Disclaimer: And all the cleverness I posses went into writing this fic (wow that's sad... It's not that cleaver.. wait, I'm trying to encourage people to read this, um...) so I can't think of any cleaver way to tell you that I don't own the Power Rangers.
Author's Note: Ok, borrowing a little from another fic of mine. If you notice that, I think you're psychic because I don't think that I've posted that anywhere yet... But I could be wrong. If not, don't worry about it. No prior knowledge required.
"The Astro Megazord shuttle was made to combine with the Astro Megaship! You see, it's all part of Zordon's master plan!" Ashley listened as Alpha finished explaining. "You need to work together!"
They all seemed to consider this for a moment. "Alpha's right," TJ decided first. "We can help each other."
"You don't have any powers," Andros reminded them, needlessly. "You should go back to Earth."
"We can't defend the Earth without our Powers," TJ argued. "Let us come with you. Together we stand a better chance of rescuing Zordon."
Andros and Karone looked at each other for what seemed to be a long while. They almost looked like they were silently debating it. Finally, Andros nodded. "All right," he said turning to the four of them, "come with me. Alpha, you go to the Bridge and work with DECA to figure out how to form that Zord."
"Yes Andros. Oh ai-ai-ai, this is fantastic," Alpha said excitedly, heading in the direction of the Bridge.
Ashley exchanged glances with the other ex-Turbo Rangers. They followed the Red and Yellow Rangers down the long corridor until they stopped at a door. The room was barely big enough for all of them to fit inside at once. In the center was a small table, with three devices that were clearly morphers.
"These are Astro Morphers," Karone told them sliding one of the devices off of its holder. "If you're going to join us, you should have them."
Ashley watched Andros to avoid thinking about the implication of what lay infront of them: three morphers. He stood at the back of the room, looking far more hesitant about this decision than his teammate.
Karone handed one of the morphers to each of Ashley's friends. "I'm sorry," she told Ashley awkwardly.
Ashley did her best not to look as disappointed as she felt. She hadn't come out here expecting new powers. But she hadn't expected her friends to get them either. "I understand," she said, forcing herself to smile.
An awkward silence settled over the room. "We are approaching the planet," DECA said after a minute.
"Right," Andros said, looking very anxious to get out of the room. Ashley couldn't blame him. "I'm going to go check the outer control panels."
"Wait," Karone stopped him, "take Carlos and Cassie with you. You can use some help." Andros hesitated, "I don't want you out there alone, Andros."
Andros sighed, "All right, come on."
Karone smiled at Ashley and TJ, "I could use some help back in the engine room."
"Right," TJ nodded, following her out into the corridor.
"You go ahead. I just need to get something first," Karone told them as she headed in the opposite direction that they had come from.
"Hey, you all right Ash?" TJ asked after a moment, as they headed towards the Engine Room.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Ashley said, managing a smile.
"I'm sorry about this, Ashley," he said put his arm around her, squeezing her shoulders. "You know you're still a part of the team."
Ashley shook her head, "What can I do without Powers?"
"It's ok TJ. I-I don't want to get in the way."
"Ashley, you won't," TJ told her. "Ash..."
Ashley knew that that was easy to say. "Hey, I'm not abandoning you guys," she promised, turning towards him. "Powers or no powers, we're still friends, and I'm still a ranger. If you need me I'll be there. I just know it won't be like it was," she added sadly.
TJ didn't know what to say to that. "Come on," Ashley said giving his arm a tug. "Karone'll be waiting for us."
Karone wandered aimlessly down the corridor. She wondered if TJ and Ashley had had enough time to talk yet. She couldn't imagine how the other girl was feeling, but she hoped that the former Red Ranger could help her with what she must be going through.
She'd made a full lap around deck six of the Megaship. She stopped in front of the door to the Engine Room, listening for voices. She sighed quietly when she didn't hear any. Hoping they had talked it out, she put on a bright smile, heading into the room.
"Sorry that took so long," Karone told them.
"No problem," TJ said, getting up from his spot next to the engine. "DECA's been telling us what to do here."
"Oh," Karone hid her disappointment. If they had started working already, than she doubted they had had much time to talk. "So, you said you were from Earth," she said reading DECA's engine diagnostic on one of the small monitors against the wall. "Is that far?"
"Well," TJ hesitated, "we don't really know where we are. We passed through some kind of wormhole on the way here..."
"Oh, that's ok. I'm sure DECA know knows where it is."
"Planet Earth is located in quadrant 438.15, in the Sol System."
Karone looked to TJ for confirmation, but he looked like he had no idea, "Thank you DECA. Your planet isn't very advanced at space travel, is it?" she asked him.
"No," TJ shook his head. "The shuttle is the most advanced spacecraft on Earth. And I guess it isn't even from Earth, technically," he added.
Karone smiled, heading over to check the connections on the upper level. She couldn't help noticing how quiet Ashley was being. She doubted that was like her.
They worked in an awkward silence, broken only by the occasional questions TJ asked about what he was doing. Ashley somehow managed to avoid saying anything to her for a good half hour, although she could hear her saying something to TJ from time to time.
"You and Andros seem close," Ashley said suddenly.
That startled Karone for a moment, "Yeah. He's my brother."
"Oh," Karone smiled. Ashley was trying to sound casual, but she could tell what she was thinking.
"I think he likes you actually."
"Really?" Ashley asked, suddenly a lot less interested in the consoul she had been pretending to be preoccupied with.
"Mh-hm," Karone nodded. She watched Ashley out of the corner of her eye for a while. She just hoped Andros didn't do anything to push her away. It was about time her brother got a girlfriend.
She sighed quietly, thinking about how overprotective Andros always was when it came to her and Zhane. He had actually interrogated Zhane whenever they went out. The two of them had spent a month trying to get Andros in a relationship, hoping that would get him to lighten up on them a bit.
Karone looked over at the hidden door to the healing chamber. She couldn't help wondering when she would see him again. If she would ever see him again.
"Hey, Karone?" TJ asked.
"Yeah?" she shook her head, not letting herself think about that now.
"Where does this go?" TJ asked holding up a green card.
"Um," she stood up, walking over to the open panel TJ was working on. She definitely couldn't afford to be distracted if the ship was this badly damaged.
"That's the best we can do for now," Andros told them finishing the reboot sequences. "All of our scanners are down, but we still have navigation. We'll need supplies to finish the rest of the repairs."
"We can get them on Earth," Cassie suggested. "They'll help us at NASADA."
Andros looked around the room for a moment before nodding. "All right. DECA, set a course," Andros hesitated for just a second, "for Earth."
Karone smiled at him as the Earth rangers let out a cheer.
The Megaship jolted suddenly and Karone fell forward onto her consoul. "DECA, shields to full, visual sensors," Andros said almost immediately. A ship suddenly appeared on the main view screen. "Karone..."
"Right," she said, not waiting for him to finish. She powered the weapons while trying to scan for a weak spot. She didn't have much luck. Most of her weapons bounced right off the shielding.
The enemy fire, however, seemed to be doing serious damage. "Shields at 60 percent," DECA said, confirming her fears.
The view screen flickered suddenly, filling with static for a moment before an ugly red and black creature took its place.
"Hello Rangers," the creature snarled.
Karone gasped. She was vaguely aware of the Earth rangers watching her, of her brother saying her name, but the only thing she could focus on was the monster on the screen in front of her.
He was someone she would never forget. Someone she thought she would never have to see again. Those yellow glowing eyes still haunted her dreams. She swallowed hard, forcing herself to sit through the monster's threats, not listening to a word he said.
The second the screen went blank again, she jumped out of her chair and bolted out of the room. She could hear her brother calling after her from somewhere far away, but all she could do was run. The ship jolted again, throwing her against the wall. She sank down to the ground, trying to catch her breath.
She knew she should be on the bridge right now, but she just couldn't. She couldn't even think about it right now. Karone hugged her knees to her chest and put her head down.
"Karone?" Andros' voice asked a few minutes later.
Karone looked up, slowly. He was crouched down next the her. "The--the attack?"
"It's ok. We took care of it. Are you ok?" Karone swallowed hard. Looking past her brother, she saw that the other Earth rangers were there too.
She shook her head. She tried to tell them that she was ok. "It's him," she said instead.
"Who?" TJ asked, concern evident in his voice.
Karone looked up at Andros, but he looked just as confused as the others. She took a deep breath, forcing herself to calm down, "I'm ok. Andros, that was- that was the monster who tried to kidnap me."
"What? Are you sure?" Andros asked putting a hand on her shoulder.
Karone nodded, "I'll never forget his face." She closed her eyes, leaning her head back against the wall.
"Wait, what?" TJ asked after a moment. "That monster tried to kidnap you?"
Karone felt Andros glare at him, it almost made her smile. She nodded, "When I was little." She opened her eyes to see the Earth Rangers watching her, "Andros and I were playing in the park, when a monster--that monster," she corrected, "grabbed me. I don't know what would have happened if the Yori Rangers hadn't been on KO-35 at the time."
"Are you going to be ok?" Andros asked quietly.
Karone nodded, "We--we should get going to Earth. We need to get the Megaship repaired before we get attacked again.