Disclaimer: I don't own the Power Rangers, any of the characters, or anything related to them, and I do not make any money off of them. Did anyone not know this?
A/N: Sorry the update took so long, but rl's been a pain. Thanks to Challon for the help with finally finishing this, and to my beta, who I don't think I've mentioned yet...(oops).
Andros was slouched in his chair, staring at the view screen when Karone stepped out of the Megalift. She glanced up at the screen. "Andros, what is that?" she asked, wondering how the strange symbols scrolling across the screen weren't the the first think she noticed.
She heard the Megalift doors open just then and TJ, Carlos and Cassie came in. "What's going on?" TJ asked.
"I don't know," Andros said answering both of their questions at once. He didn't bother looking away from the screen. "DECA intercepted a transmission to the Dark Fortress."
Karone stiffened, "From where?"
She saw Andros shake his head, "I don't know. Presumably from Dark Specter's ship. DECA's trying to trace it now."
"Is it encoded?" Cassie asked.
Karone walked around the consules to get a closer look at the screen. She didn't hear Andros' response. The characters seemed familiar, but she couldn't quite place them. "DECA, what language is that?" she asked. She glanced over her shoulder, noticing the other rangers staring at her. It took her a moment to realize that she had sounded like Astronema just then.
"There are Enovian, Malake, and Hardes characters as well as some I am unable to identify. However, their placement does not fit any known language patterns."
Karone watched the screen for a moment longer. "Andros, I know what this is," she said, making a conscious effort to soften her voice.
Andros sat up straight, "What?"
"It was a code Dark Specter used. Ecliptor used to translate it for me.
"Can you read any of it?" TJ asked hopefully.
Karone shook her head, still staring at the screen. "I might be able to figure it out," she said quietly after a minute.
"Really?" Andros asked.
"I'm not sure. But I can try."
Andros sat down next to Zhane in the grass, looking up at the clouds. "Any luck?" Zhane asked after a minute.
Andros shook his head, "Karone kicked me out. She said I was distracting her. What are you doing here?"
"Just thinking. You know, this was where we had our date." Andros raised an eyebrow at him. "How is it that you went nuts when you thought I liked Ashley, but you didn't say anything when Karone actually started dating her?"
"Karone's my sister," Andros said simply. "You should have known better."
"I didn't like her!" Zhane protested.
Andros grinned. Zhane sighed in mock exasperation, lying back on the grass. "What happened between you two?" he asked after a moment.
"You know what happened."
"No, I really don't," Zhane told him, sitting up again. "None of us do."
Andros sighed, "It wasn't anything really. We just," Andros trailed off.
"Just what?" Zhane wouldn't let this go.
"We just realized we wanted different things."
Zhane looked at him awkwardly.
"I thought you wanted her."
"So did I."
Zhane waited for Andros to continue, but he didn't, "Andros, you two are as different as two people can get. But you knew that when you met her. And you certainly knew when you asked her out. What could have changed?"
"Nothing. That's it."
Zhane stared at him, completely lost for a minute, "What?"
"When I met her, she reminded me of you!"
Zhane got it then, "Oh..."
"I wasn't jealous of you, I was jealous of her. And... I was angry at myself. For," Andros sighed.
Zhane watched his hands awkwardly, "Well, you know, I didn't blame you. It's not like we were dating or anything."
"We said forever. Two years-"
"Is a lot when you're by yourself. I can't even imagine Andros."
"All rangers report to the Bridge," DECA said suddenly.
"Hey," Ashley said softly, sliding into the chair next the Karone. "How's it going?"
Karone sighed, leaning back, "I don't think I can do this. It's designed to be complicated. Too complicated for humans to figure out. That's why I always had Ecliptor do it." She shook her head. "Even with DECA's help..." she trailed off.
"Hey," Ashley said standing up and walking behind her. She rested her hands on Karone's shoulders and started to rub then gently, "You're doing fine. We wouldn't be able to figure this out at all if it weren't for you."
Karone smiled a little at that, "Well, there is one thing I'm sure of," she pressed a few keys displaying one word on the monitor, "Zordon."
Ashley looked up at the screen, "Zordon? Does this say where he is?"
Karone shook her head, "I don't know, maybe."
Ashley looked at the screen for another second, "DECA, ask the others to come to the Bridge."