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Power Rangers Unlimited

Reign of Darkness













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A story by Myriah A. Crane

Rated  R
















Prologue

xxxxxx

 

 

“What if I, destroy you?”

 

Andros whirled around and saw his sister walking toward him. He paused. “Karone, you’ve got to stop this! Please, listen to me!”

 

“Forget it,” she said coldly.

 

She raised her staff and fired at him, and he narrowly dodged out of the way. Andros held out his hands, one still bearing his spiral saber, but he knew he could never use it against her. “Karone, you have to listen, you can change this! You’re the only one!”

 

“I have the universe at my fingertips,” she said calmly. “Why would I want to change anything?”

 

“Because if there’s anything left of you in there you know it’s wrong. Why can’t you remember? I know you’re still there, why don’t you accept who you are?”

 

“I know who I am,” she said. “I don’t need you to tell me.”

 

She fired at him again and he lifted his saber, blocking it. Then she ran at him, raising her staff. He grabbed it and held it steady. “Karone, it’s me Andros, your brother!”

 

She glared at him stonily, then tossed him aside roughly. He held back as he fought against her, he couldn’t hurt her, he knew he couldn’t. But she easily got the upper hand and hit him across the chest with her staff. He hit the floor and felt his breath leave him, and the burning in his chest.

 

He lay on the floor and watched helplessly as she approached him. She stopped and looked at him. “Goodbye, brother,” she said scornfully, and raised her staff once again, firing a bolt of electricity at him.

   

Andros raised his spiral saber and the blast hit it, deflecting off it and hitting the wall behind Karone. She fired again and it hit him in the chest. He cried out in pain and fell back down, his spiral saber dropping from his hand. He coughed and looked up at Karone. “Karone, please—”

 

“Save it,” she cut in, firing at him again.

 

He felt his energy draining, and soon he was demorphed, lying unguarded on the floor. He tried to sit up but collapsed back limply.

 

With a small smile Karone walked up to him, looking down at him. “You know, I really thought you’d give up on me by now and admit that this is who I really am.”

 

“I’ll never do that,” he said quietly.

 

She looked at him a moment. “I don’t know what to think of you, red ranger.”

 

Just then the door opened and Ecliptor came in quickly. “My princess, are you all right?”

 

“I’m fine,” she replied quietly, still looking at Andros.

 

Andros looked at her deeply and tried to convey his thoughts and feelings to her, but something blocked him, like every time before. He took a deep, painful breath and sat up slowly. “You have to believe me . . .”

   

Karone stared at him, but shook her head a little. She approached him and grabbed his spiral saber from the floor, glaring at him. “You’ve lost, ranger. Admit it.”

 

The realization hit him hard, and he just stared at her silently. They had lost. He had failed.

 

Karone smiled, then turned to Ecliptor. “Make sure he’s disarmed, and take him to the brig. We’ll keep him alive a little longer.”

 

“Yes, Princess,” he replied with a nod. He stepped forward and grabbed Andros’ arm, pulling him to his feet. Andros fought back but to no avail, Ecliptor dragged him along easily. He shoved him out the door and down the hall, nodding to some Quantrons. “Take him to the brig, and make sure he stays there.” He grabbed Andros’ wrist and twisted it, tearing the morpher off. “I’ll take this.”

 

They grabbed Andros’ arms and led him the rest of the way, then threw him into a room, shutting the door hard. He fell to the floor and lay there a moment, breathing heavily. Then he sat up slowly, looking around him. He was in a small dark room, bare of anything, just empty.

 

He held up his wrist but then remembered they’d taken his morpher. Of course they had. He shook his head. What was he going to do? What would happen to everyone? This was all his fault, if he’d only done what Zordon had told him to . . . he should have known. There was no other way.

 

Yes there was, a voice said to him,

 

Karone, he thought. Without her . . . maybe the others wouldn’t have lasted. They might have crumbled without leadership, there unity was the only reason they had succeeded so far anyway.

 

Andros sighed. He hadn’t done anything, he’d hardly even fought back. He just couldn’t hurt her. He knew he probably should, it was his duty, but he couldn’t. He thought about what Zordon had said. Would he really have rid the galaxy of evil if he’d destroyed him? Would it have been worth it?

 

Zordon thought it was, obviously, and he shouldn’t have doubted him. He knew, he was their leader, he knew what was best, what was their last chance. He knew what would work, if he said they would win . . .

 

But once again, he hadn’t done it. He’d failed everyone. He’d failed as a power ranger, as a friend, a person entirely. It was his duty to save the universe, Zordon had said so. But he hadn’t. He couldn’t.

 

He thought about his friends back on earth. What would become of them? He’d probably never see them again. And he couldn’t help but wonder what they would do to him. They would kill him, of course, but what before that?

 

He knew he shouldn’t be thinking like that. A power ranger never gave up, after all. But he couldn’t help it.

 

“Why shouldn’t I?” he asked himself aloud. “I’m sick of this. I’m sick of pretending that everything will be okay. It’s not okay, it never has been!” He took a shaky breath. “I don’t think it ever will be.”

 

xxxxxx

 

Astronema watched Andros from her room on a small monitor. “He’s giving up,” she said quietly. “Finally.” After years of fighting . . . the red ranger was through. She shook her head. It didn’t seem possible.

 

But why wasn’t she happy about it? She should be thrilled, they’d finally broke him, he was done, giving up on it all, finally admitting defeat. So why wasn’t she glad? Why did she feel so hollow and empty watching him?

 

Astronema stood, leaving her room. There was still much to be done, she couldn’t dwell on that too long. She went up to Ecliptor and stood beside him. “The red ranger is finished, Ecliptor. He’s given up.”

 

“Excellent,” Ecliptor said. “The others won’t last long without him.” He paused. “Are you feeling well, Astronema?”

 

She paused. “Yes, it’s just . . . it’s just strange, I suppose. We’re finally doing it.”

 

“Yes,” he said slowly. “It has been a long time, but they will finally pay.”

 

She looked at him. “Pay for what?”

 

“Everything,” he said stonily. Then he walked away.

 

Astronema watched him go, then shook her head. She had things to do, she couldn’t keep getting distracted.

 

xxxxxx

 

"Any word from Andros?” Cassie asked Ashley quietly.

 

Ashley shook her head, blinking away the tears that came to her eyes. “I don’t think he’s coming back.”

 

Cassie put an arm around her. “Don’t give up on him yet, he’ll pull through for us. He always has.”

 

“Maybe this was just one too many times he had to,” Ashley said quietly.

 

xxxxxx

 

TJ took Carlos aside and spoke in low tones. “Carlos, Andros isn’t coming back, not victorious, you know that.”

 

“Yeah,” Carlos replied quietly. “So what are we supposed to do?”

 

“We have to prepare ourselves for whatever’s coming,” he said. “That ship could come back, Andros could be dead or worse. I don’t think we know half of what they’re capable of. We have to get everyone together and try and stop this.”

 

Carlos nodded, but he looked doubtful. “Do you really think we can?”

 

TJ sighed, but nodded. “Of course. We’re the power rangers, Carlos. We’ve pulled through hopeless situations before, things we thought we’d never get by. And look at us, we’re here.”

 

“But what if we can’t get through it this time?” Carlos asked.

 

TJ paused. “We can’t afford to think that way.”

 

xxxxxx

 

Zhane looked up at the sky once more, sighing in frustration when he saw nothing. He knew they’d all given up on Andros, though they tried to hide it. And he couldn’t say he was hopeful. Andros was just so damn stubborn . . . he couldn’t ever accept things the way they were, he always hoped for the best. But sometimes the best wasn’t there, no matter how hard he looked for it.

 

Zhane of all people knew that. He was always optimistic, always found good in every situation. But that was only because he had to. If he didn’t, if he let himself think of everything that was wrong in his life, he wouldn’t make it through any of it.

 

He’d never thought much of anything, never dwelled on all that had happened, the attack, his near death, the two years of his life he’d missed, the friends and family gone. He never let himself think about it, he just pretended it never happened, that everything was fine, and focused on all the good that had happened. It was pretty easy to do sometimes, he didn’t remember much anyway. But there were times, when he just couldn’t get it out of his mind.

   

But Andros didn’t have that choice, he’d had nothing to do but think about it for two years. He’d watched his family die, blamed himself for what happened to everyone, and Karone too, faced isolation and opposition, kept fighting because there was nothing else he could do.

 

It wasn’t fair, none of it was. Why did all this have to happen? Zhane shook his head, going back to the others. Everything seemed so hopeless, he hated it. But what could they do? There were just too many, they couldn’t fight back and win.

 

He went over to the girls. “Hey.”

   

“Hey,” Cassie replied. “How’re you doing?”

 

“I’m all right,” he said with a smile. “You to okay?”

 

“Yeah,” she replied. Ashley nodded quietly.

 

Zhane looked at Ashley and put a hand on her shoulder. “He’s coming back, don’t worry.”

 

She nodded. “Yeah.”

 

Zhane glanced back at the sky and sighed. He was doing it again. But how long would he be able to look on the bright side before he had to face the truth?

 

xxxxxx

 
















To be continued . . .

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