Armistice Chapter One
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Cassie was worried, she wasn't worried often these days. That was until she'd become a Ranger, but this was a particular worry. The object of her concern was dozing as they sat opposite her in the College restaurant. "When was the last time you got any sleep?" she asked.
Dawn looked up from her breakfast, quickly hiding a yawn. "I got a hour or so last night." she admitted sheepishly.
"I mean real sleep, not a catnap." Cassie's friend looked just this side of dead. This morning she'd caked on the make up to hide the bags under her eyes, but her head kept drooping as her body almost shouted at her to get some rest.
Dawn struggled with another before chugging down her coffee with a grimace. "I can handle it. Not the first allnighter I've pulled." she tried a smile.
Cassie set her face in expression of disapproval. She had heard the stories from her mother, how both Daniel and Sam had worked themselves sick. Sometimes for days on end. Drinking the base's mess hall out of coffee, usually brewed so strong that you could probably stand on it. As Dawn got up for another mug of the stuff Cassie could tell she was just the same. Anyone else would be jittering from a caffeine overdose already.
Thing was Cassie's mother would usually demand a weekend of down time for her friends. There were always other SG teams incase of an emergency. There weren't any other Ranger teams at the moment, they were it. Four Rangers against the world.
Dawn sat back down, still looking terrible, but she was more awake. It was probably just the coffee finally kicking in. "What's your plan today?"
Cassie shrugged, "I've got a lesson with Doctor Sloan this afternoon, otherwise not much. I was thinking about seeing how Alpha and Sari are doing."
"She's still staying at the Centre?" Dawn asked, curiously
"Nothing else I guess." Cassie shrugged. "She looks too young for a job and I don't think she'd mix well in school."
"You can say that again." Dawn shook her head, probably remembering the way their latest teammate added marshmallows to her pepperoni pizza and then drizzled it with mustard. Blending in didn't seem toe high on her priorities.
"What about you?"
"Me?" She asked blinking, "Urm, I think I've got German. Then I've got to catch up on my european history. Mr Walker's had it in for me since I started." she sneered.
"Yeah, I corrected him on something and it got on his nerves." She shrugged. "I didn't mean to, it just sort of popped out."
"And that was?" Cassie had to ask, "It wasn't demon related was it?"
"What? No." Dawn shook her head. "He was calling it the Vietnam war, when it was never declared as one."
Cassie tried to figure that one out. "What's that supposed to mean?"
'Well we couldn't call it a war could we. North Vietnam was allied with Russia, right? If we did go to war they would have gotten involved and they'd launch their missiles.' Cassie felt a shudder. She meant nuclear missiles. 'Mr Walker didn't like me bringing that up, so he gave me extra work.' Dawn sighed, drained her mug again and looked to the clock.
"How do you know that?" Cassie laughed.
"Buffy's ex, he's a two hundred year old vampire. I guess he thought it was funny." Dawn grinned impishly before picking up her bag and throwing it over her shoulder
"Got to go?" Cassie asked
"Yep." She covered another yawn. "See you later."
"Will do." Cassie grinned, noticing the slightly dazed look on Dawn as the buzz was already wearing off. Quickly changing plans Cassie headed back to the dorm room. Once safe and the closest thing to private she could get she used the watch communicator. "Dr Oliver, are you there?"
There was a moment before he answered. "I'm here, is that you Cassie?"
"Yes, where are you?"
"I'm at home, is there something wrong?" he suddenly sounded concerned.
"No, yes, I don't know. Look I'm beaming over to you." Pressing the other button on her watch she had the now familiar sense of flying and landing.
Dr Oliver was in, what she guessed, was his living room. It had a slightly out of date computer in one corner, a pair of cluttered bookcases in another covered in sticky yellow notes in the other. There were a few statues and models of dinosaurs scattered here and there and a table half covered in files and folders. It was very much like Daniel's office, only not quite as cluttered and more dinosaurs. "What is it Cassie?"
"It's Dawn," Cassie cut to the chase, "She's not sleeping much and it's beginning to show."
"She did look a bit haggard yesterday in class." Dr Oliver scratched absently at his beard-thing with a thumbnail. "It's not surprising really, she's got to catch up with her courses and there's her duties as a Ranger."
"She can't keep this up." Cassie pointed out. "I know the whole power thing is making us stronger, but this could really hurt her. She needs rest, even if only a day or so."
Dr Oliver nodded in agreement. "I know, I've tried to cut back on coursework but I'm not her only tutor. And I've been busy myself." he gestured at a laptop on his desk. Cassie, at first, just glanced at it, but there was something familiar about it.
There were two languages on the screen, one English and the other was what caught her attention. She didn't recognise it at first, but after a moment she realised that it was almost identical to Ancient. "What is that?" she asked, almost shocked. The Ranger's and Dr Oliver knew her history now, but she'd deliberately avoided anything to do with the prehistoric humans.
"Zordon's journal. Turns out he expected to die, eventually." Dr Oliver said with a catch in his voice. "He kept this incase it was needed. It's sort of an archive, everything he knew, suspected or just out right guessed that could be important in the fight against evil is in here. Somewhere."
"Really?" Something like that could be a gold mine of information. The diary of a living Ancient, even if it was only close Daniel would probably kill to get his hands on it
"I've already found out quite a bit." Dr Oliver said, almost laughing at something. "Sorry, private joke. I always thought he had the answer to everything, didn't matter what we were up against he was the one with answers. Turns out most of the time he was just winging it."
"Best guess. Oh he was clever, brilliant even, but a lot of the time early on he just guessed. He made mistakes, but learnt from them. Makes me feel a bit better about the whole thing really."
Cassie read a little from the screen with english on it. She might be able to recognise the Ancient's alphabet but reading it was hopeless "...Searching for the Key to Destruction..." she read aloud. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I don't know, but it's interesting. We always thought Rita was attacking Earth because it was in her way, turns out she came here looking for this Key thing, whatever it is. I guess she didn't find it. From what I gather Zordon didn't think it ever actually existed." He shrugged before changing the subject. "Keep an eye on Dawn, alright. If she pushes herself too much tell me and Faith. Together we might just get her to listen."
A'Zores knelt as he held the Crystal Ball before him. "They destroyed a Dark Castle?" The Warlord asked, his rage causing the ball to shudder in the Generals hand. "What happened to the Crystal?" he demanded.
"It must have been shattered my Warlord." A'Zores answered honestly.
"What?" bellowed the Warlord. "Shattered! You expect me to believe mere humans shattered one of my Crystals!"
"Yes, my Warlord."
'And you have no defence for your failure?" The Warlord's voce took on a cutting edge. "Or the loss?"
"I have no excuse Warlord," A'Zores admitted. "I only request you ask yourself who, other than you're august majesty, could have predicted that these Rangers had such power?"
The Warlord glared at him through the crystal ball. "You think your silver tongue can save you?" he asked mockingly.
A'Zores hid a nervous tick he had suddenly developed. "No, I deserve whatever punishment you see fit. Only I ask for consideration, would even you have believed that they had such power?"
The Warlord sat back, considering the point. "No. I would not, it is obvious to me that Tretrax's reports were flawed. His incompetence let us under estimate these warriors. Yours was to assume he had been sufficient."
"Enough." The grand daemon held his hand up. "I agree the power of these Rangers of yours represents a problem." he frowned. "Tretrax failed me after numerous attempts, I owe you at lest one more. But be warned, another failure like this would spell your doom."
"Understood my Warlord." A'Zores bowed again as the Crystal Ball became clear. He had a lot of planning to do, especially if he was going to defeat that titan of theirs.
Cassie, after leaving Dr Oliver's place, headed into town. It was still the middle of the morning and she had someone else to talk to. Faith, much to Dawn's surprise, was still working behind the counter at the Coffee Shop. Cassie wasn't sure why but the idea of someone like Faith working at a coffee shop didn't quite fit.
When Cassie walked past the window the other Ranger looked incredibly bored, which wasn't surprising as there wasn't anyone in. "Cassie, hi!" Faith almost shouted before she had gotten though the door. "You're not usually here this early."
"No, I need to talk to you about Dawn."
Faith came out from behind the counter. "Great, what's the brat gotten herself into now?"
"Yeah, I knew her back when she had braces and pig tails. So what is it?"
Cassie sighed and sat down. "She's working herself to death. I don't know the last time she had a good nights sleep and she looks like death warmed up."
Faith rolled her eyes. "That's Buffy, oh great she couldn't have picked a worse role model."
"Like you?" Cassie asked.
"Alright, she could have picked someone worse." Faith's face darkened for a moment. Cassie wondered just what it was in her fellow Ranger's past both she and Dawn were keeping so tight lipped about. "Buffy and I are Slayers. We're stronger, faster and we don't need as much sleep as most people."
"Yeah, well the rest of us do. If Dawn keeps pushing like this she can really hurt herself."
Faith shrugged; "What are we going to do? In case you haven't noticed listening to us hasn't been one of her strengths."
Cassie laughed. "Is her sister the same?"
"Now you mention it yeah, she gets that glint in her eye and it's like arguing with a brick wall. When it's coming at you at a hundred miles per hour." The Blue Ranger knew what she meant and nodded. "Though I think Buffy's worse."
"She can't be, I mean is that even possible?"
Faith grinned. "Oh yeah. It is."
Dawn stifled a yawn and bit her lip. She just couldn't afford to fall asleep now; she still had to research for her history class tomorrow, then there was her latin test next week and her archeology course work for Dr Oliver, not to mention that A'Zores or another psycho could attack.
Looking around Dawn noticed that her energy drink was empty and more coffee would mean standing up. Last time she tried that she'd gotten dizzy. She was getting a headache behind her right eye and her notes were beginning to bleed together as the days already had.
Just then the door to the dorm opened and Cassie came in, "Hi Dawn." she waved
"Cassie, just the person! You wouldn't mind getting a drink for me?"
Cassie frowned and then looked at the graveyard of empty plastic cups and cans around Dawn. She gave her the look, the one they had to teach all Doctors and mothers, "You can't keep doing this." She disapproved. "You look like hell."
"I'll get some sleep later." Dawn waved of her friends concerns. It wasn't the first time she'd had to get by with a couple hours sleep, she could do so again.
"You're not a comic book character Dawn, you need sleep. I can make you if I have to you know."
Dawn tried to smile, but another yawn got in the way. "How? Put something in my milk? Sing me a lullaby? I told you, I'll be fine."
Cassie's disapproving glare got even worse as she put a hand on Dawn's shoulder. "You're making me do this Dawn. Now. Go. To. Sleep." Her eyes, that already felt like they had lead weights tied to them, got even heavier and Dawn felt the room spin. With a final, jaw braking, yawn she collapsed into her notes.
Ordinance finished cleaning his antique rifle and put it back with his collection. "Four girls. Four human girls are worth this much money. What aren't you telling me?" He asked his latest employer.
Some people said that Ordinance was a hired gun, a mercenary who'd kill anyone if someone was willing to pay him. Truth was he wasn't, he had standards and rules. Most important of which was to never trust his employer. He'd take their money, without much trouble, but he knew if they had to hire him there was a problem.
"They are more powerful than you think. They defeated me." his employer growled.
"And that's supposed to impress me?" he asked, scratching a horn. "You might be one of the Warlord's best but there's a reason I don't work for that lazy fat oaf."
"The Warlord is my master…"
Ordinance waved his hand. "He's a fool. I bought this pocket dimension and he keeps sending minions to take it from me. I'm no threat to the greedy fool, but he still thinks the multiverse isn't big enough." He sighed as he began cleaning one of his pistols. "I'll do your job for you, but you tell him from me to stop it. I'm not going after him and there's always going be need for a bounty hunter."
"I will… talk with him about it."
Ordinance grinned and offered his hand, "Then, General, we have a deal." They shook on it and the Warlord's servant quickly left. "I need the exercise anyway." He grinned and headed to his hall of weapons.
End Chapter One