Disclaimer: All Power Rangers characters belong to Haim Saban and Toei Inc. King Rashell, Queen Uriel, Yaralla, the Triforian Silver and Gold F Powers, Melantha, Kali, Jackie Oliver, and Jaime Talsik are mine. Please don't use them without my permission.
Serpenterra, the great zord of the Almighty Zedd, Lord of Evil, thrashed around as if it were afraid to return to its holding bay after riding around the galaxy in glory. Finally, the zord was put to rest as its energy was cut, and from its mouth came a bright red light signaling that the riders of the great ship were returning to the palace on the moon of Earth where the bay was located.
Stepping into his throne room, Lord Zedd looked around in all his hideous splendor. His veins pulsed angrily as his whole body grew red. It was obvious his majesty was furious. "Why couldn't Dark Specter have let Darkonda kill that meddlesome teenage menace!? We would have been rid of Tommy Oliver for good!"
The event he spoke of was obviously that night in the not-so-far past when Dark Specter had, for the first time ever, shown mercy to a ranger by allowing the leader of Zordon's squadron Earth to go free. The thought of the White Ranger bubbling with laughter as he told Zordon of what had happened made his blood boil.
"I am sorry that I could not kill him for you, Master," Goldar, Zedd's monkey-like henchman said humbly with a bow of his head. "Ecliptor turned on me, and I had no choice but to defend myself."
Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd's wife, well by false marriage, touched one cone of her massive bra before smiling faintly. "Such is life, Goldar. No one can punish you for trying. Astronema's henchmen take things all too personally."
As Goldar relaxed, she grabbed his arm tightly, digging her monstrous nails through his armor. "However, I can reprimand you for not killing the Red Ranger when he sat, helpless, in front of you! Goldar, you're such an idiotic baboon! I should have Finster turn you into a toad and banish you to the land of Akrouh where they eat nothing but!" The overgrown monkey tried to pull away in fear.
"Oh, let him go," Queen Uriel commanded tiredly as she walked into the throne room, her graceful hips swaying with her movement. Uriel's beauty, while always lovely, was extravagant today. The glow of pregnancy had molded her face into that of a goddess, and Zedd could not stop himself from gazing at her lustfully. Even the most headstrong human would have fallen head-over-heels in love with her at first sight. "I have been with you long enough to realize that your henchman has an intense hatred for the White Ranger. It was blind rage and the will for revenge that fueled him, not the wish to disobey your commands."
"I suppose so," Rita muttered in agreement before hesitantly letting Goldar go. The space ape touched his arm where black blood had smeared through his armor and left the room hurriedly to clean it up.
Watching this, Uriel sighed and looked out at the Earth. It was good to be home and to know that the nightmare of almost seeing her love slain by Darkonda the bounty hunter was over. Her heart had beat so fast during that moment that afterwards she had wondered if harm had been done to the baby, but as of yet Finster, Rita's old monster builder and adviser, had found no abnormalities.
After Queen Uriel came King Rashell, her husband by force and not by choice. It was pure juxtaposition to see them side by side with Rashell's raven-like ugliness and Uriel's beauty clashing so harshly. It was still hard for Zedd to believe that Rashell had gotten Uriel with child, and that she had let him. He shuddered at the thought, for he and the rest of the ruling evil did not know the truth...her baby was the White Ranger's as was her heart, and that fact would never change.
Scorpina and Finster entered next, and Rita gazed at her prized scorpion-like henchman with a pang of jealousy. Despite what her subjects told her, Rita knew that Scorpina's beauty surpassed her own even after Finster had made her younger so that Zedd would fall in love with her. The Asian woman's hair was as black as a starless night, and her face was smooth and angelic. It was only when looking into her eyes that you could see the evil that lurked inside of her delicate form, able to mutate her from a beautiful young warrior to a hardened dueler in seconds.
Bringing up the rear was Rita's brother Rito Revolto. Everyone groaned as he entered, wondering how the fool had been able to find his way from Serpenterra to the palace. Intelligence was something that Rito was low on...quite low. Rito made Homer Simpson look like the designer of the atomic bomb! "So, what's for lunch? That ride made me hungry!"
Before anyone could reply, there was a deep shout that rang through the throne room like that of an angry ghost. "I have been waiting long enough. It is about time you returned home in that hunk of junk Zedd so prides himself with."
"Hunk of junk!?" Zedd growled, infuriated by the fact that his precious zord had been so subtly mocked. "Who dares say such a thing to me!?"
"It is I, dear Son-in-Law," the voice responded and from the opening leading to the throne room came a tall being more hideous than even Rashell. The monster was clothed in dark robes, and his head stretched out the entire length of his shoulders. The main part of his face was scrunched into a small circle. Seeing this being of evil, Zedd threw his hands up in the air angrily before shaking his head and turning away, not able to stand the sight of the newcomer.
Rita, on the other hand rushed to his side and threw her arms around him. "Daddy! You have decided to come from M51 to visit us!" Despite the constant jeering from Zedd, she had missed her old father after he had left to avoid further defeat by the Rangers of Earth. Those dratted Power Rangers...they will pay for his embarrassment.
"It is not I who orchestrated this journey," Master Vile, Rita and Rito's father, informed her as he returned the embrace. It felt good to have his precious daughter in his arms, even if it were only for a short while. "I was visited by Dark Specter. He had commands for me, and to follow them I had to come here."
Turning away from her, he gazed at the young woman who was watching him in awe before nodding in her direction. "Rita, I see you have had other beings join you and your crazy idiot of a husband since I was last here." The comment had been meant as a joke, but Zedd found no humor in it. Instead, he forced himself not to let his rising fury show in the glowing of his powerful body.
Rashell glanced at the legendary mage before frowning inwardly as he saw the look in Vile's eyes as he gazed at Uriel. Her beauty astounded many, and this was the reason that he was so protective of his wife. "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Master Vile." Rashell knew the name of the mighty Master of Evil due to the fact that his stories were so well-spread around the Universe. "I am Rashell, a dutiful King of Evil, and the woman that you have looked upon so intently is my wife, Queen Uriel." He made sure to put great emphasis on the fact that she was his and would be no one else's.
Master Vile laughed heartily at his attempt to cover his deep emotion for the fair Uriel, before moving away from his daughter and closer to the newly arrived pair. Stopping in front of the Queen of Evil, he chuckled to himself as he saw the faint shimmer in her deep blue eyes. She truly was a lovely mortal, though the unearthly shine of her features made him question if she truly wasn't immortal like himself. "Believe me, my dear King of Evil, the pleasure is all mine." Taking the blond maiden's hand, he stroked it gently. "I do not doubt that you have heard of me, Queen Uriel."
She chuckled appropriately at the term before quietly correcting, "As a Master of Evil, you shouldn't use my respectful title, Sire. I am your servant." Nodding slowly, she continued, "I have indeed heard of you, Master Vile, and not just as Rita's father. Your rumors and legends are uttered on tongues of almost all worlds."
"This pleases me," Vile told her softly and, seeing her polite smile, he added mentally, and you please me, as well, Fair Uriel. Indeed, I shall enjoy this trip to the Milky Way Galaxy. "Queen of Evil, my form aches from my travels. Will you not take me to a room so I can rest?" Uriel nodded quickly and snapped her fingers, summoning Scorpina and Finster to her side. Knowing her unspoken request, they left in order to make up a bed for Master Vile.
Zedd, who had been just as flabbergasted by the exchange as the others in the room, cleared his throat to get in Father-in-law's attention. "Aren't you planning on telling us of what Dark Specter commanded before you rest?" Stupid old bastard. If I were Rashell, I would kick that sorry ass of his away from Uriel. It's a good thing Rita is his daughter and not another woman for him to prey on. He shuddered at the thought.
Turning to him, Master Vile sighed. "I understand your concerns, Son, but if I am not at full health then I could become careless and leave out points of Dark Specter's commands and my own devious schemes." Seeing the Lord of Evil nod reluctantly, he turned to Uriel with a small gleam in his eye. "Escort me to my room." Uriel nodded quickly, knowing that she didn't wish to test his magic that she had heard so much about throughout the Universe, before leading the way towards the chamber Scorpina and Finster had prepared.
After they had left, Rashell stared after his wife with a deep longing before stomping his foot. "First, I almost lose my wife to that confounded White Ranger, and now the Master of Evil wishes to subdue her!?" He growled. "I'm sorry, Rita, but I will not stand for the conduct of your father."
"Finally, someone else hates him as much as I do," Zedd said with a chuckle. As Rita glared at him, upset that he was still bringing up his dislike of her father, Zedd shrugged before walking to the railing of the throne room and looking out to see how close the Megaship of the Rangers was to Earth.
* * *
Sleep had gotten a grip hold on the Megaship which held Rangers of three planets. Even D.E.C.A., the remarkable system that controlled the technologically advanced ship, and Alpha 6, who was DECA's assistant, had quieted for the night. Soft snoring echoed through Megadeck two where the cots were located, and each room was peaceful...well, all except one.
Inside of one of the dark chambers, Jaime Talsik stared up at the ceiling, faintly wishing to be in his familiar bed on Triforia. His wrist, which had been injured on Horat, was aching softly now, and he bit his lip in pain before wishing that he had medical intellect like Adam Park, the Black Ranger, so that he would know what was wrong with it.
A soft tear fell from his eye, but he pushed it away furiously. Damn it, Jaime, you little coward! You're with people that love you, and this was your decision. If you had chosen Triforia you would have been miserable there, too! In all honesty, it wasn't his desire for the well-educated nurses and doctors of Triforia that made his homesickness nearly unbearable, but the thoughts of his best friend and the Queen. He missed them so much. Life would be perfect if he could look across the room at that very moment and see Trey of Triforia sleeping peacefully by the door with the Queen Mother protecting him in a nearby cot.
A stirring from below him made him lose track of his thoughts and, looking down, he found that the White Ranger, Tommy Oliver, was shaking in his sleep to the point of convulsions. Jaime frowned in concern, never having seen anything of the like before. Yes, he had seen a nightmare...even in the palace of Triforia he had been plagued with foul dreams like that of killing himself that he had told the deceased King Philip before the battle with Veron on Earth. Thoughts of the jolly old man made him bury his head in his pillow to muffle his whimpers of anguish. He missed Philip as much as he missed Trey and Leila, and he even missed Gloria bothering him to no end with her immature ideas of their passionate love in another life.
As he dealt with his own distress, Jaime heard the cries of the White Ranger become louder until, finally, he woke himself from the horrible nightmare and sobbed into his hands. The Silver Ranger looked down at him before smiling faintly. "I didn't know whether to try and wake you up myself, or to get Adam in here to see if you were having a seizure." As Tommy gazed at him with tear-filled eyes, Jaime quickly closed his mouth and jumped out of his bunk to the carpeted floor below where he knelt in front of the Rangers' Leader. "Spill it. I want to know every detail."
"Your wrist," Tommy whispered softly as his crying wracked his terrified form. "Why didn't you tell me that it was still injured? Adam should look at it."
Jaime shook his head and wanted desperately to scream out that his wrist was not the topic of conversation at the moment, but he didn't. Instead, he smiled as comfortingly as he could. "I'll see Adam in the morning if you tell me what you dreamed about."
Gazing at Tommy's pale face for a few moments, Jaime held back a proud grin as he saw that his bribe had worked, but then he reminded himself of the price he had paid...secrets shared for a whole morning of pain as the Black Ranger examined his wrist. Jaime stopped himself before he could groan regretfully.
"I relived Dactor," Tommy told him shakily. "Everything happened normally except that Goldar killed Jason before I could get to him. After that, everything happened so fast...people fell all around me, and I couldn't do anything to stop it because Ecliptor was holding me back." He wiped his tears shamefully and willed for them to stop. "Finally, Ecliptor let go of me, but it was too late. I rushed to Kat. She was still alive, and on her last breath she told me how much she had trusted me...she had trusted me with her life and I let her down." This caused tears to well up in his eyes again, and they were spilling over his eyelids before he could even attempt to hold them back.
"Darkonda took a swipe and me, and he cut off my arm. I can still hear my idiotic cries for mercy. Dark Specter was above us and...he was repulsive. He fired at me through his large mouth, and I felt heat penetrate my skin. After that, I woke up." Shaking helplessly, he gazed at Jaime momentarily to see if he was trustworthy. Apparently finding him to be, he buried his face in his hands. "I was so scared out there, and I still am. I'm still so fucking scared that I can barely move."
Hearing the stutter in his voice, Jaime lowered his eyes as he remembered a younger soldier that he had seen wake up in a condition somewhat like this: full of guilt and fear that he had tried to keep inside. The Silver Ranger shook his head, trying desperately to make the memory of the young soldier's death disappear, but it wouldn't. He had been forced to witness the death of the poor boy...the head was cut clean off of his shoulders in one blow, but the death had been heroic. The soldier had died to protect him from a blow that had been meant for him. Jaime had no doubt that he would have died that day if it weren't for this soldier, and the guilt inside of him forced his body to freeze. It was like he had told Kim about Trey's guilt whenever the King of Triforia saw the scar on his back from the drunken frenzy the Gold Ranger had gone on.
"Don't you dare keep crying," Jaime told him forcefully, his voice wavering with his attempted anger. Finally, he gave up on it and continued in a gentler tone, "If you keep crying, I'm going to have to cry with you, and I hate anguish...I hate sorrow...I hate guilt, but if you keep going..." Jaime's voice trailed off as he saw that the White Ranger was trying to recover his stability even as he spoke.
Tommy gazed at him through saddened chocolate eyes before whispering, "He's going to come back for me...Dark Specter and his subjects...Dark Specter won't hold to his promise for long, Jaime. He's going to kill me."
Jaime shook his head fiercely. "No, he won't. We're all here for you. He'd get to me before he could ever get to you." At the White Ranger's expression of horror, the Triforian quickly realized that this had been the wrong thing to say. "Look, I know you want me to promise that I would never give my life for yours, but I can't lie...I can't offer you an oath that I can't keep..." He thought about this for a moment before biting his lip in amazement. I just gave the White Ranger a life oath. This proves that I should not be allowed around the depressed. I just make them even more guilty. If I were really upset and guilt-ridden, I wouldn't want to hear someone pledge their life to me!
"Tell me honestly why you stayed here," Tommy implored suddenly, pushing the fact that Jaime had just pledged him his life away for the moment. "Was it just because of Kim, or was there another reason?"
"I love Kim," Jaime assured him softly, a blush creeping into his face, "but I can't lie to you. Since I was first injured here," he laughed softly, "so long ago, or so it seems, I've grown attached to Earth...and to all of you. Yes, I miss Triforia. I yearn for my planet everyday, but I know that Trey is ok and that he's taking care of the Queen Mother. Besides, how can I leave here with a clear conscience while you're in charge?"
The pun was enough to lift the tension off of the two, and Tommy chuckled weakly before lying back and pulling his white covers around him. He shivered as a chill went up his spine. "Will Dark Specter be back for me?"
Jaime nodded reluctantly, knowing already that Tommy would be able to see through his lie as easily as he could if the positions were reversed. "I doubt Dark Specter will forget his actions so quickly. Most likely, he will question his deeds and come back for you. It's like I said before, though. We won't desert you when you need us the most."
Tommy nodded gravely before looking at Jaime's wrist again. "You're going to Adam in the morning, right? It shouldn't be much. Jason is probably going to be in sick bay for all of tomorrow. You can go up there and keep him company."
"He's still mad at me because I made him do your share of the work in Angel Grove when those two friends of yours took you away," Jaime said with a snicker as he remembered how upset the Red Ranger had been that day. "Jason and I would end up arguing with each other as Alpha did his medical rounds."
Fishing through the pockets of the black pants that he hadn't even bothered taking off because he had been so eager to sleep, Jaime pulled out his power coin and sighed. "I still remember the day I got the Silver Powers. At the time, though, I never dreamed that they would lead me here."
Shrugging, the White Ranger smiled ironically. "When I became the White Ranger, I never thought Angel Grove would be destroyed and that I would be sitting in a big space station talking to some guy from another planet."
Tommy sighed dreamily as memories came flooding back to him. "Zordon had kept the White Ranger Power a surprise from the others because we couldn't have Zedd finding out about it. When I pulled off my helmet and revealed myself, I'll never forget the looks on their faces. That was the first time I ever truly acknowledged that I was no longer an unneeded wheel on the team. I was actually a part of it."
Jaime let a laugh escape his lips as he realized how strange Tommy's statement had sounded. An unneeded part of the team? He was the leader, after all. "Some Triforians are great jokers. King Philip was one of these, and when I was to get the Silver Power he never told me. In fact, he told everyone but me what was going on. While others received the word that someone was going to be given the legendary Silver Ranger Power, I received word that the King was displeased with my latest war efforts, and that he had called a public hearing to decide upon what my punishment would be."
"That's horrible!" Tommy exclaimed with a snicker. "When did you find out that you weren't going to be punished?"
"At the last minute," Jaime told him, indulging fully in the thoughts of the past. "I was accused of treason because I had not stood up for Triforian warriors in battle or something like that. The King made my false crimes sound really bad during the hearing. They sentenced me to death. Right before they were going to have Trey chop off my head, the King asked me to tell him the name of who I served, and that if I did then he would spare me. I told him quickly that I served a great King who deserved all flattery and praise, and when he implored who this was, I gave him his own name.
"Trey was right above me with the executioner's sword in hand, and I closed my eyes as he was about to bring it down...after twenty seconds I still had my eyes closed, but I was unwilling to open them because I thought that they were waiting to see my eyes before killing me." Jaime snickered besides himself before continuing, "After about a minute, I became impatient, and I asked when I would be given what was coming to me. Instead of getting the sword, I felt something small and hard smack into my forehead and plop down in front of me. Opening my eyes, I saw the Silver Coin, and both the King and Trey showered my in hugs and kisses as the rest of the court shouted for me in congratulations." He sighed in remembrance. "That was the first time King Philip ever saw me cry."
Tommy chuckled at this, and this soon became out right laughter. "Can you imagine if Zordon had given me the power that way with the other rangers watching?" He pictured the five other rangers who had been with him at that time standing around as he waited to die. Jason would have probably wanted to be the executioner, and Zack would have made a fine DJ for the event. Trini would have been the one to write the eulogy while Kim would have prepared the funeral song. Billy, of course, would have had to be the priest. Explaining this to Jaime was enough to get him going, and the two laughed heartily until a loud banging assaulted their ears.
Turning around, both men heard a groggy voice call out, "I'm trying to sleep, damn it! Leave a guy alone, will you!?" Hearing this, Tommy bit his lip to hold back even more snickers. It was obvious that the disrupted sleeper had been none other than Rocky DeSantos, the Blue Ranger.
Jaime forced himself to calm down as well, and the two wished each other best dreams before Jaime jumped back onto the top bunk and, smiling to himself, he began to drift off thinking only of how much he enjoyed Earth, and how he wished its colorful characters such as his beautiful Kimberly Hart, the quiet but wise Adam Park, Tommy Oliver, with his ever changing personality, Rocky DeSantos with his flippant joking, and the rest of the rangers could be part of his own society so that he wouldn't have to choose between the two worlds when the time came.
* * *
Uriel was on her soft mattress and giggled softly as her husband rubbed her stomach which was beginning to round due to her pregnancy. "Soon, I will be able to feel my child kick!" Rashell announced proudly, and Uriel felt as if a blow had been delivered to her, for she knew that it was not his child. More than anything, Uriel wished she could go now so that she wouldn't have to bear the guilt that Rashell gave her and take Tommy to a place where they would never be bothered by the Meledan or Dark Specter's forces again, but it was too soon. She wasn't a big enough fool to take off when Dark Specter was suspicious and her pregnancy was wearing her down.
"I hope that it won't be painful, Dear," Uriel told Rashell with a small pout that made him squirm with love for her. "Our child will be powerful, of course, and I wouldn't want him or her to kick me into oblivion."
"Inform me if our child does such things, and I will find its backside through your stomach and spank it," Rashell told her with such strength that she was forced to laugh. Her melodious giggles were like music to his ears, and Rashell caressed her stomach again before rubbing her with his beak. "I love you, Uriel. By far, you are the most beautiful woman on this side of the galaxy."
I'm better than that Katherine brat at least, Uriel thought with a growl. "That is a kind thing to say, my husband, though your tone suggests that there is a woman on the other side of the galaxy that you find more attractive." She forced the sweet smile to remain on her face as he cooed at her.
Rashell was about to address her even more lovingly than before when, suddenly, there was a soft tap on the door. "Who knocks?" the raven called impatiently, upset by having the intimate moment with his wife ruined.
"I beg your pardon, King Rashell," the two heard Goldar call from the other side of the door, "but Master Vile has awakened, and he is asking for Queen Uriel." At this, Rashell's eyes widened to their full extent.
Uriel sighed helplessly before easing Rashell off of her and climbing off of the bed. "I will talk to Rita," Rashell told her, bitter anger towards Master Vile burning in his chest. "You are pregnant, and I won't allow any being, whether a worthless bounty hunter or Dark Specter himself, to order you around in your state."
"Please, Dear, don't go overboard," Uriel told him with a light chuckle that made his heart twist. "Master Vile will be here for a short amount of time, and he is a powerful member of Dark Specter's union of villains. Attending to his needs may earn us better reputations with the grand monarch of evil." At Rashell's small nod, she left the room and followed Goldar to Master Vile's quarters.
She entered alone and sighed as she saw the great mage awake and ready to meet with her. "I see that you are rested, Master Vile," Uriel observed kindly. "Do you wish to dine or anything of that nature?"
Master Vile beamed at her innocence. This Uriel is a magnificent specimen. Perhaps she will return with me to M51 when all of this is over . . . In no way was Master Vile a single man. Far from it, actually. Besides the mother of Rita and Rito, Master Vile had slept with approximately 100 royal wives and 700 concubines during his long life, but Uriel, to him, was by far the most beautiful of the lot. She will be my top wife, and her beauty will transfix my enemies and allies alike . . .
"No, Queen of Evil," Vile told her with a lust that made her shiver involuntarily. "I was hoping that you could inform me of what has happened with the rangers since you arrived here. Tell me what I must expect."
Uriel swallowed hard. "Um, Lord Zedd is far more experienced in matters concerning the rangers than I am, Master Vile. Let me fetch him for you"
Master Vile shook his massive head in protest. "No, Queen of Evil. I wish for you to prove yourself to me. Tell me what I am to expect from these rangers, or I will have you banished from Dark Specter's ranks forever." Of course, he had no wish to do such a thing, but he would use any excuse to get the beautiful woman to stay.
This caught Uriel's attention quickly. For a moment, she wondered if Master Vile truly carried enough power to get her kicked out of Dark Specter's union but, seeing the coldness of his small eyes, she decided spontaneously that he did, and so she began in a soft and shaking tone to explain what had happened since that fateful day that she and Rashell had decided to congratulate Zedd and Rita on destroying the Machine Empire.
Her account was full of details that she thought the Master of Evil would enjoy, and she took him through the destruction of Angel Grove to her first meeting with the rangers to the killing of the Hirpogian doubles. Uriel's tale told of how Jaime Talsik had come to stay on Earth after King Philip of Triforia was killed, and she even explained of how she took Tommy and Jaime under her spell though, of course, she left out certain details of the week.
After telling of how they were broken of their spells, she moved to Divatox's attack on Aquitar, and how one of the Aquitian Rangers had fallen under her torpedo but that, in the end, the Master's daughter had killed Divatox so that she would not get to destroy their rangers. Hastily skipping over her horrible arguments with Rashell after he found out about her attraction to the White Ranger, Uriel turned her explanation to Horat, and she told him of Gasket and Archerina's war against the Horations as well as of three humans becoming Ninja Rangers.
Uriel made sure to tell Master Vile as much as he would ever need to know about Andros, Zhane, and Yaralla before moving on to her pregnancy and the latest war on Dactor with the joint help of Astronema, Karaya, and their group of henchmen and Quantrons, finishing off with how the rangers were going to be back on Earth by the end of that day.
Master Vile smiled as her soft voice gained strength with every word. No doubt she was a powerful ruler of evil, and her schemes could blind any foe. Her plan to make the rangers insane had been brilliant, and it was only because of the kindness of the Earthlings that it had been broken. Plus, the recklessness of the deceased Robert of Hirpog had not helped situations. This woman is more than I could have hoped for. Brains and beauty . . . "You have certainly been through a lot while on this moon."
"I serve Dark Specter diligently, Master Vile. As long as I live, I will follow his commands." Of course, not if they include killing a certain ranger. Uriel quickly pushed the bothersome thought out of her mind. Why couldn't she force herself to hate him as much as everyone else did? What a fool she had been to fall into temptation and sleep with the White Ranger!
"I do not question your loyalty, Queen of Evil," Master Vile assured her softly as he motioned for her to sit next to him on the bed Scorpina and Finster had prepared. Uriel stared at him in shock for a minute before remembering what she had told Rashell. If she pleased Vile then perhaps she would please Dark Specter, as well. "All I meant was that you tell quite an enthralling tale."
Uriel nodded her thanks before stiffening as the Master of Evil put a cold hand on her shoulder. She shivered involuntarily. "What do you wish of me?"
Master Vile smiled as the softness of her skin registered to his icy fingers. The fact that she was married meant nothing to him. Queen Uriel would be his. "I wish to indulge myself. Would you deny me?"
"Master Vile, it is my duty to serve you in whatever way I can," Uriel said shakily as horrible visions on sleeping with the hideous monster came into her mind. She searched frantically for an excuse that would be satisfying to him and, after a few moments, she found it. "However, I am with child. Any activity such as what you are thinking of could harm the baby." Uriel wasn't sure if this was true, but anything that would free her from being forced to have sex with Rita's Father was good enough for her. "Besides, I must be true to my husband."
Damn it! The woman was clever if she had come up with the excuse as a way to get out of sleeping with him, but for her beauty Master Vile was willing to wait...at least, for that part of it, but he still had a few tricks up his sleeve that he doubted Uriel would be able to shut down. "As a Master of Evil, I am allowed to do with you what I wish, Queen Uriel. You do understand this, don't you?"
Uriel nodded quickly. "Yes, Master Vile." Her voice was choked as she did her best to hold back sobs. She was actually afraid of sleeping with this being. Uriel wasn't even sure what race he was! He might have been his own for all that she knew. "Do what you wish."
"I will not force myself on you, but you will allow me some enjoyment," Master Vile continued softly as he slipped the straps of her silk black bra off of her shoulders. "Is that understood, Queen of Evil?" At her nod, Vile smiled to himself and took her bra off fully before caressing her smooth stomach. Cupping her breasts gently, he felt his mouth salivate with hunger for this being before slipping down her soft skirt and revealing her skimpy black underwear.
Turning away from him, Uriel did her best to ignore his cold assault of her body before letting her mind wander. All of a sudden, sex with her husband sounded like one of the greatest things life had to offer. There truly was no being more hideous than Master Vile...she would rather sleep with Goldar! The space monkey, she knew, would treat her gently, while Vile touched her in ways that brought tears to her eyes. Soon, she found herself sprawled out, naked, on the bed of Rita's father, and the Master of Evil was enjoying himself in ways that she wished she could put an end to.
The two were oblivious to the fact that Scorpina stood just outside of the door and was listening in, breath held. After a few minutes, she unmistakably heard the sound of her queen in tears. What the hell is he doing to her!? her mind screamed frantically. Seeing that the door was cracked, she opened it quietly to make sure no attention was turned to herself.
Seeing Uriel lying helplessly on the bed, as naked as the day of her birth, while Master Vile caressed her body mercilessly, Scorpina forced herself to hold in her anger. That bastard...Uriel is pregnant! Not knowing what else to do, Scorpina turned away and teleported into Rashell's chamber.
The King of Evil, obviously surprised by the arrival of his henchman, glared at her from where he was lying on his bed. "What right do you have, Scorpina, to teleport in here unannounced!?" For some reason, Scorpina seemed to have been forgetting her position in the scheme of things lately. In fact, she seemed to have befriended his wife, and Rashell didn't appreciate the fact that the warrior had forgotten that she was just a servant who wouldn't amount to anything in the long run.
"I had gone to tell Master Vile that his meal was ready to be consumed," Scorpina told him, ignoring the anger in his voice, "but when I got there, I heard my Queen crying." Rashell's face fell at this, and he forced himself to stay calm so that Scorpina could finish informing him of the situation. "My Queen is on his bed, naked, with tears in her eyes as Rita's Father caresses her body harshly."
The anger that entered Rashell at that moment was by far greater than what he had felt for Scorpina. In fact, he was no longer upset with her at all. It was apparent that she had good reason to bother him without announcing her presence beforehand. How dare he touch my wife after I specifically told him not to!
Rashell knew that no blame could be put on Uriel. They were both under Master Vile's rank of power. In fact, the only beings in the whole Universe who carried more power than Rita's Father were Astronema and Karaya who had been made Dark Specter's Queens and, perhaps, some evil beings lesser known on their side of the Universe.
"I must appeal to Rita," Rashell told Scorpina fiercely as he stood from his bed. "This madness with her father must stop." As the scorpion-warrior bowed humbly in front of him, Rashell slowly said, "You must accompany me, Scorpina, so that you can attest to what you saw." She nodded, and he regarded her for a moment before cawing softly and leaning towards her. "Help me get this bastard away from this palace, and I will talk to the others about making you second-in-command over Goldar."
Scorpina was surprised by the gesture, for she had known for a fact that Rashell had never liked her. She was always Uriel's favorite, but Rashell? "I will help you be rid of Master Vile because I am your servant and for no other cause, King Rashell," Scorpina told him strongly and, at his nod, she followed him out of the room and towards Zedd and Rita's location.
* * *
The next morning, light blinded Jason Scott as he reluctantly opened his eyes after being asleep for what had seemed like ages. He was surprised to find that he wasn't at home or in the Power Chamber and, looking around, his heartbeat quickened. Where was he? At that moment, a soothing voice rang in his ears. "Calm down, Jason. It's ok. You're safe."
As he searched frantically for the source of the voice, Jason realized that he was in the sick bay of the Megaship, and that was when the memories came back to him. Goldar had nearly killed him on Dactor...Tommy had almost died..."A-Adam?"
"Yeah, it's me," the Black Ranger told him as he appeared above Jason with a grin on his face. In all honesty, he was worried about Jason. After coming into the sick bay that morning, he had found Alpha frantically trying to inject a sedative into Jason because he had been shaking so horribly in his sleep, but Adam was determined not to let any of this concern show in his words or face. It was always better to keep patients optimistic and, at the moment, Jason was a patient. Adam was sure that the Red Ranger needed all the comforting he could offer. "How are you feeling, Jase?"
"I feel like my shark cycle found me to be a good target and ran over me about five million times," Jason deadpanned, tenderly touching his chest and finding a large wrap covering it. "What happened to me?"
Adam kept his smile wide and reassuring. "Nothing serious. Luckily, we were able to get your ribs wrapped before there was any permanent damage. I think you're going to make a full recovery as long as you take it easy and allow me the pleasure of sedating you every few hours."
Jason groaned at his pun. If there was one thing he hated, it was being left out of the action. Unlike Tommy, needles didn't bother him...it was their effect that made him insist on not being injected. "Would you mind holding off on the sedating for a bit? I just woke up."
"Sure, but pain killers are a must right now," Adam told him strongly, holding up a needle. "This won't knock you out. It'll just numb everything for a bit." Taking Jason's wince as a symbol to keep going, Adam injected the green fluid into him and grinned faintly. "You're so much easier than Tommy."
"I figure that if you're going to get the needle either way, you should take it willfully," Jason told him, laughing to himself. "Tommy, as you know, is quite different." He sighed with relief as the pain in his ribs began to dull, and that gave him the opportunity to wonder what it was Adam wasn't telling him. All the medical types were alike...sound comforting and give no bad news, and Jason knew that a very important question still remained: How long would it take for his ribs to heal so he could get back to rangering. "Tell me how bad it is, Adam."
The Black Ranger gazed at him innocently, his eyes sparkling as if he had no idea what Jason was talking about. "What do you mean? I told you that there was no permanent damage done."
No matter how much Adam tried to swerve Jason off topic, he knew what question Jason was going to ask next. "How long will it be until I can go back to rangering? A few days? A week?"
Licking his lips, Adam shrugged, making sure to keep his face noncommittal. "I need to see how well the ribs heal, Jason. After a few days, I should be able to give you an accurate assessment of your condition." It was true, after all. Though no serious damage had been done to Jason, Adam knew that ribs took an awfully long time to heal, and all of the moon power's troops, henchmen, and monsters were very fond of the area between the waist and the shoulders when it came to powerful hits. If Jason went into battle even barely injured, he could be putting himself in fatal jeopardy.
Jason was about to pursue the question further when he saw Jaime enter the room with his hand around his wrist. "Hey...are you all right?"
"I'm coming at our leader's request," Jaime muttered and the other two laughed. Glancing at Adam who had put his hands on his hips as he waited to hear what his problem was, Jaime sighed, feeling idiotic. Jason was in the sick bay because he had almost died at Goldar's hands, and he was there because of a stupid wrist injury. "Look, Adam, this isn't a really big deal, and if you're giving Jason medication or something then I'll just come back later."
Whenever anyone says that they'll come back later, they're always lying . . . Adam took a step forward. "I just finished giving Jason pain killers. What's wrong, Jaime? I know I'll be able to help you out. Are you dying? Do you have heartburn?"
Jaime snickered with amusement. "Heartburn? Come on, Adam. Even I'm not that weak." Reddening slightly, he raised his right arm which was covered by the sleeve of his gray sweater for the Black Ranger's inspection. "Um, I tried to tend to it myself, but that was during the battle on Horat, and I was a little too rushed to do a good job. It'll probably heal by itself, though. As I said...this is all Tommy's fault for making me come."
Ignoring the excuses, Adam looked at Jaime's hand, found nothing wrong with it, and rolled back his sleeve. He gasped at what he saw. "Damn it, Jaime! How long has your wrist been like this!?" The Silver Ranger's wrist was so red and swollen that it looked as if it was going to explode at a moment's notice. Touching the injured area lightly, he drew his hand away as Jaime hissed in pain and took a giant step back.
I've often wondered why it is that I'm the only person that can tell if a ranger is injured. Tommy tried to fight on Horat even though his ankle was the size of a melon and wanted to fight after being slashed in the abdomen on Aquitar, Rocky kept fighting on Horat even though he felt like he was going to pass out and wanted to fight after almost being hit by a torpedo on Aquitar, Jason is in a rush to fight after injuring his ribs, and now I find out that Jaime has had a wrist that looks like it could be popped with a safety pin ever since we were on Horat!?
"I don't know," Jaime murmured guiltily. "It didn't seem that bad. I thought it would heal on its own." As Adam motioned for him to hold his wrist out again, he reluctantly did so and braced himself for the pain he knew would be coming. As expected, the Black Ranger examined his injured wrist slowly, asking every so often if a certain position on it hurt, and nearly every time he was forced to say that it did.
After finishing his analysis of Jaime's wrist, Adam sighed to himself. "Ok, I didn't feel anything out of place, but you do have a rather nasty sprain there. Um...I don't want to give you too strong of a pain killer, but there are some aspirins in the room I'm sharing with Rocky, and that should work well. As for your wrist, I don't know where Yaralla keeps the bandages around here, but when she comes back up, I'll get them for you."
Jaime thought about this for a moment before putting a hand in the pocket of his blue jeans and pulling out a cloth bandage. "I, uh, I kept it after we left Horat. Will this work?" He offered it to the Black Ranger who took it graciously and gently put it on the Silver Ranger's wrist. After he had finished, Jaime nodded his thanks. "So, is it going to be ok?"
"As I said, Jaime, it's a horrible sprain," Adam told him. He smoothed down his white Adidas shirt and smiled. "You should have come to me earlier." As the Silver Ranger made a face, he chuckled. "I know, I know. The medical advisor isn't always the most popular person when you have an injury, but aren't you glad you came?"
"You're starting to sound like Gloria when she dressed some of my wounds back on Triphoria," Jaime muttered. As memories began to flood his mind, he screamed mentally at them to get away before smiling faintly at the two rangers. "I'll see you guys later."
Watching as he began to leave, Jason called out for him to stop. "When you see Tommy and Trini, tell them to come see me for a bit." Jaime nodded, assuring him that he would, before leaving the Black Ranger and Red Ranger alone in the sick bay.
* * *
Rage burned like fire in Rashell's body, and he teleported furiously to the throne room and waited for Scorpina to appear behind him before shouting, "Rita! Zedd!" At the moment, he wished that Rito was present so that he could kick the crap out of him in order to let out his anger, but Rita probably wouldn't think too kindly of him if he did that, so he pushed the idea out of his mind.
Both the Empress and Lord of Evil stormed into the room, obviously upset after being interrupted from whatever they had been doing. "You and your confounded screaming!" Rita shouted as she rubbed her headache-ridden temples. "What the hell do you want, Rashell!?"
"I wish for your father to leave my wife alone!" Rashell yelled with just as much venom in his voice. "That perverted Pop of yours must leave this castle immediately! He is disrupting my life as well as horribly endangering my unborn child!"
Zedd rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Though the thought of getting rid of his loathsome Father-in-law was appealing, Zedd knew that Master Vile hadn't been kidding when he had said that he was ordered to come by Dark Specter. "Believe me, Rashell. I hate the old fool just as much as you, but Dark Specter will be upset if we"
Rashell snarled, cutting him off. "I don't care! He is trying to steal my wife from me, and Scorpina has viewed things that has made an anger burn inside of me that surpasses any hatred I have felt for the rangers!" He looked at Scorpina and motioned for her to step forward. "Tell them, Scorpina. Tell the two oblivious idiots what you saw!"
Surprised by his outburst, Scorpina bowed obediently and nodded towards Zedd and Rita. "Right now, Master Vile is in his chamber caressing my Queen who he has forced to undress against her will. Queen Uriel was crying when I saw her."
"My father?" Rita stared at her most trusted henchman in surprise before sighing, exasperated. "What do you two expect me to do!? I'm just his daughter who has no authority whatsoever over him! Besides, he is here on orders from Dark Specter, and the monarch of evil will not accept our tampering with his plans. He'll kick us out of the union, or something far worse...decimate us all together!" Rashell nodded slowly and watched as they left the room.
After the two had gone, the large bird turned to Scorpina and touched a strand of her smooth hair before whispering, "You remember my orders?" She nodded making Rashell sigh. He didn't care how high in the union Master Vile was regarded and, in all honesty, he didn't care about Dark Specter. All Rashell cared about was keeping his wife safe from the monstrosity that was assaulting her.
* * *
Yaralla emerged from her bedroom in a gray flight suit with a yellow shirt underneath it and yawned tiredly. She knew that she had slept peacefully the night before. All she could attribute to her weariness was that it was part of her withdrawal from caffeine. In all honesty, Yaralla wanted the Earth food at that moment more than anything in the world.
As a hand brushed her shoulder, she turned around and smiled as she saw one of her best friends standing next to her. "Did you sleep well, Andros?"
The Red Astro Ranger nodded slightly before rubbing the back of his neck. "I think it's safe to say that I slept better than you." Yaralla made a face, and Andros was forced to laugh even though he knew that she was feeling the after effects of her chocolate obsession. He was worried about her. She was usually so strong, and he didn't know what he would do if this strength had been impaired due to this horrible mistake. "I'm sorry. Honestly, how are you feeling, Yaralla?"
"I want it, Andros," Yaralla admitted as she twisted a strand of her brown hair around her index finger. She sighed as the Red Ranger put a hand on her arm to halt her before lowering her head, suddenly self-conscious. "Well, I know I can't have it, but I want it. I would be lying if I said otherwise."
"You're better than Zhane," Andros observed and, seeing her confused expression, he sighed. "I didn't even bother trying to get him up. He was all curled up on his bed and crying, but when I asked him what was wrong he wouldn't tell me." The Silver Astro Ranger had seriously scared him that morning. The pain he had been experiencing was obvious, but Andros had no idea what he could do for his other best friend.
Yaralla bit her lip after hearing this and nodded with determination. "I want to see him." She gazed up at Andros with glassy eyes. "Don't take any offense, Andros, but I might be the only person who can really relate to what he's going through. Hell, I'm going through the same thing!" As it was, she felt like Dark Specter had chewed her up and spit her out, and she couldn't imagine what Zhane was going through.
Andros sighed. "You're right." In a way, it was upsetting to know that he really couldn't comfort either of his friends, but then again, he was glad that they could be there for each other. Removing his hand from her arm, he watched as she smiled reassuringly at him before walking towards the room that he shared with Zhane.
Continuing on, Andros stepped into the transporter and, getting out on Megadeck one, he was greeted by nine other rangers who had squeezed into the recreation room. Jackie Oliver, who was finishing up a plain bagel, smiled at him. "Hey, Andros. Sleep well?"
"Yeah," the Red Astro Ranger replied softly, still not believing that less than a month ago there had only been three people on board of the Megaship and now there were fifteen! He didn't know yet whether he wanted to push them all off of the ship or invite them to stay as long as they wanted.
Emily Johnson walked up to him and held out a few papers for his approval. "Um, I contacted the Power Chamber this morning. It does seem like our gas will be sufficient for your fuel needs while you orbit Earth." Andros looked at the charts and gaped at how well-done they were.
"You didn't have to do that," he told her in astonishment. Now they're doing my work!? This is unexpected! "I was going to take care of it this morning."
Katherine Hilliard, who had overheard him, grinned. "Come on, Andros. You, Zhane, and Yaralla have given us shelter on your ship instead of making us teleport home from Dactor. When you and Zhane came to us on Horat, you saved our lives. The least we can do is give you a hand around here."
"Plus, you've provided us with some wonderful food!" Rocky exclaimed from where he was sitting on the steps in front of the teleportational holes. After taking a sip of his orange juice, he glared at Tommy who was standing with his arm around Kat's waist. "Two people on this ship made me unable to enjoy a good night's sleep, and one of them is in this room."
Tommy glanced at him, saw his hate-filled expression, and laughed with amusement. "Come on, Rocky. Blame Jaime. He got me started after telling me how he got his Silver Ranger Powers." Remembering the story he had heard the night before, he chuckled and, overcome with laughter, left the room with the others staring after him in awe.
"Um, wasn't that the same guy who teleported in after almost being killed by Dark Specter last night?" Tanya questioned, amazed by the White Ranger's personality switch. "Ok, that does it, I'm declaring Tommy a psychological wonder of the twentieth century." Zack snickered besides himself.
Rocky stared after his leader before grinning slyly and pumping his fists. "I'll be right back." With that, he exited, making sure to follow Tommy's exact path. Kat watched him go with a smile and a shake of the head.
Suddenly becoming serious, Kim glanced at Andros. "How are Zhane and Yaralla?" The whole addiction thing had really freaked her out, and she was worried that there may be some side effects to caffeine that they didn't know about.
"Yaralla's a little tired, but it's nothing that some good sleep won't cure," Andros responded, making sure to keep the focus off of Zhane. He was a horrible liar. Andros could never make it through telling even a white lie, especially in front of rangers.
However, his luck didn't hold up, and Trini leaned forward with worry glistening in her eyes. "What about Zhane?" As the Red Astro Ranger hung his head, she frowned. "Andros?"
At that moment, Rocky and Tommy both returned panting for breath after a boyish wrestling match on the floor of the control room and, from the proud smile on Rocky's face, it was obvious who had won. Both rangers noticed that the mood of everyone had become gravely serious. "What's going on?" Tommy asked slowly, not knowing what to expect.
"If I said that I wasn't worried about him, I would be lying," Andros told them softly, ignoring Rocky and Tommy's return. "Yaralla is with Zhane now. Hopefully, she'll be able to help him."
Kat moved towards him in anticipation. "What if she can't?" Even though she had only known Zhane for a short while, she knew that she liked him. He was a decent guy...fun-loving and kind. The idea that something was seriously wrong with him made a pit form in her stomach.
Andros sighed and put a hand through his long blond and brown hair. "I don't want to think of the consequences...if Zhane can't control himself on the battlefield then I'll be forced to label him unfit for duty." The other rangers lowered their heads at this. Zhane was a great guy as well as a remarkable ranger. They couldn't afford to lose him, and even if they could, they didn't want to.
Yaralla pushed her dark brown hair behind her ears before cautiously opening the door to the room that Zhane shared with Andros, not knowing what exactly to expect from the Silver Astro Ranger. An addiction to caffeine, she had learned back on KO-35, could have horrible results...illness, death, mood changes, depression, mental deficiency, and a number of other things she didn't want to think about.
Stepping into the room, she closed the door behind her so that she and Zhane would be together in a dark environment. Yaralla knew that after waking up that morning she hadn't wanted to face the light, and if Zhane's side effects were worse, he probably wouldn't want to either. "Zhane?" There was no reply. "Zhane, it's me. Yaralla."
That was when she heard a harsh breathing. Yaralla moved closer to Zhane's cot and found that he was staring at the ceiling blankly. "Please talk to me, Zhane," Yaralla begged softly. "I understand what you're going through." Zhane looked at her for a moment before turning back to the ceiling. Yaralla sighed with frustration. "Zhane, I'm going through the same thing! Please talk to me!"
"There's nothing to talk about," Zhane told her, his monotonous voice sending chills up her spine. The Silver Astro Ranger had always been the most fun-loving person Yaralla knew. This personality change was such a dramatic switch. "I want to be alone."
"In all honesty, you want someone, but you don't want to admit it," Yaralla whispered softly as she put a hand on his. She had a short temper as Rocky and Tommy had both seen on Horat, and already it was beginning to rise towards her best friend even though she knew that this attitude was being caused by his withdrawal to chocolate.
Zhane gazed at her hand before sighing with impatience. "Leave me alone." The back of his mind was screaming that he needed her to stay with him, but his want of caffeine was too great. He wasn't in control of his own actions and words anymore.
Yaralla rubbed the top of his hand with her thumb. "No," she told him strongly. "I'm not going to leave you." Sorry, Zhane, but this is for your own good. "You need someone to be with you. I want to help."
"I don't want or need your help," Zhane growled at her, his eyes narrowing. "This is something I need to get through on my own, just like you need to." He let out a deep breath and shifted on his cot before muttering, "Go away."
That did it. "Oh, so you don't need me now, Zhane? Do you need Andros? What about the other rangers!? Andros saved your life by teleporting you up to the Megaship when fighting Karaya, and that counts for nothing now!?" She glared at the Silver Ranger who was eyeing her with surprise. Why does he look so shocked? He's seen this before...more times than he'd probably like to remember... "God, you are so selfish, Zhane! You want your privacy or you want to forget all about us? Too fucking bad!"
Zhane groaned, not appreciating her burst of emotion. "I didn't say that, Yaralla." Rubbing his throbbing temple, he sighed. Bad had just turned to worse...
The Kerovian woman was not to be stopped, however. "Whether you like it or not, you're stuck with us until you die which, taking your latest fighting performance, won't be very long! Damn you! Why do you have to be such a fucking egotistical asshole!? Do none of us matter to you!? I'm just some bitch that you can worry when you get hurt, and Andros is just a bastard that you can lean on for emotional support!? What about the Earth Rangers!? Is Tommy just a fucking idiot that you're forced to fight under!?"
"Yaralla..." Zhane stared at her with horror. Where was she getting all this? He had never said that he didn't like fighting under Tommy or that he didn't appreciate Yaralla or Andros! Thinking about this, he sighed. Zhane had said that he was the most powerful ranger and that he should lead when they were fighting Karaya, but that didn't count, did it? He had still been eating chocolate at the time! Is now any different, Zhane? You're acting even worse than you did back then!
"Well, just forget it then!" Yaralla screamed at him, not caring that Zhane was watching her in terror. "I'll talk to Tommy and tell him that you want to be your own man! I'm sure he won't care that you're stupid enough to go off on your own! Andros will probably love to have the extra room on the Megaship, and I know that I'll enjoy missing the opportunity to treat your illnesses or dressing more wounds in a month than an Earth football player gets in a year! So, go ahead! Be alone! Forget all about us! We'll have no problem doing the same!"
Glaring at the Silver Astro Ranger, she sighed as she saw that tears were rolling down his cheeks, and he was muffling small whimpers as well as he could. "Don't kick me out," Zhane begged meekly. "I'm sorry, Yaralla, but I'm scared...I want it so badly, and I would do anything for it. You guys don't need me, I know, but I need you, and I"
Yaralla put a hand over his lips to quiet him before embracing him tightly, letting him cry into her shoulder. The Kerovian woman had never been able to bear seeing either of her best friends cry. It was one of her only weaknesses. "We aren't going to kick you out, Zhane." She chuckled suddenly. "Who would help me pull pranks on Andros? Besides, no one can make me laugh harder than you, Zhane. I'm worried about you, that's all, and so are the others! We all want you to get better, and I'm sorry if I upset you."
Zhane gazed up into her twinkling eyes before snickering weakly. "No, you're not." Yaralla rubbed his hair at this and wiped his tears with her index finger before kissing his forehead. "Did Andros really say that I take up too much room?"
"Does Tommy not want me on the team?" Zhane sighed, and Yaralla could instantly tell that he was going for the guilt factor as she saw the boyish gleam in his eyes that had made him so notorious for jokes in the past. "I could, you know, leave"
Yaralla kissed his cheek, cutting him off mid-sentence. Pulling away, the Kerovian woman kicked off her shoes and put her head down on his pillow, smiling faintly as he moved closer to her. "Just shut up, ok? You're such a delirious bastard. I don't know whether to shoot you or make love to you."
Zhane closed his eyes and grinned before groggily whispering, "Rocky won't be happy if you do me, Yaralla, so you're just going to have to shoot." As his best friend wrapped her arms around him, he sighed, having known all along that she was joking, and realizing now that he was going to need her during this time.
Looking through her Repulsascope, Rita smiled evilly before grabbing her silent husband's arm and pointing out past the Earth into space. "Look, Zeddy! They're ba-ack!" Sure enough, when Zedd used his radar vision he saw the Megaship moving slowly back into Earth's orbit.
"Damn it!" Zedd muttered angrily. He had been enjoying the rest after the battle on Dactor. Now that the rangers were back, they were going to have to go back to work. Zedd smiled mentally. Maybe they wouldn't have to worry about scheming and creating monsters so soon. Master Vile had come to them for a reason...
At that moment, a voice from behind the Lord of Evil caught him off-guard. "Ah, so those Power Punks have returned! Dark Specter will be so pleased when I do his bidding and destroy the rangers at the same time!" Rashell, seeing that the newcomer was Master Vile, clenched his fists and was about to go after him, but Scorpina held him back.
"Don't try to stop me," Rashell growled with fury. As she refused to let him go, the large raven pulled her out into the hallway before detaching his arm from her iron grasp. "You aren't doing a very good job of helping me get rid of Rita's father, Scorpina! I hope you have not forgotten that you are expendable...quite expendable!"
Scorpina, frightened by his tone of voice, took a step back before faintly arguing, "The easiest way to defeat a foe is to make him a friend before you crush him." Rashell quieted at this, and Scorpina took this as a symbol to continue, "Do you honestly think that, in a blind rage, you'll be able to defeat Master Vile!? That's impossible, My King! He will easily squash you with his magic! Besides, Rita will not ordain killing him, and right now you need all the friends you can get. You, Uriel, Zedd, and Rita are allied evil. Together you are stronger. If you break apart, both sides will be susceptible to Dark Specter's wrath!"
Rashell gazed at his warrior and, for a quick moment, he saw in her what his wife did...bravery, wisdom, beauty...she had the 'total package', so to speak. "Dark Specter would never attack us," Rashell told her harshly, putting Master Vile out of his mind for the moment.
Holding back a chuckle, Scorpina sighed. "Open your eyes, My King. I say this for your own safety as well as My Queen's: Dark Specter does not think highly of you or Zedd at the moment. We are at the lower end of the union." The armored being let Rashell swallow this information and softly inquired, "Why do you think it is that Dark Specter did not tell us directly what he was planning to do with the rangers on Dactor? He told Karaya, and Queen Uriel had to find out the plan from her. Given reason, Dark Specter will kick you, Uriel, Rita, and Zedd out of the union, and that is a very dangerous position to be in."
"That was why Uriel and I joined up with Dark Specter to begin with," Rashell explained in wonder. "We wanted the protection." All of a sudden, this was making sense. Why else would Dark Specter call Master Vile and send him to the moon palace? It was simple. Dark Specter didn't trust them, and, most likely, he never had. They were just his pawns now. One false move, and they would be knocked off the table. "Tell me your plan, Scorpina."
"Master Vile needs to trust you before you defeat him," Scorpina explained, looking into the throne room to make sure no one was listening in. She was reassured after seeing Zedd and Vile arguing as Rita laughed at their foolishness. "Make him think that you don't care about Uriel's well-being. Master Vile is here to do something to the rangers. When he goes to Earth, we can come up with something better."
The female warrior bowed humbly. "I beseech you, King Rashell. Consider this plan. I do not wish to see you or Queen Uriel in peril, and you will be if you do something to Master Vile before the time is right." Rashell nodded, and Scorpina was pleased to see that she had gotten through to the large raven, and that he was going to follow her plan. The thought flattered her.
Stepping back into the throne room, Rashell walked to Master Vile and bowed before him. "What is your plan, Master of Evil? You have not yet told us what you intend on doing with the rangers. From your words, it sounds as if Dark Specter has not commanded you to destroy them."
"Not officially," Master Vile told him, happy that the naive King of Evil hadn't touched on his wife's well-being as of yet. Rashell annoyed Rita's Father more than Zedd did. There was something about the large buzzard that made Vile want to kill him before he could do any damage. "I have been commanded to destroy Zordon. The Rangers will be a bonus."
Rita frowned at this. Her father had been ordered to go after Zordon? How could he possibly kill the Eltarian wizard? Ivan Ooze, she recalled, had been close, but the rangers had figured out how to save him, and breaking his tube would be of no use. The rangers would easily get him back to normal. "How will you defeat Zordon, Father? He has never been beaten, as far as I know. Even as a Meledan fighter...Zordon was fierce in his day. I'm glad I trapped him in that time warp."
Master Vile sighed at his daughter's stupidity. Not only did she lack knowledge, but she had been dumb enough to put Zordon in that blasted time warp so that he could continue to lead rangers in battle. Vile knew that he was going to be the last thing Zordon ever saw. "Zordon is not undefeated. I beat him myself when he was still in human form. Zordon, the pig-headed maniac that he was, decided to go after Dark Specter, and he was close to killing him, but I intervened. My magic was stronger, and he was forced to flee." At the others' amazed expressions, he laughed darkly. "His powers have, most likely, grown since then, but so have mine."
"It almost seems like you plan to fight him," Zedd murmured with a scoff. The idea was impossible. Zordon was in his time warp forever. There was no way he could beam himself out and fight Rita's Father. It was preposterous! As Vile smiled at him, Zedd scowled. "It's impossible! Zordon can't fight outside his time warp! The old fool can't even live for more than a few days without that damned tube!"
Must I explain everything to them!? Vile rubbed his arm, obviously bored. "Zedd, old boy, you are a piece of work. You are a Lord of Evil, and yet you do not know Zordon's methods of fighting?" As Zedd tilted his head, confused and angered by the insults, Rita's Father laughed. "Calm down and listen." When everyone was staring at him, he continued, "Zordon can't fight in his own body, obviously, because he is so ancient and weak without the power. However, he can fight in another way."
"I don't understand," Rashell admitted. Despite his hatred for Vile, he was intrigued. Why did he have a feeling that Master Vile's plan would be one that he would love more than he loved his newest favorite henchman?
Stepping towards the large bird, Vile put a hand on his shoulder. "Since you are interested, I'll explain. All evil beings can place spells on unsuspecting forces of good...normal people, animals, rangers, wizards, and even helpful appliances. Now, Zordon is a just being. He could, in great circumstances, put spells on evil beings to control them or on his own beings if they need to be calmed, but he would not control their minds like an evil spell does." Rita and Zedd nodded, remembering all the spells they had placed on Tommy and Kat. The wiser being's words made sense. There was no reason for Zordon to place spells on his own forces. What, then, could he do to fight?
Vile answered the question before they could ask it. "Still, Zordon has his tactics. In times of great need, the Eltarian wizard needs to fight even though he's in the time warp. Zordon cannot leave using his own body, but he can 'body jump', if you will, into another person. Occupying this person's form, he can fight, use his magic, and do whatever else he needs to do. The being is no longer in control of his or her functions. Zordon takes over everything."
"Are you saying that, if challenged, Zordon would be forced to enter one of the rangers in order to fight?" Rashell questioned in awe. Though he had never done it himself, Rashell was aware of body jumping. It was possible, but for the Rangers' Mentor to enter his own Ranger? The idea made him smile mentally.
Nodding, Vile responded, "Yes, King of Evil. There is no one else that Zordon would enter. Just as he can infuse his energy into a ranger, he can infuse his full form. Our advantage is that he would need to enter a mortal. All mortals can be killed, and if the ranger's body dies, then Zordon would die with it or be trapped inside forever." Rashell allowed himself to openly grin at this. This was crazy, but it was fascinating, as well. Get rid of Zordon and a ranger at the same time? It was too good to be true.
"There must be drawbacks for the ranger," Zedd speculated aloud. "Evil spells cause harm to mortals such as nightmares, convulsions and, in rare circumstances, death."
"I thought you would forget about this," Vile said with a pleased grin. Maybe his Son-in-law wasn't a complete buffoon after all. "Yes, there are drawbacks. The ranger experiences all the pain administered to him or her by the attacker. In addition, just a few minutes inside the mortal can cause fatigue, mental deficiency, and death if the body and mind are overly stressed." Rashell scratched his chin at this. The plan was sounding better all the time.
Scorpina took a step forward and bowed respectfully in front of Vile. "Master, will it be an advantage to know ahead of time who the ranger is that Zordon will choose?"
Vile took a moment to admire the beauty of the henchman before leaning against one of the walls in the throne room. As Zedd sat down on his throne, Rita's Father had Scorpina sit down in front of him, and he stroked her hair lustfully. "It will be. What a fine observation."
"How can we find out, though?" Rita asked skeptically, noting the fact that Uriel was not present. Scorpina and Rashell must have been telling the truth, and that meant her father was nothing more than a male slut. She shuddered at the thought.
"We can't," Vile told her with a grin that would have frozen hell. "All we can do is wait and see who the lucky, or unlucky, ranger will be. In a few hours, I will go down and give the rangers my message for Zordon. Soon afterwards, I will settle the score between myself and the Eltarian wizard. I have a feeling in my chest. Someone will die in our confrontation, and it will not be me."
Maybe that feeling is your heart beating for my wife and my henchman! Rashell hollered mentally at the chuckling Master of Evil. Looking down at Scorpina who, he could tell, was barely maintaining her control, Rashell grinned with amusement as she gazed up at Master Vile before flexing her metal nails. There was no doubt in his mind that the female warrior would work with him to destroy Rita's Father. After this abuse, how could she not?
"...WHAT AN AMAZINGLY IDIOTIC, HORRIFICALLY STUPID, BREATHTAKINGLY RISKY THING TO DO, WHITE RANGER! DARK SPECTER COULD HAVE KILLED YOU! IF YOU WEREN'T SUCH A WONDER THAN HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE! WHERE ARE YOUR SENSES, TOMMY!? GOOD GOD, WHERE IS YOUR HEAD LATELY!?" As Zordon glared down at the Rangers' renegade leader, he had to hold in a chuckle as he saw the defenseless human cower in fear. Good...he should be scared...
Tommy cleared his throat and grunted as Rocky pushed him forward, forcing him to speak to his mentor. "I, um, I'm sorry?" A Zordon eyed him fiercely, he sighed. Stupid apologies. In grammar school he had always learned that an apology would work in all circumstances. Then again, it had never worked after seventh grade..."You're right, Zordon. I'm an idiot. Rocky is smarter than me!" From behind him, the Blue Ranger folded his arms over his chest and glared at him.
Zordon, seeing that the White Ranger was pulling one of his infamous puppy-dog looks, groaned. "SAVE THE POUT. I'VE SEEN IT BEFORE, AND IT WON'T WORK FOR YOU NOW. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I REPRIMANDED YOU, WHITE RANGER?"
Oh boy, he's going to get it! Zack rubbed his hands together with excitement. A part of him always had enjoyed seeing Zordon straighten Tommy out. It wasn't that he liked seeing the White Ranger in pain. In all honesty, he was like Zordon...Zack hoped that his leader would straighten out after being punished.
"Reprimanded me?" Tommy shrank behind Kat who rubbed his back in support. "Last week?" He glanced at Jason who, being held up by Adam and Trini, was unable to stop from laughing. His best friend was such a horrible liar that it was hilarious. "Can't we talk about this for a bit?"
"NO..." Jaime, who had never seen the punishment that Tommy was about to receive, was caught off guard as Zordon called to him. "JAIME, YOU, ALONG WITH ROCKY, MUST PREPARE TO CATCH THE WHITE RANGER." Catch him? What is this? Rocky, on the other hand, laughed mockingly. Tommy was going to regret waking him up the night before.
Jackie and Andros, who were standing by each other, watched in confusion as Alpha pushed a couple of buttons on a console. A gun-like device appeared in its hands, and the droid giggled to itself before pointing the pistol at the White Ranger. "I'm ready, Zordon."
Zordon nodded. "GOOD, ALPHA. NOW, TOMMY, REMEMBER THAT I DO THIS FOR YOUR OWN WELL-BEING, NOT BECAUSE I WISH TO HARM YOU IN ANY WAY." As Tommy shook his head in disbelief, Zordon closed his eyes and sighed. "BE SURE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE." Tanya glanced at her mentor and could have sworn that the Eltarian wizard was going to break out in laughter at any moment.
Closing his eyes, Zordon's head lowered in the time warp, and Tommy watched this frightfully before trying to move away as a strong white string of energy flew out at him. He wasn't fast enough, however, and Tommy froze in place as it hit him. It took a few moments for the pain to register, but when it did it was horrendous. "Please, Zordon!" Tommy screamed out in anguish. "Stop! Zordon, I'm begging you!"
"What is this doing to him?" Yaralla asked with concern. She hadn't known that Zordon actually punished his rangers, and he used his own energy to do it! The Eltarian had a lot of power, and the beam hitting the White Ranger looked quite strong. He could die if Zordon keeps this up. "Um, don't you think you should stop now?" As Tommy put a hand on his chest, Yaralla took a step forward in protest. "Hey, Tommy saved the lives of most of the rangers on Dactor! Zordon, he doesn't deserve this!"
Hearing her, Kim sighed before putting a hand on her arm. "Don't worry, Yaralla. This isn't Tommy's first time going through this. He's practically a pro at handling the pain." She remembered seeing Tommy disciplined for the first time. Trini and Billy had been forced to hold her back as she tried to run in front of the beam. That was one of the only times that she had wondered if Zordon truly was a being of good.
Zhane, who was feeling much better after resting in his room on the Megaship for most of the day, watched with awe as Rocky, seeing that Alpha was readying the pistol, prepared to get a tight hold on his leader. Jaime noticed this, and hurriedly did the same. He wondered how Tommy would react if he accidentally dropped him...Not well, Jaime, so you'd better not blow it!
"FIRE ON MY COMMAND, ALPHA," Zordon ordered, his voice strained from the effort of reprimanding the White Ranger. "BE READY IN 10...9...8..."
"Shit, shit, SHIT!" Adam and Jason both gazed at the White Ranger as he struggled to hold his balance. They watched as Rocky and Jaime both took a step closer, preparing for Alpha to shoot.
"7...6..." Zordon called, opening his eyes slightly and gazing at his ranger who was bending under the weight of the torture. Think before you act, Tommy. I don't enjoy this nearly as much as you think... "5...4...3..."
Tommy held his head in pain. "Hurry up, Zordon! Damn it, please do it now!"
"SHIT!!!!" Tanya glanced at him before shaking her head with a frown. Honestly, she didn't think Tommy had deserved it this time. He had stayed behind to allow them time to teleport to the Megaship. Without his distraction, Darkonda could have easily fired on them, not allowing them the time or room to teleport to the space station or, even worse, Darkonda could have killed them.
Zordon opened his eyes fully and looked down at the White Ranger. "NOW, ALPHA!" He commanded sharply. "FIRE!!"
Alpha nodded and pulled the trigger of the small pistol. A dart shot out of it and hit the White Ranger's neck. He staggered back and forth in his place before sparing one exhausted look at Zordon and collapsing onto a surprised Rocky who had been expecting for him to fall forward. Jaime quickly helped the Blue Ranger steady him, and the two put one of Tommy's arms around their shoulders. "I will never look at you the same, Zordon," Zhane muttered, smiling faintly at his unconscious leader before pulling out the dart in his neck when Rocky motioned for him to do so. "A mentor, wizard, and enforcer of discipline." Zordon laughed heartily at this. It was a rare thing, and Zack felt bad that Tommy was too out of it to hear.
"Can I be honest?" Kat asked softly after kissing Tommy's cheek. At Zordon's nod, she sighed. "I know you have to do this to him sometimes. How could I not? I'm going out with him...but I didn't think he deserved it. Tommy stayed behind to save us! Without his distraction, Darkonda could have made us miss the Megaship."
Tanya nodded in agreement. "I was thinking the exact same thing. What Tommy did was very brave." Jackie, Jaime, and Trini all nodded.
Rocky frowned at this. "Well, he didn't let me sleep last night, and he fell on me just now!" Adam snickered before getting a tighter grip on Jason who was beginning to tire. Trini noticed this, as well, and the two moved the Red Ranger over to a console and helped him to sit down with his back against it. "I think you should reprimand Jaime, too."
"Hey, hey," Jaime muttered, shifting his weight to his right foot as he supported the White Ranger. "Be nice, Rocky. We didn't mean to wake you up." As Rocky humorously stuck his nose up in the air, Emily laughed.
"WELL, I SUPPOSE I SHOULD ALLOW ALL OF YOU TIME TO REST," Zordon suggested, ignoring the fact that he had just punished Tommy for a courageous act. "IT SEEMS THAT ROCKY DIDN'T SLEEP WELL LAST NIGHT, AND NOW THAT THE WHITE RANGER IS OUT OF IT, HE SHOULD BE BETTER OFF. ANDROS, ZHANE, AND YARALLA, I MUST ASK THAT YOU STAY HERE SO THAT YOU CAN BE READY FOR ANY SITUATION THAT ARISES." The Kerovians nodded, accepting this gratefully. They hadn't felt like teleporting back to the Megaship, and Andros was so worn out that he didn't think he would be able to balance on his Galaxy Glider.
Emily shrugged. "I could sleep. The Megaship gave me jet lag." Kim smiled and nodded in agreement. Slowly, the group of rangers began to thin as people teleported to the Crisis Center.
When it got to Adam, Trini, Jaime, and Rocky, Zordon halted them. "LEAVE THE RED AND WHITE RANGERS HERE," He instructed. "THEY ARE BOTH WEAK AND NEED TO BE MONITORED." Adam and Trini said goodbye to a disoriented Jason before teleporting away. Jaime wished Rocky a good rest, to which Rocky smirked and teleported. The Triphorian was about to follow suit when Zordon stopped him once again. "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR WRIST, JAIME?"
The Silver Ranger glanced down at his injured wrist before wondering how Zordon had known. He had done a good job of covering the bandage so that no one but Tommy and Adam would make a big deal of it. "Um, I think I punched a Cog too hard on Horat," he said at last, and Zordon chuckled before nodding, showing that he could leave.
After the silver streak of light had disappeared, Alpha checked Tommy and Jason before turning back to Zordon. "They're resting comfortably and all air passages are clear. Jason's wounds have been attended to by Adam, but Tommy is burned on the upper chest. Should I attend to the wound?"
"NO," Zordon told his assistant wearily, showing the droid that he had used more power than usual while disciplining Tommy. "I'LL DEAL WITH IT."
"Zordon?" Alpha tilted its head, confused. How could Zordon deal with the burn, and even if, in some strange way, he could, why would he want to? It was just a minor burn, after all. The scorched area would heal in a few days with the proper care. "Um, can you?" The droid felt foolish asking. Zordon had amazed him many times in the past, but attend to Tommy's wounds?
The Eltarian wizard sighed before gazing down at the White Ranger again. "YES, THOUGH ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES." Alpha, knowing that the last thing it should do is not trust Zordon, teleported the proper ointments up and put them on the console above the passed out ranger.
Zordon watched his assistant do this before closing his eyes. His energy tube lit up, and Alpha shaded its sensors, afraid that they would be broken by the force of the glow. When the light faded, Alpha looked up in shock to see that before him was a young man with well-groomed blond hair that was cut somewhat like Tommy's had been when he had first joined the rangers. "Amazing..." Alpha breathed. It had been serving Zordon since it had learned to walk, but the droid had never seen its master do this. Alpha had thought it was impossible for Zordon to leave his tube!
The blond-haired man smiled at Alpha with glimmering green eyes that were deeper than any human's. It was at that moment that the droid noticed that this man was completely transparent. Though he was like a ghost, the young shadow of Zordon was able to pick up the ointments Alpha had set out before lifting up the White Ranger's shirt. What he saw was amazing...it was more than just the burn...there was a large bruise on the young leader's abdomen, and Zordon easily noticed the faint scar on Tommy's left shoulder. "He reminds me so much of myself in my youth," the projected image of Zordon muttered. Putting some of the yellow ointment on his right hand, Zordon slowly smoothed it onto the White Ranger's burn, becoming more gentle as he winced. "So stubborn...I love them, Alpha. You do know that, don't you? When I called Jason, Kim, Billy, Zack, and Trini to the Command Center after Rita was freed, I was forced to. Now, I would never let them go."
"I know, Zordon," Alpha whispered, still not believing what he was seeing. It truly was the Eltarian wizard in front of him...this was incredible. "Are you so attached to Tommy and Jason because they are kindred spirits?"
"Jason is the perfect warrior," Zordon responded, putting the ointment bottle back on the console and picking up some pink lotion. "He's strong, bold, wise, and caring. If Tommy died or had never come to Angel Grove, Jason would have been my leader forever. I would have never let him go to the Peace Conference."
Alpha tilted its head at this. "Why did you make Tommy the leader when he became the White Ranger?" The question had always burned in the droid's memory bank. "Was it that he had stronger powers?"
Zordon laughed at this, smiling at the White Ranger as he moved into his caress. "I used that excuse, didn't I? Yes, the Powers were stronger, but it wasn't just that. Jason was still a fine leader. Tommy...oh, boy, Tommy was not. He was stubborn, naive, guilt-ridden, reckless, and scared of himself. That's why I love my White Ranger. He's like I was at a young age. I wanted him to grow like I grew when I was made leader of my Meledan squadron."
Tommy groaned as his mentor touched a sensitive area, and Zordon could easily tell that the White Ranger wasn't waking up. Far from it...the ranger's leader was so drugged that, if woken up, he would probably be unable to tell Jason from Rocky. Zordon chuckled at the thought. "Jason is a wonderful second-in-command, as I knew he would be. He's extremely supportive of his best friend. These two couldn't do without each other. I'm surprised Tommy managed on his own for so long after Jason went to the Peace Conference."
"They're your obvious favorites, Zordon," Alpha noted with a sigh. A few thousand years ago, after Rita had destroyed the Command Center for the first time, Zordon had promised Alpha that he would never have favorites among his rangers again. His prized ranger had died in that fight, and Zordon had been downright suicidal. Of course, at that time he wasn't in the time warp. "The others know it, too."
"I love all of them, Alpha." Zordon lowered Tommy's shirt and teleported the lotion away with the ointment. "Even the newcomers from KO-35 have a place in my heart, but there is a bond between Jason and me. It was formed when we first saw each other. Tommy is an unlikely favorite. He was evil, almost made me lose contact with this dimension forever, was weak as the Green Ranger, and still is naive, reckless, and so stupid that sometimes I want to fry him, but who knows? Maybe that's why I love Tommy so much."
Standing, Zordon sighed as he saw that he was beginning to fade away. He stepped in front of Jason and put a hand on his hair before touching his flawless cheek. Jason squirmed under the cool touch but didn't wake up. "Keep making me proud, Red Ranger."
He then moved back to the White Ranger who was breathing heavily and reaching out in a drunken haze. Zordon grabbed his outstretched hand before sighing. "You, just don't get into anymore trouble. One of these days you're going to kill me with worry." As Tommy gripped his hand tightly, he grinned and sat down in front of him, still feeling himself weaken as his energy began to flow back into the time warp. "You two are my sons. All of my rangers are prized possessions, but I can't stop myself from finding a likeness with both of you. I'll tell you this...neither of you is allowed to leave me. Don't be like Tolvery back during the days of the Meledan." He sighed, thinking of his poor ranger who had died after Dark Specter had gotten in a lucky shot of fire, knocking him over full force.
Jason suddenly reached out his hand like Tommy had, and Zordon had no choice but to take it. Alpha watched the three, not knowing what exactly it felt. Becoming attached to the rangers would lead to trouble. The droid knew that nothing good was going to come out of this alliance, but, at the time, all three looked so peaceful. "Ay, yi, yi..."
"I must take leave of you, Rangers," Zordon told the two mortals with a sad smile. "Stay strong...maybe one day we will get to talk with one another where I will be in my true form for all of eternity." For a moment, death sounded like a gift just out of reach, but Zordon knew it wasn't his time. He had to go on for all of the rangers.
Tommy clutched his hand even tighter than he had been before, and as Zordon tried to free himself, the faint White Ranger's voice made his heart stop. "Zordon..."
He's drugged...Tommy is just dreaming. He must have heard your voice and is hallucinating... "I'll still be here with you in spirit, White Ranger."
"Don't leave us, Zordon," Jason called out, and Zordon's blood went cold but, gazing at the two rangers, he found that their eyes were closed, and he knew that neither had seen him. "Please, don't leave us."
Zordon sighed morosely and put a hand on Jason's shoulder before rubbing Tommy's hand with his thumb. "Goodbye." At that moment, he felt the rest of him be sucked into his time warp. Alpha watched as Tommy and Jason reached out to their mentor for one more minute before falling back against the console, sleeping as if nothing had taken place. Gazing up at its master, Alpha sighed. The Eltarian wizard was glancing down at his two rangers, and it seemed as if he was close to tears.
"Well, now I must devise my first attack," Master Vile thought aloud, rubbing the side of his massive head. "Who better to start off than a woman?" Rita smiled and hit her husband on the arm, glad that her father had finally realized the strength of her gender. Zedd scowled at her before glancing down at Scorpina who was still stuck sitting next to his Father-in-law. The poor thing.
Rashell frowned, not sure what the Master of Evil had in mind. "You're going to send Scorpina to attack?" First, the bastard had abused his wife, and now he was going after his henchman!? Vile laughed heartily, showing Rashell that his suspicions were incorrect.
"You stupid bird!" Vile cackled making Rashell snarl with rage. "I wouldn't risk the beauty of your henchman. Instead, I shall use one of my wives! Melantha...my dark flower!" Zedd glanced at him, surprised. _One_ of his wives!? How many wives could the ugly Master of Evil have!?
All of a sudden, the lights in the room dimmed until stars from outside were the only things giving light. Vile grinned in anticipation as a black fog swirled around Zedd's throne. There was a bright flash of energy and, when it dissipated, on the throne was an olive-skinned woman dressed in a tight silk halter top. Her skirt was so short that Rashell had to turn away to keep from seeing her underwear. From the skirt came long sensuous legs, and her small feet were covered by leather black high heels. She pushed back a strand of her black hair that had purple streaks in it before smiling seductively. "You called me, Master?"
Vile walked over to her and, kissing her hand, motioned towards the others. "Yes, Melantha. Let me introduce you to my fellow monsters. The woman over there is my daughter Rita. Next to her is Zedd, my Son-in-law. Rito, my son, is behind Zedd, and that big bird is Rashell. Sitting against the wall behind Rashell is his henchman Scorpina." Melantha blew a kiss at them before standing, allowing everyone to see her astounding grace and beauty." She married HIM!? Scorpina shook her head, not understanding how anyone could want to marry Rita's Father.
"We are near Earth," Melantha noted as she gazed at Master Vile with deep violet eyes. "There are Power Rangers on this planet. That is why you have summoned me, I believe." At Vile's smile, she grinned, pleased that she had been correct. "I will destroy them for you, Master."
"Make me proud," the Master of Evil whispered huskily. The tone of his voice made Zedd want to gag, and he coughed before leaving the room. Rita and Rito, however, walked to the railing of the palace and watched as Melantha teleported down to Angel Grove. "Now, all we have to do is wait. When Melantha is close to finishing the rangers, I will deliver my message."
Rashell took a step towards him. "Do you wish me to send Jagas to help her?"
"Tengas and putties, as well," Scorpina suggested, standing up and putting a hand through her dark hair that Vile had assaulted. "Melantha is, no doubt, a powerful warrior, but there are many rangers...fourteen, I believe."
"Fourteen!?" Master Vile sighed, not having known this. "Very well, send the troops down. Melantha will not mind." Rashell and Scorpina both nodded and left the room, smiling at each other as they exited. Master Vile was beginning to trust them. It would just be a matter of time before they made their move.
"Ay yi yi!" Alpha exclaimed worriedly in the Power Chamber. "An unknown being along with putties, tengas, and jagas has appeared in Angel Grove Park!"
Glancing at the viewing globe, Zordon frowned as he tried to put a name to the newcomer's face. He knew that he had seen the woman somewhere before, but he couldn't recall where. "TELEPORT THE RANGERS UP HERE IMMEDIATELY, ALPHA."
The droid nodded, understanding the orders. "Right, Zordon! Teleporting now!" The two waited a few seconds for the thirteen colored lights to materialize in the middle of the room. "Rangers, you're here!"
"I slept better," Rocky muttered with a yawn. "It was a good thing Tommy was up here the whole time."
Ignoring him, Zack gazed at the viewing globe. "Who is that woman, Zordon?" The other rangers followed suit, staring at the strange being out in the park with the black and purple hair.
"HER IDENTITY IS UNKNOWN AT THE MOMENT, RANGERS. SHE IS A NEW ARRIVAL TO THIS SECTOR OF THE UNIVERSE. SPACE SCANNERS INDICATE THAT SHE ARRIVED ONLY MOMENTS AGO," Zordon responded, sorry that he couldn't give his rangers more to go on. "YOU MUST GET TO THE PARK IMMEDIATELY."
He looked at Zhane and Yaralla who were watching him intently. "YARALLA, YOU CANNOT GO ALONG. THIS BEING IS QUITE POWERFUL, AND I'M AFRAID THAT ANDROS' BATTILIZER WILL NOT BE ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN YOU." The Kerovian woman sighed and nodded, knowing that putting up a fight with him would be useless. "ZHANE, YOU MUST ALSO STAY BEHIND. THOUGH YOU SEEM TO BE IN BETTER SPIRITS, YOUR ADDICTION TO CAFFEINE IS SOMETHING THAT THE MOON POWERS MIGHT HAVE FIGURED OUT. IF THEY HAVE, YOU WILL BE IN GRAVE DANGER. ALPHA MAY HAVE FOUND A MEDICATION TO HELP YOU AND YARALLA DEAL WITH YOUR ADDICTION SO THAT THE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS WILL NOT BE AS STRONG AS THEY NORMALLY ARE, BUT IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO COME UP WITH, AND UNTIL ALPHA CREATES THIS SYRUM YOU CANNOT FIGHT. THE RISKS ARE TOO LARGE."
"I understand, Zordon," The Silver Astro Ranger mumbled reluctantly. Glancing down at Tommy and Jason who were still fast asleep against the console, he smiled. "Well, I guess they aren't going, either." Alpha nodded.
"I SUPPOSE NOT," Zordon agreed, "ALTHOUGH I WOULD NOT HAVE LET JASON GO ANYWAY. HIS INJURIES ON DACTOR WERE TOO SERIOUS."
"Good call," Adam said with agreement, glad that at least someone realized the extent of Jason's injuries. "Well, let's go, Guys."
Jaime glanced at Andros only to find that the Kerovian Ranger was looking back at him. The two stared at each other for a moment until Jaime finally cleared his throat and proceeded, accepting the leadership position that Andros had offered. "It's morphing time!"
"NINJA CRANE POWER!"
"GREEN EMERALD NINJA STALLION POWER!"
"COPPER PENDANT NINJA HAWK POWER!"
"PURPLE GEM NINJA CAT POWER!"
"RED ASTRO RANGER!"
"GOLD RANGER F POWER!"
"SILVER RANGER POWER!"
Yaralla watched them leave with a morose sigh, wishing that she could have gone with them, before leaning against a console with Zhane. "Good luck, Guys."
Melantha had only been walking around in the park for a few minutes with the tengas, jagas, and putties given to her by the moon powers when she heard a strong voice from behind her. "Stop right there!"
"I knew you would come, Rangers," Melantha mumbled, turning around to see a great variety of warriors behind her. Ninjas, a bunch of colors, and more men than she could have imagined. Seeing this, she smiled faintly. "So, who is the leader among this line of..." She counted them quickly, "...eleven rangers? Spit it out. I need a target."
Jaime glanced at the others before taking a step forward. "You don't intimidate me, so give up the sly grins. We're taking you down, whoever you are."
Melantha frowned at this. "Whoever I am? Wait a minute..." She gazed at the symbol on Jaime's helmet, "...A Triphorian is leading the team!?" She laughed out loud. "Pathetic. You're the Silver Ranger...a royal guard, if I'm not mistaken." Jaime stared at her, startled by the fact that she knew so much about the Triphorian culture, but didn't give any ground. "Royal guards are supposed to fight under people, which means that your true leader is either hiding or is injured. Ah...you, Rangers, are short-handed."
"Royal guards are taught to be able to take on the role of leader if their King or another member of the royal family is unable to do so," Jaime told her spitefully, his fists clenched. "As I said, you don't intimidate me."
Melantha laughed lightly before raising her hand in the air and waving to her army of evil minions. "Get them...I want the fake leader." The putties, tengas, and jagas nodded, acknowledging her orders, before rushing towards everyone except Jaime.
He sighed, bored by the whole ordeal, before rushing towards Melantha. The two fought without results for a few minutes. Finally, Melantha kicked him to the ground, a triumphant smile gracing her features. "You are mine, Silver Ranger."
"Think again," Jaime gasped out. "Silver Thunder!" There was a rumbling, and Melantha cried out before being struck by a shimmering cloud of light. Falling over, she gazed at the Silver Ranger with disbelief before grinning once again. Her smile unnerved Jaime, but he forced himself to stay calm and stood again. "What do you have up your sleeve?"
"Do you have a girlfriend, Triphorian?" Melantha asked nosily, slowly forcing herself upright again. "Tell me. Is there someone that you are on Earth to be with?"
Jaime frowned, wondering what she was trying to do by asking such a silly question. "What!?" As the woman continued to smile at him, he growled. "You're insane!" With that, he attacked her, fists raised.
Melantha warded off the Silver Ranger easily before getting a firm hold on his arm. As he gazed at her with fury, she touched his helmet which sent chills down his spine. "My name is Melantha, the Dark Flower. Let me know about you." Jaime could only watch in horror as her energy flowed into him. He cried out as she read his mind, and when it was finally over he keeled over in front of her. "Jaime Talsik," Melantha whispered, trying the name out. "I like it. The name suits a leader such as yourself."
Taking his helmet off, Melantha kneeled in front of him, her eyes sparkling, before touching the black and silver stripes over his eye softly. "You are a handsome mortal. Look at me, Silver Ranger." Jaime turned his head away, but she put a finger on his chin, forcing him to gaze at her. He stared into her violet eyes, and Melantha grinned as he lost himself in them. "That's right, Jaime. It's ok."
Noticing this, Kim gasped. "No! Let him go!" Kicking a putty away from her, she ran through the battle taking place until she was right in front of her boyfriend and the evil woman. "Jaime, are you all right!?"
The Triphorian nodded slowly, his eyes still on Melantha, before standing with his helmet in his hands. His movements were smooth, and he turned towards the Pink Ninja Ranger, smiling darkly at her. Kim's eyes widened as she saw the purple swirl of energy illuminating his normally hazel ones, but Jaime put on his helmet before she could view more than a second of the phenomenon. "This girl threatens you, Queen Melantha," the Silver Ranger said with an evil scowl that made Kim shiver. "I shall destroy her for you."
"You do that," Melantha said, patting his shoulder. She leaned towards him. "Jaime, forget that. Do not destroy her. I can see her eyes through her Ninja Armor. She is full of fear for your safety, Jaime. This girl loves you." Jaime nodded slowly before raising his fists towards the Pink Ninja who had no idea what to do. "Restrain the girl and bring her to me. I'll make her evil, and then you two can be together."
"I will obey you," Jaime whispered before glaring at Kim who was stepping back with fright. "Join Melantha, Kimberly. She will bring us happiness."
The Pink Ninja Ranger shook her head. "Snap out of this, Jaime! You're stronger than her! I know you are! Besides, I will never love evil...even if that evil is you." It was the truth, but it hurt so much to say. Kim knew she was in love with the Triphorian. She had known it after sharing her first kiss with the Silver Ranger. "Please, remember me!" Jaime just chuckled cruelly before rushing towards her and knocking her to the ground with a swift kick to the chest.
Kim doubled over in pain before gazing at her boyfriend, not believing what was happening. "Jaime, no! I don't want to hurt you!" Please don't do this, Jaime. You have to remember me...remember our love for each other...
"Come easily, and I will spare you the agony," Jaime whispered, and Kim could practically see the evil smile on his boyish features. "However, I kinda hope you don't come willfully because I really want to hurt you." As Kim tried to scurry away from him, the Triphorian pounced on her, forcing the Pink Ninja Ranger to the ground. "Isn't this fun!?"
"What the hell is wrong with Jaime!?" Andros called in horror as he watched the Silver Ranger continued to fight Kim. "He's gone nuts!"
Emily gazed at the Silver Triphorian Ranger before shaking her head. "No, he's not crazy. Jaime has been put under a spell. Guys, this is the Uriel incident all over again!" She knew that Jaime was strong...much stronger than her, and he probably had more power than three or more Dino Rangers combined! How could they beat him, especially without Zhane and Tommy? Besides, did they truly want to beat him? Jaime wasn't even in control of his actions!
"If you have to fight Jaime, try not to hurt him!" Rocky called out, earning nods from the other rangers. "He can't help what he's doing!" However, it didn't seem like Jaime had any intention of giving up on the Pink Ninja Ranger who was on the ground and at his mercy.
Jaime gazed down at Kim and chuckled darkly. "Wow...such an easy target." The Pink Ninja Ranger gasped as he raised his fist which was now glowing with Silver Energy. Preparing herself for the horrible blow, she waited...and it didn't come.
Looking up, she smiled, relieved, as she saw that Zhane was now above her, and the Silver Astro Ranger kicked Jaime away before helping Kim to her feet. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah," Kim told him breathlessly. "Zhane, we have to help him! Jaime doesn't know what he's doing!" The Kerovian nodded before turning around as he felt a hand fall on his shoulder. Seeing that it was the other Silver Ranger, he and Kim were both unprepared for the burning sensation that went through their chests, scorching them from the inside out.
"I don't give up so easily," Jaime growled, kicking Zhane who had thrown his body over Kim's to protect her. "You aren't my target, Zhane, but I'll fight you to get to Kim if I have to."
Zhane sighed, trying not to show how much his body was aching. "Well, now I know what Silver Thunder feels like." Standing up, he rushed at Jaime, and the two fought viciously with each other. Zhane kicked Jaime away from him before raising his hand in the air. "Super Silverizer!" With the sword, he slashed Jaime across the chest before kicking him down. "Give it up, Jaime! You're such an idiot! Don't you know what side you belong on!?" The Triphorian gasped for breath as he stared up at the other Silver Ranger before lowering his head to the ground, giving himself a moment's rest.
"You were doing well, Jaime," Melantha muttered from behind Zhane and Kim. The two turned around and gazed at the evil seductress. "However, I can't ask you to spare these horrible mortals. Kill them both."
"Well, I'd say that your prized warrior isn't looking so hot," Zhane said with a smile as he folded his arms over his chest. "Give it up, Melantha." He had heard her name up in the Power Chamber, and Zordon had informed him of her hypnotic ability.
"That's what you think." Zhane wasn't prepared for the sharp blow to his back that sent him tumbling to the ground. He gasped as Jaime stood above him and laughed. "I'd say that you're the one that isn't looking so good, Kerovian."
Kim stared at him and shook her head, not wanting to accept this situation. "Please don't do this, Jaime."
The Triphorian glanced at her and sighed. "Why? It feels so good, Kimberly! Besides, what are you going to do?" He chuckled to himself. "You can't hurt me, Pink Ninja Ranger, because you love me too much." Turning back to Zhane, he raised his hands up, preparing to call on Silver Thunder to finish off the weakened Kerovian.
"I do love you, Jaime," Kim whispered shakily as she put her hands on her chest plate which held the symbol of the crane, "and that's why I'm going to do this. Summon laser power!" The pink energy welled up in her body and pushed through to her fingers. Pointing them and Jaime, she watched as he cried out in pain and, with a hand on his head, fell to the ground.