Disclaimer:  Power Rangers and anything relating to them belongs to whoever owns them at this point – I know it used to be Saban but I don’t know who owns them now.  Anything Star Wars related belongs to Lucasfilm.  I own anything else.

 

 

Power Wars: The Rising Force

By: Emily

 

Background Information

 

Because this story was originally part of a short series, please read this background info to fully understand the fic.  The fics that precede this are currently being rewritten to reading this would be very beneficial.  The original started during Power Rangers in Space and took off from there. 

 

Astronoma slowly begins to remember who she is, when Lord Zedd comes back and offers to help her.  She gives him the crystal that she picked up years ago when she defeated a planet.  Zedd captures two former power rangers, Kimberly Harte and Adam Park.  With the help of the crystal, it is revealed the Kimberly is the daughter of a long defeated evil villain.  Both she and Adam have a spell put over them, though she is more deeply affected by the spell than he is.  She takes on the name that was given to her long ago, Kanara.  Zedd was also preparing to kill Andros and Tanya Sloan when Astronoma finally remembers who she is and saves both of them.  She goes back to Earth with them, using the name she was born with.  Karone of KO-35.

 

All the former rangers come back to try and help their friends.  Meanwhile, Andros thinks he was fallen in love with Ashley, only to find Ashley and Carlos in a tight embrace.  He is hurt and betrayed, but there are more important matters at hand.  Also, Karone feels as though she doesn't belong, for she had been evil for so long.  Zhane comforts her and feelings are renewed between the two.  But before anything else could happen between the two, Adam and Kanara appeared, kidnapping the two.

 

They suddenly appears on Earth, close to where the rangers are fighting.  After a long fight, Adam and Kanara disappear again, this time with Zhane and Kat as their captives.  Kat and Zhane struggle to get out of the cage they're thrown in to while desperately trying to reach their friends.  Kanara is unaffected by their words, but Adam is affected.

 

Kanara and Adam return once again to Earth, only to be faced by the current and former rangers.  The spell that had been put on Adam is broken and he returns to his friends.  But it is too late.  Kanara destroyed all of the rangers, one by one.  When Zedd came to congratulate her, she destroyed him to.  Kanara became the ruler of the planet.

 

But when she had left the battlefield, she didn't notice the few people that had come out of hiding.  They ran to the rangers, and finding some still alive, they dragged them into the tunnels that had been built with the help of Justin Stewert.  Kanara teleported back to her castle on the moon, confronting her two prisoners, Kat and Zhane, about the demise of their friends.

 

*****

 

Star Wars Background Information

 

I'll make this short and sweet.  The story takes place after the Phantom Menace.  Obi-Wan Kenobi has already started training Anakin, but they are still on Naboo.  That's basically all the information you have to know if you've seen the movie.  I would advise that you see the movie, if you haven't already.  It would help greatly.

 

Disclaimer: Saban owns the idea for the Power Rangers along with Kat, Zhane, Justin, Karone, Tommy, Aisha, Jason, Ashley, Andros, Kim, and all other rangers and villains. George Lucas owns the idea for Star Wars along with anything that goes with it including: Anakin, Obi-Wan, Queen Amidala, Qui-Gon Ginn, Captain Panaka, the stormtroopers, Darth Sideous and any other creatures from the Star Wars movies. I own Kanara, the Erans, and the minor characters. This story takes place right after the Phantom Menace in Star Wars and right after The End of It All in my Surprising Enemies Series. The Return, The Defeat, and Time to Celebrate (all in the Surprising Enemies Series) never occurred in this universe. And without further ado, I bring to you:

Power Wars: The Rising Force

By: Emily

A brief history:

Five years ago, Earth was a vibrant place full of life. The Power Rangers, their only means of planetary defense, were keeping them safe from the evil that threatened the Earth's existence. But suddenly, out of nowhere, a new evil arrived. Kimberly Anne Harte, a former Power Ranger, found out the true identity of her father. He was an evil being that once ruled the universe. And, with the help of Lord Zedd, the powers of her father were passed down to the girl, and she took her place on the side of evil. Since that day, she has been known as Kanara. Single-handedly she was able to take down all of the rangers, keeping a few as her captives. Since then, she has ruled over the planet, getting rid of all of those who tried to cross her. But now she was joined another. And she has left Earth to go after a bigger goal: the universe.

Prologue:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away:

Power Wars: The Rising Force

It is a time of confusion in the Senate. With the election of a

new Chancellor, many people are worried that the Senate will

fall apart. And the Jedi are having their own troubles as well.

One of the great masters, Qui-Gon Ginn has been killed, leaving

a young boy behind, one who is now going to be trained as a Jedi.

But the Jedi sense trouble. And there is much. An evil force, one

known as a Sith Lord, has come into being. And this Lord has joined

forces with another new evil, one that has caused grief for many. But

little does anyone know, the Jedi or the Sith Lord, that a planet is to

be coming back from slavery. They are fighting for freedom, because

of the return of their national defenders. The Power Rangers.

Above the enslaved planet of Earth, its small barren moon circled. Without any water to drink, food to eat, or air to breathe, it seemed like an unlivable place. But life existed on it, in a large building called the Lunar Palace. The incredible structure, with its high towers and colossal marble columns, was the only place on the entire surface of the moon where life, did indeed, exist. But even though it was incredible, those who built it were evil. Especially the one who inhabited it now. This girl, Kanara, was the being that enslaved the once beautiful Earth and destroyed its defenders, the Power Rangers. Most of them. Some were in hiding, somewhere on the planet. Others, prisoners of Kanara, were trapped inside the Palace. One of them was trapped, locked in a cage. The other, trapped in the form of a small white cat. A small white cat that was tearing through the palace, searching desperately for something to free the two of them.

Where is it?, the cat thought as it searched through Kanara's scroll room. It has to be here somewhere! The small cat, once ironically known as Kat, pawed carefully at the scrolls, trying to make it look as if they were untouched. Suddenly a sharp bang behind her caused her to jump. She turned around slowly and sighed in relief as she saw it was only a fallen scroll. Looking at it curiously, she quietly made her way over to it. As she opened the scroll, a smile seemed to cross her face as she read the various spells on it.

This is it! This is the one!, she thought with excitement. Picking up the scroll with her teeth, she quickly made her way out of the room. She flew down the stairs and ran through the long hallways of the palace. She ran into a small room, deep in the dungeon of the palace. There, in a small cage, lay another prisoner of Kanara.

This young man, with his whitish blonde hair and youthful appearance, looked as if he had not aged since he was a teenager. But if one looked into his eyes, they would see the wisdom and the despair in them. Wisdom from his travels through the stars, from the countless battles he had been through, and the finding and losing of friends and family. Despair from his many years trapped in Kanara's dungeon, and from his dimming hope of escaping as Kanara's power grew.

But hope was there, for as long as his one companion, Kat, was alive, he would have hope. Even his personality had been changed from all the years of entrapment. He had once been known as a bit of a jokester of the team. The one that kept them from growing too serious. Now, he never cracked a joke. Never tried to liven life up. No matter what he did, it could not work for him. Not after all that he had been through.

It is true that before the downfall of Earth, the two had never been very good friends. In fact, they had barely known each other. But because they were the only living rangers left, at least to their knowledge, they slowly began to bond. They would talk for hours, telling of their pasts, their lives, their hopes, their despairs. They shared everything together. Their friendship for each other grew with every passing day, for they had depended on one another for so long.

Zhane, Zhane! Wake up! she yelled into his mind, her only way of communication. Soon after Kat had been turned into a feline, she had discovered that she had the ability to speak using her mind. This ability seemed to be a side effect of the spell that was put upon her. For five years, she and Zhane had managed to keep contact with each other, which gave them the hope of escaping Kanara. Her thoughts traveled directly into his mind, causing him to jump up in surprise. He turned around quickly and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.

"Kat, what's wrong? What are you doing here?" he asked in surprise, not expecting Kat to be in the dungeon.

Kat dropped the scroll next to his cage, and he reached over for it. I found something Zhane. I'm not quite sure, but it could be...it could be our escape. Zhane's head shot up as he looked at her, a new hope suddenly glowing in his eyes. After years of being trapped, they might finally be able to get out.

"Our escape? Kat....are you sure? She wouldn't just leave these out!" he said. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed as he looked at Kat suspiciously. She had never been allowed to freely roam the palace when Kanara left. "How did you get down here, anyway?"

She didn't lock me up like she usually does. Ever since she left a couple of weeks ago, I've been searching for these spells, hoping she wouldn't come back. Kat explained. I searched through thousands of scrolls in her library, but I couldn't find anything. I've never seen these scrolls before, but I think these are the ones. The spells we've been looking for.

Zhane nodded in barely contained excitement. He turned his attention away from Kat and onto the scrolls he held in his hand. Time seemed to stand still as he scanned over the scrolls, hope rising with every word he read.

"Kat, these are the scrolls! These are the scrolls that will free us!" Both of them began to go over the spells one by one. Many different spells were on the scrolls, some so evil that they two could barely even look at. Suddenly Kat gasped as she read one of them. Zhane looked at her in confusion and alarm. "Kat, what's wrong?"

Kat didn't answer. She could only stare at the spell, her breath coming in short gasps. She remembered that spell, for it was the spell that Rita used years ago. The same spell that Kanara had put over her, those five years ago. As she began to recite the spell, a cool breeze filled the room, though there wasn't any sort of breeze that could come in. Zhane looked around nervously before turning back to Kat. He tried frantically to get her attention, but Kat was unaware of anything that was going on around her. She closed her eyes and began to repeat a spell, over and over.

By the powers of the earth, by the powers of the night, by the powers of the all beings! Change this form into that of another, into one that it belongs. Decarathe, Decarathe, Decarathe!

Suddenly, a bright light shone over Kat, a light so bright that it caused Zhane to cover his eyes. As the light became brighter and brighter, Kat became aware that she was changing. Her white hair began to recede, until there was only skin. The joints of her knees switched directions with a sickening crunch. The paws that she had walked on for so long began to change, turning into hands and feet. Slowly she stood up, her once hind legs now becoming human legs once more. The light disappeared, leaving Zhane to look towards her in shock.

"Kat, you're...you're..." his voice trailed off as he looked at her, not believing what he was seeing. Kat, woozy and dizzy from the spell, looked at him in confusion. She could not yet feel the differences yet, for she was still trying to recover from the bright light of the spell. She looked at him, her bright blue eyes wide with concern.

"Zhane, what's wrong? You're all-" She abruptly stopped as she realized that she was actually talking. She looked down at herself in shock. She was wearing the same outfit she had been wearing that fateful day when she had come back to Angel Grove. Yes, it was torn and covered in smudges of dirt, but it was hers. It reminded her of the days before her imprisonment. Tears of happiness and joy welled up in her eyes as she looked up at Zhane. "Zhane, I'm human again!"

With that, she threw open the door of the cage and wrapped her arms around him. Before she realized it, she began to cry, tears flowing down her cheeks. All of the years she had been trapped as a cat seemed to melt away as she once again was able to feel the touch of human skin against her own skin. She felt joy at being able to walk on two legs again, at being able to talk with her mouth, and being able to use the sense of touch once more. Zhane returned the hug, more fiercely then he had expected. She pulled away, a little embarrassed, but not really caring. He smiled at her, his face lit up with the joy that she felt.

"I am so glad you're back," he whispered to her. Suddenly, remembrance of the situation brought him back to reality. He realized that Kanara could get back at any second and he looked back down at the scroll. "But we have to find a way out of here."

Kat nodded her head and looked down at the scroll, trying to figure out which spell they needed. As they looked over the spells, memories began to come back to them, causing them to become ever more determined to find a way out of the palace. Kat was so absorbed in this, she almost didn't hear Zhane's cry of excitement.

"Ah, ha!" he yelled out, causing Kat to jump. She looked up at him, hope shining in her face. "I think I found the one." As he pointed out the spell, the two began to chant it, their voices in complete unison.

"Through time and space we shall go, to return to that which we once knew. Send us back onto our journey, where we can undo all that has been done. This I command, through the powers that be!"

Neither Kat nor Zhane had a chance to move as a blinding light shone on them and, in an instant, the light enveloped them, leaving nothing behind but the empty cage.

*****

Chapter 1

Silence surrounding him. Darkness loomed in. Without his eyesight, he relied on all his other senses. He listened closely for noises and used his sense of smell to pick up any change in the scent of the air. Every now and then he would feel a flicker of power, but before he could use it, it would be gone.

The small, blond-haired, nine-year-old boy tensed every muscle, waiting for the attack that he knew was coming. He focused his energies on his surrounding, testing all of his senses in anticipation. Beads of sweat slowly ran down his face, but he took no notice to them. Instead, he concentrated on the surrounding air.

A sudden movement to the left of him! He lunged forward, his lightsaber connecting with the solidness of another lightsaber. The opposing lightsaber pressed firm against his. The boy faked to his right and brought the lightsaber into a forward thrust. The person stumbled back, and the boy took advantage of the opportunity and slashed at him again. A moan escaped the lips of the person as they leapt at the boy. The boy once again felt the shifting of the air and stepped to the side. As he felt the person ran past him, he kicked them in the small of their back. For a split second, he loosened his guard the smallest of bits. That was all his enemy needed to knock him to the ground. As the boy hit the ground, his lightsaber went flying. The boy sighed, laying his head on the ground, allowing the coolness of the ground to dig into his sense.

"That's enough for today, Anakin," called a gruff voice from behind him. Anakin Skywalker sighed once again as he slowly sat up, removing the blindfold as he did. One glance at his master told Anakin all that he needed to know about his performance. "That's enough."

"What did I do wrong, Master?" he asked, his voice unusually controlled. Obi-Wan Kenobi looked down at his apprentice, feeling the boy's own disappointment. He slowly sat down on the ground, motioning for Anakin to do the same. Silence filled the air for a few seconds, as Obi-Wan put together his thoughts.

"You allowed yourself to become distracted. You can never do that during a battle. Your enemy will not be as forgiving to your mistakes as I am."

Anakin's eyes fell to the ground. "I'm sorry Master. I won't let it happen again."

Silence once again fell between them, with Obi-Wan eyeing his apprentice thoughtfully. The boy does learn quickly, I'll give him that. And he is a natural with his lightsaber. But what worries me is the fear that he is constantly battling against. Maybe Yoda was right. Maybe Qui-Gon shouldn't have pushed it.

Before he could voice his concerns to the boy, the screeching of the alarms destroyed the stillness of the room. Anakin and Obi-Wan glanced at each other only briefly before taking off for the control center of the palace. As the ran in, Anakin felt his heart skip a beat as his eyes fell on the Queen of Naboo. Even with her decorative gown and traditional face paint, he could see the eyes of Padme staring at him.

Stop it, Anakin. She isn't Padme. She's the Queen of Naboo! She doesn't have time to talk you, Anakin reprimanded himself. But no matter how hard he tried, he could not keep his eyes off of her.

"What is going on?" Queen Amidala asked, her voice considerably calm for the situation they were experiencing. The commanding general turned to her, his voice urgent.

"Someone is attacking the village. From the few accounts that we have, the troopers attacking them came in great numbers, yet there doesn't seem to be a leader around." the general explained.

"What are these troopers called?"

"We don't know." answered the General. "They were never called by name, so we couldn't get any information on them."

Obi-Wan turned to Queen Amidala. "I'm going down there, to see if I can find out what's going on." he told her. As he ran out of the room, Anakin followed him. Obi-Wan turned around and looked at him.

"You stay here, Anakin." he commanded. As Anakin opened his mouth in protest, Obi-Wan calmly explained. "You are too early in your training to fight. If you go now, there is a good chance you will be killed. Do you understand?"

Anakin nodded his head. "I understand." Obi-Wan nodded and ran out of the room, getting to the place that was being attacked as fast as he could. As soon as Obi-Wan disappeared from site, Anakin turned to the viewing screen, watching in frustration as people ran, screaming, away from the white troopers. Anakin sneaked a look at Amidala. Her face was, as usual, blank of any emotions. But for a split second, Anakin saw pain and fear in her eyes.

I cannot let my people suffer again. They do not deserve this! Amidala thought angrily as she looked at the screen. After the recent seize of the Trade Federation, she believed that her people deserved peace and contentment. Her wish was now shattered by the attacking troopers. But who is attacking?

Suddenly, a flash of movement caught the corner of her eye. She turned towards the movement, wrenching her eyes away from the unbearable scene. As she did, she met Anakin's gaze. As they two locked eyes, she managed a small smile. That boy is destined for great things, though he has a hard road to travel. I hope that there's a chance his future includes this planet. We could use a defender of his caliber. And one of his heart.

*****

Obi-Wan crept through the one of the many back alleys throughout the city, listening carefully as the shooting grew closer. Even in this alley, he could see the destruction that had been done in such a short amount of time. Every so often he heard a scream, indicating that one of the troopers blasters had met its target. Suddenly, he felt a tremor in the Force. Sharply turning to his left, he was able to block the blaster beam that a trooper had shot at him. The beam reflected the blast, just grazing the arm of a trooper. Obi-Wan cursed silently to himself at his miss.

"Destroy him," one of the troopers ordered in a monotone voice. Stormtroopers swarmed in from all angles, lasers shooting all around him. His training kicked in even before he could think, for he found himself dodging and reflecting the beams. He made short work of the stormtroopers, the first four being taken out by their own beams. He leapt over the remaining two and, with a quick sweep of his lightsaber, took both of the troopers out. He searched vainly for the leader, but found the trooper had taken off.

He slowly stepped out of the alley, the Force flowing swiftly through his veins. He looked swiftly to his right and saw about two dozen troopers rushing at him. As he prepared for their attack, they suddenly veered off course. Obi-Wan followed their movement with his eyes and saw a young female, maybe around eighteen or nineteen, running as fast as she could while the troopers chased her. Every so often she would look back, fear and panic twisting her features as the troopers gained ground. All of a sudden, one of the troopers pulled out a blaster, and in one quick shot to her leg, brought her down.

"Aaaagh!" she screamed as she fell to the ground, hard. Obi-Wan ran over to her, hoping to reach her in time to help. But as the trooper that had shot her down reached her, she kicked him in the chest with her good leg, knocking the blaster away. She lunged for the blaster, reaching it just before the trooper did. With incredible aim, she shot at the troopers, taking out a few of them. But there were still too many. Just as the blaster was knocked out of her hand, Obi-Wan leapt into action, taking down a few troopers with quick slashes of his lightsaber. The trooper froze and pulled out their blasters. Obi-Wan closed his eyes and, concentrating heavily on the Force, reflected each of the shots they shot at him. As the blaster shots began to lessen, he opened his eyes. Troopers littered the ground. As Obi-Wan continued to deflect shots, a small army made up of the people of the city and Gungans, the water dwelling creatures, rushed at the remaining troopers. Within minutes, the troopers were all taken down. Obi-Wan looked at the leader of the army, Captain Panaka.

"Is this all of them?" Obi-Wan asked. The Captain looked around, taking in account the troopers lying on the ground, some dead and others damaged, and of the hurt civilians.

"We believe that's the last of them." Panaka said. He looked behind Obi-Wan and motioned to the girl lying on the ground. "Who is she?"

Obi-Wan shrugged. "I don't know. I haven't asked her yet. Why don't you look around to see if there are any more of these things hiding." The Captain nodded and with a quick order, he and his army took off to look for more. Obi-Wan turned to the girl. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I think so." she said. Her brown hair went a little past her shoulders. She was wearing a light pink t-shirt and blue jeans. As she looked up at him, her doe brown eyes shining with gratitude, Obi-Wan felt a chill make his way down his spine. There was something about her...

"Need some help?" he asked, putting the feeling in the back of his mind. When she nodded, he kneeled down and stuck his hand out. As soon as her hand touched his, a feeling like electricity ran through his body, causing him to tense up. But as soon as it came, it left. Obi-Wan helped her stand up and she leaned against him in support. The two of them made their way down the street and into the palace. She looked around nervously, uncomfortable about her surroundings. He smiled at her to reassure her. "It's okay. You'll be able to get help here."

After a sort while, the two of them walked into the main hall of the palace. There, gathered around the throne, where many of the high ranking people of the city. They walked in unnoticed, and Obi-Wan heard Captain Panaka finishing his review.

"....after searching the entire city, we haven't found anyone else. We think that they might be connected with the girl they were chasing."

Amidala turned her full eyesight on him, a flicker of interest glittering in her eye. "What girl?"

"This girl."

The suddenness of the new voice caused everyone in the throne room to jump. Only Obi-Wan and Anakin did not. Obi-Wan looked over in approval of his apprentice, for Anakin was the only one who had noticed the two's entrance into the room. Captain Panaka beckoned the girl forward, gesturing towards a seat across from the throne. Obi-Wan supported the girl as she struggled over to the seat. To all the others, she looked like the picture of confidence. Only Obi-Wan could feel the slight fear that rolled off her skin. As Obi-Wan helped her into the chair, Panaka walked up to her.

"Who are you? What are you doing here? Why were those things chasing you?" he demanded. She looked slight taken aback by the string of questions, but she shook it off. She looked around, seeing expectant and suspicious faces surrounding her.

"It would be easier if I told you my story from the beginning. I will answer your questions, but you should probably hear the background information first."

All eyes turned to Amidala, waiting for her response. She nodded her head and slowly sat down in her throne. The rest of the inhabitants quickly followed suit as the girl began her story.

"I am from the planet of earth, the third planet from the sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. Five years ago, I was just a normal girl. I had good time and bad times, but over-all life was good. Then she came."

"The evil being known as Kanara. She appeared suddenly, taking everyone by surprise. Because of her, life as we knew it was destroyed. She single-handedly destroyed our only means of planetary defense, the Power Rangers. For years they had protected the world from evil beings that had tried to take over. But they couldn't stop her. She had caught them too much by surprise, and she knew too much of their skills. She killed them. All of them. From that moment on, life was over on the planet. She destroyed everything in her path including..." a sob escaped her lips as images from her past came back to her, "including everyone that I cared about."

"But she couldn't kill me. I ran from her and hid out in a vast system of tunnels, built under the ground. Then, one day, she found the tunnels and captured many people, including me. She brought us to her palace, with the intent to turn us into the troopers that you fought today. Stormtroopers, she called them. And she did. She managed to control and enslave many people who had once been good, decent human beings."

"But I escaped her. I stole one of the many space shuttles she had built and started away from the earth. But she chased me. I ended up crash landing on this planet, and you know what happened after that."

"But why was she trying to build up an army?" Queen Amidala asked her, her suspicions not completely at rest.

The girl shrugged, her petite shoulders trembling slightly as she did. "I don't know."

Amidala shared a glance with Captain Panaka, their glance unreadable to everybody but each other. Captain Panaka nodded slightly at the queen. Amidala turned her attention away from Captain Panaka, but did look back at the girl. Instead, she turned to her handmaidens.

"Show her to a room. Make her comfortable until tomorrow, and tend to her wound." The handmaidens nodded and after carefully helping the girl up, they helped her walk out of the room. Suddenly, Amidala seemed to have another thought. She loudly called out, "Wait. What is your name?"

"Anne. You can call me Anne."

*****

In a barren desert on the planet of Earth the wind started to kick up, causing dust to swirl through the plains. Though the planet seemed to be deserted, it was not. The people of the planet were merely in hiding, living in fear of the evil that controlled them. But once in awhile it was necessary to come to the surface of the planet. Only a few would come up, though. But the few that were on the surface when the wind started look around in shock and in fear.

Ever since the planet had been taken over, there had not been any wind. In fact, there had not been much of anything. The rains had stopped, the wind had slowed, and even the sun seemed to shine less. The entire planet of earth had turned mostly into a desert. But the wind was back.

As the people watched in amazement, a bright light shone above a spot in the land. As the light became brighter it made itself into the form of two beings. The light became so bright that the people had to shield their eyes away from the site. The light slowly disappeared and left two people in its wake. Both of them had blond hair and blue eyes, but the girl's hair was put up in a ponytail. Both fell to the ground as the light disappeared. In less than an instance, the people of the planet had the two beings surrounded.

"Who are you?" a man asked gruffly as he stared down at the two. The girl, Kat, winced under the glare of the sun. Though the sun was not very bright, it gave off more light than she was used to. She tried to stand up, but her legs gave out on her and she fell back to the ground.

"My name is Katherine Hillard and this is Zhane." she answered nervously, looking up at the man. He glared at them for a minute, then turned to the others that were standing behind him. Leaning close to them, they began to whisper back and forth. Kat and Zhane looked at each other nervously before turning back to the people that had come up to them. Suddenly, the man turned back towards them.

"Stand up," he ordered. The two of them stood up on shaky legs. The people that surrounded them stepped forward and roughly grabbed them, pulling Kat and Zhane's arms behind them. They winced in pain and in fear as they tried to adjust their arms. It was of no use, though, as the people had them in firm grips. The man who had spoken to them glared at them once more.

"Take them to the temple."

The people nodded their heads and quickly pulled Kat and Zhane towards an entrance to the tunnels. The man looked around and then lowered himself to the ground. He slowly wiped away the dust that had been moved by the gusts of wind. He uncovered a small sewer-like covering. He pulled the cover off and went in, the rest of the people quickly following.

They slowly descended down a long ladder, watching their step carefully. Kat and Zhane were allowed to go down by themselves, but they were carefully watched. The at long last reached the bottom. The two prisoners were immediately grabbed again and put in the same positions they had been in previously. As he struggled to position his arms comfortably, Zhane looked at the man that seemed to be in charge.

"Where are you taking us?"

"To the temple." Zhane and Kat shared a look of confusion as they were led down a long hallway. Kat looked around in amazement as she looked around the tunnels. Doors lined the passage. Kat was able to briefly catch a glimpse of the inside. She saw tables and chairs in some, couches in others.

Probably living quarters, she mused as she caught glimpses of kitchens inside the rooms. She was so busy observing things around her, she did not notice where she was being led. The men leading them walked up to one of the rooms, and typing in a code, opened the door. Kat gasped as she walked in, her face beginning to pale.

"The Power Chamber," she whispered in awe as she looked around, seeing the familiar sites. "But this was destroyed!" The man that had talked to them earlier looked at her sharply as he heard her. A red blush covered her face as she averted his eyes.

"It was. But we rebuilt it." he explained curtly. Kat and Zhane were led through the room, to a row of tube-like objects.

Reminds me of Dimitria's tube, except smaller! Kat thought, awe still filling her. But how do they know these things? They were never in the chambers!

One of the tubes in front of Kat opened and she found herself being thrown into the tube. She started to panic as the tube closed up, leaving her no means of escape. She pressed her palms against the side of the tube, desperately hoping for a way out. She found none. She looked around wildly and found that Zhane was in the tube next to her. She could tell he was in the same state as she was, for he too was pushing against the wall of the tube.

Kat looked to the man that had been leading them. He paid no attention to them, for his mind was completely on the task at hand. He was leaning over one of the many control panels, his hands moving quickly as he typed things in.

A bright light suddenly filled the tubes and both Kat and Zhane felt like fire was consuming them. Kat gasped in pain as the light slowly flowed over her, first her head, then her shoulders. With ever inch that the light moved, Kat felt her strength beginning to drain out of her. As the light reached her midsection, Kat felt herself begin to lose consciousness. Even though the room had begun to spin, she still managed to catch a glimpse of someone new walking in. As she began to black out, one thought crossed her mind.

Justin?

Meanwhile, Zhane gritted his teeth as he tried to bear the pain that flowed through him. He closed his eyes, trying to concentrate on anything other then the pain. But as the light passed his thighs, he began to feel the room spinning around. He opened his eyes to see stars clouding his vision. As he fell to the ground, a flash of blonde caught his eyes. His last conscious thought was one of disbelief.

Karone?

"They're clean." the man working at the panels said, turning the machine off. In an instant the lights disappeared. The man turned towards the two people standing behind them. "Take them to a room."

The two nodded and quickly walked over to the tubes. They opened the tubes and, picking Zhane and Kat up, walked out of the room. The man turned around and found himself face to face with two people who had walked in during the process.

"Where did they come from, doctor?" One of the newcomers asked.

The doctor shrugged. "I don't know commander. We didn't ask them. We wanted to run the test before we tried anything else. The only thing that we could tell was that it has something to do with the scroll that were holding."

The commander nodded, looking over the scroll that the doctor now held before him. Though the doctor was fairly new to the system, he knew what he had to do. He picked the scroll up and unraveled it. The page he saw was alien and unfamiliar, so he placed it back in the doctor's hands.

"I'll take it to the lab to have it analyzed." the doctor said. The commander nodded and with that the doctor left the room. The other newcomer looked up at the commander.

"Will they be okay Justin?" she asked. Justin Stewart stared at the now-empty tubes in front of him, nodding slowly.

"They'll be fine. All the neutralizer did was search for any mark of evil in them. Since nothing was found, they were taken to a recovery room." he explained. "You know that, Karone. You helped design them."

"I know, I was just......"

"Worried?" Justin suggested. When Karone did not answer, he placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Zhane will be fine, Karone." he said softly. "I promise." She nodded sadly as she looked away.

"I now he'll be fine physically, but I don't know if the his internal wounds will ever heal."

*****

As the room came into focus, Zhane squinted at the bright light above him. He sat up slowly, moaning in pain. His entire body seemed to scream out in agony, even parts that he was not even sure he had. She gently shook his head, trying to clear out his thoughts yet at the same time trying not to cause even more of a headache. He looked around the room in confusion, trying to make sense of where he was. He slowly rubbed his fingers on his temples, trying to think of what had happened to him. The last thing I remember is a fiery sensation and then the flash of blonde...

"Karone!" he shouted jumping to his feet, his aches and pains forgotten. "I saw Karone!"

He jumped out of the bed he was in, determined to find out exactly what was going on. As his eyes focused in on his surroundings, he noticed that his outfit had been changed. Instead of the torn and stained jeans and shirt he had been wearing, he was wearing an outfit that was familiar to him. As he stared down at his clothes, he was transported back five years, to the days when he would wear that outfit all the time. The only difference was that instead of the suit being black, it was gray. And instead of the shirt being gray, it was black.

"It looks kind of like my old uniform," he whispered in awe.

"That's because it's a copy of your outfit."

Zhane spun around in shock as he heard the soft voice. There he found himself face to face with a person he had not seen in years. A person who he thought was dead. Karone. Yes, she did look different, for her blonde hair now flowed halfway down her back, instead of the chin length he had last seen. And though five years had passed, she actually looked considerably younger. Maybe it was because she no longer looked haunted by her evil past. Or maybe she had grown up during the long five years. Whatever it was, it had changed her. She was calmer, more mature.

Zhane tore his gaze away from her eyes and looked down at her clothes in shock. It was the same style as his uniform. The only major difference was that instead of a black shirt he wore, hers was purple instead.

As the shock slowly began to wear off, he realized he was staring. Now all he felt was surprise, confusion, and joy. He had found someone who was a great part of his past. He had found a person who he had, at one time, had deep feelings for. He had a person who was connected to his best friend, Andros.

"Karone!" he shouted again as he flew towards her. As soon as he reached her he embraced her in a hug that had so much emotion that it startled both of them. The stood there for a moment, holding each other, remembering their past. After a few minutes, they pulled apart. Zhane looked at her, smiling sheepishly as he did.

"Sorry."

"You don't have to be." she whispered, smiling at him. Though years had passed, she knew that it was still Zhane. He did look older, for his face was slightly lined at places and his hair was longer. His eyes also showed age, for there was a deep pool of despair hiding in them. But it was Zhane, and that all that mattered to her.

Suddenly, his whole demeanor changed as she stared at him. He stood more stiffly than he had moments before and a questioning look entered his eyes. Karone felt her heart begin to sink as she realized what had happened.

"Karone....did anyone else make it?"

That was the question she had been fearing. Ever since she had seen him in the temple, she had known he would ask that question. She opened her mouth as if she was going to answer, but no words came out. She closed her mouth, instead looking into his eyes. He knew at once the answer to that question.

Remorse filled him as he felt his grief beginning to grow. It overwhelmed him, for it felt like he was losing his friends yet again. He slowly sank down into the chair besides him, his eyes staring into empty space. Karone knelt down besides him, putting an arm around his shoulder as she did. He turned to her, his eyes glassed over by the tears that were threatening to fall. Karone felt strangely disturbed for she could not even tell what he was thinking.

"What happened to them? Did they receive a proper burial? And how did you live?" His string of questioning seemed to unnerve Karone for she was silent for a few moments. She at last sighed. She stood up, pulling him up as she did.

"C'mon," was all she said as she lead him out the door and down one of the long tunnels. He paid

no attention to their destination, instead taking the sites and sounds around him. They passed door after door, each one with a different label on them. Before he could ask Karone what the labels meant, his attention was diverted by the outfits the people wore. Everyone wore an outfit exactly like his and Karone's, except that the shirts were in a variety of colors.

"Karone, why does everyone wear these uniforms?"

"It's a bit of a dress code. Wearing outfits that are very much alike take away from the class system that used to exist on this planet. It kind of makes everyone equal in the way. The only rank that we have by profession. Different professions wear different color shirts. Doctors and nurses usually wear either white or green. Technicians and mechanics wear gold and yellow. Military personnel wear either black or pink. Anyone wearing blue, black, or purple are considered to be the top personnel.

Zhane nodded at the explanation, smiling as he looked at her purple shirt.

"So I guess that would make you pretty high in the rankings, huh?" he teased. She smiled at him and nodded.

"Yeah, I guess I am."

Zhane looked down at his own black shirt, a wave of sadness filling him. He absently pulled at his shirt as he turned to look at Karone. "Top personnel wear black, huh? I don't think I deserve that."

"Because you're a former power rangers." she explained simply. "The people of earth treat the power rangers as heroes, since the saved the world from harm for so long. They respect they have for all of the rangers, including you and Kat, is absolutely incredible."

Zhane shook his head in disbelief as he heard her explanation. "Why do they treat the power rangers as heroes? We failed them. We allowed Kanara to take over Earth. We were defeated!" Karone stopped suddenly, pulling Zhane's arm so the two were out of the way.

"They know you were defeated. But they don't care. If it wasn't for you guys, thousands of people would have died the first time the planet was attacked. Since the rangers were able to hold off the enemy for so long, this system of tunnels were was able to be built. They are incredibly thankful for that, even if you were defeated."

Her short speech caused the beginnings of a smile to cross Zhane's face as he realized that the people of Earth were an incredible race. A thoughtful silence fell between them as they continued on their way. They soon reached the end of the tunnel, walking up to a highly guarded room. Even though only two guards stood in front of it, Zhane could see lasers, and force fields blocking the entrance to the room. He looked at the security in shock, wondering what could be so highly guarded.

Karone walked up to one of the guards, pulling out an identification card as she did. The guard took the card, carefully scrutinizing it. He examined it for a few minutes constantly looking from Karone back to the guard. After what seemed like a lifetime, he gave the card back to Karone. With a jerk of the head to the other guard, both of them moved out of the way.

Karone walked up to the door and put her hand on a small pad next to the door. The pad read her hand quickly. In less than an instant, the lasers and force fields disappeared from the hallway, leaving the entranceway empty. The two quickly made their way through the hall, hurrying down to the other side. As soon as they were to the next door, Karone put her hand on another pad. This time, the door behind them closed and the laser and force fields rose up again. The door in front of them opened and they slowly walked in.

"Wow," Zhane whispered as he looked around. The room was lit only by a small light that shone directly above the entranceway. It cast the room in an eerie glow. Zhane slowly looked around, taking in the account the thirteen tubes that came out from the walls. He took a step away from the doorway, squinting as he tried to get a better look at the tubes. What he saw made him pull back, tears welling in his eyes.

"What is this place, Karone?"

Karone walked over to him and looked at the tubes. "It's called the crypt. It's a memorial to those that gave their lives to protect the planet. Once the great battle was over and Kanara left, the people of Earth quickly went to the battlefields and carried the rangers away. Some of them were still alive, but others were dead. I was the only one that they could actually revive."

Zhane took in this information as he slowly started to circle the room. He started with the first tube and moved onward. He slowly circled, repeating the names he read on the plaques.

Billy Cranston. Trini Kwan. Zachary Taylor. Jason Scott Lee. Rocky DeSantos. Aisha Campbell. Adam Park. Tanya Sloan.  Tears slowly began to flow down his fast as he came to the next tubes. These names and faces were very familiar to him. TJ Johnson. Cassie Chan. Carlos Santora. Ashley Hammond.

He stopped at the next tube, placing a shaking hand on the plaque. Andros of KO-35. His best friend. A person who had been like a brother to him. Zhane tore himself away from the tube, moving onto the next one. He reeled back in shock as he saw the next three tubes. All three were almost empty, with nothing but one picture in each.

"Tommy Oliver, Katherine Hillard, Zhane of KO-35," he whispered. He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he did not notice Karone's approach until she laid a hand on his shoulder. He jumped as he felt the gentle pressure on his shoulder, turning to look at her as he composed himself.

"Since they couldn't find any of your bodies, the separated the tubes. They were hoping that maybe, just maybe, you guys had lived." she explained softly.

Zhane nodded soundlessly as he walked past two empty tubes, knowing almost immediately what they were for. One glance at Karone, who averted his eyes, assured his suspicions. Those tubes are for her and Justin, the only other ranger who wasn't present at that battle.

He moved to the last tube, staring at it in shock. Kimberly Harte.

"Kim?" he whispered, looking at Karone in shock. Karone nodded, staring at the tube as well.

"When they put this memorial up, they didn't know what to do about her. After all, she had defended the planet for years. They ended up deciding to put her away from the rest of the rangers, to a corner by herself. Even though she is put here, not many people visit it."

Zhane nodded, his thoughts overwhelmed by all of the information he had received. He glanced around the room once more before turning back to Karone.

"So you're the only one on that battle field that lived." he said quietly. To his surprise, Karone shook her head.

"No." she said. As he opened his mouth as say something, she cut him off. "Some of the others are still alive. But they were badly injured. The people of earth put them in these tubes, status tubes, they called them. The tubes were technology used by Zordon, as a place to put rangers that were close to death. But because of Justin Stewert, the power rangers were put into them. He built these all by hand, then donated them to the tunnels when the battle against Kanara started. Since then, the rangers have been in here."

"So you put the rangers, living and dead, in these status tubes." he asked. When Karone nodded, he asked another question. "But how do you know which ones are still alive?"

Karone pulled him over to a small control panel, near the back of the room. He looked at the panel and noticed that out of thirteen panels, only four of them were lit up. "The ones that are lit up are the ones that are alive." Zhane looked up at her, hope rising up.

"So that means Andros is still alive?" he asked. Karone sighed and looked away.

"We're not sure. When they were first brought in, eight of them still had faint signs of life. By the time we got them in here, six were still alive. Over the years, since we can't find a way to heal them, we've lost two of them. The ones that still have signs of life are Aisha Campbell, Jason Scott, Ashley Hammond, and Andros."

*****

As Kat opened her eyes, she realized at once that she was sleeping in a strange bed. She sat up quickly, only to groan in pain. She slowly forced herself to stand up, looking around her surroundings as she did. Across from the plain bed she was slowly getting out of, a small table was set up covered in food. Her mouth watered as she looked at the food, but she could not bring herself to eat it. After all her years of being with Kanara made her wary of anything that was offered to her. As she debated whether or not to eat it, the door to her room opened and she looked at it to alarm. The alarm quickly turned to shock as she saw who was standing there.

"Tommy? Justin?" she whispered as she stared at them. A laugh of happiness burst from her and she ran over and enveloped the two in a giant hug, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I never thought I would see you again!"

The two hugged her back, both of them fighting back tears that threatened to fall. She hugged them, knowing that they were real, and not a mirage. Her hunger was momentarily forgotten as she hugged two people who she cared deeply for. But as the seconds began to pass, her stomach growled loudly. She let go of Tommy Oliver and Justin Stewart and blushed as they laughed gently at her expense.

"I think we should get something to eat," Tommy Oliver suggested as he smiled at Kat. Kat smiled back as she nodded, leading them to the table. She slowly sat down, still looking at the food warily.

"Go ahead and eat it Kat. It's not like it's going to bite or anything," Justin said, smiling at her. She laughed lightly at her own foolishness and helped herself to a plateful of food. Years ago, she never would have dared to take that much food. After all, she did have to watch her weight because of dance. But now she did not care. It had been years since she had last had a good meal and she was not going to let the chance pass her up. Justin and Tommy watched in shock as she finished off the whole plate of food in a matter of minutes. As she reached for some more, Tommy looked at her in surprise.

"Woah! I don't think I've ever seen you eat that much, Kat." he remarked as she put her plate down. "If you eat that much, you might ruin your figure!" Kat stuck her tongue out at him as she began to eat what was on her plate, the tensions that had been between the three of them completely dissolving. It seemed as if they had never been away from each other.

"Yeah, the only person I know who could eat that much was Rocky!"

As soon as the words were out, Justin immediately regretted it. Any mention of the past caused him pain, even though he was not even at the battle to witness the slaughter. Kat stopped eating and looked down, tears filling her eyes once again. Tommy looked away, trying to keep all the emotions that he felt off his face. "Oh man. I'm sorry guys, I shouldn't have.."

"It's okay Justin," Kat whispered softly. "You don't mean to. It was a mistake." Justin nodded, even though her words didn't help that much.

After all she's been through, she deserves some time to relax. And you have to go and bring up something that happened years ago that affected all of us so much.....Idiot. Justin thought as he tried to avoid eye contact. Silence filled the room as the three of them sat there, not wanting to say anything. Finally, Kat could not take it anymore.

"So...how long have you guys been working down here?" she asked, trying to move to a different subject. "And why does everything look like it come from the Power Chamber?" Justin immediately perked up.

"Because most of it is!" he exclaimed. As Kat looked at him, she thought she saw pieces of the twelve year old boy she had last seen, not the seventeen year old that sat before her. "When the rangers blasted off for space, I started going to where the Power Chamber had been, trying to find a way to help. One day, I found a small disk that had been buried underneath mountains of destruction. I immediately put it home and put it in my computer, eager to find out what it was."

"I was amazed at what I saw. The disk showed me the entire layouts of the Command Center and the Power Chamber. Not only that, but it gave instructions on how to build everything in it, from the control panels to the tubes. That's when I started helping out with the tunnels. At first, I did not tell the scientists working on it who I was. All I told them was that I had found a disk while doing a treasure hunt around the Power Chamber. When they saw that I had a natural potential for mechanics, they allowed me to help them. So a bunch of us started working on a version of the Power Chamber, the main difference being the size. We made about three times as large. But as we were working on the tunnels, Kanara started attacking Earth.

We got as many people as we could down in the tunnels. And since then, we've been trying to find ways to improve on what we have." Justin explained. Kat looked at him in shock, her blue eyes shining with respect.

"That's incredible, Justin." she said. "I never realized that you were so into all of that!"

"Neither did I, until I saw it for myself. Man, was I impressed!" Tommy exclaimed. Kat turned her attention to Tommy.

"So what have you been doing?"

"Actually, I haven't been doing much of anything. I just got here a couple of days ago, and not long afterwards, you got here." he said. Kat looked at him in confusion.

"What do you mean you were only here for a couple of days? Where were the rest of the time?" she asked. Tommy sighed.

"When Kanara sent the cloud of evil on me that was suppose to kill me, something else happened. Instead of killing me, the cloud turned me into a falcon. I remember realizing something was wrong when I appeared in the tunnels. I couldn't communicate with anyone, since I was a falcon and all. That's when I found Justin. He was helping some of the scientists work on a new invention to create food out of no where, so people could live. For five years I was trapped in the body of a falcon until a couple of days ago, I suddenly changed back. I don't know why I did, but all I remember is hearing the words 'I conjure thee to withdrawal"

*****

In a small but ornate room galaxies away from Earth, sat an eighteen-year-old girl. She listened carefully to the noises in the hall, checking to see if anyone was coming, looking for her.

Or, as I should say, looking for "Anne."

She laughed to herself as she closed her eyes. She drew herself into deep concentration, her hands cupped gently as she did. In a flash of purple light, a small transmitter appeared in her hands. She opened her eyes, smiling with delight as she saw the small machine. She once again tested her senses, checking to see if anyone was coming. She found nothing. She clicked the transmitter on. In a flash of light, a three dimensional hologram appeared of a black hooded figure.

"Have you punctured their defenses yet?" the figure asked, his deep voice filled with evil. "Anne" smirked as she looked at the figure.

"Yes, and it was easier than you said. The Jedi hasn't figured me out yet. He's too young to do any real harm." she said boldly. The figure chuckled at her boasts, shaking his head slowly.

"He suspects already. You must watch him at all times. He is very strong, though he is young."

"Anne" rolled her eyes at the figure, shrugging his warnings off.

"Whatever. Anyway, Darth Blidis-"

"Sideous. Darth Sideous." he interrupted, seemingly glaring at her from under his hood. Anyone else in the universe would tremble at the sight of him. His darkness surrounded a person, even if they were not anywhere near him. But he had no affect on the girl. And that fact bothered him greatly. "Anne" paid no attention to his obvious annoyance.

"I don't care how strong he supposably is. I will get rid of him." She leaned closer to the transmitter, her voice softer. "I promise you, Obi-Wan will not stand in my way."

Darth Sideous nodded his head slowly as he looked at her. For a second, "Anne" saw his eyes gleaming out beneath his hood. Eyes so filled with evil that it would frighten anyone. Anyone other than her, that is. She stared back at him, her doe brown eyes changing into a light violet. "I will get rid of him."

"Good. I don't care how you get rid of him, Kanara, just do it quietly. Gain their trust, as I have. Then, together, we shall crush the Jedi and we shall rule the universe!"

Kanara smirked, her eyes flashing violet. Already, she was preparing herself to break their alliance, trying to think of ways to get rid of the Sith Lord. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sounds coming from the hall. The footsteps that she heard began to come closer and closer to her door.

"I have to do. Someone is coming. And don't worry. I'll bring the Jedi and his little apprentice to you as soon as possible." With that, she closed the transmitter. In a flash of purple, it disappeared from her hand. She sat down on her bed and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, they were back to the doe brown color they had been before.

"Anne? Are you awake? The Princess wants to see you." the voice asked. Kanara smiled as she recognized the voice.

It's the little Jedi apprentice, Anakin. That's the one that Darth Sideous wants me to bring to him. she thought. "Yeah, I'm awake. I'll be right there!"

*****

In the ornate throne room of the Queen of Naboo, five people sat around a small, circular table. Queen Amidala looked over at Captain Panaka, the head of her planetary defense. Ever since the Trade Federation had tried to take over the planet, both the Queen and Captain had started the building of many spacecrafts, complete with weapons to defend itself, in case the planet was gone after again. But the planetary defense wasn't the main topic of the meeting. It was about something much smaller.

"How do we know that the girl is telling the truth?" Panaka demanded as he looked over at Obi-Wan and Amidala. The two looked at each other, unspoken discomfort between the two.

"We don't." Obi-Wan said. "There is something blocking her thoughts and feeling from the Force. I'm not sure whether the girl is telling the truth or not. But I do have some sort of feeling about the girl. I'm just not sure what it means."

"We don't care about feelings, we need to know whether we can trust her or not. We barely know anything about her!" Panaka said. "We can't trust her!"

A high-ranking commander sitting directly next to Panaka nodded in agreement. "I agree. After all, we just finished a thorough scan of the entire area and have not found one trace of her so called ship."

"We aren't here to discuss whether or not we are going to trust her," Amidala cut in, glaring at both Panaka and Obi-Wan. "We have to decide what to do with her. She arrived here at a very bad time, since not only is Anakin training, but there is a new Chancellor in the Senate. The girl is not our highest priority right now, but we must do something with her."

Obi-Wan nodded in agreement with the queen. "Queen Amidala is right. Even though the girl is a mystery and very suspicious, she is not what we need to concentrate on now. But we need to get her off this planet, in case Kanara decides to send down more troops to get the girl." he sighed as he looked at the other. "I will take her with me to the Jedi Council, where they will decided what to do with her."

"Yes, we need to get her off of the planet." Panaka said. He then added sarcastically, "Take her with you, and let the other Jedi's examine her. They will be able to tell where she is from."

Obi-Wan looked Panaka in the eye. "Do not doubt the Jedi's abilities. Especially not the Jedi Masters. They will know where she came from. But until we find that out, be careful here. Many people are ready to attack Naboo, to try and do what the Trade Federation could not. Be careful." Amidala nodded as she looked over at the rest of the table.

"Then it's settled. The girl will go with Obi-Wan." As everyone nodded, Amidala turned to the guards at the door. "Let the girl in." The guards nodded and opened the door. Anakin came in first, followed closely by Anne. Anakin looked over at Obi-Wan, awaiting instructions.

"Anne," Queen Amidala called. Anne walked over to the queen and bowed before her. As she stood up, she looked at Amidala. "We have decided that for the time being, for your safety along with ours, you shall be traveling with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. They will take you to Coruscant where you shall be examined by the Jedi Masters." For a split second, as Anakin looked at Anne, he thought he saw a look of hatred and panic in her eyes. But it was gone so quickly, that Anakin thought he had been seeing things.

"I will go where you wish." Anne declared quietly, as she looked at the ground. Turning to Obi-Wan, a small smile crossed her face. "I will be honored to travel with a Jedi Knight." Amidala nodded and with a wave of her hand, Obi-Wan walked over to her.

"The ship will be ready shortly. If there is something that you want to bring, put it quickly on the ship." Obi-Wan nodded. He turned to Anakin.

"Anakin, go collect your training materials and take them on the ship." he ordered. Anakin nodded and hurried out of the throne room. Obi-Wan then turned to Anne, smiling at her. "And if you come with me, I will show you where you will be staying on the ship."

Anne smiled up at him. "Thank you. You don't have to go to all this trouble for me." As the two of them walked out of the room, Panaka frowned at Anne's retreating form. He looked down at the ground and frowned.

"I still don't like it," he muttered to no one in particular. "I still don't like it." While Panaka was thinking to himself, Amidala turned to her second in command.

"I am going to my room. I don't want anyone to disturb me, unless it is an emergency." she said. The commander nodded as Amidala turned towards the door and made her way out of the room. Once out, she hurried to her room and, in record time, changed out of her formal uniform and into an outfit of one of her handmaids. She made her way to the ship that would carry Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Anne to Coruscant. No one gave her a second glance, because she looked as if she was a handmaiden of the Queen. As she neared the ship, she saw who she was looking for.

"Anakin," she called out, running over to him. Anakin turned towards her, a look of surprise on his face. He put down the training material that he was carrying and looked up at Amidala. "I have to talk to you."

He looked at her in confusion. "Why do you have to talk to me? Why would you talk to me? You're the queen!" he said, still hurt that she hadn't told him. Amidala silently herself for not telling Anakin the truth.

But I couldn't tell him! What if Qui-Gon had been wrong about him? Then what would have I done. As Anakin looked up at her, Amidala realized she was staring at him "I was wanted..." To tell you that I want you to stay here. To train here and then to stay here, "to wish you luck on your journey back to Coruscant." Coward.

Anakin visibly deflated as he looked down. "Oh. Thanks." I shouldn't have been expecting anything. She's the queen of an entire planet, for goodness sake! Where would she find time for an ex-slave like me? "And I hope that you are able to fend off anyone that tries to attack the planet."

"Thank you Anakin. I hope so too." she agreed, smiling at him. Why can't I tell him! What if he never comes back, and I don't get to what I want to. But what if I never get to tell him that I...I care for him!

I care for him? How can that be? I am the queen of an entire planet. I don't have time for anyone, even those that I truly care about. But how can I care for him? "You should probably hurry up, Anakin. The ship is almost ready to take off." Anakin nodded.

"I know. Everything is almost on." he said. Even though I wish I wasn't going. If it wasn't for that girl, we would stay here and I could continue my training on a planet I'm familiar with! But we have to leave. Leave another place that I am comfortable in. Well, if I want to be a Jedi, I'd better get used to it. "I have to go now. I have to finish putting things on the ship. Obi-Wan says that we have to leave as soon as possible."

Amidala nodded in agreement. "Obi-Wan is right. It is dangerous for the girl to say here. Good luck Anakin." With that, she turned around and walked out of the room. As she got back to her room, she could barely hold in the tears that had threatened to fall. It doesn't matter if I do cry. The face paint will cover everything up. With that thought, Amidala laid down on her bed and, covering her face in her pillow, began to cry.

********

Chapter 2

 

"I cannot believe how much this place has changed," Kat commented quietly as she and Tommy walked slowly down one of the many tunnels, taking in the sites of their surroundings in awe.  "It's only been five years!  How could the technology have changed so much in just those couple of years?"

 

"Probably because they had a little bit of help," Tommy replied ruefully, thinking of the disk that Justin had told them about earlier.  Kat nodded, smiling at him briefly before turning her attention back to the sites.  The tunnels that they had traveled through all morning led on for miles.  The tunnels connected at many different areas, causing some unfamiliar to them to get lost quite easily.  Already, the two had gone the wrong way many times.

 

Now they were back on their right course, heading to the apartment that Justin lived in.  Their morning visit had been cut short when Justin was called away to his duty.  Kat and Tommy had spent the morning reminiscing about better days of the past, days when they could just hang out as teenagers.

 

Even now, they looked as if they had not aged a day since the battle.  Actually, they had not.  Both of them had been saved from aging because of their transformation into animals.  Now, they looked like the teenagers they had been those five years ago.

 

Tommy looked over at Kat, a question forming in his mind.  The question began to burn a hole in his thoughts, and he desperately wanted to ask.  But he could not bring himself to do so.  He was afraid that the question would only bring more misery to Kat, would remind her of all they had lost.

 

Kat sighed as she grabbed Tommy's arm, halting him in his tracks.  She looked around the area and saw to her right an open room.  She dragged Tommy into the open room, closing the door behind them.  She looked around, and seeing the room covered in dust and cobwebs, was satisfied that they were alone.

 

"What is it?" she asked, sensing his need to ask a question.  He looked at her in shock, surprised that she had been able to read his thoughts.

 

"How...?"

 

"Tommy, we went out for two and a half years.  I was never able to read you completely, but I could tell when you wanted to tell me something." she explained, the hint of a smile appearing on her face.

 

In spite of himself, Tommy felt a smile forming on his own face.  "I should've known better than to try to get something past you.  The thing that I wanted to ask you was, did you....or do you...ever think of what would have happened if we had managed to save Kim?"

 

Silence filled the air between them as Kat's eyes widened at his question.  Whatever she had been expected, it was not this.  She took a deep breath, scrambled to gather her thoughts.

 

"I think about it all the time.  I used to imagine that my imprisonment was nothing but a nightmare.  I would pray that when I opened my eyes, I would be in my own bed.  I would hope that I would wake up and Kim would be calling me, wanting a bunch of us to meet her down at the Youth Center.  I dreamed of a future where every one of us was happy, where we could all take part in the good times and the bad times."

 

"Then I would wake up, laying by the corner of Zhane's cage, trapped in the form of the cat.  Ki...Kanara would come down, throwing down bits of food at us, constantly taunting us.  I would try reasoning with her, hoping to find a bit of Kim still in her.  But all that was left as resentment, hatred, and evil.  It was during those times that I could not even find a dream that could take me away from reality.  It was during those times that I thought everything was lost."

 

Tommy looked at his one-time girlfriend in shock, not wanted to believe what she was telling him.  Kat, who always had a kind word for everyone, who always tried to look at the good side of things, had been ready to give up.  He watched as tears welled up in her crystal blue eyes. 

 

He did not even take the time to think, for all he could do was act.  He stepped forward and embraced her in a hug, trying to rid her of all of her pain.  She reacted by wrapping her own arms around him and holding him close.  They stayed there, doing nothing but silently holding onto each other.  Kat gently pulled back, enough to put some space between them but still managing to stay in his embrace.

 

"What about you?  Do you ever think about it?"

 

Tommy nodded.  "All the time.  I used to brood for hours, convincing myself that I could have done something.  I should have freed Kim from the evil she was in.  But I couldn't.  I failed her.  And I failed everyone else."

 

"Tommy, you didn't...."

 

"I know now that there was nothing I could have done.  But I spent years thinking that there was.  Instead of being trapped in the form of the bird with almost all of my friends dead and others that I thought were dead, I could have been raising a family.  I could have had a wife, kids, a house.  I could have been married to the woman that I love, with my friends calling all the time.  I could have gone out with all of them.  Jason, Kim, Billy, Trini, Zack...every single one of them.  But that will never happen.  I will never live in a development with all the rangers living close.  Not now.  Not ever."

 

Tommy fell silent, suddenly afraid that he had said too much.  Kat only stared at him in understanding.  She too had once had those dreams.  But, like Tommy's, many had been shattered.  But not all of them.  At least, not yet.

 

"But Tommy, some of those dreams still can come true.  You could find a place to live here."

 

He looked at her sharply.  "But will I be able to be with all of my friends again?  No.  Will I be able to live in a house in a nice neighborhood?  No.  Will I be able to love again?"

 

His voice cracked at his last words.  He looked away from Kat, not wanting her to see the tears that were welling up in his eyes.  Instead, Kat gently lifted his chin up with her fingers, so they two were eye to eye.

 

"You will be able to find love again, Tommy." she whispered.  "It hasn't deserved you.  Not by a long shot.  You just have to give it time."

 

Tommy looked in her eyes as she spoke.  In them he saw something he had not seen in a long time.  Years ago, I would have known what that meant.  But it's just been too long.  What does that mean.  The answer hit him suddenly.

 

Love.  She loves me.  Still.  And I love her.

 

"Kat..."

 

"Yes, Tommy?" she asked, her eyes questioning.

 

"Do you think we can have another chance?  Together?"

 

Kat's blue eyes widened in shock.  Joy flooded her senses as a smile came to her face.  She once again threw her arms around him, this time pulling him into a joyous hug.  He responded immediately, the years that had passed suddenly flying away.  Tommy smiled, closing his eyes as he held Kat.  It had been a long time since something had felt so right

 

As he opened his eyes, his eyes strayed over to the clock.  He jumped a foot in the air, releasing Kat as he stared at the time.  She looked at him in confusion.  Before she could open her mouth to ask, he motioned to the clock.

 

"Kat, we're fifteen minutes late!"

 

With that the two of them ran out the door, almost colliding with a few civilians as they ran out.  They rushed down the tunnels, moving as fast as they could.  They turned a corner and flew down the hall.  Suddenly, Kat skidded to a halt, causing Tommy to crash into her.  The two sprawled on the ground, shocked by the suddenness.  Kat slowly sat up, checking for any bruises.  She looked over at Tommy to ask if he needed any help and immediately started giggling.  His dark hair, usually neat, was flying all over his face.  Her laughing became infectious and soon the two were in a fit of laughter.

 

The door in front of them opened and Justin's head peeked out.  He looked at the two on the ground in astonishment, shocked by their appearance.  Two more heads appeared, those of Zhane and Karone.  The three could only stare as Tommy and Kat laughed hysterically with each other, not moving from their places on the ground.

 

As their laughter slowly died down, Tommy and Kat looked over at their audience in semi-embarrassment.  They stood up and moved to enter the room, only to be blocked by their shocked comrades.  Seeing that they were not going to be let in without an explanation, Kat sighed.

 

"Tommy and I just...sorted out some differences, that's all," she said, ignoring the looks that Justin was giving them.  Karone and Zhane nodded slightly as they backed away from the door.  Soon, all five of them were situated around a medium-sized table that was in the room.  Justin poured drinks for all of them before sitting down himself.  Karone halted her conversation with Kat and looked over at Justin.

 

"So why did you have to talk to all of us."

 

"There's a matter that I have to discuss with all of you.  And it's really important."

 

The other four exchanged glances of puzzlement and worry.  Justin shook his head as he saw the looks they were giving each other.  "It's not something bad, so don't worry about that.  It's just something that I've been working on that I think all of us should look at together."

 

With that, Justin pushed his chair back and stood up.  Only Tommy noticed the barely concealed excitement that flashed in Justin's eyes as he led them to his bedroom.  As Justin entered the bedroom, he walked towards his closet.  He opened the door and pushed his clothes to the sides.  Tommy and Kat smiled at they looked at his apparel.

 

"Still have a thing for blue, huh Justin?" Kat asked, her accented voice hiding any pain she felt when reminiscing about days gone by.  Justin turned away from his task and smiled at her, bits of the 12 year old boy showing through.  Suddenly, a low hissing caused everyone, excluding Justin, to jump in alarm.  He smiled at all of them.

 

"Don't worry.  It does that all the time."  As he finished his sentence, the back panel of the closet disappeared, revealing a narrow pathway that led into darkness.  He started down the path but stopped when he realized no one was following him.  He turned around, giving half smiles to his friends.  "Are you coming?"

 

"We're right behind you, man," Tommy said, his authoritative voice coming through.  One by one, they followed his through the entrance way.  As the last one entered, the door hissed closer.  They had not traveled far when the pathway began to lighten.  As the lights appeared, pictures could be seen lining the walls.  Every single picture, and article, had something to do with the power rangers.  Pictures of rangers in action, posing, and speculations about their identity were all there.  A flash of green caught the corner and Tommy's eyes and he stopped.  There, on the wall before him, was a picture of the green ranger frozen in time.  A tear blurred his vision as he saw the green ranger attacking people of long ago.  Kat walked over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder, trying in vain to comfort him.

 

"Are you okay, Tommy?" she whispered.  Tommy was silent for a moment as he stared at the newspaper clipping.  He turned to smile at Kat, but his eyes were distracted.

 

"Yeah, I'm fine."

 

Kat nodded, though she knew he was not fine.  She let it go, though, knowing that was something he had to deal with on his own.  The two ran to catch up with the others, who had gotten very far in such a short time.  When they came to a second door Justin turned to look at all of them, a radiant smile on his face.

 

"Prepare to be amazed."

 

He opened the second door and everyone followed him in shock.  Lights flashed from all over the room and high-tech equipment could be heard echoing through the area.  The room was circular in shape and in the middle of the room, many control panels linked together to form a large circle.  There was a small gap in the circle where a person could enter in.

 

Connected to the walls, clear cases held each of the uniforms used by the rangers.  The cases started to the right of the door and ended on the other side.  As the rangers walked across a small bridge, the control panels lit up.  Then, the rangers saw it.  In the middle of the circular panels, there stood a tube, much like the one that held Dimitria and Zordon.  The only difference was this one was empty.  There was no mentor waiting for them, ready to give information and instructions about their latest foe.

 

Justin looked over at his friends, his smile replaced by a look of uncertainty.  "So, what do you guys think?"

 

"This is....this is incredible, Justin," Karone whispered as she looked around.  "But why hasn't anyone found out about this?"

 

"I have a cloaking device of sorts around this entire area.  If anybody runs a scan of the surrounding area, it just looks like an extension of my room.  And if any officials seem to find it suspicious and they want to see my room, all I have to do is put a hologram up." Justin explained.  The other four nodded in shock, still not used to all that they saw.  Tommy walked over to Justin, placing a  hand on his shoulder.

 

"What you have done here is awesome, man," Tommy whispered, smiling at him.  "It shows me how much you've grown up since we were rangers."

 

Justin smiled at Tommy.  "Thanks Tommy. That mean's a lot, coming from you."

 

Kat walked over to them, a smile crossing her own face as she saw the look of happiness that reflected off Justin's face, seemingly radiating across the room.  "But why keep something this amazing a secret?  I'm sure some of the people down here would love to see the technology that's stored here."

 

"I don't know," Justin admitted, staring down at his feet.  "I just felt like this was something that they shouldn't see, ya know?  Some place where I could be alone and think about the days before the attack.  Back when I was a ranger.  I know it sounds stupid, but I wanted this place to be special.  Private, really."

 

"It's not stupid, Justin," Kat said, her voice soft.  "It's nice to have some place where you can go to reminisce about the past.  The past is part of who we are and we should never forget it, no matter how good or bad it is."

 

Kat hugged Justin, her own eyes filling with tears.  As she hugged him, she was surprised by the strength that filled his now filled-out muscles.  He really has grown up.  Not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.  I'm happy for him, but I just wish I could have watched him get older.

 

Zhane walked over to them, humming slightly off-tune, as if to warn them of his approach.  Kat and Justin pulled apart, both suspiciously wiping their eyes.  Zhane smirked at both of them, but did not comment.  Instead, he asked Justin a question that had been bothering him since they had walked in.

 

"So, what's the name for this place, anyway?"

 

"I was thinking something along the lines of the Control Center.  I think it fits." 

 

The others nodded in agreement at the name, still looking around the awesome room.  A flash of light caught Kat's eye, and she turned to find the source of the light.  The massive tube that would have been used for Zordon or Dimitria shone down on all of them, casting the room in an eerie blue light.  Kat walked over, mesmerized by the light.

 

"Kat, I don't think....."  Tommy started to say as Kat reached out to lay a hand on the tube.  Suddenly, when she was just inches away from touching it, blue light snaked out and wrapped around her wrist.  Kat screamed in shock and horror as she was slowly pulled forward.  As her arm started sliding into the tube, she swung around to look at the others.  Pleading echoed in her eyes.

 

"Guys, help!" she screamed, her accent immensely thick because of her panic.  The others ran over to help her but as they neared the tube, lights reached out and grabbed hold of them.  One by one, the rangers were slowly pulled into the tubes.  As she struggled to break free from the light, Karone glanced over at Justin in alarm.

 

"What's going on?" she cried.  Justin shook his head in panic.

 

"I don't know!  This isn't suppose to happen!" 

 

With a final blast of light, the five were pulled into the tube.  But what happened next surprised them completely.  Instead of being pulled into some type of evil horror, they slowly traveled through space, as if they were in a giant bubble.  Stars shone brightly around them as they went farther and farther away from their home.  Tommy glanced over at Kat and was surprised to see her crying.  He reached over and placed a questioning hand on her shoulder.

 

"It's so beautiful, Tommy." she whispered as stars and planets flew past.  "It's so beautiful."

 

The fear they had held just moments ago was gone as they neared a small planet.  Suddenly, darkness encased them, causing them to freeze in panic and fear.  The darkness only lasted a few moments, though, and when it began to disappear they found themselves in a small but ornate room.  It was not the grandiose of the room that caught their eye.  It was instead the pictures of rangers that surrounded them.  The pictures were from many rangers from all different worlds, their suits in every color imaginable.  Kat reached forward to touch a picture of themselves, but pulled her hand back as she remember what they had just been through.  Justin stared at the pictures and then turned to the others.

 

"Where are we?"

 

"On the planet of Aldaraan," announced a musical voice from behind.  The five spun around quickly, each falling into defensive stances.  The lady that had just spoken laughed at their reactions, her laugh like the tinkling of bells.  "You have no need for that.  You are quite safe here."

 

They slowly fell out of their stances as feelings of safety and security filled them.  A slight smile crossed Zhane's face as he turned to the others.  "She's right.  It's safe here."

 

Tommy nodded and stepped forwards, taking his old place as leader of the team.  "Why have you brought us here?"

 

"We need your help."

 

A chill filled the room as the lady uttered those words, for the rangers felt that it was an omen of some sorts of things to come.  She motioned for them to follow her to a circular table.  Cautiously, they followed her to the table and slowly sat down.  Once they were situated, the lady followed suit.

 

"My world is in great danger, though many do not think so.  The danger that it is in will not happen immediately, but our future will be decided by events that have spun out of our control.  If you do not help us, this planet's entire existence is at stake." she explained, a glimmer of pleading echoing in her eyes.

 

"We want to help you, but we have to take care of our own people first.  Besides," he added, "how can we help you?  We don't have powers anymore.  They were destroyed when...our planet fell."

 

"For the time being, your planet is safe.  The evil that has controlled your world for so long as moved on, hoping to gain greater power.  But my planet, and the entire universe, needs your help.  You are one of the few hopes that is left," she pleaded, staring at all of them.  Tommy glanced over at each of his friends, waiting for each of them to give him an answer.  The briefest of movements was all he needed.  When he had gotten all of their answers, he looked back over at the lady.

 

"We will help you.  At least, we will do anything we can to keep you safe," he said.  The lady smiled, giving the rangers a small smile.

 

"Thank you.  If you ever need to contact me, my name is Leana Ortega, and I am a member of the Senate.  We must act quickly, though, for the events that have been put into motion will affect the entire universe, even your planet.  Since you have agreed to protect my planet and the universe, I will leave each of you with a gift, a token of our thanks."

 

A flash of light caused the Earthlings to jump.  Before them, in the middle of the table, was a small box.  A silver lock winked at them, as if the box wanted to jump out at them.  Leana reached forward and took the box, standing up as she did.  The others stood up, feeling as if they were compelled to do so.  Leana walked up to Justin and opened the box.  A flash of pure white light appeared above him, causing him with sparks of white.

 

"Justin Stewert, wise and curious.  Your ability to use your knowledge of technology has brought hope to many people who thought their lives were over.  Years ago, you were a beginner ranger who was trying to get used to the powers.  Now, older and more self-confident, you will once again receive the honor.  You will be Jedi White."  The white light enveloped Justin, the light so pure and bright that the others had to shield their eyes.  When the light disappeared, Justin wore the armor of the Jedi White.  Instead of the usual spandex, armor covered his body.  A long white robe was draped over his armor, covering most of it.

 

"Karone, brave and true, you have been dealt many challenges in your short life.  But you were able to overcome every obstacle that has stood in your way and have become a key role in Earth's reconstruction.  For everything that you have done, you receive the powers of Jedi Purple."  Purple light enveloped Karone, much as it had for Justin.  When the light had disappeared, she wore an outfit identical to Justin's, except hers was purple.

 

"Zhane, courageous and selfless, you have put your life on the line many times during your fight against evil.  You have always been there to help bring a teammate up, no matter the consequences.  You are given the powers of Jedi Black."  Black light flashed and Zhane appeared in black armor.

 

"Kat, compassionate and pure, you have always been there for anyone in need.  Your selflessness in hard times has proven your worthiness to be a ranger.  For that, you receive the powers of Jedi Pink."  Pink light enveloped her and when it disappeared, she was in the garb of Jedi Pink.  Finally, Leana moved to the last ranger.

 

"Tommy, strong and determined.  Your time as a ranger has brought you a number of tasks in which you have had to make difficult decisions.  Your leadership has given you the confidence and the ability to take your team into battle.  You are chosen as Jedi Red, the leader of the Jedi Rangers."  Tommy smiled as red light covered him, filling him with the rush of power that had been missing for so long.  The light disappeared and he found himself dressed as Jedi Red.  One by one, the rangers took their helmets off and inspected their new armor.  Justin pulled out a thin wand from his belt, frowning as he looked it over.

 

"Leana, what is this?"

 

A small smile covered her lips as she walked over to him.  She pushed a small red button on the side of the wand and a stream of energy appeared.  The energy was a pure white in color and it crackled with what seemed to be excitement.  Justin looked at it in shock.  "It is called a lightsaber.  It is usually only used by those known as Jedi Knights, but in this case an exception has been made.  But now, you must go.  Things are changing rapidly in this universe and you must be ready.  So be off with you."

 

The rangers nodded and each of them touched the coin that was in their belt.  As they began to disappear, they heard her last words echoing.

 

"Is this not the time to say 'May the Power Protect You'?"  For less than an instance, Leana changed into a much different form, one that was very familiar to all of them.

 

"Dimitria?  Is that..."  The rest of Justin's sentence was cut off as the rangers disappeared.  Dimitria, or Leana Ortega, turned away and looked out the large window that overlooked the city.

 

"Good luck, my rangers.  Good luck."

 

*****

 

Billions of miles away, a Jedi Starship had just entered space.  It started on its course to their final destination:  the planet of Coruscant.  While the pilots were plotting the exact destination of the ship, Obi-Wan walked down a long hallway, Anne directly behind him.  He was taking her to her room, where she could do whatever she wanted.  But as they traveled, in silence, down the long hallway, Obi-Wan could not get rid of the suspicion that something was wrong.  Ever since I first touched her, I have felt some short of shadow draping her, almost protecting her from the Force.  I can't figure out what it is!  I have never encountered anything like this.  If Master Qui-Gon was still here.....

 

"Obi-Wan?" asked a small voice, breaking him away from his thoughts.  He turned around and looked at her, favoring her with just a touch of a smile.  She bit her bottom lip slightly as she stared up at him, not letting her eyes meet his.  "I was wondering how long it would take to get there."

 

"Probably a day, at the most if we travel at this pace the whole time."  She nodded, still averting his eyes as she did.  Though his face showed none of his emotions, he frowned inwardly.  What is she hiding?  It's as though she is completely uncomfortable here, even more so than she should be.

 

"Why are you doing this?"

 

The sudden question caught him by surprise, as did her sudden movement to look directly at him.  His mind was blank for a split second before his thoughts came back to him. 

 

"What?" he asked, trying to buy himself time to think.  She sighed slightly and repeated the question.

 

"Why are you doing this?  Taking me to the Jedi Master and all."

 

"So we can find out who Kanara really is and why she's chasing you across the entire universe.  There has to be some reason why she was so determined to catch you, even though she knew the chance she could be taking.  And, we have to know whether you are telling us the whole truth."

 

His answer seemed to satisfy her as she nodded her head in understanding.  The two continued to walk in silence, not even looking at each other, until they reached her room.  Obi-Wan typed in the code on the number pad and the door opened with a hiss.  Anne turned to him and smiled.

 

"Thank you."  She stopped speaking, though it was evident she wanted to say more.  She bit her lower lip slightly and took a deep breath.  "For doing this for me.  For helping me and taking me to someone who can help me.  You didn't have to..."

 

A slight gasp of pain escaped her lips.  She clutched her side in pain.  Her knees gave out on her and as she started to fall to the ground, Obi-Wan managed to reach out and catch her.  For the first time, she looked him squarely in the eyes.  Whether it was on purpose or by total accident, she didn't know.  As their eyes met, Obi-Wan caught a glimpse of what the girl was hiding.  The emotions in her eyes...they ranged from strength to fear to an ominous coldness.  The coldness took him by surprise and he mentally told himself to tell that to the Jedi Masters.  Slowly, Anne leaned forward until their lips were just inches apart.  Suddenly, Anne wretched herself away from him, causing both of them to fall to the ground.  She slowly stood up, her face a bright pink.  Though she looked at him, she did not meet his eyes as she had before.

 

"I'm sorry," she stammered, inching towards the room.  "I don't know what came over me.  But I have to go.  Now."  She walked into the room and with one final glance to Obi-Wan, closed the door behind her.  Obi-Wan slowly stood up, deeply disturbed by what he had seen.  He walked away, not knowing that behind the door, purple eyes flashed in anger towards him.

 

"What was that?" Anne hissed, her lip curling up in a sneer.  Her eyes flashed again, only this time her eyes stayed purple.  A flash of purple consumed her and when it disappeared, she was clad in her usual black leather outfit.  She stalked away from the door and to the window, her heeled boots pounding mercilessly on the ground.  She glanced out the window, her hand clenching into a tight fist.  "Where did that pain come from?  And why did I let him get a glimpse into me?"

 

Sideous warned me about that.  Jedi's can get a glimpse into you if they are able to maintain eye contact for a time.  Even though I've been careful so far, I can't spoil everything now.  Not when the plan is already in action.

 

"But where would that pain have come from?  It's been years since I've felt anything like that!"  She lifted her shirt up slightly, rubbing her hand slightly over the spot where the pain had been.  She grimaced as her fingers ran over a deep scar.  She looked at the scar and frowned, noticing that it was glowing a slight red in color.  Her eyes glowed a deeper purple as she remembered who had given her that scar.  Killing Tommy was one of the best things I've ever done.  Even better than conquering the Earth.  He would have given me so much trouble...  But no matter.  I've got more important things to worry about.

 

"Like what is going on?"

 

She sighed and closed her eyes, cupping her hands slightly as she did.  In another flash of purple, a perfectly shaped crystal appeared in her hands.  She opened her eyes and looked over it, searching it for any signs of weakness.  Even though she had been using a great deal of power, she could find no weakness.  Instead, the crystal was brimming with an increased amount of power.  She did not know why her power was growing, but it excited her.  Yet, at the same time, it frightened her because she had not control over it.  She quickly shook the thought out of her mind and gripped the crystal tightly.

 

It is time to put the second phase into motion.  To do that, we are going to have to make a stop.  Since the ship was in perfect condition when we left, that means I get to play with it.  She closed her eyes, giggling slightly to herself. She gripped the crystal tightly, exerting her power over parts of the ship.  Suddenly, the lights above her shut off and the ship began to rock.  As she felt the movements, she opened her eyes and smiled and the crystal disappeared.  A flash of purple covered her, changing her back into the outfit of "Anne."  Her eyes returned to brown, showing no signs of the power she had just shown.  She ran to the door and opened it, looking around wildly.  As she stepped out of her room, she saw Anakin just about to round the hall.

 

"Anakin!" she shouted.  Anakin turned around and looked at her, suddenly being overcome by discomfort.  For some reason, he just did not like her.  He couldn't explain it that well.  All he knew was that there was something very wrong with her.  But he waited for her anyway.  "What's going on?"

 

He shrugged and looked away, not wanting her to see the worry that masked his features.  "I don't know.  For some reason, the engines have started to fail.  And they shouldn't have done that because we checked everything before we left.  There is nothing that could have gone wrong!"  Even though things seem to have gone wrong ever since we met you.

 

She bit her lower lip as she looked around in worry.  "What should we do?"

 

"We'll go to the bridge, where Master Obi-Wan will tell us what's going on."  Anne nodded and the two of them ran to the bridge.  As they ran in, they saw Obi-Wan carefully going over a map in front of him.  He briefly glanced up at them before returning his attention to the map.

 

Anakin walked over, glancing at the map.  "Do you know what's wrong with the ship, Master?"

 

"No, we can't figure it out.  It was in perfect condition when we left.  Nothing should have gone wrong.  So, in order to figure out what is wrong with the engines, we are going to take an unexpected stop.  I just have to figure out the safest place to go."

 

Anakin's gaze briefly flickered to Anne, carefully taking into account every movement she made.  Though she did look very uncomfortable standing by the doors of the bridge, a sense of power seemed to be radiating off of her.  He watched as her eyes quickly glanced at everything on the bridge, as if she were memorizing everything she could about the ship.  Suddenly, she looked his way and Anakin quickly turned his eyes back to the map.  Even as he searched the map, he felt her eyes boring into his back.  Anakin looked over the map, looking for any planet that they could land on.

 

"What about this one, Master?" he asked.  Obi-Wan shook his head as he looked at the planet Anakin was pointing at. 

 

"No, there isn't anyone on that planet that will help us.  The Trade Federation owns it, or at least it did.  And right now, the planet is most likely in turmoil because of the recent events.  But the moon....there might be someone there who can help us.  I have heard strange legends of a people there..." His voice trailed off as he fell into his thoughts.  He walked over to the Captain and showed him the course they would take to get to their stop.

 

As Obi-Wan started to turn around to go back to the map, Anne quickly walked over to him.  She looked at him nervously, as if she was afraid to even talk to him.

 

"Where are we going?" she asked at last.  Obi-Wan pointed to a small moon on the map. 

 

"We are going to a small moon called Endor." he said.  She nodded, allowing herself to digest this information.  She watched as Obi-Wan and the captain went to work preparing themselves for their landing.  A cold smile crossed her lips as she remembered what Darth Sideous had told her about the small moon.

 

That moon is the perfect place to land!  As far as I know, there is no one on that moon but the primitive Ewoks.  They won't be able to fix this ship.  Oooo, this is working just as we planned.  It will take them so long to fix the ship that the stormtroopers will find us in no time.  Her thoughts began to drift towards her own desires and ambition, so much so that she did not notice that Anakin was studying her carefully.  And as he saw that smile cross her face, a chill went down his spine.  The smile she had was, simply, one of evil.  He watched in shock as Anne's eyes flashed a deep purple.

 

This is bad. Anakin thought.  Whoever she is, she is going to trouble us.  But I can't seem to get a feel for her.  She seems to be blocked to the Force.  It seems that even Obi-Wan is having trouble reading her.  What are we going to do about her?

 

*****

 

As the small ship neared Endor, Obi-Wan looked around, making sure they had all the supplies that they would need.  He took a deep breathe, hoping that the legends he had heard about the moon were true.  Popular belief said that there was only one species of creature that lived on the moon:  the Ewoks, small bear-like creatures who lived in the giant forests of the moon.  These primitive creatures did not have much of an ability in dealing with spacecrafts and they did not like strangers.  They would be of no help.

 

But he had heard, from many people, that another species lived on the planet.  They were a secretive, quiet species that many people overlooked or just forgot about after awhile.  The name that had been given to them were the Erans.  The only thing that he knew about them was that they were quite the opposite of the Ewoks, for they were very advanced and they were friendly creatures.  The only problem was that he did not know where to find them.

 

We have to find them.  If the legends are true, then they will be able to help us with our ship, Obi-Wan though as he finished packing an emergency supply bag.  If the legends aren't true, then we're on our own.  We would be able to fix the ship, but it would take a long time.  Too long.

 

A sudden shifting in the Force caused Obi-Wan to turn around.  There, in the doorway with his hand poised to knock, stood Anakin.  Anakin looked at his Master in surprise, for he did not realize that Obi-Wan knew he was there.  Obi-Wan took one look at Anakin's face and realized that the boy needed to talk.  That he had something important to say.

 

"What is it Anakin?"

 

"There's something wrong."  Anakin blurted out.  Obi-Wan looked at the boy expectantly, waiting for him to tell the whole story.  "That girl, Anne, doesn't seem to be who she says she is."

 

"I know.  I have sensed it.  But please, tell me what you have felt."

 

"It's really hard to explain.  There's just a sense of....well, a sense of wrongness about her.  Like she's hiding something."  Obi-Wan nodded as Anakin talked.  Anakin continued.  "And that's not all, Master.  I have noticed things about her that are wrong.  When we were on the bridge, trying to find a place to land, I looked over at her to see her reaction to out problem.  And the strangest thing happened.  When she heard where we were landing, she smiled.  And it wasn't a good smile.  It was...well...it was...cold.  Like she wanted it to happen."

 

Obi-Wan started pacing, drawing his thoughts slowly in.  "I have known something was wrong with her from the very moment that I saw her.  But whenever I try to figure out who she really is or what she is doing here, I feel as though she can block the Force out.  I have come up with a few ideas, but I need more time."  Obi-Wan glanced back over at his Padawan and noticed that Anakin had something else to say.

 

"What else did you see, Anakin?"

 

"After I had seen her smile, I glanced up at her eyes.  I don't know why but they flashed a deep purple.  I can't figure out what that means, but I knew that I had to tell you about it.  Do you know what it means?"

 

"No, I don't my Padawan.  But I am happy that you told me about it."

 

Their conversation was interrupted by a jerk of the ship as it landed.  The two headed towards the door, taking the emergency supply bags with them.  As they reached the door, Obi-Wan stopped suddenly and turned around.

 

"In the meantime, do not say anything that will make her suspicious."  Obi-Wan said.  "Right now, though, we have to find out what is wrong with the ship and get it fixed.  The sooner that is done, the sooner we can take her to the Council."

 

With that, Obi-Wan turned around the left the room, Anakin close on his heels.  As the two neared the exit, Anne met up with them.  "The captain said that the three of us should go and try to find some help.  He wants to stay here to keep an eye on the ship."

 

Obi-Wan nodded and the three of walked out the door and into the unknown.  As the door closed behind them, the looked at their surroundings in shock.  The had landed in the middle of a dense forest.  The lush green trees towered over them, so the could barely, if at all, see the very tops.  Vegetation was everywhere, making the dusty ground almost invisible.  They looked around and spotted a small path that led deep into the forest.  Plants covered part of the path, obscuring their view of where it led.  Anakin looked around in shock, comparing the greenery to his hot and dusty planet back home

 

I can't believe how different it is here.  I knew that I would be seeing many different planets during my training but I never imagined that a planet could be so green!  This is the opposite of Tatoonie.  At home, we lived off the few plants that we could find in the desert.  Here, we could have feasts everyday!  This planet isn't even like Naboo.  Naboo had cities!  I don't think any cities could be here.  Anakin became so lost in his thoughts that he paid no attention to where he was going.  In fact, he did not even notice how far ahead Obi-Wan and Anne had gotten.  Suddenly, his foot got caught on a root on the path, causing him to stumble.  His thoughts were broken as he hit the ground.  He slowly stood up, shaking the dust off of himself when he noticed that his companions were gone.  Anakin looked around in alarm as he strained his ears to hear them.

 

Oh no!  Where are they? he though frantically as he started to run down the path.  He hurried to catch up with them but skidded to a stop as the path before him split into three smaller paths.  His panic increased as he looked from path to path, trying to figure out which to take.  As he tried in vain to figure out which they had taken, Obi-Wan's words came back to him.

 

'The Force will always be with you Anakin, even if you don't know it is there.  Feel the Force flowing through and use that to enhance your abilities.  If you are able to do that, you are on the path to becoming a full Jedi.'  Anakin took a deep breath, determined to calm himselfI can do this.  I can use the Force to find them.

 

Anakin closed his eyes, relaxing all of his muscles as he did.  He took another deep breathe, this time concentrating on the Force that surrounded him.  As he concentrated, the Force slowly became known to him.  Fragmented images poured through his mind, threatening to overwhelm his senses.  He pushed back many that seemed irrelevant or pointless.  He was just about ready to give up when a flash of brown caught his eye.  There was Obi-Wan and Anne, minutes before, taking the path in the center.  Relief flooded through him and he was just about to open his eyes when a flash of red exploded in his mind.  Out of the red light came a startlingly clear image.  Clad all in black, a man, no a machine, walked forwards, his breathe coming in mechanic gasps.  In his hands a lightsaber glowed with bright red energy.  As Anakin opened his eyes, the figure seemed to stare directly at him, almost laughing. 

 

Anakin shook his head, trying to get rid of the image he had seen.  But even as he ran down the center path, he could not get it out of his mind.  A name kept floating around his head, as though it was something to be remembered.  And every time he thought of it, the name sent chills of fear down his spine, even though he did not know why.  Suddenly, he saw Anne and Obi-Wan not too far ahead of him.  Obi-Wan glanced back briefly, giving Anakin a ghost of a smile as Anakin ran to catch up.  But Anakin was too troubled to give a smile in return.

 

What did I just see?  Was it something of the future?  The past?  What is so important about it?  And why do I get the creeps every time I hear the name 'Darth Vader?'

 

*****

 

Colored lights flashed in the Control Center, slowly disappearing to reveal the five rangers.  Though questions galore floating through their minds, they had not time to ask them.  Flashes of red and blue filled the room as the alarms buzzed.  Tommy pulled of his helmet and covered his ears.  He looked around, trying to find out why the alarms were going off.

 

"Justin, what's going on?" he shouted, trying to be heard of the din.  Justin pulled his helmet off and ran over to the controls, frantically trying to stop the alarms.  Even in the state of confusion, Tommy noticed how much like Billy Justin now was.  A few seconds a the panels was all Justin needed to figure out the current situation.  He didn't know what was wrong.  He looked up at Tommy, confusion written on his face.

 

"I can't figure out why the alarms are going off!  They're going suppose to do this if we're being attacked!" he yelled, turning back to the controls.  As he tried to figure out what was wrong, Karone walked over, helmet under her arm.

 

"Maybe it's because of our new powers." she suggested.  "It probably doesn't recognize the power source."

 

Justin nodded her suggestion, fiddling with the controls.  Karone joined him, adeptly figuring out the nuances of the control panel.  Soon, some of the alarms had started to shut off.  But many were still ringing.

 

"Why are the alarms still ringing?" Justin frowned in confusion and a bit of frustration.  "We put the new codes in for our power sources."

 

"What if someone is attacking Earth?" Zhane said suddenly, turning to look at the boy.  "Maybe Kanara's back.  Is there anything you can put on the he viewing globe, Justin?"

 

"I'm on it."  Justin quickly turned on the viewing globe, adjusting it so they could see the picture clearly.  Tommy dropped his helmet in shock as he saw the image.  Standing on top of the ruins of Angel Grove, was none other than Rita Repulsa.  Instead of the traditional brown robes she had worn, she wore a black dress intertwined with silver and red.  Her staff was clutched in her hand as she shot bolts of energy of the people who had come out of the tunnels.  The rangers watched in horror as Putties began to dig in the ground, searching for entrances to the tunnels.  People ran from the villainess, only to be cut down by Goldar as he ran to attack.  Tommy turned away from the viewing globe, his face set in grim determinations.

 

"Ready to test our new powers, guys?" he asked.  When all of them nodded, he called out a phrase he had not said in a long time.  "It's morphin time!"

 

"Jedi White!"

 

"Jedi Purple!"

 

"Jedi Black!"

 

"Jedi Pink!"

 

"Jedi Red!"

 

In the ruins of Angel Grove, Rita laughed as the people were attacked by Goldar and the Putties.  The earth burned in the areas were her bolts had hit, causing more damage to the city.  A satisfied smile crossed her lips, knowing that this planet was now hers.

 

"And there are no rangers who can try to stop me!"

 

"Think again, Rita!"

 

The sudden voice caused the villainess and her henchmen to freeze.  Goldar, who had been ready to swing his sword at a little girl, froze in midstrike, too shocked too do anything.  A flash of light hit him in the side, causing him to howl in pain.  Out of nowhere, a figure dressed in a pink cape grabbed the little girl and ran her to safety.  Anger filled Rita as five robed figures walked menacingly towards her.

 

"Putties, Goldar, come to me!" she screeched.  They did as they were told, quickly falling into a line behind Rita.  Rita turned her attention to the robed figures, hissing at them in rage.  "You dare oppose me?  Ruler of this planet?"

 

"You aren't the ruler of this planet.  And you never will be!"  With that the five tore off their robes, revealing the garb of power rangers.  Rita paled slightly as she recognized the voice.  Her hands clenched into fists, so tightly that her knuckles turned completely white.  Red hot anger filled her as she stared at the rangers.

 

"You will not stop the plans I have made!" she screamed, rage giving her voice a harsh edge.  She turned to Goldar and the Putties, the stone in her wand glowing a bright red.  "Get them!"

 

The putties rushed forward, intent on tearing the rangers limb from limb.  Goldar unsheathed his sword and walked forward, a cruel smile on his face.  The rangers tensed up, waiting for the upcoming attack.

 

"Ready?" Jedi Red asked.  The others nodded solemnly.  "Let's do it then!"

 

The Putties ran forward, leaping at the rangers.  Jedi Red stood before the rest of the rangers and sprang into a powerful tornado kick.  Putties fell to the ground as the reached the blow.  He fought through the Putties with a series of upper-cut punches and powerful side-kicks.  The others followed his lead and went into action.  Jedi Purple did a series of front flips, knocking Putties aside as she passed.  When she had completed her final one, she knocked the closest putty down with a whip kick.  Close behind her was Jedi Black and soon the two were fighting back to back.  Jedi Pink and Jedi White drew Putties away from the main pack, taking them down when they were close enough. 

 

But their heroics were not enough, for with every one Putty that fell, three more were ready to take its place.  As Jedi Purple was knocked down, her lightsaber flew from its holder.  She grabbed it swiftly and it ignited purple in color.  The Putties were taken aback by the new weapon and Jedi Purple took advantage.  She slashed forward, destroying the two Putties that were in front of her.  The weapon seemed to give her a new wind, for she jumped into where Jedi Red was being pushed back by the Putties.  When he saw her coming, he grabbed for his own lightsaber.  It ignited, red in color.  The others followed their lead and soon lightsabers of pink, blue, black, and white shone over the battlefield.

 

The rangers slashed and leaped, not even taking a moment to think as they battled with their new weapons.  Each had a different way to use the lightsabers, though all were effecting.  Jedi Purple used quick offenses against the putties, destroying any that were in her way.  Jedi Pink opted to grip the lightsaber with both hands, and it gave her an advantage over the Putties that mercilessly attacked.  Jedi Red used a series of slashes and kicks to knock away the putties that fought against him.  Jedi Black and Jedi White fought side by side, their lightsabers in almost perfect unison with each other.  Soon, the number of Putties decreased and disappeared.  The rangers looked around, panting as they took in account the destruction that had occurred.  Goldar and Rita stared at them, almost in shock.  As the rangers started forward, Rita gripped her wand tightly in front of her.

 

"This isn't the end, rangers!" she screamed.  "We'll be back!"  She and Goldar disappeared, leaving only the rangers on the battlefield.  The rangers gave a sigh of relief and turned to see if anyone had been seriously hurt by the attacks.  The people could only stare at the rangers, expressions ranging from shock to relief to suspicion.  The rangers quickly surveyed the scene and saw that nobody was hurt.  With that, the rangers disappeared in streaks of light.  As soon as the rangers disappeared, they left nothing but baffled people behind.

 

"Ready to go back?" he asked.  The rangers nodded quickly, and Tommy nodded.  "Back to base!"  With those simple words, light surrounded the rangers, each light the same color as their ranger color.  The lights covered each ranger, until the rangers disappeared from sight.  As soon as the rangers disappeared, so did the lights, leaving nothing but baffled people behind.

 

*****

 

As the rangers appeared once again the Control Center, all was silent.  No alarms went off, not colored lights filled the room.  The rangers signed in relief, demorphing as they did.  When the armor that had surrounded them disappeared, the rangers slowly found places to sit. 

 

"Does behind a ranger always tire you so much?" Karone asked as she tried to stifle a yawn.  Kat shook her head, leaning heavily against the controls.

 

"Not usually.  Usually we feel more energetic after the battle than we did before.  I wonder why we feel so tired now?"

 

"Possibly because none of us have been on active duty for at least five years.  Or maybe because the power source that we are getting our powers from is so powerful that it overloads our own body energies.  Because of that, much of our energy during the battle is wasted and we don't have much left afterwards.  Or maybe..."

 

"Woah, hold on their Justin," Tommy smiled.  "You don't have to give us all the lecture.  But while we're asking questions, how was it that Dimitria was able to pull us through to her planet?  How did she ever know we were here?"

 

"Well, the time warp is based mostly on the one that she and Zordon used to transport their images to us.  Maybe she was able to reverse the flow of the time warp and instead of sending us her image, she was able to pull our images to her.  She was able to find us because the time warp that I set up is connected to an infinite number of areas around the galaxies.  Since she knew we were on earth and since she knew that ranger technology once existed here, she could track us through traces of Zordon's time warp.  So, when she found this time warp close to the spot where she and Zordon had once been, she probably knew that it had something to do with rangers."

 

As Justin concluded his mini-lecture, the others looked at him in shock.  Zhane cleared his throat, shaking his head as he did.

 

"Wow.  That's a mouthful.  While I digest all of that information, I think it's time for a nice long nap.  Call of if something happens!"  As he turned to leave, the alarms started to blare.  He spun around, a grin on his face.  "Cute, guys.  Very cute."

 

"We didn't do it, Zhane.  Something else set if off." 

 

Zhane sighed and sat down the ground, putting his head in his hands.  Karone smiled as she walked past him, heading towards the viewing globe.  She fiddled with it for a few seconds, making sure that it was on and that they would be able to view a clear picture.  Her forehead wrinkled slightly as the viewing globe stayed black.

 

"Nothing is out there!  Why would the alarms go off?"  Karone exclaimed.  Justin shrugged as he glanced at her briefly before turning his attention back to the controls.  The rangers were so busy trying to figure out what was going on that they did not notice the figure that was slowly materializing in the warp tube.  Suddenly, the alarms shut off as suddenly as they had started.

 

"I just don't get it!  Why would the alarms just..."  Karone's words died on her lips as she looked at the tube in front of her in shock.  The others followed her gaze, turning to see what she was staring at.  Only Zhane didn't look up, for he still had his head in his hands.

 

"Dulcea!  What are you doing here?"  Tommy cried as he looked up at the tube.  Zhane's head shot up as he heard Dulcea's name.  A smile of delight crossed his lips as he jumped up and walked towards the tube. 

 

"What are you doing here, Dulcea?" Tommy asked.  He and Zhane shared looks of surprise and excitement as they talked to their one-time friend.  The others share a look of confusion before turning back to the lady in the tube.  Her golden brown curly hair cascaded slightly past her shoulders, softening the sternness that seemed to be an eternal part of her features.  Her brown eyes smiled at them, slightly glowing as though a fire burned deep in them.  She wore a beaded band made completely of polished rocks, every color of the rainbow.  She was clothed in a green leather bikini top and she wore a loincloth made of green leather and polished green rocks.  In her right hand she held a long pole with a green jewel and owl feathers at the top.

 

Dulcea slowly glanced at each of the rangers, taking in their appearance.  She smiled at them, though her smile seemed very strained.  "I have come to give you guidance, young rangers."  She looked over at Tommy.  "I see there have been chances since I last saw you."

 

"Yeah, there have been," was all that he would say.

 

"I felt the pain of the spirit guides when a part of them died.  The wolf howled, as if crying out to the world that her mate was gone forever.  The ape beat it's breast, screaming out in it's own language the pain that if felt inside.  The frog croaked its lonely notes, knowing that it would never see its child again.  The bear still has hope, though each day it growls less.  The falcon sang its song of worry, over the one that was trapped.  And the crane...the crane screeched in pain, in misery, in heartbreak.  A part of its own self was torn away and blackened.  And still, each of them watches over you and all the rangers, hoping that you will defeat the evil that has come."

 

"Rangers, I am afraid that the news I bring is deeply troubling."  The rangers looked at each other in worry, afraid of anything that could worry Dulcea.  "Dark Spectre has kidnapped Zordon."

 

Chaos spread through the Control Center as each of the rangers digested the news differently.  Zhane fell against a panel in shock, gripping it tightly so he would not fall to the ground.  Tommy's face paled as he stared at Dulcea in disbelief.  Kat's hand flew to her mouth, her eyes wide with fear.  Justin could only stand there, not knowing what he should do.  And Karone closed her eyes, shaking her head as she did.  Tommy was the first to find his voice again and he looked hard at Dulcea.

 

"How?" he whispered.  "Why?"

 

"Dark Spectre was able to trick Zordon into returning to his energy tube.  Now, he is slowly draining Zordon's power and is using it to strengthen himself."

 

An eerie silence filled the room as each of the rangers tried to deal with the news they had just heard.  Zordon had played a huge part in all of their lives and for this to happen to him...  Tommy turned to the others, determination shining bright in his eyes.

 

"We have to go and find Zordon.  We have to save him." he ordered.  At first, the others just stared at him with blank faces, not knowing what to say.  Then, much to his surprise, Kat slowly shook her head in disagreement.  "Kat, we have to save him!"

 

"We also have our own planet to save, Tommy, as well as the people of Aldaraan," Kat said softly.  She walked over to him and motioned to the Control Center as she talked.  "Look at everything that our people have worked to fix.  They have spent years trying to rebuild their lives from the evil of Kanara.  Now, Rita is back to destroy what they have done.  We just came back and we can't desert them now.  And remember, we promise that we would help to save Aldaraan?  There was a reason that Dimitria needed our help, Tommy.  There's something coming that we won't be able to defeat by ourselves."

 

Tommy looked away, still unconvinced by her words.  Kat signed and placed her hand gently on his shoulder.  "Didn't you see them today, Tommy?  The hope that shone in their eyes when they saw us?  They need the us, Tommy, especially now.  They need us just like we need them."

 

"But if it wasn't for Zordon, the people of this planet would have been killed years ago.  The whole planet would have been destroyed the minute Rita came to town.  We owe this to him to help him.  I mean, he was like a father to most of us.  We can't let him die like that!"

 

"We can't let our people die either," Kat pleaded.  "Zordon has given us a lot, but our first priority and our first duty is to the people of Earth."

 

"But if Dark Spectre drains Zordon's powers, think of how powerful he could be!  He could take all of us out in one instant.  Don't you see, Kat?  We have to help him!  What are we going to do otherwise?  Push him aside?"

 

Kat bit her lower lip and looked away from him.  "For the time being...yes."  Tommy turned to her, a deep anger glowing his eyes.  He pushed her hand off his shoulder, glaring down at her.

 

"Push him aside?  How could we ever do a thing like that, Kat," he said, spitting out her name as if it were a bad word.  "If it wasn't for him, Rita and Zedd would probably still have you under their control.  Can't you show him the gratitude that he deserves to go and save him?"  He glared at Kat, daring her to disagree with him.  But at that moment, something in her snapped.  Anger that she had been holding in ever since that fateful day, five years ago, finally snapped.

 

"I am grateful Tommy and how dare you say that I'm not," she hissed, teeth clenched tightly.  "I am very thankful for everything that Zordon did for me.  But the people of Earth need us now more than ever!  Some of them are just starting their lives.  He's lived a long life, full of many good and happy memories.  The people here need us.  Do you want to take their lives away?  Does the life of one man mean more than the lives of all the people on our planet?"  As Tommy silently glared at her, her eyes started to soften.  "You don't have to try to be the big hero this time, Tommy.  We help our people first, then we go and help Zordon."

 

He threw up his arms in frustration and anger.  "Zordon might be dead by then, Kat!  Don't you get it?  Ever since Rita first came, there has been constant attacks on the earth ever since then.  The only time there weren't any attacks was when Kanara defeated and killed most of us.  The attacks aren't going to stop anytime soon.  They're never going to stop, until all evil is gone from the universe.  This planet can wait.  Zordon can't."  As Kat opened her mouth to retort, Justin cut them off.

 

"I have an idea.  Why don't two of us go and help Zordon while the rest of us stay here and protect Earth.  I can adjust the new Zords so if we need them, we can call on all of them, instead of just three."  Before Kat and Tommy could answer, Karone and Zhane nodded in agreement.

 

"Sounds like a good plan, Justin," Zhane said.  "But who should stay here and who should go look for Zordon?"

 

"I'll go look for Zordon," Tommy announced before Justin could stay anything.  He added, "As long as Kat doesn't come with me.  She would probably complain about going to save him and would beg to come back.

 

"Cheap shot," Zhane muttered.  Tommy turned to glare at him, but Kat cut off any retort that Tommy might have.

 

"Fine with me.  I don't want you hanging around here, whining about staying to save our people."  Kat snapped. 

 

"You know, I don't know why I even considered giving you a second chance, Kat."  Tommy spit out.  "I thought that you would be more dependable to people who really cared for you.  I thought you had a sense of loyalty about you."

 

Kat looked stricken for a moment, but recovered quickly.  "At least I don't desert the millions of people who need me to help them.  And you know what, Oliver, I never want to be with you, especially now that I found out how heartless you could be."  As the two prepared to go at each with even more hurtful words, Zhane stepped between them.

 

"Well, since Tommy is going, I'll stay here.  And since we need Justin to set up all of the Zords, why don't you go with him, Karone?"  Zhane suggested.  Karone nodded, looking nervously from Tommy to Kat.  A sudden thought occurred to her and looked over at Justin in confusion.

 

"Justin?  Um, just how are we going to get Zordon?"

 

He gave a slight smile and looked at the rangers.  "That was the other surprise I was going to show you."  He walked over to the back of the Control Center and touched a small button.  To the astonishment of all the rangers, even Tommy and Kat, the back of the Control Center raised, revealing a ship that Zhane and Karone had thought to be long gone.

 

"The Astro Megaship!" Zhane whispered.  "But how...why..."

 

"I don't really know how it got here," Justin admitted.  "But when it did, I brought it down here and started working on it.  Eventually, I got it all fixed up and hey, even Deca is back on it.  She doesn't talk to me much, but I know she's there.  But, since I have to stay here and work on everything, Karone will be driving her."

 

Karone looked at him in shock.  "Me?"  Justin nodded at her.  A smile crossed her face as she ran over to Justin and hugged him tightly.  She pulled away a moment later and looked at the ship.

 

"Wow." she whispered as she looked up at the ship she had once known so well.  She turned to Tommy, a questioning smile on her face.  "Are you ready?"

 

He nodded and turned to say goodbye to the others.  "Yeah.  By guys." he called before going into the ship.  Karone ran over to Zhane, hugging him tightly.

 

"Be careful while I'm gone," she whispered in his ear.  "Don't get hurt."

 

"You too." she said, returning her hug.  She pulled away, a slight frown on her face as she stared into his eyes.  Before he could say anything, she looked towards the other two and smiled.

 

"Good luck," she called and followed Tommy into the ship.  The door closed behind her and the engines lit up, a stream of heat pouring from them.  The remaining rangers watched in awe and a little sadness as the ship turned and blasted out of the opening in the ceiling.  As it disappeared from view, Zhane noticed Kat turning away.

 

""Are you okay, Kat?" he asked softly.  She nodded and walked away, the tears in her eyes saying something quite different.

 

******

 

Chapter 3

 

The firelight flickered, the light barely able to penetrate the blackness of the night.  Silence filled the area, as if the entire forest was fast asleep.  But Obi-Wan knew that there were many creatures that were awake.  What kind, he was not sure, for even after their entire day of trekking, they had not come along any type of creatures, friendly or otherwise.

 

Obi-Wan sighed once, his breathe echoing softly in the stillness of the night.  He closed his eyes, slowed his breath, and calmed himself as he started to sink into his meditations.  All at once, the forest was filled with life.  He could see animals weaving through the forest, pausing every now and then to listen for their enemy.  The wind whistled softly through the trees, just enough to bend a few branches.  The calm, even breathing of his apprentice was barely audible over the sounds of the forest.  And though he could barely hear it, he heard the uneasy rest of the mysterious girl who they were taking to Coruscant.  He slowly expanded his reaches with the Force, scanning the entire area for any sorts of danger.  All he could find was the sounds and sites of animals.  He opened his eyes, satisfied that they were safe for the time being.

 

He looked into the fire, staring hard into the depths of the flames.  His now slightly longish hair fell forward, whisking the skin by his eyes.  He did not even notice it, though, for he began to grow with the Force, opening his range.  Mere milliseconds felt like days as his mind slipped through the universe, searching for the one who he needed to talk to.  Planets flew by him as he directed his mind towards a planet covered in buildings.  Coruscant.

 

He reached his destination:  the tower of the Jedi Council.  He felt his own presence materialize into the chamber of the Jedi Council, as though he had been expected.  He looked around, surprised to find that the seats were empty.  He circled slowly, frowning as he saw the darkness of the room.  A sudden burst of light caused him to spin around, calling upon the Force to guide him.  A slight smile crossed his lips as he saw Master Yoda sitting in his usual chair, staring at him.

 

*Surprised you were,* Yoda stated, his voice croaking softly as he watched Obi-Wan, the picture of calmness.  *Have not gotten used to travel, I see*

 

Obi-Wan looked away, feeling almost sheepish as he heard the words of the Jedi Master.  *Just a little nervous, Master.  Current issues have found a way to cloud the Force, it seems.*

 

*Coming of dark,* Yoda said wisely, slowly standing up and walking over to the Jedi Knight.  Obi-Wan kneeled on one knee, eye-level with the Jedi Master.  Obi-Wan was stricken to see that much of the usual humor that was in Yoda's eyes had been replaced by worry, by a sense of knowledge.  *Blocked the senses of Masters, it has.  Knowledge is scarce about the coming of dark.  But you have knowledge, I see.  Tell me.*

 

*There is a girl that is traveling with us.  She appeared on the planet of Naboo a few days ago, claiming that she was being chased by these being called 'stormtroopers.'  She told about a villainess, Kanara, who destroyed her entire word and who is after her now.*

 

Obi-Wan looked at Yoda, hoping that he would have something to say.  But Yoda simply looked at him, waiting for him to continue with his knowledge.  Obi-Wan sighed, mentally putting together words to explain what he had felt.

 

*There is something about her, Master.  She seems to be able to block the Force somehow.  I can't read the Force on her.  But there is a sense of...a sense of wrongness about her.  She's hiding something, I know that for sure, but I am not able to tell what.*

 

*Very secretive, she is, for secrets she has.* Yoda croaked, looking seriously at Obi-Wan.  Take her lightly, you mustn't, for holds she does very important information.  Felt her, have we.  The power of hers has traveled over many miles.  Carefully watch her.*

 

A sudden memory of his conversation with Anakin came to mind as Obi-Wan listened to Yoda.  *There is one more thing, Master.  Anakin told me that he was watching her when our ship suddenly malfunctioned.  He said that she smiled, as if she was pleased by what was going on.  And, her eyes flashed purple in color.  I have never heard anything like that happening before.  Do you know what this means?*

 

Yoda shook his head slightly.  *I know not.  Careful you must be.  Dangerous, very, she is.*

 

Obi-Wan nodded at Yoda's words.  Suddenly, he felt a slight tugging and slowly, very slowly, he began to disappear from the chamber of the Jedi Council.  Yoda watched him slowly disappear, calling to him only once.

 

*Be with you may the Force be.*

 

Galaxies whipped by Obi-Wan as he passed them at an impressive speed.  A burst of light pounded before him, causing him to open his eyes in slight alarm.  One of the logs in the fire had crackled and popped, spraying ashes only inches away from Obi-Wan's face.  Obi-Wan looked around, checking to see if everything was the same as he had left it.  Relief filled him as he realized that nothing had been touched in his absence.

 

I wish my conversation with Yoda had not been cut off like it was, he thought.  I wanted to hear more of what he and the Council knew about the gathering forces in the universe.

 

Obi-Wan glanced over at Anne, vaguely making out her still form.  She is to be watched, for Yoda is right about that.  I still have this feeling that she is hiding many things from us.  I wish I knew what exactly what to do, about her and about other events.  Even now, I am still unsure about taking Anakin on as my apprentice.  I know that it is what Master Qui-Gon would have wanted, but I don't know if I'm ready to train anyone yet.  After all, I just became a Jedi Knight.

 

Obi-Wan looked once again into the fire, watching as the colors of the fire merged together into one.  As he watched the flames dance back and forth, an image began to form.  He watched intently as the image grew clearer.  He leaned forward, trying to get a better view.  When he saw what it was, he pulled back, shutting his eyes against it.  His former master, Qui-Gon Jinn reached out of the flames, as if calling Obi-Wan.  Obi-Wan refused to look back into the fire.  He closed his mind to the fire and began to fall back into the meditative state he had started an hour ago.  Calmness seeped back into him, allowing him to push the image aside.

 

A gust of cold air whipped at Obi-Wan's tunic, his eyes snapping open.  He turned around, hand hovering inches about his lightsaber.  He slowly stood up, taking a step into the darkness as he did.  He searched, using both external and internal sources, trying to find what had caused the gust of air.  A sudden brightness in the Force caused him to turn to his right.

 

There, sitting by the fire, was Qui-Gon Jinn.  Not the Qui-Gon that Obi-Wan knew, for now he was but a spirit that existed through the light.  Qui-Gon looked at his former apprentice with calm eyes, motioning for him to sit down once again.  Obi-Wan did as he was told, too shocked to do anything else.

 

"Master, is it really you?" he asked, his voice nothing but a whisper.  The image nodded slightly, then shook it's head.  Obi-Wan looked at it, his forehead wrinkling as he leaned forward.

 

*It is me, but I am much different now,* Qui-Gon said, his words carrying on the wind.  *Things have changed since we last met, Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Many things have changed.*

 

Obi-Wan nodded, thinking of all the events that had recently transpired.  Him becoming a full Jedi Knight, taking Anakin as his apprentice, training Anakin, working on Naboo, and of course, the events that had brought him onto this moon.  "Many things have changed, Master.  Some for the good, but also some for the bad."

 

*You are unsure of yourself, Obi-Wan.  Do not let that take control of the events that have and will occur.* Qui-Gon said.  *You are ready for the journey that lays ahead.  Watch over Anakin, but let him travel on his own path.  Many things are changing now, Obi-Wan, and you and Anakin are in the heart of these events.  Remember, watch and then act.  Watch.*

 

Obi-Wan had no time to react as the image of Qui-Gon faded into the firelight.  He reached forward towards the spot where his former master had sat just moments before, but there was nothing there.  A slight weight of disappointment fell upon him, but he barely noticed it as he thought of the words he had just heard.

 

What events are Yoda and Qui-Gon talking about? he thought to himself, thinking deeply.  And what part do I play in all of this?

 

"Master?"  A voice shattered the stillness of the night.  Obi-Wan slowly turned around, feeling the familiarity of the Force behind him.  He glanced at Anakin, silently questioning him.  "It is my time for the watch.  The alarm went off."

 

Obi-Wan nodded, stretching his legs slowly as he stood up.  "Things are pretty calm out there, Anakin, but be careful."

 

"I know," he said as Obi-Wan lightly tapped him on the shoulder.  Obi-Wan walked over to his own pack and settled in, letting sleep take over.  As his eyes slowly began to droop, he caught one last glimpse at Anakin.  But instead of the blonde hair that reflected the firelight, he thought he saw the shine of a black metal winking at him.  A man enveloped all in black seemed to be staring back at him as he slowly nodded off to sleep.

 

******

 

Obi-Wan sighed briefly as his eyes wandered down the path they traveled, watching as it led deeper into the forest.  Already it was their second day in the forest, though it seemed as if they had been traveling for weeks; even with all this traveling, they had come upon no one.  All they had been able to find was the exotic species of vegetation that surrounding them, at some parts even covering the path they traveled upon.  A slight movement of the Force on his left caused Obi-Wan to turn slightly.  Anakin looked up at him in surprise, his hand raised slightly in the air as if he were going to lightly touch Obi-Wan on the shoulder.

 

"Is something wrong, Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked, taking in Anakin's tired face and slight limp to his walk.

 

"Can we take a break, Master?  I'm kind of tired and hungry."

 

Obi-Wan smiled and nodded, remembering back to the days when he had tired that quickly.  Though it seems I tired much more quickly than Anakin has. 

 

The three sat down in a circle at the edge of the path.  Anne opened the bag she had been carrying on her back and pulled out small containers full of food for each of them.  As Obi-Wan received his he called upon the Force, making sure that the food was safe to eat.  He felt nothing wrong with the food and, satisfied, began to eat.  Anakin waited until Obi-Wan to start eating before he ate his own, for he still did not trust Anne.  In a matter of minutes, the food was mostly gone and each of them sat in contentment.

 

"I don't know about you, but I know that I needed that," Anne voiced quietly, smiling slightly as she glanced over at them.  Anakin smiled while Obi-Wan nodded while giving her a half-smile.  Suddenly, a loud crash caused all of them to jump to their feet in alarm.  Obi-Wan immediately pulled out his lightsaber, readying himself to ignite it if danger was about.  Obi-Wan spun to his right as he saw five small creatures jumping out of the immense bushes by the path.  They were small bear-like creatures, each a different shade of brown or gray.  Each carried spears, the tips very sharp.  The largest one, the darkest brown in color, wore a tan headband and was obviously the leader.  He barked out orders in a gibberish and language and the small creatures attacked.  As Obi-Wan prepared to ignite his lightsaber, a spear was thrown at him.  He lunged to the ground, going into a roll in order to avoid the spear.  Crashes were heard all around the humans as dozens more of the creatures appeared, each carrying weapons.  Though their fighting was very limited with little strategy behind it, the creatures completely outnumbered the three.

 

"What are these creature?" Anne cried as she ducked just in time to miss an oncoming spear.

 

"Ewoks, I believe," Obi-Wan answered as more creatures, Ewoks, descended on him from the bushes.  He leapt away from the fray, flying a good five feet in the air and landed further down the path.  The Ewoks looked around in confusion, trying to find where he had gone.  One of the Ewoks glanced back and spotted him, yelling out in its gibberish language.  As the Ewoks started after him, he lit his lightsaber, preparing himself for their spears.  The Ewoks froze in their tracks, staring at him in awe and fear.  All of the Ewoks turned towards Obi-Wan, Anne and Anakin suddenly forgotten. 

 

Suddenly, more creatures jumped out of the foliage.  But these creatures were much different.  They were small in stature, but they were very humanlike in appearance.  They wore simple outfits, made up of green or brown fabric.  The females wore simple green dresses, which ended about an inch above their knees.  A gold rope tied around their waist.  They wore either light green or light brown skintight pants on their legs and their feet were completely barefoot.  The males wore green tops and loose brown pants, a gold rope tied around their waist.  They were very short, for they only came up to Obi-Wan's waist.  The only way one could tell that they were not human was the slight point they had to the ends of their ears.  One of them, a female in the front of the group, called to the Ewoks in slightly accented English.

 

"It is okay, little ones," she called gently in a child-like voice.  "They are not here to hurt you."

 

The Ewoks backed away from the three slowly and, in a matter of seconds, disappeared back into the woods.  Anne, Anakin, and Obi-Wan looked around in shock, seeing and hearing none of the Ewoks who had been there only seconds before.

 

"Who are you?" Obi-Wan asked, knowing the answer almost immediately.

 

"We are the Erans," she replied simply.  "And it looks like you are in need of help."  Anakin nodded as he approached the young girl cautiously.

 

"Actually, we are.  Our spaceship broke down and we are trying to find someone to help us with it." Anakin explained, eyes pleading for help.  The girl smiled at the three of them and backed away, motioning for them to follow her.  She turned around and went back into the woods, the other Erans following after her.  Anne, Anakin, and Obi-Wan glanced at each other for a moment then quickly followed the Erans, not wanting to lose them.

 

After a few minutes of fighting their way through the dense bushes, they suddenly stumbled upon a small clearing.  Though Obi-Wan could feel a strong sense of life surrounding them, there was not a sign of any living thing around them.  He turned to the female Eran, his eyes questioning as she looked up at him.

 

"It will all make sense in time," was all she would say.  She turned away from him once again, slowly walking over to a large tree at the edge of the clearing.  It was by far the largest tree in the entire clearing, towering over all the rest.  It looked to be many centuries old, and Anakin looked at it in awe.  He had never seen a tree that was this big.

 

"How does it live so long?" he asked the girl.

 

She gave him a queer little smile, and he could sense at once that she was hiding something.  "It didn't."

 

Before any of them could ask what she meant, she pulled a small control box out of the pouch on her back and typed in a short command.  She then walked over to the tree and, to the amazement of all three, she walked into the tree.  As she walked into it, she turned around and waved to them, motioning once again for them to follow.  Obi-Wan was the first to do so, cautiously making his way into the tree.  As he disappeared, Anakin followed next, then Anne.  As they went into the tree, they found themselves at the top of a stairway.  They could not see very far, for the stairs descended in a circular pattern.  Torches lit the way for them, and the walls and stairs were made completely of gray stone.  The three slowly walked down the stairs, watching for anything that looked suspicious.  They walked what seemed to be forever when they saw a brighter light coming from the stairs just ahead.  They walked faster, but just as they had gotten to the light, darkness poured over them, causing them to freeze.  But just as suddenly as the darkness had come, it disappeared, leaving them in a pool of light.

 

The three looked around, amazed by everything they saw.  The world that they had walked into was completely different from the land above.  In the land above, there was nothing but trees and greens.  In here, technology ruled.  Everywhere they looked, Erans were busy working on strange looking machines, though Obi-Wan could tell at once that they were incredibly advanced.  The young girl that had led them in turned to them once again. 

 

"Come," she beckoned.  "It is time for you to meet our leader."

 

She once again started off with the three following her closely, not wanted to lose her in the crowd.  She took them out a door and into the main city, where they passed a few simple but clean buildings and homes.  A few young Erans watched them curiously as they walked by, though the older Erans paid no attention to them.  Soon, they found themselves in front of a small yet ornately decorated building.  Their guide turned to them and waved them into the building.

 

"Hurry up.  You are expected." she urged.

 

They entered the building, walking into the beginning of a small hall.  The ceiling of the hall was rather low, for it was only a few inches above Obi-Wan's head.  Candlelight flickered from the sides of the hall, yet the room was filled with light.  The ground beneath them was soft and Anakin was surprised to see that they were walking on a grass-like material.  Flowers of all kinds grew on the edge of the "path" that led to a small throne.

 

On the throne was a young female, obviously the leader of the Erans.  She smiled at them as they approached, her waist-length blonde hair shimmering with streaks of gold.  Her small but ornate crown sparkled with tiny jewels in the light of the room. But what the three of them found incredible was her eyes.  Her eyes were as blue as the night sky, and starlight seemed to twinkle out of them. As they came before her throne, she stood up and walked down to them.  Obi-Wan smiled at her, introducing all of them.    

 

"I am Obi-Wan Kenobi.  This is Anakin Skywalker, and this is Anne."

 

"Welcome.  I am Sarina, leader of the Erans." she greeted, her voice amazingly strong for a creature so small.  "You have been expected."

 

"Expected?" Anne asked.  "What do you mean by that?"

 

Sarina looked Anne squarely in the eye, years of wisdom pouring out of the girl.  "We have heard of your misfortune and have been awaiting your arrival."

 

"Then you know about our ship?" Obi-Wan asked, looking hopefully at the leader of the Erans.  She nodded, smiling at him and Anakin.

 

"Yes.  Zarian," she said, motioning to a male Eran standing by the side of her throne, "and the other reparians will help you to repair your ship.  They will repair your ship for you, Obi-Wan, if you will be so kind to lead them there.  Your two companions will stay here and rest until you return."

 

Zarian turned to Obi-Wan.  "Are you ready?" he asked.  Obi-Wan nodded and followed the Eran out of the door.  He turned around once to glance at his companions.  Anakin smiled at him and motioned for him to go, while Anne looked unhappy with the arrangements that were made.  Sarina turned towards the young female that had brought the travelers in.


"Floita, show the young one to a room to get rest.  I need to talk to this one," Sarina said, indicating Anne.  Floita nodded and turned to Anakin, a smile shining on her face.

 

"Come Anakin," she said sweetly.  "Let me show you to a room."  With that she and Anakin left the room, the rest of the people in the hall following.  Soon, only Sarina and Anne remained.  Sarina turned to Anne, her eyes filled with suspicion.  The smile that had been on her face since their arrival disappeared, living a grim frown in its place.

 

"Why are you traveling with people with whom you do not belong, child of evil," Sarina ordered, her voice filling with power.  Anne looked at her, her eyes filled with innocence and questioning.

 

"What do you mean, Your Highness?" she asked, puzzled by the leader of the Eran's coldness.  "I am merely trying to get away from the person who destroyed - "

 

"Do not try to deceive me, Kanara,"  Sarina barked, her deep blue eyes filling with anger.  "It will take more than the power that you have to lie to me."

 

Anne raised her eyebrow at the young leader, all of the innocence on her face evaporating.  She glared at the female, her once sincere demeanor gone.  She took a step towards her, glaring menacingly at her.  Sarina, to her credit, did not even flinch, even as a wave of evil passed over her.

 

"So, you know who I am do you?" Anne hissed, a cruel smile crossing her face.  "And how did you figure that out?"

 

"My wisdom is more greater than that which you will ever have," the leader of the Erans explained calmly.  "I have seen the evil that you have hidden from the Jedi's.  The magic that we use is different than theirs.  Ever since the moment you first stepped onto this planet, I knew you were here.  Every living thing screamed out in anger, hate, and fear when they felt you walk upon this land.  I can feel every though and feeling of the living things on this planet, and they knew you were wrong.  You do not belong here, or with the Jedi's."

 

"I belong wherever I want," Anne spat out, her teeth tightly clenched, silently questioning how Sarina knew that Obi-Wan and Anakin were Jedi's.  The evil that she had been able to contain through the journey spilled out as Sarina stared at her.  Though she could not explain why, Anne felt threatened by the small creature.  This young girl, unlike any other being she had run into, could see who she actually was.  And Anne did not like that.  Not at all.  "And there is nothing you can do to stop it."

 

"There is," Sarina said, watching as conflicting emotions played on the girl's face.  "I will tell the Jedi's who you are.  After all, they know that something is wrong with you.  I will tell them all I know, and then your plan will be ruined."

 

Anne's eyes widened as she glared at the girl.  "No.  You will never tell them.  I cannot have you ruining my plans!"

 

Anne took another step towards Sarina, a flash of purple enveloping her as she did.  When the flash disappeared, Anne was wearing a black outfit, her eyes glowing an unearthly purple.  Sarina looked at her in shock.  "You are stronger than I had at first thought."

 

"Got that right, loser," Anne scoffed, raising her hand in front of her.  Her palm began to glow and soon a purple ball of light glowed steadily over her palm.  Sarina tried raising her arm to block the attack she knew was coming but found that she could not.  She looked at Anne in shock.

 

"You wouldn't dare," whispered Sarina.  "They will find out!"

 

"No they won't.  No only will ever find out."

 

As she advanced on the girl, Sarina looked at her in fear, shocked at the immense power that surrounded her.  She had never found a creature who had been this evil, and her powers seemed to be useless against her.  Anne smiled as she prepared to send the purple light at the girl when suddenly, she could no longer see Sarina.  Instead, she saw the ghostly image of a person she had known long ago.  The person's bluish black hair shimmered in the purple light that radiated from Anne.  Her light yellow sundress glowed as she smiled at Anne, her eyes shining with friendship.

 

"Don't hurt her Kim." The image of Trini Kwan said.  "Go home.  Go home to your friends.  They still love you."

 

As quickly as it had appeared, the image disappeared, leaving the cowering girl in its wake.  For a split second, Anne felt the stirring of something deep inside of her. 

 

Stop hurting those I love! the voice screamed out.  Get away from me!  Anne's eyes narrowed and a flash of purple overtook her once again.  When the flash disappeared, the voice was buried deeper underneath the evil.  Anne once again glared at the girl, her eyes flashing.

 

"This is the end for you, Eran," she hissed.  She pushed the purple ball forward, light streaking towards the leader of the Erans.  Sarina opened her mouth to scream as the ball of light hit her, but she was suddenly overtaken with a great pain.  She fell to the ground in agony as evil power coursed through her veins.  Anne bent down to the girl, a cruel smiling twisted on her lips as she watched her shudder in pain.

 

"This sickness will run course through your body, making you feel like you want to die.  And after five days, you will." Anne whispered, taking pleasure in the pain she was causing.  Sarina tried to reply, but the pain was too great.  "I could kill you right now, but I want you to suffer.  Oh, and by the way, this is highly contagious.  So I'd be careful who you talk to."

 

Anne stood up and began to walk away, but turned around one last time to look at Sarina.  "I will not have you messing up my plans.  After all, I have so much in store for these Jedi."

 

*****

 

A few miles away from the hall of the Erans, Obi-Wan watched in astonishment as the small Erans worked diligently at the ship control, trying to fix the ship.  He had never been very interested in machinery, but had learned because he knew he might need to know how to fix them someday.  But what the Erans were doing was incredible.  Even though they had run into a few problems, they had quickly gotten past them.  Now, they were almost finished fixing the ship.  Obi-Wan walked over to the one in charge, Zarian, and placed a hand on his back. 

 

"Is the ship almost ready?" he asked.  Zarian nodded as he tore his gaze away from the controls and glanced up at Obi-Wan.

 

"Yes. I am just checking the controls one last time before you can leave.  I still cannot believe that you were able to make it here with so much damage!" Zarian cried, shaking his head in disbelief.  "How did you sustain so much damage if you were not in battle?  Did you check the ship before you left?"

 

Obi-Wan nodded, looking as confused as Zarian.  "I don't know what happened.  We made sure to check it before we left, because we wanted to make it to Coruscant as quickly as possible.  I don't know what could have caused this!" he said, even though he had a slight suspicion that Anne had something to do with their emergency landing.


Zarian shrugged and turned his attention back to the controls.  Silence filled the ship, the buzz of the control panels the only noise that could be heard.  Obi-Wan turned his attention away from the noise and looked out the window of the ship, seeing nothing but dense forest.  Turning back to the Eran he asked, "How are you able to find your way through this forest?"  Zarian chuckled for a moment then walked over to the window.

 

"We were born in these woods and we die in these woods.  We know them as well as we know the back of our hands."  He smiled and looked up at Obi-Wan, who towered over the small Eran.  "Not only that, but we are all connected to our leader.  If we are lost, the leader will show us the way no matter where we are.  When she is happy, we are overjoyed.  When she is sad, we are unhappy.  When she is in pain, we share in her pain.  We are all connected to each other."

 

"But how are you connected?"  Is there a ceremony that binds you all somehow?"

 

Zarian nodded.  "Yes.  When the leader is picked, we all join together in a ceremony to announce the new leader.  At that ceremony, the spirits of the woods connect us with our leader, and we will be connected to her until her spirit passes to the tress.  Everyone is connected to the leader, some more than others.  The higher ranking Erans, like me, are exceptionally close to her because we spend the most time around her.  The lower ranking Erans are not as close, because they do not see her as much.  It is a custom, though there are some that do not agree with it."  As Obi-Wan prepared to ask another question, Zarian smiled.

 

"You are an inquisitive creature, Obi-Wan," he grinned.  "I like that.  I can see also see why you were chosen to be a Jedi."

 

Obi-Wan looked at him in surprise.  "How did you know that I was a Jedi?  I didn't tell anyone that I was."

 

Zarian looked at him solemnly.  "The trees tell of the Force that sings in you.  The Force is strong to you, making you sensitive to your surroundings."  His grin crept back upon his face as he glanced up at Obi-Wan.  "Besides, Floita told us about your lightsaber.  No one can amaze the Ewoks unless they use the Force for the side of good." 

 

"The woods tell you a lot." Obi-Wan commented.  "But why doesn't anyone know that much about you?  What you told me is the most I've ever heard about your race."  Zarian's grin disappeared as he looked out the window sadly.

 

"No one ever asks questions about us because they seem to forget about us.  They ask for our help, then leave the planet and never return."  he explained.  "No one wants to come back to us, even though we do so much to help them.  We are not sure why, either.  It might be the magic that we use.  Our magic effects everyone who comes near us.  For some, it makes them never want to leave and for others it makes them forget about us completely.  Maybe it is for the best, though, because we are a very peaceful people.  If too many people came in, the Ewoks would become unhappy and would start fighting." 

 

Silence once again filled the ship as Obi-Wan looked out the window, contemplating everything he had just heard.  Suddenly, Zarian gave a small gasp before falling heavily against the window.  Obi-Wan reached down for him in alarm, catching the small Eran before he hit the ground.

 

"Zarian!  What's wrong?" he asked in panic.  Zarian looked up at him, a wild look in his eyes.  His face contorted in pain as he looked up at Obi-Wan.

 

"Something...wrong...queen..."  Zarian began to babble incoherently as pain filled him.  As Obi-Wan tried to think of what to do, a small beeping broke into his thoughts.  He reached down and grabbed the beeping communication device from his belt.  He turned it on to see a hologram image of Anakin, looking around the room frantically.

 

"Obi-Wan!  Something's wrong!" he shouted.  "Floita and I were talking when she fell over and started mumbling something about the queen and a bunch of other stuff that I didn't understand!  Do you know what is going on?"

 

"Anakin calm down.  I don't know what is going on, but I'll get back to the Eran camp as soon as I can."  As Anakin nodded, Obi-Wan turned off the communication device.  He carefully picked up Zarian and walked out of the ship.  There he found the other Erans obviously in pain, yet not as much as Zarian. 

 

"We have to go back to the camp." he said. 

 

The Erans nodded and quickly made their way into the woods, even with their pain.  Though the camp wasn't that far away, to Obi-Wan it felt like hours until they reached the tree.  When they went into the camp, Obi-Wan looked around in shock.  Chaos was the only way to explain what it was like.  Many Erans were like Zarian, the pain stronger then anything else around them.  Others didn't seem to be affected at all, though Obi-Wan could tell otherwise.  Though he wanted to stop and help them, he knew that he had to take Zarian to the leader.  When he entered the building, he looked at the leader in shock.  The young Eran was lying on the ground, hair disarray and face contorted in pain.  Every few minutes a shudder would rack through her body, causing even more pain.  Anne was carefully tending to her, trying to make her as comfortable as possible.  As Obi-Wan looked at Sarina, he found it hard to believe that this girl was the one he had met not too long ago.  He quickly ran over to her, and leaned down.

 

"Sarina!  What's wrong?  What is going on?" he asked forcefully.  She opened her mouth to answer him, but he could tell that even a movement as small as that used all of her strength.  "Never mind.  You need to rest."  

 

Suddenly, Anakin ran into the room, half supporting half dragging Floita.  As they neared, Obi-Wan turned towards them.  Anakin carefully lowered Floita to the ground.  But she surprised them all by sitting up and looking up at them.

 

"Leader.........sick.........find.....cure."  Floita spoke in halting words.  Though it was painful for her, she knew that they needed to try and find out what was wrong with the Erans.  Obi-Wan kneeled next to her, watching her carefully.

 

"Do you know what caused this?" he asked.  Floita could only shake her head, unable to use the strength to say anything.  Obi-Wan nodded and stood up, turning his attention back to Anakin. 

 

"We have to do something Anakin.  We can't let...."  Obi-Wan was suddenly interrupted by the beeping of his communication device.  He reached down quickly and turned it on.  "What is it, captain?  Is something wrong?"

 

The captain of the ship answered immediately.  "We have to get out of here!  There are ships heading straight towards this moon, with many weapons on them.  We've also detected many life forms on the ships, including the forms of the ones that attacked Naboo."  Obi-Wan looked at Anakin in alarm as he replied to the captain.

 

"We'll be right there."  He shut off the communicator and turned back to Anakin.  "We can't stay here any longer.  We have to go."  Anakin opened his mouth to disagree, but quickly shut it when Obi-Wan glared at him.  Obi-Wan glanced at Anne, whose face had turned pale.

 

"They won't get me again.  They can't!" she whispered as she glanced at Obi-Wan.  Obi-Wan nodded and turned back to the leader.

 

"We can't stay here.  I'm sorry." he whispered as he looked into her pleading eyes.  "But we will take Floita with us, and the Jedi Council will try and figure out what is wrong.  We have to leave.  I hope you can understand."  A smile passed through the leader's eyes as she gave a barely detectable nod.  Obi-Wan walked over to Floita, and picking her up, motioned to Anakin and Anne to follow him.  They quickly made their way out of the Eran camp and into the woods.  With Floita's help, they were able to get through the woods and to their ship.  As they jumped out of the bushes into a small clearing, Obi-Wan was relieved to see that they had made it back to the ship.  He went inside quickly, without even a backwards glance.  Anakin and Anne quickly followed. 

 

"Anakin," Obi-Wan commanded.  "Take her to the medical bay.  We need to get out of here."  Anakin nodded and Obi-Wan slowly put Floita down, so she was standing on her feet.  She leaned against Anakin and he quickly led her to the medical bay.  Obi-Wan barely acknowledged that they had left, as he turned to the captain.

 

"Let's get out of here," Obi-Wan ordered.  The captain nodded, and quickly turned the ship on.  As they took off, Obi-Wan noticed that the ship wasn't handling well.  In a flash, the ship flew off the forestry ground of the planet and had entered the atmosphere.  They barely gotten out of the atmosphere when the captain turned to Obi-Wan in alarm,.

 

"There's something wrong!" he exclaimed.  "The hyper drive won't work!"  Obi-Wan barely heard it, though, as he looked out the bridge window.  Quickly gaining on the small Naboo ship were a dozen cruisers, each bigger then the other.  The captain looked at Obi-Wan for a minute, then followed his gaze out the window.  His expression mirrored that of Obi-Wans.  The captain turned back to the controls, frantically working to get the hyper drive to work.  But nothing happened.  Meanwhile, Anne watched their futile attempts in scorn.

 

Idiots!  They're never going to get the hyper drive to work.  Soon, Darth Sideous will have this ship, and he will have his way with the Jedi apprentice.  When the Jedi's are defeated, the universe will be mine to control!  Anne thought, watching as the ships drew closer.  Suddenly, the ship rocked violently.  A red light began to flash on the bridge, causing the captain to turn around and look at Obi-Wan.

 

"We've been boarded." he whispered, his voice full of dread.  Obi-Wan responded immediately, closing the blast doors on the bridge.  Then, as a second thought, he closed the blast doors on the medical bay as he remembered Anakin and Floita.  Suddenly, a loud pounding on the blast doors caused everyone on the bridge to jump in alarm.

 

"They're here!"  Anne screamed, stating the obvious.  Her face turned pale as she looked around wildly, trying to figure out the controls.  "We have to get out of here!" 

 

The captain turned around to glare at her.  "That is what we are trying to do!"  He turned back towards the controls and frantically worked to fix the hyper drive.  But even as he worked, the blast doors were slowly being pushed in. 

 

"Hurry up!" cried Anne as she shook the captain's chair.  He looked at her in irritation as he continued working on the controls.  Suddenly, the red light started to flash yellow.

 

"I'm onto something!" yelled the captain.  But before he could get any farther, the blast doors were pushed in, and stormtroopers filled the room.  One of them pulled out a laser, and shooting once, hit the captain.  Anne screamed and jumped out of the way of another bolt, directed at her.  The captain slumped forward onto the controls, completely unconscious. 

 

Obi-Wan pulled out his lightsaber, deflecting all the  laser bolts.  He brought the Force around him and was able to predict where the stormtroopers bolts would go.  Suddenly, a deep dread filled Obi-Wan.  He turned to the door just in time to see Anakin being dragged in by three stormtroopers.

 

"Give us your weapon, Jedi, and the boy will live."  One of the stormtroopers ordered.  Obi-Wan glanced over at Anakin, whose frightened eyes stared up at him.  Obi-Wan quickly went through all of his options, watching as more stormtroopers entered the bridge.  Even with is powers in the Force, he could not stop all of them at once.  One of them would still have the ability to hurt Anakin.  Obi-Wan sighed as he turned off his lightsaber and handed it to a nearby stormtrooper.  Suddenly, a slight frown crossed his face as he looked around and saw Anne standing behind of the stormtroopers, looking unsure of what do to.

 

"Anne!" he called out, trying to get her attention.  Anne turned to him, and to his slight surprise, a cold sneer crossed her lips. 

 

"What's wrong, Obi-Wan.  A bit in over your head?" she mocked as she stepped towards him, pushing the stormtroopers out of her way.  A purple light enveloped her, causing Obi-Wan to look away.  When the light disappeared, she looked nothing like she had moments ago.  Instead of the pink t-shirt and jean shorts, she was wearing a black bodysuit that shone under the lights.  Silver metal was imbedded deeply into parts of the black material, giving her a menacing look.  On her feet she wore black leather boots, completely with three inch heels.  In her right hand was a silver staff with a purple jewel at the end of it.  Her brown hair had streaks of purple running through it and her lips were coated in a shining purple lipstick. And her eyes...her eyes were a deep shade of purple that flashed with evil and hatred.  She strolled over to Obi-Wan, smirking as she saw the range of emotions that played on his face.

 

"Grab him," she ordered, her voice cold.  The stormtroopers nodded, roughly grabbing hold of the Jedi.  As she walked past them, each of the troopers fell onto one knee and bowed before her.  When she stopped in front of Obi-Wan, the stormtroopers forced him down.  He glared at her as he was pushed onto his knees.

 

"I thought you would be a worthy opponent, Jedi." she mocked, staring down at him.  "It didn't take much to bring you down.  Still haven't recovered from Qui-Gon, have you?"

 

With the mention of Qui-Gon Jinn, a fire lit in Obi-Wan's eyes.  He looked into Anne's eyes, seeing nothing but evil.  His own eyes hardened as he looked at her.

 

"Who are you?" he demanded.  She looked at him and smiled, a cruel, cold smirk.

 

"Kanara, Queen of Evil," she exclaimed, purple sparks falling from her hands.  As she opened her mouth to say more, the entire ship jerked violently.  Kanara fell to the ground, her staff going airborne. 

 

Obi-Wan reacted immediately, calling on the Force and willed his lightsaber into his hand.  He slashed it quickly, taking out the nearest stormtroopers.  Before anyone else recovered, he leapt a good eight feet through the air and cut down the stormtroopers that were holding onto Anakin.

 

"Thanks," Anakin said breathlessly as he pulled out his own training lightsaber.  He stood next to Obi-Wan, preparing to fight.  As the two sides prepared to attack each other, two figured jumped through the doors of the bridge, towards the stormtroopers.  They knocked a few of them down and quickly stood next to Obi-Wan and Anakin.

 

Both of the figures wore colored robes, much like those of the Jedi Knights, except that one of the figures had a purple robe and the other had a red one.  They looked at each quickly and nodded, leaping into action.  They knocked the stormtroopers down with a series of smooth punches and kicks, working tirelessly.  Obi-Wan and Anakin glanced at each other for a moment before joining the two figured.  Though Anakin and Obi-Wan did not know why they were, they felt a purity within them that they had not felt with Kanara.

 

As the stormtroopers were knocked down, they would suddenly disappear from the room.  One by one the troopers disappeared, until Kanara was the only one left.  She looked at the figured in the colored robes with a mixture of hatred and confusion.

 

"Who are you?" she hissed, glaring at them.

 

The two figured threw their robes down to reveal two humanoid creatures.  The men that had worn the red robe was wearing dark blue jeans and a right red t-shirt.  His long brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail.  His eyes flashed with looks of excitement, wariness, and sadness.  The girl, on the other hand, wore right leather black pants and a black shirt with a v-neck.  Her long blonde hair was pulled back with a dark pink headband.  Obi-Wan watched in interest as Kanara's eyes flashed a deep purple. 

 

"What are you doing here?" she screamed.  She then pointed to the man in black.  "Especially you.  You're dead!"

 

"Not completely, Kanara," he said, calmly meeting her eyes.  "The Power Rangers are back and we're more than ready to take you on."

 

Kanara glared at them for a moment, a small smirk crossing her face..  "I don't care of the rangers are back or if you're alive.  Neither will last very long."

 

With that, Kanara leapt at the man, and lashed out with a crisp tornado kick.  He quickly ducked, and swept her feet out from under her.  She quickly recovered and swung her legs up, hitting him under the chin.  He fell back slightly, giving her enough time to recover herself.  The two of them carefully eyed each other, silently daring the other to make the first move. 

 

Suddenly, without warning, the girl that had worn the purple robe leapt forward, intent on attacking Kanara.  But Kanara saw her coming and with a flash of purple, a force field appeared around her and the man.  The girl hit the force field and fell to the ground in shock.  Obi-Wan and Anakin ran over and helped her up.  All three of them watching the dueling forces behind the force field in amazement.  They were each other's equal, each able to block the others move.  The man seemed to be a bit rusty, though, giving Kanara a slight advantage.  Kanara suddenly jumped into the air, backflipping over the man.  As the man spun around, she did a side kick, hitting him in the gut.  He doubled over and she took advantage of the situation. She leapt upon him, knocking him to the ground with a tornado kick.  As his back hit the ground, she pressed her heeled shot onto his neck, smiling cruelly at him. 

 

"This time, Tommy, I'm doing it right," she hissed, pressing down on his neck.  The girl outside the force field looked at Tommy in horror as he struggled to breath.  She closed her eyes, pushing back any thoughts that were not necessary and called upon a power she had not used in years.  Suddenly, the force field around Kanara and Tommy started to disappear.  Obi-Wan took advantage of it and leapt at Kanara, knocking her to the ground.  Tommy slowly sat up, gasping for air.  For a split second, Kanara laid under Obi-Wan, staring deeply into his eyes.  Obi-Wan saw conflicting emotions running through them, but the coldness was still there.  Before he could do anything, though, Kanara pushed him away and warily backed away from the group.

 

"This isn't over," she threatened.  "Just you wait,"  With that she disappeared in a flash of purple light.  As soon as she did, the girl that had been in the purple robe fell to the ground in exhaustion.  Tommy leapt forward, just in time to catch her before she hit the ground.  As he helped her back up, Obi-Wan walked over to the controls and was frustrated to see that the hyper drive was still off-line.  Anakin walked over to him, looking out the window nervously.  The cruisers still sat there, menacingly pointed at the small Naboo fighter.

 

"What are we going to do, Master?" Anakin asked softly as he looked up at Obi-Wan.  Before Obi-Wan could reply, a series of whistles and beeps caused them to turn around.  A genuine smile crossed Anakin's face as he saw the cause of the beeps.  "Artoo!  Where did you come from?"

 

The small droid beeped at him, a red light lighting up as he did.  Anakin looked at him in uncertainty as he listened.

 

"Are you sure you could fix the hyper drive?  The captain couldn't..."

 

His sentence was cut off as the droid whistled at him, seemingly insulted by the lack of confidence.  The droid wheeled past Anakin and over to one of the councils.  A small metal arm emerged from an opening on the droid as it checked over the systems of the chip.  He emitted a series of short beeps, causing Obi-Wan to turn back to his own counsel.  Anakin watched in fascination as his master punched in a few codes.  Suddenly, the ship jerked forwards, the stars behind them turning into streaks as the hyper-drive started.  Artoo gave a series of short whistles and beeps as Anakin walked over and smiled at them.

 

"Thanks Artoo."  The droid whistled in return.  Obi-Wan also turned to the droid and nodded his thanks before walking over to the newcomers, looking at them in interest.

 

"Who are you exactly?" he asked.  Tommy walked over to him, falling into his leader mode.

 

"I am Tommy Oliver and this is Karone.  We come from the planet Earth, and we're on a mission to help a friend that was captured by evil." he explained.  "We are the Power Rangers of Earth.  Part of them, at least."

 

*****

 

As the small Naboo fighter blasted into hyperspace, Kanara appeared on the bridge of the main cruiser, obviously frustration by the latest turn of events..  As she appeared, the commanding stormtrooper turned to her.

 

"The fighter has gotten away, milady," he stated.  "There is no way..."  His sentence was cut short as she turned to look at him in disgust.  With a flick of her hand, purple energy emitted from her fingertips, hitting the stormtroopers in the chest.  The trooper fell to the ground, gasping for breath.  Kanara glared at him once before looking up at the others on the bridge.  The looked at her in fear, slowly backing away.

 

"Let this be a lesson to anyone who brings me back news," she hissed.  With that, she whirled around and stalked out of the room.  As she stormed through the halls stormtroopers jumped out of her way, afraid of her wrath.  Those that did get in her way regretted it immediately.  They were thrown halfway across the hall, slamming into the ground.  When she got to her room, she stomped in, closing the door behind her.  As she fell onto her bed, the transmitter on her table lit up.  She groaned as the three dimensional image of Darth Sideous projected out of the transmitter.

 

"What do you want now?" she demanded as she glared at the robed figure, anger dripping in voice.  He looked at her, and she caught a glimpse of his glowing yellow eyes.

 

"You could not get them.  You failed." he stated, evil filling his voice.  She glared at him, her hands clenched into fists as she stalked towards the transmitter.

 

"It's not my fault they got away!" she screamed in frustration.  "I had them in my grasp!  If the stupid rangers hadn't been there..."

 

"You said you had taken care of the rangers long ago," Darth Sideous said calmly.  "Obviously, you had not."

 

"Rita said she was taking the Earth for her own.  She was the one who should have been watching it and any rangers.  The Earth and it's inhabitants are not my responsibility."

 

"The Earth may not be your responsibility, but the rangers are.  After all, you were the one who destroyed many of them years ago.  They will tell the Jedi everything they know about you," said Darth Sideous.  "Now that the Jedi's know who you are, you can no longer sneak past them."

 

Kanara smirked.  "Good.  I didn't like all of this sneaking around.  Attacking them with full force is not only more productive, it's a lot more fun.  Besides, I've grown greatly in power since the rangers last saw me.  The only thing they know is Kimberly Anne Harte.  That won't help them now.  Kimberly is no more.  I am the one in control."

 

"Are you?" the hooded figure questioned.  "They why have there been so many...hesitations when you were around the Jedi Knight?  Was it just hatred or was it something deeper?"

 

Kanara's face flushed slightly, but it quickly disappeared as she glared at him, her eyes flashing.  "I don't know what you're talking about, Sideous.  I will destroy him, as I will any other that get in my way."

 

"How do I know that you will be able to hold up?  If I'm not mistaken, the force field that you build with your power disappeared.  Are you as strong as you said you were?"

 

"Of course I am!" she snapped, her eyes flashing a deep purple as her hatred for the being began to grow.  "It was that stupid purple ranger.  She still has powers because of her time as Astronema!  But you don't have a thing to worry about.  Now that I know she still has her powers, I can take care of her.  She will not stop me."

 

Darth Sideous sighed as he slowly nodded his head.  "Good.  The Jedi's are traveling to Coruscant, where I will be waiting for them.  I will send word onto where Obi-Wan and his young apprentice are going, if I do not catch them first."  With that, Darth Sideous disappeared and the transmitter shut down.  Kanara rolled her eyes at the spot where the robe figured had once been.

 

"Stupid Sith," she muttered under hear breath as she picked the transmitter up and placed it on a shelf.  "Always thinks he's right.  We'll just have to see about that.  Once I find out where the Jedi is going, he'll see my true power."

 

As she turned and walked over to the bed a sharp pain passed over her, causing her to gasp in pain.  She cried out as the pain spread, feeling as though fire was coursing through her body.  She fell to the ground, landing heavily on her hands and knees.  She gritted her teeth as she tried to gain control, but the pain was too great.  As the pain heightened a voice deep within her mind screamed out.

 

No!  Don't hurt the Jedi's or any of my friends!  Get away from me!  Kanara hissed as the voice slowly began to grow stronger.  I will not let you hurt them any longer!  Kanara managed a small laugh as she pushed herself off the ground, slowly beginning to gain control once again.

 

"You like him, don't you?" she mocked.  "Not that it matters.  You will never have a chance with him, after all that's been done to him.  He hates you."

 

No, whispered the voice, growing weaker.  He doesn't hate me.  He hates the thing that controls this body.  You will not always be in control.  I will not let......  The voice disappeared completely as a purple light covered Kanara, and she was filled with even more evil power she had ever had.  Kanara took a deep breath and stood up, smiling as she realized the voice was once again covered up.

 

"Stupid girl." Kanara muttered.  "Doesn't she realize that I control this body?  After all, I am a part of her."  She slowly walked over to the window and she looked out.  A smirk crossed her face as she watched the passing stars.

 

"Soon this will be mine."  She whispered.  "Soon all of this will be mine."

 

******

 

Chapter 4

 

Millions of miles away, unaware of the evil that threatened the entire universe, the remaining three power rangers were working diligently in their sanctuary known as the Control Center.  With the departure of two comrades, tools and systems had to be updated to accommodate the changes.  Much like the days of old, and reminiscent of a certain previous blue ranger, Justin worked at the control panels reprogramming the Zords so they could call them without Tommy and Karone.  He was oblivious to the world around him as he worked, sounds and sites blocked from him.  Finally, a smile of satisfaction crossed his face as he finished his job.  He was just about to close down the system when suddenly,

 

"Are you almost finished, Justin?" a voice asked loudly, causing Justin to jump in alarm.  He spun around, arms raised in a defensive block.  Laughter rang in his ears as Zhane stood before him, obviously pleased that he had startled Justin.  Justin sighed, fighting back a smile as he turned back to the controls. 

 

"Yes, Zhane, I am almost finished," Justin said in exasperation as he closed the programs down.  "Now we'll be able to use the Zords without Tommy and Karone."

 

"So you don't need any help, then," Zhane said, almost happily, as he looked around Justin's shoulder at the controls.  Though he had been from a highly advanced society, fixing things had never been his strongpoint, nor had he really tried to learn.  Sure, he knew enough to get by, but what Justin was doing...that was incredible.

 

"Nope.  I think I have it covered."

 

"Oh, okay."

 

Silence passed between them, as both were unable to think of things to talk about.  Neither had really known each other that much, other than a few brief encounters during the Space Ranger era.  In fact, the only thing that connected them was their friendships with the past rangers. 

 

"So, what do you do for fun around here?" Zhane asked, looking around the Control Center, still somewhat awestruck by everything in it.  "I mean, this place is incredible, but what else do you guys do?"

 

"Well, really, there isn't that much real entertainment here anymore.  Since Hollywood was basically destroyed, there aren't any new movies anymore and music groups really don't perform.  There are a few things, though, especially some things that I programmed into the databanks of the computer."

 

Zhane stared thoughtfully at Justin for a moment.  "Hey, I'm ready for anything."

 

Justin smiled and walked over to a door that Zhane had not noticed before.  Together, the two of them went to the door, passing Kat as they did.  They smiled at her as they passed, but he only briefly acknowledged their presence.  She sat before the viewing globe, watching over parts of the tunnels and the earth, making sure that everyone was safe.  The door at the side of the Control Center opened as Justin and Zhane neared, revealing a mostly empty room.

 

Zhane looked around, somewhat confused by the appearance of the room, turned to Justin in question.  Justin said nothing, instead going over to a small panel by the side of the room.  He pressed a series of buttons and suddenly, the entire room changed.  A soft light blue carpet covered the floor and the walls were a dover white in color.  A small table sat in the corner of the room, covered in pictures.  A closer look revealed pictures of former rangers, Justin's family members, and a black and white picture of a woman in her mid-twenties.  A bar was at the other side of the room, though, Zhane observed in amusement, cans of soda pop stood behind the bar instead of beers or wines.

 

A television set, a vcr, and a dvd player were next to the table, movies and N64 games spilling from the open cupboard beneath the system.  But in the middle of the room was a huge table.  Zhane walked forward, puzzled by the point of the table.  He turned to Justin, confusion written on his face.

 

"What is this?"

 

Justin smiled, walking over to one end of the table and motioning for Zhane to walk to the other.  "It's called air hockey.  I used to play it all the time when I was younger.  I don't have that much time for it anymore, but I keep it programmed in just in case."

 

"How do you play?" Zhane asked, picking up one of the handles and examining it.  "Do you hit these things together?"

 

Justin laughed and reached down, hitting a switch as he did.  Suddenly, the table lit up and the air started coming out of the little holes in the table.  Justin reached down and pulled a flat disk out of his goal and put it on the table.  "The object of the game is to get this disk into your goal.  If I get this disk in the goal by you, I get one point.  If you get it in the goal by me, you get one point.  The first player to seven points wins.  Got it?"

 

Zhane nodded vaguely, still slightly confused by the game.

 

"Alright.  Here we go!"  Justin hit the disk forward with his handle, pushing it straight towards the goal.  With lightning fast reflexes, Zhane blocked it and sent it careening back towards Justin.  The disk traveled back and forth for a few minutes before Justin's old reflexes started to kick in.  With a sudden motion, he jerked the disk to the right, causing it to bounce off the walls.  Zhane tried to cut the disk off, but he missed and the disk went into the goal.  He looked up at the scoreboard in front of him and watched as one point for Justin was put up.  Zhane put the disk back on the table but it was only a matter of minutes before Justin had scored again.  As the game wore on, Zhane began to get the hang of it and managed to score two points in a row.  But, alas, his attempts were in vain.  Justin scored in three successive moves and soon the game ended, with a score of 7-2.

 

Even though it had been a mismatched game, the effects of it showed immediately.  A smile shone of Justin's face as he stepped away from the board, while Zhane stepped away, sweating slightly but happy.

 

"Good game," Justin said as he walked over to Zhane.  "Not bad for a first time."

 

"That was great!" Zhane exclaimed as he glanced back to the table.  "But now I'm a little thirsty.  What do you have to drink here?"

 

"I have tons!  I have all kinds of pops and juice and even some smoothies that I figured out how to make."

 

Justin chatted on about drinks as he walked over to the bar, reaching into the refrigerator that sat on the floor.  He pulled out a Coca-Cola for himself and turned to Zhane.  "What do you want?"

 

"Actually, do you have any water?  I've always been partial to water." Zhane asked, looking at the drinks in the fridge.  Justin nodded and reached for a glass cup that hung above him.  Just as he touched the glass, it slipped from the hook it was on and started falling to the ground.  Suddenly, it slowed and stopped, hanging in midair.  For a moment, Justin looked at it in surprise and shock before he could jog his memory.

 

"That's right.  You guys have telekinetic powers.  I'd forgotten about that,"  Justin said as he grabbed the glass and placed it on the bar.  As he took out a bottle of water, he looked at Zhane's confused face.

 

"How did you know I was telekinetic?"

 

"Sometimes, when something starts to fall or drop, Karone can usually stop it before it breaks.  Not all the time, though.  She's been getting better over the years, though, and she rarely drops things now."  Justin explained, pouring water into the glass.  He handed it to Zhane, but Zhane ignored it.

 

"How has Karone been doing here?" he asked softly, staring at Justin.  Justin shrugged.

 

"Pretty good, I guess.  At first, she had some trouble adjusting, since basically everyone she knew was either killed or missing.  She ran into a lot of trouble in the beginning, especially when word got out that she used to be Astronema."

 

Zhane's face paled slightly, but he continued to press Justin for more information.  "How did she adjust, if things were as troublesome as they sound?"

 

Justin sighed, taking a sip of his drink.  "There were a number of people who didn't believe her story, that she was brainwashed to be evil.  But I had a feeling that it might be true, since I used to be a power ranger and all.  She seemed to know a lot about technology and all that stuff, so I started talking to her.  Bit by bit, she began to open up to me and it turns out that she had incredible ideas about the tunnels.  In fact, the crypt was her idea.  I think that she didn't want to forget the past, especially her brother, but she didn't want to be reminded by it all the time.  Plus, she had been at that final battle and she knew what some people had given up to defend their world."

 

"Wow." was all Zhane could say as he digested the story Justin had told him.  "I didn't know that things were that hard for her.  I was just so happy and excited to see her.  For years, I thought that every person that I knew or cared about had been killed in that battle.  But first I find Karone and then I find out that some of my friends still have signs of life...I can't remember the last time I was that happy."

 

"Karone never gave up hope for you, y'know," Justin said, looking Zhane straight in the eye.  "She never knew what happened to you, but she was convinced that Kanara hadn't killed you.  I didn't want to say anything to dash her hopes, but I didn't think that you and Kat had made it."

 

"It was hard," Zhane admitted.  "Some days I wished that I would just die because I couldn't stand it anymore.  Everyday, I had to look at the face of the person that killed by best friends and everyday she would taunt Kat and I about it.  I really hated her for that."

 

Justin shook his head sadly, remembering the times that he had met with Kimberly before she turned into Kanara.  "She wasn't always like that.  Kanara.  Back when she was Kimberly she was one of the nicest and happiest people that I knew.  She seemed genuinely happy for every one of her friends and she even took the time to really get to know me, a kid who was five to six years younger than her.  I can't believe that she is that..that...well, that monster that destroyed our planet and our friends."

 

Silence filled the room as images of the past came back to them, overwhelming them with emotions.  The silence was cut short, though, as a sudden screech was heard from the main Control Center.  Justin and Zhane took off at top speed towards the main room, trying to find out what was wrong.

 

They found Kat standing in front of the viewing globe, staring at it in excitement.  She turned to them, endless emotions on her face.  She pointed towards the viewing globe.  Justin and Zhane walked closer, squinting slightly at the brightness of the globe.  All they could see were crowds of people pushing into each other excitedly, crowded around a room...

 

"It's the crypt," Kat whispered.  "Something going on at the crypt."

 

"We have to get down there!" Justin exclaimed rushing towards the door, Kat and Zhane close behind.  As Zhane ran out the door, a searing pain engulfed him, causing him to fall to the ground in pain.  He gasped in pain, trying to calm the fire that seemed to fill his body.  He closed his eyes, willing himself to push away the pain.  Slowly, very slowly, he pushed himself onto his hands and knees and opened his eyes to look for Justin and Kat.  But they were gone, already on their way to the crypt.  Zhane slowly pushed himself back up, ignoring the pain that was now beginning to lessen.  He slowly followed the crowds of people that rushed down the halls, the pain disappearing with every step.  He rounded a corner and stopped suddenly to avoid running into Kat and Justin.  It was obvious that the two were so excited about the news they had received that neither had realized he had fallen behind.  The three looked at the crypt ahead, but could only see crowds of people pushing towards the room.

 

"There has to be a way through this crowd!" Kat screamed, trying to be heard over the noise that echoed through the halls.  Justin nodded once, a sort of grim determination on his face as he slowly and carefully pushed through the crowd.  Kat followed him in surprise and sadness, still not able to believe how much he had changed over the last five years.  As they reached the entrance to the crypt, Justin turned to the guard, Justin's face a mask of maturity and seriousness. 

 

"What is going on here?  Why are these people crowded into such a small area like this?" he asked, his booming voice somewhat reminiscent of Tommy's "leader" voice.  The guard shrugged slightly barely glancing at Justin as he surveyed the crowd.

 

"You will find out in due time."

 

Justin shrugged, determined to get into the crypt.  He turned to Kat and Zhane and motioned for them to follow him as pulled out his ID card.  He showed it to the guard who, after studying it suspiciously, moved aside to let them in.  They quickly walked through the security measures and into the main part of the crypt.  There, a small group of scientists and doctors were crowded around one of the tubes.  More specifically, they were crowded around Andros' tube.  Zhane looked at Justin in shock, his face paling slightly.

 

"What's going on?" he asked, his voice raising slightly as he looked at the tube where his best friend lay.  "What's wrong with Andros?"

 

Justin shook his head and walked quickly over to the tube.  As he neared it, one of the doctors turned around in greet him in relief.

 

"Commander!  We were just going to contact you about the breaking news!" the doctor said, excitement brimming in his voice.  His eyes flashed with excitement as he looked at Justin.  "For some reason, the life signs of the rangers has started to improve!  Just in the last couple of hours they have started breathing on their own and two have shown slight signs of movement!  It's just incredible."

 

Justin looked at him in shock, not daring to believe that some of his friends were still alive.  "What?  How is this possible, doctor?  Their life signs have remained unchanged for years.  Why would they suddenly start showing signs of life?"

 

"You mean you don't know?" the doctor asked, looking at him in shock.  Justin shook his head, eyes wandering to look at tubes behind the doctor.  "The Power Rangers are back!  Our theory is that since the people in the crypt are former rangers, they mighty still have a trace of their old powers.  Therefore, with the coming of the new rangers, the new powers may be reactivated the old ones."

 

Justin nodded, pieces fitting together like a puzzle.  He silently cursed at himself, questioning why he had not realized that right away.  "That does make sense, doctor.  But what are you going to do now that the rangers have started to show signs of life?"

 

"We are going to watch over them for the next couple of days, to see if there are anymore changes that occur as the power of the new rangers becomes stronger.  We'll record everything we see, no matter how small, so we can figure out if they will in fact wake up," the doctor explained.  As Justin nodded once more, the doctor excused himself and went back to the tube where Andros lay.  Justin turned to the others, who stared at him anxiously. 

 

"We should leave, guys," Justin whispered, not wanting to disturb the doctors.  "I know you want to see the rangers, but we have to let the doctors take care of them for now."

 

When Kat and Zhane only stared at him, he sighed and slowly walked out of the crypt.  Slowly, very slowly, Kat and Zhane followed him reluctantly.  They had to hurry to keep up with him as he pushed through the crowd and went to his room.  As soon as the door to his room closed behind the three of him, Zhane stared at Justin.

 

"Why did we leave, Justin?" Zhane asked, his voice a deadly calm.  Gone was all traces of humor that had once been his trademark of life.  "Why did we leave?"

 

"The doctors have to see..."

 

"Screw the doctors!  I don't want my best friend to wake up with doctors crowded around him, treating him like he's a piece of science to be studied.  I don't want him thinking that everyone he knows and loves is gone and that he is to blame, because he will blame himself.  I don't want him to be alone!"

 

Justin visibly took a step away from Zhane's sudden anger, shocked by the outburst.  Zhane sat down at the table, breathing heavily, tears visible in his eyes.  Kat walked over, gently placing a hand on his shoulder.  He shrugged it away, but Kat was not ready to give up.  She once again put her hand on his shoulder, whispering softly into his ear.  She turned to look at Justin, but still holding onto Zhane.

 

"We have to go back Justin," she stated quietly.  "We can't leave him there with them.  He's one of us, a ranger.  We have to be there when he wakes up, to comfort him, to explain what has happened over the last five years.  He has to know that his best friend and his sister are still alive."

 

Justin sighed nervously.  He looked away from his fellow ranger, not daring to meet them in the eye.  "We can't go back.  It's against all protocol.  We have to let the doctors deal with it.  Once they see that he is healed, we'll be able to see him again."

 

"You don't get it, do you Justin?" Zhane asked, his voice shaking with rage and anger that he had kept inside for five years.  "You just don't get it.  This isn't about doctors or protocol or rules.  This is about friendship and commitment.  There's more to being a ranger than just following the rules.  Some rules are meant to be broken.  Especially in times like these."

 

With that, Zhane stood up and left the room.  Justin and Kat stared at his retreating back.  For a moment, Justin was speechless as he thought about what Zhane had said.

 

"He's right, you know," Kat said, walking over to Justin.  "Some things are more important than rules.  You know that.  You learned that during your years as a ranger.  What happened?"

 

"I grew up, Kat."

 

Kat looked at him, tears pooling slightly in her eyes.  "I know that, Justin.  But just because you grew up doesn't mean you have to lose the love of life that you once had.  Remember when you first became a ranger?  Remember how excited you were?"

 

"Times have changed since then.  I have to be more serious because of the responsibilities I hold.  I can't be the kid I once was, especially since I have so many things to take care of."

 

"Damn it, Justin!"

 

Justin looked at her in surprise, shocked by her words.  Never in the years that he had known her had he ever heard her swear.  In fact, she was the last person he thought that would.  Kat continued, ignoring the look he gave her.

 

"I know that times have changed and that you have to be more responsible.  But that doesn't mean that you have to stop loving life.  Don't you remember what the Turbo team was like?  How close we were?  How, even when times were bad, we could always find a way through them?  Being a ranger is more than being responsible and serious.  You have to be a ranger in spirit.  You have to love life and your teammates, not shide away from both."

 

Justin only stared at her, eyes blank.  Her frustration mounted as she looked at those blank eyes, her tears slowly starting down her cheeks.  "You might be older and you might be a heck of a lot smarter, but there are many things that you have to learn, Justin Stewert.  And now, I'm going after Zhane.  He might do something drastic."

 

She spun around, marching out of the room with Justin staring blankly after her.  The reality of what she and Zhane had said slowly began to sink it, causing questions to fill in his mind.  But before he could start to contemplate their words, a sharp beeping broke through the silence.  It took him a second, but he finally realized that it was his communicator.  After touching a button on the side, a small projection showed putties running through the ruins of Angel Grove.  He reached to press another button on the communicator to contact the others, but stopped short.

 

"No.  I have to do this one on my own," he whispered, pulling out his crystal.  "They need time for themselves."

 

"Jedi White!" he yelled, gripping the crystal tightly.  In a flash of white light, Justin disappeared from his room.  He reappeared a second later, this time on the surface of the Earth.  He looked around his surrounding, searching for the putties that he had seen.  He started walking cautiously through what was once Angel Grove, carefully studying his surroundings.  Suddenly, from out of a torn up building, a dozen putties leapt at him.  The putties quickly surrounding him, circling him slowly.  Justin quickly went to work, knocking a few aside with a fast side kick.  He ducked as one of the putties tried to punch him, sweeping the feet out from under the putty.  After a few quicker moves by Justin the putties disappeared, beaten. 

 

"That was easy," he murmured.  "Maybe a little too easy."

 

Suddenly, from out the sky, a giant boulder fell to the ground, sending a spray of debris showering towards Justin.  Justin leapt back, barely avoiding the rubble shot at him.  A crack formed on the boulder, opening wider with every passing second.  With a giant sound, the boulder split in half, revealing a tall black-haired woman.  Her Asian features were very pretty, but they were twisted in an evil smirk.  Light glinted off her gold armor and a long curved tail flicked with every move she made.

 

"So it was easy, was it young one?" she taunted, pulling out a spiked boomerang.  Justin involuntarily backed up, knees crouched as he prepared for an attack.  "Then try this one for size!"

 

She threw the boomerang at him.  Justin dove out of the way, narrowly missing being beheaded by the weapon.  The boomerang landed back in the woman's hand and she jumped forward.  Justin quickly got up, just in time to block her first attack.  From that point on, Justin found that he could do nothing but block her attacks, for she moved with inhuman speed.  Whip kicks, tornado kicks, series of punches all came at him in a blur.  Panic slowly registered in his mind as he lost ground to the villainess.  Suddenly, she pushed her boomerang forward, hitting him on the chest.  Sparks flew everywhere from the impact, causing Justin to fly to the ground.  As he struggled to get back up, she kicked him sharply squarely in the ribs.  Justin groaned in pain as he clutched his bruised side, all changes of getting up anytime soon destroyed.  She bent down and ripped his morpher off of his belt.  In a flash of light his armor disappeared, leaving Justin lying on the ground without any of his powers.  She chuckled as she grasped his crystal tightly in her fist.

 

"What do you want?" Justin hissed through his teeth.  "And who are you?" 

 

She bent, her lips close to his ear.  "I am Scorpina, deadly assassin of Rita Repulsa.  And what do I want?  The death of all power rangers."

 

Scorpina stood back up, readying her boomerang for the final attack.  As she prepared to bring the boomerang down for the final kill, Justin's crystal flashed in her hand.  A slight scream of pain emerged from her as she dropped the crystal and examined her now burnt hand.  Justin took advantage of her hesitation and lunged forward, grabbing his crystal.  But before he could reach it, her foot came down hard on his wrist.  He grimaced in pain as she put more weight onto his wrist.

 

"Don't even think about it, rookie," she sneered.  "You're not getting anywhere close to that crystal."

 

But she was once again interrupted, this time by a blast to her side.  She fell to the ground, surprising by the unexpected attack.  With a burst of energy, Justin grabbed his crystal and morphed.  He backed away from Scorpina, glancing briefly to his right to see Jedi Black and Jedi Pink approaching.

 

"Thanks guys," he sighed as he looked over at them.  The two nodded and pulled out their blade blasters, as Scorpina glared at all of them. 

 

"You will pay for that!" Scorpina hissed as she got to her feet.  "Nobody does that to me.  Nobody."  She lunged at them, boomerang outstretched.  With quick nods to each other, the three rangers braced themselves for the oncoming attack.  As Scorpina landed, she slashed at the three rangers, her tail whipping out wildly.  The rangers jumped back, barely avoiding the venomous tail.  Jedi Black sprang into actions, attacking Scorpina with a series of kicks and blocks.  Jedi Pink joined in, pulling a blaster off of her uniform.  She punched at Scorpina, but was knocked to the ground, her blaster going flying.  Jedi Black soon joined her as his own attacks against Scorpina proved futile.  Scorpina looked at the remaining ranger, a smirk crossing her face.

 

"Looks like it's just you and me," she hissed.  "This time, you're going down."

 

As the two slowly circled each other, dozens of putties appeared, surrounding the other two rangers.  Jedi White looked around, realizing that no one would be able to help him this time.  He once again focused his attention towards Scorpina, watching for any movement.

 

Meanwhile, the other two rangers had a bigger problem to face.  Dozens of putties surrounded them, attacking them from all angles.  Jedi Pink quickly went to work, fending off each of the putties that attacked her.  Adrenaline pumped through her system as she kicked and punched her way through the putties.  Her fighting form was never better as she quickly made her way through the putties.  Suddenly, a cry of pain caught her attention.  She gasped as she saw Jedi Black being dragged away by a group of putties.

 

"Zhane!" she screamed as she jumped over the fallen putties, running as soon as she hit the ground.  Jedi Black struggled weakly as he tried to escape from the creatures, his uniform covered in scorch marks.  Jedi Pink attacked the putties, blasting each of them with her recovered blade blaster.  Many of the putties fell back, giving Jedi Black enough room to roll to safety.  "Zhane, are you okay?"

 

"I think so," Jedi Black murmured as Jedi Pink slowly helped him to his feet.  He turned to look at Jedi White, Jedi Pink supporting him as he turned.  They looked just in time to see Jedi White being knocked down.  The two ranger stared at each other before running over to help their falling companion.  Jedi Pink shot her blaster just as Scorpina leapt forward to slash at Jedi White.  She shrieked as the blast hit her, burning the uncovered skin on her side.  The rangers regrouped as Scorpina stumbled, holding her side in pain.

 

"This isn't over rangers," she threatened, still clutching her side protectively.  "This planet will be destroyed next time."

 

With that last threat, Scorpina disappeared in a cloud of smoke.  As soon as she had gone, Jedi Black fell to the ground in exhaustion.  Jedi Pink ran to his side, concern replacing the adrenaline that had once filled her body.  Jedi White looked around and, seeing no one, said, 

 

"C'mon.  Let's get back to the Control Center." With that, the rangers disappeared in white, black, and pink streaks of light.

 

*****

 

As the rangers appeared in the Control Center, Jedi Black instantly demorphed.  Zhane stared at the other rangers briefly before slowly getting up.  He did not get far, though, as he fell against one of the counsels.  Jedi Pink and Jedi White quickly demorphed, rushing over to their fallen comrade.

 

"Zhane, what's wrong?" Kat asked as she grabbed hold of his arm gently and led him to the medical chamber.  She laid him down on a cot, Justin watching them closely.  Kat gasped as she saw his face for the first time.  Zhane's face was a pasty white, as if all of his blood had slowly drained from it.  Dark rings circled his eyes and his eyes were bloodshot as he looked up at her.  Suddenly, his eyes rolled back into his head and he fell to the cot in a dead faint.  Kat could only stare down at Zhane as Justin grabbed a medical scanner from the nearby shelf. 

 

"What's wrong with him Justin?" Kat asked, her voice strangely calm as she stared down at Zhane.  Justin glanced at her, surprised by the pain that was evident in her eyes.  He quickly walked over to Zhane, scanning him with the medical scanner.  As the readings came up, Justin looked at the results in shock. 

 

Kat looked at him in alarm, grasping his arm.  "What's wrong?  What's wrong with him?"  An unnatural silence filled the medical chamber as Justin could only stare at the readings.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Justin tore his gaze away form the scanner and looked at Kat.

 

"If the readings are correct, then Zhane is slowly losing power.  If he loses too much..."  Justin broke off in the middle of the sentence as he looked away from Kat.  Kat's blue eyes filled with horror as she saw the emotions that were conflicting on Justin's face.

 

"Justin, tell me," she whispered, her voice somewhat strangled by the emotions that choked her throat.  He finally looked up at her, pain, sorrow, and fear evident in his eyes.

 

"If he loses too much, not only will he lose his powers but he would eventually...die,"  Even though the last word was barely above a whisper, it sounded to Kat as is Justin had yelled it out for the whole world to hear.  A shaking hand flew to her mouth as she leaned heavily against one of the shelves.  Justin leaned forwards, clumsily grasping her hand.  "I'm sorry Kat.  I know how close you two are..."

 

"Justin...not now." Kat whispered, her voice strained as she tried to hold back her tears.  "Right now, we have to find a way to help him.  We have to find a cure."

 

Justin nodded, glancing briefly at the scanner that still lay in his hand.  "I'll be back in a little while.  I want to run a few more tests on the readings I took.  Then I'll probably run through his history to see if he's ever lost his powers before.  Watch over him while I'm gone."

 

Kat nodded as she watched Justin walk of the room, a small sense of pride resounding deep within her as she saw how calmly and rationally he was able to handle the situation.  Her throat tightened up again as his words came back to her.  Grabbing a nearby chair, she dragged it over to the cot where Zhane was laying.  She sat down, slowly reaching for Zhane's hand.  She stared at him, wincing at the paleness of his face. 

 

"You have to be alright Zhane," she whispered, leaning closer to him as if trying to get him to hear her.  "You can't leave yet.  Not after everything that you've survived over the last couple years."  Her tears began to flow slowly down her face, reflecting off the lights.  Kat wiped her hand across her face, smearing the tears.  Silence filled the room as she stared at him, the silence almost threatening to suffocate her.  I...I just can't take the silence right now.  I need to hear something.

 

She slowly stood up, not taking her eyes off of Zhane.  Out of pure chance, she opened a cabinet and found a small cd player in it.  Next to the cd player was a small cd case.  In it she found a large group of cds, each labeled according.  She flipped through and was surprised to find a single cd labeled, Kat's mix.  She stared at it for a few minutes, a sad smile crossing her face as she realized they were Justin's group of cds.  She put the cd in and quickly shuffled back to Zhane.  As she sat back down, the music began to play.  She froze as she recognized the tune that was playing.  The song drew her back five years ago, back when things were normal.

 

All I am, all I'll be

 Everything in this world

All that I'll ever need

Is in your eyes

Shining at me

 

She remembered that song.  Back then, it was just a song that she had enjoyed listening too.  Now, the song meant much more to her.

 

A slight smiled crossed her face as she stared down at Zhane.  Memories of their imprisonment came to her.  But they weren't the painful memories.  Instead, she remembered the memories that had kept her together until her escape.  Everytime I thought that I was done with, he was there.  His eyes held hope that at times, I really didn't think I had anymore.  Everytime I looked at him, I could feel his hope, even though it slowly began to dim as the years passed.  But that's all I needed.  All I needed where the emotions that he managed to show me just by looking at me.

 

When you smile I can feel

All my passion unfolding

 

Even now, I can tell what he feels, just by looking at his eyes.  And when he smiles...I want to just throw myself into his arms.  Shock filled her as Kat stared at Zhane, conflicting emotions running through her.  What's going on?  I'm in love with Tommy, aren't I?

 

Kat's forehead wrinkled just a bit as a sudden thought came to her.  Zhane and I are just friends...aren't we?  It's just that everytime I'm around him, it feels so right.  I know that I love Tommy but...is it the kind of love that I think it is?

 

Your hand brushes mine

And a thousand sensations

Seduce me 'cause I

 

I do cherish you

For the rest of my life

You don't have to think twice

 

Kat reached down gently and pushed the stray hairs out of Zhane's eyes.  What is going on here?  Tommy is the one that I love!  Not Zhane.  Tommy, not Zhane.  Tommy.  At least, I think.

 

I will love you still

From the depths of my soul

It's beyond my control

 

You can say that again.  Suddenly, I'm so confused!  When I saw Tommy after a long five years, I felt like the giddy teenager that went out with him during high school.  But after our argument, I don't know where we stand anymore.  When I'm with Zhane, I feel..well, I don't know what I feel.  she thought as she glanced over at the cd player.  But even if I do have feelings for him, he and Karone mean a lot to each other.  I think.

 

I've waited so long to say this to you

If you're asking do I love you this much

 I do

 

Realization hit her with the force of a truck.  I love Zhane.  I love everything about him from his sense of humor to his undying hope.  Yes, I still love Tommy, but it's different.  I'm different.  Both of us have changed too much for anything to really work out between us.  Both of us have begun to grow in different directions, just as he and Kim did years ago.

 

If my world, before you

I lived outside my emotions

Didn't know where I was going

'Til that day I found you

 

Before Kanara and before I got to know Zhane, everything was so different.  I was studying to be an elementary teacher and I was teaching ballet to young beginners.  Tommy and I were happily together and the prospect of marriage had come up a few times.  I wanted to settle down in one place and be close to my friends and family.  But now, after all that has happened, my plans have changed.  I don't know if I want to be a teacher anymore.  Instead of staying in one place, I want to explore.  Zhane told me so much about space and his home planet of KO-35 that I want to see everything with my own eyes.  I want to be out there, watching the birth of stars and the growing of planets.  And most of all, I want to be with Zhane.  Maybe even forever. 

 

How you opened my life

 To a new paradise

In a world torn by change

Still with all my heart

'Til my dying day

 

Everything is different now.  Everything.  The world has changed so much in just five years, that I don't know if I can catch up with all of it.  If it wasn't for Zhane I would by totally lost in this new world.  And - and......I don't want him to ever leave me.

 

I do cherish you

For the rest of my life

You don't have to think twice

I will love you still

From the depths of my soul

It's beyond my control

I've waited so long to say this to you

If you're asking do I love you this much

 Yes I do

If you're asking do I love you this much

 

 Yes I do cherish you

For the rest of my life

You don't have to think twice

I will love you still

From the depths of my soul

It's beyond my control

I've waited so long to say this to you

If you're asking do I love you this much

 Baby I do

 

As the music slowly wound down, Kat made no move to turn the cd player off.  A new song came on, and though she recognized the tune, she paid no attention to it.  Instead, she leaned closer to Zhane struggling with the emotions that were now raging through her.

 

"Zhane, you can't leave me," she whispered, her throat beginning to close up once again.  "After all that we've been through together, you can't leave now.  You have done so much over the last couple years while we were under Kanara's rule.  I don't want to...and I can't...live without you."

 

She was about to say more when Zhane slowly started to move.  Her dim hope suddenly filled her, excitement filled her hands as she gripped his hand carefully.  "Zhane?  Are you okay?"

 

"I feel like I was just run over by the Megaship," Zhane groaned weakly as he opened his eyes to look at her.  He struggled to sit up, but was quickly but gently pushed back down by Kat.

 

"I don't think so," Kat ordered, talking softly.  "You took some pretty hard hits out there and you shouldn't be getting up already."  Zhane rolled his eyes as he gave a sigh of defeat.

 

"Yes, mother," he sighed sarcastically, pouting slightly.  Kat burst into strained giggles as she saw the look on his face.  He favored her with a slow smile, watching as her eyes twinkled with merriment, relief, and a little bit of fear.

 

She's so gorgeous, Zhane thought as he looked at up her.  But she already has someone, someone who will never want to lose her.  I wish I had seen her first.  I would do so much just to be with her...

 

Kat's laughter died away slowly as she noticed Zhane looking up at her intensely.  Their eyes locked with each other, neither of them realizing that they were slowly drifting closer to each other.  All they saw were the naked emotions that lay in each other's eyes.  They reflected the same confusion, fright, and, most of all, love.  Kat gently closed her eyes as she felt Zhane's lips touch her.  He carefully wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling her even closer.  The world around them no longer mattered as long as they were together.

 

*****

 

"Life signs are increasing!"

 

"Brain patterns are becoming more rapid."

 

"Get ready to release him from the chamber."  The head doctor ordered as he and the small group of doctors surrounded Andros' tube.  Every moment brought the former ranger closer to life as his signs began to improve.  The doctors worked quickly but carefully as they prepared to bring the ranger back into the world.  They were so absorbed in bringing him back that none of them noticed the security guard that rushed into the room.

 

"Doctor Stevens!" he called in alarm, his breath coming in short gasps.  The surprised doctors all turned around, their work halted by their surprise.  The head doctor, Doctor Stevens, hurried over to the guard, wanting to get back to work.

 

"What is it?" he asked, his voice demanding an answer immediately.  The guard took a few deep breaths in order to control his heavy breathing. 

 

"A huge fire has broken out in sector five of the tunnels.  They need all the doctors there they can get because there were many people when the fire started." the security guard explained.  Doctor Stevens nodded and turned to the others.  The other doctors looked at him expectantly, ready to be sent.

 

"All of you go to sector five immediately to help out over there.  If the fire is as bad as it sounds, they're going to need all the help they can get.  If not, I want all of you to get back here as soon as possible.  I'll take care of things here while you take care of sector five."  The doctors looked as if they were going to argue with him, but instead they followed the guard out of the room.  As soon as they were done, the head doctors walked back over to Andros.  But this time, instead of using his equipment to help the ranger, he dropped everything to the ground.  A slow, wicked smile crossed his face as he stared at the ranger.  "Stupid people.  It was all too easy."

 

A flash of light lit up the crypt and when it disappeared, Scorpina appeared.  The doctor looked around and instead of looking afraid and shocked by the sudden appearance of one of Rita's henchmen, he greeted her as if she was an old friend.

 

"Has the plan worked?"

 

The doctor nodded as he walked over to Scorpina.  "As easy as Rita said it would.  For once, she actually came up with a well-thought out plan.  Now, the ex-ranger is ours for the taking!"

 

A flash of gold light covered the doctor and when it disappeared, Goldar stared back at Scorpina.  "And the rangers never suspected a thing."

 

"Why would they?  After all, Doctor Stevens has been a part of the resistance ever since the tunnels were built.  It never occurred to them that the doctor would be evil.  Especially when there was no one present at his 'accidental' death," Scorpina said, a smirk as evil as Goldar crossing her face.  Goldar nodded in agreement, the two walking over to Andros. 

 

"Are you ready?" he asked, his finger poised above the button to open the tube.  Scorpina nodded and, with a touch of his finger, the tube opened.  Andros fell forward, being caught by the henchmen just before he hit the ground.

 

"With the power that Rita has stored over the last five years, there should be enough to fill him," Scorpina growled, tilting her head towards Andros.  Suddenly, a small moan escaped Andros' lips and he shifted slightly in their arms.  Goldar looked at Scorpina in alarm.

 

"We have to get him back to Rita before he wakes up!" Goldar exclaimed.  Scorpina nodded and in three flashes of light, they disappeared from the chamber, leaving nothing but an empty tube and the notes of the real Dr. Stevens.

 

*****

 

Far away from the planet of Earth on the small planet of Tatooine, a middle-aged woman slowly stood up from her small table.  Her dusty brown hair was slightly streaked with shades of gray, though they were hidden by the dust.  A weary but hopeful look was on her face as she put her dishes into the sink.  She glanced a worn chair at the other end of the table, a wistful but sad look crossing her face.  Thoughts of her only son filled her mind, threatening to overtake her.  Memories that she had pushed away earlier that day so she could get her work done flew back at her.  She looked away from the chair and closer her eyes, tears slowly rolling down her cheeks.  She walked out of the room but instead of walking into her bedroom, she slowly made her way into the one next to hers.  It was a very cramped room with nothing but a small bed in the corner, a work bench in the middle, and an almost completed droid standing in the corner.  Pieces and parts of old machines and droids littered the room, some pieces even laid on the bed.

 

I miss him so much, she thought as she walked over the slumping droid.  Even though I know that his destiny doesn't lie on this planet with me, I can't help but missing him.  She stared at the droid for a moment before pushing a small button on its back.  In an instant, the droid immediately came to life and stood up on its own.

 

"Good evening miss," the droid said primly.  "I am See-Threepio, human-cyborg relations.  How may I..."

 

"Hello See-Threepio," the interrupted, smiling slightly at the talkative droid.  "How are you today?"

 

"Oh, hello Shmi." See-Threepio replied, a bit offended at being interrupted.  "I am fine.  Just a little drafty, since Master Skywalker never finished my casting.  If only my casting was done, it would make standing here so much easier.  I can't believe that I didn't even notice until that rude little droid pointed it out to me.  Hmmp, naked indeed.  That little droid was just jealous of my superior workmanship."  Shmi Skywalker only shook her head, smiling at him.

 

"So I take it you want someone to finish your casting, huh?" she asked. 

 

"Oh yes.  It would be lovely if I could have my casting done."  Shmi nodded and sat down at her son's workbench.  See-Threepio looked at her in alarm as she began to work with the casting that Anakin had started, but hadn't finished.  "Miss, what are you doing?"

 

"You said you wanted your casting done, and I haven't worked at Watto's for all those years and not learned anything about casting."  she explained as she set to work.  See-Threepio watched in interest as her hands worked quickly, but diligently at the task.  Time began to fly by as Shmi was able to shape the casting into the form of See-Threepio.  Even as she worked, her mind began to focus more on her son then the task at hand.  Sighing slightly, she put the casting down.

 

"Why are you stopping miss?" the droid asked.  "That piece was looking quite nice."

 

"I miss him, See-Threepio." she sighed as she looked at the droid. 

 

"Master Skywalker?" he asked.  Shmi nodded as she looked around his room.  "Well, sitting here with me won't help at all.  After all, he did create me.  You should take a bit of a break.  Don't worry about me.  You've done much for me today, after all."  Shmi smiled up at him as she looked over her work.

 

"I did, didn't I?" she asked.  As she looked over See-Threepio, she studied her casting work.  His head was completely casted, as was his entire chest area, both of his arms, and down to this knees.  "I don't have much more to do.  I think I might be able to finish up with you tonight."

 

See-Threepio gave his own sigh of relief.  "Oh good.  I was afraid that my casting might never be finished now that Master Skywalker is away with his training."  Shmi Skywalker nodded as she sadly thought about her son's departure.

 

"I know that this is what he wants to be, but I miss him so much." she said.  "I'm glad he's off of this planet and he's not in slavery anymore, but I miss him so much.  It was so hard to let Annie go.  But he really wants to become a Jedi, and I can't stand in the way of his dreams."

 

"He must become what he wants of become." See-Threepio said quietly.  Shmi nodded, then turned back to him.

 

"Yes, he has his own dreams that he needs to live out.  I don't want him to become like me."  Shmi whispered sadly.  Silence passed through the room as Shmi closed her eyes.  Shaking it away, she opened her eyes and turned back to See-Threepio, giving him a shadow of a smile.  "Come on.  We have to finish the casting on your legs."  Again, she began to mold the casting into the shape of the droid.  As she got to his last leg, she smiled as she picked up the last piece.

 

"We're almost done," she said, working the final piece of casting into it's shape.  "Then you don't have to worry about being drafty anymore."

 

See-Threepio seemed to smile as he stared at the casting that was slowly being molded into the shape of his leg.  "That will be nice, miss.  I was hoping that I would be completely someday soon."

 

"Well, it's a good thing that I came in, now isn't it?" she asked the droid, slowly shaping the casting.  She took the final piece and placed it on the droid's leg, pushing it into place.  She leaned back and looked at the final product, pride filling her as she looked at her son's now-finished creation.

 

"You really are a piece of work.  I don't think Annie realized how incredible his skills are."

 

But before See-Threepio could answer, a laser beam flew into the room, missing Shmi by mere inches.  Both of them turned towards the door, and looked in shock at the white troopers that stood in the doorway.  Shmi ran over to See-Threepio and glared at the troopers, her own determination pulling through.  Anakin had gotten his determination and stubbornness right from his mother and See-Threepio could now see why.

 

"What do you want?"  What do you think you're doing here?" she demanded, glaring daggers at the troopers.  But the troopers ignored her, instead looking around the room as they pointed laser guns directly at her and See-Threepio.  "Answer me!"

 

"They have more important things to do then listen to a slave like you."  The troopers quickly moved out of the doorway as a young woman slowly walked into the room, inspecting her surroundings with a disgusted look on her face.  Her shoulder length hair, complete with purple streaks, glowed slightly under the light coming from the window.  Her black leather bodysuit was studded with silver metal and she wore three inch high leather boots on her feet.  She glared at Shmi with purple eyes, distaste for the woman obvious in her eyes.  "After all, they take orders from me."

 

"Who are you?" Shmi demanded, panic slowly rising as she saw the laser on the girl's belt.  The girl smirked at her as she pulled out the laser, bringing it even with Shmi's chest.

 

"My name is wasted on dirt like you," Kanara spat out, staring at the worn clothes and the shabby blankets.  "In simple terms, I am your destruction."

 

With that, Kanara shot the laser at Shmi, hitting her once in the chest.  With a look of disbelief and horror on her face Shmi slowly sank to the ground, her life force slowly draining away from her.  Kanara walked over to Shmi and knelt down besides her.  "Don't worry, Shmi.  I'll take good care of Anakin for you."

 

Her heart gave one final strong lurch as thoughts of Anakin came to Shmi's mind.  As her eyes unfocused, she silently asked the Jedi to watch over her son and to keep him from the girl.  She silently said goodbye to her son, telling him of her love one last time.  She closed her eyes and her spirit left her body completely.  The girl stood up, smirking as she turned to the cowering droid.

 

"Take him with us," she ordered.  The stormtroopers ran over and grabbed the trembling droid, slightly scuffing his new molding.  "He might come of some use to us."  She began to walk towards the doorway but turned back one last time to look at one of the stormtroopers.

 

"If he gets away, you'll pay with your life."

 

"Yes Kanara," answered the stormtrooper, his fear radiating off of him.  Kanara nodded in satisfaction and walked out of the room, her small group of stormtroopers following her closely.

 

This is much more fun then sneaking around.  Screw that Darth Sidis or whatever the hell his name is.  Moving with force in the open is much better than sneaking around.  A cruel smile crossed her face as she headed out into the waning light of day.  And this way, I can hurt the Jedi even more.

 

*****

 

Chapter 5

 

Anakin quietly stared out of the window of the Naboo ship, watching the stars slip past the ship in waves of light.  Behind him, Obi-Wan was in a deep discussion with the beings that called themselves Power Rangers.  Fragmented pieces of the conversation floated over to Anakin, giving him enough information to tell that the conversation becoming more heated than anyone had originally intended.  He turned around, catching glimpses of each of their emotions.  The one in purple, Karone as she called herself, looked over at her companion in red, worry and distress evident on her pretty face.  Her companion, though, was oblivious to her looks and instead stared at Obi-Wan, his eyes boring into the Jedi.  Obi-Wan simply listened to both of them with an emotionless face, though Anakin knew that Obi-Wan felt much more than we let on.  Anakin stood up and trotted over to them, just in time to hear Obi-Wan's response to a previous question.

 

"...we do not have the time nor the fuel to get you all the way to the planet of KO-35 and then travel back to Coruscant." Obi-Wan drawled calmly, watching the conflicting emotions on both Karone and Tommy's faces.  "What you are proposing borders on insane, not to mention dangerous and risky."

 

"Besides," Obi-Wan continued, "Anakin and I have to get back to the Jedi Council as soon as possible.  They have to know the danger Kanara poses for the rest of the universe."

 

"But we have to get to KO-35!" Tommy exclaimed, a sense of panic of anger beginning to well up.  "A friend if ours if being held there.  If we don't get to him, he could die!"

 

"And if we do not get to the Council, many more people will die."  Obi-Wan replied, almost as if it were a retort.  Tommy simply shook his head in disgust, turning away from the Jedi in anger.  An uncomfortable silence filled the room and Anakin almost felt the air become colder.

 

"But why did you stop here in the first place?" he asked, wanting to do anything to cut the tension in the room.  "How did you know Kanara was here?"

 

His question was greeted with another moment of silence as Karone gently placed a hand on Tommy's shoulder.  He looked at her, not wanting to face the Jedi again.  She stared at him, a slight warning note in her eyes.  Tommy sighed, recognizing the look from many of the female rangers he had worked with in the past.  How all women seemed to have the same look of doom, he could never figure out.  He glanced over at the Jedi and his apprentice, his anger fading slightly.

 

"Karone and I were on our way to KO-35 when I felt a familiar presence in the back of my mind.  As we neared your ship, the nagging in my mind became greater and suddenly a picture of her flashed in my memory.  I knew she was here.  I could feel her in every part of my heart and mind and I knew I couldn't let her inflict more pain.  I just couldn't."

 

Tommy closed his eyes, pushing back the pain that he felt as he remembered bits from his past.  Even now, almost ten years since they had gone out, he could still feel her.  A part of him still loved her.

 

"But how did you know she was here?  What connection do you have with her?" Obi-Wan asked, knowing there was something that Tommy was not telling him.

 

Tommy took a deep breathe, pushing the pain even farther back.  "Back before she turned, she and I used to go out.  Even after we broke up, we remained pretty close.  I could tell when she was hurting or in pain or if she was really excited about something.  But when she turned, she put a spell on me.  For some reason or another an unknown side-affect, one she didn't know about, was that I could feel her presence when she was near.  I could tell when she was planning on using her powers to hurt another person.  It doesn't always work if I'm too far away, but if I'm close enough I can tell."

 

Obi-Wan nodded slightly, carefully storing all of the information for further reference.  He knew this would be important information that the Jedi Council would need to know if they were going to defeat the girl.

 

"I know that you can't take us to KO-35," Karone said hesitantly, taking a step towards Obi-Wan, "but can you take us anywhere near there that isn't too far out of your way?  We did come out of our way to help you and we have lost some time due to that.  If there's anyplace you can take us, we could be grateful."

 

Obi-Wan stared at her for a moment before quickly walking over to the main controls.  Karone followed, looking over his shoulder as showed her the ship's course. 

 

"This is the course we have been heading on since we left Endor," he explained, pointing to the blue course line.  "As you can see, the course we are on now does not take us anywhere near KO-35,  But," Obi-Wan pressed a button of the main control panel and the blue line turned towards a small planet before veering back on course, "if we can alter the course a bit, we may be able to drop you and your ship reasonably close to the planet."

 

Karone nodded, staring at the blue course.  "Then that's the closest you can take us?"  As Obi-Wan nodded, she smiled back at him.

 

"Thank you.  Taking us closer to the planet helps us a lot."

 

She gave him once last smile before turning around and walking back towards Tommy.  As she did, Anakin slipped quietly over to the window where Obi-Wan now stood.

 

"Master, why can't we take them to the planet?" he asked.  Obi-Wan looked down at him, taking a few moments to answer.

 

"Because it will take us four extra days to get to Coruscant, four days that we do not have.  I do want to help them, so I am getting them as close to the planet as I can.  But we have our own destinies, Anakin.  Our destinies do not lie with them," Obi-Wan explained, watching the boy carefully.

 

"Oh," was all Anakin could say as she glanced over at the two.  A sudden thought came to his head, his eyes widening as he remembered their passenger in the medical bay.  "I'll be right back, Master.  I'm going to check on Floita."

 

"Anakin, wait a minute." Obi-Wan ordered, causing Anakin to freeze in his tracks.  Rarely did Obi-Wan order anything, but when he did, Anakin listened.  Anakin turned around and faced his Master.  "Take Karone with you.  I need to talk to Tommy for a moment."

 

Anakin, Tommy, and Karone all looked stunned for a moment but they quickly composed themselves.  Karone followed Anakin out the door, giving Tommy and Obi-Wan one backwards look as she did.  Karone followed him through the halls, marveling on how everything was so different from the Megaship.

 

"Where are we going, anyway?"

 

"I want you to meet someone," Anakin replied, halting in front of the medical bay doors.  Karone, who was too busy studying the halls to pay attention, ran right into him.

 

"Oops, sorry about that," she apologized, giving him a slight smile.  He grinned back.  He pressed a series of numbers of the number pad and the door opened with a slight hiss.

 

The medical bay was dark, with only a single small lamp to provide light into the large room.  Shadows lived in the corners of the room, giving an eerie feel to the room.  A series of small metal cots lay before them, only one of them being used.  A number of councils stood behind the cots, infrequently giving out soft noises.  The one cot that was being used had a small girl on it.  The cot and the girl were both enclosed in a glass case.  Two cords stuck out of the case and were attached to a small device, which Karone assumed to be an oxygen device.

 

"What happened to her?" she asked softly, following Anakin to the device.  "Why is she in that case?"

 

Anakin sighed, watching her vital signs closely.  "We aren't really sure.  We met her and her kind on a moon that we took an emergency stop on.  When we got there, all of them were fine.  But suddenly, this disease attacked their entire kind.  We took her along so the Jedi Council can study her.  We her in the case because we were not sure if traces of the disease will be left after she leaves."

 

Karone nodded, a slight frown on her face as she stared at the girl.  There seemed to be a slight glow to her...

 

"Do you mind if I look at her?" she asked, turning to look at the surprised expression on Anakin's face.  He nodded, hurrying over to the controls.  Karone stepped forward as the glass case slowly lifted.  Once the case was high enough, Karone placed her hands directly over the Eran's chest.  Her hands began to glow white as she closed her eyes, falling deep into concentration.  Anakin watched in fascination as the glow spread over the Eran, becoming brighter as the seconds ticked by.  Suddenly, the glow disappeared and Karone stumbled back slightly.  Anakin pressed a button of the control panel and the case slowly fell down to encase the girl.  He walked over to Karone, studying her carefully.

 

"There is more to her disease than meets the eye," Karone whispered, leaning heavily against one the control panel.  "It is not a natural disease.  It was caused by a spell put on her."

 

Anakin's eyes widened in shock as he glanced back at the sleeping girl.  "You mean...someone did this on purpose?"  Realization hit him like a load of bricks as he caught the undertone in Karone's voice.  "It was her, wasn't it?  Kanara did this to them.  She's the one who is behind this."

 

"I don't know how she did it, but she is the source of this disease.  When I tested the girl, I could 'see' an aura of purple surrounding her.  Kanara's magic is behind this illness."

 

"How were you able to do that?" Anakin asked.  "How did you get powers like that?"

 

"I'm a sorceress," she replied, smiling at him.  "It comes with the trade."

 

"But how did you get to be a sorceress?  Where you born with the powers or did you learn how to use them?"

 

The smile disappeared from Karone's face as she realized that he was not going to let up on her easily.  He has to know the truth, she thought firmly to herself.  He has to know how easily evil can tempt him.

 

"I wasn't born with the power.  I was born as a normal, happy child on the planet of KO-35.  I spent my childhood trampling through the forest with my brother and his friend, pretending I was a power ranger on a huge adventure.  But one day, that changed.  I was kidnapped by a creature known as Darkonda and taken to a giant spaceship.  I spent years on the ship being brainwashed by a being called Dark Spectre.  Little by little, I forgot about my childhood until one day, I didn't remember it at all.  All I could remember was what I had been told:  my family had been murdered in cold blood by the power rangers.  After that, I became obsessed with destroying them for what they had done to my family.  I traveled through galaxies, attacking planets and searching for the power rangers.  But I could never find them.  So I took my anger out on the people of the planets.  I destroyed homes, towns, and lives.  During one of those raids, I found a purple crystal hidden in a small temple.  I took it, not realizing the power that laid dormant in it.  Soon, I returned to Dark Spectre."

 

"On the eve of my fifteenth birthday I was introduced to other villains.  I was Astronema, Princess of Evil.  I looked down at them, watching jealously play on their faces as they saw I was the favorite of Dark Spectre.  And then, during the course of the 'party,' we found there was a spy in our midst.  It was none other than the red space ranger.  From the moment I laid eyes upon him, I wanted to destroy him.  Dark Spectre knew that.  And so, he sent me after him.  The next time that I saw him, he had brought others with him.  Four other rangers.  After that I fought many battles with him, being defeated each time."

 

"Then, one day, I found out the truth about my childhood.  The red ranger that I had fought against for so long was my brother.  I refused to believe the truth and instead allied myself with a creature known as Lord Zedd.  I wish now that I could turn back time and change my decision to ally with him.  He knew that I held the Crystal of Shadow and he wanted to release it's powers.  He kidnapped a girl by the name of Kimberly Anne Harte and gave her the crystal."

 

Karone took a deep breathe, blinking back tears.  Her voice came out as a hoarse whisper as she continued.  "I am the reason that Kanara came to power.  All of the destruction and murder that she has caused is because of me." 

 

Tears slowly flowed down her cheeks as she sank to the ground, all of the guilt that she had pushed to the back of her mind now coming out to face her.  The resistance that she had built against the guilt and the pain broke.  She looked at up Anakin, sorrow etched across her face.

 

Anakin walked over to her and knelt down besides her.  "It is not your fault, Karone.  You were being controlled by evil that had been forced into you for so many years.  The crystal could have been found and used by anyone.  You are not to blame."

 

A shaky smile crossed Karone's face as she looked up at him.  "Thank you, Anakin, but I know in my heart that I am partly to blame.  That is why I have worked so hard to correct my mistake.  I have helped the people of Earth achieve things that they had only dreamed of.  But thank you."

 

Suddenly, a sharp beep emitted from the communicator on Anakin's waist belt.  Anakin and Karone jumped in shock, smiling at each other at their surprise.  Anakin reached down and turned his communicator on.  "Yes Master?"

 

"We are going to be arriving at the point in which our visitor will be leaving," Obi-Wan explained, his voice slightly fuzzy.  "We will see them off on the bridge."

 

"Yes Master," Anakin replied as he shut his communicator off.  Anakin ran one last check on Floita, to see if she had gotten worse.  When he found that her signs had remained the same, he nodded in slight satisfaction.  He and Karone left the room and quickly made their way back to the bridge, neither of them sure how much time they had until the rangers departure.  As they walked onto the bridge the found that Tommy was in his full ranger gear, holding his helmet under his arm.

 

"I guess that means it's time to go, huh?" she asked, smiling at him.  Tommy nodded.  "How much time do we have until we leave?"

 

"Only a few minutes, actually," he admitted.  "So you'd better hurry up." 

 

Karone nodded and pulled out her morpher.  "Jedi Purple!"  In a flash of violet light, she appeared in the garb of the Jedi Ranger.  She too pulled off her helmet, giving Obi-Wan and Anakin one last smile.  "I guess this is it, huh?"

 

"This is where our paths will split." Obi-Wan said.  "Good luck on your journey."  Karone took a step forward and pulled the surprised Jedi into a tight hug.

 

"Good luck on your own journey," she said.  Leaning close to him she whispered, "And good luck with Kanara.  She is more powerful than I ever thought possible."  She pulled away and gave the surprised Jedi a wink.  She bent down and smiled at Anakin, her expression becoming very serious as she looked at him. 

 

"Listen to me Anakin," she said quietly, so Obi-Wan and Tommy could not hear.  "You are very wise for your age, but that will not prevent the darkness from coming after you.  The dark side is tempting and seductive and will do everything in it can to pull you over.  You must be strong and steadfast.  Never give up on the light, even when times seem hopeless.  Remember, we will never desert you.  No matter where you are, there will be friends watching out for you."

 

Anakin nodded, not able to say anything as Karone pulled him into a fierce hug.

 

"You're a good kid, Anakin," she whispered.  "Don't let anything change that."

 

As Karone let go of him and backed away, Anakin suddenly saw a flash of a black figure come back into his mind.  He tried to brush it away as Karone and Tommy left the room to go to their ship but the image only got worse.  Finally, as a picture of the rangers appeared on the bridge screen, he managed to push the image away.

 

Tommy turned towards them, smiling.  "Good luck, man.  And thank you."

 

Obi-Wan and Anakin watched on the screen as the rangers boarded their ship and turned the engines on.  The ship left the docking room and rushed into space, heading away from the Jedi.

 

"I hope they don't run into any trouble," Anakin said as he watched the ship disappear into space.  Obi-Wan only nodded as he turned away from the screen and walked over to the main controls.

 

*****

 

Shadows loomed around him, cloaking him in their unknown midst.  His black cape swayed slightly as he watched his ever-growing followers devoutly following his instructions, building up his powerful army.  Even with the numbers of followers and warriors that he had, nobody knew what was coming.  Nobody knew the evil that was slowly but surely pushing their way forward.

 

That is to say, almost nobody.  The Jedi knew that evil was growing steadily, though they were not sure who was controlling it.  The Sith Lord intended to keep it that way for a good while longer until he was ready to unveil himself to the universe.  His plan was slowly falling into place, each part delicately laid out for perfection. 

 

It had taken him many years to put his plan into place and now his hard work was finally paying off.  He was now rising greatly in power.  He held more power than the Jedi could imagine.

 

My plan is working almost exactly as I planned out, the Sith Lord thought to himself.  After all, some things had to be...compromised.  Plans don't always work exactly as they are laid out.  I left a few options open for myself, just in case something new came along.

 

And something new did come along.  I knew very little about the Power Rangers of Earth up until a few years ago.  That is when she came to me.  She had already destroyed those that many villains had failed at.  She wanted more power and prestige.  She had heard about me and desired the type of power that I had.  She offered to ally herself with me, saying she could help me in many ways.

 

A slow, cruel smile crossed the face of the Sith as a dark flame lit in his eyes.  "She is powerful, oh yes.  Yet she is young, naive.  She thinks that she has taking advantage of me as she prepares to double-cross me when the time comes.  But I am ready for her.  Only then will she will realize the true extent of my power."

 

He reached over and turned the transmitted pictures of his followers off.  He slowly started pacing the room, his booted feet not making a sound as he trod across the room.

 

"The sorceress is unpredictable, though.  She does things on a whim, not taking much time to think about the consequences.  That does give her a bit of power over me.  While I know what she plans to do, I do not know when or how.  She is too wild with her planning, or lack there of.  And yet she has helped me.  She has told me of a new force coming into power while drawing attention away from me.  She has been of some help, I will admit." 

 

His soft but deliberate words seemed to disguise the evil that hid behind his black cloak.  For years he had studied the Force, ever since his rejection to be trained.  A sudden beeping broke him from his thoughts as a light on the transmitter began to blink red.  He touched it once and instantly a three dimension picture jumped out of the transmitter.

 

"What's going on, Siddy?  Brooding yet again about your plans?" Kanara said, her dark purple lips twisting into a smirk as she gazed at the Sith Lord.  Darth Sideous raised an eyebrow slightly as he stared back at her, quietly taking into account every one of her words and actions.

 

"Planning," was his simple response as she fidgeted slightly with impatience.  "Which I suggest you start doing."

 

"Been there, done that," she said off-hand rolling her eyes slightly at him.  "Geez, have you ever thought about taking a break from all you're "planning" and just have fun for once in awhile.  It makes things so much more enjoyable."

 

He said nothing to her, instead simply staring at her.  She sighed in annoyance, but this time with a bit of awkwardness.  She shrugged the feeling off, and instead pushed her most recent actions back into her mind.

 

"Besides, I have planned.  In fact, not only have I planned but I've followed through with my plan.  And had a hell of a lot of fun doing it."

 

Her unpredictability once again comes into play, Darth Sideous thought as he watched her fidget underneath his gaze.  She consults no one and does what she feels. 

 

He nodded slightly, indicating that she should continue.  "Obviously, hiding in the midst of the Jedi just isn't going to do anything.  That's been shown with many examples by the slow progress of your phases.  When it comes down to it, it just isn't going to work.  We have to hit he Jedi where it hurts."

 

"And where would that be?" he asked calmly, listening with interest in her plan.

 

"In their deepest thoughts, fears, worries blah blah blah," she said, rolling her eyes.  "The usual drill.  Isn't that what the Dark Side of the Force is all about?  I thought you were supposed to be a Sith Lord.  I'm surprised you didn't think about using their emotions against them, Siddy."

 

Again, a cold silence greeted her words.  She rolled her eyes again at him, calling forth a deep sense of bravado as she stared the Sith Lord in the eyes.

 

"Anyway, to keep it short, we have to hit them where it hurts.  With Obi-Wan, it's easy enough.  He's afraid that he won't be able to life up to the greatness that was Qui-Gon Jinn.  He doesn't think that he has the skill or the experience to train Anakin," she explained.  "Stupid, but true."

 

"You're forgetting the young one, Anakin," he said.  She sighed, glaring at him.

 

"I have not forgotten about him.  I'm simply saving the best for last," she said, almost in a mocking tone.  A spark of interest grew in Sideous as he caught a certain undertone in the sorceress' voice.  "With Anakin, he fears many things.  But the thing he fears most for is his mother.  If something should happen to her, that fear he has will turn to anger.  And if I've got it right, anger leads to hate.  And hate leads to the Dark Side.  If anything should happen to her, he will turn to the Dark Side." 

 

As he watched her explain her plan, Darth Sideous found himself rethinking his thoughts about her planning.  She planned much more than she had let on during their meetings.  She had great potential to grow into a very powerful being.  Very powerful indeed.  He would have to watch her carefully.

 

"And what could happen to his mother that would lead him to the Dark Side?" he asked, waiting for her explanation.

 

A cruel, cold smirk crossed her face as she stared at the Sith Lord.  "Easy.  If I killed her."

 

A flash of purple engulfed the girl as she spike.  When the flash disappeared, Darth Sideous was surprised to see that her eyes were glowing a noticeably darker shade of purple.  And, she seemed to be moving closer to evil as time passed.  "He won't notice her disappearance right away.  I've covered my tracks too well.  But he will find out when the time is right.  And then..."

 

She let her sentence trail off, allowing him to digest all of the information.  He nodded slightly at her, already working her actions into his plans.

 

"That will hurt the boy.  And it will possibly lead to his temptation to the Dark Side," he admitted.  "But what about the Jedi Knight?  He has years of experience with the Force behind him.  He will not be as easily swayed."

 

"Don't worry about the Jedi Knight," she whispered.  "I'll take care of him."

 

*****

 

Deep in the tunnels of Earth Justin sat in front of a beeping computer, frantically searching through the files that were stored in the Control Center.  With every passing minute, hope began to dwindle and fade.  He knew that the longer it took to find a cure for Zhane, the more likely the chance that Zhane would die.  So far, every lead Justin had found had come up inconclusive.  It seemed as if nothing could be found about rangers slowly losing their powers.  Suddenly, a passage caught his eye as he scrolled down the page.

 

Zhane almost died today.  And it's my fault.  If I had trained more or if I had been paying more attention, I could have deflected the bolt that they shot at me.  But I didn't.  And because of that, Zhane took the blow for me.  He was willing to die for me.  And now, I have to live with the knowledge that I almost let my best friend die.

 

I have put him in a hidden chamber on the Megaship so that no one will disturb his slumber.  That way he will heal faster.  I hope.  He has to live.  He's the only person that I have left in my life; he's like a brother to me!  Ever since the two of us were chosen to be rangers, we've become closer than anyone would have expected.  We picked the rest of the rangers and the six of us guarded KO-35 for years.  Now, I am alone.  They're gone.  All of them.  They were all killed in the same war that Zhane was injured in.  The way that destroyed KO-35, my home planet.  Now, I have to find another place for the people of KO-35 to live - if there is anybody left.  I have to take the Megaship away from here. Alone.  I can't afford to hurt anyone else.  No one will ever use the Astro Powers again.  Ever.

    -Andros

 

Justin looked at the journal entry in shock.  He could never figure out why Andros had come to Earth.  He knew that Andros was from KO-35, but he never asked about the planet.  Maybe that was why Andros always seemed to be hiding something from the others.

 

And then Andros had to live it all over again when Kanara came.  He had to watch as more of his teammates were destroyed by her.  If he ever wakes up, there's no telling how he will react or if he will be able to live with himself.  Suddenly, Justin remember why he was in the memory banks.  He pushed the thoughts away and continued searching.  Finally, he came across something that looked very promising.

 

My powers almost died out.  Ever since I woke up from cryosleep, my power levels had been off.  Suddenly, I found that I could stay morphed for two minutes and thirty seconds.  That's it.  That's the longest I could stay morphed.  And I left the whole team vulnerable, though they didn't realize it.  I couldn't tell them that I was losing my powers!  They would become too concerned for me and might get themselves hurt in battle.  I had to fix my powers on my own.

 

And I did, though I hope I never have to fix my powers that way again.  Being hit by a bolt of lightning isn't my idea of fun.  But my powers are back and that is all that matters to me.  I am no longer the weakest link of the team and the others don't have to worry about me. 

 

They ended up finding out, though.  But they didn't get it exactly right.  They must have overheard my talking to Alpha or something but somehow they got the impression that I was dying.  And I decided to play on that.  Yeah, it was the wrong thing to do, but that'll teach them to listen in on someone's private conversation.  Of course when they found out, I had to clean the entire Megaship!  I never the ship could be that big!

 

Things have changed in the last couple of years.  Andros is different, both in a good way and in a bad way.  He really likes Ashley; it's obvious to everyone on the ship.  Not that I mind.  He deserves happiness after all that he's gone through.  And I hope she can give it to him.  Ever since the others were killed in the battle, he hasn't been the same.  He never mentions any of them!  I guess it's too painful for him.  I mean, he watched as his teammates died.  He probably held their bodies as they said their last good-byes.  And I wasn't there for him.  Instead, I was stuck recovering from my injuries.  If I had been there, maybe that wouldn't have happened.  Things would be really different if I hadn't been hurt the day that KO-35 fell.  Things would be very different.

    ~Zhane

 

"That's what he needs!" Justin whispered in excitement as he stared at the screen.  "He needs a burst of energy to restore his powers and his life force!  I bet his powers have been facing the last five years, but he didn't even realize it because it couldn't morph."

 

He turned away from the computer and jumped out of his seat.  He quickly ran over to the door of the Medical Bay and typed in the code to get in.  He burst into the room and ran over to where Kat was sitting by Zhane.

 

"Guys!  I know what's wrong!" he exclaimed as he ran over to them.  "I know how to get Zhane's powers back!"

 

Kat looked at him in shock, even though she felt the hope rising within her.  She stood up slowly and glanced at Justin.  "How can we help him, Justin?  What can we do for him?" 

 

"We need a boost of energy to save him." Justin explained.  "And if we combine our power, Kat, it might be what he needs."

 

"How will that help him?" asked a mystified Kat.  A small groan interrupted their conversation and both of them turned towards Zhane.  Kat reached over to him as he struggled to get up.  "Don't Zhane.  You can't afford to exert yourself.  Not now."

 

"When I first woke up from cryosleep, my powers were very limited," Zhane struggled to explain, beads of sweat welling up on his forward in obvious exertion.  "It was so bad that at one point, I only had two minutes and thirty seconds to morph.  In order to get my powers back, I had to be struck by a bolt of lightning.  I was hoping that I would never have to do that again.  But.."

 

Kat hastily cut him off.  "So if we give you a boost of our power, it will save you?"  As Zhane nodded, Kat turned back to Justin.  "I'm ready. What do we have to do."

 

Justin led her over to Zhane, until they were both on opposite sides of his cot.  "We have to do this quickly because with each passing minute, Zhane is losing more of his power."

 

Kat nodded, glancing over at Zhane.  He smiled at her and closed his eyes, exhaustion hitting in.  She looked back at Justin and nodded grimly.

 

"With your power crystal in your right hand, slowly raise it over him."  Kat did as she was told and Justin followed suit.  "Now, touch your crystal to mine."

 

As the two power crystals touched, a burst of light gushed forth from them and covered Zhane.  He stiffened slightly as the power flowed into him.  Suddenly, Kat and Justin watched in horror as he stopped breathing.  Kat quickly glanced over at the heart monitor and stiffened as it went flat.  She looked over at Justin, tears glistening in her eyes.

 

"We have to do something else! This isn't working!"

 

"It will work!  It has to!" Justin yelled back, grasping for more ideas.  "I think we need a stronger burst of energy.  We have to morph!"  Kat nodded and keeping her crystal touching Justin's she called out,

 

"Jedi Pink!"

 

"Jedi White!"

 

Suddenly, white and pink energy burst from their crystals enveloping them all in light.  Kat gasped as she felt the power of the combined crystals, more power than she had ever felt before.  Though it had only been a few seconds, Kat felt as though the power had been flowing through her for hours.  She began to tremble in exertion as the power filled all of them.  She looked up at Justin, gasping as she saw the paleness of his skin.

 

"Hold on, Kat!" Justin called, gritting his teeth.  "It'll only take a few more seconds!"  Kat nodded and forced herself to stay upright and conscious.  Finally, the light of their crystals died away and both rangers immediately fell to the ground in exhaustion.  But the only stayed there for a few seconds, for the had to find out if the energy boost worked.  They forced themselves to get up so they could see if Zhane was alive.  Kat reached out with a trembling hand and she softly touched the skin of his face.

 

"Zhane," she whispered.  "Are you okay?"  Zhane's eyes slowly opened and he smiled up at both of them.

 

"Now I am." he said.  "Now that I have my powers back.  Nothing can stop us now."

 

"I wouldn't say that," a voice hissed from behind them.  The three rangers looked at each other in shock and alarm as they slowly turned around.  Zhane's face paled as he stared at the site behind him, a site that will haunt him for a very long time.  Standing in the middle of the control center dressed in black leather with his blond streak hair pulled back was Andros.  "Nothing can save you now."

 

Zhane could only stare at Andros in horror as he saw a small metal chip implanted on the side of his forehead.  "Andros, please..."

 

"What?" Andros said harshly, cutting Zhane off.  "Think about what I'm doing?  Denounce evil and join you?  I don't think so.  This is the side with the true power.  And now, all of you will taste defeat."

 

*****

 

As Obi-Wan and Anakin piloted the ship closer to Coruscant, Obi-Wan noticed that Anakin was unusually quiet.  He watched his Padawan for a few moments before slowly setting the ship into autopilot and turning to face Anakin.  "What's wrong, Anakin?  I can tell that something is deeply troubling you."

 

Anakin sighed and shifted slightly in his seat, wishing that Obi-Wan had not noticed.  "It's just that...I keep having these visions, Master.  Horrible visions that are starting to cloud my mind.  I don't understand them at all and they're almost starting to scare me.  What is gong on?"

 

"Many times when a young boy starts his training to be a Jedi, the Dark Side acts swiftly to try and tempt him.  The Dark Side is a very powerful force, one that you have to be careful to never fall in it's trap."  Obi-Wan explained quietly.  He stared into Anakin's eyes, and saw that there was still a troubled look on his face.  "Tell me, young Padawan, what were your visions about."

 

"They were about a man - no, a machine almost that was dressed all in black with a shining black helmet on his head.  He wore a chestplate covered in buttons and he had a special breathing device that amplified his breathing."  As Anakin explained the vision, a feeling of dread crept up his spine, causing him to shake involuntarily.  Obi-Wan caught this immediately, seeing that Anakin's vision was much more than he had at first thought.

 

"What else did you see?  Did you hear anything?  Did something seem wrong about the man?"  Obi-Wan asked patiently.  Anakin gave a quick nod and looked at up Obi-Wan, his bright blue eyes shining directly into Obi-Wan's.

 

"The name that I heard was that of a Sith Lord.  The man's name was Darth Vader," Anakin whispered hesitantly. "Everything about him seemed so wrong!  There seemed to be a darkness around him, a darkness that I didn't understand. A darkness that...scared me."  The temperature in the room seemed to drop as Anakin's vision once again flashed through his mind.  "I know that Jedi aren't suppose to feel fear because that leads to the Dark Side, but this man was filled with so much evil that I couldn't help it."

 

"That is where you are wrong," Obi-Wan said calmly.  "Jedi do feel fear.  The difference is that we do not let our fear control us.  We accept that there are some things that we fear and we do our best to overcome them.  Once you accept your fear and overcome it, you will find that the Dark Side will not be able to overcome you."

 

Anakin nodded, feeling only a little better though he could still feel a chill in the room.  Obi-Wan looked at him calmly, seemingly oblivious to the sudden chill in the room.  But that was not at all true.

 

This vision of his is incredible.  He has been obviously affected by it, so I know that it runs deeper than my visions of the Dark Side ever did, Obi-Wan thought.  In fact, I can't recall the last time a Padawan was affected this deeply by a vision.  Sure, they've had visions of the Dark Side, but never about a Sith Lord.

 

"Arrival on Coruscant in five minutes," came the monotone voice of the onboard computer. The voice interrupted the silence of the room and Obi-Wan quickly made his way over to the main controls.

 

"We'll finish this conversation later, Anakin, after we talk to the Council."  Obi-Wan said briefly.  "Right now, we have to get to the Council as soon as possible."  Anakin nodded in agreement, but the thought of his vision was still nagging the back of his mind.

 

Not now, Anakin thought.  Right now, we have to tell the Jedi Masters about Kanara.  And we have to see if they can help Floita.  As Obi-Wan flew the ship closer to the tower where the Jedi Council took place, two robotic flyers zoomed in and flew to either side of the ship.

 

"State your name and reason for coming."  The robotic voice commanded.  Obi-Wan leaned close to his speaker and called out,

 

"I am Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight.  I have come to speak with the Jedi Council." he stated in a monotone voice.  Anakin looked at Obi-Wan in confusion, but did not ask anything.

 

"You may proceed." said the ships.  With that they zoomed away, leaving a small cloud of dust behind.  Anakin glanced over at Obi-Wan with questioning eyes.

 

"What was that?" he asked.  Obi-Wan took his eyes away from the course just for a moment so he could answer Anakin.

 

"Those are Chancellor Palatine's new guards." Obi-Wan explained.  "So no unidentified people could sneak in."  Anakin nodded his head at Obi-Wan's brief explanation, wondering what the point of having the guards had been.  After all, the Jedi Council was there.  They would be able to sense if anything was wrong.  Obi-Wan slowly steered the ship to the docking bay of the Jedi Council's tower.  Soon, Anakin and Obi-Wan were on their way to the Jedi Council.  They had dropped Floita off in the most advanced medical facility in Coruscant, close to the tower.  Now, they were on their own

 

Anakin took a deep breath as they neared the room, remembering the last time he had been there.  He knew that the Jedi were good, but it was strange to have people knowing exactly what he was thinking.  They would know everything about him in just a matter of minutes!

 

"In a matter of seconds, actually." Obi-Wan joked as he smiled down at Anakin.  Anakin looked up at him in surprise.

 

"How did you know what I was thinking?" he asked in surprise.  Suddenly, the smile disappeared from Obi-Wan's face and he looked down at Anakin seriously.

 

"Right now is not the time for me to explain it to you." Obi-Wan whispered.  "Now is not the time."  Anakin nodded and the two of them continued down the hall until the doors of the Jedi Council came into view.  Butterflies seemed to be fluttering everywhere in Anakin's stomach as Obi-Wan opened the doors.  Forgotten was the conversation he had with Obi-Wan just a few seconds ago.  Now they were in the presence of the Jedi Council, the most highly pronounced Jedi in the entire universe.  Whilst many Jedi, including Obi-Wan, were Jedi Knights, these were the Masters.  They knew everything that was going on, and nothing could escape them.  Anakin and Obi-Wan walked into the center of the room, with Anakin keeping his eyes downcast.  Scattered along the edges of the room were the twelve different Jedi Masters, all from different planets and species, who directed the entire Jedi Order.

 

"You have run into an unexpected problem, Obi-Wan." stated Mace Windu, more of a statement than an actual question.  Obi-Wan nodded and turned to look at the Jedi Council.

 

"Something is changing the universe.  Making for the worse, that is." Obi-Wan glanced at each one of the Jedi as he continued.  "In the short time that we were on our mission, Anakin and I have run into many troubling problems, including the near destruction of an incredible race, the rise of a new evil, and a group of defenders going out to fight for a trapped friend."  He took a deep breathe, and was about to continue when Master Yoda looked at him.

 

"Much evil there is." Yoda croaked, his large pointed ears twitching with each word.  Wisdom filled each of his words, and everyone listened intently to what he was saying.  "Clouded is the universe, by the evil that invades.  Overpowered will we be by the growing of evil.  Lives of many will be sacrificed."  Yoda's tone gave everyone a of sense of foreboding to everyone in the room, and Anakin felt a sense of fear pass through him, but quickly tried to control it.  Yoda turned to him, and though he did not say anything, Anakin knew that Yoda had felt his fear.  Before he had any time to contemplate it, Obi-Wan continued.

 

"Much evil, yes.  One in particular, Master Yoda." Obi-Wan explained, looking directly at Yoda.  "A young girl, filled with enough evil to conquer everything that stands in her way.  She was killed many, and has attempted to kill off a race of highly intellectual beings."

 

"The Erans." Hiyoria, a being from the planet of Weyre said, surprising Obi-Wan.  "Yes, I have met with the Erans many times.  What has been done to them?"

 

"A sickness is spreading through their people, faster then any I have heard of." he explained.  "There is no record of the disease in any of the files I have looked through, and I suspect the disease might be because of magical proportions.  Magic from the girl of Kanara."  The Council members glanced at each other, not surprised at the news but worried.  Mace Windu leaned forward and looked at Obi-Wan curiously.

 

"How strong is this girl?" he asked.  Obi-Wan slowly glanced around the Council, slowly watching the reactions of all the council members.

 

"This girl has conquered an entire planet, which had been able to defend itself against many villains before that." he explained slowly.  "She has killed most of her close friends, only luck saving those who are still alive.  She has cast a spell over all of the Erans, causing disease to spread through the entire race.  And she will kill anybody who gets in her way."  The Council members nodded as they digested all that the young girl had done.  Silence filled the room, and for a few minutes no one spoke.

 

"Filled with evil she is," Yoda spoke quietly.  He looked up, his large eyes filled with wisdom.  "As is somewhere close.  Win this round, she will."  The other members turned to Yoda, their features marred with that of worry.

 

"What evi..."  As the council members discussed the problem, Anakin's gaze was brought to the left side of the glass dome that covered the council.  A mask of confusion crossed his face as he noticed a small fighter plane spinning erratically through the air.  His confusion quickly turned to alarm as he realized where the plane was headed.  He reached to grab Obi-Wan's sleeve when the council members turned towards the dome. 

 

The plane sent two missiles at the tower, but they were batted away by the power of the Jedi Masters.  The plane continued on it's course, reading to crash into the glass dome when suddenly it changed it's path.  Or, the Jedi changed it's path for it.  They watched as the plane headed back into the atmosphere.  But suddenly, the Jedi turned back to the door where Obi-Wan and Anakin had entered.  The door opened with a hiss and stormtroopers poured in.  One hit the controls of the door, making it impossible for the doors to close.

 

But the stormtroopers were no match for the council.  The legions of evil were pushed back by an unseen force as the Jedi Masters used the Force to control them.  Suddenly, they felt it.  They felt the arrival of an evil being, one whose power was very great.  In a blast of purple she appeared in the tower, becoming visible in her spot right next to Anakin and Obi-Wan.  Before either of them could move, a flash of purple appeared around causing them to become immobile.  She gave Obi-Wan a cruel smile as she looked at up him.

 

"We have many plans in store for the two of you," she whispered in his ear.  With that, the three of them disappeared in a glow of purple.  Kanara disappeared last, her eyes narrowing as she stared at the small but powerful creature that watched her carefully.  She suddenly felt very vulnerable and was filled with relief when she disappeared completely. 

 

The Jedi Council watched as the stormtroopers left the tower, all of them gone in a matter of seconds.  The Jedi Masters were disturbed by their lack of foresight they had with the girl.  It seemed as if she was being protected by more than the Dark Side.  There was something more about her that they couldn't figure out with just the small amount of time she had been there.

 

Yoda looked around, calmly taking in the thoughts of each of those on the council.  He had had a glimpse of her mind and was troubled by what he had seen there.  Yet, he felt as if there was hope for her yet.

 

"Much worry I have." he croaked, mostly to himself.  "Strong is evil with that one.  And yet, there is another, stronger in evil." 

 

*****

 

   Chapter 6

 

The Astro Megaship slowed down as it approached it's destination:  KO-35.  Karone watched as they neared her home planet, pain filling her as she thought of her lost childhood.  More than ten years ago she had been kidnapped and taken away.  Now, she was home.

 

But her home was different than she thought it would be.  Deep battle scars ran across the planet, evidence of the war that destroyed its people.  Battle scars that had so mutilated the land that they could be seen clearly from space.  The beauty of the planet had been destroyed by the army of Dark Spectre, leaving a deserted and tired planet behind.

 

Even now, she could not remember much.  The brainwashing those many years ago had been so complete that she had forgotten everything about her past.  Yet she had broken through covered parts of her memory after years of attempts.  Bits and pieces were slowly coming back to her, a little at a time.  One day, maybe she would remember everything.

 

Karone tore herself away from the window, clearing her mind.  Zordon.  Our duty is to find Zordon.  We have to save him.

 

She walked over to her already familiar control panel, using the scanners to look for Zordon on the planet.  The search came up negative, as it had for the last couple days.  She sighed in frustration, turning the scanners off as she did.  Her sigh broke Tommy away from his thoughts.  He walked over to her and put a hand on her shoulder.

 

"What's wrong?" he asked softly as she glanced over at him.  She gave him a tired smile, grateful for his support, as she pointed towards the negative readings on the screen.

 

"Nothing is coming on the scanners.  I've been running them ever since we started approaching the KO-35 and nothing has come up."  She turned to him, obvious frustration evident on her face.  "It doesn't make sense.  If Zordon was there, our scanners should be able to register his presence."

 

Tommy stared at the scanners for a moment then turned to look out the window.  "I don't know, Karone.  If Dark Spectre really is draining Zordon's power like Dulcea said, he could probably block Zordon's presence from any scanners."

 

Karone nodded grudgingly, flipping the scanners off.  She looked once more at her home planet before turning back to Tommy.  "Tommy, what did Obi-Wan say to you?"

 

Silence greeted her unexpected question and she could see the emotions conflicting on his face.  He glanced away from her, but she carefully pushed his face back so she could look in his eyes.  He sighed.

 

"He said that my path lies uncertain before me.  I've reached a point where my life could take me in two directions: one path leads to pain, suffering, and eventual death.  The other leads to hope and life.  I have to choose my path carefully, for I am a part of the greater destiny."

 

He sighed, troubled by the words.  "I just don't understand it, Karone.  I've always felt that I would have to choose my path carefully one day, but I never thought that it would be so soon.  I thought that I would know which way to go because I would feel it pulling me towards it.  But I don't know where to go.  I don't know which path to take.  And...it scares me."

 

Karone's heart went out to him at his sudden admission of fear.  Even before she had met him, she had heard stories from Justin about the courage and the leadership of Tommy.  And even though she had not known him that long, she had always felt the bravery that poured out from him like waves.  But now, as they stood facing each other, Karone could see that fear that had long been hidden under his courage and bravado.

 

"Tommy, there's nothing wrong with being afraid," she said softly.  "Everyone fears something or someone.  What's important is that you don't let that fear control you.  The moment that you let your fear control you is the moment that you have taken a step on the wrong path."

 

"Do you know how long I've lived with my fear, Tommy?  My fear of becoming who I once was, succumbing to my inner demons and destroying everything on Earth that I know and even love?  I've pushed past my own fear because I know that if I allow myself to fall to it, I'll end up destroying not only those I care for, but I will destroy myself."

 

Silence greeted her insights as Tommy looked away, quietly digesting all of the given information.  He looked back up at Karone, a slight smile spreading across his face.  He pulled her into a gentle hug, not able to express his gratitude.  She understood his silence, though, and returned the hug.

 

"Arrival on KO-35 in three minutes," The onboard computer announced.  Tommy and Karone slowly broke apart, their smiles disappearing as they realized the danger that lurked close-by.  Where ever Zordon was, Dark Spectre was sure to be close by.  Karone turned back to the controls, glancing once more at the negative scans. 

 

"I hope we can save him," she said, biting her lower lip nervously.

 

Tommy smiled at her reassuringly, though worry was evident in his eyes.  "Don't worry.  We'll save him.  If we work together, anything is possible."

 

Memories came running back full force at Tommy as he uttered those words.  A day, years ago, when Zordon's life was in critical danger.  *Guys, remember what Dulcea said?  With the great power, anything is possible.*  Even back then, when times were at their lowest, the rangers never lost hope.  No matter what happened, they had hope that they could win.  Tommy felt a twinge of hope growing inside him, a hope just like the type he had felt before Kanara.

 

Karone, oblivious to Tommy's trip down memory lane, slowly maneuvered the ship through the atmosphere.  She fiddled with the controls as she searched for a place to land.  The ship slowly drew closer and closer to the surface of the planet, passing through layers of clouds as it did.  With a sudden lurch, the ship hit the ground and slowly slid to a stop.  Karone glanced at the main viewing screen and saw that nothing was moving on the planet.  She slowly turned to Tommy, grabbing her helmet as she did.

 

"This is it," she whispered.  "It's do or die time."  Tommy nodded and quickly slipped his helmet back on.  Karone followed suit and soon both of them were heading for the door.  As the door slowly slid open, Karone hesitated and turned to look around the Megaship once more.  Tommy looked quizzically at her.

 

"What are you doing?"

 

"I want to remember what it looks like here," she explained, biting back tears, "in case I don't make it back."  Slowly, very slowly, she turned and started to walk out the door.  She froze in her path when a familiar voice interrupted her.

 

"Good luck, Karone," announced a very feminine voice.  Karone's head shot up as she looked around in shock.

 

"DECA?" she whispered as she heard the voice of the ship's computer system.  But no more sound came from the ship as Tommy led Karone out.  But as she watched the door to the ship close, a genuine smile crossed her face.  I'm going to make it out of here alive.  I know that I will.  I have to bring her back to them.

 

Karone and Tommy moved away from the ship, watching their surroundings cautiously.  They walked through a wind-blown, dusty area that, years ago, might have been the downtown center of a magnificent city.  But all that was left now were dilapidated buildings showing the curse of time.  Karone looked around her surroundings in sadness, though she had no memory of this place in particular.  This place was her homeland.  She might have spent time here with her family, before the mark of evil touched upon it.  It might have been a bustling city, full of life and laughter.  But now, all that was left was being destroying by the biting wind.

 

"Hey," Tommy whispered suddenly, causing Karone to jump slightly.  She looked at him, pushing her thoughts away.  She followed his finger and stared at what he was pointing at.  "What's that over there?"

 

She shrugged as she stared at the small metal well that stood by a group of splintered boards.  "I don't know what that is.  There really isn't a reason for that to be there."

 

But before she could analyze the situation more, a feeling of utter dread fell upon her.  She felt as if all the joy and hope that she had once felt were being sucked away.  Darkness was falling upon both of the rangers, filling them with fear and dread.  And she knew why.  She had felt these feelings before, while she had been a prisoner of evil; when she had been a soldier of Dark Spectre.  She slowly spun around, her worst fears confirmed.  There, standing behind them, were an army of Quantrons, the foot soldiers of Dark Spectre.  And standing behind them, towering over the landscape of the planet, was none other than Dark Spectre himself.  His rock-shaped body was gleaming a bright red, the rock almost glowing with energy.  His eyes drilled into them as he took a step closer to them.  The ground shook as he did, and both rangers had to work carefully to keep their balance.  Karone could swear there was a smile on his lips as he glared down at them.

 

"Well, well, well," he bellowed, glaring down at Karone and Tommy.  "What do we have here.  Two little lost rangers."  The Quantrons laughed a metallic laugh as they slowly began to surround the two.  "You've come to the wrong place.  There is no one here who can help you.  I will defeat you just as I defeated this planet years ago."

 

Tommy shook his head as she looked up at Dark Spectre, pushing his fear away.  Karone gave him a smile of admiration, though he could not see it. 

 

"I don't think so, man," shouted Tommy, his own voice echoing through the empty town.  "We will not be defeated here.  We will destroy you and all of those that follow you."

 

Dark Spectre laughed, a booming harsh laugh, as he heard Tommy's words.  "Idiot boy!  You have no idea what you're up against here.  I am not one of the fools that you have battled before.  I am the leader of the Alliance and I will destroy you."

 

With that, a loud battle cry erupted from the Quantrons as they began to charge.  Karone and Tommy glanced at each other briefly before turning back to the oncoming Quantrons.  They each stood in defense stances, waiting for the oncoming attack.

 

"Here we go," muttered Tommy as he drew his lightsaber.  As the Quantrons approached, Tommy knew that this would be the battle of his life.  He even knew that this could be his last battle.  There was a chance he would die in this battle.  But he didn't care.  He had to do this.  He had to do what he could to protect his planet and his friends from this abomination that stood before him.  And he would go out fighting if he had to.

 

*****

 

"Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I ask once again for your silence!"

 

The voice boomed through the room, echoing off the walls and the ceiling.  A silence filled the room, the Senators shocked by the sudden outburst of their usually mild-mannered leader.  Leaders of planets all over the galaxies slowly filed to their seats, preparing themselves for the briefing by the Chancellor.

 

"Friends, esteemed colleges, you have been called here today to discuss a growing threat in our universe.  Less then two weeks ago, beings calling themselves "stormtroopers" have been attacking sporadic planets through the galaxy.  Though they do not appear to be a threat as of yet, they seem to be growing more aggress every day."

 

Palpatine watched each of the members of the Senate carefully, studying their reactions.  Most seemed horrified but strangely enough, some seemed unaffected by the news.  I'll have to talk to them later.

 

After a few moments of silence, he turned to the booth where Amidala sat.  He nodded to her and slowly sat down as she stood.  As she slowly stood, Amidala held her head high, her face emotionless as usual as she scanned the room.

 

"The Chancellor is very right about the stormtroopers, I'm afraid," she said, her voice ringing out clearly for all to hear.  "Just recently, my planet was once again attacked. At first, the stormtroopers were chasing after a young girl who supposably escaped from them.  But they soon began to attack my city, killing innocent civilians."

 

A collective gasp was heard as the extent of the damage caused by the stormtroopers was fully realized.  Immediately, some planet leaders pushed their boxes out of place and flew them towards both Amidala and the Chancellor.

 

"Who was the girl?"  "Did the stormtroopers attack in force?"  "Who is in charge?"  "Why did you let them get away without further questioning?"

 

A stream of questions flew at Amidala, yet she answered them instantly.  "A slave under the rule of Kanara, an evil being who supposably controls the troopers.  Yes, they attacked in force but they were dealt with by Captain Panaka and Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Unfortunately, there were no living troopers left after the attack to question."

 

"Stormtroopers have been spotted on planets through the galaxy, and as the days pass, new sighting are reported.  Already, the casualty list is at 45 civilians and 125 members of various militaries," Palpatine announced loudly, making sure his voice was heard over the din.

 

"My planet has also been attacked by stormtroopers, though fortunately no one was killed," Leanna Ortega announced, her calm voice brimming with intensity.  "But even as we speak, unidentified ships were seen heading towards the moons surrounding Aldaraan."

 

"A squadron of troopers attacked and boarded ships bringing imported goods to my planet," called out another senator.  Soon, Senators all over were calling out their own experiences with the stormtroopers.  Heated debates began to grow as Palpatine watched carefully.  The last thing he wanted were fights breaking out in his Senate.

 

Suddenly, the doors to his quarters opened and a red-faced, panting foot soldier.  Palpatine looked at him in interest, momentarily pulling himself away from the debate at hand.  "Can I do something for you, soldier?"

 

The young soldier took a deep breath, fear reflecting in his eyes as he stared at Palpatine.  "Chancellor, there has been an attack on the Jedi Council.  White beings calling themselves Stormtroopers burst in, as did a female all in black.  While the Jedi can hold their own, a group of stormtroopers have parted with their comrades and have started on a new path."

 

"They're headed here."

 

Palpatine took a sharp breath, dismissing the soldier immediately.  He turned back towards the Senate, ignoring the Senators who came over with their own personal arguments.  "Senators, QUIET!"

 

Arguments ended in mid-sentence as everybody in the room turned to stare at Palpatine.  A somber mood came over the Senators as they saw the seriousness on his face.  "We must act fast, fellow Senators.  Stormtroopers are closer than we had thought.  Just a few moments ago, the Jedi Council was attacked by the stormtroopers.  And, more are headed towards us even as we speak."

 

Chaos filled the room as Palpatine's words sunk in.  Senators screamed out suggestions, but each were drowned by suggestions of others.  As Palpatine once again prepared himself to get their attention, Sri De'hara of the planet Broma stood up and yelled, "Senators, please, hear me out!"

 

"In light of the current events and the immediate danger to all of us, it is time that we came to a temporary yet effective decision.  When the Senate was first founded, a clause was put in just for such an emergency.  I propose that we invoke Clause #576."

 

"That would give the Chancellor complete control of the Senate!" Leanna Ortega announced, anger barely perceptible.  "That is something that we cannot allow."

 

"We have no choice!  We do not have the time to come up with another proposition," Sri De'hara argued.  "We must get back to our planets and protect our people.  And ourselves."

 

Leanna Ortega shook her head, obviously perturbed by the suggestion but not able to come up with a plan of her own.  Palpatine scanned the room quickly as he glanced over at Sri De'hara.

 

"We will take a vote.  All those in favor of invoking the clause, please turn on the green light outside of your chamber.  Those opposed, turn on your red light.  Remember, time is of the essence."

 

Palpatine watched as green lights flickered all over the Senate.  He smiled slightly inwardly as just a few red lights turned on, in particular those of Aldaraan and, surprisingly, Naboo.  But even with those few red lights, it was clear that most senators preferred to invoke the clause.

 

"I officially invoke Clause #576," Palpatine announced.  "I dismiss the Senate and please, I ask all of you, be careful on your journey back home.  Stormtroopers seem to be everywhere, and an enemy can be anywhere."

 

With those words, senators acknowledged their leader once more and hurried out of their boxes.  Pounding feet could be heard echoing throughout the entire building as senators hurried to their ships, hoping to make if before the stormtroopers attacked.  So far, most had managed to avoid confrontations completely, but stormtroopers were getting closer.

 

Leanna ran out of her box, her shoes slipping slightly on the slick floor.  Shots could be heard behind, causing her to quicker has pace towards her ship.  Just a few more feet.  I have to get home, to warn my people about the new threat.  She raced around the corner, turning her head just in time to run into Palpatine.

 

Both senators collided, falling to the ground hard.  Leanna winced as her elbow hit the ground first, causing her to gasp in the sudden pain.  Palpatine stood up quickly, giving a hand out to help her.

 

"I'm so sorry, my dear.  I should have been watching more carefully," he said, a tight smile crossing his face.  She nodded as he helped her up, the tension and stress of the moment blatantly obvious to both parties.  "Good luck getting him, Leanna."

 

She gave him a slight smile.  "Thank you Chancellor."

 

Both of them starting walking away when a sudden noise caused both of them to look back.  A small transmitter had fallen to the ground during their collision and had started playing.  Leanna looked at it in shock, horror marring her pretty face as she saw Kanara's message to Darth Sideous.  She glanced over at Palpatine, slowly backing away from him.

 

"That's nothing, Leanna.  I confiscated it from a bounty hunter and was about to give it to the Jedi after the meeting," he said, his voice even and calm.

 

Leanna shook her head, sudden realization hitting her.  "No, that's not right.  That's why he knows so much.  That's why he's knows every move that we make.  It's you.  You probably planned the Senate meeting so you could get control."

 

"You're panicked and very stressed by the situation," Palpatine said, his voice monotone.  "Sense often gets skewed in these situations."

 

"No, I can feel it," she whispered.  "I can feel the evil around you.  I don't know why I didn't before."

 

As she turned to run, Palpatine lunged forwards and grabbed her wrists.  With one swift move, he pulled a dagger hidden in the folds of his cloak.  Leanna gasped in shock and pain as the knife bit into the soft flesh of her neck.  She struggled to get out of his grasp, but she found she was losing strength fast.  She did not even notice when he let go and she slowly sank to the ground.  Blood pooled around her as Palpatine's face began to blur.

 

"I'm sorry my dear, but you proved yourself very immune to the mind trick," he said, almost apologetically.  "I wish there was another way."

 

Footsteps were heard suddenly, hurrying down the adjacent corridor.  Palpatine whipped his knife off quickly and ran towards the exit.  Just as the folds of his cloak disappeared, Mace Windu turned the corner opposite him.  He stopped suddenly when he saw Leanna before running to her side.

 

"Leanna!  What happened?  Who did this to you?" he asked almost frantically, though there was a current of calmness in his voice.  He got no response, watching as her face turned an even lighter shade of white.  "Dimitria?"

 

Her eyes fluttered open as she recognized the familiar voice.  A hint of a smile appeared on her face as she felt herself begin to fade.  Mace put a hand softly on her shoulder, trying to get through to you.  "Who did this to you?"

 

A frown marred her face as she remembered what had happened.  "I found out who he was and he stabbed me.  I couldn't get away from him?"

 

"Who?  Who stabbed you?"

 

She took her last deep breath, pulling herself together enough to say, "It was Palpatine.  I found out he is the Darth Lord and he stabbed me."

 

With those words Leanna Ortega, Dimitria, lived her last.  Her head rolled to the side and her spirit flew free.  Mace gently let go of her shoulder and stood up, mourning for a moment the departing of a fellow comrade.  But he only took a moment, for he knew the danger was too great to take anymore time than what was needed.

 

"Mace, I thought....oh!"

 

He turned around to see Amidala standing there, her eyes wide with shock.  Before she could say anything, though, Mace grabbed her hand the two started running towards the ship.

 

******

 

A bulky ship blasted off the planet Coruscant, leaving only a cloud of dust behind.  The ship quickly jumped into hyperspeed, in order to avoid any clashes with the Jedi.  Obi-Wan and Anakin found themselves in a plain, seemingly doorless room, without anyone in speaking range.  After a quick inventory of the room, the Jedi and his apprentice found that they could not use the Force to find an exit or to escape.  They were trapped within the walls of ship - and of the evil that threatened the universe.  They sat there for hours, not hearing a sound other than their own breathing.

 

Suddenly, a loud banging outside the walls caused both of them to jump up in defense.  One of the walls hissed open to reveal Kanara smirking at them, stormtroopers at her back.

 

"Come on boys," she said as she casually strode forward.  "It's time to go."

 

With a flick of her wrist, the stormtroopers flooded in, grabbing Obi-Wan and Anakin harshly, placing manacles on both of their wrists.  Obi-Wan closed his eyes and tried to open the manacles, but received a harsh shock that went up and down his spine.

 

"Don't even try it, Jedi," Kanara whispered gently in his ear, her hand slowly caressing his back.  "They're specifically made to hold Jedi - Darth Sideous designed them himself."

 

Obi-Wan stiffened at her words, but that was his only reaction.  He and Anakin were pushed forward by the stormtroopers, Kanara smirking behind them.  Slowly the stormtroopers walked down the long hallways, jostling Obi-Wan and Anakin every now and then.  Every attempt they made to free themselves was rewarded with harsh shocks of energy, sending pain through their bodies.  Finally, they were led to a large door at the end of the hall.  There was no keypad for this door, only a single red box next to the door.  Kanara strode forward, licking her lips as she stopped to glance at Obi-Wan.  At his lack of response, she put her hand on the box.  The door opened and she led the two into the room.

 

Shadows filled the room, giving an eerie feel to the area.  A huge window stood before them, with a black chair in front of it.  They could only see the back of the chair, even though Obi-Wan could feel evil coming in waves from the "throne".  Kanara pushed both of them to the ground so that they were down on their knees.  Slowly, ever so slowly, the throne began to spin.  As it turned towards them, a shadowy figure clad in black stared down at them.  His face was barely perceptible because of the dark robe, but they knew who he was.  He was the Sith Lord, the master of all evil.  Anakin could feel the figure's gaze burning into him, as if he could see right through his mind and into his deepest thoughts and feelings.  Not a sound was heard in the room as Anakin and Obi-Wan felt the full power of his evil.  The silence was broken by the sharp clunking of Kanara's boots as she walked to stand next to Obi-Wan.

 

"Are you going to talk to them or what?" she asked as she raised her eyebrow at the Sith Lord.  "Because if you're not going to, I want my part of the deal."

 

She glanced over at Obi-Wan, her head tilting slightly as her eyes slowly traveled down him.  Obi-Wan forced himself to ignore as a wave of disgust passed through him.  She turned her eyes to the Sith, the question burning in her eyes.  He paid no heed to her, though, as he sat there in silence.  Suddenly, with no warning, a bolt of lightning flew from the Sith's hand, directed right at Kanara.  She saw the slight movement of his hand, though, and with a flick of her wrist she sent the bolt harmlessly away.  Her smile disappeared as her eyes turned to slits.

 

"You won't get rid of me that easily, Sideous," she hissed, malice behind her voice.  He merely nodded at her.

 

"Just testing you," he explained in a monotone, yet calculating voice.  "Just checking to see if you are capable to handle the Jedi.  I don't want any mishaps on my ship."

 

"I got them here, didn't I?" she challenged, fire burning in her eyes.

 

He met her look, giving the captives their first glance at his yellow, evil-filled eyes.  "Barely."  He turned away from her, once again turning his eyes to Anakin.  Anakin closed his eyes, trying to push all his feelings away, especially the fear that he felt bubbling towards the surface.  Kanara sighed loudly, rolling her eyes in impatience.

 

"Listen.  You have all the time in the frickin' universe to stare at the little boy.  Just give me the Jedi and I'll be out of your way."

 

"Take him.  Then leave us."  With those words, Kanara roughly pulled Obi-Wan up, connecting a long chain to his shackles.  She jerked him forward, causing him to almost lose his balance completely.  Once he was close enough, she pulled a large metal ring out from under her cape.  With one quick movement, she put the ring around his neck, completely immobilizing his head.  Once the ring was in place, she started to lead him out of the room.  She nodded at two of the stormtroopers, who immediately followed her as she left.  As the door closed behind him, Kanara turned to him, a twisted smile on her face.

 

"Now it's time to play my way, Jedi."

 

Anakin watched helplessly as the door closed behind his Master, sealing any hope of escape.  He turned slowly back to the Sith, yet not daring to raise his eyes to look upon the evil before him.  Darth Sideous glanced over at the stormtroopers, nodding to them.  "Leave us."  The stormtroopers acknowledged the order and quickly left the room.  As soon as the door closed behind them, Sideous turned his attention to Anakin.

 

"You won't be needing those," he said quietly.  The shackles fell off of Anakin's wrists, causing a tremendous noise to echo through the room.  Anakin looked at him in surprise, but quickly looked away as Sideous' eyes met his own.

 

I have to find a way to get out of here and find Obi-Wan.  I have to get away, Anakin thought as his eyes darted around the room, desperately searching for an escape.  He jerked in shock when he heard the low rumbles of Sideous' laughing.  Anakin half turned towards him, fear beginning to build in the pit of his stomach.

 

"There is no need to search for an exit," he explained almost menacingly.  "There is no other way out than through that door.  Not that you need to escape.  You'll find you're stay here quite...comfortable."

 

"How did you...."

 

"I know everything," whispered Sideous.  "I have powers the Jedi can only dream of.  I have powers that you want, that you deserve after everything that you have been through in your short life.  With the powers I have, I can control the entire universe.  I can destroy planets with the flick of my wrist.  I can create life where none exists.  And...I can bring people back from the dead."

 

As Anakin heard those last words, a picture of Qui-Gon came to his head.  A deep sorrow filled him as he remembered the first person that had given him a chance at something other than being a slave his entire life.  One of his few real friends in his life that had been cruelly taken away by evil.

 

"You miss Qui-Gon, don't you?" the Sith asked.  When Anakin didn't answer, a chuckle escaped from the Sith's lips.  "Is that all you miss?  Or is there someone else?"

 

The words hit Anakin right in his heart.  Images of his mother filled his mind, his throat closing up slightly as he remembered how much he missed her.  He missed everything about her.  The way she would caress his head before he fell asleep at night.  How she called him "Annie" with such a deep tenderness in her voice.  The way she always believed that he had the ability to do so much more that was offered to him.  A lone tear slowly slid down his cheek as he realized, for the first time, how much he really missed her.

 

"I miss my mother," he whispered, more to himself than to Sideous. 

 

But that was the only answer that Sideous needed to hear.  He leaned forwards, looking directly into Anakin's eyes.  "And where is your mother right now?  Can you feel her life force?"

 

Anakin closed his eyes, calming himself in order to use the Force to find her life force.  His forehead wrinkled as he searched desperately for her but could not find her.  There was no trace of her anywhere.  It was as if she had...

 

"No, she hasn't disappeared," Sideous said calmly, yet calculated.  "But I can tell you where she is right now."  Anakin looked up at him, his curiosity and fear causing him to give in to the evil being.  "Your mother, I'm afraid, is dead."

 

Dead.  Mom's dead.  Gone.  Forever.  Sideous' words echoed through Anakin's mind, causing Anakin's fear to grow.  He took a deep breathe, trying to control his fear and anger.  He shook his head, not willing himself to believe what Sideous had told him.  "No, that is not true.  You're just covering her life force up to trick me."

 

Anakin looked straight into Sideous' eyes, determination in his own.  "I will not let you trick me.  I will not let you persuade me to join you.  I will become a Jedi, just as Qui-Gon was.  I will not fall to your games.  Not now, not ever."

 

Sideous leaned back onto the throne, digesting the news with interest.  So, he is able to resist me.  This will be interesting indeed.  Yet, it will make his joining me even more complete.  The longer he resists, the more his anger and fear will weaken him.  And then he will become one with the dark side.  Then I will rule the universe with him at my side.

 

*****

 

Obi-Wan found himself by dragged through the hallways of the ship, having absolutely no clue what lay in store.  Every so often Kanara would look back, an evil glint flashing in her eyes.  Hallway after hallway they went through, and Obi-Wan suspected that she was trying to confuse him, trying to make sure that he would not be able to make it back to Anakin.  But Obi-Wan was carefully picturing the turns they had made, taking into account every detail his immobility allowed.  He would get back to Anakin - he wanted to make sure of that.

 

After traveling through three more hallways, Kanara stopped suddenly in front of a room at the end of a long hallway.  She quickly punched in a security code and the door opened in a hiss of steam.  Kanara dragged him into the dark room filled with shadows.  Suddenly, without any warning, the lights flashed on.  Obi-Wan squinted as his eyes slowly grew accustomed to the bright light.  He looked around the room in surprise, unsure of what it had been built for.  It was a circular room in shape, with chains and manacles attached to the walls.  In the middle of the room was a raised platform, also in a circular shape.  The platform was above a deep, dark pit that seemed to have no bottom at all.  The platform was large enough, for it took up a large portion of the room.  A small set of stairs led up to the platform.  Metal railing surrounded it, giving barely any attention if a person was to run into it.  They would fall a long way if they were too tall.  Obi-Wan was jerked from his thoughts as Kanara led him closer and closer to the platform.

 

"Not it's time to find out what a Jedi is really like," she whispered, dragging him to the steps.  Once up, she led him to the center of the platform where, to his surprise, she shed him of all the shackles he bore.  With a flick of her wrist, she flew the shackles into the pit below.  Obi-Wan strained his ears to listen for the crash of the shackles when they hit the bottom.  It never came.  "Here.  Catch."

 

Kanara suddenly threw a small metal wand at him.  With Jedi reflexes, he caught the wand and was surprised to find that it was his lightsaber.  He looked at her warily for a moment, grasping the lightsaber firmly as he waited for what was to come.  She smiled wickedly at him as she pulled out and ignited her own lightsaber.  "We're going to play a little game.  First one knock the other out, wins.  It's as easy as that."

 

"What's the catch?" Obi-Wan asked warily, not trusting her terms.

 

"If you win, you can go free.  I'll give you a ship and you can be back to your Jedi Council.  But, if I win, you're mine to play with.  Forever."

 

A flash of purple whipped through the air as she lunged at him, hoping to catch him off-guard.  Obi-Wan jumped away, igniting his own lightsaber in the process.  He watched her warily as she slowly began to circle him, her lightsaber poised to strike.  Obi-Wan fell into a defensive position, awaiting the attack.  He did not have to wait long as she leapt at him, bringing her lightsaber down quickly.  He reflected the blow with ease, pushing her back in the process.  But she quickly recovered. 

 

Before he had a chance to react, Kanara suddenly pulled a blaster out of her belt and shot a laser right at him.  Obi-Wan did not even think as he moved his lightsaber to reflect the shot, using the Force to guide him.  She sent off a few more shots before throwing the gun away.  As the gun skidded across the floor she charged him, lightsaber swinging wildly.  She swung her lightsaber once again, this time faster and with more aggressions.  Obi-Wan barely had time to block it when she suddenly went into a tornado kick.  Obi-Wan, caught by surprise by the move, tumbled to the ground as she hit him in the stomach.  Beads of sweat covered his forehead as he concentrated deeper with the Force.  As Kanara neared him, he jumped up on an offensive.  His lightsaber moved with unbelievable speed as he attacked her, forcing her to defend herself.  Suddenly, his lightsaber hit her skin.  Kanara dove to the ground, wincing at the pain of her now injured shoulder.  Obi-Wan took a deep breathe, preparing himself once again.  She glared at him as she slowly stood up, all traces of a small gone.

 

"You shouldn't have done that," she hissed as she gripped her lightsaber tightly.  "You shouldn't have done that."

 

With that, Kanara leapt at him, intent on taking him down.  Their lightsabers met in a clash of sparks, though neither seemed to notice.  They fought furiously for minutes, lightsabers blocking and attacking with impossible speeds.  Obi-Wan suddenly swept his lightsaber away and leapt to the right.  Kanara, caught completely off-guard, catapulted over him, her lightsaber flying out of her hands.  As she hit the ground, her arm twisted painfully under her.  She let out a screech of pain, cradling her arm as she slowly stood up.  A flash of purple swept through her.  Obi-Wan looked at her in shock as he saw her arm was completely healed.  She glared at him for a moment before moving towards her lightsaber.  But before she could get to it, it flew away from her and into the hands of Obi-Wan.  She turned towards him, a look of shock and anger on her face.

 

"That's the way you want to play, huh?" she sneered as she glared at him.  "Fine."

 

Before he had a chance to think about what she meant, the lights suddenly went out.  Obi-Wan deactivated both lightsabers, using the Force to adjust to the lack of light.  He searched his surroundings, poised for her attack.  Suddenly, a laser beam came shooting out of the darkness.  He ignited both lightsabers, deflected the bolt with his.  Laser beams soon rained down upon him as he deflected them with both sabers.

 

Suddenly, a bolt took him by surprise, for it packed more energy than he had expected.  Kanara's lightsaber flew from his hands, spinning crazily through the air.  The beams stopped as he saw the lightsaber suddenly change directions.  A second later, Kanara charged him, her lightsaber once again in her hands.  She hit his lightsaber with such ferocity that he almost let go in surprise.  Her face was illuminated by the lightsabers, giving her a spirit-like appearance.  She pulled away slightly, only to strike once again at a different angle.  Obi-Wan pushed her away, sweeping his lightsaber up and hitting hers with a great force.  With every move that they made, it seemed that they only began to go stronger as they fought.

 

Trying to catch him off-balance, Kanara delivered a swift whip kick, intent on knocking him down.  He dodged it and pushed his lightsaber harder against hers.  She lost her balance slightly, her lightsaber slipping from contact with his.  As her lightsaber slipped away, part of Obi-Wan's lightsaber touched part of her skin.  She let out a scream of pain as she pulled her burnt hand away.  Obi-Wan took advantage of her hesitation, pushing forward even more.  Her lightsaber suddenly disappeared from view as the lights flickered back on.  Obi-Wan could only stare in shock at the site before him.  Their lightsaber duel had taken them next to the railing, and she had lost her balance.  When she had started falling over the side, she had swung wildly and had managed to grab onto the railing.

 

Obi-Wan stared at her in shock as she dangled over the bottomless pit.  Only one hand held onto the railing, for the other was the one that had been burned by his lightsaber.  For the first time since had he met her, he saw real fear showing in her eyes.  Fear as she realized she could fall to her doom.  Obi-Wan could only stare as he tried to think of what to do.  Yes, she was evil, but he had a duty to protect those in danger.  Should he save her?  Or should he let her fall to her doom?

 

He did not have a clue.

 

*****

 

Zhane, Kat, and Justin stared at Andros in shock as he slowly circled them, like a lion circling its prey.  Not too long ago, he had been with them, fighting against the forces of evil.  Now he stood before them, as evil as any villain they had ever faced.  Zhane stared at him in disbelief, not wanting to believe his friend was evil.  He took a step forward, trying desperately to help his long-time friend.

 

"Andros, this isn't right.  This is what you've fought against for years!" he said, hoping to reach the real Andros.  But he only looked at Zhane coldly, not at all affected by Zhane's words.  Andros stepped forward, slowly pulling out a long sword as he did.  He smiled at the looks of horror on their faces.

 

"I guess I was just a bit...disillusioned during the last few years," he sneered.  "Now, I see where the real power is."

 

Without any other words, Andros charged forward brandishing the sword as he did.  Zhane barely managed to get out of the way as Andros brought the sword down, intent on the kill.  Kat and Justin ran over to Zhane, checking to see if he was alright.  All three looked at his split jacket in horror, realizing that Andros was dead serious.  Zhane shook his friends away, staring at Andros.

 

"Andros, we don't want to have to fight you," Zhane pleaded.  "We're your friends!"

 

Andros cocked his head slightly as if the words were foreign to him.  "Friends?  I don't have any friends," he said coldly.  Kat winced slightly as she remembered the last time she had heard those words.  It had been years ago, by the very person who destroyed her family, her friends, and her way of life.  She did not have time to reminisce, though, as Andros said chillingly,  "Besides, I want to fight you." 

 

Andros strode forward, light flashing off the wicked blade of his sword.  Kat grabbed onto Zhane's arm, trying to talk sense into him.

 

"Zhane, we have to morph!" she whispered urgently.  "He wants to kill us!  He isn't the same person you grew up with!  Andros is gone."  Zhane only glared at her and pushed her hand away.

 

"Don't you dare say that," he hissed harshly, his voice so low it was almost a growl.  "Andros isn't gone.  He's trapped behind the chip that they've implanted."

 

"We have to morph," Kat stated, her voice full of determination.  "And you will morph, one way or another."  He turned to glare at her, and their gaze met.  The two stared at each other, neither willing to back down.  Finally, Zhane broke eye contact and nodded. 

 

"Fine.  We'll morph," he agreed, a sharp edge in his voice.  "But no one is to hurt him unless there is no other way.  Got that?"  The two nodded grudgingly.

 

"Jedi Black!"

 

"Jedi Pink!"

 

"Jedi White!"

 

The three, fully morphed, prepared for Andros to attack.  A cruel smile crossed his face as he gave them the once-over.

 

"At least now I'll have a challenge," he growled.  "Putties, attack!"

 

With only that warning, about a dozen gray putties appeared, surrounding the rangers.  Justin and Kat immediately fell into defensive stances, while Zhane slowly glanced around.  Suddenly, to the surprise of Justin, Kat, and the putties, he rushed forward and catapulted over all of them.  He landed directly in front of Andros, staring directly at his former friend and partner.  He looked into Andros' eyes, trying desperately to find a piece of the person he used to know.  Instead, he found nothing but pure evil, despise...and hatred.  Zhane found himself staring into the eyes of a complete stranger.  For once, he felt as if the fight was hopeless.  If his best friend, the one person who had kept him going during their battle on KO-35, the one who had been able to break any spells that had been cast upon him, the one who he had often relied on when all else looked bleak, had fallen prey to the evil that threatened the universe, how could they fight against it?  Maybe the battle really was hopeless after all.

 

No, Zhane thought, sudden determination bursting up in him.  This is not what Andros would have wanted.  He would have wanted us to fight against the evil, even if it seemed hopeless.  And that is just what I'm going to do, even if it kills me.  But he had to try, once more, to reach his friend.

 

"Andros, we can help you!" he said, trying to reach out to the part of Andros he knew was buried deep within the stranger before him.  "You know this is wrong.  Remember how long we worked together?  Remember how right it felt to defend our friends and our planet?  Come back to us, Andros.  Fight against the evil."

 

At those words, Andros winced and put his hand to the metal chip.  A spark of joy leapt through Zhane as he saw the sparks emitting from the chip.  I knew that he was still in there, fighting against the evil!  I knew that Andros wasn't really gone.

 

But, Andros shook his head and looked back up at Zhane, a smirk on his face.  "Why would I want your help?  Why would I want to fight the evil?  When I fought against it, I knew there was no way I could ever win.  Now, I have more power than you can ever imagine.  And it's time that you realized that."

 

Andros leapt at his one-time friend, sword swinging.  But Zhane was not ready to go down.  Not now, not since he knew that his friend was fighting the evil the best that he could.  He would do everything it took to bring his friend back.

 

All that I have to do is protect myself and my friends.  And I have to stop Andros from doing something he is going to regret.  With that thought, Zhane defended himself against the oncoming attacks, now fighting with a lighter heart.

 

While he took on Andros, Kat and Justin found themselves being challenged by the putties.  Years ago, they would have been able to take all of them down while barely lifting a finger.  But since then, the putties had grown stronger.  Much stronger, in fact.  It seemed to both Kat and Justin that the putties strength had been increased more than twenty times.  But that was not going to stop them.  Mere putties would not stand in the way of protecting their beloved planet.  They had failed once.  They were not going to fail again.

 

"Justin, look out!" Kat yelled as she saw two putties sneaking up behind him.  He was already outnumbered by the six putties that he was fighting against; anymore and he might not be able to hold them.  Kat immediately delivered a swift side kick to the putty on her right.  It crumbled to the ground, only to have another take it's place.  She cursed silently to herself before surprising the putties by sweeping their feet out from under them.  With them distracted, she vaulted over them and ran to Justin.  "Need any help?"

 

Justin nodded as he punched a putty in the chest.  "Yeah, plenty!"

 

With the combined forces of both of them fighting together, they managed to take down all of the putties.  They stood in defensive stances for a moment before the putties disappeared from sight.  With their foes defeated for the time being, Justin and Kat ran over to where Zhane and Andros were fighting.  They looked at the two in awe, for their skills were much more advanced then theirs had ever been.

 

Wow, Justin thought as he watched the two battleThey are incredible!  I have never seen anyone as good as those two, not even when I was a ranger before.

 

Kat watched the two for a moment, worry masking her features.  Though the two seemed pretty evenly matched, she knew that Zhane would tire out sooner than Andros.  It had been years since he had been able to have a real workout.  Sure, he had practiced during their time of imprisonment, but that was not the same.  And even though Andros had just recently woken up, he was being powered not only by his own skills but by the power of the evil spell that had been put over him.  She knew that she had to intervene before Zhane started to wear out.  She glanced over at Justin and, with a brief nod, both of them jumped towards the fighting duo.

 

Before either of them could reach them, a sudden burst of energy blew them back.  Justin and Kat quickly recovered their footing, but it was too late by then.  A large force field had been enclosed around the two.  Kat ran over and slashed at the force field with her blaster, only to be shocked and thrown to the ground.  So, she did the only thing that she could.

 

"Zhane, be careful!" she cried, her fists clenching as he took a particularly hard blow.  He shrugged it off, though, and with a series of punches and kicks, he knocked Andros to the ground.  He glanced over at Kat momentarily, eyeing the force field as he did.

 

"I always am," he answered, and she could almost hear a smile in his voice.  But no more was said as Andros got back up and charged at Zhane.  Kat could only watch in fear as Zhane was attacked with such ferocity that he faltered for a second.  Kat's head filled with ideas of how to help when a pair of warriors suddenly appeared in the room.  Kat turned to them, a feeling of dread filling her as she recognized the winged creature and his companion.

 

"Goldar.  Scorpina," she whispered, more to herself than anyone else.  They both smiled at her, wicked, cruel smiles that seemed to ooze with evil.

 

"That's right, Kitty-Kat," Goldar growled, staring at the girl.  "And now, it's the end for you."

 

Kat held her head high as she glared at the two, clenching her blaster tightly.  "I've heard those words before.  They don't scare me anymore, Goldar."

 

He hissed at her before turning to glance at Scorpina.  They shared a brief smile before turning back to Kat and Justin.  Without any words of warning or attack, they charged forward ready to destroy their enemies.  Kat and Justin shared a brief look of their own as they turned their blasters into daggers.  Something had changed in the villains over the years.  They were more ready for a fight, more bloodthirsty than ever before.  Kat and Justin knew that this would be a long and weary battle.  It might even by the largest battle they had ever fought.  It might even be the last time they would ever defend their beloved

planet - forever.

 

*****

 

Chapter 7

 

Karone watched the oncoming Quantrons in mute shock.  Never before had she seen so many Quantrons in one place, not even during her time as Astronomer.  Thousands upon thousands of Quantrons stood in rows as far back as the eye could see.  And only and she Tommy stood against them.  She and Tommy were the last hope that Zordon would probably ever have.  I guess this is when all my years as Astronomer will finally pay off.  Even though I regret my years under the forces of evil, they did give me very good training.  Because of that training I had, and with the help of my powers, I should be able to defend myself for awhile against them.  But after that...

 

Her thoughts were cut short as a group of Quantrons lunged for her.  She dodged the blow from the first one and swept the feet out from another.  But another Quantrons kicked her in the side, knocking her back.  She stumbled slightly before catching herself and delivering a swift side kick to its head.  It fell to the ground, and she ran forward and used its back as a jumping off point.  She jumped off its back, scissor-kicking another as she was in the air.  She looked around quickly and saw that she had been separated from Tommy.  While she defended herself against yet another attack by the Quantrons, she searched for him everywhere.  A flash of red caught her eye and she turned to her right to see Tommy holding his own against the Quantrons.  She smiled slightly as she saw he was faring very well.

 

Suddenly, a sharp pain in her abdomen brought her attention back to the present.  A Quantron had gotten a lucky shot off of her, because of her distraction.  Alright, enough of that.  Concentrate on the task at hand.

 

The self pep-talk seemed to work as she plowed through the Quantrons as if they were made of water.  One by one she took them down, not wasting a moment to think about what to do next.  Though she was making good progress, she soon found herself completely surrounded by the creatures.  Karone quickly assessed her options before pulling her lightsaber out of her belt.  She ignited it quickly and swung it around, slicing the closest Quantrons in half.  She swung the lightsaber expertly as she faced off against yet another group, which had quickly replaced the first.

 

Meanwhile, Tommy was doing an excellent job of holding his own.  In fact, he was doing even better against the Quantrons than Karone was.  All the years of studying karate, all the years as being a ranger was definitely paying off.  As he fought against them, he felt as if he was finally using all of his abilities.  Being a ranger was his life, something he had really missed after his retirement.

 

As a wave of Quantrons rushed at him, he flew into a mighty tornado kick, knocking many of the creatures aside.  He flew into a series of kicks and punches, knocking his way quickly through the many Quantrons.  Using every skill he possessed, he delivered a swift whip kick followed by another tornado kick.  He ended it with a series of punches, knocking any Quantrons that were remotely close to him away.

 

Suddenly, a Quantron ran forward, head butting him.  Tommy stumbled backwards, almost losing his footing completely.  As he struggled to clear his head, the Quantrons rushed forward and grabbed him.  They held onto his arms and legs, making any kind of movement impossible.  His struggles were useless as he was half carried, half dragged him through the throngs. 

 

It was as if pure luck hit him at that moment, for he was able to loosen his lightsaber.  He ceased his struggles as a sudden though passed through his head.  The Quantrons, surprised by his ceased movements, loosened their grips slightly.  The slight opening was all that Tommy needed.  With a strong jerk of his hand, he pulled his lightsaber out of its holder and ignited it.  He sliced it through the air, knocking any Quantrons near him away.  Tommy looked around and saw that the Quantrons were once again closing in on him.  He slowly backed up, trying to assess the situation.  Suddenly, he backed right into a solid being.  He turned around, raising his lightsaber in preparation to destroy the thing he had run into.  Instead, he found himself face to face with his own teammate, Karone.

 

"Tommy!" she screamed in surprise as she saw the lightsaber he had raised above her.  He grimaced slightly and turned back around.  The two stood back to back, Quantrons closing in at every angle.  Karone turned her head slightly, just enough so she could see Tommy out of the corner of her eye.  "What are we going to do now?"

 

"Fight," he said quickly as he knocked three Quantrons away.  Karone bit her lower lip as she swung her lightsaber at the Quantrons in front of her, knocking them away instantly.  The two circled, still back to back, working through the hordes of Quantron as best as they could.  But their best wasn't good enough.  No matter how hard they fought, the Quantron kept coming.  Karone felt her muscles beginning to tire as she stumbled slightly into Tommy.

 

Suddenly, a wave of fiery light engulfed the Quantrons, causing them to disappear as soon as the light touched them.  As the light engulfed Tommy and Karone they grabbed onto each other, the Quantrons forgotten as the fiery light burned at their suits.  But as soon as the light had come, it was gone. They slowly let go of each other and looked around.  The Quantrons were gone.  A rumbling laughter from behind caused them both to slowly turn around, looking skyward.

 

There, standing above them, was none other than Dark Spectre himself.  He glared down at the two rangers, his rock armor shining a bright red.  This is what the war between good and evil for the rangers had come down to.  In order to save Zordon, and the rest of the universe, they would have to battle the leader of the Alliance of Evil.  They would have to fight their greatest enemy in order to reach their greatest ally.

 

Karone felt a wave of fear pass through her as she stared up at the intimidating form before her.  Even when she had been Astronomer she had been afraid of Dark Spectre, for no one crossed him and lived.  Good, evil, it did not matter.  If they opposed him, they died.  She shuddered slightly as she remembered what had become of Ecliptor and Darkonda when Dark Spectre had heard of her deflection to the side of the rangers.  Words could not describe the pain that the two had been through.  He's evil.  Completely and totally evil.  And we have to get through him in order to save Zordon.  But how can we defeat him?  It's never been done.

 

On the other hand, Tommy stared directly into the eyes of Dark Spectre, not even flinching as fire flew out of the creature's eyes.  He was not afraid.  He could not be afraid.  Not when everything he had worked for depended on this battle.  He was not going to let himself be defeated now.  Not with Zordon's freedom so close.  He would not die today.  He had survived facing his great fears, facing the dark side of his soul, facing a person he had cared so deeply for.  He had stared death in the eye many times before and he was no longer afraid.  He was never going to give up.  Not now, not ever.  He and Karone would come out victorious, no matter what price they had to pay.

 

"You've put up a decent fight, rangers," the creature said, spitting out he last word.  His voice boomed out, filling the air around them with his voice.  "But now, it is time for you to die."

 

"I don't think so," Karone hissed, swallowing her fear.  Dark Spectre stared down at her, her voice sounding slightly familiar.  In a flash of light, the wand which Karone had used during her days as Astronomer appeared in her hands.  She brandished it as if it were a sword, clenching the wand tightly.  "We will never die by your hands."

 

With those words, she threw the wand forward with everything that she had.  Every emotion, every strength, every pain was put into that throw.  Every part of her was in it and she watched as it traveled through the air.  Dark Spectre did not even have a chance to react, for the speed at which she had thrown it was immense indeed.  The wand struck him and pierced his armor, going directly into his heart.  He roared in pain, the ground shaking as his roar echoed through the planet.  He slowly tilted forward, directly above the rangers.

 

"Karone, c'mon!" yelled Tommy.  "We have to get out here!"  He grabbed her hand and with a burst of adrenaline, the two flew away from the spot where Dark Spectre loomed above and fell to the ground.  As they ran, they could hear him hoarsely screaming out orders behind them.

 

"Where are we going?" Karone asked her voice strained.  Her only answer was a slightly shrug of his shoulders as he dragged her through the ruined town of KO-35.  "Tommy, he isn't dead.  It takes a lot more than just that to mortally wound him.  He's just hurt!"

 

"I know, Karone," Tommy answered, searching the town.  "Right now, we have to find a place to hide until we can get - "

 

His sentence was cut off as both of them stepped onto a boarded walkway.  The wood beneath them creaked and a second later, gave out on them.  Both rangers fell, screaming, into the darkness below.  Down they fell, tumbling in the air.  They hit the ground, landing painfully on the hard dirt.

 

Karone slowly pushed herself up, wincing as she felt pain in every part of her body.  She wiped dust off of the front of her helmet and looked around, brow wrinkling as she looked for Tommy.  Her heart stopped as she saw him, completely unmoving on the ground beside her.  She ran over to him, limping slightly on a sprained ankle.  She flung her helmet off as she knelt down besides him.

 

"Tommy!" she called, shaking his arm.  "Tommy, are you okay?"

 

She received no answer.  Fear began to build as she slowly undid his helmet.  His eyes were closed and his face was very pale.  Karone grabbed his wrist, searching desperately for a pulse, but could not find one.  As she felt her panic begin to take over, a sudden noise from behind caused her to jump.  She stood up slowly, wiping her tears away.  She crept forward, lightsaber clenched tightly.  She turned the corner and found herself face to face with -

 

"Zordon!" she whispered, her voice filled with relief and awe.  "You're here!"

 

"Yes, Karone.  You have found me." he said, his voice lending her calm and strength that she could not have found otherwise.  "But I'm afraid our time to become reacquainted is very short."

 

She nodded, not able to say a word.  "There is a switch on the back of the tube.  Once it is hit, I will be freed from this energy tube that imprisons me."

 

Karone nodded and rushed forward, hands trembling as she searched for the switch.  She quickly found it and with a flick of her wrist, she hit it.  Immediately, the room was filled with a bright light.  A sense of peace settled over her momentarily as she felt the presence of Zordon all around her.  The light slowly disappeared, leaving Karone all alone.  She looked around, searching for Zordon but could not find him. 

 

She ran into the other room where Tommy lay.  As soon as she entered it, she skidded to a stop.  There, kneeling besides Tommy, was Zordon.  The mage's head was bowed as he slowly put Tommy's hand on the ground where it had laid.  Zordon turned as he heard Karone's approaching step, eyes downcast.

 

"Zordon?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.  "Is he...?"

 

Her question trailed off as she saw the look of great sorrow on the face of the mighty mage.  He nodded once, giving Karone all the assurance that she needed.  Tears slowly slid down her cheeks as she walked over to her friend and teammate.  Though she had not known him for that long, there had been a connection between them.  There had been a deep connection that gave them the ability to create a short-lived but meaningful friendship.  She walked forward unsteadily, falling to her knees when she stood next to Tommy.

 

"We must leave now, Karone," Zordon said quietly, gently lifting Tommy's body up.  "It is not safe for us here."

 

She nodded, following Zordon as he walked towards the place where she and Tommy had fallen.  Before she could ask how they were going to get out, Karone found herself standing in front of the Astro Megaship.  She looked around, confused by the sudden teleportation.  She led Zordon onto the ship, taking him to the medical bay where he could place Tommy.  All this was done in complete silence.  As soon as Tommy was laid down, Zordon turned to Karone.

 

"Take him home, Karone," Zordon said.  "He deserved to be buried in a place that he loved.  I am afraid that I must now take leave of you.  There are others in great need of my help."

 

Karone nodded absently and with that, Zordon disappeared in a cloud of gold.  She stood in the medical bay, staring into space when suddenly a thought came to her.

 

"DECA, put the ship into autopilot towards Earth.  I have to try to bring Tommy back."

 

"Yes, Karone," DECA said.  Karone felt the ship begin to move, but she paid no attention to it.  She turned the machines on and attacked them to Tommy, determined to try.  I will not let him die.  He has fought too hard for it to end like this.  But before she could do anything, a voice called to her from behind.

 

Karone, let it go.

 

She turned around, her voice pale as she stared at the image before her.  Tommy stood - well, floated before her.  An aura of gold covered him and he smiled at her.  It is my time to die, Karone.  I am a warrior - I have to go out fighting.

 

"Tommy, no," she said.  "It isn't your time.  You have to come back to Earth with me, to be with those that you love.  You have to keep on fighting, defending those that you love."

 

Tommy shook his head.  No.  This is the path I must take.  If I continue on the path that I was on, I would never be able to stop fighting.  Fighting would become my reason to live and my reason to die.  I understand what Obi-Wan said to me.  On this path, I will be able to help others.  I will be able to live through those that I have touched or that I will touch.  This is the choice that I make, Karone.  Tell the others that I will miss them, but I have to do this. Tell Kat that I will always love her and I am sorry for how I treated her.  Wish her luck for me.   Goodbye, Karone.  And may the power protect you.

 

With that, he disappeared in a golden glow.  Karone stared at the spot where he had just stood, tears shining in her eyes.  "Goodbye Tommy.  We will all miss you."

 

*****

 

Queen Amidala found herself scurrying down unfamiliar halls, following someone she had never met before, pushing back the shock she felt at seeing Senator Leanna Ortega lying motionless on the ground.  Dead.  Lying in her own pool of blood.  A well-renowned worker for peace killed by those that opposed her.  And all I can think about is that could have been me.

 

The echo of a blast tore Amidala away from her thoughts, bringing her back to the present.  She pulled a blaster out of her sleeve, clutching it tightly to her chest.  She followed Mace Windu carefully, trusting his skills in the Force to get them to their ship.

 

Mace Windu slowly crept through the halls, relying on the Force to guide him to the ship.  With the help of the Force he was able to make his way through the battle-stricken halls.  Though he knew that he could go out fighting then and there, there was something about Amidala that made her - important.  This one is very important, though I cannot figure out why.  She is important both to the future of her planet and to the future of the Jedi.  But for now, we have to get out of here in one piece.  Both of us are needed elsewhere.

 

His powerful form led the way, lightsaber poised for action.  Even though she had never actually seen him in battle, Amidala knew that he had great skill with the lightsaber as well as with the Force.  She had heard many stories of the Jedi Master, each of them more awe-inspiring than the last.  Even with the short time she had been following him, he had already gotten them through crowds of stormtroopers without even breaking a sweat.

 

The sounds of blasters caused Amidala to spin around, her finger poised on the trigger.  There she saw a dozen white stormtroopers chasing after them, sending bolt after bolt of blaster energy towards them.  Mace Windu jumped in front of her, using his body as a shield to her.  With precise motions, he was able to deflect every bolt that the stormtroopers sent at him.  More and more stormtroopers appeared and the bolts flew from every angel possible.  Wrinkles appeared on his forehead as he moved his lightsaber with lightning speed to deflect every blast.  Suddenly, stormtroopers began falling, ones that he had not even deflected bolts at.

 

Amidala is blasting them.  The information came to him suddenly as he continued to reflect the blasts, stormtroopers falling quickly now.  He was not really surprised, because he had heard of her exploits on the planet Naboo.  But still, she was young and he had not been sure if she would be able to act that quickly.  He watched as more stormtroopers appeared, causing him to deflect the blasts even faster than before.  We have to get out of here before anything happens that not even I will be able to prevent.

 

"Start down the hall and wait for me around the corner," he ordered in a calm yet firm voice.  Amidala looked at him in shock, opening her mouth to argue.  But something, and she did not know what, stopped her.  She was not sure what it was, but she knew that arguing with him would be a waste of time and energy.  Instead, she turned around and ran at top speed down the hall.  Everytime she would spot a lone stormtrooper, she would shoot it down with her blaster.

 

She quickly reached the end of the hall and turned around to see where Mace Windu was.  To her surprised, he was close behind her.  As he neared her, he pointed her towards the right.  She nodded and started down the path.  They had not made it very far when she heard a shout behind her.  She twisted her head sharply and saw stormtroopers slowly pouring in behind them, close to where Mace Windu stood.  Without a second though, she started backtracking down the hall, shooting bolts of energy at stormtroopers as she did.  She tried to get the ones that were closest to him, so that he could get away.  Suddenly, all she saw was the blur of a figure jumping towards her.  As Mace Windu landed besides her, the two turned and ran down the hall.

 

As they turned another corner, Mace Windu finally found the door he was looking for.  He punched in the code quickly, pulling Amidala inside as soon as the door opened.  He closed the door just as he heard the stormtroopers reach the corner.  Amidala gave a sigh of relief as the horde of stormtroopers run by, not even stopping to check the door.  She turned around and looked up in surprise.

 

"Mace Windu, look!" she called out, walking forward.  He turned around to find that his ship stood behind them.  Dozens of ships stood motionless around them and farther down the room was a long runway that the ships could take off of.  She smiled ass he realized that they had walked right into their escape.  "It looks like luck is on our side for now."

 

"Luck has nothing to do with it, Queen Amidala," he stated, making his way to his ship in the back.  She followed him, puzzled as to why he did not pick one of the closer ships.  As the two boarded the ship at the end, she found herself shocked by the personnel on the ship.  Standing in the center of the main meeting room stood many of her soldiers.  But the creature that captured her attention the most was the Jedi known as Yoda.

 

"Come you have," Yoda stated in the same tone that Mace Windu had used moments earlier.  He showed no surprise whatsoever that they had managed to get through a building full of stormtroopers and into a room that held the ship that they needed to be on.  Mace Windu nodded at Yoda's statement and the two of them slowly walked out of the room, giving off the fact that they wanted to be left alone for the time being.

 

Amidala stood in the room for a couple of seconds, not quite sure of where she should go.  A soldier came over to her, seeing her confusion.  "Milady, the Jedi wish that you go to the bridge where you will be able to contact your planet."

 

She nodded and left the room, refusing any help to find the bridge.  She trudged down the halls, trying to think of what to tell her advisors and her planet.  As she turned a corner, she heard voices traveling down the hallway.  Curiosity filled her as she recognized the voices as those of Yoda and Mace Windu.  What she overheard was something that she wished she had not.

 

"What are we going to do about Obi-Wan and Anakin?" Mace Windu asked quietly as he and Yoda sat facing each other, unsure of where the rest of the Jedi Council was.  Yoda stared at him, his eyes filled with the wisdom that he had collected over the years.

 

"Nothing we can do there is," Yoda croaked.  "Face their enemies they must."

 

"Then we are going to meet with the mages?"

 

Yoda nodded.  "Discuss important things with them we will."

 

"Are you sure there is nothing that can be done for Obi-Wan and Anakin.  Both are important to the Jedi cause," Mace Windu said, though he already knew what the answer was going to be.  He wanted to hear the answer from Yoda himself, the oldest and arguably the wisest of the council members.

 

"Alone they are for now.  Come out for the best we hope."

 

Amidala felt a stab of pain in her heart as she heard those words.  Anakin and Obi-Wan have to face enemies and there's nothing we can do to save them?  I wish I could find a way to help them - both helped me greatly when my planet was under attack.  What if something happens to them?  Anakin is just a little boy.  I don't want anything happening to him.

 

With those words echoing through her head, she started once again for the bridge.  She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she did not notice that Yoda and Mace Windu had stopped talking.  They sat in silence for a few minutes, listening to her facing footsteps.  When they sensed that she was finally gone, they once again began their conversation.

 

"What of the young girl?  The young Eran?" asked Mace Windu urgently.  "Where is she?"

 

"On the ship, she is," explained Yoda, gesturing to the medial facility that was down the hall.  "Being studied, she is.  Find out what is wrong we will." 

 

Mace Windu nodded as he digested this information.  For some reason that girl, just like Amidala, was important to the future.  It was not determined what she would contribute to, but she was important and they needed her to live.  Speaking of the future, he suddenly remembered about their plans.

 

"Where are we going to meet the sages?  How many of them are there going to be?"  Mace Windu asked.

 

"Far away on a planet will we meet them.Yoda  announced.  "Two there only are, important they will be."

 

Mace Windu nodded as silence once again filled the room.  But they had nothing else to say to each other, as they prepared for the events that they knew would change many lives, including their own.  They were not quite sure of the events that would take place, but they did know that it would cause many changes.

 

*****

 

Justin took a deep breathe as he rushed at Scorpina, trying to knock her boomerang away.  The two clashed harshly in a deadly embrace, neither getting the upper hand right away.  Justin winced as his muscles tightened, exhaustion finally catching up to him after days of little to no sleep.  Scorpina felt his hesitation and, taking advantage of it, knocked him to the ground.  She leapt forward to deliver a devastating blow but Justin kicked her in the stomach, knocking the wind out of her.

 

He slowly got to his feet, wincing again as he felt the wear and tear that his body was enduring.  He cursed quietly under his breathe as he thought of the years in which he had let his self-defense abilities slide in order to concentrate fully on science.  True, he had always had more power when using his mind than when it came to fighting, but the difference was much more prevalent now than it had ever been.  At that moment, he wished he could turn back the hands of time, so he could find more time to get back in shape.

 

Scorpina circled him cautiously, a slow yet wicked smile on her face as she watched him.  She could feel his exhaustion oozing out of every move he made.  His punches lacked force, his defense sloppy.  She brandished her boomerang, light flickering off the sharpened points.  All of her years of practice in solitude were finally paying off.  After she had been expelled by Lord Zedd all those years ago, she had been practicing, waiting for the chance to prove why she was the most coveted assassin in the galaxy.  Now, her chance had come at last.  She circled the weakening ranger, knowing that her time of glory was to come.

 

“You’ll never defeat us, weakling,” she spat out, watching Justin’s every move with a cautious eye.  No response came from the boy as he fell into a defensive position.  Attacking the villainess straight on would be foolish, for she was a far better fighter than he had ever been.  To defeat her, he had to do so with the strongest power he had: the power of his mind.

 

She lunged at him with a snarl, brining her boomerang down to finish him off.  He lunged out of the way and turned around just in time to kick her squarely in the small of her back.  Scorpina gave a cry of surprise as her weapon flew away from her and skidded across the floor.  She turned towards Justin just in time for him to knock her down again, this time with a powerful tornado kick.  Adrenaline rushed through Justin’s body as he silently prepared for his next attack.  Scorpina got up slowly, glaring at him as she did.  Failing to destroy such a young opponent was unforgivable in the villain community.  She would not fail.  Not now, not ever. 

 

“I tire of this, little boy,” she hissed, her fists clenching as he stalked forward, her long tail outstretched behind her.  Justin jumped at her, pulling his lightsaber out as he did.  Scorpina swung her tail, a tail so full of venomous juices that it could kill many people, let alone a single ranger.  Her tail sailed at his chest, intent on taking him down then and there.  As her tail neared him, Justin swung his lightsaber with all of his might.  The lightsaber met skin and in a flash of light, singed the tail off completely.  Scorpina screamed in agony, falling to the ground.  She clutched what was left of her tail, black blood flowing from the wound.  The entire lower portion of her tail was gone, leaving her without any of her poison. 

 

Justin stared down at his opponent, then turned to glance at his lightsaber in shock.  Never would he have thought that this sort of damage could be done with a weapon like his.  This was not something that should fall into evil’s hands.  Who knows what could be done if that was too happen.

 

Pain was the only thing on Scorpina’s mind as she clutched at her bleeding tail.  She slowly stood up, glaring at Justin in completely hatred.  He had destroyed the best and most intimate weapon she had ever possessed.  Now, he would pay.  In a move that was so obscure that he had did even notice, she pulled a small blaster out of the top of her boot.  Though she rarely used it, the blaster itself was very powerful.  It had enough power to take out portions of an army, not to mention a single ranger.

 

Justin’s failure to notice the blaster was all that Scorpina needed.  In less time than it took for a person to blink their eye, she leveled the blaster at his chest and shot it point blank at him.  Justin flew back in shock and pain as he felt the force of energy that was directed at him.  He hit the ground, hard.  He attempted to stand up, but Scorpina shot at him again and again.  Stars exploded before the young man’s eyes as his vision began to go blurry.  He silently asked Kat to forgive him, for the mistake that had cost him not only the battle but possibly his life.  As his vision started to slip away, he vaguely noticed that Scorpina had stopped shooting at him and was slowly beginning to stand up. 

 

Kat ducked as Goldar’s sword flew through the air in the spot where her head had been just seconds earlier.  She reacted to his aggressive attacks by knocking him aside with a forward kick, solidly landed in the center of his chest plate.  A bead of sweat rolled down Kat’s face as she readjusted the grip on her dagger.  She had no clue how long she had been battling Goldar, but it seemed like centuries had gone by.  She was not beginning to tire, though; at least not yet.  It did not look as though Goldar would let up anytime soon, and she knew that her strength would let out sometime.

 

Even though it had been years, she was not out of shape.  In fact, she was in the best shape of her life, even better shape than she was in as a ranger.  Maybe it was the years she spent as a cat; maybe it was an aftermath from the spell.  Whatever it was, Kat was thankful for it.  Unfortunately, Goldar’s skills had also improved over the time.  He was more skilled, more deadly than he had been when she had fought against him.  Kat knew that her skills alone would not defeat him.  She needed help; she needed more power.

 

Without any warning, Goldar thrust his sword forward directly at her heart.  She danced out of the way, but the sword managed to catch her on the shoulder.  Sparks flew from her uniform as she fell to the ground.  If I hadn’t gotten out of the way, I would have been a goner.  She rolled out of the way as the sword flew at her, attacking Goldar’s exposed abdomen with a series of hammer fists and hook punches.  He staggered back slightly, giving her enough time to get back on her feet.

 

The two slowly circled each other, waiting for the other person to make the first move.  Goldar had been surprised at the strength and power Kat had shown, for it was nothing like he remembered the once weak girl.  Something had changed over the course of the years.  Somehow she had become stronger and more mature.  Yes, that was the word.  She knew that even though she was a ranger, she was not invincible.  She knew that any of the battles she fought could be her last.  Maybe that was why she was fighting now like it was her last battle.  Maybe it would be.  That was up to him to decide.

 

Goldar lunged first, swinging his sword as if was going to attack.  Kat immediately readied her dagger in order to deflect the blow that was aimed directly at her.  At the last minute, he suddenly relaxed his sword and kicked her in the chest with a swift whip kick.  She fell to the ground, for the kick had taken her by surprise.  As she hit the ground, her breath was taken away by the impact.  She struggled to regain her breath as Goldar ran over and kicked her in the ribs.  Kat winced in pain and quickly rolled out of the way of another attack.  She carefully readied her dagger as she slowly got her breath back. 

 

She quickly stood back up and swung her dagger at Goldar.  He brought his sword down and the two clashed in a series of sparks.  She adjusted her grip slightly, causing Goldar to momentarily lose his balance.  She took advantage of his by a front kick to his abdomen and a knee to his groin.  He fell to the ground heavily, his sword falling from his hands.  She moved in, adrenaline pumping as she brought her dagger up to knock him out.  Suddenly, she froze in shock as she was hit from behind.  She stumbled to the right, turning around to find Scorpina holding her smoking boomerang glaring down at her.  Kat’s breathe caught in her throat as she saw an unconscious Justin lying on the ground behind Scorpina.

 

“This is the end,” Scorpina hissed as she crept over to Goldar and helped him up.  The two henchmen readied their weapons, creeping forward menacingly towards her.  Kat stood up quickly and backed-pedaled, not taking her eyes of the villains.  If she did, it would be over.  She had to get away from them.

 

Suddenly, to the surprise of all of them, a cloud of smoke suddenly appeared in the middle of the room.  Kat watched in shock as the ruler of Goldar and Scorpina appeared, none other than her former master and foe, Rita.  The two henchmen immediately fell to one knee and bowed their heads before her.  Rita nodded at them before turning her attention to Kat. 

 

“This is my last offer, Kitty Kat,” cackled Rita, smiling wickedly at Kat.  “Join us, and you will live.  Refuse us…” 

 

Rita allowed the sentence to trail off, giving Kat the full effect of what would happen to her.  But Kat would not allow the sorceress to defeat her.  She would not join them.

 

“Never, Rita!” yelled Kat, her voice hoarse.  She held her head high, her dagger still held out in front of her.  “I will never join you.”

 

The smile on Rita’s face disappeared, replaced this time by an ugly sneer.  She turned to her warriors, nodding once at them.  The two smiled and both of them pulled out small blasters, the same type that had caused Justin to pass out.  Rita pointed her wand at Kat and with a single motion, the dagger flew from Kat’s hand and onto the floor in front of the villains.  Kat’s eyes widened in alarm as she found herself defenseless against the two.  She groped for a weapon, hands shaking as she pulled out her lightsaber.  She barely had time to turn it on before shots were blasted at her again and again.  Without even thinking, she deflected the shots with the lightsaber.  The energy shots flew everywhere as more and more were deflected.  A stray blast went directly into the force field that surrounding the battling Zhane and Andros, and a blast hitting the same spot that Kat had swiped at earlier.  A mini-explosion occurred at the base of the force field and when the dust cleared, the force field was gone.   

 

Zhane, tired and sweating, felt his adrenaline pumping as he saw Kat being backed into a wall.  His fear rose as she saw Justin, unmoving, in a pile of broken objects.  He jumped over Andros, kicking his former friend and teammate in the head, determined to get to Kat before it was too late.  But he could only watch in horror as Kat’s defense finally broke and the blasts started to hit her.  She fell to the ground, hoarse screams of pain coming from her.  Zhane knocked Goldar and Scorpina away and ran to Kat’s side.  He kneeled by her side, cradling her body in his arms.

 

“Zhane,” she whispered as she clumsily grasped his hand in hers.  He winced as the saw the many burns on her uniform, knowing that many more lay underneath.  “I’m sorry.  I tried.”

 

“I know Kat,” he whispered.  “I know.”

 

“Enough of that!” Rita screeched as she turned to her warriors.  “Destroy those two and Earth will be ours!”

 

Zhane slowly put Kat down behind him and turned around to face them.  He was not afraid anymore.  He had done all that he could and his fate was beyond his hands.

 

*****

 

Feelings she had not known for a long while bubbled up inside Kanara, utter helplessness taking the place of any other thought.  She forbade herself to look down for if she did, she would see the bottomless pit that she dangled dangerously above.  All her plans and thoughts of destruction, power, and evil flitted from her mind as she could only think of one thing: staying alive.  Dread slowly grew as she was hit with the sudden realization that she would not make it out of this situation alive.  None of her training had ever prepared her for a situation like this.  She had never been in this position before and she did not know how she was going to make it out.

 

She slowly tried swinging from side to side in order to try and get her legs to wrap around the bar that she was holding onto.  But with every swing she attempted, her hand would begin to slip from the bar, filling her with panic.  She immediately stopped swinging and instead tried to grab the railing with her bad hand.  Pain shot down her arm and into the rest of her body, causing her to let of a screech.  She tried as hard as she could to hold on, but her damaged hand would not allow it.  She let go of the bar with her bad hand, panic screaming through her mind.  For a brief moment she wondered why the routine flash of purple had not come and healed her hand of its pain.  Maybe because she could not think straight it would not come.  Maybe because she was already using all of her powers to force herself to hang onto the small bar that was keeping her from falling to her death.  Whatever it was, Kanara knew that this could be the end.  And it took all of her strength and powers to keep from thinking that she would die.

 

Obi-Wan stared at her, his thoughts and emotions being completely twisted by the turn of events.  For the first time in his life, he had no clue what he was going to do.  None of his training could have prepared him for a situation like this.  The options on hand were incredibly perilous.  He knew that she was evil and that he could let her die.  But another part of him had seen the good in her that was hidden deep beneath her evil mask.  His emotions were being split completely in two as he watched her struggle to hang on.  On one side, he wanted her to endure suffering and pain for everything she had put both he and Anakin through and for all the pain she had caused for the rangers and all the innocents she had hurt.  Yet, on the other side, he had seen parts of a different person in her eyes.  A person that was full of goodness and love, one that he did not want to destroy.  He slowly weighed his options, good and hard before finally coming to a decision.

 

Kanara squeezed her eyes shut, waiting until she no longer had the strength to hold on.  This was the end – she knew that much.  Nothing could save her now, not even her own powers in which she had depended on for the last couple years.  But in the small corner of her mind, a small voice pushed itself to be heard.

 

No!  I will not die!  screamed the familiar voice.  It was the voice of a long smothered Kimberly Harte.  After years of trying to break through the wall of evil that had surrounded her, she was beginning to work up the strength to finally do so.  You have already destroyed everything I stood for and all of those that I love.  You turned me into a psychotic evil bitch who would do anything – or anyone – for power.  I will get out of this, if just to make up for everything that you’ve done.  I will not let you have my life! 

 

It is my life now, weakling, hissed the voice of Kanara.  I am the ruler of this body and this life and I will not let you stand in my way of completely domination.  I own this body, just as I own you.

 

You will never own me, bitch, whispered Kim.  I will not let you control me any longer.  Not now, not ever.  Now that I have found the weakness in your powers, I will not back down.  You may have won the past battles, but you will not win the war.  I will make sure that you never hurt anyone as you have before.  I promise you this, and I am not one to break my promises. 

 

You will never win, little girl, Kanara sneered. This is my life now and I will have it.  I will destroy you once and for all when I get out of this.  And no more will I have to listen to the whining, annoying little voice that is too stupid to realize her life is over.  I am the ruler of this body, just as I will be ruler of the world.

 

No, Kim quietly said.  You will not control my anymore.  I will find a way to get past you and I will not stop until I have done so.  This I promise you. 

 

As if Obi-Wan could hear the battle that was taking place in Kanara’s mind, he made his final decision.  He quickly stood up and rushed over to where the dangling girl was hanging for dear life.  He knew that if he let her fall to her death, he was just as bad as they were.  Just as bad as those of the Dark Side.  He had become a Jedi in order to protect people and to save the lives of all people, no matter who they were.  If he were to let her die, he would fall into the Dark Side and there would be no saving him from there.  No.  He would not let that happen. 

 

“Give me your hand,” Obi-Wan ordered as he reached for her, encircling her good wrist with his hand.  Kanara looked up at him and he was surprised to find there was a difference in her eyes.  Yes, the darkness was still there, but there seemed to be a fire in them, a fire that was from a long oppressed girl who was determined not to give up.  Kanara shook her head as she held up her burnt hand.

 

“I can’t,” she screamed, suppressed sobs evident in her raw voice.  “It’s too painful to hold onto anything!”

 

“If you want to live, give me your hand!” he yelled at her, not wanting to let her fall when he was this close.  She winced slightly as she slowly pushed her hand towards his.  He quickly grabbed onto her wrist and pulled her forward with all of his might.  Time seemed frozen for a moment as Kanara felt her good hand slipping from the railing and from Obi-Wan’s grip.  He did not have enough force or energy to pull her away from the pit. 

 

In a gesture that was either very foolish or very brave, Kanara released the railing and grabbed Obi-Wan’s wrist with her own hand.  He struggled with all of his power to pull her onto the small platform that they had been fighting on just moments earlier.  All of the emotions, all of the energies left inside of him burst forth as he pulled her with his last reserves of strength.  As he did, they toppled together onto the small platform.  Obi-Wan panted slightly as he felt all of the exertion that he had put forth moments earlier begin to lessen.  He had saved her.

 

Kanara’s breathe started to come to her as she realized that she was not going to die today.  She tried to move, but her muscles screamed in protest.  She slowly pushed herself up, agony filling her as she did.  She looked down at the Jedi beneath her, gratitude filling every ounce of her soul.

 

Only one time before had anyone ever saved her life like that – that time felt like eons ago now.  Her boyfriend, her love Tommy, had saved her from certain death years ago, and she could still feel the love that they had for each other, for she was feeling something very much like it right now as she stared down at Obi-Wan.  For a split second, a strange feeling arose in her as she stared down at the Jedi.  Her cold heart seemed to fill with an emotion that she had not felt for years.

 

“You saved my life,” Kimberly Harte whispered, the first time she had been able to control her words in years.  “You knew what a monster I was, and you saved me.  I don’t know how I can ever thank you.”

 

“You don’t have to,”

 

“Are you …”

 

Her body stiffened suddenly as her eyes widened in sudden fear.  She looked down at Obi-Wan, sorrow reflecting in her eyes.  “I’m sorry.”

 

A flash of purple overtook her, the light so bright that it momentarily blinded Obi-Wan.  He blinked to clear his sight, finding himself staring into the eyes of a cold-blooded killer.  Kanara smirked back at him now.  “I figured out how to thank you – since I won because of you.  Now, you’re mine.”

 

She laid her weight on top of his, grabbing his wrists with an iron grip.  She licked her lips as she stared at him, leaning forward and slowly licking the side of his neck.  One of her hands let go of his wrists and slowly traveled down his body, stopping as she came to his waist.

 

Her eyes glinted wickedly as she stared in his eyes.  “Let’s see if a Jedi is really as good as I’ve heard.”

 

Suddenly, with a sudden movement of her hand, a knife appeared in her hand.  She slowly cut the front of his shirt open before every so carefully lightly slicing his skin.

 

Obi-Wan became rigid as he felt the knife biting into his skin, a sharp gasp eliciting from his lips.  Kanara smirked at him mockingly as she held the knife above his skin.  “What?  Don’t want a little pain with your pleasure?”

 

Obi-Wan tried to dislodge her from above him, but to no avail.  She paid no attention to his attempts, instead waving her hand as she frowned at his wrists.  Shackles appeared around his wrists, leaving her hands free.  She continued making little slices on his chest while her other hand traveled slowly down, watching his reaction the whole time.  He closed his eyes, knowing that his decision though seemingly right, was the wrong thing to do.

 

*****

 

Far across the universe, on the planet known as Phaedos, a lone warrior paced back and forth, waiting for the arrival of the invited parties.  The warrior searched the sky as she paced, all of the muscles in her body tensed in nervousness.  If the invited few could not get to the meeting place or if they arrived too late, the universe would be destroyed.  She took a deep breathe as she continued her pacing, glancing over at her surroundings as she did.

 

Everything was prepared for the arrivals.  Though dust covered many of the columns and altars that stood in the wind-worn temple, a fire blazed brightly in the middle.  The fresh air blew through the open walls of the temple, causing ragged garments to sway gently in the breeze.

 

Suddenly, a blinding flash of gold light appeared before the warrior.  She shielded her eyes from the light, for looking directly at it would cause her momentary blindness.  When the light disappeared, an old yet powerful mage stood before her.  A slight smile crossed her face as she recognized the mage.

 

“It is good to see you again, Zordon,” she said, her lightly accented voice filled with relief.  It was the first time in nearly two centuries that she had seen him out of his time warp.  He wore the traditional robes of the Eltarian mages, the robes the brightest of white and made up of the finest of silk.  A tired smile crossed Zordon’s face as he looked at her.

 

“As it is you, Dulcea,” he said quietly, sorrow evident in his voice.  Dulcea frowned slightly as she stared at Zordon but before she could ask any questions, he turned towards the fire.  Memories washed over him as he watched the multicolored flames that blazed before him.  It seemed only yesterday that the two of them had learned of their spirit animals.  She, the wise and stealthy snowy owl and he, the courageous and strong lion.  And then his rangers had gone on the same quest…

 

Memories of the rangers flooded through him as he turned away from the fire and looked back over at Dulcea.  “Do you know when the Jedi will arrive?”

 

She shook her head in uncertainty.  Zordon sighed and turned to glance at the vast forest that the temple overlooked.  “I am tired of this fight, Dulcea.  I have seen too much during my years as a ranger and mentor.  And I have lost more children than I can count.”

 

Dulcea stepped forward, placing a hand of comfort on his shoulder.  “But your children do not give up, even when it is hopeless.  They are fighting for you right now, fighting against the evil that you have stood against for so long.”

 

“I know,” he whispered, a lone year welling up in his eye.  “And I have lost another.”

 

He glanced over at Dulcea just in time to see the confusion and shock rush through her features.  She was unable to voice her thoughts as she stared at him, uncomprehending.

 

“They freed me from Dark Spectre’s grasp,” he explained.  “But the cost was too much.  I have lost one that has grown so much from the beginning.  He changed from an uncertain, young boy to a mature and strong leader.  Tommy is dead.  The falcon has flown free,”

 

Dulcea took a sharp intake of breathe as she heard his words.  She remembered the boy – she had knocked him down because of his seemingly arrogance.  But even with the arrogance that he had, there was a light burning inside of him.  He was a fighter for the people; he started his career as a fighter and she knew, without asking, that he had ended as a fighter.  That is the way it was with rangers like him.

 

“I’m sorry, Zordon,” she said softly, knowing that her words were not enough to help the pain he must be feeling.  “He was a brave fighter.”

 

“I know.”

 

Silence passed between the old friends as they watched the trees of the forest gently swaying in the breeze.  The war seemed so far away in the peacefulness of the jungle.  It seemed like the war was all a bad dream, one that they had suddenly woken up from.  But they knew that it was just wistful thinking.  The war was greater than ever now, and they had to stop if before it was too late.

 

A load roar from above caused both Dulcea and Zordon to turn around and glance up at the sky.  A large ship was slowly lowering itself next to the temple that they stood on.  They watched carefully as the ship carefully landed in a small clearing close by.  Dulcea walked over to a small platform at the end of the temple, waiting for the inhabitants to come out.  She watched as two figures walked out, one of them a small green creature with large pointed ears and an aura of wisdom that she could feel even from so far away.  The other was a strong looking dark male with a feeling of intensity around him.  She walked slowly to the very end of the temple as they made their way up to her.

 

Soon, the two figures arrived before them.  Zordon walked out of the temple to greet them, bowing down slightly as they stopped before him.  The two figures repeated the gesture to him and turned to stare up at Dulcea.  She bowed and the figured followed.  They looked up at her in curiosity, silently asking why she had not greeted them along with Zordon.

 

“I cannot leave this temple,” she stated simply.  “If I do, I will quickly wither in age and die.”

 

They nodded at her words and followed Zordon up into the temple.  They glanced around silently and quietly, taking in their surroundings.  The tall dark male turned to Dulcea and Zordon asking, “Are you Dulcea and Zordon of the Ranger Council?”

 

Zordon nodded for both of them, carefully taking in the aura around them.  The two were most definitely powerful, not only because of the way they moved but because of the goodness and strength that seemed to radiate from them.

 

“Then I presume that you are Master Yoda and Master Windu of the Jedi Council,” Zordon stated, watching them nod in acknowledgement.  “Then we shall begin with the ceremony.”

 

The four of them slowly made their way over to the blazing fire, each standing on different sides with their arms outstretched to their sides.  They easily and quickly joined palm to palm with each other, though it was a bit difficult in Yoda’s case.  Each closed their eyes, emptying their minds in preparation.  Dulcea took a deep breathe and began the ancient ritual.

 

“A darkness has slowly but surely filled our land, causing pain and destruction to every creature of light.  Escape is useless, for the evil, our enemy, is slowly growing and taking over.  We, as four representatives of the land, join together for this time only in order to help our people and the people of all universes.  Our powers alone are not enough, but once combined they will be a pushing force behind a resistance.”

 

“Combining our strength we know is not enough.  The key to our success is anyone who is able to take our freely given power and use it to blanket and wipe out as much evil as possible.  We now combine our strengths in order to push against the evil before us.”

 

“The power of strength I present,” boomed Zordon, his voice echoing through the sudden darkness of the sky.  As he said that, a spirit in the shape of a roaring tiger burst from him and flew into the fire.  The flames turned a golden yellow in color as they started to blaze even greater.  Though the flames were now closer to the participants, they paid no attention to it.  They were too deep into the ritual to notice any outside force.  “Let the spirit of all of those who defended their people with this power help the universe now in the time of need.”

 

The flames changed from golden yellow into the shape of long-deceased rangers.  The faces of ancient rangers, names now forgotten, appeared faces grim.  Rangers from all times, all walks of life appeared, each letting off a spark of energy to add to the fire.  Zordon felt tears begin to run down his face as he felt the presence of his young children calling to him, whispering in his ears.  His most recent children shone out behind his closed eyelids, smiling down at him.  Each added a spark of energy to the fire, giving it the power it needed.

 

“The power of courage I present,” announced Mace Windu.  The spirit of a springing panther burst from him as he said the words, jumping into the fire.  The flames turned a light brown and grew even more.  “Let those that have died in the line of their cause help us now in our time of need.” 

 

Spirits of Jedi Knights flew through the fire, each adding their sparks of the Force.  They flew around Mace Windu, voicing their support and buzzing with energy.  Strength flowed through him as he felt the Knights, a smile crossing his face for the first time in a long while.

 

“The power of compassion I present,” said Dulcea.  As she did, a spirit of a screeching snow owl burst forth and whisked into the fire.  The fire turned a bright green as the flames once again intensified.  “Let those who have sacrificed themselves for others help us through this.”

 

Spirits of past ninjetti guides burst from the fire, roaring as only animals can.  They surrounded Dulcea, nuzzling her lightly and giving her strength and courage.  A few lone animals stopped and mournfully chatter in her ears, crying for their children overtaken by darkness.  A pink crane screeched its pain as it felt the cold heart of its one-time ranger taking joy in destroying others.

 

“Present, I do, power of wisdom,” croaked Yoda.  The spirit of a giant sea creature burst forth and slithered into the flames.  The flames turned a deep blue as the flames once again intensified, now burning so brightly that nothing else could be seen.  “Deep wisdom from Jedi will be shared, I see.”

 

The flames burst suddenly only all of them, but the fire did not burn.  Instead, as it touched them, the flames burst into a wide array of colors.  Dulcea raised her head to the sky and in the tongue of the ancient Phaedian, she began to speak.

 

"Gre keneara meia banr ayiew mikalos!" she screamed.  “Let the powers combine and be taken to the key!”

 

In a burst of color the flames shot forward and joined in the sky above them.  They danced around each other in a dance of color before finally joining together in a bright golden light.  It shot off away from them and with that, the four lowered their arms, slowly sinking down to the ground in exhaustion.

 

*****

 

Anakin felt his fear rising with every moment that he stayed in the site of the robed figure.  The figure seemed to be watching him carefully, taking in every reaction that Anakin had.  He felt as though the being could see right through him and could read all of his thoughts and feel all of his emotions.  He was nothing like Anakin had ever seen – or felt – before.  He had powers of a Jedi, yet they were darker, more sinister.  He did not know what it was, but he did know that he did not like it. 

 

“You don’t like the powers, little one?” whispered Sideous.  “At least, you don’t like them now.  But in time, you will see the how…useful and commanding the power is.  Open yourself up to the Dark Side – let it flow through your every thought and every action.

 

Anakin shook his head, fists clenching as he held firm his decision to resists.  No!  I will not let him destroy me.  I will become stronger than he is – I will become a Jedi.

 

Sideous laughed lightly as he heard Anakin’s thoughts.  “A Jedi will never be stronger than I.  The Dark Side is much more powerful than the Force that Obi-Wan and the Council use.  The Dark Side gives me, and can give you, power that has never been felt before.  It can give you strength that is unimaginable.”  He bent forward, his beady eyes showing beneath his dark hood.  “And I can give you all that you want.  I can make you ruler of the universe.  You will be in control, not having to listen to the “rules” made up by the Jedi.  No one will control you – you will not be anyone’s slave anymore.  Isn’t that something that you’ve always wanted?” 

 

“No!” exclaimed Anakin.  “I don’t care what you say.  The Dark Side is made up of evil and hatred.  It will only hurt me and those that I care for.  I will never let the Dark Side control me.”

 

Silence met the boy’s words, a silence so thick that Anakin once again felt his fear rising.  This being, though not making any kind of attacks, caused Anakin more fear than he had ever felt.  This being was so immersed in evil that Anakin could not think straight.

 

“Let yourself go, Anakin,” Sideous whispered.  “I too used to believe what the Jedi taught.  Until one day, someone showed me the real power.  When I found out the real power that the Force can have, I knew that I had chosen the right side.  The Jedi Council, afraid that they will be taken over, never let anyone become as strong as they are.  That’s why they call it the Dark Side – they don’t want to lose their power.  Why wouldn’t they want stronger fighters with them?  Why do they keep the Jedi Knights so weak, keep them from growing stronger.  Listen to me, boy, and I can help you with things that you have only dreamed of.”

 

Anakin said nothing as he looked away from the Darth Lord.  What the being was saying about the Jedi – it almost made sense.  I mean, why do the Jedi keep from growing stronger.  If they were stronger, they could help to keep the peace better.  Is that why they didn’t want to train me?  Because they thought I was going to become too strong?

 

“Yes, they are just trying to hold you back.  They don’t want you to become too powerful, because if you do, they will not be able to control you.  Do you want to be controlled?  You’ve spent your whole life as a slave – do you want to work so hard just to be a slave to the Jedi?”

 

Anakin’s head shot up as he stared at Sideous.  No!  I’m not going to be a slave to the Jedi.  I’m going to be part of them.  They had good reasoning to be wary of me, I guess.  I do fear things and that fear could turn into worse things.  If I’m not careful, I could fall to the Dark Side.

 

“I can give you what you want,” said Sideous lightly.  “I can give you everything that the Jedi don’t want you to have.  I can protect you from pain.  They haven’t done that, have they?  They’ve failed you and they’ve failed to protect those that you love.”

 

“No they haven’t,” argued Anakin.  “Death comes to everyone, no matter how hard you fight against it.  People are going to die no matter what happens.”

 

“But their deaths could have been prevented.  They didn’t die of old age – they were brutally and horribly killed.  That’s not very good protection from the Jedi, is it now?”

 

“It doesn’t matter,” said Anakin darkly.  “Things like that won’t happen again.  I will do my best to protect others and then the failures of the past won’t matter anymore.”

 

“Oh, but you are wrong.  They will keep on failing to protect those that you love and then someday, they will fail to protect you.  If you join me, I can keep that from happening.  I can give you glory and power.”

 

“I don’t believe you!” yelled Anakin, anger filling his voice.  Sideous smiled a slow smile as he felt the anger radiating off of Anakin.  Yes, the boy had potential.  And now, that potential could be used to his advantage.

 

“I can help you.  Do you want me to show you?” Sideous proposed lightly.  Anakin looked at him in shock and surprise, his anger for the being forgotten.  No one could read the future, for the future was uncertain.  Many different paths could be taken, depending on the choices that were made.  “I can show you the future.  And all that you want to know.”

 

“Can you really?” asked Anakin in curiosity.  He had a nagging feeling that something bad was happening, but he pushed the thought aside as he took a step closer to Sideous.  He might be able to see the future, if the being was telling the truth.  And if he knew the future, then maybe he could keep those he loved from being hurt.

 

“Come closer.  I can show you what my power can do for you.”  Anakin hesitantly took another step closer.  As he did, Sideous stood up and grasped Anakin’s hand, almost to the point of pain.  Anakin gave a slight cry, but Sideous paid no attention to it.  Instead, his eyes seemed to be staring at something on the wall behind Anakin.  Before Anakin could ask what was there, a vision suddenly appeared in his mind.

 

Anakin was fighting, desperately pushing through the crowd of stormtroopers, trying to get to Amidala before it was too late.  He fell back as he was punched in the face, stumbling to the ground.  Power like he had never felt before flew around him and, without thinking, he accepted the power and pushed through the troopers, just in time to save Amidala from being killed.  The power he had felt moments earlier was gone, but he could not forget the way it had felt as it gave him the much needed strength to save her.

 

Obi-Wan fighting against him, anger radiating in his master’s eyes.  With every swing of his lightsaber, Obi-Wan pushed Anakin closer towards the edge of the pit.  Finally, with one final swing, Anakin fell into the pit, lava eating away at his skin.  The power once again filled him, this time giving him the strength to pull himself out of the pit and onto the ground.  Obi-Wan was gone, deserting his apprentice.  Instead, Chancellor Palpatine was there, lifting him from the ground, helping him with his wounds.  As Anakin began to black out, he could still feel the power flowing through his veins.

 

The world was changing now.  Anakin could see the Jedi being wiped out, destroyed by their own choice, because they lacked the power and the people to live on.  Anakin could feel the real power as he turned to smile at the woman by his side.  The two clasped hands, watching with a bit of sadness as the Jedi were no more.

 

Anakin opened his eyes, the power he had felt in the visions still swirling in the air around him.  He looked up at Sideous, wonder reflecting in his young eyes.  “Is that the future?  Is that what is really going to happen?”

 

Sideous nodded gravely, releasing the young boy’s hand.  “Yes.  The Jedi race is slowly dying out for they do not know the true power.  Join me and I can give you everything you want – I can help you to become the greatest power in the universe.”

 

Anakin stared at him in indecision, not noticing the small smile that crossed Sideous’ face.  He could feel what the boy was thinking.  He knew the decision Anakin was going to make.  Anakin sighed, making his decision.  He opened his mouth and was about to speak when suddenly, a golden light pushed the two people apart.  Anakin fell to the ground hard, squinting at the golden light.  Sideous stepped back, his eyes closing to slits as he felt his powers blocked by the light.

 

Anakin watched in awe as the light twisted and shimmered, finally forming into the shape of a person.  Puzzlement filled his features as he stared at the familiar shape.  “Tommy?”

 

Tommy nodded, smiling down at the young boy.  Peace radiated from every inch of his spirit as he bent down to eye level with him.  Yeah, it’s me.

 

“But that means…” Anakin bit his lip as sudden realization hit him.

 

Tommy nodded, eyes sympathetic as he stared at him.  I’m dead, Anakin.  My time on this plane of existence is over.  But that doesn’t mean that my journey is over.  I have one thing left to do before I leave for good.

 

Anakin cocked his head.  “What?”

 

I have to make sure you make the right decision. Tommy said, his voice filled with seriousness.  There are many things in this universe that may seem too good to be true.  Be careful when you are making decisions, for the consequences of them will be shown through every action you do and every thought that you think.  Do not let evil convince you that their way is better – be strong. 

 

“But he showed me the future,” whispered Anakin as he stared at Tommy.  “If I accept the power, I can help people so much more.”

 

 No, you can’t. Tommy said slowly.  He only showed you a portion of the future.  A future that may never come to pass.  What he didn’t show you was the pain that you could cause or that you will feel.  He didn’t show you the evil that will have filled you.  Before I leave, I give you this final gift.  Good luck, Anakin.  May the Force by with you.

 

Gold sparked in Anakin’s eyes as he once again felt visions descending on him.  Tommy’s figure disappeared as the gold surrounded Anakin and made it impossible for Darth Sideous to disturb him.

 

A young girl stared frightfully at him, telling him information that he had wanted to get out of her.  And yet, Anakin allowed her entire planet to be destroyed, pleasure surging through him as he felt the people of the planet screaming out as they were vaporized into nothing.  He smiled, a dark, twisted smile as the young girl began to cry for her killed people.

 

Anakin, covered in black armor from head to toe, fought against Obi-Wan, hatred seething from every inch of his soul.  Obi-Wan, old and out of shape, was slowly being pushed back.  Anakin felt a dark happiness arise as he took and swing and killed his one-time master.

 

Anakin fought against a young boy, his own son.  His son that he had never known about because Amidala had run away from him when he had let the Dark Side take over.  He chased his son through the ship, taking pleasure in cutting off his son’s own hand.  He gave his son an ultimatum – join him or die.  He watched in mild regret as Luke jumped off the platform and down into the pit. 

 

Anakin watched as his own son was being electrocuted by Darth Sideous, the same man that had convinced him to join the Dark Side.  He watched as his son writhed in pain, because he had refused to join the emperor. 

 

Anakin could feel pain filling every inch of his body as electricity ran through him, killing him slowly as he walked.  The pain was too great – everything he had done over the years, everyone he had killed came back to him, causing him to stumble in regret and grief.  He was dying – destroyed by the own evil that he had embraced for so long. 

 

As the visions disappeared Anakin stared at Darth Sideous in horror, realizing what he had almost agreed to.  He pushed himself away from the being, shaking his head as he felt the evil reaching for him.  “No.  I will never join you.  I will never fall to the dark side, never give in.  I will live to be a Jedi.  I will not let evil control me or anyone.  This ends now.”

 

Sideous watched in fascination as Anakin’s eyes suddenly turned gold in color and his hands suddenly crinkled with golden energy.  Anakin stepped forward with unseeing eyes, one hand outstretched towards the evil being.  Sideous held his own hands out, energy bursting from them and onto Anakin.  Anakin felt pain registering as the bolts of lightning hit, but he paid no heed to it.  He kept walking forward, his hand reaching closer to Sideous with every step.

 

Darth Sideous gasped in shock as Anakin’s hand touched his arm, causing the Darth Lord to freeze in his place.  Sideous felt the souls of all those who had died for the good of the universe flowing through him – all of their strength, courage, compassion and wisdom filling him with pain.  He stared at the boy in wonder before exploding in a burst of ashes.  Anakin, though, paid no heed to the now empty space in front of him, instead still feeling the golden energy passing through him.

 

He could feel everything around him, from the room next door to people all over the universe.  He could see Obi-Wan, screaming in pain as Kanara opened cuts all over his body.  Suddenly, she froze in mid-strike, feeling the loss of the evil Lord.  Golden light overtook her, much as it did the emperor, but when it disappeared, she was not destroyed.  She fell off of Obi-Wan, the knife forgotten about as she hugged her body, tears streaming down her face.

 

He could see the Erans, dying of the disease that Kanara had bestowed upon them.  His heart ached for them, but he knew that nothing could be done to save them – they were too far into the sickness to be cured.  He closed his eyes, tears streaming down his face as he felt their lives flickering and slowly, but peacefully, dying out.  He wept openly as he saw Floita give her final breath, a smile crossing her face as she succumbed to the illness and into eternal peace.

 

Far across the universe, he saw the ravaged planet of Earth, its three defenders slowly losing ground.  He watched as the villains stiffened in fear, for they felt the loss of the Darth Sideous, even so far across the universe.  They felt his pain as the light fell upon them, causing them to explode in dust.  Andros screamed as the machines controlling him gave one last push before dying out, leaving him lying on the ground, panting in exertion and loss.

 

He saw evil all over the universe, some exploding to dust others so far away that they merely fainted in exhaustion.  He felt the Force filling him, showing him an image of four figures on Phaedos, lending him abilities to help.  He smiled wistfully as the old mage breathed his last, smiling as he went into the next world.

 

Slowly, every so slowly, the golden light disappeared.  Anakin opened his eyes and saw the familiar throne room.  A smile crossed his face as he slowly sank to the ground, his injuries finally catching up to him.  He closed his eyes and blackness overtook him.

 

******

 

Chapter 8

Warmth seeped onto her face, waking Dulcea out of her slumber.  The light of the mid-morning sun momentarily blinded her, causing her to shield her eyes with her hand.  She sat up, running a hand through her wind-blown locks that covered her face.  She slowly stood up, wincing as she felt the tightness in her back.  As she worked the kink out of her back, she noticed that Yoda and Mace Windu were already up, conversing softly by the small fire.  She took a step towards them when a chill suddenly went down her back.  She turned, a sense of foreboding running through her as she searched for Zordon.

Her eyes found him immediately, lying by the fire.  He seemed to be sleeping peacefully, for a slight smile was on his face.  Yet, his chest was unmoving.  Dulcea rushed over to him, causing Yoda and Windu to look her way.  She paid no heed to them, though, as she sank to her knees next to her old friend.  Tears welled up in her eyes for the third time in the last twenty-four hours as she realized that he was dead.  Wiping a lone tear off of her cheek, she slowly – ever so slowly – walked over to the others, her hand hung low.

“We are sorry,” Windy said quietly, touching her briefly on the shoulder.  She looked up and gave him a shadow of a smile, seeing the pain that reflected in their own faces.  They too had lost many that were dear to them that day.

“Thank you,” she whispered, glancing over to Zordon’s body.  “It was his time, though.  His journey in this land is over.”

They nodded silently, glancing over at his prone body once more.  A tugging at Dulcea’s mind caused her to frown slightly and turn to the slowly extinguishing fire.  She closed her eyes and reached into it, not feeling the heat of the flames.  The spirits of the animal guides found her at once, information spilling from them.  She searched painstakingly through them, looking for one in particular.  Upon finding it the spirit animal screeched in misery, for her child was still in danger.  Dulcea pulled her hands out of the fire and opened her eyes, sighing as she turned back to the Jedi.

“The danger is not over yet,” she sighed tiredly.  “The crane still cries out for its childe, weeping for her lost soul.”

Yoda and Windu glanced at each other, troubled by this news.  Each of them closed their eyes briefly, using the Force to feel for any trouble.  Relief passed through both of them as they realized that the Darth Lord threat was gone for the time being.

“The Darth Lord is gone,” Windu said to her, watching as she nodded in acknowledgement.  “With that goal accomplished, our time here must come to an end.  We have many things back home that we have to take care of.”

“You must go then.  I will take care of Zordon.”

Windu and Yoda turned around and started heading towards the ship.  Suddenly, Yoda stopped and walked back over to Dulcea.  Windu kept his pace, reaching the ship in just moments.

Yoda hobbled back over to her, his eyes reflecting the wisdom he had collected over the years.  Dulcea bent down, staring the creature in the eye.  “Much there is to be done, yet.  Not past is the danger.  Much care take in all matters.  May the Force be with you.

Dulcea hugged the Jedi, closing her eyes as tears rolled slowly down her cheeks.  She pulled back from him, giving him a watery smile.  “Thank you.  I will be careful, especially now.  And may the power protect you.”

Yoda nodded and turned, hobbling slowly to his ship.  Dulcea watched as he entered his ship, the door hissing as it closed behind him.  Slowly, the ship rose from the ground and, hovering momentarily, shot off through the atmosphere and into space.  Dulcea watched until it disappeared completely from site before turning back to Zordon.

She shuffled over to her old friend, kneeling down next to him.  She wiped her hand across his forehead, a sad smile crossing her face.  She leaned down and gently kissed him on the forehead, a single tear landing on his face.

“Goodbye old friend,” she whispered, picking him up slowly and carefully.  “You will be missed.”

With great care she placed his body into the pyre, placing a blanket over him.  Tears streamed faster down her face as she sprinkled dust onto the fire, causing the flames to shoot up in great intensity.  Dark clouds suddenly appeared from nowhere, rumbles of thunder echoing through the sky.  Giant drops of rain fell, though none touched the sacred ground of the ruined temple.

Dulcea watched in grief as her friend and teammate was engulfed by the flames, barely noticing the rain that now fell heavily around the temple.  It was as if the universe itself was mourning the loss of such powerful and compassionate mage.  And yet, even as Dulcea mourned, a movement close by caught the corner of her eye.  She turned slowly, but the movement was gone.  A slow, sad smile crossed her face as she realized what she had seen; a slight movement of light as if reflecting off a balding head, a slightly gold-tinted light.  Though his body might be gone, Zordon would always be watching over his people.

Slowly his body burned, though his memory would never be gone.  His legacy was one that many would try to live up to – the legacy of the mighty Zordon of Eltar.

*****

Memories blurred together as if he was slowly waking up from a long, horrible dream.  Andros opened his eyes, not knowing that it was the first thing he had actually done by his own will for years.  He sat up slowly and looked around in shock as he saw the destruction that surrounded him, suddenly confused.

What is going on here? He wondered silently as he slowly stood up, knees wobbling beneath him.>Who did this?

He searched the area, looking for anything that would explain the disaster area that had once been called a magnificent room.  A lump formed in his throat as he saw a body half hidden by pieces of rock.  Is it one of my team?  Where we in a battle here?

Pushing away any thoughts of distrust he had, he rushed over to the body, pushing away pieces of rock to uncover it.  A boy, maybe seventeen at the oldest, lay beneath the rock, his breathe shallow but there.  Andros gave a sigh of relief as he realized the boy was still alive.  It was not one of his rangers.  But yet, as he looked at the boys face, a slight feeling of recognition filled him as if he had seen the person before.  But that was impossible.  He had only been on Earth for a short while – hadn’t he?

A sudden noise behind him caused him to turn in alarm, absently reaching for his morpher.  He frowned in confusion when his hand came up empty, puzzlement filling him as he realized his morpher was not there.  He pushed the thought away and searched for the source of the noise.  He found himself staring directly into the face of a person he felt like he had not seen for ages.

But that doesn’t make sense, Andros thought to himself.  I just saw him yesterday, on the Megaship.

Andros walked towards his best friend, not watching where he was going.  He stumbled over a piece of upturned ground, his knees hitting the floor with a loud thunk.  Zhane’s head shot up, staring at Andros first in mistrust then in shock and relief.

Andros almost fell over completely as Zhane rushed over to him, grabbing him in a hug as tears welled up in his eyes.  Andros hugged him back, not able to understand why his friend was crying.  As Zhane pulled away, Andros was shocked to see the tears that were now running down his friend’s face.

“What’s going on Zhane?” he asked, surprised to find his voice so hoarse.  “Why are you crying?  Where is everyone?  What happened here?”

“You don’t remember?” Zhane whispered.  “You don’t remember anything?”

He shook his head, fear rising as Zhane did not respond to his gesture.  Andros reached a hand towards Zhane, touching him questioningly on the shoulder.  “What happened here, Zhane?  Where are the others?”

“They’re dead, Andros.”

Silence greeted his words as Zhane willed himself to look at his long time friend.  Andros stared at him in disbelief, shaking his head violently at the thought.

“No,” he whispered, not wanting to believe the words.  He had already lost one set of teammates – he could not believe that he had lost another.  “TJ?  Cassie?  Carlos?”

“Ashley?”  Even saying the name of the girl who had betrayed him hurt.  He had really liked her – she had been his sun after a long and cold darkness.  But she had betrayed him with another – even so, he did not want them to be hurt, or worse, dead.  They could not be dead.

“I’m sorry, Andros,” Zhane whispered bitterly, wishing he did not have to tell him.  “But they’re gone.”

Andros stared blankly at Zhane, accepting what his friend said was true.  “How did this happen?  Why can’t I remember it?”

Zhane took a deep breathe, remembering that day when his world had shattered.  He slowly explained, his voice hushed.  “We were in the park – all of us, including the former rangers of Earth.  I wasn’t – I had been captured by the villainess who called herself – “

“Kanara.”

Zhane looked at his friend in shock as Andros’ features changed from confusion and puzzlement to grief and anger.  “I remember – she brought hostages out.  Former rangers, from what we learned.  We didn’t know where you were.  She killed them – slitting their throats as we could only watch.”

“Then we attacked her, but we weren’t strong enough.  She killed more rangers, including those from my own team.  She laughed as they were butchered, relishing the moment.  Then, she sent a spell over us that remained – and I don’t remember anything after that.”

Andros looked passed Zhane, lost in his thoughts as his memories came back to him.  He pulled himself out of his memories quickly, eyes narrowing as he stared at Zhane.

“Where is she?” Andros hissed softly, his eyes suddenly filling with anger.  “Where’s the creature that killed them?”

“Zhane shrugged helplessly, bothered by the amount of venom in his friends voice.  “I don’t know.  She disappeared awhile ago.  Then Rita came and we had to fight against her and – “

His sentence was suddenly interrupted as he heard a slight moan from behind him.  He jumped up and rushed over to the source of the moan, not even noticing the look of surprise that Andros gave him.  Zhane knelt down besides Kat, wincing as he saw the wounds that covered her body.

Kat opened her eyes, wincing at the brightness of the light.  She smiled as she saw Zhane’s face above hers, watching her in concern.  “Hey.”

“Hey yourself,” he said softly, a smile touching his lips.  “Glad to see you awake.”

She nodded, pushing herself up carefully.  “So am I.”

She looked around, shock on her face as she glanced around the room.  She had not noticed the damage to the room during the battle and only now could she see the results of their fight.  Suddenly, her body tensed as she searched for the villains they had fought against.  Seeing none, she looked back to Zhane, questions flitting through her eyes.

“Where are they?” she asked, a slight panic rising in her voice.  He smiled at her, smoothing her hair down with his hand.

“They’re gone,” he answered, pointing to the pile of ashes that lay in the center of the room.  “I don’t even know what happened exactly.  We were fighting when all of a sudden a golden light covered them and they exploded into ashes.  I think I was in shock for awhile but when Andros woke up, I snapped out of it.”

Kat’s eyes widened as she finally noticed the man behind Zhane.  She glanced at him for a moment before turning back to look at Zhane.  “Is he…?”

Zhane nodded.  “He’s one of us again.”

Kat nodded, wincing as she felt everyone of her injuries finally catching up to her.  Zhane lightly caressed her face, concern written on his features.  Andros watched them carefully, taking into account the way they acted around each other – delicate touches, soft murmuring; there was something going on between them, something that would take more than a couple months to build.

“What’s going on?” Andros demanded as he walked over to them, a steely look behind his eyes.  He wanted answers – he deserved answers.  Kat and Zhane glanced at each other momentarily before he stood up and placed a hand on his best friend’s shoulder.

“Things have changed, Andros,” Zhane said softly.  “The events that you remember happened five years ago.  You, along with a scant few, survived and have been in cryosleep ever since then.  During that time, the people of Earth fled to the tunnels as they are now called.  Kanara disappeared not too long ago and Rita quickly took her place.  Kat, Justin, Tommy, Karone, and I all received powers to defend the planet.  You started to show signs of life and were kidnapped by Rita.  She programmed you to do her bidding and you, along with her other henchmen, attacked us.  A golden light came through and destroyed them and brought you back.”

Andros stared at his friend in shock, taken aback by the brief yet crushing information.  He had been evil?  He had attacked his own friends?  What have I done?  How could I have let them control me?

Andros pushed the thought away, remembering more of Zhane’s words.  “Karone?  She’s alive?”

“Yes,” Zhane nodded, glancing over at Kat as she bit her lip and averted his eyes.  “At least she was when we last saw her.  She and Tommy left awhile ago in search of Zordon.  We haven’t heard from them since.”

Andros digested the information, his head spinning.  I get my sister back, only to be put in a coma for five years.  Then, when I finally wake up, she is gone and they don’t know if she is alive or not.  What else can happen?

Justin’s moan jerked all of them back to the present, glancing over to the boy in alarm and relief.  Slowly, he stood up, wiping dust off of his clothes and wincing as all of his muscles tightened.  He looked around, frowning at the destruction around them, searching frantically for their enemies. 

“They’re gone, Justin,” Zhane called, causing the young man to relax in relief.  Justin hobbled over to them, pain flickering across his face as his right ankle throbbed as he walked.  He leaned heavily against the wall when he reached them, his face anxious.

“Are all of you alright?” he asked.  Kat and Zhane nodded.  Justin sighed in relief and glanced towards the Control Center, noticing Andros for the first time.  His eyes widened as he saw the former villain.  He looked frantically at his fellow rangers.

“Rita and her henchmen are gone, destroyed by a golden wave.  Andros is good, helped by the same wave.  Deal,” Zhane explained quickly, tired of explaining the story.

“Oh,” was all Justin could say as Kat stood up with Zhane’s help.  The four walked towards the Control Center, walking through the tunnels in shock.  Destruction met them at every turn in the tunnels, showing what the putties had done while they had been engaged with Rita.  Lights flickered on and off as they neared Justin’s room, stopping to help people as they did.

Justin gave a sigh of relief as his door opened, revealing no damage.  The putties had not started with the rooms yet – they had gone after people first.  In a matter of moments, the rangers had entered the Control Center.

“Karone!” Andros exclaimed as he rushed towards his sister, joy filling him as he enveloped her in his arms.  She hugged him back, surprised by his presence, yet thankful.  But even seeing her brother again could not hide the fact that something was not right with her.

“Did you find Zordon?” Zhane asked quietly as he walked forward, his arm still around Kat’s waist. 

Karone glanced at them for minute, taking in the closeness of her fellow rangers and the way they held each other.  Her heart lurched painfully, but she pushed the pain aside as she looked into Zhane’s eyes.  “Yes.  We found him.  He got away from Dark Spectre.”

Zhane smiled faintly at her as Kat and Justin felt relief run through them.  Kat frowned as she looked behind Karone, waiting for her one-time boyfriend to emerge.  “Where’s Tommy?”

Karone winced as she heard those words, looking away from Kat.  Kat felt her body grow cold as she tore herself from Zhane’s grasp and put her hands on Karone’s shoulders.  Karone looked at the blonde, tears glistened in her eyes.

“He’s dead, Kat,” she whispered.  “He died on KO-35.”

Karone watched in morbid fascination as Kat’s face turned almost white.  She let go of Karone’s shoulders and leaned against the wall, tears streaming down her face.  Zhane reached over to comfort her, but she pushed him away.

“Where is he?” Kat asked, steel behind her quiet voice.  Karone pointed wordlessly to the ship, watching as Kat ran into the Megaship.

Zhane started after her but was stopped when Karone grabbed his arm.  He turned towards her, opening his mouth to speak.  She shook his head, shushing him quietly.

“You love her, don’t you?” Karone whispered.  He nodded, glancing away from her and staring at the ship where Kat had run.  “Then go to her.  But let her have a few moments by herself.”

Zhane looked into Karone’s eyes and saw the pain that she hid behind them.  He pulled her into a hug, both of them closing their eyes as they silently said good-bye to what they once had.  As they pulled away, Zhane whispered, “Thank you.”

With that, he pulled away from her completely and followed Kat onto the ship.  Karone watched him go, tears sliding down her cheeks.  She turned to see Andros and Justin standing behind her, Justin staring at the ship in shock, not wanting to believe that his teammate was dead.  Andros pulled Karone into another hug, rubbing her back as her sobs came, mourning the loss of a friend and the end of a romance.  Together, they sank to the ground, with Justin watching on.

*****

Blood dripping down a wickedly curved knife; maniacal laughter filling her as she gutted one that had once been a friend; calmly and systematically wiping out an entire race just because she could; torturing people just to see their pain.

Images burst forth in her memory, causing waves of grief and guilt to weigh down on her as she remembered everything that she had done over the last couple years.  Though it was not really her – was it?  Kanara was everything that Kimberly Anne Harte was not – but yet, it had been her.  Sure, a part of her always fought against the evil but it was never enough.  Kanara had taken pleasure in crushing every resistance possible, especially resistance from the girl she used to be.

She lay there, crying until tears would no longer flow.  She lay against the cold floor, not even caring what happened, only knowing that she was responsible for the death of so many. 

How will I live with this?  How could I have done all those things?

The smell of blood filled her nostrils causing her to open her eyes.  There, kneeling over her, was the man she had been fighting with just moments ago.  He looked down at her in concern, as though he did not care that she had been…torturing him moments earlier.  He brushed his hand across her harm, frowning at the deep gash.  She froze at his touch, her tear-streaked face turning to look at him.

“How can you touch me?” she whispered, her voice broken.  “How can you even look at me even after all that I did?”

“The evil – the mark of evil that has been a part of you ever since I met you – is gone,” he said softly.  “You are your own self once again.”

“Kanara’s gone?” Kim asked with a raspy voice.  “I am free of the evil?”

Obi-Wan nodded, watching as emotions passed rapidly through her mind.  He could see the guilt that lay deep within her, carved so deeply it was etched in her bones.  How could this girl be the same creature that had found pleasure in causing others pain?  It was almost impossible to fathom, even though he had seen it himself.

“Let me help you up,” he said, reaching over to gently pull her into a sitting position.  She allowed him to do so, not having the strength to resist.  As she sat up, she slowly began to get her bearings back – and with that, came another, familiar feeling.

“No,” she whispered, her already pale face losing what color it had.  He felt her panic began to grow as her muscles tensed up beneath his hands.  “No, no, no, no, no!”

With each repeat of the word, she shook her head weakly, trying to cry but her empty tear ducts not allowing her.  She slowly looked into his eyes, shocked by the emotions she saw in his eyes.

“It’s not over,” she said.  “It will never be over.”

“What will never be over?” Obi-Wan asked, almost desperately as her panic grew even more.

“She will be coming back – the golden light merely smothered her for the time being.  But I can feel her.  Even now, I can feel her power growing once again.”

Suddenly, she grabbed his arm, gripping it so tightly he almost yelped in pain.  “You have to end it.  Now.  Here.  You can’t let her take over again.”

Obi-Wan grabbed the hand that gripped his arm, slowly and carefully peeling it off his arm and grasping it in his hand.  “What do I have to end?  How can I end it?”

“Kill me.”

Obi-Wan stared at the girl, not knowing how to react to simple yet direct statement.  Kill her?  She is not doing anything – killing her would be murder.  And yet, when he stared into her eyes, he could not help but begin to relent.  The sheer determination, as well as the pain and pleading that filled her eyes, caused him to rethink his first though.  Yet, he found himself shaking his head, almost begging her not to ask.

“I can’t,” he said, trying to explain.  “If I kill you, I would be killing an innocent.  You were being controlled by a force that you couldn’t overpower.  It was not who you were – it was evil taking advantage of the power it had.  You are an innocent.  Killing you would be murder.”

“You don’t understand,” she pleaded, her voice desperate.  “She will come back if you don’t kill me.  There is nothing in this universe that can stop her from gaining power again.  I am not strong enough to control her – you’ve seen that.  You’ve seen what she can do!  You have to do this.”

He looked away, not responding to her words.  She felt a piece of her heart break as she looked at the strong and noble man.  She had searched for a man like him for years, ever since she had broken up with Tommy.  And now that she had found him – it was too late.

“I can’t,” Obi-Wan explained quietly.  “Killing you, an innocent girl, is against everything I stand for.  I am a peacemaker, doing everything that I can to keep evil from overtaking the universe.  And though killing you might do so, it is going against the codes of the Jedi.  If I kill you, I bring myself closer to the Dark Side.  I let the evil win – I will someone who does not deserve to die.”

Tears once again filled her eyes as she placed a hand on his shoulder.  “If you let me live, evil will win anyway.  I have not had the strength to fight against her – she is too powerful, too strong.  Her evil is much too great.  If you don’t do this, you will let havoc fill the universe.  You will be responsible for the deaths of many more that do not deserve to die.”

“I beg you.  Please, do not let me live as I have for the last five years.  Give me the peace that I will never find.  Please.”

At her final please, Obi-Wan felt his resolve begin to crack.  Even now, he could feel the evil begin to swarm back.  Slowly, ever so slowly, Kanara would return.  It would take a few days, a week at the most, but she would be back.  He looked back up at her, staring into her eyes.

“I wish there was another way,” he whispered, reaching for his lightsaber.  To his surprise, he could feel tears slowly starting to run down his cheeks.  She reached a shaking hand towards him, brushing away the tears.

“If this was a different time, a different place, there would be,” she said sadly, silently cursing the fates for giving her the man she had wanted at a time when she knew she had to die.  “But wishing won’t make the present change.  This is the only way.”

She leaned forward and softly kissed him on the lips, lightly brushing his lips with hers.  He was surprised by the sudden kiss but he did not pull away.  Instead, he realized that this was the way it had to be.  A girl who could have done much for the good of the universe had to die in order to save many from destruction.  Sometimes, that’s the way life is.

She pulled away from the kiss, watching helplessly as he stood up and ignited the lightsaber, their eyes locked the entire time.  Seconds passed as they stood there when suddenly, Obi-Wan silently prayed for forgiveness.  He swung his lightsaber, hitting Kim in the side.  A pinkish white light covered her and when it was gone, there lay nothing of her but the cloak that she had worn, sliced in half.  Obi-Wan looked around for her, thinking it was a trick.  But as he did, he felt a breeze on his shoulder.

Thank you, A voice whispered, almost caressing his ear.  Peace filled him as he left the room, knowing that Kanara was gone forever.  And yet, at the same time, he could feel the Dark Side surrounding him, laughing at him.  He, a Jedi, had willingly taken the life of an innocent being.  Yes, Kanara would have returned, but Kimberly was an innocent girl, an innocent victim of the evil.

Things will never be the same.  Obi-Wan thought, slowly sliding his lightsaber back into his belt.  I will never be the same.  I do not deserve to be called a Jedi Knight.  Not now.  Not after what I did.  The Council will surely know what has come to pass – there is a good chance that they will expel me from the Jedi Order.

I have failed; I have failed in my duty to protect the innocent lives and now I fail the legacy of my master.  I have let the Dark Side win this battle.  Obi-Wan walked down the hall, his soul burdened by the actions he had taken.  He would live with that knowledge for the rest of his life, however long it would be.  It would live with the knowledge that he had let part of himself fall to the Dark Side, taking a life that may not have been destined to be taken.  It was with those thoughts that he ran into Anakin.

Anakin glanced up at his Master, astonished by the emotions that he saw playing across Obi-Wan’s face.  He started to ask, but Obi-Wan simply shook his head and placed a hand on Anakin’s shoulder.

“Let’s go home.”

******

 

Epilogue

 

Five Years Later:

 

I can’t believe it, the blonde-haired woman thought, beaming into the mirror before her.  Who would have thought that after all we’ve been through, this day would have finally come.

 

Kat stared into the mirror, fiddling nervously with the choker around her neck.  The choker had once belonged to a friend, though they had long since passed away.  It had been very dear to them, for it had belonged to their grandmother.  They had never worn it, for it had never been their type of thing, but they had kept it all the same.

 

“It’s beautiful, Kat,” said a voice from behind her.  “He would have loved it.”

 

Kat turned around in surprise, for she had not heard the person enter the room.  She smiled happily as she embraced her new companion.  “I know he would have, Aisha.  I just wish he could be here to see it.”

 

“I know.  I do to,” Aisha whispered, tears welling up in her eyes.  “I miss them, even now.  Sometimes I feel like I should have done something better to save them, because then they would be here now.”

 

“So do I,” Kat stated, a sad smile now on her face.  “But I know that there was nothing that I could do.  That’s the way it was suppose to turn out, I guess.  Sometimes, the path that we take has more potholes than we could ever have guessed.”

 

Aisha nodded, letting silence pass between them.  Kat glanced at her friend, silently thanking whatever being had allowed her – and the other remaining rangers – to awaken out of cryosleep.

 

It must have been the golden light, Kat decided.  That’s what brought them back.

 

Not long after she had found out that Tommy had been killed, the rangers had found out that the ex-rangers sleeping in the crypt had awakened.  They had gone quickly to recover their confused friends, bringing them back to the base to recover.  Since then, everyone had had to adjust to the new ways.

 

It had not been easy for any of them either.  The ex-rangers did remember what had happened that day in the park, but had to be reintroduced into society so to speak.  The world knew who they were, but they had no clue what the world was like anymore, because of all of the changes the Earth had undergone.  Slowly, the ex-rangers got used to the new world and to their new positions.  Many loved ones had been killed or had died during the five years – these changed had to be dealt with.

 

They were.  There are more reasons than one that the rangers had been chosen to defend their planet.  They not only had the strength and intelligence to resist and fight incoming enemies, they had the resilience to overcome any obstacle put in their way.  The ex-rangers had accepted what had happened and had forged ahead, making new friendship and renewing old ones

 

“Hey, Kat,” Aisha said, waving a hand in front of her friend’s face.  Kat looked at her in surprise.  “Are you still there?”

 

Kat laughed.  “Yes.  I just got caught in my thoughts, that’s all.”

 

“Well, you’d better come back to reality really quickly because the music is going to start any minute.”

 

Kat gasped, looking at Aisha in alarm.  “What?!  Why didn’t you mention that before?”  Kat didn’t give Aisha time to answer as she twirled around, letting the material of the dress brush against her legs.  “Well?  How do I look?”

 

Her simple yet becoming dress fit snugly on her curves, showing off her shapely body.  It reached down to the floor and covered the white heels that Kat wore.  Aisha smiled as she looked at her friend.  “Girl, he is going to melt into the floor when he sees you!”

 

Kat smiled again, though more nervously this time.  She took a deep breathe and followed Aisha out of the room.  Slowly, they walked towards the aisle that Karone waited for them at.  As soon as Kat got there, the music started.  Karone started down the aisle, with Aisha following suit.  Soon, Kat was the only one left.  She took one more deep breathe and walked forward, her eyes glued to the man at the end.

 

He looked absolutely radiant as he stared back at her, love shining in his eyes.  Kat smiled at him, turning to glance at the people she passed.  She smiled at Ashley, who beamed back at her.  After a long talk with Andros, he had finally forgiven her for the events of years past.  The two of them had become the best of friends, helping each other deal with the changes that had occurred during the last couple years.

 

Kat glanced at the person next Ashley and smiled at him.  Jason nodded back at her, a smile crossing his world-weary expression.  It had been much harder for him assimilate back into society and into the world of the rangers.  He had lost all of his best friends in the battles throughout the years – if it was not for Ashley and Aisha, Kat was afraid that he would not have made it through.

 

Finally, her eyes rested on the people in front of her.  Andros, Justin, Karone, and Aisha waited for her.  She could see as well as feel their happiness as she walked to them, smiling at each.  These people, along with Ashley and Jason, were all that was left of the rangers of Earth.  They had to live on, to continue the legacy that was the power rangers.

 

Kat finally made it to her destination and stood next to Zhane.  “You look absolutely radiant.” He whispered, reaching out to squeeze her hand lightly.  She smiled back at them and both of them turned briefly to look at the back of the church.

 

There, lined up at the back, were the spirits of those that had gone before them.  Kat could name each of them, knowing that even death could not separate them.  Her choker shined brightly under the light, the falcon pendant in the center glimmering in the light.  Kat nodded to Tommy before turning to look at her husband – to – be.  All the rangers – past and present, dead or alive, smiled as the minister began to speak.

 

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…”

 

******

 

Amidala smiled as she gently touched the face of her newborn son.  Never before had she felt such feelings of joy and happiness.  Now, at twenty years old, she had long since resigned as Queen of Naboo.  She herself had watched the crowing of the new queen and felt that she had chosen well.  The new queen would do an excellent job watching over her planet.  After the way, she had realized that the part of her life as queen had passed.  She had done all that she could for her people and it was time for her to move on.

 

“Thinking about anything in particular?” asked a deep voice from behind her.  She smiled as she felt strong arms encircling her waist.  She turned her head so that she could look up to her husband and friend, Anakin.  She gently squeezed his hand as she smiled at him.

 

“Not really,” she said.  “Just how lucky we all are.  Especially us.  I never dreamed that I would find someone like you.  And I never dreamed that I would be the mother of twins.”

 

Anakin smiled and released her, walking over to the bassinets that lay before the.  He gently picked up their newborn daughter and gently touched the skin of her face.  Already he could see wisps of dark brown hair beginning to grow.  Her eyes were a deep and soulful brown that reminded him of his wife’s.  He smiled at his newborn daughter, peace filling him as he did. 

 

Amidala slowly sat down next to the little boy’s bassinet.  Wisps of blond hair could barely be seen, but she knew it was there.  And when the little boy opened his eyes, she was startled by the bright blue that shone back at her.  She knew that someday, he would grow up to be as courageous as both of his parents.

 

“Have you talked to Obi-Wan yet?” she asked, glancing up at Anakin.  A shadow crossed his face as the name of his former Master came up.

 

“I talked to him.  He told us congratulations.”

 

Amidala frowned, troubled by the disappointment that lay naked on her husband’s face.  “What else did he say Anakin?”

 

Anakin sighed, holding his daughter close, absently stroking her head.  “He still doesn’t agree with the Jedi Council.  He doesn’t think that you and I should have been allowed to marry.  It isn’t right.”

 

“Anakin, you know that he cares for both of us.  And you know that he is still deeply wounded by the events of the war,” Amidala said softly.  “Give him time.  He needs that.”

 

Anakin nodded, though he did not verbally answer his wife.  Ever since that day, Obi-Wan had never been the same.  He had never forgiven himself for killing that girl, even though he knew it was to protect the universe.  The sentence on him had been lighter than Obi-Wan expected, yet very harsh for a man who had served his Order faithfully.  He had been allowed to finish his time training Anakin but afterwards, he had been ordered to travel the universe, helping those in trouble yet living as a hermit.  He was allowed only minimal interaction with other Jedi, including Anakin.  And Obi-Wan had lived that way ever since, still questioning his actions from that day years ago.  Amidala watched her husband before turning her attention back to the newborns.

 

 

"Do we know what their names are going to be yet?" she asked as she looked up at Anakin.  Anakin started to shake his head, when an image slowly came back to him.  It was an image of him, those five years ago, struggling to not be defeated by the Emperor Palpatine.  Two names slowly swam around in his head as he remembered the images that he had seen.

 

"Yes.  Their names will be Luke and Leia."  With that, he looked back at his baby daughter, smiling down at her.  "You and your brother are going to change the world some day, Leia.  You two are going to change the world."

 

*****

 

And the universe was filled with peace.  But somewhere, on a small deserted planet, a small wind began to kick up.  There was no one there to see it, but it was there.  And a soft, but chilling voice filled the small wind.

 

"I will be back.  They might have won the battle for now, but I will come back twice as strong.  And I will win the war."  With those words, the winds seemed to conjure up the image of a figure robed in the blackest of blacks.  His beady red eyes shone brightly before the dust was blown away and the small planet was at peace once again.

 

The End