The rangers, minus Dana, sat quietly together in the mess hall eating their breakfasts. After Capt. Mitchell's revelation the day before they had been quieter than usual. The base, as a whole, wasn't told the reason for Capt. Mitchell's new orders about the Titanium ranger but rumors had begun to spread.
Joel broke the silence, "Did you know that people are saying that the captain is so afraid of the demons now he won't let us fight them?"
Kelsey looked surprised, "Really?
"Anyone who knew the captain would know that wasn't true." Carter said defensively.
Joel put his hands up, "I'm just telling you what people are saying. I know it's not true. We heard it from the horse's mouth."
There was a pause then Chad spoke, "I've never seen the captain like that before. He always had that… structure. He was always so put together, but yesterday…"
"Well how would you be if you had to give your kid to a demon to save his life and he came back and tried to destroy the city?" Joel quipped
"Guys," Carter cautioned, looking toward the door. The other rangers looked over and saw Dana half way in the room looking over to where they sat. Kelsey tried to wave her over but Dana turned around and left the room. Carter sighed, "Stay here," he said, as Kelsey began to rise, "I'll go talk to her."
She had only made it around the corner before Carter caught up with her, "Dana, wait up." She kept walking like she hadn't heard him. "Dana," he cut her off and she finally stopped. "Dana, you know the team is here for you, right?"
She looked up at him, "How can you help, Carter, when you have no idea what I'm going through."
"We can try, Dana. Give us a chance," He pause when she looked away, he hesitated, then said more softly, "Give me a chance."She turned back to him, searching his face.
The air suddenly erupted as the base's alarm went off. Kelsey was the first one out of the mess hall. She rushed past them, and then paused, looking at them expectantly.
"Let's go," Carter said reluctantly, wishing he could finish talking with Dana.
The rangers rushed into the command center and over to the city monitors. "It's the Titanium ranger, he's back!" On the screen it showed the evil ranger advancing on civilians.
Carter turned to Capt. Mitchell's assistant, "Where's the Captain? What does he want us to do?"
"He left this morning without saying anything. He didn't even look at the base reports."
"You mean Capt. Mitchell didn't tell anyone where he was going?" Joel asked, surprised.
"That's not like him," Carter mussed.
"What are we supposed to do?" Kelsey asked, "We can't attack the Titanium ranger."
"But he'll destroy the city!" Chad protested.
"This is an emergency; we've got to do something!" Joel pressed
Without the Captain there it was Carter's responsibility to send out the team. Loyalty to the captain and his duty to the city fought in his mind. Why wasn't Dana speaking up? He turned to the back of the group but she wasn't there. "Where's Dana?" Why wouldn't she be here? This was her brother, she….. it hit. "She's going after him," he said racing out of the room, "Come on!"
They raced around the corner to the lab with the Rescue Rover just in time to see it being lowered with Dana at its wheel. "Dana, wait!" he called out. She turned and looked at him, anger in her eyes; it was like a slap in the face. Why won't she trust us to help?
"Dana!" Kelsey cried, as they rushed forward, but she was gone.
Dana jumped out of the Rover and passed people as they ran away from the onslaught of the Titanium ranger. She quickly morphed as she rounded a corner and onto the scene of attack. Her brother had some people cornered and, with his axe in its' laser mode, was firing at them. Oh, no. She rushed forward unsheathing her rescue blaster and switching it to baton mode. As her brother fired again she intercepted and deflected it with her weapon, Good thing it wasn't on full power, she thought as she sent the people away.
I know I can reach him. I have to! "Ryan, wait, please, you don't have to do this." she pled.
The Titanium ranger came forward pointing an accusing finger at her, "It's you, isn't it?! After all these years I've been waiting to meet you again, sister, waiting for this moment. It's time to see who really deserved to survive that night!" He brought his blaster up and fired at her.
She rolled out of the way of the blast and it hit a pillar instead, shattering it. He's using full power now, she thought grimly, and rushed forward to meet him. She blocked his strike and flipped over him. She barely had time to land before she was struggling to block the flurry of strikes that came down. How can he do this? How could he hurt all of these people? He forced her to one knee laughing. "You're pathetic!"
"You can't be Ryan!" she cried, straining to hold his axe away, "No brother of mine could be as evil as you are!"
Ryan twisted the axe making it grip the baton and quickly pulled it from Dana's grasp. Without a weapon she twisted out of the way of a kick only to be hit in the chest with another. She was unable to get the upper hand; he continued to drive her back, blow after blow. With a final kick from Ryan she flipped backwards and landed on her feet by her baton, panting, as he laughed at her. "It looks like he should have let you go instead, sister."
"Ryan, father didn't let you fall," she said, shocked by the revelation, "He loves you! There was nothing he could do!"
"That's easy for you to say, you're the one that survived the night on the cliff!"
This isn't working. "But now it's over, Ryan," she said, lifting her baton.
"It's over for you." He leveled his weapon at her.
I hope I know what I'm doing. Dana sheathed the baton and stood up. "He loved you! You wanted to grow up to be a fireman just like him."
"Get your weapon out!"
"No!" she cried rushing to him, "What's the matter with you?! Don't you remember anything?"
"I remember enough," he said, stiffly.
"If what you remember gives you reason to kill me," she said, gasping the laser and pulling it to her chest, "then do it."
She couldn't see his face but she saw him falter slightly. "You're just going to stand there while I kill you?" he asked, unbelieving.
"You're my brother, Ryan. I won't fight you anymore."
Slowly his weapon lowered and he turned his head away from her. "In that case," he said softly. She heard a click and Ryan's axe was brought across her chest creating a shower of sparks and sending her backwards to the ground. Through the pain she heard the click again as it was switched back to laser mode. She looked up as he aimed. "This is going to be easier than I thought," he said, firing. Pain was everywhere. Her eyes were closed but she could feel her vision darken. Nothing. She could feel nothing. Her mind was floating in it. Then… a ringing began to grow in her ears. She wanted to block it out but she didn't know where her hands were. The pain began to throb everywhere again. She became aware of gravity but it felt wrong. Slowly, she opened her eyes. Through her hair she saw the ground, slanted, almost upside down. Cuts on her hands were bleeding. Her hands. She wasn't morphed. Her lungs burned. Breathe! She coughed, forcing her lungs to work, and then breathed as deeply as she could. As she strained to push herself up Ryan's boots walked into her vision and stopped in front of her.
"Still alive?" His hand came forward, took a hold of her neck and lifted her off the ground. "Not for long." His grip tightened, stopping her air. As he lifted her higher her head leaned back, making her hair fall back from her face. Dana felt a jolt move through her brother and his arm began to shake. He continued to hold her neck but his grip loosened. Her feet felt the ground and she focused all of her strength to stand so that she could breathe. Ryan seemed frozen in place. His quiet, strangled voice cut through the silence, "Mom?"
Dana's eyes widened and she felt her mouth go slack. Movement behind Ryan caught her attention. The other rangers were racing into the courtyard, Carter in the lead. "Ryan! Don't!"
Ryan's head turned quickly toward the fast approaching rangers then back to Dana. He released her, letting her fall to the ground, and took off running in the opposite direction.
"Dana!" She was suddenly surrounded by the others. Carter supported her as she got to her feet. "Are you alright?"
Every part of her body throbbed. She tried to speak but ended up coughing; the pain of hurt throat, now more noticeable. She tried again. "I'm fine," she said, her voice raw and weak, "but…" She stepped forward only to be caught by Carter as she stumbled.
"We need to get you back to the base."
"No," she protested, watching her brother move out of sight, "I've got to go after him."
Dana looked at Carter "I have to," she said unmoving.
Seeing that he couldn't change her mind he consented, "Fine. But we're all coming with you this time."
She nodded, looking into his eyes, "Alright."