Secrets and Lies Part I:- Cassie Chapter 1
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Secrets and Lies Part I:- Cassie
Introduction and Chapter One
Each story in this series (Dragons Green Fire, Secrets and lies, etc) was originally supposed to have its own title and dedicated entry here. Each entry on TTHM would be part of the over all series, the idea was that, in effect, each story would be come an "Episode" making this whole thing a sort of "lost Season" for Power Rangers.
After a lot of difficulty with the second half of Secrets and Lies (I won't go into it, but I'm sure I pulled out more than half my hair one way or another) I realised just how difficult jumping from one story to the next would be for my readers as well as me. As such I've decided to modify the original plan and throw the whole series under this title.
While it is still episodic in structure you won't have to go hunting all around the archive for the next chapter.
So this is re-post of Secrets and Lies, I'll be removing the original, that is to say separate, entry soon. When I'm sure anyone reading it knows to come here for the rest.
I own non of the recognised characters here, they belong to their respective creators. Buffy the vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Wheadon & 20th century Fox (I think), Power Rangers has been bought back by Saban entertainment and Stargate SG-1 is owned by MGM. The villains and plot, however, are mine, but I make no profit from their use.
Cassie tapped her pen against the paper before pretending to scribble a few notes and trying to look interested. It wasn't any good, the only thing she could think about was Nirrti and what the Goa'uld had done to her, her family and her people.
The false god, looking for the ultimate host, infected Cassie's village with a retro virus that forced those infected to evolve or die. Those that survived passed the virus and their advances to their children. Nirrti would, come back every so often and see how here experiment was doing.
It took the SGC, who were exploring when they came though the Stargate, to discover what was happening and stop the so called god. But not before Cassie had been infected and her people all but destroyed. Rescuing her the top secret group brought her back to Earth where, bizarre powers and Rangers not withstanding, she was trying to live a normal life
If she ever told anyone about any of that they'd probably lock her up. That would be until the NID or the Trust jumped in and found a nice little cell in area 51 or somewhere. She couldn't even tell her fellow Rangers, which was a whole other problem, not without telling them everything. She just couldn't do that. She couldn't see a way out that didn't involve betraying someone.
Her white haired tutor looked up at the clock. "That's all for today class. We'll go over the week's work tomorrow and then first thing on Monday I want a short paper on any one of the subjects we looked at." After a moments thought he shrugged. "About two sides or so, so you might want to get started."
The class groaned, packed up their bags and shuffled out. Before she left Cassie was waved over. "Yes Doctor Sloan?" Cassie asked.
"Are you alright Cassandra? You looked a little distracted today."
"I'm fine Doctor." She put on a smile. "Just a couple of things, it's nothing important."
He half smiled. "Well if it becomes something tell me. You've got a promising future and a good head on your shoulders, any medical college would be lucky to have you."
"Really?" She asked. "I thought you were going slowly with me?"
That must have surprised him. "Nothing of the kind, I've been trying to push you, but if we're going to fast I can bring you back in line with the rest of the class."
"Oh," Cassie honestly didn't think she was that far ahead. "It's just a bad time of the year. My mom, well adoptive mom, died a few years ago..." Cassie trailed off, realising just how true that was. The anniversary was a few weeks away.
"I see." Dr Sloan said carefully. "I was meaning to ask, I knew a Dr Fraiser once. Bright young lady, trained at community general with my staff. She ended up in the Air Force..." Cassie couldn't look at him as he trailed off. "I'm so very sorry." He said after a moment, patting her on the shoulder.
Picking up her bag Cassie nodded and quietly left. It wasn't a lie, but the Anniversary of her mother's death had sneaked up on her. With all the Power Ranger stuff going on she had almost forgotten.
Sighing Cassie knew the best thing to do would be to get on with one of the dozen or so other problems in her life. She could grieve later that night. Finding a corner to hide down the young Ranger tapped her new wrist radio. "Alpha, are you there, this is Cassie."
"I hear you Cassie, Ay ay ay ay ay, is something wrong?" the robot panicked.
"No, no, nothing wrong. It's just, can I beam over? There's something I need you to check for me." She looked around again as there was none near and she pressed the other button. Teleporting was strange, one moment she was in the college and next she was landing in the Command Centre but between. Between there was this instant where she felt like she was flying and the world was covered in a strange blue hue.
Blinking so her eyes would get used to the lighting in the Command Centre Cassie saw Alpha turn to face her. "What's the matter?" He asked, concerned.
"I need your help. What kind of sensors do you have?" she asked taking her bag off her shoulder.
"What do you need sensors for?"
Cassie winced. "I need to know if being a Ranger has changed me. I've felt different ever since... It's hard to explain."
The robot tilted it's head to one side, as if processing what she said. "Well it could have done something. Being a Ranger is supposed to increase stamina, strength and healing."
Cassie frowned. "I thought that was all the suit?"
Alpha shook their squashed ball like head. "That's most of it, but your body needs to be readied. Primed before the morph, it could be doing something."
"Exactly. I feel different already, what if it's going wrong?" Cassie pounced on that point. "Could you scan me, just so I could see what is happening."
The small robot gave what looked like it's impression of a shrug. "It shouldn't be too hard. Stand still." It shuffled over to another blinking console and pressed a few buttons. A spotlight came on around Cassie for a moment and then snapped off. A few moments later a stream of paper came out of a narrow slot below the controls. Ripping it from the small printer Alpha ran it in front of their scanner.
"Is everything alright?" Cassie asked as it went over the readings again.
"I don't know." Alpha admitted. "Nothing looks wrong, you're perfectly healthy, but there is something strange. Your Cellular-Vibration and bio energy rhythm is off.'
Cassie was fairly sure that was way beyond Earth's science. That or whoever built Alpha had different names for DNA and Cell structures. "Off." she echoed "What does that mean?"
"I don't know." it admitted. "Readings show you're human, but no human has these readings. It might be some side effects from your Ranger powers, or something else."
Tretrax stalked down the dark cave. He had found the site quickly after his first battle with the Green Witch. He needed a base to raise his army from and prepare, the city's various underground cave systems gave him space. While most entrances were collapsed there were others he had made more suitable.
It was only a matter of time before the three of them tracked him down though, but there was enough tunnels and caves to chose from. Once they were down in there with him it would be child's play to separate them and pick them off one at a time. To improve his advantage Tretrax had spent a lot of time while his strength was gathering exploring. It was only a matter of time before he knew the system better than any of the humans that built the place.
Deep in the heart of the tunnel system he had set up a throne-chair. Caved out of solid rock to resemble in perfect detail the original. Keeling before it the Demon General bowed his head and reached out with a clawed hand. Tearing reality asunder he reached through the dimensions for his lord and master
The image, projected from beyond space, flickered and wavered on it's chair as The Warlords face twisted into a vile smile. His vicious eyes burning with malice and hate. "Ah Tretrax, what news of the new world?"
"Grave, mighty Warlord. It is protected."
The Warlord hissed with impatience "Not again, I thought your conquest was away from those accused robots."
"It is." Tretrax admitted, "I am thwarted by powerful witches, using strange magic and technology."
Tretrax couldn't hide his wince. 'Three."
"Only three!" The Warlord roared. "My strongest General cannot face three humans?"
"It is not the humans, but their witchcraft!" Tretrax pleaded. "Alone I am a match for their most powerful, but together I am defeated."
The image shuddered and wavered as The Warlord sat back. "And these three are all that stand in your way? What of the Slayer?"
"They are her allies Warlord. Without them she is helpless to stand against me."
"It was her actions that defeated The First. Allowing my forces to begin their conquest." The Warlord pointed out before scratching one bent horn. "Perhaps her allies were of more help than we first believed."
"Truly, Warlord." Tretrax agreed.
The Warlord lent forward, eyes burning "I will send Rockthorn and Dydtrax. They will help you defeat these witches. Do not fail me." The Warlord growled a warning and faded away, leaving the glowing throne.
Tretrax rose and banged his fist against the cavern wall. He knew the Warlord would send aid, but why those two.
A few moments later a portal opened and two shades clawed their way into the dimension. One was blocky, as if his very body had been carved out of blocks of granite. Rockthorn was raw strength and almost impenetrable armour, the witches would find it impossible do defeat him.
Dydtrax was different, she was like a viper. Where Rockthorn and Tretrax relied on raw power to get the job done she used stealth, trickery and her treasonous nature to attack when her opponent was weakest. Tretrax knew her all too well to let his guard down around her.
The same couldn't be said about the rock-headed Rockthorn. "Rock… Thorn…" The monstrous brute rumbled, his slow voice sounding like a mountain side collapsing.
"Yes I remember you Rockthorn." Tretrax nodded and then turned his attention the Demoness "And I could never forget you Dydtrax."
"Of course not, brother dear." She said gloating.
"Half brother." Tretrax corrected. "Older half brother."
The traitorous demoness laughed. "You still have the scars, and a few new ones it seems. Women seem to be your weakness brother. Never mind, I'm sure Rockthorn can deal with them." She ran a claw across the demons chiselled jaw. "There isn't a force in all the universes that can stand against his rock slide."
"Rock… Thorn." It agreed. Tretrax knew her so called whiles had no effect on the moronic masonry. He lived simply to crush things underfoot.
Despite his misgivings Tretrax was glad for the back up. Together the three of them could destroy the witches and take this world in the name of the Warlord.
Cassie lay back in bed, tossing and turning. Her talk with Alpha hadn't calmed her down. Instead it had made things worse. They knew there was something strange going on with her bio-aura, but not what. According to her DNA and full body scan she was normal, and besides one or two little markers in her blood, that she knew to be from naquadah, there was nothing strange about it. At least to Earth science.
Whoever, or whatever, Zordon was he didn't use earth science. He used some strange hybrid of science and magic, which meant that there were systems in the Command Centre that the SCG couldn't even dream of. Cassie's crash course in the sensors went almost completely over her head.
"Alright, what's wrong?" Dawn asked in the darkness.
"I thought you were asleep." Cassie apologised.
Dawn sighed. "I grew up with the Slayer. Not knowing if she'd come home or not every night, kinda makes you a light sleeper. Doesn't help she also had visions."
Cassie sat up and tried to puff up her pillow. "Visions?"
"Warnings from the powers." Dawn seemed to shrug. " "Beware, Beware!" sort of stuff" she said in a mock spooky voice. "Usually meant a big bad was coming our way. She'd start screaming in her sleep. It's not cool to be woken at half three by your sister screaming her lungs out."
"I guess not." Cassie winced at the thought and lay back down. It was no use, now her mattress had suddenly become lumpy.
"So what is it?"
"Bad mattress." Cassie grumbled.
"Uh uh." Dawn disagreed. "Bad mattress is what happens when it's too early to go to bed. Bad mattress now is don't want to sleep. Really, whats wrong? Ranger stuff too much?"
Cassie was tempted to say yes, but at the last minute decided to admit the truth. "It's just a bad time of the year. My mother, well my adoptive mother died a couple of years ago. It's getting kind of close."
After along moment Dawn didn't say anything. Then with a catch in her voice said "You want to talk about it?"
"Not really." Cassie admitted, but knew it was hopeless. Sooner or later she'd need to rely on dawn to save her life, or vice versa. Secrets could just get in the way. "My home was destroyed and Mom, Janet, the woman that adopted me was a doctor in the Air Force. She was with the team that came to help."
"So you lost both of them?" Dawn asked, the catch still there.
Cassie nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
"My mom's gone too." Dawn said in a quiet voice. "She wasn't in the air force or anything like that. She ran an Art Gallery and I hated it. Everything in there was so boring, but she loved her work and the two of us."
"I'm sorry," Cassie said, not knowing quite what else to say. She could hear Dawn crying for a moment before she somehow pulled herself together. Cassie knew that if she started she wouldn't be able to stop like that. "Can I ask…?"
"Brain tumour." Dawn said simply. "Well complications after surgery, but it's the same thing. You?"
Cassie knew she had to be careful. Being open about her family was one thing but aliens, the stargate and the war against the Goa'uld was another. "Urm, disease my first mom. My adoptive mom got shot." she said, getting as close to the truth as she could.
"Shot, was she a field doctor or something?" Dawn asked
'No, but sometimes she was needed to go out on missions."
In the darkness Dawn was quiet after a long second that felt like forever she said. "Sounds like a hero."
"She was." Cassie admitted proudly.
Dawn seemed to sit up. "I like to think my mom was a hero too, in her own way. She did everything she could for me and Buffy, even after dad left. She didn't stop trying to do her best." Cassie didn't know where Dawn was going with it and just let her continue. "There are things I've had to do, things Buffy has had to do that I don't think either of us could if it wasn't for her. When I feel… when it feels like it's going to get too much I remember that all the good that we've done is thanks to her. Not all of it, but enough. Your mom must have done some good so think about that."
"Sam said the same thing at Mom's memorial." Cassie admitted. "She read a list of all the people on the base Mom helped, how they were still alive because of her in one way or another."
"Then do what I do. Remember that and do her memory proud."
Cassie nodded and watched the shadow of Dawn get back into bed.
All too quickly Cassie finally fell asleep.
Dydtrax sat back and watched the argument between her half brother and the living rock. Pushing their way into a new dimension took a lot of energy, it would take time to recharge. Absently she traced the crystals on her new gauntlets as she watched the argument.
Rockthorn, with all the subtly his name implied, wanted to squash the city that instant. Tretrax was worried that at half strength the Witches would be strong enough to defeat them. He really was worried about them, that meant they were just as powerful as he warned if not more so. Dydtrax just watched and waited. If they really were as powerful as she suspected her plans might just have to change.
End Chapter One