A/N -I've had this plotbunny for quite a while now, and I was discussing it on the Marred forum with BG and she suggested I give it a go! I was wondering about the alternate universe from the episode "Lightyear Factor", and how different it was from the regular BloSC universe. Then this plotbunny hit me - about how XR and Mira would be affected by the war of the alternate universe. So, I'm writing this. It is going to be a multi-chaptered fic, but not that long, because I know I need to be working on my MtR fic (which had been on hiatus for who knows how long.) XD

Rated T, because the beginning is very dark. There's a character death and blood - but other than that, it really doesn't need to be rated T - no one is cursing or anything.

And yes, it is Marred. You have been warned, Beer and Wine shippers. ;-)


Chapter I

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I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon
After all I knew it had to be something to do with you
I really don't mind what happens now and then
As long as you'll be my friend at the end

"Kryptonite" - 3 Doors Down

----

"So ... you do see, Your Highness?" Commander Nebula finally spoke again, breaking the silence that resulted from his rather difficult explanation. "Lightyear is a ominous threat to the security of the entire universe. And ..." he paused, clearing his throat, "I'm afraid that even Tangea is not safe from his fiendish ways."

All of the Tangean Royals stared back at him blankly, trying to make sense of what he had said. Commander Nebula was especially unnerved by the astonished stare of the young Princess Mira Nova. Her mouth hung open slightly, her deep blue eyes filled with concern. Tangea ... unsafe? How could that be? Tangea was her home - her refuge. She had always been protected from the dangerous things that lurked up in space, in the other planets, and even in her own backyard. Sure, palace life could get dull, especially with no one to really talk to. Sure, she wished that she could escape sometimes. But deep down, she knew that she belonged here. She would always be safe on Tangea.

But now, thanks to a rogue and very malicious space ranger named Buzz Lightyear, their security - her security - would be threatened.

She shifted her glance to her father, King Nova, sitting in his throne and shuffling his feet uncomfortably. Even without their Tangean mind powers, Mira could tell that he knew what decision to make. And even though she had fought with him over various issues, she knew that he was a wise king who was looking out for her well-being, and not to mention the well-being of the rest of the palace.

"Commander Nebula," King Nova spoke, his voice majestic, regal, and yet somewhat distant, "You are very convincing indeed." He sighed heavily, "It is true. I have seen the damage that Lightyear has done across the galaxy, but I tended to ignore it, thinking that Tangea could withstand everything. But now you've shown me ... that we do need your help." King Nova paused, then announced loudly, "Tangea will gladly join the Galactic Alliance."

Nebula nodded his head . "You won't regret it, Your Highness. We are prepared to offer full protection for your planet. Although," Nebula paused, "I must be honest. The Galactic Alliance took a heavy blow after Lightyear destroyed Star Command. But the rangers that have survived are extremely dedicated to the safety of the rest of the universe. And we are 100% committed to, as the ranger motto says, serve and pro -"

Suddenly, Nebula was interrupted by a loud crash from above. Mira jerked her head up and gasped.

There he was, sitting atop a giant red robot. The master of evil himself: Buzz Lightyear.

He smirked and chuckled evilly, taking a large weapon seemingly from out of nowhere and pointing it toward the crowd below.

They all heard him speak. Unfortunately, he was never much for words.

"Hate to break up a party, but -"

He fired one single shot from his weapon. From then on, everything went too fast for Mira. As that one blast traveled through the air, everyone could hardly react ... before the large bullet entered straight into the heart of the Tangean king.

King Nova jerked back, as blood spewed out from within him. He didn't even take another breath as he hit the floor. He was dead on impact.

Mira could only cry out, "NOOOOOO!"

She rushed towards him, pandemonium breaking out around her as the Tangeans ducked for cover, and the rangers around her, including Commander Nebula himself, sprang into action, opening fire on both Buzz and the robot.

Mira could care less about anything now - except ...

"Father?!" She knelt down to him, gasping at the sight of him. He was covered in blood, his face frozen in a shocked expression, his eyes staring lifelessly at the ceiling above.

"Father!" She said more urgently. She pressed her hands to him, pushing hard. She tried to get him to take a breath. With everything inside of her, she willed him to wake up, to get up - to reassure her that everything would be alright and that he wasn't really injured all that bad.

She tried. But she knew it was in vain.

"Daa-ddy..." She voice cracked, as her tears now started to flow freely. Everything else around her, all the chaos of the room, stopped. The only thing left was her ... desperately clinging to her father, her hands covered in his blood.

"No, no! DAAAADY! NO!"

----

Mira shot up from her bed in a panic, with cold sweat on her forehead. She panted, shivering and out of breath. It took her a good five minutes for her heartbeat to return to a normal rate.

This was the third time this had happened to her. The third time she had this horrible nightmare. The third time she had woken up in fright. The third time - in a row.

She got up out of her bed slowly, still shaking. She went to the bathroom, flicked on the light, and splashed cold water on her face. She stared into the mirror blankly, her mind racing as the leaky facet in the sink dripped.

Why did this keep happening? Her father had died months ago. Why was the nightmare of that fateful day haunting her? Why couldn't she sleep? Why couldn't she have any peace?

She took a deep breath and dried her face off with a towel. Then she stared back at her reflection.

She was a mess. Her eyes were bloodshot. Her hair was sticking all over the place. Her hands were trembling. She sighed. She hadn't recovered. She would never recover.

Not unless that blood- thirty animal - that tyrant - that brute Lightyear was shot straight in the heart. Right where her father had been shot.

Mira blinked back tears as she started to remember her father. He had finally agreed to join the alliance. He had thought about it before, but he was a nostalgic old man, and not willing for change. Mira was actually rather indifferent to the idea. But that day, King Nova had known that he could no longer protect his kingdom from Lightyear.

That's why he agreed - so that they would be safe. How ironic.

Not moments after he agreed, Lightyear killed him. Instantly. Without any sort of emotion whatsoever. He was just a ... a cold blooded killer. That's all he'd ever be.

There had been a fight. The rangers that were there tried to stop Lightyear. But he was much too powerful.

They had to retreat - and they took the princess with them. And that's when Mira made up her mind to become one of them - to become a space ranger.

With the right amount of training, maybe she could track down Lightyear. Maybe she could avenge her father's death. Make Lightyear pay for what he did to him ... to her father.

Her father ... he would have been crushed if he was alive. Lightyear had utterly destroyed Tangea. All of Tangea's beauty and elegance - gone without a trace. Lightyear had complete control of that planet now. Along with every other planet in the galactic alliance - and not to mention, the entire universe.

She had to face the facts - her future was bleak.

Mira sniffed. If only her father was here. He'd know the right things to say. He was always a kind, gentle man and not to mention a wise, noble leader. If only she could go back in time, and apologize for all the times she accused him of being boring and bland - for all the times she'd been insufferable and unfair to him. Now all those petty little fights didn't matter. He was the only thing that mattered. How she wished that he could be here - to wrap her in his arms and tell her that everything was going to be okay ...

Mira couldn't stand it anymore. She broke down and started to cry, right there in front of the sink. Her body shook uncontrollably with each loud sob, and tears poured down her cheeks.

Suddenly, she ran from the bathroom, out of the bedroom, out the door and into the dimly lit hallway of her new home, Star Command. She fled down the hall, crying as she walked. Not knowing where she was going, but knowing that she had to get out of there ...

----

It was Monday, 4:00 AM - which meant that XR had the night shift. He patrolled the hallways of Star Command, his large metal feet clanking as he slowly walked.

Unlike most of the rangers, XR liked having the night shift. He knew it was one of the most important jobs a space ranger could have. Star Command was no longer as safe as it used to be, or supposedly ever was. XR had never known a "safe" universe. By the time he was constructed, Lightyear had already taken control of most of the universe. Star Command had been his first target. He had gotten past the security systems and went on a killing spree, gunning down as many rangers as he could. Nebula issued a red alert and they evacuated as many rangers as they could. But by that time, Lightyear had already accessed Star Command's super-computer and had gained knowledge of all the planets in the Galactic Alliance - plus Star Command's weakness. He set a bomb - and blew up Star Command.

XR shook his head. It was a miracle that Nebula and those rangers were able to survive. They managed to keep a low-profile, and tried to protect planets from Lightyear's destructive rampage - but to no avail. Lightyear had taken control of everything.

It took them many years to salvage what they could of the Star Command's remains. But they did. And now they were in hiding. It was all they could do.

But there was still a chance Lightyear could find them. If he did, they would need someone to keep them safe. The night shift was an important job, and that's why XR liked it.

Plus, it gave him the chance to think.

He was built many years after Lightyear took control. Nebula was a little wary when the LGMs proposed the idea of his construction, but eventually he gave in - what did they have to lose? And Nebula had told XR many times over that he never regretted his decision - that XR had proved himself to be a valuable ranger, a noble and dedicated ranger. The two of them formed sort of a close relationship, and XR even started to call him "Pop", a nickname which Nebula found endearing.

Aside from Pop, XR really never had anyone. He was born into a cruel universe, where destruction and devastation was a way of life. Each day was a battle for their lives. All of the other rangers had a respect for XR, but he wasn't sure if he really fit in with anyone.

He sighed. Of course he wouldn't fit in; he was a robot. The only other robot in Star Command was a rather demented photocopier named XL who, much to XR's annoyance, took to calling him "little brother." Apparently he was the robot ranger prototype or something ... obviously, it didn't work out, because instead of fighting Lightyear, XL was collating documents.

XR sighed. And how could he forget those female rangers? It never ceased to amaze him how silly women could be. How, even when they were in such dire, pressing times, they still found time to flirt. And of all people, they chose to flirt with him.

He could clearly hear their voices echoing through his processor. "You know, Star Command's lucky to have a ranger as dedicated as you." "Do you think we could have lunch together sometime?" "It must be so cool being the first robot ranger." "You are sooo brave, XR!"

Ugh. XR rolled his eyes. How could those girls be so shallow? He never wanted the attention that they offered him. No, he wanted something real, something genuine ...

Like he'd ever get it.

Suddenly, XR was thrust out of his thoughts when he collided with a very fast, blueish blur that had just flew around the corner. Because he was so strong and made of metal, the blueish thing fell backwards and landed on the floor.

XR shook his head and blinked. Right in front of him was the Tangean princess, space ranger Mira Nova.

He gasped. She was the last person he wanted to knock over.

"Ouch!" Mira cried, putting her hand to her head. It felt like she had hit a solid wall. When her vision cleared, she looked up and saw the tall robot ranger, XR, looking down at her worriedly.

"Are you okay! I-I'm sorry." He offered his hand to help her up. She thrust it out of the way.

XR blinked in confusion, but went on. "Wow! That was a pretty nasty collision. Your eyes are bloodshot. Maybe you should -"

"Maybe you should watch where you're going, Metal Head!" She shouted angrily as she stood up.

Jeesh. "I said I was sorry!" XR said, maybe a little bit too harshly.

"Whatever." Mira brushed past him and continued to storm down the hall.

He started to walk on, but something about her demeanor didn't seem right - aside from the fact that she was snippier than usual.

"Hey?" He called over his shoulder. "You sure you're okay?"

"Drop it, Tin Man!" She bellowed back. She raced down the hall, turned the corner, and was soon out of sight.

Okay ... XR thought. Maybe he should just avoid her from now on. After all, he didn't really know her all that well. He thought she pretty cool, but obviously, he was wrong about her.

But still ... he couldn't forget that look in her eyes. Not only were they bloodshot, but they looked tired, empty and almost sad. It almost looked as if she had been ...crying.

XR shook his head. Don't get involved. Not after the way she spoke to you. You heard what she said - just drop it!

But the more he tried to convince himself, the harder it was to believe. With a resigned sigh, he turned around and headed back down the hall. He didn't know what he could do, but he knew that he couldn't just leave her ...like that.


A/N - Like it? Hate it? Let me know. Reviews are greatly luved. 3