|The Light Crystal of Amora
Author: EclipsingFlames PM
Centries ago, a power was born. Seven years ago, she went missing. Now, the red rangers are gone and its up to the female rangers to save them, before the war begins. Set during Ninja Storm in AU. Chapter 19 FINALLY UPDATED!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Kim H. & Trini K. - Chapters: 19 - Words: 94,561 - Reviews: 251 - Favs: 55 - Follows: 68 - Updated: 09-26-07 - Published: 04-06-06 - id: 2878717
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Dedicated to my sister, angel, heart and soul, Chanelle. And our rock, Diy. Love you both.
One Week Later...
Trini rubbed a grimy hand across her burning brow. Her chest was on fire with the moist, frozen air she sipped between her peeling lips. She hugged her chest, hoping her arms would keep themselves at a decent temperature to stay warm. Around her, foot steps muffled, and breathing chorused in huffs and puffs as they all filed forward to an unknown destination. The tree seemed to spread further apart the deeper they invaded the jungle, but it was still easy to get lost without the slightest hint of detail to pronounce the differences in the mass of land around them.
Trini examined the small opening around her, looking blindly for any small hints of a trail to follow. For days, they ventured without any leads, which was more than what they could ask for in this place. They might as well be chasing a ghost at this point.
" Kimberly!" Trini's sudden bellow made the others come to an abrupt halt as they swerved around and look back at their chosen leader with large eyes and caught breaths that made their chests to distend. Some small, birdlike creatures over head, shot like darts out of the trees with thin wails and screeches at the sudden voice of possible danger. " Kimberly!"
Trini narrowed her eyes at her surroundings, imaging the shrubs and thick bases of trees dissolving into thin air as all sounds muted to her ears. She was looking for only one thing; listening for only one person. The others ahead of her were nothing, but a blur as her gaze drifted over them, through them, just trying to transfix all her senses to finding Kim.
Aisha came to stand beside her, eyes wondering over the environment, before gazing up at Trini before her. The tall Asian sighed, her teeth clenching in frustration, body trembling in restlessness, and eyes narrowing in determination. Aisha nodded, mirroring her facet and emotion. Trini looked to Katherine and Tanya, the solid expression of consent visible to her as she slowly shifted her jaw. Trini looked away, her breath trembling slightly as she exhaled a shivering trail of steam from her lips. Her shaking fingers curled and pressed tightly within the palm of her hands.
" We keep moving," She said, her voice controlled, yet her tone, dour.
The other rangers of the team looked at her, each walking the threads of of exhaustion and deprivation. The long brutal days of marching through the extreme climates and suffocating embrace of the jungle was beating their minds and bodies to the point where most were having trouble functioning without rest. Rest these days were shutting your eyes for the few seconds, the insects buzzing around their ears and the cold hurting so much, it nipped at their numbing limbs in the long nights. Trini was so focused on finding Kimberly, shamefully enough, she placed the teams needs last, along with her own.
" Trini, the team needs to rest." Jen proclaimed, softly. She stepped closer to Trini, hoping the yellow ranger would met her gaze and come to an understanding. Jen understood all too well what it was like to be where Trini's mind was right now. Have determination and duty overwhelm all common sense and consideration for the team as a whole. " You've pushed them as far as they can go for one day."
" We keep moving." Trini said again, side stepping Jen without sparing so much as a glance her way. Jen grabbed for her arm, gently squeezing.
" Trini-" The leader turned and slapped Jen's hand off her. The other rangers tensed, some ready to intervene as Trini's harden eyes a lined with Jen's softer ones of understanding.
" Jen,...Don't! Don't touch me."
" No, you listen!" Trini barked, her voice cutting so sharply through the chill and silence around them, few took an involuntary step back. " My best friend is out there. Alone. Again! I'm tired of waiting, of listening to people tell me, 'everything is going to be okay' or that 'she's fine'. I won't listen anymore! Not when its obvious something is seriously wrong."
" And no one is saying any different." Jen's voice rose in volume. " But you still have to look after your team. You're our leader..."
" I never asked to be anyones leader." Trini muttered in disdain. " The only reason I was ever selected was because I got chosen to wear the colors first."
" That's not true..."
" You want to prove me wrong?" Trini snapped with an uncharacteristic shadow darkening her face.
Jen inhaled, keeping her head held high as the pair of dark eyes flickered with black and antagonized flames from the long days of no sleep and worry. Jen couldn't help but feel as she were staring right into a mirror. Everyone was suffering in one way or another. The days poured by in slow drops, making one day seem like years, before the next morning dawned. The jungle was so thick and spread out so far each step seemed as if it were luring them into nothing but circles. It was really no surprise that they were all hanging off the edge of going stir mad.
"You guys want me to be leader?" Trini looked around at everyone as she spoke. " Then your leader says, keeping searching. Rest will come later."
Jen looked at the team, most using the time to catch a breathe of the chill frosting the air and relieve the load of their backs from their bulky packs that landed on the ground with a thud. The others stared off into another world rather than focusing on the two rangers. Everyone was just too tired and passive to voice anything.
Trini huffed saying nothing more to Jen as she marched away from her. Aisha reached out to her, her hand half hidden in a wool like sweater. Each pack seemed to have more surprises laying in them that proved to be valuable to the team, such as spare clothing to keep them warm in the colder climates.
" We'll find her, Trini." Aisha said, softly.
" I know we will, 'Sha." Trini exhaled, eyes softening. " Its how we'll find her is that scares me the most."
The being inhaled, a long thin wail of hissing dragging in slowly following the breath.
" How may I be of ssservice to you, empresss." The voice was deep and raspy, but it was a woman's voice all the same. Diamond now stood before the view screen too anxious to sit even though she appeared calm and facet remained stony and serious.
" Osis, for centuries you've been my father's loyal and trusted advisor, I have no doubt you'll show to me that same loyalty." The light licked over her lips causing the lipstick to glisten.
"Yesss, my Queen."
" Good." She allowed her eyes to burn through Osis pulsing eyes. " I need to know about my father's sword, the Styx Blade. How is it used to retrieve the Light Crystal of Amora?"
" The Light Crystal? Ssso it iss true." Her breathing slurred over her tongue as the glow from her eyes seemed to pour more heavily around her face. "Sssomeone wishesss to reincarnate the crystal."
" Yes, obviously." Diamond rolled her eyes in an irritated manner. " I thought all I needed was the red line of rangers to summon its power to me, but the days have fell by quickly just the same as their blood, what am I doing wrong? The pages of the journal speaks only in riddles."
" Ah, the Amora Journal, I presssume."
" Yes, why didn't the journal tell me I needed the Styx Blade in the first place?"
" If I could sssee the journal for myssself, I may be able to give you the anssswers to your questionsss." The wiccan slurred, each word causing her eyes to flicker. " Prehapsss it is true that there isss more than one."
"More than one? More than one journal?"
" Impossible." The queen narrowed her eyes, thoughts whirling within her head as she kept her gaze alined with the wiccans. She couldn't help the growl from rumbling within the back of her throat. " Its impossible."
" I advise you ssstrongly to bring the journal to me at once than we ssshall know for sssure what isss to be done."
" For your sake, this better be worth my time, Osis." Before another word was spoke, the visual screen swirled away in a vine of mist. Diamond's fingers folded tightly within her palm, quivering till blood drew through the half moons she dug with her perfectly manicured nails.
Her face remained stone-cold, eyes narrowed hard at the center of where the visual scene once floated. She couldn't believe it. Couldn't comprehend how she could possibly be played a fool for so long by the trickery of the written word. A fraud journal? Was it likely? And if so what of her plans? What of summoning the crystal? Could it be done? Would she still need use of the red rangers? And her fathers sword, what had happened to it? She needed to get her hands on it. On the crystal as well.
She didn't know if she were falling several steps back, a single step further or just spiraling in circles. There were just so many questions that needed answers. Frustration and anxiety. Self loathing. She couldn't have messed everything up before it began! That journal had to be real, every last period down to the very last period in the book. Still, that didn't erase the 'what if' stabbing at the back of her mind.
" My Queen," Jaze's silent entrance shook the Queen from her deepening revere. " Is everything alright?"
Diamond's fingers loosened, tiny pin drops of blood dotting her finger nails. She turned away from Jaze, biting down on the tip of her nail so the blood collected on her tongue. Her mind still littered with possibilities and notions.
"Queen Diamond..." Jaze tried again.
" What is it that you want, Jaze?" Diamond prompted him, mind obviously else where.
" I wanted to express my concerns about Dasku. I do not believe his intentions of finding the crystal nor the sword is for your benefit." Jaze took a step closer to her as he spoke. "With your permission, I would like to remove him from our premises, immediately."
Diamond lowered her raised hand to her side, clamping both her hands behind her back. " You think I hand my trust out too easily..."
" I'm only saying that I think we should continue to be cautious around him. I heard of his father, Raskin, he betrayed a lot of empires for his own gain. He even tried to do so with the King, your father." Jaze's eyes followed the Queen as she turned and walked slowly towards her throne chair. Shadows hugged her curves as her hips gently swayed with each step. " I do not wish for history to repeat itself."
Diamond sat at her throne and crossed her legs, the split in her dress exposing them up to her mid-thigh.
" Then we wont let it happen, Jaze." Jaze nodded and started to turn around when the Queen called out. " However, he cannot leave."
" What?" A growl rumbled through Jaze's chest at his shock. " My Queen, I strongly recommend for you to reconsider."
" And I demand you bite down on your tongue with those sharp, pointed fangs of yours, Jaze." A glimmer of energy washed over Diamond's eyes. " Like it or not, I need him to stick around. He has information of my father's sword, after all. If he is to attempt to thwart over my plans, then its better to have him nearby than afar. Your job is to protect me, so I expect you to keep your keen eyes on him. I have great faith that you will not fail me."
Jaze hesitated and his breath quivered from anger tightening his chest. " Yes, my Queen."
" Another thing; I've had recent contact with Osis. I am to depart for Pragin, immediately."
"May I ask why you take such haste?"
" There seems to have been a potential... mistake." Diamond inhaled, tapping her nails rhythmically on top of the curved arm of her throne. " With the journal. There appears to possibly be an error with what was written. Possibly, I am not for sure just yet. That is why I am to see Osis as soon as possible. I need to know about the connection between my fathers sword and the crystal. That journal was supposed to be my key to the crystal's reincarnation."
" An error with the journal. You mean, its not reliable? How is that possible? I spent centuries tracking it down for this very moment in time."
" Don't frustrate me more, Jaze." Diamond rubbed her temples, her head already over filled with too much of her own thoughts already. " I'll know for sure once I see Osis. I want you to keep an eye on Earth, have a team scout the rangers activities and make sure any attempt to defend themselves is destroyed. Find those female rangers, especially that one pink ranger, Kimberly. If you find them contact me at once."
"Of course, my Queen." Jaze bowed his head forward in respect. " Everything will be kept in order until you have returned."
" Or it will be your head, Jaze." Diamonds eyes glowed. " Keep an eye on the red rangers, they are not to be harmed until we know more about the ceremony. Don't let anything foil my project, Jaze. My quarters is restricted."
" I'll have a solo pod speed ready for you, immediately, my Queen." With no other word spoken, Jaze turned and left the throne room, leaving Diamond to her own thoughts.
" Any word spoken between she and I is none of your concern, Dasku." Jaze breezed pass the half plated face assassin not wasting anytime to speak another word with him, but Dasku easily stuck to his side.
" Why it looks as if the old pup is afraid of a little competition." Dasku crackled, razer teeth gleaming in the frame of his thin lips. " I think you're forgetting that thanks to me, the Queen knows about the Styx Blade in the first place, pup. Would have thought the commanding general, she so dearly trusts, would have at least told her, himself. What else are you hiding from her?"
Jaze whipped around, speed blinding to the eye. His sword pulled soundlessly from its case and nestled firmly beneath Dasku's throat. Jaze made sure he was fixed back against the wall with no room to move, nor little to even breathe.
" Don't ever come to me about my loyalties to the Queen. I would spill my own blood onto the dry soil long before I would see her own lie in that fate." He hissed through snarling fangs. He pulled his sword back roughly, making sure to leave a thin line of beaded blood drops dotting along Dasku's neck.
Dasku's smile never left his face as his chuckling bubbled out from his lips. He whipped away the beads of blood from the base of his jaw bone and straighten his stance.
" My, my, the old pup still has his bark, I see." He brushed off his cape as if to straighten some wrinkles.
" I don't want to hear another word out of you." Jaze threaten, eyes burning red. " Your stay is only temporary, I'll make sure of that myself."
Jaze walked away in a quicken pace until he disappeared around the corner.
" Don't worry, old pup." Dasku watched him go, sneering. "Your blood will wet plenty of dry soil soon enough."
He looked back at the Queen's throne room, eyes glowing and mouth twisted over his teeth.
These were her own demons, her struggle with her guilt over losing her best friend so long ago. When she had heard Kimberly would come back, something in her instantly clung onto whatever wreckage there was of their friendship and protected it. Not many could understand it, maybe she herself didn't understand it, but her friendship with kimberly, the memories of everything they been through with one another, had always been something she treasured. It was something that even got them through a lot especially as rangers. Now more than ever, she knew that whatever was going on the last seven years was showing now and the need to understand it and help was pushing her back to that edge, again and again. She needed the truth, she needed Kimberly, and overall, she needed to enough clarity, so she could lead this team. The more time in the place the more she lost her perception of what they needed from her.
Tori stirred the contains left in her plastic bowl, the remaining stew sticking specks of spices on the higher sides of dish. She couldn't stop her thoughts to muster another bite, though her stomach was more than ready to accept it. She thought about the day before, how she felt a link, some force, pulling her to Kim like that first night on the Astro ship. She recalled the tavern and how the pink flamed woman had saved her from an early death, and the day before as she watched Kimberly heal Aisha, how the tides of emotions flooded in her head. The blur of images splashing her till she could actually feel the cover of fall season and the tingle of warmth from the sinking sun. The water casting jewels in her eyes.
Only its not me, Tori mused. She remembered the tinge of shock fusing into her flesh and sending heat currents fanning through her nerves, tossing her senses till they melted into the jumble of pink embers. Kimberly. It all has to do with Kimberly. But how did it happen?
Aisha pulled her blanket tighter around her body, the flames dancing in variations of crimson, spicy orange and spouts of yellows that whipped around a flex of untouchable liquid. The heat ran its fingers over her, killing the coldness from her bones to a tamed tingle of comfort. She didn't know where to begin to turn her thoughts, everything merging into one another in a flood of questions that begged for answers.
The turn of events spun quickly in the last few days. All Aisha could clear remember was being drowned in darkness, shallowing it in to her lungs till her soul kicked and shuttered for life. She remembered she was lost, surrounded by endless grounds of black that pulsated with the throbbing echo of her heart. Then, a tear slashed the pitch dark in an embodiment of pink infernos, spreading the warmth of its wings with life. Aisha had felt the flames leap in to her and wash away the pain with its beautiful current that spoke louder than death and her eyes flooded with blinding light. That was when she woke up to her friends huddled around her, all gasping at her in a teary awe. Kimberly hunched over her, drained and shivering.
Was it all because of me? Am I to blame for her running away? Aisha inquired, staring heavily at the fire before her. If I had been on the alert and had my blaster out in the first place that beast thing would have never got me. Kim wouldn't have had to heal me.
The plucked pieces of lumber and branch popped and crackled in the blaze as if feeling the intense gaze of everyone's eyes. Trini tossed a stick in the hands of hot liquid, watching the limb blacken and dabble with orange sparks. She couldn't ease her mind from the past events that had unexpectedly occurred, thinking it over in her head from a new perceptive. Trini remembered when Kim showed up that first day in years since she seen her. She recalled how tensed and alienated she was around everyone, and how she barely slept at all, since they boarded the Astro Ship.
In fact, Kimberly trained throughout the night to make sure she didn't go to sleep at all. And what about Alpha? The way they greeted one another and held on to the others hand in comfort other than his dawning death. But then...How could Alpha know where she was and not...
" Unless, they had to know too!" Trini spoke in soft revelation, her eyes widen and her heart nearly stopped altogether. In the thick silence of the group, her voice managed to summon the teams attention to her.
"Who knew what?" Katie inquired as Trini stood and began to pace.
"Dimitria had to know where Kimberly was all along." Trini couldn't shake the disbelief from her face, the realization just remained stuck to her forehead.
"What?" Kat stood in her confusion. "How do you know that?"
"Of course," Trini's arms threw her arms up in the air as she marched back and forth, heavily in thought.
"It was nagging me all this time. Dimitria assured us everything would be fine. Billy said it himself, morphing energy is tapped into our molecular structure even when we don't have the power anymore. What if Dimitria had purposely prevented us from locating Kimberly's energy."
"What? Wait." Aisha raised her hands to slow the yellow ranger down enough for her to grasp onto some sense. "Are you trying to tell me, Dimitria knew where Kim was all this time?"
" That doesn't make any sense." Kat added softly from Aisha's side. " Dimitria was helping us look for Kimberly when she disappeared. She wouldn't keep it from us like that. You remember how Tommy was during that?"
It wasn't easy to forget.
Trini remembered the late nights that dug into the former leader's features from countless days of searching on end, without sleep.Tommy blamed himself more than anyone for placing his ranger duties before his future with her, more so after he received the letter. Still, even he had to move on as hard as it was for him. Many believed that was what ended his relationship with Katherine. The mention of Kimberly's name became difficult for him to hear, so the conversation about her was most of the time avoided around him.
It wasn't anyone's fault. That was more known now than it was then. Each of them had moved on from their ranger duties, and in turn, moved away from Angel Grove to grow on their own. Even after all the fights they conquered against evil, communication with one another became few and far between, but their bond with one another always remained intact. At least thats what they all believed, until Kimberly had disappeared, leaving only an estrange letter and departure from her dreams in the wake.
" She would if Zordon had requested her to do so." Aisha, Kat and Tanya all eyes widen as they looked at her. " Alpha knew what was going on with Kimberly back on the ship. I have no doubt Zordon knew as well."
"...We tried the energy scan approach to find Kim." Aisha recalled the day when the first two teams of rangers gathered in the power chamber not to long after Zordon's death.
"Exactly!" Trini exclaimed. " We tried all scans for her. We should have found her easily, unless Alpha 6 blocked her signal at Dimitria's request."
" I don't understand," Tanya shook her head, standing. " Why would they not want us to find her?
" And what about Kimberly's parents?" Kat inserted, hugging her arms over her chest. " Even Zordon and Dimitria wouldn't go so far as withholding all contact from Kim to her parents.
"They didn't, remember? Kimberly's mother lives in paris, so its hard enough to get in contact with her already, but when I did, she told me once that Kim had been sending her letters postmarked from Florida for a couple of years or so." Trini explained. "When we first did the energy scan, we never located her there at all."
"So those letters were never sent from Florida in the first place." Tori nodded in understanding.
"What about her father?" Dana asked.
"Kimberly and her father were never close. His job caused for a lot of international traveling. He was always out of town for most of Kimberly's life thats the reason why her parents divorced in the first place." Trini said settling back down onto the ground with the others. Her eyes fell back on to the flexing flames of the fire. " When we first became power rangers, Kim became more connected to Zordon than any of us. Zordon became the father she never had and Kimberly became like his daughter."
" So if something were to happen to Kimberly..." Tanya began with a soft sigh as she gently massaged her temples. Everything Trini had said was making so much sense to her now. She only wished they thought about this all those years ago.
" ...Zordon would have been the first to know." Kat finished, reflecting back on her relationship with Tommy. They loved one another, Kat never questioned that, but Tommy never thought much about a future between them. She thought maybe it was because she would soon depart to London to study Ballet, but now, she was seeing things from a different perspective.
"That still doesn't explain why Zordon or Dimitria never told you guys what was going on in the first place." Ashley acknowledged. The second turbo team remembered both teams of rangers meeting in the Power Chamber, but the reasons behind it stayed mostly between them and their mentor at the time. The turbo rangers could only respect whatever reason there was for not telling them the reason of their unexpected appearance.
"Its simple," Jen spoke up. "They were trying to protect Kim for some reason."
Trini had eloped deeply in the sight of the burning fire. The rusty golden orange glow bronzing her skin with its warm touch. Jen's words resounding in her mind as the group became tented in silence.
"Maybe Zordon wasn't trying to protect Kim from you." Everyone looked to Tayler as she spoke softly. " Maybe Zordon was trying to protect you from her."
"That's absurd." Kat proclaimed coming to Trini's side. " Kimberly would never hurt anyone."
"Tayler..." Alysaa cautioned, but the wild force ranger stood, hands raised to silence any brewing anger.
"Look, hear me out, okay?" Tayler looked to Trini, who watched her silently in the fires golden haze. "Just think about it, everything we've witnessed, the way Kimberly acts around us, her strange powers. Zordon must not have wanted you to know about them."
"He wouldn't do that..." Aisha replied, the words slipping slowly from her lips.
"Wouldn't he? I mean you said Zordon thought of Kim as a daughter." Kendrix offered her support to Tayler's theory. " Is it really that hard to believe that he would prevent you from finding out about her sooner?"
"He was protecting both sides." Ashley said, nodding in understanding, after another moment of silence.
No one said anything for awhile, the questions toasting around the campfire. Tayler's hand pulled through the strains of her blonde hair, uncomfortably.
"Look,I didn't mean anything by it, I was just-"
"It's okay." Trini assured, eyes never leaving the burning blaze. " It's okay, because...you're right."
Everyone looked to her at her confirmation. Kat and Aisha eyes held disbelief, but at the same time Trini knew that apart of them agreed. They were discluded from Kimberly's life for a reason. A reason they didn't want to believe.
" With everything Kim is capable of doing, Zordon knew he had to protect us." Trini couldn't believe what she was saying, but the righteousness of the words was unavoidable. " Maybe even protect her from herself. Whatever happened -because of whatever reason- Kimberly can't control her powers. And even more important, I think something is haunting her."
She couldn't stop.
The cold wind burned pass her face, nipping at her frozen tears and squeezing her aching chest as she pushed herself harder. There was no destination only growing distance, increasing speed.
"How far can you go?" The child's voice echoed. "How many deaths can you die?"
Kimberly held her breath as she leaped over a trench, legs curling into her chest as her head rolled over her knees in a flawless front flip. For a moment, time itself stilled, and there was only the hands of air and memory holding her in this pause.
She was only flying.
'To live in the mind...'
Kimberly landed with ease back onto her feet, not wasting even a split second before she raced, again. Trees bent back by her fierce, branches crackled and burst with electrifying energy that popped and sparked in the nights chill. Everything had its own light, darkness was simply her home as her night vision illuminated her path before her.
The thumping of the ball swelled...Pow Pow Pow!
'Focus only on me, child. Only on these words...'
"I can't!" Kimberly whimpered stumbling forward. She fell onto her hands and knees, hands sinking in the mud and splashing globs of it onto herself.
'You can and you will...For how long can you last otherwise...'
" She'll break me." Kim saw the little girl step from the shadows just beyond her reach. The darkness stretched in an angle along her face. The moonlight catching little of her haunting eyes and twisted sneer. The ball swelled, pounding heart beats surrounding her. The little girl giggled, riddles of deathly nature.
'...Before you finally stop...'
" You're broken." The little girl whispered. The ball fell out of her hands and bounced until it rolled to a halt directly in front of Kim. Blood seemed to pour over its skin from nowhere and everywhere at once. " Death is all over you."
"No!" Kimberly staggered to her feet and ran. Her feet slipped and slid on top the mud, the wet ground grabbing onto her feet like clay. She burst through the thick shrubs, her tears spiraling drops of hot pink embers. They fell, dragging popping sparks that splashed the surface of the ground and instantly boiled and cooled into puffs of steam in the cold weather and wet ground. Kimberly didn't bother to whip them away, she just ran harder.
'...and face your guilt.''
The little girl following not too far behind, giggling and singing her childish chants of her end growing near.