The Plot Thickens, Chapter Two
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
The Plot Thickens
With finals over and all the demon attacks, even if they had dropped off recently, it wasn't surprising that Amethyst College was rather empty. So empty that Cassie and Dawn hadn't run into anyone on their walk around the campus. "So, not that I'm jealous, but are you and Marcus going to spend a night in his room soon?" Cassie asked idly
"Oh come on, we're not that bad!" Dawn gave her friend a playful shove.
"The all night Python sessions were bad enough, now I've got you two kissing all the time?" Cassie laughed. "How am I going to get any sleep?"
Dawn gave her the most evil smile imaginable. "Well I can always think of other things to do."
"Ah ah." Cassie held her hands up. "No, no I don't even want to start thinking about that."
Dawn's smile became a full on smirk.
"You know you're insufferable when you're like this."
Dawn's good mood seemed to flicker. "Let me enjoy it while I can 'kay?"
Cassie sighed, "How can you turn every good thing that happens to you into a funeral?"
Dawn shrugged. "Experience?"
"You do know you need massive amounts of therapy, right?" Cassie suggested. She'd said it jokingly, but it was dangerously close to the truth. Dawn didn't do happy. She did depressed, fatalistic, morbid and pessimistic. She could turn a party into a funeral with just a few words.
Dawn laughed again, this time bitterly. "A therapist? I'd either be locked up or send them screaming for the hills."
"You do know other people have crappy lives too?" Cassie pointed out.
Dawn seemed to shrug. "Sure, doesn't make me feel any better though. That's their stuff, I've got enough of my own. Come on, we're supposed to be looking for magic symbols."
"Or Demon Warriors."
"Or Demon Warriors." The Green Ranger agreed. The pair of them hadn't been aimlessly wandering around the Collage Campus. They were looking for more of A'Zores graffiti. Neither of them had expected to find anything, but the Demon General had proven them wrong. They'd already found two of the crazy looking things, that Dawn had identified as air and water, on the grounds. Cassie would have missed them, all she could really see were a load of scratches. One was even half hidden under a poster so it was obvious none else had recognised them either.
Dawn wasn't sure what would happen to that one, or any others, that might have been covered up. Cassie guessed it would probably break them. Dawn on the other hand had said they were still intact, beneath whatever was coving them. If that was true then the whole City could be covered in one massive spell and they'd never be able to see it.
Neither of them liked that idea.
"Can't you feel them? The magic I mean?" The Blue Ranger asked her best friend after a moment.
"Not really. I might once the spell's complete, but that's no good. How about you, can't you sense anything with your powers?"
Cassie closed her eyes and concentrated. It was a lot easier these days, but just about anything could get in the way. After a moment of searching she shook her head. "Nothing. Even if I could I don't think it would be much use. Feeling magic is kinda like listening to a foreign language. I know something's being said but it could be anything. That and there's a lot of background noise."
"Sure, the streetlights, power cables, phone lines, you." Cassie waved a hand in the air. "It's all energy out there."
Dawn looked like she was thinking about it for a second. "I didn't know, that is kind of cool. These days when I feel magic it's like a wave. When something hits I can tell how big and what direction but that's about it."
Cassie realised she never really talked about it, or how her abilities were different to Dawn's. "With me it's like tuning into a radio station. It's all over the place, but I can focus on one bit and listen in." She was doing just that when she felt it. Like a burst of static. "Whoa, you feel that?"
Dawn was instantly ready for a fight as she nodded. "Yeah. Something's coming."
Cassie felt the reassuring weight of her Morpher at the small of her back. Whatever it was coming had power, a lot of it.
Ready for anything the two of them turned a corner. Standing outside the main doors to the dorm hall was five girls. Cassie recognised one of them, so did Dawn. "Willow!" She beamed "Hi, Buffy call you down here?"
"Dawnie, hi back." The red headed witch said forced a smile and Cassie knew something was wrong. The others just had to be Slayers. What four Slayers were doing here was anyone's guess. "Can we talk?"
"Sure." Dawn glanced at Cassie. "Hey guys, this is my friend Cassie. Cassie this is my sister's best friend Willow. That's Kennedy, Rona, Tina and May. I know them all from Sunnydale."
"Hello." Cassie waved. "Dawn's told me a lot about you guys and what happened down there. It's good to meet you."
"Yeah good to meet you too, now can we talk to Dawn please?" The one Dawn had called Rona said.
Dawn tensed, fighting side by side with her all year Cassie knew the signs. "No one's stopping you." The Green Ranger pointed out, but the five of them just stared at Cassie.
"Wow, good job of making me feel uncomfortable." The Blue Ranger muttered under her breath.
Kennedy set her shoulders, ready for a fight too and Cassie knew this wasn't going to end well. "It's nothing personal we just want to talk to Dawnie alone, you know? Without a Ranger on her shoulder."
"It takes four Slayers to talk with me alone?" Dawn pointed out. "Not to mention a super powerful witch? I'm feeling a little outnumbered here. Oh and Will, good job with the whole Ranger thing. Did you just not get the whole top secret, don't tell anyone talk?"
"I'm just glad you haven't told your sister about any of my secrets." Cassie smirked to Dawn. "It would be in the newspaper's before we get a chance to turn around twice."
"Look why don't you just butt out." Rona snapped.
"Okay, time out guys." Dawn made a little T shape with her hands. "We ain't doing this. I don't know what you guy's want but Cassie stays. We clear?"
Willow stepped up. "We're only here to help Dawnie, we're worried about you. I mean last year you were happy with Buffy in Rome, then you suddenly leave. Next time anyone sees you we find out you've been lying to us about what you've been doing. All of a sudden you've got all these powers you say come from some alien Wizard…"
"Alright." Dawn interrupted. "If I'd have told you you'd have just jumped in and been squashed. Buffy tried to fight these guys, so did Faith before she got her Coin. They lost, badly."
"You saying we can't handle it?" Rona sneered. "But you can because of some fancy costume?"
"It's what comes with the costume." Cassie told her. "I wouldn't expect you to understand."
"I do." Willow said. "You feel powerful, strong. Like you can do anything and there's nothing to stop you. You seem like a nice girl Cassie, you have to know how dangerous that feeling is."
"I do and it's great you're worried for us but we know what we're doing."
"You think you do, look you're the Blue Ranger right? You're the one that healed the little girl, you can't tell me that's normal…"
"Actually she can." Dawn jumped in. "It's perfectly normal for her, just as being a Slayer is normal for Kennedy. She was born with this power, so were all of us."
"Dawnie…" Willow started.
"Stop, it's just Dawn. I'm not some little kid anymore, stop treating me like I'm twelve."
Willow nodded "Alright Dawn, you can't tell me you throwing green lightning like some sort of Darth Vader is normal. Please listen to us, something is wrong here, let us, let me, help."
"I thought your sister was supposed to be the stubborn one?" Cassie asked
"She is." Dawn sighed. "But she's not that far ahead. Will, you remember I'm the Key right? Well it turns out I can use that."
"You can't, The Key is gone." Willow shook her head, "You're just a normal, average, human now."
"What are you talking about?" Kennedy asked but they ignored her.
"You'd like to think that wouldn't you, both you and Buffy, keep poor little Dawnie in a box." Dawn snapped bitterly. "Show her the world sure, but only the parts you want her to see. Keep her safe. You want to know why I left Rome and came here? I didn't want to be trapped again, living Buffy's life. I wanted, I needed my own. Sunnydale, England, Rome, all I ever did was follow Buffy around like a puppy, I need to live my own life. Not hers, and you know what I've lived here a lot better than I ever did in her or your shadows. I've got a purpose, good friends and even a boyfriend here." From the sound of it this was something Dawn had wanted to say for a while.
She didn't stop there. "The truth is Will I'm not normal, I'm a monster and a freak and for the first time I'm happy about that. You want to come here and accuse me of being different fine, but don't pretend this has anything to do with me being a Ranger."
"Hang on, hang on." Kennedy got their attention. "I thought you got these power from some magic coin things, now you're telling me there's a key. What are you talking about?"
Dawn spun to face her. "Not a key, the Key. Well one of the Key's, never mind. Look as best we understand it each of us, each Ranger, had the potential for something. Cassie's evolved super-powers, my magic key-ness, Sari's computer-whispering thing, they were all there. The Coins just gave them a jumpstart. That's why we were chosen in the first place."
"So these demons in the coins chose you all because you already had something?" Rona asked and Dawn threw her hands in the air in despair.
"There are no demons." Cassie sighed, "They are spirits of ancient dinosaurs, bonded to us so that we can tap into the Morphing Grid. Unless all dinosaurs were really demons…"
"They weren't." Dawn interrupted.
"…You're all way of the mark. Just because you don't understand something doesn't make it evil." Cassie finished and she was met with blank looks all around. "You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you? Look Coin's good, demons bad. That simple enough for you?"
"Oh yes, perfectly." A new voice came from behind. A voice she found far too familiar.
Kennedy looked over Dawn's shoulder as she spun around. It was an average looking demon, dressed in a dirty great coat and carrying a walking stick for some reason. He had a pair of horns running down and around either side of his jaw, like a beard. "Who the heck is that?" she asked.
"A'Zores." Dawn snarled between gritted teeth. Kennedy heard Tina and the others hiss in shock, this was supposed to be the big bad guy. He didn't look that threatening to the Slayer. If is was the best the so called demon army could do she and the girls should be done in no time.
This guy even sooner. It was four against one, he didn't stand a chance. Kennedy glanced at the other Slayers and knew they were thinking the same. She was about to leap into action when he fired, he didn't need a chant or a spell so there was almost no warning. The demon lashed out with a metal covered hand and a massive thunderbolt shattered the air.
When Kennedy was a kid she'd been kept up one night as a thunder storm rattled her windows. A massive bolt of lightning as thick as a tree trunk had hit the sables and nearly killed her favourite horse. If anything this bolt was bigger and a heck of a lot closer.
The world literally exploded, Cassie and Dawn were the closest to the flash and both of them were literally thrown into the air, arms flailing as they flew high over the rest of them. Rona, May and Tina got hit too, not as badly as the Rangers, but still bad enough to knock them off their feet and then some.
It was only Willow's quick reactions that kept Kennedy from being electrocuted too. With a shout her lover cast a magic shield that somehow protected the pair of them from the blast. Even so pulling that sort of magic, that quickly, left Willow gasping on her knees.
That meant Kennedy was the only one left standing and it was all up to her. He might have been tougher than she thought, but you couldn't throw lighting when things got up close. Not without getting fried yourself. At least that was her guess.
Jumping in the Slayer charged at him. He wouldn't, couldn't expect her to be still standing after that blast. She had surprise on her side as well as her Slayer strength. Kennedy knew from her training that was a dining combination. Eating up the distance between them with two strides she sent a haymaker punch that started at least one state behind her. This would slow him down, one punch hand this was over.
Mid-swing, at the very last moment, the demon stepped back and to the side. Kennedy didn't have time to curse as her momentum carried her past him, or it would have if he hadn't raised his knee.
The blow hit her in the gut, driving the wind out of her and making the young Slayer feel sick to her stomach. Coughing as she tried to keep her lunch down Kennedy felt a strong hand grab her by her hair as it pulled her back upright. This A'Zores was a lot fast than he looked, stronger too she realised as he punched her full in the face. It felt like he had loosened a few teeth and she could taste the blood from her broken nose.
He didn't stop there. Kicking the knees out from behind he yanked back on her hair. Hitting the ground like a sack of potatoes she spat out a mouth full of blood. She couldn't think straight, let alone stand, when the demon drove the point of his stick into her chest. "I assume we can skip the threats." he said as Kennedy struggled.
Dawn swore under her breath, A'Zores had Kennedy pinned in like a butterfly. The Slayer had looked better. With only a few punches he'd totally floored her.
"What are you doing here A'Zores? I'd hoped you'd given up." She demanded
He chuckled. "Oh no, just bidding my time, But now everything's in place it's far too late for you or your friends to stop me." Dawn winced, she'd guessed as much but hoped she'd been wrong.
This was not going to be good.
"If you hurt her…" Willow threatened and Dawn put a hand on her shoulder, holding her back. The roots of her hair were almost black now and Dawn knew just how close they were to a real problem.
The Demon General put more pressure on Kennedy, who let out a scream. "Stay out of this witch-ling." he snapped before looking at Dawn. "I didn't know you were so desperate for allies that you'd call on the Slayer and her friends, Ranger."
"They were just passing through." Dawn said between clenched teeth. "Let her go and we can finish this." Calming Willow down was important right now. The last thing anyone needed was a return of evil Willow.
"Really" I thought you knew me better than that." He smirked.
"No!" Dawn shouted but it was too late, with a twist of his gauntlet A'Zores sent a bolt of energy down his stick. Blasting through Kennedy with a loud crack of noise.
Rona and the others made to grab him but with a cruel laugh he just kicked Kennedy's limp body at them, knocking them over. "Let's even the odds!" He called out before trowing a portal to his right. A squad of Demon Warriors appeared brandishing their swords. "Get them!" he ordered.
End Chapter Two