Alex sighed and glanced at the clock, bored. Five more minutes until lunch, and she can be with Tommy. She turned her attention back to the teacher and suppressed a yawn. Then something unusual for this late into the class period happened. Someone knocked on the door, and Mr. Hollan stopped his lecture.
Two teens entered, and everyone turned their attention to the new students. The boy was dressed in white, and was built like someone that practiced karate. His dark hair, an almost blackish shade, was short and wavy, and he brushed it back as he observed everything in the room with a merry twinkle in his purple eyes. _Wait... purple?_ Alex thought, puzzled, and looked again. They were purple.
The girl, on the other hand, was extremely thin, and moved with an innate grace that reminded Alex of a cat. Her hair, similar to her companion's, was long, and braided back, a silver ribbon twining around the plait. She watched everything with quick, emerald green eyes that almost rivaled Jen's shade, and then the girl seemed to relaxed, seeing no obvious danger. She dropped into a seat at the opposite back corner, in a pose that Alex knew left her a chance to jump out of the desk of trouble appeared. Everything about her was as if she expected to fight at any time. Even her skirt was loose enough that if she had to, she could fight. The cheerful boy took the seat before the girl, and Mr. Hollan took up his lecture where he left off.
When the class ended, Alex, Angela, and Jen waited for the crush to die, and were to see that the two newcomers were waiting as well. Jen walked over and sat on the desk beside the girl, and introduced herself. "Hey, I'm Jen Sidney," she said, sticking her hand out.
The boy took Jen's proffered hand, and said, in a soft Southern accent, "I'm Hunter, and this is my sister Brynne. It's nice to meet you, Jen." He glanced over at the girl, who was shrinking into herself, and said, "We have to go. Bye!" As soon as he was standing, the girl was already on her way out. They brushed past Tommy when Brynne practically ran out of the room.
"What was that about?" Tommy asked.
"I don't know, "Alex said, "but for a second, I could have sworn that she was absolutely terrified."
"What was that about, Bry?" Hunter asked.
"Hunt, the kid in red, you remember who he is?" Brynne asked.
"Yeah. Tommy Oliver. Just like the stadium back in Panama City. So?"
Brynne threw her hands up in exasperation. "Lohrd, help me have patience with this chil'," she exclaimed to the heavens, her accent thickening with her exasperation. "Hunt, remembered what happened on the show each time the rangers made new friends? They would be kidnapped, put under spells, and God knows what else. I don't think we want that happening to-" She was so into her quiet tirade that she didn't notice that she was about to walk into someone. She bumped into a boy in black, and started to apologize. "I'm sor-" Her jaw dropped as she saw who she was apologizing to. The boy seemed startled, and Hunter was able to drag her away.
When Brynne came to, Hunter had them sitting on a bench under a tree. "Oh, my God! It was him!" Brynne repeated that phase several times.
"Who? Brynne, who?" Hunter demanded. Finally Brynne answered enough to answer him.
"It couldn't be anything else, Hunter. I found my prea'deth toma."
"What!? Your soul bond? Are you sure?" Hunter asked. Brynne nodded and Hunter began to grin. "Only you would go to another reality to find your prea'deth toma, Bry. Why don't you just-"
"No," Brynne said, interrupting her brother. "I can't... he's the Gold Ranger."
Jen groaned with frustration, and had to curb the urge to pound the keyboard. "Why won't thins thing work?" she demanded, not expecting an answer. She was surprised when a soft voice spoke up.
"Let me have a look at it. Maybe all you need is a new perspective." Jen turned and saw Brynne standing behind her, a pair of glasses on. The green guardian climbed out of her chair, and Brynne to Jen's seat, and turned to the computer.
With a few clicks from the mouse, Brynne had the screen split in two, showing two different parts of the program, and said, after a few minutes of studying the programming, "There's your problem." She pointed to a part of the program, and said, "You have it typed differently down here," she pointed, "and they have to be EXACTLY the same." She stood up, and allowed Jen to have her seat back.
Jen corrected the problem and when she turned back to thank the silent girl, Brynne was already back at her work station, working on her own programming assignment, but kept glancing over at Jen nervously. Jen smiled encouragingly, and when the teacher said that it was time to break into groups, Jen noticed that Brynne hadn't been assigned a group. She raised her hand before the teacher could assign Brynne to a group, and said, "Ma'am, Brynne can be in our group."
The teacher looked relieved, and urged Brynne in that direction. Brynne walked over hesitantly, and Kat smiled at the newcomer. "Hi. I'm Kat Hillard," she said, then introduced the rest of the group. "That's Rocky DeSantos, and Adam Park, and you helped Jen earlier."
"We have the same English class," Brynne said softly. She introduced herself earlier." Brynne curled up in the chair, tucking her legs under her, allowing her skirt to cover her feet.
"So, what's our project going to be?" Rocky asked. The others shrugged, and Jen offered, "A game?"
"What's the- I mean, what are, the requirements?" Brynne asked.
"Well, we have to make a user friendly software program that can be used by anyone in the class, and it has to be worked upon by everyone in the group. Plus we have to use programming software that's available in the classroom," Kat said.
"Why not a game?" Jen suggested. "But what can it be?"
"Power Rangers," Brynne said under her breath.
"What?" Kat asked.
"Why not a game?" Jen suggested. "But what can it be?"
"Power Rangers," Brynne said under her breath.
"What?" Kat asked.
Brynne gulped, and said, slightly louder, "Power Rangers. You get to play a Power Ranger that's trapped in time, and you have to collect crystals to go back to your home time. You're given clues as to where the crystal is, and you have to find it." She blushed as the others stared at her and said, "Forget it. It was a stupid idea."
"Actually, I think it's a great idea," Adam said. Brynne glanced over at him, and looked back at the floor, studying the pattern in the floor. She stayed silent as the others hashed out the main idea, until the problem of which ranger to use.
"Why not let the user choose?" she asked softly. All it is, really, is a color." Jen had to cap her hand over Rocky's mouth to hear Brynne's suggestion, right in the middle of his tirade why the ranger in the game should be blue.
"Cool. But isn't it getting awfully complicated?" Adam asked.
"Naw. I've been doing worse since I got my first version of Visual Basic. I have a few games at home that I've made myself," Brynne almost whispered. "This'll be too easy. You work out the the main points, and I can get the details."
As the class progressed, Brynne opened up more, and at the end of class, Jen and Brynne continued hashing out the details since they were both heading for the gym.
Just as they were about to enter the girls' locker room, a group of boys surrounded them, and the leader addressed Brynne. "Hey, good-lookin'. You lookin' for a date?"
"Buzz off," Jen said, stepping between the bully and Brynne, who was pulling back, and the bully just sent a withering glance at Jen.
"Back off, Freak," he said. "I wasn't talking to you!"
Jen calmly said, "Back of, or else."
The bully snarled and lunged for Jen, and she flipped him over her, grabbing his arm and twisting it to a painful angle. One of the other bullies took exception to their leader being bested by a girl, and he tried to sneak attack Jen from behind, and he was startled when a fist, followed by an arm covered in white punched him. Brynne tripped the guy, and said, "One move, and I swear that you'll regret it in the morning."
One of the other bullies thought to attack, and was startled when someone tapped his shoulder. Jason shook his head when the bully turned, and the bully ran off. That was the cue to the rest of the gang to run off, and Mr. Caplan came up. "What is the meaning of this?" he demanded. He grabbed Jen and Brynne off the boys and asked, "Well?"
"Sorry sir, but the boys needed a lesson in manners," Jen replied flippantly. "The leader couldn't take a hint to scram, so.."
Mr. Caplan looked at the boys, and said, "Boys, my office, now!" He turned his attention to the girls as the boys headed in the general direction of the office. "As for you two, fighting is not tolerated on campus. Ms. Donovan, I don't know what they allowed at your campus, but fighting is just not allowed." Brynne shrugged silently.
"Both of you, detention, now!"
Brynne and Jen sat in a pair of desks, side by side, and were talking when the door opened. They looked up as the principle cleared his throat, and said, "I thought I told you no talking."
"Sir, we're working on our computer programming project," Brynne said. She looked at his innocently, and he sighed. "Okay, carry on." He motioned, and Hunter, followed by a sheepish Adam, entered. They took desks behind the girls.
When Mr. Caplan left, Jen turned to Adam and demanded, "All right, what did you do, Greenie?"
"Uh... start a food fight?" Adam asked. Brynne cracked up.
"You didn't!" she exclaimed to Hunter. He nodded. "Hey, I couldn't let you be in here alone with such a troublemaker," he replied. Jen and Brynne cracked up.
"I think they're laughing at us," Adam said to Hunter.
"You know, I think you're right," Hunter said.
Brynne chuckled and reached over to Hunter. She lifted a spaghetti from her brother's collar, and laughed helplessly, the noodle shaking in her hand. He turned beet red, and Jen said, "Hold still, Adam and I'll check and see if you have an noodles." Adam turned red, then even redder when Brynne said, "Shouldn't you let his girlfriend do that?"
The girls laughed again, and Adam decided that the noodle down the back of his shirt could wait until after school.
Brynne and Hunter walked home after spending all of the last period in detention. "Tell me the truth, Hunt. Did you and Adam really start a food fight?"
"No. We just took the blame. It was an accident, really. A girl slipped with her spaghetti noodles, and the boy they landed on swiped them off, and they struck another boy. Next thing you knew, there were noodles flying everywhere. Now, why didn't you tell me you were about to get into a fight?"
"I didn't have time, Hunt. Besides, Jen's a 'pather. If I had sent, she probably would have picked up, being so close." Brynne looked around and said, "It's clear. Let's shift." The pair summoned up matching devices and flipped them open. Before they could do anything, an orange form landed on them.
When they managed to get to their feet, they were surrounded by Cogs. The guardian was unconscious at their feet, and Brynne exchanged looks with Hunter. "We can't leave her here, Hunt," she said. "We have to bring her with us."
"Okay. Shifting with one extra, now!" They shimmered as Hunter finished typing the command into his device, and the three teens shimmered, then disappeared.
Kris sat up with a gasp. She looked around, and realized that she wasn't anywhere she recognized. It seemed to be some sort of quarters, and she was powered down. Kris stood up, and realized that she didn't feel as bruised as she usually did after a Cog fight.
When she left the room, it immediately opened to a larger room, where a boy and girl were working on a console. "Okay, try it now, Bry!" the boy said from under the console.
"Activating now," 'Bry' said, and pushed a button. The underside of the console sparked, and as the girl jumped to turn it off, the boy was protesting the shower of sparks. "Hey!"
Kris laughed, and the boy rolled out from under the console, wiping off tiny bits of charred materials from his shirt. "So, our guest is awake huh? How about a hand here, then?" he asked, and Kris strolled over.
"What's wrong?" Kris asked. The boy had rolled back under the console, and the girl looked up at the dark-skinned girl.
"I don't know," the girl said. "That's what we're trying to figure out. We have power, but it's just not working. By the way, I'm Brynne, and the boy down under the console is Hunter."
"Kris Conswelo." Kris asked, "What exactly does this console do?"
"I THINK it's for environment of the reality we're about to visit, but I'm not sure. It's never worked," Brynne admitted.
Studying the top of the console, Kris shook her head. "I think you're wrong. Look here," she pointed, "and here," she pointed to a different area. "It's for defense. I think it's a shield of some sort."
Brynne and Hunter exchanged looks, and Brynne said, "That would explain why it never really... worked," she said sheepishly.
Kris stepped back ,and then laid down, sliding under the console to join Hunter. "Ah-ha!" She took two wires that Hunter had twisted together, untwisted them, and shoved them into two empty wire jacks. The console hummed, and Brynne quipped the original Frankenstien movie, saying, "'It's alive! Alive!'" She pretended to cackle like a maniac, then said, "You were right, Kris. Thanks."
"Thank YOU," Kris said. "If it weren't for you, I'd be in Mondo's prison. What happened, anyway. I don't remember meeting you," she admitted. She slid from under the console and stood up.
"Well, first of all, we're not exactly in your reality anymore. We're in a place we call the Safehouse, and it's between realities," Brynne said. "We were about to shift here, when you came flying at us, and knocked us to the ground. By the time we got to our feet, we were surrounded by Cogs, and we decided to bring you here. We couldn't leave you there. Then we healed you up, during which, you powered down."
Hunter rolled from under the console and sat up. "What ARE you? I mean, we've never see someone in a uniform like yours."
"Well, I'm a Power Guardian, the ORANGE Power Guardian if you couldn't tell. There are eight others; red, black, blue and white for the boys; pink, yellow, purple, and green for the girls. We use versions of Power Coins to morph. You do know what a Power Coin is, don't you?"
"Sure. Our home reality had a kid's TV show called "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, then it went Zeo, then Turbo, then they went 'Space'y," Brynne said, and Hunter laughed.
"Then it seems that you're a couple ahead," Kris said. "They're still using the Zeo crystals."
"Did Billy go to Aquatar?" Hunter asked.
"Yeah, but he came back to be the Blue Guardian."
"Cool," brother and sister replied at the same time.
Dale was walking through the park, and dropped back into a fighting stance when part of the park before his seemed to ripple, and then two girls and a boy appeared. "Whoo-ho! Can we do that again?" Kris asked. "That was fun!"
Dale laughed and shook his head. "Kris!" His step-sister turned towards Dale, and waved. He jogged over, and said, "I've been worried about you, girl. Care to introduce your friends?"
Kris smiled, and said, "Brynne, Hunter, this is Dale, my stepbrother. Dale, this is Brynne and Hunter. They saved me earlier, when I was attacked by Cogs. They're... not from this reality. They who I am, because I powered down before them."
"Oh." Dale turned to the newcomers, and said, "Thank you."
The girl blushed, embarrassed and whispered, "It was nothing." Just then, Alex came running up with her practice sword. "Hey, guys! What did you do, bring more meat?" She smiled at Hunter and said, "Hey, Brynne, Hunter. It's nice to meet you again."
Brynne stared at Alex, her eyes going wide. She shrunk behind Hunter, then whispered at Hunter softly. His eyes widened, and he began backing away. "We, uh... gotta go," he said lamely, and they took off.
"What was that about?" Alex asked. The two guardians shrugged and hook their heads.
"Are you sure?" Hunter asked.
"Yeah. Her aura was too dark to be anything but. I thought the Shadows had been banished," Brynne said.
"They had been." Both teens jumped to face the new voice, and saw a girl with black and white hair, dressed in a white uniform with a purple top. She smiled gently, and said, "I'm Shaira. Please, come with me, and I'll explain." She motioned, and the two followed at Brynne's cautious nod.
"HAD been?" Hunter asked.
Shaira pushed her peppered hair back, and sighed. "The Barrier is slowly crumbling. That's why the Power Guardians are here. As far as I know, you two are part of an elite group of people that knows who all the Power Guardians are. Yourselves, Kris and Dale, Alex, and although they don't know it, myself."
She spoke in an unusual language, and a large zord, shaped like some large cat, neither of the newcomers could tell the breed, and Shaira said, in English, "Climb in. I'm prepped and ready to go."
Brynne and Hunter exchanged looks, and climbed in. This was too weird. Shaira climbed into her chair, and they took off. "Are we being kidnapped?" Brynne asked softly.
"No, but there's something we need to talk about."
Alex relaxed after her sword lesson, her eyes closed as she basked in the warmth of the sun. She opened her eyes at the sound of playful shrieks, and looked over at Kris and Dale. They were hurling water balloons at each other, and Alex sighed, shaking her head. She closed here yes, but they popped open again as Kris shouted, "Cogs!"
Alex jumped to her feet, and dropped into a fighting stance. She narrowed her eyes and demanded, "What do you tinheads want?" The Cogs charged, and Alex said, "It's morphin' time!"
Shadow Zeo- Morph!"
"Orange Tiger Guardian Power!"
"White Tiger Guardian Power!"
Alex smiled, and said, "Now that the odds are evened up, let's have some fun shall we?"
"You call nine Cogs against the tree of us even?" Dale asked.
"You're right," Kris said. "They're outnumbered." She twisted a Cog's arm out and kicked, winding up ripping the Cog's arm off. "Aw! I broke him!" she complained.
"Quit griping," Alex said. "Mine don't want to play anymore." Indeed, after a few displays of lightning, the Cogs attacking her had backed off. Alex turned to Dale, but he had already finished his three.
"Is that all?" he asked in disbelief. "That was too easy."
"Maybe I won't be so easy, Guardian!" All three turned to face Mondo's latest creation, what looked like a giant robot with a net in one hand, a whip in another. It threw the net at Dale and Kris, and they disappeared. It snapped the whip forward, and the lash wrapped around Alex's throat, and Capturiod pulled the Shadow ranger to him. "Mondo demands your service, Shadow ranger," Capturiod boomed.
"Not today, Buckethead!" Alex staggered back as the lash was cut, and she pulled frantically at the lash to free her throat for breathing. A male ranger in white kneeled beside her, and asked, "Are you all right?" Alex nodded, gasping for breath, her hand rubbing her throat.
The other rangers and guardians appeared at that point. The Silver ranger, female, was holding off Capturiod, and Alex gasped, "He... has..."
"We saw the whole thing," Tommy said. "We'll get them back, I promise." He helped Alex to her feet.
By this point, Capturiod was tired of fending off the Silver ranger, and said, "I'll be back, I promise you!" before disappearing.
"You shouldn't mess with my friends!" the silver ranger growled. "Let's get Alex back to the Power Chamber," she told the other rangers.
"They're okay," Shaira said, before anyone could protest. "They were given their powers on the Guardian Ship. They're on our side."
In the Power Chamber, the rangers were in for a shock. The white and silver rangers looked at each other, and removed their helmets. "Brynne? Hunter?" Jen asked in disbelief.
"Well, how do you do, too," Hunter replied.
"But- but-but.." Jen stuttered, shocked.
Brynne's lips quirked in a mischievous smile, and she said, "Put her in the water, you have a perfectly good trolling' motor," her accent becoming more pronounced. She said, "Silver ranger, Power down!" and she was back to standing in her street clothes. Her watch beeped, and she turned to Hunter. "Can you handle to Q and A session?" He nodded, and she took off to a secluded corner.
"Shaira, what's going on?" Alex demanded.
"Well, remember how earlier today you were called in to help the Orange guardian, but when you got there, there was no one there? Well that's because Brynne and Hunter were there, and they took her with them as they, I believe they call it 'shifted,' home."
"Wait. What's shifting?" Rocky asked.
"Easy. Our home is The Safehouse, a midpoint between realities. When we shift from one area to another, we're using interreality travel to get from point A to point Z without having to go over the entire alphabet," Hunter explained.
"I'd hate to interrupt the science lesson," Brynne said, "but I found where Mondo's keeping our two friends. He took a page from our book." She glanced over at Hunter, who paled.
"the chaos plains?" he whispered. Brynne nodded. "In one of the order pockets," she replied.
"What's wrong?" Alex asked, worried.
"Mondo's trapped them in the Chaos Plains. Trust me, it isn't pretty. We've been there, and anything can, will, and does happen there. Fortunately, they're in a pocket of order, a calm spot on the plains, otherwise, we might not have found them. The Chaos Plains can warp sensor readings, until what it says is right beside you, it's actually several miles away," Hunter said. "I've been trapped outside the pockets myself." He blanched at the memory.
"Like Hunt said, the Chaos Plains warp sensor readings, but our computers have been programmed to adjust to the ever-changing plains, so we can pick them up. We can Gate there, it would be safer than trying to teleport in, grabbed them, then gate out." Brynne's eye narrowed, and she said, "There are only Cogs guarding them, and someone has to be here for when Capturiod comes again. And he will. So who's going? Hunt, are you're staying here?"
"No, I'm going." He swallowed nervously, and said, "There shouldn't be more than three others. Who's going?"
"I am!" Zack and Kim spoke up at the same time, exchanged glances, then grinned.
"So am I," Trey announced. Brynne nodded, and Hunter said, "We had better morph now, we won't be able to later." The others nodded, and Zack said, "It's morphin' time!"
"Zeo IIX- White!"
"Gold Ranger Power!"
"Silver Ranger Power!"
"Black Leopard Guardian Power!"
"Pink Naga Guardian Power!"
As the glow died, Brynne held her hand out, and a circular section of the floor ripple, and just like in Sliders, a gate opened. Brynne grinned and said, "Journeyman Express, destinations Safehouse, Chaos Plains and Cocobongo, loading now on platform one!" The others laughed, and Brynne said, "Heads up below!" and jumped in.
"You know she's stressed when she starts making jokes," Hunter said, then followed Brynne's example. The others jumped in, and the Gate closed behind them.
"Good luck, guys," Tommy said. Then the alarms went off.
"Billy would love this place," Zack said, studying the main control room. Brynne was programming their next destination into the computer, and nodded absently. She thought of something, and opened a drawer beside Kim from her console. "Kim, could you take out the watch things and hand them out. You'll need them if you are knocked out of the pocket. It's pull you back here immediately." Kim nodded and complied.
Brynne finished the last of the commands, and said, "That's it. We're ready to rock." She took her own return device, and strapped it on her right arm. "Everyone ready?" she looked specifically at Hunter, who nodded nervously.
Brynne typed in the command, and another gate, this one different from the other because while the other had been mostly blue, this one was shot with violent red and black streaks, opened on the floor again.
Everyone jumped through, and Brynne was the last one through.
Trey helped her up, and Brynne saw the edge of the order pocket. It appeared as a fluctuating wall of swirling colors, that, if you tried to watch it, you would get nauseous. She looked around, and saw that Hunter was stiffening up. "She's not around, Hunter," she said softly, placing her hand on his shoulder.
"Let's just find out friends and get out of here, all right?" Hunter asked, and stormed off. Brynne watched his with worried eyes as Zack walked up. "What was that about?" he asked.
"The last time we were here..., there was a woman that was trying to trap Hunter here, so he would stay with her forever. I pushed her from her pocket, and onto the Chaos Plains, and she managed to pull Hunter with her. It was by the narrowest of luck that he found her Order pocket, and we got out of here as fast as possible."
"Oh. Then why did he make himself come?" Zack asked.
"I don't know."
_I WILL NOT let another person be pushed out onto the Chaos Plains,_ Hunter swore to himself. _Even if I have to use my fire talent to prevent it._ HE stopped as he heard the sounds of grunting, and then slipped ahead.
Order pocket just meant that what happened in there was according to the laws of physics and magic. Plants and animals lived inside the pockets, each pocket varying from the others as it's own environment. There were pockets that were from Aquatar, full of water, with aquatic plants and animals living and swimming under the waves caused by the waves of the pocket walls. The pocket that the rangers and guardians were in was an Earth-like forest, and Hunter hid behind a tree, observing Kris and Dale as they struggled with their bonds.
The Cogs paces as they guarded the teens, and Hunter had to fight the urge to laugh. The Cogs were being chattered at by several small animals that had a superficial resemblance to squirrels. Hunter turned and slipped back to the others. "I know where they're holding Kris and Dale."
The others listened in as Hunter described the area around the teens being held. "I have an idea," Trey said. "You said that the Cogs were being distracted by the animals, right? Well,..." he motioned and everyone huddled close.
A Cog, doing a perimeter patrol, shook it's head as one of the small animals hit it's head with another nut and continued on it's way.
Then a rock hit it on it's head, and the Cog turned. The last thing it saw was two gloved fists headed for it.
The next Cog that was taken was also on a patrol. The small animals chittered angrily at it, and then there was the repeated pinging of nuts bouncing off it's head. Then one well placed shot knocked out the Cog's optical sensors, and it stepped on a carpet of nuts, and it tripped and fell, falling to pieces.
The Cogs that were sent out on patrol kept meeting with accidents, never the same ones twice. At each one, the native rodents seemed to be some contributing factor, and soon the Cogs stopped sending out patrols. The free rangers and guardians gathered together again, and Zack asked, "Where did you learn to throw like that?"
Brynne shrugged and blushed under her helmet. "I was an annoying little tagalong with my brother and his friends, and I picked up a few things." She turned to Trey and asked, "What's next?"
"Now, we free our friends."
"Excuse me, would any of you know the way to Palm Springs? I'm late for a golf tournament." The Cogs guarding the white and orange guardians spun at Brynne's voice as she entered the clearing. "You know, you look busy. I'll come back later." Brynne retreated back into the bush, followed by all but one of the Cogs.
"Hold still," a soft voice said from behind the tree. Kris looked over her shoulder and was startled to see the Black Guardian trying to undo the rope binding the two prisoners to the tree. "Hey, Kris. Or should I say, Orange Guardian?"
"You figured me out," Kris said. She turned back and her eyes widened. "Zack, look out!" she shouted. Zack rolled out of the way as the Cog swung its ax, nearly taking Zack's head, and the Black Guardian rolled to his feet. The Ax had sliced through the rope and the two prisoners rolled away from the tree. The climbed to their feet and dropped into identical fighting stances. But Zack had already taken care of the Cog with a few well placed blows.
"Well," Brynne said, stepping out of the bush, dusting her hands, "Kim and Trey are finishing off the rest of the Cogs. Are we all ready to blow this joint?"
"Sure, let's-" Kris' statement was broken off as a Cog jumped out from behind a tree and wrapped an arm around her throat. It began dragging Kris backwards, towards the edge of the barrier.
"NO!" This was roared from Hunter's throat, and a fireball exploded between the Cog and its prisoner. Kris was thrown forward, unharmed, into Zack's arms, and the Cog was forced backwards. It staggered into the barrier, paused for an instant, then fell through, piercing it. Where it fell through was a rapidly closing hole, and the rangers saw something descend on the hapless Cog, reducing it to bits before the hole sealed shut.
When Kris recovered from her shock, she said, "Can we please go home now?"
When the rescue party landed in the Power Chamber, they immediately knew something was up. Most of the consoles were off and Zordon wasn't in his tube. The intercom speakers were on, and the sounds of battle and the communications between zords was heard throughout the Power Chamber. Angela and Alex turned to the newcomers as they arrived, and Alex said, "Trey, Kim, Zack, they need you, now! Get out there!"
The three teens nodded and teleported out, and Alex said, "Brynne, somehow a virus got into the system. Can you stop it?"
Brynne nodded and headed for the nearest working console. "Hunt, I need the Green Box. You know, the one with the anti-"
"Viruses? Okay." Hunt grinned at the girls and disappeared.
Just then, the alarm went off, and Brynne said, "There are Tengas tearing up the park. All four of you are needed there. I can take care of things here, just go!" Alex, startled, nodded, even thought Brynne couldn't see, and said, "Back to action!" There were four streams of light, and Brynne was alone.
She sighed and started the last working printer. She needed to see what started the virus. She started shutting everything but that one console and printer down.
When the rangers returned from finishing Capturiod, Brynne was still working frantically against the virus. When Billy tried to help, Brynne slapped his hand away. "Don't mess with anything. I've managed to isolate all of the contaminated systems, but the slightest change, and I have to start again. We're luck I managed to isolate Zordon's systems before his were infected. But I won't be able to do anything more until Hunt comes back with my box of antiviruses." She looked up as her brother reappeared, a large green box under his arm. Hunter walked over and handed her the box, and she began flipping through it. "Have any trouble finding it?" she asked.
"Why didn't you tell me that it was beside your PC?" he asked.
"Where else would it be?" Brynne replied flippantly. "In my sock drawer? Besides, I was creating another one yesterday. Ah-ha!" she exclaimed and pulled out a light blue disk.
Fifteen minutes later, Brynne loaded the last of the infected systems with the antivirus, and closed her eyes. She rebooted the computer, and looked up at the tube. "Here goes nothing," she muttered to herself, and pressed a button. There was a sigh of relief from everyone when Zordon reappeared in his tube.
"Good work, Brynne," Zordon said.
"Nyah, it was nothing. But next time you scan one of the Safehouse's printouts, be more careful. That virus was translated from the printout of the fluctuations of our gates." She eyed Billy, "Which I bet you were trying to translate from a certain printout I left at school by accident, right?"
"Uh..., well..., you see...," the blue guardian tried to temporize. But Brynne waved it off. "Don't worry. I suspected that a virus was what was wrong with the gates, and you proved it." She yawned, and said, "Right now, what I want is food, a bath, and then some sleep. And not in that order. Hunt, guys, later." She summoned up her gate caller and disappeared.
Brynne finished stretching out on the mat, and stood up. She was in a silver and white leotard, and she bowed to Alex, who was in a black gi. Alex bowed and they stanced at the same time, and Brynne allowed Alex to take a few practice swipes. Brynne smiled, and asked, "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Nah. But, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do," Alex replied. Brynne giggled, and Alex used the momentary distraction to lunge for the Silver ranger. But the moment wasn't long enough.
Brynne avoided Alex's lunge, and flipped the girl to the ground. "Shall we try that again?" she asked, helping Alex up. The Shadow ranger shrugged.
As Alex and Brynne continued to practice, Zack and Kris entered, still talking away. They took a seat, and only stopped talking to order. Dale, who was talking with Hunter, looked over, laughed, and shook his head.
When Alex and Brynne finished their practice, they bowed and walked over to Tommy and Adam, who were waiting patiently for their turn on the mats. "Where did you learn to flip people like that?" Adam asked.
The Silver ranger blinked, then shrugged. "It's one of many things that I picked up tagging after Hunt," she said dismissively. "It's one of several things I picked up just to... survive when they separated us in school. There were bullies, and they'd seem to enjoy picking on me. So, when they swung, I'd avoid and flip them over me."
"That's how you managed to trip that idiot!" Jen exclaimed, walking over. Brynne nodded, and then muttered an excuse and hurried off. Jen chuckled and shook her head. _Poor dear,_ she thought. _She's so shy, it's a shame._
Shaira leaned against the Juice Bar and smiled. So many different personalities, there was bound to be a painfully shy person joining the team sooner or later. She saw the Silver ranger walk out, then how Brynne's eyes went straight for Trey, then she walked over to where Dale and Hunter were sitting. _Oh, God, not another soul bond._ She sighed and walked over to Brynne. "Go talk to him, Brynne."
"Trey. That's the only way you'll get to know him."
"But.., but...," Brynne stuttered, turned red. Just then, Trey walked over and sat down.
"Come on, Dale, Hunt. I'll spar with you," Shaira said. Hunter stood up immediately and dragged his guardian counterpart with him, before Dale could complain. Shaira stood up and followed them to the mats, mentally chuckling all the way.