Disclaimer: I don't own the power rangers, Saban does. I'm not getting paid for this and it is all for fun anyway. I do however, own the character of Sergeant Tracey Hillard, and so don't touch without asking! This is the third in a series of my "Family" stories, so it would help if you have read "All in the Family" and "A Family Adventure". This started out as a short story I wrote early one morning when I couldn't sleep but I received good feedback and decided that I couldn't just let Tracey rest without something really spectacular to finish the series off. That doesn't mean she won't be back, I'll wait and see what sort of response I get from you, the viewing public. Also, there is some swearing involved in this story, nothing to harsh though. After all, what solider doesn't swear? There is also some violence involved so I rated this fic PG 13 yrs and over
Time Period: Zeo Rangers, just after Jason has returned but before Billy leaves.
Kat held the letter in trembling hands; she turned to Tanya for support. Tommy looked at Kat and took the letter off her. They had all teleported to the power chamber to say there good-byes to Kat, Billy, Jason and Tracey, only to find that Tracey and Jason had already left. Tommy started to read the note aloud to the assembled rangers.
Please don't be mad at me. Last night I had a long talk with Zordon and Jason. They told me everything that it is involved in this quest of mine. I decided that it would be best if I just went alone but Jason insisted on coming with me. He must have known what I was thinking as after you all left last night he returned ready to go. He must of knew that I didn't want to risk yours or Billy's life to help save mine. I let Jason accompany me on one condition, that if it comes down to it he will let me do my duty as a solider and won't interfere. He gave me his word that he wouldn't so he came with me. I won't be alone out their Kat, I'll be with someone who can help me though this and maybe, just maybe, make sure that I return to you. Zordon has given me his word that he wont let you or Billy follow us, it's just way too dangerous for you to leave Earth at the moment. Billy, look after my cousin and yourself, you are both two good people who are doing something way more important than what this simple solider does.
Kat, I love you, please take care of yourself.
Sergeant Tracey Hillard.
Tommy looked up at Zordon, he knew that no matter what, Zordon wouldn't break his word and they wouldn't be able to go after Tracey and Jason. He just hoped that Zordon knew what he was doing. He turned to look at Kat, Tanya was hugging her, trying to comfort her. Rocky and Adam just looked at each other then at Tommy; he knew what they were thinking. They wanted to race off after Tracey and Jason, in the short time they had known the both of them, they had to come to really like and respect Tracey and Jason. Tommy then turned to the one person who he knew would be taking this news just as badly as Kat. Jason was Billy's oldest friend and original team leader and in the short time that Tracey had been back she and Billy had talked a couple of times. Last night on the way home, Billy had admitted to Tommy that he liked the solider, she was full of spirit and had a good soul. He also noted to Tommy that Jason was very much taken with her.
"Billy man, are you okay?" Tommy stared into the quiet genius's eyes; they looked haunted and scared.
"I don't know Tommy. I reviewed the data on Briasex last night at home. I am extremely worried for them both. It will be extra hard on them both now that Kat and I aren't with them" Tommy wordlessly clasped his hand on Billy's shoulder, offering what support he could. Kat finally got herself together enough to look up at their mentor.
"Zordon, how long ago did they leave?" The Eltarian looked as upset as the others did. He hadn't liked given Tracey his word that the two rangers wouldn't follow them.
"Approximately two hours ago Kathryn. I did not want Tracey to go without someone with her. She was all set to leave without any of you when Jason returned last night. I gave her my word that the two rangers wouldn't follow her." Billy's head jerked up at Zordon's words.
"Zordon, you said that you wouldn't let two rangers follow her, how about one Ranger and an ex-Ranger?" They all looked up at Zordon, holding their breaths as he worked out if that would be enough flexibility in his words to allow Kat and Billy to follow them. He saw the logic in Billy's words and smiled.
"I never said anything about one Ranger and an ex-Ranger. If the two of you are ready to leave, I will send you now, as the inter-dimensional portal is only open for another ten minutes." Kat's smile was like the sun coming up and she quickly hugged Tanya and picked up her pack, settling it on her back. Billy feed some instructions into the main computer and picked his pack up as well. Alpha came bustling over and offered Billy a laser pistol. Billy took it, looking up at Zordon for conformation that it was okay for him to take it.
"It is all right for you to take the laser pistol Billy, you will not have access to weapons like Kathryn or Jason do. It will help protect you."
"Okay then Zordon. Alpha, I have feed a program into the main system to allow you to use Kat's Zord on remote, it will do what ever Tanya's does, so don't damage it too much guys, they take for ever to fix." They all laughed at his comments. Adam and Rocky came over to the ex Blue Ranger, both giving him a quick hug.
"You be careful our there Billy, I don't know how half this stuff runs. Just think, we could end up with Rocky back here fixing stuff!" Billy laughed as Rocky pretended he looked hurt.
"Well, you be careful what you wish for Adam, or you could find yourself piloting Zeo Zord 1 instead of 3" Tommy turned to Kathryn, he gave her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek.
"Be careful out there, listen to your cousin, I got the feeling that she is going to be more than Mondo can handle." She smiled at that and went and stood over in the teleportation area. Billy gave Tommy a quick hug and went and stood by Kat.
"Be careful rangers. May the power protect you." With that there were two streams of light, one pink, the other white and the two friends were gone. Tommy watched the empty spot with sadness in his heart.
"Be careful guys, come back to us."
Tracey ducked behind a large outcropping of boulders; Jason knelt next to her.
"What is it?" he whispered. Since arriving on planet about two hours ago they had been constantly chased by monsters and henchmen of every description. Jason was taking it all in his stride but was concerned about how Tracey was handling it. So far she seemed to be doing okay. They had been lucky in their encounters, both times Tracey had spotted them and killed them quickly with one shot to the forehead with her silenced gun.
"I thought I heard something. Listen." Jason knelt there, stretching his senses to their limits and then he heard it.
"Sounds like a teleportation beam to me." He glanced at Tracey's face, he knew, that deep down, if Zordon could find a way around giving his word, he would. Tracey's face was a mask of concentration with just a hint of surprise in her eyes. Shaking her head she watched two beams of light land in the valley below them. Taking out her binoculars she focused them on the pair.
"Shit. It's Billy and Kat. What the hell are they doing here?" She reached up and took off her pack. "Dump your pack here, were going to have to go get them, this is the best spot for cover. We'll bring them here and then head for those caves we spotted." Jason did as she said, watching her actions as she was speaking. Without looking she had upholstered her gun. The Silenced .44 Berretta was the only firepower that she had brought with her, and it was over Zordon's protests. He didn't want her to take any type of gun with her. She had pointed out, rightly so thought Jason, that she was a solider, she didn't have powers and she had to have some sort of weapon to protect herself besides her martial arts skills. Zordon had relented and the weapon came along. She stood, holding the gun low and in her right hand. She took one last look though the binoculars and then with a nod to Jason they took off down the hillside where they had been sheltering.
The next thing that Kat and Billy knew was that they were on a strange planet, in a desert. Alpha had said that he was going to put them down as close as possible to Jason and Tracey's position. He looked around and Kat shielded her eyes as she peered around the desolate landscape.
"I don't like this place Billy." He smiled at her, trying to reassure her. Truth be told, he didn't like it much either.
"It's not the most friendly planet I have been on, that's for sure. We should really find some cover and start looking for Tracey and Jason."
"I agree. Why don't we head towards those rocks over there? Before we are spotted by anyone." They started walking over there and had reached the bottom of a hill when a small cascade of stones made them both jump back and assume defensive positions. Looking up they saw Jason motioning them to follow him, which they did. As they got up to where he was hiding they saw Tracey. She was lying flat along on the rocks, her desert camouflage blending her almost seamlessly into the surrounding bedrock. She had some sort of gun out and was covering them with it.
"Get them to the top of the hill. Hurry, goddam it." They three rangers quickly scaled the hard climb up the mountain side, Tracey hanging back, providing cover just in case it was needed. After about twenty minutes of hard climbing they reached the summit and collapsed on the ground, breathing hard. A few minutes later Tracey followed them, re-holstering her pistol. She walked over to Kat and squatted down beside her, trying to look angry but the merriment in her eyes gave her away.
"What the bloody hell are you doing here? I thought that Zordon gave me his word that he wasn't gonna send two rangers after me and Jason." Kat smiled, she could tell by Tracey's tone that she wasn't displeased to see them.
"He didn't. He sent a Ranger and an ex-Ranger after you." Surprising them all Tracey laughed.
"I'll be more specific next time." Kat looked at her cousin, raising an eyebrow.
"Next time?" They all laughed at that. Jason came over and handed Tracey her pack. She shouldered it and settled her gear. Kat looked at her cousin, she was all business now and looked like the hardened solider she was. She had on desert camoflage and a belt with a canteen, ammo belt, bincoulars, combat bowie knife and a holstered gun. Her pack was a standard army issue, as was everything else, including her combat boots. Kat looked at her own clothes and was glad that she had worn old, comfortable clothing and sturdy hiking boots, the guys were the same. They had all decided that comfy clothes and sturdy boots were the name of the game. They had all brought water and supplies, with at least one change of clothes. Tracey held her hand down to Kat and pulled Kat to her feet.
"Come on, there are some caves nearby were we can take shelter. Once there, we can plan how we are going to make contact with the rebels and then get out of here. This planet gives me the creeps." The guys laughed and they set out in the direction Tracey had indicated. Tracey took the lead with Kat following and Billy and Jason bringing up the rear. They hung back a little as Billy wanted to talk to Jason.
"So, how did you know that she was gonna try and take off without us" Jason smiled at his friend.
"It wasn't to hard to figure. From what you guys told me about her and what I had seen, plus I have been recently talking with my cousin Richard, who's a solider as well. He's in the army and has told me about they are basically are conditioned from day one to regard anyone not in the armed forces as civilians. It's the same with us I suppose, we regard ordinary people as civilians and do everything to protect them. Tracey was just following her training, and her instincts to protect her younger cousin I suppose." He shrugged.
"I thought it might be something like that. I was almost going to do the same thing you did, except my Dad managed to keep me in for the night, we had one of those father and son talks he likes to have occasionally. This time it was about what I was going to do next year, go to college or one of the university's that have expressed interest in my attending them." Jason looked at his friend. Ever since Jason had known him, Billy's genius had been the one thing that he never doubted. He knew that sometimes his shy friend would rather face a horde of the worst monsters than try and figure out what he was going to do with his life. He also knew that since he had been back it was hard on his friend, not being able to assume the gold powers had hurt more than any of them knew. He clasped him on the shoulder, smiling at his friend.
"Don't worry about it Bill. You'll figure it out one of these days. In the meantime you can tell me all about what ever you were talking about with Tracey yesterday." They both laughed which caused the two girls to look back at them with identical raised eyebrows. This caused them to laugh even harder.
Rebel Base Camp - Woods of Despair.
A rebel ground trooper came running up to the rebel leader, saluting he gave his message to his leader.
"Sir. The people that you were told to expect are here. There in the Mountains of Monsters, setting up a camp for the night." The leader nodded his thanks and turned to his second in command.
"Send out two scouts to watch them tonight and we will intercept them tomorrow. I told Zordon to tell them to come to the woods the day after they arrived. Lets watch them tonight, listen to what they say if we can and then I will decide wether to help them or not." The second in commmnd nodded and left the leader's side. Quietly, the leader spoke to himself. "Zordon, I hope you know what your doing with these humans. This wont be easy, on any of us."
A Cave somewhere in the Mountains of Monsters.
Jason was sitting on watch at the mouth of the cave while the others were back inside it, setting up camp. Tracey's pack had turned up a goldmine of things for setting up a camp. She had just smiled when the others had expressed amazement at what she had inside her pack. Billy had set up a small ring of stones ready for the fire while Kat and Tracey had gone through what food they had brought and decided what to have for tea.
"Well, we need to get some wood and water. Jason and I can get that if you guys don't mind starting cooking tea." Kat smiled at her cousin, she had shed her jacket and was just in an army green t-shirt. Kat had done the same as the cave had been holding the days heat really well and was sitting by the packs in her t-shirt as well. Tracey picked up the four canteens and went to the entrance to collect Jason. A quick word to him and they were off in the twilight, heading towards the small stream they had discovered at the base of these particular mountains. Billy walked over to Kat and helped her to assemble a cooking pot .
"Your cousin is certainly well prepared." Kat smiled at him.
"Yes she is. It comes from all that training I suppose. What is it Billy?" He was watching her as she undid the packets of rations, his pale eyes seeming to burst with curiosity.
"Nothing. It's just hard to imagine to the two of you being related that's all. I can see the family resemblance but the two of you are nothing alike, but seem so similar at the same time." Kat just laughed and set down the food she had ready for when Tracey and Jason returned. Impulsively she placed her hand on his arm.
"Oh, I didn't really get around to telling you did I, how we were so close."
"We have the time now, if you want to tell me. I don't want to pry or anything?" Kat laughed, her rich laugh making him smile.
"No Billy, you're not prying. I think that it would be good for you to hear it. You're always asking me about my life in Australia." They walked over to the mouth of the cave and settled down to watch for the others. Twilight was descending on them and the clouds were covered in a beautiful riot of oranges, pinks and blues. They watched the suns descending for a few moments and then Kat started talking again.
"My mum and Tracey's mum were sisters who shared everything, they were twins you see, so we never lived very far from one another and I always had someone to play with when I wasn't training. When I was six and Tracey was ten, there was a terrible bush fire. Tracey's parents and my dad were all volunteer fire fighters. They went out and fought it for days on end. You see, Australia has some terrible bush fires every summer, they always destroy millions of acres of bush, homes and lives. Being a fire fighter in the country in Australia is one of the most dangerous occupations a person can have. In the Ash Wednesday bushfires numerous people and firefighters lost their lives, the death toll was over 70 people. That was back in the early eighties." She paused and took a deep cleansing breath. Billy could tell that the next part of her story wasn't going to be pleasent.
"Anyway, they were fighting this fire when my dad was called away to another part of the fire. But then the fire jumped the break that Tracey's parents were helping build. They and four other fire fighters perished in the fire. Tracey and her brother came to live with us. I remember it took Tracey a long time to get over it. Her brother wasn't to bad as he was only two and didn't really understand what had happened. Anyway, we did everything we could and Tracey soon became her old self again, but it took a couple of years. By this time I was really into diving and Tracey really encouraged me for all she was worth. When she wasn't at school or practicing martial arts she would take me to training, stayed with me all the time. Not matter what time of day it was, or how long it took she always took me. When she was a fortnight away from turning 17 she dropped a bombshell on us. She was joining the army. I was 13 and devastated the one person that I had been counting on and thought of as my sister was leaving me! I said some really hurtful things to her that day and didn't understand why she was doing it. She took me aside and explained her reasons for joining the army and that she would always be there for me, no matter what.i came to realise that this was important for her and told her that I understood. When I hit my head in the trials for the Pan Global Games she got special leave from the army to come and make sure I was all right, she was in Darwin at the time and flew over twelve hours straight to be there for me."
Billy was stunned, he didn't realize that he had a lot in common with both Kat and Tracey. He looked at Kat and was surprised to see tears in her eyes.
"Kat, what's wrong?" she smiled wanly at him. He reached over and put his arm around her, not thinking about what he was doing. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to do right then.
"It's just that remembering the day that Tracey left for recruit camp is a bit painful. But she is like the sister I always wanted but never had. I would do anything for her; she gave up a lot for me. That's why I had to come here, for her." Billy let her talk in peace, he knew that he would never see this side of Kat again, she was always reserved and serene around everybody. She would never lower her barriers this low again. He thought it had something to do with the guilt she still felt from the whole Kimberley situation. "Why did you come Billy, you didn't have to you know." Billy blushed as he smiled slightly. Kat leaned into his shoulder unconsciously.
"I came for two reasons actually." Kat raised an eyebrow and he thought to himself, well, what the hell, in for a penny in for a pound. "When I talked with Tracey last time she was here, and yesterday, I came to realize that she is a very special person that doesn't deserve what Mondo has planned for her."
"And the other?" His blue eyes stared into hers from about four inches away and he blushed even harder, but plunged ahead anyway.
"For you. I wasn't going to let anything happen to you if I could help it." He held her gaze steady, determined not to break it. Kat returned his gaze and she realized that the ex Blue Ranger was serious, he really, really cared for her. She didn't know what to say and was saved from replying by the return of Jason and Tracey. Tracey took one look at her cousin leaning in Billy's arm and titled her head slightly as if to ask what was going on but Kat just shook her head as she got up and headed into the cave and they settled down to the business of lighting a fire and having some tea.
Jason awoke with a start, sweat beading on his forehead. He had just been having a nightmare about when he discovered the clones of Billy and Tommy and the subsequent chaos afterwards. He shook his head and sat up; he noticed a figure sitting by the cave mouth, keeping watch. They had decided on four-hour watches apiece. Jason checked his watch and he was due to take over from Tracey in another 30 minutes or so. He reached over and placed some more wood on the fire, looking at the others to make sure they were okay. Kat and Billy were both sleeping peacefully
"Are you okay Jason?" He quietly moved over to where Tracey was sitting, she placed a bookmark in the book she was reading and smiled at him. Again his heart did a double thump at her. Jason realised that in moonlight she was even more beautiful.
"Yeah, just a nightmare. I've had it a couple of times, I don't let it bother me." She raised an eyebrow and he smiled. "Well, bother me much anyway. What's that you reading?"
"It's a book of Australian poems. I always carry it with me, it helps me focus when I am far from home and makes me realize what I am fighting for when it gets hard sometimes."
"That sounds a good idea." She looked up at him shyly, something Jason hadn't seen from this very confident and self assured solider.
"Would you like to hear my favorite?" She asked this almost diffidently, if she was afraid that by admitting she liked poetry she was somehow showing a softer side that a solider couldn't afford to have. Jason was amazed, Billy had told him about the talks they had had last time she was in Angel Grove and he found himself equating the person in front of him with the picture that he had built up from Billy's words and his experiences today.
"I would love to. What's it called?"
"It's called My Country" She took a deep breath and started to read her voice clear and pure in the evening's air.
The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of gray-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies-
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror-
The wide brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The shappire-misted mountains,
The hot gold rush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die-
But then the gray clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze·..
"That was beautiful Tracey. I never realized that Australia could be described the way that poem did. I really hope to visit there someday, maybe you could show me some of the things that the poem describes?" Jason could see Tracey blush in the moonlight as she put the book down.
"I would like that Jason, I really would." She paused for a moment, debating silently whether or not to continue speaking. "Would you mind terribly if I sat some of your watch with you, I don't think I could sleep at the moment."
"No, I don't mind. I would be honored." They sat there in silence, not as Ranger and solider but as two humans enjoying the peace and quiet of the night.
Rebel Base Camp
The rebel leader looked thoughtful at what he had just witnessed and thought back to what they had seen earlier with the other two. He then made a decision, and once made, he never changed his mind. He turned to his second in command.
"We will help them. In the morning, get the scouts to bring them here. We will take them to the temple and let the Guardians decide if she is worthy or not." The second nodded and left the tent. The rebel leader turned back to watching the rangers camp.
Ranger's Camp, next morning.
Kat woke up to the sound of someone stirring the fire, she opened her eyes and was greeted by the sight of her cousin smiling to herself as she put a pot of water on to heat.
"Good morning Tracey, you seem cheerful this morning." Tracey smiled at her younger cousin. She was, she had to admit to herself, feeling more in control of the situation this morning than she was yesterday. Sitting last night on watch she had thought about things and then had discussed them with Jason while she sat some of his watch with him.
She had come to accept the idea that she was in danger, and that she was stuck on an alien planet with three Power Rangers. She knew that she wasn't going to get home without going through some sort of major upheaval in her life but hey, she was a solider, if she hadn't learned to react to bad situations quickly, she would have been dead years ago.
"I am Kat. I had a good think last night and talked to Jason for awhile and I have come to realise that I can't help what's happening, I can only survive it. As we are so fond of saying in my unit, shit happens." Kat laughed at her more outgoing cousin. Over the last six months she had come to accept life threatening situations and bizare goings on and she was pleased to see her cousin handling it well. She stood up and streched out, to get the kinks out from sleeping on the ground last night.
"Where are Jason and Billy?" Tracey was watching outside and seemed to answer absently. "I sent them to get some fresh water and fruit. Last night we spotted what looked like some edible fruit by the stream and it tasted ok so we decided to have it for breakfast." Kat walked over to the mouth of the cave and noticed a long piece of wood leaning against the wall of the cave.
"Tracey, what's this?" Tracey looked up and smiled at her cousin.
"My quarterstaff. I made it last night while I was on watch." Kat smiled at her, when they were younger they had played at Robin Hood and his Merry Men, she remembered that Tracey had been fascinated by the quarterstaff and took lessons when she could fit them in with her martial arts classes.
"You still use it then?" Tracey walked over to stand by her cousin at the mouth of the cave. Kat noticed that she now wore normal army fatigues, a green t-shirt and trousers, her dog tags were glinting in the sun. She picked up her staff and hefted it's weight a couple of times, making sure she had the balance right.
"Yeah, when I can. With my unit you don't know what skills your going to need." They both laughed and saw Jason and Billy walking up the hillside towards their camp. "So, what's going on between you and Billy?" Kat blushed a bright red, turning away from the guys so they wouldn't see.
"Nothing, yet. We're just friends at the moment, but I do know that he does like me a lot. I don't know why he hasn't said anything until now." Kat got her emotions under control and turned back to see her cousin watching her. Abruptly she reached over and gave Kat a hug, squeezing for all her might.
"I think I do. Billy and I had a couple of long talks, one the other day when this whole mess started and the other six months ago when I was first here. He has cared deeply about you from square one Kat but hasn't wanted to say a thing because of the whole Tommy situation. But even I can see that Tommy really doesn't care enough about you, he is still hung up on Kimberley and he always will be. Kat, get on with your life, you have the most sensitive, smart person I have ever known who cares something shocking for you. Follow your heart Kat, find out who you really want to be with and hold on with everything that you can and never, ever let it go." Kat was stunned by Tracey's words, but her cousin always did know what was going on in her heart better than she did some times.
"You know, for an old solider, you make uncommonly good sense." Tracey laughed and released her.
"Billy said exactly the same thing! Man, you two were made for each other!" The both laughed as just then the boys arrived back with food and water.
They ate breakfast quickly and quietly. Tracey sat by the entrance, watching out for monsters and making sure that they were alone. They quickly packed their things up and got ready to head out. The three Rangers watched in silence as Tracey strapped on her gun. Out of all of them, only Jason had any experience with firearms, his dad being a police officer and all. They all hefted their packs and headed out of the cave. Jason led the way with Kat and Billy in the middle with Tracey bringing up the rear. They were heading towards the forested area they had spotted yesterday from the top of the mountain they had spent the night at. They were all watching their surroundings carefully, trying to get to the marginal safety of the woods without being spotted. They were all tense and alert, they all understood what would happen if Tracey was captured by the Briasexans loyal to Mondo. Jason was watching the ground in front of them carefully, Billy and Kat were carefully making sure that nothing was going to ambush them from the sides and Tracey was gradually hanging back, making sure that nothing was following them. The others had just gone around a bend when Jason gave a shout. Without thinking Tracey drew her gun and ran around the corner, weapon held at head height. She stopped dead in her tracks at what she saw.
The three Rangers were fighting five large monsters, of the type that they were hiding from yesterday. They were approximately five feet high, looked like something out of a bad horror movie, with horns and beady red eyes. She would have laughed except they were dangerous. Jason and Billy were both taking two each and Kat was fighting the third. Tracey holstered her gun, she knew from the run ins yesterday with these monsters that Jason and she had, that bullets don't do much unless they are dead on target and with the others in the way she didn't want to risk firing at them. Taking a deep breath she shucked off her pack and bracing her quarterstaff she joined the fray.
The two scouts were watching the fight take place. Their leader had said to bring them to camp so that they could talk to them. They watch in silence as the man dressed in black leapt in the air to avoid a charging Mino Beast. The one in blue dropped to the ground and swept the legs out from under one of the Beasts while the one in green rushed into the fight swinging a large wooden staff. What they didn't see was three more of the Mino Beasts were coming over the rise and running towards the fighters. The one in pick did though and yelled to the others.
"Guys, there's more coming!" They all quickly looked up, the one black taking a quick blow to his chest when he glanced away for a moment. He looked up at the one in pink.
"Kat, we have to morph!" She nodded confirmation as she ducked a blow aimed at her head. She back flipped away from her monster and flicking her wrists she brought them together. The one in black reaching to the sky.
"Zeo Ranger I Pink"
"Gold Ranger Power"
There was a flash of light and the two figures were suddenly encased in armored suits. The one's in green and blue backed away from the two Rangers and let them take on the majority of the monsters. The armored figures quickly attacked the monsters, with the other two hanging back. The one in green was using her staff quite effectively. As they watched she swept the legs out from under a monster and slammed her staff into its head, knocking it senseless. The one in the gold armor saw what she did.
"Tracey, Billy is better with that staff, give it to him!"
"Right. Billy, catch!" She threw the staff at the figure in blue who then caught it and whirled around like he had been using it since the day he was born. He had been holding his own against the monsters but it had been awhile since he had been in a fight and he had copped a couple of good hits. The one in green took something from her belt and it glinted in the sunlight. The two scouts saw that it was a wicked looking knife and watched as she expertly attacked the monsters. They turned their attention to the two in armor. The one in gold held up his power staff and yelled.
"It's time for a Gold Rush!" Gold lightening came from the staff and knocked four of the monsters over and out cold.
"Pink Power Shield." The figure in pick attacked two of the monsters and they were quickly down for the count. The one in blue finished off his and stopped, swinging the staff behind him like it was an extension of him. They all backed away from the eight or so monsters lying on the ground. The two armored figures joined the others and abruptly powered down, leaving the girl in pink and the man in black standing there. The scouts crept closer to hear what they were saying.
"Damn. I was hoping we would get though without encountering any of these things. Any one hurt?" Tracey looked at the others as she spoke.
"I'm okay, one of them got a lucky punch in so just got a couple of bruised ribs. Kat?"
"I'm fine. But I will be feeling a couple of those hits later. Billy?"
"Just a few bruises that I will definitely feel tomorrow. Thanks for the staff Tracey, it's been awhile since I used one." Tracey smiled as she sheathed her knife.
"You look very natural using one. Where did you learn to use a staff like that?" Billy smiled, as he blushed a little. He still wasn't used to talking about his days as a Ranger; it still hurt a little when he talked about the loss of his powers.
"Back when we first started being Rangers wasn't it Jason," Jason smiled at his friend. "My first weapon was the Power Lance. I used it quite frequently and became proficient that way." Tracey clasped him on the shoulder as she moved over to their dropped packs.
"Well, you had better hang onto it then for me, hadn't you?" She smiled at him and he nodded, surprised and pleased. Tracey reached down and grabbed the various packs. She straightened up slowly and handed Kat's pack to her. She looked around as if checking that they had everything.
"Jason, lets move out, get under some better cover before these things wake up and want to follow us." Jason nodded and went to move out but Tracey motioned for Billy to lead. Jason stood next to Tracey.
"What's wrong?" She smiled like what he had said didn't matter as she adjusted the straps on her pack. Keeping her voice low she spoke.
"Take the others and keep heading towards the forested area. We are being watched. I'll circle around and check it out. I'll see what it is and catch up with you at the edge of the forest okay?" Jason looked concerned but he could see that she was determined to do this.
"Okay then. You be careful out there. I don't want anything happening to you." She smiled at him and his heart again skipped a beat. She laid her hand on his arm.
"Don't worry Jason. I won't." He nodded and they started down the trail, Tracey hanging back a little more until finally the others were out of sight.
She looked around and got her bearings, the feeling of being watched had gone so she was safe to go off the trail. She climbed over some boulders and started shadowing her friends so that she could keep an eye out for whom ever was watching them.