Chapter 1: Beginnings

"Deca, turn the Megaship around," Andros ordered.

He would have sworn that Deca was smiling as she said, "Affirmative." He

knew that Alpha was smiling. The little robot jumped up and down in excitement as the Astro Megaship turned and made its way back to the planet where Andros had left the Earth rangers.

He hesitated for a moment when he held the blue, black, pink, and yellow Astro morphers in his hand, but then he remembered TJ and Carlos forcing open the doors to the lift, declaring, "We're coming with you." He heard Cassie say, "We're all in this together." He saw Ashley staring at him with her big brown eyes as she said, "You don't like it accepting help, do you?" For a moment his pride threatened to overcome him, but he made his way back to the bridge and stood glaring at Deca's nearest eye for the remainder of the short voyage.

As the Megaship approached, Andros frowned as he saw the Dark Fortress also orbiting the small planet. Was he too late? Had Astronema captured them, or worse? If they were dead, their deaths were on him. One was already too many.

They were still alive. He sighed with relief as he saw them being held by the Quantrons. They were being interrogated by Astronema. He would have to hurry before she realized that all rangers were alike in one respect: they didn't talk and they wouldn't beg for their lives.

He headed for the lift as the Megaship began its descent. "Deca, fire the Megalasers!" he shouted as he saw Astronema raise her staff. He managed to create enough of a diversion for the ex-Turbo rangers to run for cover.

"Here, put these on," he said, running up to them. His hand brushed against Ashley's as he shoved her morpher into her hands roughly, but he wouldn't meet her eyes. "All right, let's rocket!"

He felt the familiar slight surge of power as his red suit materialized, but was surprised to realize that he felt TJ, Carlos, Cassie, and Ashley as well. They were like a small shadow in the back of his mind, and he could feel their presence.

"Power Rangers!" Astronema groaned, and vanished in a sparkle of purple light, leaving her footsoldiers to fight for her.

Used to fighting alone, Andros was shocked to discover how much he enjoyed fighting with a team. There was always someone watching his back, and the odds were tipped towards them, instead of the one against a thousand he was used to. As he watched the new rangers get the hang of their weapons, he couldn't help but wonder if he had forced himself to forget what teamwork and friendship felt like.

"Watch out, Andros!" Carlos yelled, and Andros turned in time to see Ashley clobber the Quantron that had been about to hit him from behind.

"Thanks," he said grudgingly, hating to admit that they were right. He did need them.

"Don't worry about it," Ashley said, turning away and landing some quick shots with her Star Slinger.

Finally, they beat back the Quantrons, who teleported back to the Dark Fortress.

"Run!" Andros yelled, leading the way back to the Megaship. As they doors slid closed behind them, the ground rocked with the strength of Astronema's Satelasers.

"Deca!" he shouted, and the Megaship lifted off smoothly. They were still dodging the Dark Fortress, though, and that worried him.

"Ay yi yi yi yi yi," cried Alpha. "The Power Rangers are back! This was all a part of Zordon's master plan."

"What are you talking about, Alpha?" Cassie asked.

"With the shuttle, you can form the Astro Megazord," Alpha said triumphantly.

The others turned to Andros.

"Deca," he said. "Initiate Astro Megazord formation sequence."

As they took their seats in the cockpit and chased the Dark Fortress into hyperspace, Andros realized that, for better or for worse, he was no longer alone.