Disclaimer: Saban owns the Power Rangers. (For now!!! MUHAHHAHAHAHA!!!!)
Author's Note: Yes! I'm finally writing again!! Now everyone must be wondering where the continuations to the other stories I wrote are. Well…um…they're on back order somewhere. I'll write them someday. I promise. I have an outline of 10 more stories in the Different Directions series, really!
PS: Dedicated to Starfire and Pam Marks: Two great friends and writers who I haven't talked to in too long.
PPS: Most of this story is already written so please review and I will post more soon.
PPPS: Now in the (hopefully) easier to read version!
The Shadorian Shackles
The rangers trudged along the muddy edges of the roaring river. It streamed besides them crashing into the rocks and smashing anything in its way. They walked as close as they dared occasionally slipping on the wet rocks, fighting through trees and undergrowth when they could no longer walk along the bank. Their eyes searched in vain to see something among the frothing water other than the jutting rocks. They pushed back their fear and confusion to concentrate on what they needed to do. A life depended on it. The others occasionally lifted their glances to stare despairingly at each other, but Zhane's eyes never left the water.
Then they saw him. Pulled along by the currents, face down, his darkened hair spread out around his head, his clothes billowed by the water as he floated downstream. His skin was deathly white and he did not stir.
They ran, scrambling along rocks, trying to keep an eye on the splash of colour in the middle of the stream while the river mercilessly pushed it further away. The vegetation grabbed at them, but they pushed them aside. Rocks barred their way, but they climbed over them. They skidded and slid as they desperately tried to get ahead of the body, desperately hoping that it would be more than a body that they would be fishing out of the water.
Zhane was in the lead forcing everything he had into his speed. He got ahead of the body. At the first opportunity, he jumped onto a rock that jutted out of the side of the river. He braced himself, waiting for the floating form to pass by. Shaking from exertion and fear, he swiftly bent down and grabbed an arm holding it tight, but the weight of the body and the pull of the river threatened to throw him in. His knuckles turned white as he refused to let go. He felt his feet slipping when a strong arm pulled him back. The rangers behind him had formed a chain. Cassie had an arm wrapped securely around his waist and Carlos had locked elbows with her. They stopped Zhane from falling in and he used their strength to heave Andros out of the river's grasp.
On the other shore, TJ and Ashley stood frozen not daring to look away as the drenched, limp form was dragged through the water and onto the muddy bank. The water streamed off Andros as the rangers lay him down on the shore. Kneeling down, Carlos dragged the wet hair off Andros' face and began to resuscitate him. Cassie and Zhane knelt on the other side and watched anxiously. It only took a few seconds though seemed like an eternity to the rangers before Andros stirred. They quickly turned him over as he started to choke up all the water in his lungs. Overwhelmed with relief, Zhane and Carlos held Andros up while Cassie gently rubbed his back. When he'd finished, Zhane pulled Andros on to his lap and held him close as he began to shiver.
Andros blinked and looked up at Zhane.
"How am I doing?" he croaked.
Zhane gazed over his friend whose soaked clothes clung to pale skin.
"Could be worse," said Zhane, unsuccessfully trying to smile.
"You always say that," whispered Andros before he fell back into unconsciousness. His head rested against Zhane, his body limp. In the background, Zhane could hear TJ talking into his communicator to DECA, but Zhane was completely focused on his best friend. As he felt the tingling sensation of the teleportation, he took one last look at the river trying to understand the events that had led Andros to jump into its claws.