Danse Macabre

Summary: What happens when good goes bad? How does the Universe balance the scales? The A-Squad is about to find out. One-shot. Implied character death.

Disclaimer: I don't own it.

He had come to her every day since Grumm's defeat. Come to beg, come to plead, come to demand answers for why they did it. And everyday, all Charlie Thorn, Red Ranger of the fallen SPD A-Squad, would do was stare at her former Commander, her former mentor, with cold eyes. Today, however, when he came to her there was no pleading in his eyes . . . only pity.

She couldn't stand the pity, and so she looked away. He had stared at her for a few moments, and then finally spoke in a quiet voice. That disturbed her on an even deeper level . . . quiet was not a word used to describe Anubis Cruger.

"There are laws, Charlie," he had said. "Not the laws of any one race or planet. Not the laws of SPD, but laws so old they are written into the fabric of the Universe itself. The Laws of the Power. The power you and your team abused. Moreover, there are consequences for violating those laws. Consequences I can no longer protect you from."

It was then she looked at him and understood the pity in his eyes as fear filled hers.

The five A-Squad members were taken from the high security prison in which they were being held and transported to one of the abandoned quarries on the edge of New Tech City. Once there, all the SPD personnel had cleared out, and a few minutes later, their shackles were remotely deactivated.

"Charlie, what's going on? Why were we brought here?" Kaz, her Blue Ranger asked.

Charlie looked at each of her teammates, and for the first time felt guilt. Not that she had sided with Grumm. And not for using her Ranger Powers to infiltrate and destroy SPD outposts and kill SPD personnel. But because she had been the one to persuade the rest of her team to take Grumm's offer with her. She was Red Ranger, she was responsible for what happened to her team . . ., and she led them to this. She began to answer but was interrupted as five bolts of light streaked across the sky and crashed into the floor of the quarry. As the dust cleared and her teammates caught sight of the five figures moving towards them, Charlie Thorn, former A-Squad Red Ranger answered in a hollow voice, "We're here to meet them."

The chime on Anubis Cruger's private office door rang for the third time in as many minutes. He growled and said, "Come!"

The door slid open to reveal Sky Tate, his current Red Ranger. Tate entered the office and came to attention in front of his Commander's desk as the door slid closed behind him. "What is it, Ranger?" Cruger asked.

Tate seemed unusually nervous, and stammered, "Sir, I . . . um . . ."

"Just spit it out Tate!" Cruger snapped.

"What happened to A-Squad, sir?"

Cruger sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Do you know what the Negiri are Sky?" the Sirian asked, dropping rank and speaking in the familiar.

Sky seemed to dig through his memory a moment, not understanding the sudden shift in the conversation, but unable to not answer a direct question from his Commander, before replying, "According to legend, the Negiri are something like enforcers for the Power. It's said there's one for every color of Ranger that has, does, or will ever exist, and if any Ranger uses their powers willingly for evil, the Negiri of that color will come and destroy them. Kind of Ranger bogeymen. Reportedly, Astronema based the design of the Psycho Rangers on what the legends say the Negiri look like, because supposedly all Rangers have an almost instinctive fear of them."

When Anubis didn't immediately respond, Sky asked, "Did I forget something, sir?"

Anubis closed his eyes. "No Sky, you didn't, just a fact you weren't aware of," he opened his eyes and looked at Sky with a haunted expression, "the Negiri are not a legend."