Dates and Revelations, Chapter Two
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Dates and Revelations
Tommy opened the door as both he and Jason entered the Rock-porium Music store. Most of the shop was rack after rack of CD's, there was also Vinyl racks and a small stage at the back. "Hey there, welcome to the Rock-porium. I'm Phineas."
"Hello." Tommy nodded, the creature wasn't human. It was short, had a bulbous nose, crooked teeth and pointed ears but after spending most of his life fighting monsters he knew a good guy from a bad guy. "I need to talk with Xander Bly, a friend of mine called ahead."
"Oh I get it, top secret Ranger business." Phineas said before looking around, as if in the middle of a conspiracy and stage whispering; "Your secrets safe. Xander's in the office." Suddenly he stood straight, looking back and forth. "Urm, he's in a meeting, with a… with someone else. He'll be a little while."
"It's alright Phineas, we're finished." the young man was Australian and wore a purple jacket, like all the other employes. There was a little worn name tag with his name and Assistant Manger on it.
"Doctor Oliver!" It was Kira, the Dino-Thunder Yellow Ranger and quickly becoming a popular musician. "What are you doing here?" she asked, giving him a quick hug.
"I came over to meet Mr Bly here." Tommy nodded. "How about you?"
"Oh just talking about a promotion for my new album. Xander asked if I'd drop by on my next tour. Xander, I'd like you to meet Dr Oliver."
"Thomas Oliver." Bly said offering a hand. "I've heard a lot about you, it's an honour. I mean it always is but you're like the guy."
Tommy shook his hand, hoping to distract him "This is Jason, Adam was supposed to call ahead."
"He did, couldn't tell me what what you wanted though."
"We need to talk with your Mystic Mother." Tommy knew he was pushing it, but she was the only person that could help. He told Bly as much.
Even Phineas seemed shocked by the request. The Assistant Manager and former Green Ranger frowned. "I don't have that kind of power. What's left of what the Sentinel Knight gave me is all but used up. I'll take you to Clare, if anyone can put you in touch it's her. One thing, if Mystic Mother doesn't want to talk then that's it. No appeals, that's the rules."
"She'll see us." Tommy said. He knew she would.
"How?" Jason asked. "I know you've been playing this close to you're chest Tommy but what is it? How can you be so sure she can help, even if she does see us? I get the feeling we're dealing with powerful forces here."
"We are, but I know her. She owes us." Tommy took a deep breath. Jason was right, he needed to be told. "It's Rita Jason, you know what that means."
Dawn was just fastening her communicator back on when there was a knock on the door. With Cassie out it was up to her to answer. It was Marcus.
"Hi?" She wasn't supposed to meet him for another hour or more at the theatre. "I mean, I'm not late am I?"
Marcus shook his head. 'No, I was just thinking I'd surprise you. Come on."
"Come on? Where?"
"You'll see." he offered his hand.
A'Zores was, in the simplest terms, not happy. Tretrax. What was that pure blood fool up to? The Demonic General growled and turned on the working warriors. They were still building his home. It wasn't much to look at but at least there were four walls. No roof yet, not even a second level, but it was defendable.
The Warriors cowered in fear at his look. "Work faster." he ordered and turned away. Right into the face of Pagedron. "You took your time. Do you have anything for me?"
"The one with brown hair and a blonde lock at her brow, wore green."
"Yes?" A'Zores said eagerly, she was the leader. Any information on her, especially weakness, was just what Pagedron was brought here for.
"She is nervous about a date."
A'Zores blinked. "This is your great news. The Green Ranger is nervous about a date?"
"A date where she will be alone. Without her friends or fellow Rangers." Pagedron pointed out with a predatory grin. "Only one boy."
"She'll be distracted. Take out their leader and the rest will fall." A'Zores caught on. "Without her even their titan will be useless. You've done well." Then a thought came to him. "Are you sure they didn't notice you, how close could you get?"
"I sat no more than ten feet from them. They had no idea, I could have ripped their livers out before they knew what was happening."
"I warned you about overconfidence." A'Zores hissed. "But I have another reason. You will deceive the Green Ranger. Get close, use your power and lure her into an ambush. There we will crush her. I'll even let you keep her liver."
Pagedron's fork tongue flicked out of the corner of their mouth. Everyone had their weakness's after all.
Her palace wasn't in their dimension, but some other place Tommy wasn't even going to try and guess at. Etherial was the best way to describe it and that's what he was sticking with. Mostly white marble Tommy couldn't tell how big the place was, most of it was covered in clouds and for all he knew it responded to Rita's whim. Creating rooms when she needed them.
It had't taken much convincing to see her. Xander Bly and the Sorceress Claire had their own version of a Viewing Globe. The pair of them called someone they named the Snow Prince, who teleported both Tommy and Jason here. The former Empress of Evil came down from her throne, waving a pair of reading glasses on the end of a wand. "Tommy! It's been forever. I hear that you are following in Zordon's shoes!"
"I do what I can." He said carefully, for years this woman had been his enemy. She'd warped his mind to Evil and tried to destroy the planet more times than he could count.
She stopped just in front of him. "You know, that's exactly what he used to say." There was a sad note in her voice, almost as if she regretted something. "And Jason; big, strong, no nonsense Jason. How are you?"
"Alive." He said, the same wary note Tommy heard in his own voice.
Rita nodded. "I see, well you wouldn't have come all this way to say hello. Something's wrong, and I'm the last person that can help."
Tommy set his shoulders. "I'm not going to pretend it was easy for me to come here and I'm probably going to treat you badly. But with what has happened between us it's hard not to see you as you were."
Rita looked at him, shocked. "You never lacked bravery Tommy. That's what made you a good Ranger and makes you a great leader. So what is it you need?"
Jason answered. "The Green Power Coin. Other than Zordon and Ninjor You know the most about it."
"Yes, I have heard that you have a new Ranger. How did you recharge it?"
Tommy felt a sinking in his stomach. "I didn't and that's why we're here. Dawn, the new Green Ranger came to town and then, the very next day, everything happened at once."
Rita frowned and tapped her cheek with the glasses. "When I stole the Coin in the first place Ninjor hadn't had the time to connect it to the Morphing Grid. I powered it with magic, which is why the Green Candle worked so well."
"Zordon was able to recharge it with his own power, then that overload from a magical forcefield kept me going."
"Until Zedd stepped up his attacks, draining the last of it.' Jason pointed out. 'That's when Zordon and Alpha had to create the White Ranger. the Question is where is it getting it's power from now?"
Rita began to pace back and forth. "I'm sorry, but I can't help. The only way I know is the Morphing Grid."
"I've checked." Tommy pointed out. "The other coins are connected but whatever's powering the Green Ranger isn't that." Rita was his last chance. That she was stumped was the end. Dawn's powers could still give up at any moment and he was no closer to finding out how she was connected to this whole thing. He said as much.
"Don't give up hope Tommy, fate called these new Rangers to you. Trust in that."
"Fate?" Jason asked.
"Dawn suggested the same thing, called it the Powers That Be though."
Rita frowned "That's a very old name, they are a higher order of beings that battle evil creatures through proxies…"
"Like the Vampire Slayer. I've met them."
"The what Slayer?" Jason asked.
"Long story, I'll tell you later." Tommy tried to get back on track. "So you're saying that either these Powers, or Fate itself is what's powering the Green Coin?" he wasn't sure if that was what she was getting at.
"No, but whatever's powering the Coin is inexorably tied to Dawn. She might not even know what it is, but it's why she met you. Fate or the powers has put her within reach of the Coin and I have feeling her destiny is important."
Tommy felt a lot better about that. "Her connection to the Slayers?" he suggested.
Rita looked out over the clouds of her palace domain. "Vampire Slayers are a force of balance. It's possible, but the Slayer sprit doesn't have anything near the power to bring the coin to full strength. Now that the sprit is stretched across hundreds, throughout the world."
"That was the only long shot guess I had left." He admitted
Rita turned on him. "Still, that connection might be important. The Slayer is a powerful warrior. That Dawn has a connection to them is not something to shake off lightly. Especially given what you are fighting."
"The Warlord." Tommy said carefully
"He is powerful. I've heard rumours about him for decades. The Warlord feeds of the conflicts he starts, conquering worlds and realities at will, growing stronger. You and your team is the first line of defence."
"You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."
He hadn't wanted to say it out loud. Marcus had been thinking it for weeks, but never said it.
Dawn sat up, shocked, before quickly slurping up her noodles. "Wh… What?" she said shocked. Marcus had gotten them into an earlier showing so he could take Dawn out for a meal afterwards. As dates went it wasn't original, but it had been fun.
"I… I mean it." he told her. "I mean you're smart, funny, tried to order in Chinese…"
"Badly." she said, blushing hard. They were at a Chinese restaurant not that far from the theatre.
"How did you do that?" he asked.
"I had a Chinese friend staying over with my sister and me once. You know an exchange visit sort of thing. I learnt a bit then." Still blushing furiously she tried to hide it by finishing her meal.\
"I didn't want to embarrass you." Marcus retreated into himself.
Dawn looked up. "You didn't, no one's ever said anything like that to me before." she admitted.
"I can't think why." He told her honestly.
Dawn blushed again. "Well, I've never really… No one's even… I'm…' she was lost for words. 'I've just never been on a date before." She finally admitted.
"Nether have I." Marcus told her, trying to change the subject. "Isn't there some unwritten rule that you're not supposed to do anything on the first date you can't top on the second?"
"No, I'm pretty sure they wrote that one down." She jibed back and Marcus laughed. "Besides, who says you'll get a second date?"
For a horrible moment he thought she was serious. He'd blown it, he'd pushed her away. "We'll just have to call this the Second Date then." Dawn joked.
"You had me going!"
Her smile became wicked, Marcus knew he'd never understand girls, but Dawn was in a league of her own. "Call it revenge." she said archly.
The two of them left the Restaurant, the meal cost Marcus a bit more than he expected but he couldn't let Dawn pay for both it and the film. He still wasn't sure how she did that. He'd given the clerk the money but when it came to get the popcorn it was back in his pocket.
Dawn had just winked and said something about a miss-spent youth.
Outside it was beginning to get dark. There wasn't that many people out and about. After a few minutes he felt her hand slip into his.
The sun was setting, leaving the wisps of clouds high above shaded a pinkish red. The pair of them walked down the street, they were going to be in time to catch the next to last bus back to college. Turning they both caught each others eyes in theirs.
"Hey! hey!" Someone shouted, ruining the moment. It was a biker chick, she had a black leather jacket and boots over a tank top and smart-ish jeans. Dawn muttered something under her breath in another language before turning to face the newcomer.
"Faith." Dawn let out a long suffering sigh. "Marcus, this is my friend Faith. Faith, meet Marcus. Faith was just leaving." She said pointedly.
"Hello." Marcus tried to wave, but Dawn didn't let go.
Faith nodded absently. "There's a bit of an emergency." she said turning all her attention on Dawn. "I need to talk to you alone."
There was a moment where Dawn suddenly tensed. He felt her grip tighten before she visibly tried to relax. "Bad?"
"Really, I've been looking all over town for you."
"Why didn't you just call me?"
"I couldn't find your number. My phones batteries are dead." Dawn's friend said a bit too quickly.
"That's not what I…" Dawn shook her head before stopping dead. Marcus knew her well enough to tell she was thinking hard. "You know what, I think I forgot my cell anyway." She was lying, he'd seen her switch it off before the movie. Before he could think about it she let go. "I'd better talk to her, I'll catch you up." She gave him quick push.
"Urm, alright?" Marcus said, not sure what to do. Before he knew it Both Dawn and Faith had ducked down a back ally.
He didn't have a clue what was going on, then he heard a massive clatter come from where the two young women had vanished.
Curiosity won out over anything else and he followed. He was just in time to see Dawn round-house kick her friend into a trash can. "Come on, you think I'd fall for that?" Dawn said scornfully
Her friend looked up and Marcus gasped. Faith's mouth had mutated into something horrible. Row after row of sharp pointed teeth, like shards of yellow broken glass, filled her mouth and a forked tongue lashed out.
"How?" it hissed, sounding like a broken gas pipe full of gravel.
"We don't use phones. Moron." Dawn said pulling a metal box from her purse. Marcus didn't have a clue what was going on and that only got worse.
Before Dawn could did anything two of the monsters that had been attacking the town jumped down into the alleyway. Grabbing her hands and pinning her to the floor.
"I told you not to underestimate her." Someone else said, stepping out of the long shadows at the far end. He was tall, wore a long military coat that came to his ankles and carried a walking stick. He wasn't even close to human. A pair of horns running down his jaw and an odd colour to his skin proved that.
"A'Zores!" Dawn growled. "I knew you were low, but ambushing me on a date, with a shapeshifter? That's so cliché it's got it's own Wiki." She struggled against the monsters that held her.
Marcus had so many questions it wasn't true, but he wasn't going to just stand there and let his girlfriend get killed. Shouting his best approximation of a war cry Marcus ran, shoulder first into the monster on Dawn's right.
The two of them went tumbling into the wall as the young history student caught the monster in the back. From his position, lying on a stunned monster between Dawn and two others he looked around.
Dawn, mouth wide open was shocked he'd done something so stupid. So was he, but before either of them could say anything the Monster with a cane cried out "You! What are you doing here?"
End Chapter Two