Coming to Terms, Chapter Three
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Coming to Terms
Alright then. This took longer than I liked and is no where near as good as it should be. While I didn't exactly decide to take a week off a combination of writers block, an extraordinarily bad virus (that had me all but bed ridden for three days) and work stepping up a gear meant I just didn't have the time.
Still it does the job. Necessarily ending this storyline and offering some hints for whats coming. We should be back to normal soon.
Oh one other thing, I'm going back over some old chapters, tweaking bits here and there. Spelling, bits of grammar, tidying up a few plot points and the like. I'll be updating them soon, Don't worry, we're not talking Star Wars special edition sort of tweaking here. Just ironing out a few wrinkles I've noticed re-reading what I've done.
Dawn looked around the Command Centre. "Everyone clear on what we need to do?" She asked.
Sari and Cassie looked at each other and nodded. Faith meanwhile just grinned, she had a good reason too. She got the fun part.
Connor on the other hand looked at them, his mouth open in shock. "This is the most stupid, insane plan I've ever heard. Are you all crazy?"
"You already said that." Dawn pointed out. "And you still haven't any better idea, have you."
"Just because I haven't had one doesn't mean there isn't. If we just think about it…"
"People die." Dawn told him, feeling clichéd and over dramatic but not caring. "We need to do something now, before those things drag lunch back to mummy."
"I get that, but Faith you've got to know this is suicide. There's no way we can protect you with three pistols and a Flute! Without those weapons we don't stand a chance."
"I'll still be able to use my powers, maybe I can set up a barrier, a shield of some sort." Cassie suggested. Dawn thought about it, it was a good idea. She wasn't sure how good or big a shield Cassie could throw up, but anything was better than nothing.
Sari though disagreed, quietly whispering half to herself. "Won't work, well not easily."
"How would you know?" Cassie demanded.
Sari blinked. 'Oh sorry, when we tried it back on my Earth it didn't work. My dad had a forcefield over his offices. It was really cool and kept us safe, but we couldn't move it or fight through it. It held the demons back, but kept us locked inside."
"It worked both ways." Dawn nodded, remembering the shield Willow put up years ago when they were running from Glory. Suppressing a shudder she said. "Willow tried a shield spell once, she said it was really difficult to project a moving field. Not without running into it, apparently force fields and the like only work on fixed locations."
"We had another problem." Sari said, " We were able to rig something, eventually, but it kept overloading. It was like moving a giant umbrella on a windy day, you're not just pushing against the creatures, but the air too."
"Shields don't work that way, at least I don't think they do. Anyway, even if the force field thing doesn't work I can still use my powers." Cassie insisted, but Dawn was already thinking.
Her best friend was a lot stronger these days ,but throwing her powers about too much drained Cassie almost as much as it drained Dawn. More so as she didn't have as much power inside and needed to rely on strength somehow. "You already used your powers, un-morphed, in the Coffee Shop. Won't trying to hold back that many creatures be a problem?"
"Dee's right. The last thing we need is you collapsing." Faith agreed before turning to Dawn. "Still, I'll give you my Blade-Blaster. I won't be able to use it and it would be a good back-up for your Flute."
"That won't be enough!" Connor pointed at the Viewing Globe. "How are we supposed to deal with all that?"
"What are you afraid of?" Faith growled. "Dying? Or getting you're hair mussed up in the helmet?"
"Faith." Dawn put a hand on her shoulder and pulled her back. "Connor, I get that you don't think this is going to work." She took a breath. "Yes it's a long shot, but it has to be done. What choice do we have?"
"But, but the one thing my father drilled into me since…" Connor stopped and took a deep breath. "You can't help anyone if you're dead." he said darkly.
"I'm not going to die." Dawn pointed out. "Neither are you or any of us, but I won't stand by while others are hurt! I'd take a one in a million, one in a billion chance before I did that."
Connor didn't have anything to say about that. After a second Dawn got a significant look from him and pulled out her morpher. "Anything else?" She asked archly, but didn't' get an answer. "Then it's morphing time! DragonZord!"
Cassie's morpher snapped open almost before she punched the air "Triceratops!"
"Mastodon!" Faith called out.
"Sabre-Tooth Tiger." Sari followed.
And finally Connor finished by shouting; "Tyrannosaurus!"
In a flash the five of them flew out of the Command Centre and back towards the now all too familiar mines, just outside of Amethyst. The five columns of light landed just on the other side of what looked like a hill. Taking the familiar landing with a slight bend in her knees Dawn watched the others land the same way. All except Connor, who stumbled and almost fell. If it wasn't for Faith catching him he'd have been splayed out on the ground. That, or siding all the way down to the bottom of the slope.
Dawn shushed him, glad that the lips on her helmet didn't move or he'd have seen her grin. Ducking low she crept as far as she dared and looked over the top. Down in the shallow valley the heaving mass of creatures swayed back and forth, like stalks in the wind, to the hissing call of their mother.
She couldn't let herself feel fear. These things couldn't see her, but they could smell. They didn't know if the little nightmares could hear. Before creeping back down Dawn saw someone else. Tretrax was off to one side, like a master looking over their prize winning pet. Grimacing she slid her way back down to her friends. 'We were right, Tretrax is down there like a mother hen. Clucking over those damn things." She whispered breathlessly.
"He's mine." Cassie said darkly, it wasn't a tone Dawn heard from her friend very often.
She shook her head. "Not yet. The queen is more important, we can deal with tall blue and ugly afterwards." Her roommate didn't do anything for a heartbeat, before nodding choppily.
The Green Ranger didn't like the pause, but moved on. "Cassie, Sari, Connor; it's time. I need your Power Weapons."
"Why are we whispering?" Sari asked, flipping one of her daggers absently before giving them both to Dawn. "Tretrax can't hear us from all the over there, can he?"
"Don't worry, you'll get them back." Dawn laughed lightly, but quietly. "And I don't want to risk it, either way."
Cassie didn't say a word as she handed over her Power Lance. Dawn got the impression the Blue Ranger was glaring at her. She didn't like the idea that her normally level headed, intelligent, roommate was actually planning to go after Tretrax on her own. Dawn could only hope she didn't try something stupid.
Connor, probably missing the moment both because he was new and a boy, just drew his Power Sword and looked at it. "You absolutely sure this will work?"
"A lot better than one in a million." She said breathlessly. Taking the Sword and putting it with the others Dawn was asking herself the same question. If it didn't they were in trouble. The Power Blaster had more than enough punch to take the queen out. It was getting there. She wasn't sure about the range it was going to have, but closer was always better.
The last thing she needed was someone else to voice her own worries. "Right, like I said. You three find somewhere to fire from. We'll give you a couple of minutes and then go ourselves."
"Just try not to shoot us." Faith hissed calling her Axe and the Power Bow into her hands.
"And keep quiet, don't let anyone see you."
"They haven't got any eyes, remember?" Connor pointed out.
Dawn shook her head. "It's not them I'm worried about." she pointed out.
Cassie crept along the ridge-line. Her feet slipping on lose rocks and discarded stone from the mine on the other side. Cursing under her breath in the language from her original village she used a little of her abilities to sure it all up under her feet.
Over the months she'd gotten very good at little things like that. Moving cutlery while no one was looking, floating her bag and pushing little things like that. A force field shouldn't be all that difficult. Dawn just wasn't thinking. It was alright for her to throw herself into hospital, but as soon as it came to Cassie using her powers it was suddenly too dangerous.
She'd show them, she had just as much power as Sari, or Faith. Even Dawn. She could do it. She wasn't a victim, if there was one thing Cassie had promised herself it was never to be a victim again.
The Blue Ranger poked her head over the top and looked down into the pit. He was there, just like Dawn had said. It was all Cassie could do not to reach out and crush him. They had a plan and if it was going to work she couldn't risk it. Taking a moment to calm down Cassie got a better look as to where she was.
She hadn't gone all the way around the pit, but she was on her own. Connor and Sari had gone the other way around after a moment she saw a red helmet poke it out just across from her. Somewhere between him and where Dawn and Faith were waiting Sari's helmet slipped into view too.
"Ready?" Dawn asked over the watch-communicator, her own Green helmet with the red jewel popping up. They all answered quickly, it was time.
Connor, of course, moved first. Almost before Cassie had finished agreeing. He scrambled up and over the lip of the pit, pulling out his Blade-Blaster and firing in one smooth move. Scarlett shards of light fell down on the creatures. Sari was the next to fire, only she didn't try to climb. She kept her head down and fired, which was a good idea.
Tretrax wasn't just going to stand there. Seeing Connor playing target the former Demon General threw one of his usual fireballs at him. Connor didn't even see it coming, he was too busy blasting away. Cassie could hear Dawn shout a warning, but it was too late
The Blue Ranger didn't have time to make it look normal, or like luck. Calling on her abilities she stood up and bounced the fireball off into the sky with a flick of her wrist.
Cassie had never had to use her powers at this sort of range, but there was a first time for everything and she was going to get Tretrax. It wasn't going to be easy, but she tried it anyway. Taking a deep breath Cassie bunched her shoulders and concentrated. When she was healing people she could feel the energy flowing through her, this time she bottled it all up. It felt like she was going to fly apart with all the energy she was calling on, but she held on to it. Reeling back the Blue Ranger pushed as hard as she could.
You could almost see it. A flicker in the air, like heat rising from blacktop on a hot day, lanced out from Cassie's open hand. The ripple cleaved the air and dirt behind it, kicking up a trail of dust that cut a trench from Cassie straight to that blue demon. The little monsters that got in the way were thrown everywhere, like a leaf blower in an autumn forest. Cassie didn't care about them. She just pushed even harder.
The blow finally hit Tretrax and Cassie wasn't disappointed. It smashed into him like a sledgehammer, throwing the demon into the pit-side. The shale and lose stones fell down on to him, the landslide buried him completely.
Cassie let herself grin, she'd done it. Taken out Tretrax with one blow, she'd proven it. Cassie had finally proven she was worthy of being a Ranger. Not some second string tag-a-long.
Shaking her head Cassie tried to get her breath back. It felt like she had run a marathon against a blizzard. Even her bones ached. As the world span the stones at her feet began to slip, the last thing she remembered was her foot giving way and her sliding down towards the creatures.
Sari watched Cassie throw some sort of energy wave at Tretrax, it was impressive, but the young techno-organic girl was a little worried as to how much power it would take.
She was right, just after blasting Tretrax into the wall Cassie lost her footing and fell, bonelessly, into the mass of monsters below. Dawn shouted at her to watch out but Sari knew it was too late. Cassie was in deep trouble, in more ways than one.
Morphed, like she was, Sari didn't have her blasters or her jump jets, but she did have other weapons and she could still jump. Leaping clear over the pit Sari fired her yellow laser all around her friend, blasting the little creatures into nothingness. Landing just above Cassie didn't stop her, sliding down after the Blue Ranger Sari kept firing. Trying to drive the creatures off.
On the other side of the pit Connor kept up his end. Firing down on another part of the mass, but there was just too many of the little monsters.
Then Dawn stepped in. "Energy wave!" She shouted, slicing the air with her Flute. The blow left an arc of green-white energy that sliced down, clearing a patch for Faith and the final part of the plan.
The Green Ranger sent two more glowing green energy waves, blasting the patch even wider as Faith jumped over her head. The Black Ranger was carrying what had to be the most outrageous gun Sari had ever seen. Faith's Power Cannon was in the middle, with the bow across it. Slung underneath was her Daggers and Cassie's Lance. On the top Connor's Sword was pointed forward. Faith landed in the gap Dawn had sliced for her. Dropping to one knee Faith took aim, braced herself and fired.
Sari had tried her hardest not to look at the Queen. If these things could smell fear she didn't want to give them anything. It was like an ugly tumour, all pale and splotchy. She'd seen awful things in the last few years, nightmares and creatures that could only be described as pure evil. This monster was by far the most repulsive thing she'd seen.
Faith fired. She was thrown backwards by the recoil, tumbling head over heels into what was left of the monsters. Sari changed her aim, from covering Cassie to Faith. The Power Blaster sent an bright rainbow of energy into the mother.
It was sort of like hitting a bag of rancid, stinky, meat with a sledgehammer. The whole thing exploded, scattering chunks of flesh everywhere. On instinct Sari covered Cassie as it rained all over them. The smell was worse than the gore, it honestly made Sari sick to her stomach.
Then, all around them, thousands of little popping noises almost deafened her. Looking around she saw all the little ones had popped like balloons. "Okay that is officially the worst thing I've seen this year."
Then Dawn got on the communicator. "Job done, now let's get out of here and find a shower before I vomit."
"That's a plan I can agree with" Connor agreed.
Dawn closed the door behind her. "Michael and Jenny are fine. Marcus is checking up on them."
"That's good." Cassie said. She was propped up on her bed with cushions. Pretty much as soon as the monsters went pop Alpha had beamed the whole team back to the Command Centre. Cassie had been out cold, drained from over using her powers.
Michael and Jenny were beginning to come around so Dawn had beamed them to their own room and asked her boyfriend, who had some how kept his head down, to keep an eye on them. Now, at last, she had a chance to asks Cassie what she was thinking.
"Why does this conversation feel so familiar." She answered with a tired smile. "Only this time I'm making sarcastic comments and your the one that's worried."
"Cassie…" Dawn began, but she was right. The amount of times she'd thrown everything into a fight and worried the others didn't bare thinking about. "Alright Cassie I'll bite. Why?"
"Why'd I do it, even after what happened to you?" Cassie closed her eyes, thinking about it for a moment. "I told you about that bomb in my chest, and how it was Nirrti that infected with that fever."
"Yes." Dawn nodded, sitting down.
"Well now Tretrax comes along and does it again. He used that bird monster to change me, that tick thing on Faith and now these creatures on my friends and there was nothing I could do!" Cassie brought her hand down on her bedside table. "I'm supposed to be a Power Ranger Dawn, but what good am I. You're like this super powerful magic girl, Faith's got all that strength and the whole tragic past thing. Hell Sari has all those cool techno-powers, even Connor has the whole demon vengeance kick. What am I? Some tag along?"
Dawn burst out laughing. "Cassie, you can do things I can't imagine. You're an alien from another world with kick ass powers…"
"To heal people. Nothing That can help take down people like Tretrax, or A'Zores. Damn it Dawn, Ascended, really ascended people not genetic freaks like me, they can call thunderstorms out of thin air, vanish in a puff of energy even read you mind. All I can do is move a few things."
Dawn sat down on the side of the bed. 'Cassie, you're not some experiment. You're one of the best friends I've ever had. When I was made, created, whatever all the friends I had were given to me. Over the years I've grown apart from them. Then there was Buffy's friends, but they weren't mine either. I just hung out with them a lot. You, Sari, Faith; you're the first friends I've ever made for myself and I couldn't have hoped for better. It doesn't matter if you're from another planet, I'm proud to know you and it's not just your cool powers. It's who you are."
'You mean that, don't you."
"I always mean what I say." Dawn smiled.
Tretrax pulled himself out of the rock face, blasting himself free with a fire ball.
The pit was empty, no creatures or Rangers in sight. Growling the former General punched the rock face and howled in frustration.
Stomping around the battlefield Tretrax got more and more angry. He'd tried everything, everything and nothing worked All the time they had just gotten more and more powerful. Now there was five of them, all with more powers and weapons. If he was ever going to stand against them he needed an edge. One that couldn't be blunted.
No more monsters, creatures or Arcane tricks. It was time to go back to basics, find a weakness and crush them.
"Tretrax!" A voice growled at him. Turning around the Former General saw a demon in gold armour, with wide bird like wings an a blue, snarling, face staring down at him.
Drawing his sword Tretrax leapt up the rock face to stand face to face with the intruder. "I am Tretrax. Who are you?"
"I am an expert in Rangers, with a grudge against those costumed teenagers. I have heard you're having difficulty and I am offering you my services."
"Services?" Tretrax lowered his sword. "At what price?"
The demon chuckled. "There is a former Ranger I have a score against. I will make them tell me where he is, before destroying them."
Tretrax thought about the offer for a moment, an ally was just what he needed. Lowering his sword he offered his free hand. "Then we have an agreement."
A car with tinted windows pulled to a stop just outside Amethyst City. "Alright, I'll bite. What the hell are we doing here?" The passenger asked, flicking his cigarette butt into the packed ashtray. "I know the kids parents hired us but come on, this is a little out of the way isn't it?"
The driver sighed along suffering sigh before looking at the map again. "I told you I'm worried about that boy."
"Worried? Worried?" The passenger asked pushing his seat back and putting his boots on the dashboard. "Look mate, you don't want to be straight with me fine but you gotta know Buffy or Giles have to have someone here watching out. They find out either of us are still sucking down oxygen the girl's going to tear both of us a new one."
"You don't breath Spike." Angel growled glancing at the ashtray as he folded the map up, badly. "Right, the hotel is on the third left. We would have been there hours ago if you had bothered to help."
"Told you, if I knew why we were doing this I'd help."
"You didn't have to come." Angel pointed out. "Someone should have stayed at the office..."
"Smurfett can do that, besides she hasn't killed anyone in a week."
"That we know of." Angel ground out, knowing he was losing the argument but not sure how or why.
"Besides, if you were so worried about the blue meanie you wouldn't have left. This boy, whoever he is must be more important. Which means you're going to need my help." the punk vampire cranked his seat back even further, radiating smugness.
Angel put the car in gear, despite the lounging annoyance, and drove on. He didn't know what he'd find in Amethyst or just what Connor was thinking going there but he was going to find out.
End Coming to Terms