War Part III:- Triage. Chapter Two
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
War, Part III:- Triage
There's a large section here that will only make sense if you remember the Season 7 episode Potential. If not don't worry, I'll be explaining the important parts.
Cassie watched as the tiny black and white cat walked past. It couldn't have been much more than a few months old and looked absolutely adorable, if it wasn't for the large crossbow bolt through it's body. "What is going on here?" She half shouted.
"I told you Dawn had issues."
"Issues are one thing, but that," Cassie pointed at the blonde woman as she fell again. "That's something else. It's her sister isn't it? Dying over and over again."
"We have to stop it." Sari pointed out. "That means getting up there."
Cassie looked at her, stunned. "You want to risk that thing? I don't think we can morph in here and it's a long way back down."
"So?" Faith asked as Dawn's sister landed again. Setting her shoulders the Black Ranger headed for the bottom of the Tower.
Sari looked at Cassie as they followed. "I do wish she'd stop saying that." The Tower rocked with every footstep and whoever built it forgot to put in handrails.
"Dawn told me once, a hell-god tried to sacrifice her for some reason. She said it was on a tower built by crazy people."
"You didn't believe her?" Sari asked.
"I thought she was… joking." Cassie swallowed hard as she looked down, it was more than a junkyard. Someone had gone out of their way to put more spiky pieces of metal than was needed. Cassie had to remind herself this was how Dawn remembered it.
"Thought or hoped?"
Cassie looked up to Faith. "Hope. I mean this is Dawn, I know what it's like to be almost sacrificed."
Shuddering at the memory she nodded. "I was just a kid. Nirrti destroyed my whole village, my, my mom. I was saved, but it was a trap. The Goa'uld put a bomb in my chest. I was supposed to blow up and take most of this continent with me."
"What happened?" Sari sounded shaken.
"We got lucky. Sam, with Uncle Jack and the others, drove me out and to the bottom of a bomb shelter. We all thought it was going to explode, but it disarmed."
"Long story." She tried to shrug it off. Then she looked back down again. "The bomb was supposed to destroy the Stargate."
"The big ring thing those Airforce guys go though, the one you told us about?"
"That thing. When they took me away from it the bomb… undid itself. Like I said lucky."
"So what happened to it? The bomb?"
"I've still got little bits of it, floating around inside me." Cassie admitted. "Mom, Dr…"
Faith came to her aid. "You're other mother."
"Thanks. She took most of it out, what's left is a few elements."
Sari looked uncomfortable. "I almost blew up too."
"What? I thought I was supposed to be the unstable one!" Faith burst out.
Cassie frowned, "How, I mean, if you want to tell us."
"I'm only nine." She said, stopping Cassie and Faith in their tracks.
"Nine? You look more like eighteen." Cassie explained, blinking. Sari was a robot, at least partly, she could have been built to look older.
Sari shook her head. "I guess I was impatient. There was, this big rock monster from space and it ate up my friend."
"A rock monster, from space?" Faith asked. "Any other day that would be weird."
Sari smiled. "I used my key, it upgraded me. Thing was it was too much, I overloaded. It took Ratchet and his EMP to knock me out."
"Key, like the thing Oliver's looking for?" Faith asked and Cassie tried not to frown. Sari hadn't told them much about her past, they knew she came from a dimension that had been invaded and lost. She also knew that she was part robot somehow and she was closer to her robot friends than anyone else.
That was it. There was so much she'd hidden or outright dodged. They knew too much about her friends, but nothing about what family she might have. She'd mentioned her father, whatever that meant, once, maybe twice, but Cassie didn't know anything about them.
"It was something else. Look the point is I almost overloaded, Ratchet had to deactivate me I spent a few weeks offline as he repaired me."
"Hang on, you were in a coma too?" Cassie asked.
"It wasn't a coma, just turned off."
"Maybe we should be called the Coma Rangers." Faith asked then leaned out over the edge. "Oh come on, how much higher is this thing?"
"Wait here, let me try something." Sari said and headed back down. Cassie and Faith looked at each other and shrugged. A moment later Sari came down in front of them.
"Nice trick, how'd you know?"
But Sari looked just as stunned as Faith had been. "I didn't. I was just going to see what it looked like from the bottom. What's going on?"
"I don't know." Faith looked around.
Cassie looked down and then back up. It was the same distance either way. "We've been trapped in an M.C Esher painting?"
"A what?" Faith frowned.
Cassie couldn't explain it "I'll show you later, but trapped. That's what we need to deal with."
"Why would Dawn trap us?" Sari asked.
Faith looked around, "Maybe she's trapped too, or doesn't want us poking around."
"Too bad." Cassie growled. "If this is half the crap Dawn's lived with she needs help."
"So how do we get out of here?" Sari asked.
"I've a really bad idea." Faith stood on the edge of the steps. "We jump."
"Jump?" Sari and Cassie asked at the same time.
"We're still in her head right? We won't die and I'm sick of walking." Faith took one step forward and fell upwards.
Sari smirked to Cassie. "Figures." and the two of them jumped themselves.
Landing was, odd in more ways than one. Cassie had gotten used to teleporting now, bending her knees she she touched down had become a habit. Thing was somewhere along the way up became down, so when she thought she was going to land on her head instead she was on her feet. On instinct landing without a problem. "Where are we?" She asked.
"Why do you keep asking me?" Faith spun around.
"You've done this sort of thing before."
Faith blinked "And incase you missed it Dawn's got more than a few screws lose. I don't know how she thinks, I don't want to know. I'm not crazy."
"Why don't we ask her." Sari pointed down the road, it was Dawn.
Cassie dashed to her. She looked lost, afraid and not a little confused. "Dawn, are you…" She didn't finish as Dawn walked right through her, as if she was a ghost. "Holy Hanna, what just happened?"
"Oh I get it." Faith snapped her fingers. "We were in her dreams now we're in her memories."
"I thought you didn't know." Cassie raised an eyebrow Teal'c would have been proud of.
"I'm guessing, okay. From what happened to me last time you can go into memories, but can't do anything to change them."
"But you can change dreams." Cassie suggested
Faith shrugged. "I guess."
"That makes sense." Sari said brightly. "But wouldn't it be a better idea to follow her. Maybe some part of Dawn is trying to help us to help her."
"Probably knows we need it." Cassie muttered
"I heard that."
A'Zores spun his sword between his fingers and blocked high with his scabbard. The Warlord had used some of his power to forge a pair of swords of his own, but he wasn't as good as A'Zores.
If the demon General was being charitable he would say the Warlord was just out of practice. Swordsmanship wasn't like riding a bike, you had to keep in practice. Keep up to date. The truth was though he never had the skills to begin with.
Any monkey could swing a broadsword like the ones he'd created. They had no elegance, no skill. Just brute force. It was a challenge, just not the one he wanted. The Green Ranger, now that was a challenge. Skill against skill. Not this talentless force. He ducked under another crude swing and rolled away.
"Destroy him." The Warlord ordered and A'Zores smiled. The only warriors that would have obeyed him were already gone. Sacrificed to attain some small measure of his former power. "You heard me!" He bellowed again at the team of Dark Rangers. The four of them took a unified step backwards.
"They won't follow you," A'Zores gloated, charging up his gauntlet. "They won't follow a coward that runs from a fight."
The black smoke that he had reclaimed didn't quite cover his face and A'Zores saw the fear and desperation in it. "Then you are all traitors!" He cried out summoning a portal to escape through.
A'Zores had already guessed that move and threw a thunderbolt at the portal, blasting it apart before the Warlord could escape. "Not this time, this time you're not running." Levelling his sword at the backing true blood demon A'Zores gave his former leader a tight grin. "You've cut a bloody swath through worlds since the beginning of time. Now you learn the price of that insane ambition."
Resisting the urge to laugh out loud he charged the terrified fool.
Cassie watched Dawn pass the broken flag pole to the thin girl. It was interesting to see, Dawn without Powers, backed into a corner and she still did everything she could to fight. Cassie would have been a distant blur on the horizon the moment the word Vampire was mentioned.
Now that she'd seen one, at least Dawn's memory of one, that blur would have left a smoke trail behind it. It's one thing to hear about them, with their fangs, yellow eyes and forehead, but it was another to come face to face with something that was going to eat you alive, drink your blood or just snap your neck for the hell of it.
Dawn had to be crazy to want to fight that thing. Even if she didn't want to she could still run and leave. Had Dawn ever tried it? Had she ever thought of escaping this world she was trapped in. Then, without a second thought, she handed over her only weapon to someone else.
They were out numbered by what looked like mad monks with their eyes caved out, Faith had called them Bringers, and the Vampire and Dawn did the right thing
It was the bravest, stupidest and most insane thing she could do. Classic Dawn.
"So what happened to her?" Sari asked as a group of people ran up a flight of stairs. One was Buffy the others Cassie half recognised from Dawn's descriptions. "The girl?"
"The girl?" Faith asked back, frowning. "Oh Amanda, she died."
Cassie spun "What? She, when?"
"In the Hellmouth." Faith explained, as if it was the most simple thing in the world.
"You don't think that's something to mention? Dawn helped a girl find her inner Slayer and it got her killed?"
Faith turned on her. "There were a lot of empty seats on the bus Cassie. A lot of people died."
"So I guess that makes this one a little less important then?" Faith couldn't meet the look Cassie gave her.
"No." A new voice said. It dripped with so much hate and disgust it was barely human as the blonde haired woman spun on them.
"Buffy?" Faith gasped.
"It doesn't make it any easier, especially when it's all that bitch's fault." The woman pointed at a frozen Dawn. "It's all her fault. It's always been her fault!" she screeched.
In a flash they were back at the bottom of the Tower. The cat with a crossbow bolt in it purring against Cassie's leg. "We're back."
Faith was looking around. "No shit Sherlock." The Slayer was shaken, Cassie guessed she'd never seen her old friend like that before.
Sari got between them. "Alright, that's enough. We're all worried about Dawn. Arguing isn't helping her."
Cassie nodded, shortly before Faith followed. "Right." Sari said taking charge. "Any idea what that was about?"
She looked back up at the top of the Tower. There was a ledge leading out directly over them, squinting Cassie could almost see someone moving up there. "Dawn's always felt responsible. Remember when she chewed you out Faith for going off on your own."
"Uh huh." The Slayer nodded, then blinked as she got it. "Oh, holy crap."
Cassie didn't like it either. "She feels guilty, for what happened to Amanda, for not being there when we needed her. Probably for a hundred other things we don't know about yet." The cat purred
Sari raised an eyebrow. "Guilt? What's she got to feel guilty about? She hasn't… oh…"
Faith muttered something nasty under her breath, then shook her head. "That's stupid, there was no way she could have helped. You've seen her, even if she could morph…"
Sari shook her head slowly. "Cassie right. That wouldn't stop her, that's why she's like this in the first place."
"So Dawn's doing all this because she feels guilty not being there?" Faith shook her head. "There's got to be more than that."
"And she's the one with the answer." Cassie pointed up at the top of the Tower. Sari's head transformed into it's robot form, a dozen little lights and symbols filtering across the visor.
"Cool, I can do that here!" She said, her voice more robotic behind the mask. "What's… Primus, no!" Something deep red and wet landed on her helmet and the techno-organic girl jumped back with a muffled scream. Wiping frantically at the visor Sari lost her balance and landed on her backside.
Cassie and Faith ran to her side. "That looked like…"
"Blood." Cassie finished. "It's not…"
Sari nodded, her robot helmet folding away. "Dawn's blood. Some creepy guy with a knife is cutting her."
End Chapter Two
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