Disclaimer: Characters belong to BVE.

Spoilers: Very mild ones for Samurai's Journey (1-3) and Scent of a Ranger. Other mild ones for "Return of Thunder" and "Beauty and the Beach".

Murphy's Law by Stultulo copyright 2003 part 7 (end)

"Cam!" Shane called. "Tori, get him out of danger!"

"I can get myself out of danger very much, thank you," Cam muttered, but used Marah's staff to lever himself up before dropping it. He figured that Marah might want it back, and it was the fair thing to do.

"C'mon, Cam," Tori said, escorting him out of the danger zone.

Cam let her, feeling tired. He watched as the three friends managed to destroy the monster, and was glad that said monster didn't turn huge, as he wasn't there to call the zords.

"What happened?" Shane asked.

"It's a complicated story best told somewhere else," Cam said. He didn't want to say "Ninja Ops" because he remembered too well what he had been told about Tori's "double".

"Oh, okay," Shane said.

"Dudes, he disappeared, shouldn't we, like, worry about a Tori clone?" Dustin asked.

"Right," Shane said.

Cam held up his hands. "Guys, it's me. That's why I didn't suggest Ops."

"Well, the clothes are definitely not Cam, and the collar...." Tori trailed off, looking at Cam critically.

"Restraining collar, courtesy of Zurgane," Cam said, grimacing. "As for the clothes... Marah said I looked boring. On the bright side, I avoided getting an eyepatch."

"Actually, you don't look bad as a pirate," Tori said.

"Can we *please* have this conversation someplace else?" He didn't want to get Marah in trouble, after she'd let him go.

"All right," Shane said.

"Dude, but...." Dustin inclined his head towards Cam.

"We'll have to take that risk."

"At least let's get into the van," Cam said, knowing it wasn't likely that Lothor could monitor them there. "We can go wherever you guys want."

"Right," Shane said. The three demorphed.

"Where's the van?" Cam asked.

"Storm Chargers, a mile away," Tori said. "Hope you don't mind walking."

Cam nodded. Normally, the three of them would Ninja Streak back to where they had been to hide their identities as Rangers, but he couldn't. So the four of them slowly walked back to Storm Chargers, the Rangers softly discussing how to explain their disappearance on the way back. Especially Dustin, who was supposed to be working.

He winced. He and the others didn't have that much responsibility, that much structure in their lives, but Dustin... he had commitments.

But Dustin seemed unconcerned. As Tori and Shane hustled Cam into the van, the Yellow Ranger merely walked back into his place of work.

"So," Shane said, when the three of them were inside, with the windows rolled up. "What happened?"

"I got captured by Marah," Cam said. "I was spending time as a 'guest' on Lothor's ship. Fortunately, he turned me over to Marah instead of Zurgane, or I wouldn't be here."

The two Rangers looked sympathetically at him. "So, how did you escape?" Shane asked.

"Marah has interesting logic," Cam said. "I was bored, so she thought it might be better if I get rescued."

"What?" Shane asked. "That makes no sense."

"I don't think Marah makes much sense," Cam replied dryly. "However, she wasn't so bad... I'm not sure she's really evil, just misguided."

"Thank goodness for that," Tori said, leaning towards him.

"We've got to convince Sensei to teach you to Ninja Streak, if nothing else," Shane said. "I mean, you know how to fight, but... if you'd been able to get away...."

"I'll talk to my father," Cam said. "I don't know if he'll go for it, but...."

Shane slapped him on the shoulder. "We'll be right there behind you."

"Thanks, Shane," Cam said. But in his mind, he knew that his father wouldn't do it. He needed other ways of getting himself and others to safety. *Maybe a teleport system,* he thought. *It's theoretically possible.*

"You're welcome," Shane said. "Now let's get you back to Ops."

Cam smiled. "Best news all day."

* * *

Marah had gone up to watch the battle, just as she said she would. Uncle seemed to be in a good mood, as his Alien was attacking the Rangers.

"What's that?" he roared, ad Cam popped in on the scene. Marah took the opportunity to grab the PAM. He swung towards her. "Marah, why are you up here? Your 'guest' got away!"

"Well, he said he didn't want to watch the battle and I did, so I left him in my room, and...."

"Did you lock up your staff?" Zurgane rumbled.

"I did everything you said!" Marah squeaked. "Everything's where it was supposed to be!" She broke into false tears. "He stole my staff!"

"Gee, that's what you get for leaving the guy alone," Kapri said unsympathetically.

"But... but..." Marah pretended to cry again.

"Oh, go to your room and stay there," Lothor growled. He turned. "Now, where's my PAM?"

"It was just there, sir," Zurgane said patiently.

"Well, find it so that I can make my monster grow!" Lothor exclaimed. Everybody in the throne room scrambled to find it. Marah joined them, knowing that she'd have to put it down... but not before her pirate got away.

Waiting a few more seconds, she put the PAM down and kept searching. Eventually, a kelzak picked it up. "Here it is, sir," Zurgane said.

"Good. Now send the scroll down."

Zurgane hit a few keys. "I cannot, sir," he said. "It's been too long."

"Too long?" her uncle roared, and Marah scrambled out of sight. "What more can go wrong today?"

"Uh, sir, Mister Lothor? It's not all a loss!" Choobo exclaimed. "I know who you can catch that can cause all sorts of harm!"

"And who would that be?"

"The Thunder Rangers!" Choobo said. "I have a plan."

Marah scrambled away while she had a chance. Uncle would forget, eventually, and then she would be welcome back in his throne room. In the meantime, there was her fish, and she had enough reminders of her prisoner that she'd be occupied for a while.

And maybe someday her pirate would come again. She hoped he liked her for what she did. Blinking away her false tears, she smiled.

Yes, someday her pirate would come.