A/N: Still don't own Power Rangers, sorry.
"May I ask a question," Raven asked as she draped herself over her father's throne, idly watching as Lothor's people danced and celebrated the capture of Kanoi.
"What?" Lothor asked, passing her a glass of Lydian.
"Crimson and Navy are taking the rat to the Gem of Souls, right," Raven said, blowing away the steam and taking a sip of the cold beverage.
"Right," Lothor replied.
"The Gem of Souls is in the Cave of Souls on the Mountain of Lost Ninjas, correct," Raven continued and winced as Marah practically folded herself in half under the limbo bar.
"Right," Lothor said.
"All of the Ninjas who died in combat," Raven said, "or through treachery guard the mountain."
"Raven, you know this, what is the point? I want to celebrate," Lothor snapped.
"Crimson and Navy's parents were Thunders that you defeated in battle," Raven said. "Can they use the Gem of Souls to release the spell?"
Lothor stood up and turned, "Zurgane, you have the bridge," he snapped.
"Yes sir," Zurgane replied with a salute.
"Raven, you're with me," Lothor continued before vanishing in a black/yellow teleport beam.
Raven sighed and put her glass down, then snapped her fingers, allowing the purple sparkles to surround her. They stood outside a cave, from the raised voices, the Winds and Thunders were in there. "Let's go," Lothor hissed.
They stepped in as two ghosts faded away, "Come back," Navy whispered.
"What a sight," Lothor drawled, "the Thunder Rangers, crying for their mommy."
"I knew he was a momma's boy," Raven added, smirking at Hunter, "but then, I also knew they were pawns and minions."
"What did you do?" Hunter demanded.
"It's called a war," Lothor said, "people die. Unfortunately for you, those people included your parents."
"You lied to us," Blake snarled.
Lothor waved his hand, "If the Wind and Thunder Academies hadn't decided to track me down, I would never have had to kill them. From a certain point of view, Kanoi Watanabe did kill your parents."
"Stop it," Shane said, "you murdered them."
"Actually," Raven mused, "they were spies, so he executed them." She started forward, "But either way, we'll take the rat now."
"He's a guinea pig," the Winds snapped in chorus.
"And we're not going to hand him over either," Hunter added as he and Blake shifted into defensive stances.
"Then we'll take him," Lothor said, firing a beam of dark ninja power at the Rangers.
There was a shout, a flash of green light, and Raven threw herself at her father. She collided with him just as the light hit them and she couldn't contain a scream of pain as it consumed her.
"Did anyone catch the number of that bus?" Dustin was saying when Shane's head quit ringing.
"No," Tori replied.
Shane looked up, surprised to find himself still standing. Dustin and Tori were picking themselves up, but seemed mostly ok. As for the Thunders, Blake was helping Hunter stand. "Angel Raven!" Lothor cried.
Shane snapped his head to where Lothor knelt, half holding Angel, "What," he began.
Lothor looked up at the noise, hatred in his eyes, "If she dies," he said, "this planet will never again bare life." Then he picked up his daughter and vanished in a beam of purple edged darkness.
"What just happened?" Shane asked out loud, figuring somebody had to say it.
Hunter coughed nervously and lifted his hand to reveal the fragments of the Gem of Souls, "I tried to block Lothor's attack with this," he said, "it reflected back at him and Raven took the reflected attack on her back." His face reflected the confusion he felt, "She jumped in front of him."
A faint swooshing sound was all the warning Shane got before Sensei landed on his shoulder, "Thunder Rangers," he said, "how do you feel?"
Hunter dropped his hand and looked over at his brother, who shrugged slightly, "I feel like we did something really stupid," Hunter said.
"Dude," Dustin said, "You were brainwashed by Lothor, you couldn't help it."
"Brainwashed," Blake said.
"It was a spell," Tori said as she came up on Shane's left. "The Spell of Sheng Lei."
"It is now broken," Sensei said, "between the Gem of Souls and your parents' energy you are now free. That is also explains what happened to Angel Raven. The Gem returned not only Lothor's attack, but the spell energy it drained from you two."
"What does that mean for Angel?" Shane asked.
"I do not know," Sensei replied. "I can only hope that she will be ok. For now, I would like to see Cam, he was badly injured."
"All right," Shane said, he tilted his head at the Thunders, "You two are welcome to come with us. Cam's got this gel, it doesn't smell all that good but it'll help with the soreness you're probably feeling."
"Sure," Hunter said after another look at Blake, "thank you."
"How is Cam?" Blake asked.
Shane started out f the cave, over his shoulder he said, "Arm, ribs, concussion, assorted bruises. But he's ok now. Angel's friend Elek Healed him as a way of repaying us."
"Yeah," Hunter said, "sorry about that. I mean, it was mostly Raven's idea, but we went along with it."
Shane threw a glance back at the Thunders, who were flanked by Dustin and Tori. "It's ok," he said, "you were under a spell, and Elek was coerced. Doesn't mean I'm going to let any of those damn Amaranths on Earth again, but I understand."
"Did they get away alright," Hunter asked.
"Elek seemed fine," Dustin offered, "but we didn't see his teammate."
Shane concentrated on a tough part of the trail, but kept half an ear to the other Rangers. "Tori," Blake said.
"Yes, Blake," Tori replied.
"I'm sorry," Blake said, "I attacked Amphidor because I thought you'd show me where the portal was."
"We knew you were the Thunders," Tori replied, "that's why I took you to the hospital. If I hadn't of known, or you weren't evil, I probably would have."
"How did you guys know," Hunter asked.
"Angel told Shane," Dustin said, "about the spell, and the Rangers. It wasn't until we were at the track that I knew you were the Thunders."
"How?" Hunter asked.
"No offense," Shane said, "but you guys smell when you spend a lot of time morphed." He tossed another grin back, "It's like ozone or something. Why do you think I'm standing upwind?"
"He's right, sort of," Tori said. "Blake shocked me that first time, and, well, every other time we've gotten in close proximity."
Dustin shrugged, "I just could tell."
"It is your Elements," Sensei announced, "reacting to one another. Shane, as an air ninja, feels the reaction of lightning on air, and equates it as a smell of ozone. Tori, as a water ninja, experiences it as a shock, because of the fact that water is an excellent conductor to lightning."
"What about you," Hunter asked, "what did you feel, Dustin?"
"Nothing Elemental," Dustin replied, "Earth grounds Lightning. It was something else."
Shane frowned, but Tori clearly understood, "It's that Heart stuff Sensei talks about, right?"
"Yeah," Dustin agreed.
They reached the semi, and Cam fairly flew out the back end, "Dad!" He cried.
Sensei jumped from Shane's shoulder onto Cam's outstretched hand, "I am pleased to see you are well," Sensei said.
"I'm glad you're in one piece to," Cam replied.
Watching them, Shane realized how hard all of this must be on the irritable computer genius. Here, he'd almost lost his father and all he could do was talk to him. Shane knew if he were in that position, even with his strained relationship with his own father, he'd hug him. A warm arm over his shoulder startled him, until he realized that Dustin had thrown his arm over his shoulders, "You ok, dude?" Dustin asked softly.
"I think I hit my head," Shane replied, "I'm getting introspective."
Dustin chuckled softly, "Just checking."
"Cam," Shane said, "this is Hunter and Blake Bradley." He jerked his head at the Thunders, "The Gem of Souls have freed them from Lothor's spells." Watching as Hunter and Blake slowly joined them, Shane continued, "Hunter, Blake, this is Cameron Watanabe, our Ranger Tech specialist and all around genius."
"Hi," Blake said.
"I'm sorry," Hunter added, blurting it out quickly, "about your arm, and your ribs, and hitting your head like that, and kidnapping your dad."
Cam regarded them for a long moment, then nodded once, sharply, "Next time, you won't have it so easy," he replied and started back into the truck. At the top of the ramp, he turned, "Come on," he said, "let's see what we can do about those bruises you've acquired, and I'm going to need the tech specs for your Zords while we're at it." Then he vanished inside.
Shane shrugged Dustin's arm off and slipped Hunter heartily on his shoulder, making the other ninja jump, "Don't worry," he said, "that's Cam for 'I forgive you'." Then he headed up the ramp, behind his cheerful masking, however, he couldn't forget how limp Angel had been in her father's arms.