I'm stuck in this bed you made,
Alone with a sinking feeling.
I saw through the words you said,
To the secrets you've been keeping.
Level 4 – Cell Block
Ryan stared up at the ceiling of his cell. To his relief, the main lights had been turned off a few hours ago. Sunlight bothered him, but the constant buzzing of the lights had given him a headache. Well, at least added to the one that he already had since Dana left. He enjoyed being alone but the problem with solitude was that all he could do was train and go over and over everything going through his mind.
Dana, she understood nothing. How could she, she had spend her life out here with their father. When she looked at him all she saw was loss. She seemed to think that he needed to be fixed, that his life in the tomb had somehow broken him. She pitied him and he wouldn't stand for it.
If anything, he should pity the humans. Their lives had no meaning. He was taught, trained. He was given a purpose. Was. He had a purpose but after the past few days everything had become muddled. Dana saw the world as light and dark. Ryan knew it was never that simple, he had lived in the shadows too long to believe that.
His indecision was the reason why he hadn't contacted the demons yet. He had finally realized that the voice behind the water in his dream was actually Diabolico trying to reach him. Ryan wanted to answer him, to be given orders, to not have to think about anything, but he realized that he couldn't do that anymore; he had learned and felt too much over the past few days. His plan now was… probably the most insane thing he had ever done.
He would need to go into Diabolico's mind. The thought almost made him physically ill. It was a deep betrayal but Ryan needed to know more. He had been in his father's mind and knew how he felt but Diabolico only revealed so much to him.
He had made the decision but now he had to wait. Diabolico need to be distracted for him to be able to do this. That meant he needed to wait for the demons to attack.
The rangers sat at one of the mess hall tables finishing their food; Dana's sat untouched. She looked around the table at the others. Her friends. She knew she had been distancing herself from them. After everything they had gone through together, she was treating them like strangers. It wasn't helping the team and it wasn't helping herself. It needed to end.
"I don't understand." Dana said in exasperation.
The others stopped eating and looked at her. Carter glanced around then back at Dana. He had been hoping that her self- imposed exile from the team would end soon. He could tell that she needed someone to talk to.
"We're his family and he acts like it doesn't mean anything that we love him."
Kelsey finished chewing her fries and spoke up. "Maybe it doesn't," she said, then seeing Dana's face, quickly added, "To him." That didn't seem to help.
"To demons." Chad offered.
Dana gave him a confused look.
"I mean, that I don't think the emotion of love let alone the word 'love' is used much by demons. From what we know about them and how Ryan acts it seems like loyalty is one of their big qualities. For example, the first thing they did when they were released, after being trapped for thousands of years, was try and get their queen's land back. So I can see Ryan's conflict. He's a human. Our emotions define us. But he was told his whole life to forget his feelings, unless they are negative, and his only options are loyalty or death."
Kelsey raised her eyebrows.
"I know it sounds extreme, but…"
"Not for demons," Dana finished. Sighing, she mulled over the information.
"Dana, you've got to try and see things from his perspective," Kelsey said. She thought for a moment then went on. "Imagine the state took you away from your dad when you were a kid and you grew up in a foster home. Now it's not the best place but you grow up being told how horrible you dad is. When you get older they give the choice of staying with the foster family or going back to live with your dad. What would you choose?"
Kelsey rolled her eyes, "You answered too quickly. You need to think about it."
"He's my dad," Dana said, seriously.
"I can see 'what if" scenarios aren't your forte."
"Well then who would you choose, Kelsey?"
Kelsey shrugged, "I don't know."
"What? But it's your family!"
"They both are."
Dana faltered, "Wait, what?"
"Dana, my parents didn't raise me, I lived with my aunt and uncle."
After a pause, Carter asked, "What happened?"
Kelsey shrugged, "Nothing, my parents just never stayed around long enough to take care of me. They're real thrill seekers."
"I know," she said with a smile. "When I was older and they realized that I loved those things as much as they did they wanted to take me along. The problem was I couldn't just up and leave my home. I loved my aunt and uncle. I ended up doing both. I spent the school year at home and left every holiday and break to be with my parents. It wasn't the ideal situation but even thinking that I had to choose between them was too much for me."
"But Kelsey," Dana said, "this situation is different."
Kelsey nodded, "You bet it is. For a while I may have felt like I had to choose between them but Ryan actually does. He can't spend spring break with the demons. It's our side or theirs'." She stopped and looked Dana in the eye, "People probably think that because Ryan's human he should be on our side. But how much does he actually remember of being human? I don't think people understand why this decision is so hard for him."
The other rangers had been silent as Kelsey spoke. She had obviously thought a lot about this but they weren't used to seeing her be so serious. She always seemed to keep things lighthearted.
"What?" she asked, picking at her food. She wouldn't have minded the attention if they hadn't been giving her weird looks. "Am I really the only one that listens to the captain in his training sessions?"
Carter smiled at her then turned to Dana. "It's only been a few days since he's come back, Dana. Try and give him some more time."
Dana looked down. Everything they said had made sense but Dana was reluctant to agree to anything. She just wanted her brother back so much.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the base's alarm going off.
Level 4 - Cell Block
Ryan heard the alarm through the thick walls and took a breath. This was the moment he was waiting for. Diaolico would be distracted attacking the city. It wouldn't give him much time but he believed he could find what he needed to see, as long as he didn't alert Diabolico to what he was doing. He waited a few moments. He needed to give the rangers time to get to the city so that Diabolico would be focused on the battle.
Ryan closed his eyes and reached out with his mind.
The water didn't slow him down in the least. He felt himself moving through space until he was next to Diabolico, then his surroundings changed. He recognized the feeling of entering a mind and concentrated on what he was looking for. It had to be simple; to guide the mind to the moment. If he was too forceful then it would alert Diabolico.
The darkness shifted to that of the tomb. Vypra ran through the corridors followed by Diabolico and Loki. "What have you done Vypra?" Diabolico called after her. Anger evident in his voice but also something else…fear? Ryan looked on in confusion. This was defiantly not the right memory, so what had brought him here?
"I didn't do anything… No!" Vypa screamed as she rounded a corner into a room. As Diabolico entered Ryan was able to take in the entire scene and his heart stopped. Vypra knelt beside a dark haired young woman laying face down in a pool of blood. She cried out in rage as she turned the girl over revealing a slit throat. Vypra looked up to Diabolico, her face dry, and yelled, "He killed her!"
Choking sounds from the far side of the room drew their attention. A sixteen year old Ryan lay by the stone wall, blood dripping from his mouth, his hands clutching his stomach. A growl escaped from Diabolico as he rushed to Ryan's side.
"Not before she stabbed him," Diabolico said, through clenched fangs. He put his claws over Ryan's wound and began murmuring under his breath.
"Look at this!" Vypra said, grabbing the dead girl by the hair and lifting her partially off the ground. "What am I supposed to do? Do you know how long it took me to find one?"
Anger filled Ryan as he watched Vypra's treatment of the dead girl but at the same time his stomach turned. He couldn't take his eyes off the ashen face.
"You lost control, Vypra. You tried to push the joining and broke her mind. If Ryan dies because of your incompetence…" He left the threat in the air.
Vypra looked stricken and let the body fall back to the floor.
Ryan turned away. Of all things to see, he had been brought to his worst memory. He couldn't stand to be here any longer. Diabolico had found him but not the correct memory. An idea entered his mind and struggling to keep his mind calm he sent out another thought.
The scene shifted and Diabolico stood before him holding a completely black card with a purple trim. " I have already explained, I don't have enough energy to use the card, I will need to borrow most of yours' as well." An unhappy looking Loki and Vypra came into view. "The energy will still be trapped here, you'll get it back." The pair took positions behind Diabolico and placed a hand close to his back and seemed to brace themselves.
Diabolico closed his eyes and began to chant. Purple and green energy flowed into him from his companions and then into the card. It took only a moment before Vypra and Loki had both dropped to a knee. Diabolico's eyes flashed open as he flipped the card in his grasp and threw it before him.
The card stopped mid air, emitting bolts of purple lightning, and expanded until it created a shadowed doorway. "I will return."
His surroundings once again changed. The shadows took the shape of trees. Moonlight filtered through them onto a house. Ryan's eyes widened. It was the cabin he had run to the day before.
Diabolico looked around cautiously as he approached the cabin; his thoughts echoed through the air. What is this place?
This wasn't good enough. He needed to feel what Diabolico felt, not just hear his thoughts. He hesitated as Diabolico reached the windows, and then entered the golden transparent form.
He came to a stop before the windows then on an impulse, walked through the wall into the dwelling. If he remembered correctly, the Destiny Card allowed him to view things while being unseen and unheard by others. He could of course expend more energy and allow himself a slightly more caporal form but that was not his intention. Entering the room he saw two humans, a man and an elderly woman, standing by the door leading outside, talking quietly.
"No, Mom, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with him."
"Well of course there's nothing wrong with the boy," the old woman chided the man, "but there must be some explanation for his behavior sometimes."
"He daydreams, Mom; gets distracted."
A high-pitched squeal interrupted the quiet as two small children, a boy and a girl, ran into the room, toys in hand. Frustrated, he read the human's energy levels. The man and the old woman were normal for humans; but the two children seemed much higher. He drew closer to get a better look at them. Why? They are only humans. Why would the Destiny Card bring him to this place? "What am I doing here?" he asked aloud to the room. The adults continued to talk but the boy's energy suddenly spiked as he lifted his head, a frown on his face, and looked around the room.
"Ryan, help! The bad guys captured Cloe!" The young girl jumped up and down on a chair pointing to one of her dolls on the floor.
"I'll get her!" Ryan said, jumping up. He began kicking and punching at the air around him.
"Look out!" the girl yelled and jumping off the chair. Mid flight the scene changed. The girl morphed into a pink clad adult. Batlings swarmed around her but many were knocked away as a silver clad man joined her. "Thanks, Ryan." As she spoke the scene reverted back and there stood the children once again. Ryan handed his sister back her doll.
"Power Rangers," Diabolico spat. They had been fighting Batlings. The Card was showing him those whose destinies were intertwined with his. When he and the other demons were released from the tomb these children would be called as Rangers to fight them. That explained their high energy levels; they were compatible with a Ranger's power source.
He watch as the boy, Ryan, began gathering up the toys. Still, as a power ranger, the boy's energy was higher than most humans he had seen, including the ancient Rangers he had encountered.
He watched as the human family said goodbye to the old woman and left the dwelling in a metal vehicle that the man had called a car. The human's technology had obviously become more powerful since their entombment. A cold rain continued to fall as Diabolico soared next to the car.
He could feel the Destiny Card weakening. His time here would be ending soon. Knowing Power Rangers would be opposing them upon their release wouldn't shift things in his favor but knowing what the future held for the two children might. The family turned onto a road that ran beside the edge of a cliff. As he looked over the side a plan began forming in his mind. If they weren't around to be chosen then that would be two less rangers that he needed to worry about. He wouldn't be able to do much in this form but he couldn't pass up this opportunity to sway the future in his favor.
He flew ahead of the car, up the mountain, until he came upon a car, at least three times the size of the one carrying the family, traveling in the opposite direction. He didn't have time to discover how it worked but he didn't need to; he cast a simple spell to keep it from stopping.
At the speed each car was going they were going to meet at the coming turn. He flew back to the small car. Gliding beside it, he smiled. A moment more and they would only be an afterthought. He watched the young boy, Ryan, take off his strap and retrieve his toy from the floor. His smile faltered as the boy reached for the strap again but stopped short, staring out the window overlooking the drop-off. He blinked once then turned and undid his sister's strap. She seemed about to protest until Ryan put his finger to his lips and smiled like it was part of a secret game. She smiled back and they continued playing with their toys.
Confused by the boy's actions, he looked on as the events quickly unfolded. The father looked back at his children but a horn blaring jolted his attention back to the road. The huge vehicle, unable to stop, was forced into their lane and was attempting to swerve back. Acting on what seemed like instinct the man turned the car to the right, barely missing the back of the other. He tried to stop the car but its' wheels slid along the wet and icy road taking the car toward the edge of the cliff. The man's strap was suddenly off as he climbed into the back seat and grabbed his children. Ryan was already at the door pulling on the handle when his father took him into his arms.
Diabolico watch in disbelief as they leapt from the car a second before it hit a metal barrier. They hit the wet ground, rolling with the momentum of the car and followed it over the edge. As they tumbled down the cliff Ryan broke free from his father's hold but when the man grabbed hold of a protruding root the boy was able to take a hold of his leg.
Diabolico cried in outrage. What had happened? How could they…He stared at Ryan. He had done this. They would never have been able to make it out in time if their straps were still on. The child had known something was going to happen. Whether he foresaw it or was given an impression, somehow he knew. At least the humans had the sense to realize he was different. It was he the adults had been talking about when he had arrived.
He watched as Ryan slide from his father's leg to his foot. He could see other humans on the cliff racing toward the crash. He wasn't going to make it. The father and the girl would, but he could already see the shoe that Ryan was holding begin to slip. He would not be called as a ranger. This had been his intent but it was a shame the boy would not live, he had so much potential; he may have been a worthy foe. The power of the Destiny Card pulled at him. His time was up. He was about to give into the pull when he heard the father call out for help. He hesitated. If he chose to answer the call he would be starting a contract; the Destiny Card wouldn't be able to pull him back until he was finished. He looked at the boy. Lose one of many enemies or gain an ally?
"No!" Ryan screamed as he fell out of the memory image of Diabolico. "No,no,no,nonono!" Diabolico had caused the car crash. He had tried to kill his family. His mind spun, screamed, cried. His surroundings wavered and began to warp. Diabolico knew something was wrong. He tried in vain to calm his mind but the scene continued silently before him. He saw the desperation, the fear on his father's face. Then he fell. He couldn't…he couldn't…
"RYAN!" The scene blew apart. Diabolico knew he was there.
He pulled back as fast as he could. Retreating from Diabolico's mind, out of the Scull Cavern, through the earth. It was too much. An accident. It was suppose to be an accident. But it was only an accident that they were alive. His family should be dead. He was saved from the fall as an afterthought. He tried to fully grasp what had happened but he felt himself slipping, his mind becoming cold. He made it to the beach before a fiery hand took hold of him and began to tear his mind apart.