Renee shook hands, and Dulcea began her explanation. She told both girls about the history of Venus Island, the escape of the Queen and a few subjects, the murder of the Queen, and the anniversary celebration Syren had spoken of. Both girls wore very confused expressions.
"What does that have to do with me?" asked Kimberly, "I'm not a Ninjetti anymore."
"But you are. When I gave you the power of the Crane I sensed that the animal guide bonded with you in a manner that none of the other rangers experienced. Now that the rangers are Zeo, they no longer can summon the Ninjetti powers. But you, on the other hand, are part Venusian, and the animal powers shall always be a part of you. You are still a Ninja Ranger, Kimberly, and you can still morph."
"You're saying I'm not human?!" shrieked Kimberly, "Are you sure about this?"
"Indeed. Your inner powers are much like my sister Naya's and so I am pretty sure you are one of her descendents. You are mostly human, since Naya was your great-grandmother, but since you were exposed to the Ninjetti Power at such an early age, your potential powers are equal to those of a full-blooded Venusian. That is probably why Syren saw you as an immediate threat."
"What do I have to do with any of this?" asked Renee, "I've never been a Power Ranger."
"True, but the fact that you survived Dalal's sphere of power means that you are at least part Venusian. Tell me, do you know the name of your great-grandmother on your mother's side?"
"No. My mother's an orphan, and she doesn't have any family at all. Could my father be the grandson of Venusians?"
"Impossible. Venusians are all women, and they can only bear female offspring," said Dulcea, rubbing her chin in thought, "Tell me more about your mother. Where is she from?"
"My mother is Lebanese. She lived in foster homes there until she graduated high school, and then she came to the States. She's Leila Saba, before she married my pop."
"Renee, Kimberly," said Dulcea, raising her staff to the air, "Stand beside me. We have a great deal of work to do, and we don't have a great deal of time."
Kimberly and Renee stood on either side of Dulcea, and in a flash of white light, the three women vanished.
Dalal appeared at the gates of Ambrosia on Venus Island, still clutching her side painfully. To her complete surprise, the descendant of Naya had greatly injured her, breaking numerous ribs upon impact. Dalal steadied herself on her thone and painfully walked through the gate towards the palace. With each step, the ache she felt in her body ebbed slightly, and by the time she reached the palace's ivory gates, she no longer needed to lean upon her sword. It took a long time to heal from that last attack, she thought grimly, This child of Naya is mighty indeed! She is as strong as any Venusian, since she has the power of Ninjetti added to her natural skills. And who was the dark child who stood beside her? She is also Venusian, but not one of the Venusian hybrids on Syren's list. They have all been captured! I must alert the queen immediately.
Dalal hobbled into the throne room, bowing when she saw the Queen. Syren was still wearing her golden armor, and her red tresses hung around her face in disarray. She wore a bitter scowl on her face as she stood in the corner of the throne room, surrounded by hundreds of different weapons. She glanced at Dalal, her eyebrow rising slightly as she noticed Dalal's wounded and exhausted condition. She turned to face her warrior, holding erect a shimmering katana blade decorated with blood red rubies.
"I see you haven't captured Kimberly Hart," said Syren coldly, pointing the blade at Dalal's neck. The blade began to glow crimson. "You realize of course that this is a Hyperion Blade. I should kill you on the spot for failing in your mission! KNEEL!"
Dalal obeyed the queen, dropping to one knee. She bowed her head, and Syren raised the blade high. She dropped the blade at phenomenal speed, but stopped short, with the flaming blade chillingly close to Dalal's neck. "I shall give you one chance to explain your failure. I know the Power Rangers didn't interfere, since I have already delt with them. Also, Leila and Dulcea couldn't have stopped you from obtaining your prize. Tell me, how did you fail to capture the girl, a mere hybrid, untrained in the arts of combat?"
"She may be more human than Venusian, my Queen, but she is indeed a warrior trained," whispered Dalal, not looking up, "She possesses the might of the Crane, given to her by the Great Power."
Syren withdrew the blade from Dalal's neck, and retreated to her throne. She sat down, stroking the blade with her delicate fingers. "So, not only is Kimberly Hart a former Power Ranger, she is also a Ninjetti warrior. Intriguing. Ninjetti warriors have always been the mightiest among the Venusians. Nevertheless, you should have been able to defeat the girl. You have eons of experience, and you are one of my greatest warriors. The girl has only lived for eighteen years, and she has only been a warrior for a small portion of that. Why did you retreat? Your wounds weren't inflicted by flames, so they would've healed in a short time. You could have finished the girl permanently, if you couldn't capture her as planned."
"Your Majesty, she wasn't alone. Another girl of similar age was present, and she too was of our blood."
Syren's eyes widened at this revelation. "Are you certain?" she whispered, standing from her throne, "All of the other descendents of Naya and Avagone have been captured. They now reside in the dungeon, awaiting the ceremony at dawn tomorrow, where their lives will end, along with the rebellion. The only Venusian left...Leila."
Syren briskly marched down the red carpet towards her private chambers, leaving Dalal in the throne room. She stopped at a magical full length mirror with silver frame, adorned with rubies and onyxes. She waved her hand in front of the glass, and her reflection melted away, transforming to an image of Lord Zedd himself. Syren bowed at the appearance of Zedd, who was shown sitting on his throne and clutching his staff.
"What have you to report?" he asked excitedly, "Have you destroyed the Power Rangers?"
"I have rendered the three male rangers useless," she said, holding her head up proudly, "Tommy, Rocky, and Adam are under my spell. Unfortunately, they were teleported from the battle scene before I could either capture or kill them. Dulcea showed up rather unexpectedly, and no doubt she shall try to save the rangers. However, Dulcea is a priestess, not an enchantress. She shall not be able to break my spell."
Zedd sat quietly for a moment, absorbing the information that Syren has given him. He tapped his steel chin with a steel tipped finger. "You have done well. I hadn't expected Dulcea to come to the aid of the rangers, but if what you say is true, she shall be inconsequential to my master plan. Three of the Zeo Rangers are out of commission, and the Zeo powers cannot be taken from them while they are under a spell such as yours. Are you certain Dulcea cannot break the spell you placed?"
"No, I specifically bound them with my most powerful enchantment," said Syren with an evil smile, "There are two types of Venusians--enchantresses and priestesses. The priestesses use the force of the Ninjetti in combat, and the enchantresses use magic. Only an enchantress can break an enchantment spell, and Dulcea is a priestess."
"Did Scorpina finish her mission?" asked Zedd, "Did she find Leila?"
"Leila has been killed," said Syren, "She sacrificed herself rather than come to Venus Island in shame. However, Scorpina discovered that Leila has a child. She didn't learn anything from Leila, other than that the girl may be in Florida now. She went to locate her. Dalal was sent to capture Kimberly Hart, but she failed. You didn't tell me that Kimberly was a Ninjetti."
Lord Zedd just shrugged, "She is no longer Ninjetti," he said matter-of-factly, "She gave her coin to Katherine months ago. The fact that she used to be Ninjetti isn't important."
"But it is, Zedd," said Syren, rather frustratedly, "Kimberly is of the bloodline of Naya, and Naya was a priestess. Any Venusian priestess who is exposed to the Great Power, even for a short while, will always be a mighty warrior. Kimberly will always be Ninjetti. She managed to defeat Dalal, and she was accompanied by another of Venusian descent. I believe it is the same child of Leila that Scorpina learned of."
"So," muttered Zedd, "the plot thickens. Did you send Scorpina after Kimberly and her friend? Dalal is only an enchantress, but Scorpina is a mighty warrior of the priesthood, and the greatest warrior of Venus Island at that. Scorpina has battled Kimberly many times before, and could do it again easily."
"Scorpina is in Florida now, but she reports that she cannot find Kimberly or her friend. They may have been found by Dulcea and Zordon by now."
"Fine. Don't bother looking for Kimberly anymore. No doubt she sook the aid of her former mentor the moment danger struck. Have you captured the other Venusian descendents, including Kimberly's mother and family?"
"Indeed. They all live--for now."
"Excellent. If you have Kimberly's loved ones on Venus Island, she shall no doubt come to their aid. She always prided herself in being a heroine. You've done pretty well, Syren. Don't mess it up now."
With that, Zedd's image vanished from the mirror's face. Syren sighed inwardly as she lay on her bed. Perhaps I should have told him that Leila was an enchantress she thought to herself, Most likely her daughter is one as well. If Dulcea manages to teach the girl how to use her magical powers, the male rangers may not be out of commission long. However, they shall not be able to take my island from me! They may be able to find Venus Island, and they may be able to morph here, but only Venusians can enter Ambrosia, with the exception of Zedd himself. The rangers will not be able to interfere with my plans. Once I have destroyed Dulcea, Kimberly, and the child of Leila, as well as the other cross-breeds, no one will be able to take my throne from me.
All is quiet in the Power Chamber. Tommy, Adam, and Rocky lay half-morphed and still upon three cots against the wall, while Jason and Alpha were busy monitoring scanners. Katherine sat on a chair beside Tommy's cot, holding his hand gently and silently praying that he'd be okay. Tanya stood silent vigil between the cots of Rocky and Adam, every once in a while glancing down at Adam's serene face. Each time she did, she shuddered. Its all my fault that he's like this! she lamented silently, her stoic face only hinting at the fear and pain she feels inside, If he hadn't jumped in to save my hide, Syren wouldn't have gotten to him. Oh Adam, why do you have to be so darn heroic?
"Zordon," said Tanya frustratedly, "Isn't there anything we can do? Shouldn't we be searching for a cure for the guys or something?"
"THERE IS NO CURE WE COULD ADMINISTER," said Zordon solemnly, "MY PAST EXPERIENCE WITH VENUSIAN ENCHANTRESSES HAS LED ME TO CONCLUDE THAT THE SPELL CANNOT BE BROKEN BY ANYONE OTHER THAN ANOTHER VENUSIAN WITH SIMILAR MAGICAL SKILLS."
"We can't give up," whispered Kat, her blue eyes shining with tears of frustration, "They need us! We can't stop Lord Zedd and Syren without them! What do we do?"
As if in answer, a brilliant light flashed in the center of the Power Chamber, and three women appeared. Katherine, Tanya, and Jason all turned in surprise, and they gazed upon Dulcea, Kimberly, and an unfamiliar young woman with dark skin and eyes, and long dark hair. Kim immediately jumped and gave Jason a big hug. She was indeed excited to be in the company of her friends again, even under the present circumstances.
"Kim!" said Jason, putting her down, "Are you okay? We saw you go up against a Venusian enchantress on the Viewing Globe. The transmission was disrupted when Dulcea teleported to help you."
"I'm fine," she breathed, still beaming with excitement, "I don't know exactly what happened back there, but somehow the stress of the situation forced me to use my Ninjetti powers, even though I didn't realize I had any. Cool, huh?"
Jason turned towards the wall, where the guys lay spellbound, and the Pink and Yellow Zeo Rangers stood by their sides. Kimberly gasped when she saw her friends lie deathly still. She also noted that Katherine was holding Tommy's hand. Kim slowly approached the beds, and looked down at Tommy's face. He seemed to be sleeping peacefully, except for the fact that his eyes were wide open, and they were glowing gold. Kim lightly touched his cheek with her delicate fingertips, and fought against the stream of tears that threatened to fall.
"What happened?" she asked Katherine in an unsteady voice. Katherine looked down sadly.
"We fought Syren a few hours ago, and she managed to entrance Tommy, Rocky, and Adam. Dulcea showed up and gave us the chance to retreat, but we can't find a way to break the spell."
"IT IS TRUE," said Zordon grimly, "I KNOW I CANNOT BREAK THE ENCHANTMENTS OF SYREN."
"Then, we have to go to Venus Island and force Syren to free them," said Kimberly angrily, "We have to save them."
"There is an easier way to save them," said Dulcea, placing her hand on Renee's shoulder, "This is Renee Ryan, daughter of Leila, the Venusian Enchantress."
"What do you mean?" asked Renee, looking up at Dulcea in confusion.
"Your mother is Leila, one of the five Venusians to escape Venus Island over a century ago. When Syren found and killed Naya, Leila was the only one to escape the massacre. She lived in hiding for a century, and eventually married and had a child. Your are half Venusian and half human, so your potential is great indeed. Since your mother is an enchantress, you are as well. You should be able to break the enchantment trapping the Blue, Green, and Red Rangers."
Renee nodded and approached the beds. She grinned when she passed Jason, and stuck out her hand.
"Hi," she greeted, "We haven't been introduced. I'm Renee, Kim's roommate."
"I'm Jason," he answered politely, shaking her hand, "Too bad we couldn't meet under better circumstances. I was looking forward to watching you and Kim compete at the games."
"Yeah, it looks like our weekend plans have changed," said Renee wistfully. She also introduced herself to Katherine and Tanya, as well as Alpha 5 and Zordon. She then stood at Tommy's bedside, examining his features curiously. She then nudged Kimberly, who was anxiously standing behind her.
"He's cute," she whispered to Kim, "So this is the famous Tommy, eh?"
Kim blushed furiously and elbowed Renee playfully. "Don't you start," she scolded quietly, "We have work to do."
Renee grinned and then once again turned her attention to Tommy. He stared at his golden eyes for a minute, wondering how she was supposed to help. She shrugged and turned to Dulcea. "What am I supposed to do?"
"Concentrate," Dulcea instructed, "Concentrate and reach into his mind. You must free his mind from Syren's grip."
Renee nodded, and touched her hand to Tommy's forehead. She closed her eyes, and she saw an image of Tommy dangling from Syren's deadly grip. Suddenly, the per- spective changed--instead of her witnessing Tommy's dilemma, she was experiencing it from within Tommy's mind. From inside Tommy's mind, she could feel his terror of the powerful witch he was facing, as well as his helplessness. That was the key.
*Tommy* she called mentally, *Tommy, can you hear me?*
Then the scene once again changed. Now, Tommy was in his street clothes, chained to a wall. His head was bowed down in defeat. He looked up when he heard the gentle voice.
"Who's there?" he called into the darkness. Renee stepped out of the shadows, her body glowing orange.
*Tommy, I'm Renee, a friend,* she answered, kneeling in front of him to look into his eyes. He stared at her curiously.
"Do I know you?" he asked weakly. Renee grinned.
*You may have seen me on television. I'm a gymnast in the Pan Global Games. I'm Kim's roommate.*
Tommy seemed to perk up a bit at the mention of Kim's name. "Where is she? Is she okay? What about the others?"
*Well, Kim's fine, and so are the other girls. The two guys are trapped like you are. You're the leader, Tommy, you have to break free and return to your friends. I can't do it for you, I can only show you the way.* "I can't!" he groaned angrily, "I've tried. I can't get free. Syren's magic is too powerful."
*Tommy, don't think like that!* cried Renee in exasperation, *You have to be strong--*
Suddenly, a strong wind picked up, and Renee was pushed out of the dungeon trapping the Red Ranger. Before she figured out what was happening, she found herself lying on the cold floor of the Power Chamber, with Kat, Jason, Dulcea, Tanya, Kimberly, and Alpha 5 staring down at her worriedly. She sat up and rubbed the back of her head.
"What happened?" asked Kim, offering her roommate a hand up, "Did you reach Tommy?"
"I found him all right," she muttered, rising to her feet with Kim's help and then balancing herself against Tommy's cot, "But before I could really help him, some kinda wind blew me away. Next thing I knew, I was back here."
Dulcea considered this information, and walked over to Tommy's bedside. She looked deeply into his golden eyes, and shook her head in disappointment. "I didn't realize how powerful an enchantment Syren placed on them," she said, "A novice enchantress such as yourself cannot break such a masterful encantation. You need experience and guidance."
"Well, unfortunately, we don't have time for Renee to get proficient in magic," said Tanya angrily, "We really need the whole team if we're gonna be ready for whatever Zedd and Syren have planned for us."
"Wait!" cried Kim excitedly, "Dulcea, can Renee get this guidance and experience from her Ninjetti animal guide?"
"Yes," said Dulcea, "but since she is not a priestess as you and I are, her Ninjetti powers shall be limited. Still, the guidance of her animal spirit will come in handy during the upcoming battle. I doubt Syren will allow either of you to return to your lives. So long as she is in power, you and your loved ones are in grave danger. Renee Ryan, do you wish to be a Ninjetti?"
Renee thought for a moment, and then nodded solemnly, "Whatever it takes to help you guys out."
Dulcea smiled at Renee's selfless response. She took Renee's hands in hers, and both women began to glow white and slowly fade away. "You are a noble and selfless woman, Renee," commented Dulcea, "You remind me a great deal of your mother. I believe you are worthy to gain the power of Ninjetti. However, we must go to Phaedos, so that the Power can coarse through your veins and introduce you to your animal guide. We shall be back as soon as possible, Zordon."
Moments later, both women were completely gone, and the bright light faded. Katherine and Tanya returned to their places beside their boyfriends while Kim sat down at the other end of the Power Chamber, hugging herself tightly and rocking her body. Jason sat down beside her and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "What's wrong, Kiddo?" he asked her gently.
"I don't know," admitted Kim quietly, "Its been such a weird day, and a lot of the stuff Dulcea had told me is kinda hard to swallow. I'm not even human, Jason! I'm some kinda alien!"
"Kim, you act human, and you've always felt human. You're human where it really counts--here." Jason pointed to his heart. Kim looked up at him and smiled.
"I guess. But that's not the only thing. I haven't seen any of the guys since I left for the Pan-Globals, except for you of course. So much has changed since day one. I mean, take a look around! The Command Center is different, the rangers are different, and even the costumes and power sources are different! I still don't believe Aisha moved to Africa ten years ago--it still doesn't make sense to me. And Billy actually moved to an entirely different planet! I knew all of this stuff from letters and all, but I guess it didn't seem real, until I showed up here and saw for myself that things will never be the same as they were. My best friends have left the team, and one of them has left the planet! And now Kat and Tommy--"
"I had a feeling that would bother you," said Jason, "It must be tough to see him with another girl, especially one you consider a friend."
"If Tommy's happy, then I'm happy," said Kim with a smile, "After all, I am the one who dumped him, not vice-versa. I have no right to be angry with him for finding someone else. Although I admit I'd rather it not be Kat. I don't know, it just seems to hit too close to home. Kat got my Power Coin, my zord, my place on the team, and even my boyfriend. She seemed to fill my shoes perfectly and completely."
Jason was surprised by what Kim was telling him. "Do you regret going to Florida and leaving the Power Rangers?"
"Yeah," Kim admitted, "Not always, but sometimes. Being a ranger really gave my life meaning, and it made me a member of an exclusive circle of friends. You, me, Billy, Trini, and Zack were inseparable way before Rita ever attacked Earth, but being on the same team and sharing the same guarded secret kinda cemented our bond. I got used to it, and once I moved away, I was suddenly all alone. I have friends in Florida, but its not the same. There really isn't that special bond there. You guys are all still my friends, but Kat really did take my place, for all intents and purposes. This all sounds silly, doesn't it?"
"Not in the least," said Jason, "I know the feeling of alienation too. The first couple of months at the Peace Conference were really tough on me, but at least I had Zack and Trini with me. You had no one, not even family. And considering the fact that you're so open and talkative, it must've been exceptionally tough to have no one to talk to. You managed to survive and adapt, Kim, and I'm proud of you."
Kim buried her face in Jason's chest and hugged him tightly. Jason hugged her in return, like a big brother would hug and protect his little sister. The sounds of alarms caused them both to jump in surprise, and they ran to Alpha's side, soon joined by Kat and Tanya.
"What happened?" yelled Tanya over the alarms.
"Aye yi yi!" moaned Alpha, "I managed to isolate the teleportation frequency that Syren used to teleport from Venus Island to Angel Grove, so that we would be able to follow her instead of hunt down Venus Island like we had to do last time. I just discovered that the same frequency has been used several times today!"
"You mean other than Dalal in Florida?" asked Kim.
"Yes! Other than Syren's teleport to Angel Grove and back to Venus Island, there have been 22 teleport signatures, eleven leaving Venus Island and eleven returning. All these trips have taken place within the last three hours."
"What were they doing?" asked Kat, "What could they want?"
"Well, when Dalal attacked me at the gym, she said she wanted to kill me," said Kim, stopping in her tracks and gasping loudly, "Oh my God! Could the other ten trips have been the same--to kill the other Venusian descendents?! "
"IT IS VERY POSSIBLE," boomed Zordon, "THE OTHER VICTIMS WOULD BE OTHER WOMEN, INCLUDING ANY FEMALE RELATIVES ON YOUR MOTHER'S SIDE, INCLUDING YOUR MOTHER HERSELF."
All the present teenagers gasped in horror at the thought, and Kim's eyes widened. Then, she gritted her teeth and clenched her fists. "We have to find out if they're okay," she declared, "Alpha, can you track the ten teleport signatures? Can you send us to the ten locations to see what happened?"
"Give me a minute," said Alpha, busily punching keys, "I have it! The ten teleports were directed to Angel Grove California, New York City, Seattle Washington, Oxford England, London England, Frankfurt Germany, Montreal Canada, Hillsdale New Jersey, Rome Italy, and Paris France. I will have the exact coordinates momentarily."
"Okay, guys," said Kim, turning to her three friends, 'We'll split up and check each location. We need to find out the names of the women attacked or missing, and if possible learn whether or not they are still alive. I'm going to Paris. Then I can check Rome and Frankfurt"
"I'll take care of Seattle, Montreal, and Angel Grove," said Jason.
"I'll visit New Jersey and New York," offered Tanya.
"I guess that leaves me with Oxford and London," said Kat, "Should we morph?"
"YES," said Zordon, "ANY POSSIBLE WITNESSES WILL MOST LIKELY BE MORE WILLING TO SPEAK TO THE POWER RANGERS THAN TO STRANGERS. HOWEVER, SINCE JASON CANNOT MORPH, YOU MUST GO AS YOU ARE. AND KIMBERLY, SINCE YOU ARE NO DOUBT STILL BEING HUNTED BY SYREN'S FORCES, TRY NOT TO USE YOUR NINJETTI POWERS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. USING YOUR POWERS MAY ALERT SYREN OF YOUR LOCATION."
"We can handle it," said Kim, "Let's get going!"
"Wait a minute, Kim," said Jason, "Maybe you should stay here. Syren wants you dead, remember? If you leave the Power Chamber, it'll make it easier for her to find you. Kat, Tanya, and I will make sure your family's okay."
"I'm gonna find my mother, Jason," said Kim coldly, "And nothing will stand in my way. Clear?"
Jason stepped back from Kim, surprised at her reaction. He saw her eyes begin to glow pink. Wow, he thought, I pity the Venusian that dares take Kim on when she's this upset!
Alpha began pressing buttons again, and the four teenagers vanished in beams of hot pink, lemon yellow, bright white, and pale pink.
In a modest ranch style house in Hillsdale New Jersey, a beam of yellow light pierces the darkness of the empty house. The Yellow Ranger looks around in confusion, peering through the darkness. She stumbles around for a few minutes, until she finds the wall light switch. She pushes up the switch, and the room becomes filled with soft yellow light.
Looks like I'm in someone's kitchen, she thought, looking across the room. Hanging on the wall was a collage of photographs in a wooden frame. Tanya removes her helmet to get a better look as she takes the frame off the wall and examines the photos more closely. There were various candid shots, as well as a few portraits of unfamiliar people. Also, there were a few photos of a familiar dark girl.
"This is Renee!" Tanya declared, focussing on a photo of the entire family. There was a tall African-American man with midnight black moustache and hair, a black young woman with wire frame glasses and short dark braids, a taller young woman with flowing brown hair and an enchanting smile, and finally a deadly beautiful tan woman with auburn hair and shimmering eyes. Tanya took this one photo out of the frame and continued to look around the room. She noticed a suspicious pile of ashes on the tiles of the kitchen floor, as well as several blood stains on the floor and on a butcher's knife. Tanya also noticed that the phone cord had been severed.
"This definitely doesn't look good for Renee's family," said Tanya, passing the pile of ash and walking towards the window. The window looked like it was forced open. "Whoever was here must've broke into the house via this window and then teleported back to Venus Island from here. I don't see a body, so hopefully Renee's family was captured, and not killed. Still, that pile of dirt is really giving me a bad feeling."
Tanya shrugged and snapped her helmet back on. She tucked the photo into her belt, and held her hand out. Instantly, a small test tube appeared in her hand, and she scooped up a sample of the ashes with a teaspoon from the kitchen counter. She then activated her communicator. "Alpha," she said into her wrist, "Do you read me?"
^I read,^ responded the robot, ^Did you find anything?^
"I'm in someone's house, Alpha, and there's no one here. I think its Renee's family, since I found a few pictures here. There are signs of a fight, as well as blood stains and a pile of weird ashes. I can't find a body, though. I'm teleporting you a sample of the ash. Could you scan it and tell me what it is?"
^Certainly. Teleporting now.^
Then, the vile of ash vanished from Tanya's hand. She took one last look around, and then touched her belt buckle. "One down, one to go," she sighed, teleporting from New Jersey to New York City in a blink of an eye.
On the campus of Oxford in England, the police are investigating an abduction. A young man named Gregory Sampson called them a half hour ago, reporting that his girlfriend, Andrea Turner, was attacked by a tall, beautiful brunette wearing gold armor and spandex. The police are once again going over the victim's dorm room, which was ransacked by the fight. They hoped they'd find some clue about the crime that had taken place, but they couldn't even find a fingerprint or a strand of hair from the assailant. They were about to give up when a beam of pink light attracted their attention. The Pink Zeo Ranger materialized in the middle of the room, startling the two police officers still there.
"I say," said one of the police, "who are you, Missy?"
The Pink Ranger was surprised by this question. "I'm the Pink Zeo Ranger," she answered with an Australian accent, "Surely you've heard of the Power Rangers."
"Yeah," said the second policeman, "Cliff, remember the Power Rangers? They were on the news a few weeks ago. They're some American super heroes."
"She certainly doesn't sound American, Charles," said the first officer, "What can I do for ya, Missy?"
"I need to know what happened in here," she said, looking around at the destroyed bedroom. Cliff sighed audibly.
"Well, the report is that about an hour or so ago, two students were in here studying, and they were suddenly attacked by some woman in gold armor. She somehow hypnotized the lad, and when he snapped out of it, his girlfriend and the attacker were gone without a trace. There were no signs of forced entry, and no one in the building saw the woman in gold armor. Personally, I think the lad's daft."
"What were the names of the two students?" asked the Pink Ranger, a pink pad of paper and a pink pen appearing in a flash of pink light. The two policemen stared at the Power Ranger in a stupor, until Charles shook his head and glanced at his own note pad.
"Uh, the boy who reported the incident is Gregory Sampson, and the missing girl is Andrea Turner."
"And you're sure she was kidnapped by this Amazon?" asked the Pink Ranger.
"That's what the lad said," said Cliff. The Pink Ranger nodded while writing and when she was done the pink notepad and pen vanished.
"Thanks for your help, officers," she said, touching her belt buckle, "G'day."
With that, the Pink Ranger vanished in a streak of hot pink light. The two policemen returned to what they were doing.
"Well," said Charles, "There's something ya don't see everyday, chap."
Jason Lee appeared in the bushes near a sizeable mansion in uptown Angel Grove. He climbed out of the bushes and observed the group of police officers, an ambulance, and a number of curious spectators being held off by police lines. Jason walked over to one elderly man in the crowd and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, Sir," he said politely, "What's going on here?"
"It looks like some burglar attacked the Trents," said the old man, "Arthur Trent is being hospitalized, and his family has vanished."
"What are the names of the missing persons?" Jason asked.
"Uh, Josephine and their daughter is Kelly. Charming young girl. Its really a shame."
With that, the old man turned away from Jason. Jason walked towards the police line, trying to get the attention of the police officers. One officer noticed Jason and walked over.
"We're really busy here, young man," said the officer irritadedly.
"Yes Sir, but I was just wondering what happened to Mister Trent."
"He's suffering from a severe loss of blood. He sustained numerous wounds, apparently inflicted by a large knife"
"Or maybe a sword," Jason whispered, rubbing his chin. "Thanks so much, Sir."
The officer nodded and got back to work. Jason pushed through the crowd and hid in the trees. Before he teleported to his next destination, he stopped to think for a minute. Kelly. That name sounds so familiar. Hmm.
Jason shrugged frustratedly and prepared to teleport. Well, at least we know they're probably still alive he thought as his body vanished in a flash of white light.
Kimberly Hart appeared in a wash of soft pink light in a small art studio. She scanned the room hurriedly, glancing briefly at the dozens of finished still lifes and portraits decorating the room. She then saw an unfinished portrait of her mother, torn and thrown on the floor viciously, as well as puddles of paint and water. Her fear began to rise substantially as she took in the frightful scene. Her step-father's art studio had been completely wrecked, and she hadn't found either her step-father or her mother. She gasped audibly when she saw a still body laying on the floor. She dashed to the person. cradling his head in her lap. Hey eyes filled with tears when she saw a streak of dark red on his neck and forehead. She gently touched the stream of red on his forehead, and then examined it closely. She smiled as she rubbed the red substance between her fingers.
"Paint," she whispered amusedly, touching her step-father's neck to detect a pulse. She sighed in relief and lifted him into her arms. She carried him to the work bench and laid him down carefully.
"Wow," she whispered to herself as she touched his forehead, "I'm a lot stronger than I look. I wonder what other powers we Venusians have. Well, I can find out some other time. I have more important thing to take care of. Pierre, are you with me?"
Kimberly shook him gently, but he didn't respond. She began to get irritated as she shook him harder. When he still didn't awaken, she stood up and searched the room. She stopped when she saw a glass of water on the table. She picked it up and ran back to her still step-father, dumping the water on his face. He coughed loudly and sat up in shock, wiping his face with his hands. He looked around the room, and smiled with relief when he saw Kimberly's smiling face. He leaned over and gave her a warm hug.
"Kimberly," he whispered in his thick French accent, "I'm glad you are here. What happened? Where is your mother?"
"I don't know," she said, "I was hoping you could answer that question for me. What happened to this place?"
"I was working on a portrait of your mother all day," he explained, touching his throbbing head, "She was sitting on the windowsill, looking out at the Louvre, as a pose, when suddenly a woman with golden armor leapt through the window and grabbed your mother by the wrist. I tried to stop her, but she struck me with the blunt end of her blade. I just awoke now."
"Did this woman say anything?" asked Kim worriedly. Pierre thought for a moment.
"She said that she was taking Caroline home," he recalled aloud, "Kimberly, do you know anything about this? Why are you in Paris anyway? Shouldn't you be at the Pan-Global Games?"
Kim remained silent for a moment, pondering what to tell her step-father. She smiled at him softly.
"Pierre, Mom's in big trouble, and I am also. I came here, hoping she's okay, but it looks like I'm too late. Now, I really have to go. I'm really sorry, but I don't have time for an explanation. Don't worry about Mom, though, she'll be okay. She's got to be."
Pierre stared at Kimberly for a moment, confusion etched all over his face. He opened his mouth to ask a question, but then promtly shut it and smiled.
"Very well," he said finally, "You're a responsible girl, so I won't question you. Just be careful, Kimberly."
Kim smiled and hugged him again. She then waved her goodbye and hurried out of the building. She looked around at the busy streets of Paris, searching for a safe spot to teleport to her next stop. She turned around quickly when a flash of golden light from a dark alleyway caught her eye. Kim glanced around quickly and then ran down the alley, searching for what looked like a Venusian warrior. As soon as she stopped at the dead end, she was hit in the back and thrown into the wall harshly. She shook off the attack and looked up, straight into the glowing onyx eyes of her attacker.
"Scorpina," she muttered, her voice laced with hatred, "What did you do to my mother?"
"Very good," said Scorpina, walking closer to Kim and placing her foot on Kim's stomach, "I didn't think you'd see me. I must admit, Paris is a really intriguing city. I'd like to see a bit more of it."
Kim scowled and grabbed Scorpina's ankle, twisting her leg and throwing her off with enchanced strength. Scorpina landed gracefully on her feet, but Kim took advantage of Scorpina's surprise and leapt to her feet to assume a fighting stance. Scorpina started to laugh.
"Please Kimberly!" she gasped, still laughing, "Just because you've learned that you are a Venusian doesn't mean you are my equal. I could destroy you with a flick of my wrist!"
"Well, why don't you?" asked Kim.
"Because, Syren wants all the Venusian descendents and Leila alive, so they can all die at a ceremony at sunrise. She's already upset because I killed Leila. She'll really get angry if I kill you as well."
Kimberly stood her ground, her face not revealing the shock and fear she felt when she heard about Leila Ryan's horrible fate. "Why are you telling me all this?" she asked Scorpina, not relaxing her fighting stance in the least, "I'm sure you've heard the phrase 'knowledge is power' before. Why give us so much knowledge?"
"Maybe I don't think it'll do you any good," answered Scorpina, unsheathing her sword, "Or maybe I wanted you to know that at the moment your mother is alive, but I don't need much convincing to end her life. After all, Leila irritated me with her spirit, and I killed her for that. If you don't cooperate, I'll just have to vent my anger on your mother, aunt, and cousins."
"Aunt Jo, Kelly, and my cousin Courtney, I presume," said Kim, "You know I won't surrender, Scorpina. I'm their only hope of surviving tomorrow."
"Then they have no hope!" roared Scorpina, leaping at Kim with her sword held out. Kim dodged Scorpina's attack, but she didn't move enough to keep the sharp sword from piercing her forearm. She clutched her wound gently, measuring how serious it was. The blood almost immediately began to dry, and before Scorpina even collected her bearings for another strike, Kim struck her with a graceful whip kick, followed by a punch to the face and a sweep. Scorpina fell back at Kimberly's lightning quick offense, and grinned mockingly at the short gymnast.
"I see you've picked up some fighting techniques from your ex,"she said, rising to her feet and promptly blocking Kim's tornado kick, "but you still aren't the fighter I am!"
Kim ducked Scorpina's sword swing and backflipped to a safe distance, striking Scorpina under the chin with her feet during the flip. Scorpina fell backwards into the wall as Kim landed on her feet, crouching to absorb the impact and touching her wrist communicator. Her body began to glow pink, and she soon vanished in a streak of pale pink light. Scorpina followed the streak of light with her eyes as it pierced through the pale orange light of dawn in Paris France. Scorpina raised her sword to the air, her eyes glowing with fury.
"How dare she run away!" cried Scorpina angrily, "She will not get away with this! I will not let her! You'll be back, Kimberly Hart! I refuse to leave Paris until I have your head on a stick!"
With that, Scorpina ran into the streets of Paris, destroying everything in her path.