Secrets and Lies Part I:- Cassie Chapter 2
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Secrets and Lies Part I:- Cassie
Faith woke up, bleary eyed and far to early for her liking. In the half light from the closed curtains she reached out for her jacket and eventually found the current bane of her existence. After fumbling with her phone for a couple of minutes Faith grumbled, put it down and looked at her wrist. The small watch kept beeping that annoying tune at her.
Despite her better judgement Faith didn't just rip it off her arm and throw the damn thing out of the window. Instead she pressed pressed the button. "Is the world ending?" she asked, not letting whoever it was calling her to get a word in.
"Morning to you to Faith." Dawn said, laughing on the other end of the watch radio. It was far too early for laughing and Faith said as much. "It's not that bad, anyway I need to talk about this afternoon."
"Why, what's happening this afternoon?"
"Cassie needs a brake and I think we should do a whole team building thing before things get out of hand."
Faith sat up, rubbing the sand from her eyes. "So, you're thinking we find a party?"
"No, no. Just an afternoon out somewhere. Shopping, coffee and getting to know each other."
"Sounds like a good idea." Faith shrugged, it wasn't as if she had any better ones. Being funded by the council had some upsides, but it was boring as hell.
The Slayer spent the rest of the morning doing little things, but the most important thing was calling Buffy. "Hey B." Faith said as soon as the blonde answered.
"Faith, found anything more out about those comic book rejects?"
Faith was glad Buffy couldn't see her face or the thunder cloud she was directing at the tiny woman on the other end of the phone. "No, but I still don't think they're up against demons." she lied.
"You sure? They're setting all sorts of alarms of to me."
"Well sure they look demonic, but I'm closer to them and they aren't setting off any alarms off on my slay-dar." That might work, she had better Slayer senses than Buffy and they both knew it.
"Alright, but I still don't like it. What do you think they are?"
"Mutants, aliens, I don't know. Whatever they are that Green Ranger and her gang are kicking their butt."
She could hear the gears turning in Buffy's mind. "Right then, how many Slayers do you need?"
"B?" Faith felt something cold in her gut
"Slayers, I can have a dozen there in a couple of days. Twenty more in a week. That would show those spandex clad glory hounds how to deal with an apocalypse."
Dawn was right, Buffy was so far up her own butt she couldn't see the Rangers were doing a good enough job. "It isn't our job B. We deal with Vamps and demons, this is way out of our league."
"There's not much thirty Slayers can't handle." B pointed out.
"That's every Slayer in the US." Faith reminded her. "What if something big happens in Cleveland while we're busy? We can do our job and let the Rangers do there's"
"Saving the world is our job." Buffy growled.
"You weren't there when the big dude tore up downtown."
"No, but I saw the news."
"Right, so unless you've got a giant robot dragon parked somewhere and didn't tell me how would you deal with him?" Faith didn't want to shame Buffy, just get her to see reason. "Look I'll be staying in town for a while. If something happens I'll give you a shout. Deal?"
"Alright." Buffy agreed reluctantly. "See what you can do about making friends with the Rangers. They might need us later."
Buffy might have been peeved but she wasn't going to do something stupid. Yet. "So what's Dawn doing about them?" she asked after a moment.
"Still got her head down, buried up to her ears in books. You know your little sister."
"Yeah," Buffy didn't sound convinced. "What's his name?"
That came out of nowhere "Huh?"
Buffy chuckled, "Come on, Dawn's got a boyfriend and she doesn't want me coming down there and killing them."
Faith almost burst out laughing. "No, no boyfriend."
"B!" Faith was almost shocked. "Look I was worried too but it's nothing like that. The brat signed up mid term, whatever that means, she's got twice the work or something like that."
"So she's trying to catch up?" Buffy sounded a lot less sure about herself. Faith nodded, between them she and Dawn had hammered out the story. While they hadn't expected Buffy to jump to the boyfriend idea that quickly pretending Dawn was too busy working should throw her off. "Keep an eye on her, alright?"
"Why? she's bigger than you now and knows what she's doing."
Buffy laughed on the other end. "Trust me, if there's trouble going down sooner or later she'll get mixed up in it."
"So I'm a baby-sitter, thanks."
"Don't mention it." Buffy laughed cruelly.
Dydtrax found him stomping down one of the galleries, he wasn't happy about his confinement one bit. That was going to make this easier. "Oh Rockthorn, there you are!"
"Rock." He growled pawing at the side of the tunnel before sullenly adding "Thorn."
"I know, my dear, dear brother doesn't understand, does he?" He might not have the brains in that misshaped lump of granite he called a head to understand sarcasm, but that wasn't going to stop her. "He thinks that just because a few humans beat him they're worth all this fuss."
"Rockthorn." He barked in agreement.
"Now I've gathered enough strength to crush three hundred humans. How about you?"
He slouched up to her, stretching "Rock torn."
Tretrax was powerful and a much better swordsman than Rockthorn. On the other hand the living pile of granite was practically invulnerable and even stronger. Best of all he didn't have any ambitions or desires, other than hearing bones shatter. The perfect little minion. Grinning Dydtrax walked around him. "You know what, you could take them all out. Poor witches wouldn't last a minute would they. Even if they did we both know how to deal with big problems. We get bigger."
"Rockthorn." He crowed, understanding her.
"Who needs to wait for my brother, you could go up there right now couldn't you?"
Rockthorn looked at her, tilting his head. After a long moment he finally understood what she was getting at. Giving her his best approximation of a smile he stomped out of the tunnel. Looking for the surface.
Dydtrax chuckled to herself. If they were as powerful as Tretrax claimed it should be interesting.
Faith met Dawn and Cassie at the bus stop. The Slayer didn't know what to make of the Blue Ranger. Something must have made the power coin chose her but she had no idea what that could have been. Other than being Dawn's roommate there wasn't anything out of the ordinary about the student.
Faith hadn't had much of a chance to see her fight. She survived the big brawl at the quarry, but a lot of that could have been the Ranger Powers taking over. Sooner or later she'd have to see just what the girl could do. "So Buffy call you to?" Dawn asked as they headed towards the shops.
"Yep, told her you were busy working and had nothing to do with the Rangers."
Dawn laughed, "I got that. Did you tell her I was dating someone?"
Faith shook her head. "Nope, let me guess she tried to bluff that I'd told you about this fantasy boyfriend."
"I don't think she believed me when I told her I wasn't seeing anyone either." Dawn admitted.
Cassie looked between them. "Why not tell her the truth, I mean about our past time?" She looked around, there was no one in earshot but she whispered anyway. "If she's a Slayer maybe she could help."
"Uh uh." Faith waved a finger. "I only just stopped her from sending every Slayer this side of London..."
"That's an image" Dawn interrupted.
"Anyway, if she had some idea of how involved we are she'd be here faster than you can snap your fingers."
"So?" Cassie asked, still whispering. "I mean we could use the fire power."
Dawn pulled a face. "I know, and if I thought it was a good idea I'd have called her already. Thing is a Slayer isn't good enough. Sorry Faith."
"Hey, no offence taken. That time I went toe to toe with the big T he would have killed me if you hadn't pulled out your morpher."
"Buffy wouldn't get that, she'd either try again later or try and take my morpher."
Cassie looked shocked. "You said it wouldn't work for anyone else."
"B wouldn't listen." Faith pointed out. "Once she's got an idea in her head it takes a while to pound it out of her."
"So it's either let her get herself killed, one way or another, or just keep her in the dark." Dawn shrugged. "If something goes wrong I'll call her, or Faith will. Until then we do the best we can. Come on, this is supposed to be fun."
The three Rangers spent the next hour or so browsing shops. Faith never was the sort of girl that cared for fancy shoes or ballroom gowns. Give her a couple of boots, a t-shirt and some jeans and she was fine. A leather jacket was the only thing she'd gush over. Still it was a good afternoon.
Cassie found a blue jacket she liked and some boots that were better for fighting than her trainers. Dawn found a couple of dark green blouses and a T shirt, also green. Between them they didn't have a lot of money but it was enough to stop off for a coffee.
It was the same shop Faith and Dawn had found when Tretrax was running them ragged. The coffee wasn't bad and it was close. "Anyone else find it odd we're wearing our colours?" Cassie asked sitting down. She had finally figured out that as long as she didn't shout out their identities most people wouldn't try to listen in. Those that did wouldn't understand.
"What do you mean?"
"You got green, I got blue. You know, just odd. I didn't think of it until just now." Cassie shrugged.
"Well I like green." Dawn said a little sheepishly and Faith hid a smile.
After a deep breath Cassie gave Dawn a piercing look. "You didn't tell her, why we're really doing this, did you." Faith sat up and looked at the two of them, she knew they were talking about her. Dawn shook her head and Cassie explained. "It's the anniversary of my mom's death. Well foster mom, but it's the same thing really."
Faith suppressed a whistle. "I'm sorry." She never got along well with her own mother and her father died when she was very young. Still she knew it could be a blow.
"It's okay, besides team building can be cool. It's just..." she trailed off, taking a sip of coffee it looked like she was thinking of how to say something "There are some things, some big things, I can't tell you. It's not that I don't want to, I just can't."
"What sworn to secrecy by someone?" Faith asked jokingly
"Yeah, kinda." She winced back. "Don't ask, because as much as I want to I can't tell you."
"It's cool." Dawn jumped in to the rescue. "We've all got secrets. There are things you two don't know about me and I ain't going to tell you."
"So have I." Faith added. "Dawn knows most of them, but there's still some she isn't ready for."
"So it's agreed, doesn't matter what secrets there are. If we don't need to know them we can forget them."
Cassie sighed, as if a great weight had been taken from her shoulders. "Thanks, both of you."
"What are friends..." as one their watches bleeped. Faith brought her's up while the other two covered up.
"Alpha, what's wrong?" She asked in a low whisper.
"Ay Ay Ay Rangers!" The robot said from the Command Centre. "There's some kind of rock monster smashing it's way through Amethyst City."
"Perfect timing." Dawn hissed before standing up. "Let's go."
"Rangers, be careful!" the robot warned as they left.
Cassie put all thoughts of her mother, her past and her powers out of her mind and focused on morphing. Finding a back alleyway the three of them stashed their bags and pulled out their Morphers
In a flash the three of them were in costume and ready for battle. All too quickly the three of them ran around the corner and came face to face with what Cassie could best describe as a living statue.
They weren't alone, a small crowd had gathered to watch them fight the monster and it was just getting bigger "Stay back." Cassie shouted to them. "We don't want anyone to get hurt." All that did was win them a round of cheers. Cassie wasn't comfortable with the crowd, but as long as they did as she asked she could live with it.
"Oh great, rock boy." Faith sighed as she got a good look at the monster. "I've got this one guys."
"Rock Thorn" the giant rumbled and charged. He was eight foot tall six foot wide and about four deep. Solidly built didn't begin to cover it. Faith might have super-strength, made all the stronger by the Ranger Powers, but that wasn't enough.
Even after her best haymaker connected solidly the giant staggered on. Shaking off the blow he back handed the Black Ranger, sending her flying in a cloud of sparks. Drawing her blaster Cassie let lose a volley of sapphire laser bursts as she ran to Faith's side.
The shots just bounced off, leaving little black scorch marks on his stone hide. "That was dumb." Faith groaned, picking herself up as Rockthorn came closer. Cassie's blasts not even slowing it down. Then Cassie saw that Dawn was using her distraction to get behind the monster.
Faith, seeing this at the same time, pulled her own blaster, rolled to one side and began firing from another angle. Cassie knew what she was trying to do, keep the giant distracted as best she could and give Dawn the best chance to get in close with her Flute.
That was just what happened, to the crowd's cheering Dawn made another one of her mad dashes and struck at his back. She might have left an arc of sparks but nothing else. Rockthorn spun on the spot, but he wasn't fast enough and Dawn jumped clean over him, lashing out again. Again another trail of sparks, but no damage.
This time he swung with both arms, still missing her but only just. Dawn tried a kick to his gut, literally just bouncing off. "Rockthorn!" the demon bellowed and pulverised the pavement where Dawn had been a fraction of a second earlier.
Rolling out of the way the green and gold Ranger got between Faith and Cassie, all three out of Rockthorn's reach. Roaring he pounded the ground a bit more and looked at them, obviously confused as to who to attack first. The crowd's yelling wasn't helping.
"You know," Faith called out to her fellow Rangers over the soundless cheers. "Now would be a really good time to pull out our special weapons, I'm sure I'm supposed to have an axe."
"That might be useful." Dawn agreed side stepping around the confused demon. "That or a sledge hammer."
"I'll ask for one this Christmas." Cassie joined in the banter while making the space between her and Faith wider. Until they had a better plan they had to keep him off balance. Splitting up seemed to be working so far, he was so busy trying to keep track of the three of them he wasn't attacking.
That was the only good news. Their best weapon didn't do anything, but get his attention and they all knew they'd have to pull something spectacular out of thin air before he got tired of playing.
Dawn didn't like this one bit, they were seriously out classed. Whatever they threw at rock boy, as Faith had christened him, was useless. Now they were just buying time.
"Seriously an axe would be a good idea." she called out to the Black Ranger.
"I know, how do I get it?"
"You serious?" Dawn blurted out.
"Any ideas Ca... Blue?" At the last moment she remembered that their identities were supposed to be secret.
Cassie shook her head. "I think I'm supposed to have a staff or something, I don't know how to get it though!" she called back.
It was then Dr Oliver radioed them. "As far as we can tell the Black and Blue coins aren't at full power, that might be interfering with your Power Weapons. We'll see what we can do on this end."
Dawn bit back a comment and watched Faith and Cassie back off. She couldn't blame them, right now she was the only Ranger at full power. Rock boy saw the other two hesitate and laughed a short, brutal, chuckle as he turned on her.
Just like Tretrax Dawn had speed and agility over the big guy, it was just his rock hard skin that got in the way. She needed to find a chink in his armour and before he hit her into next week.
Blinking Dawn had another one of her really bad ideas. She ignored Faith and Cassie's shouts and walked up to the Rock demon. "Hey pebble brain, over here!"
He spun and growled.
"Didn't like that did you, come on. Your best shot!" Dawn goaded him. If she wasn't fast enough this wasn't going to work.
He swung at her but Dawn skipped out of the way. He swung again but this time Dawn ducked and struck. She didn't aim for his chest, but his arm pit. The small gap between the stone limbs and torso.
Rock boy felt that, it was probably the first time he'd ever felt pain and he didn't like it. Roaring in shock and agony he almost folded up around his wounded arm but to Dawn that just meant she had a different target. The back of his knees.
This time she took the leg out from under him. He lost his balance and landed so hard Dawn was knocked off her feet.
Injured, confused and on his back the demon roared again "Rockthorn!"
Faith, her blaster in dagger mode gave Dawn a hand up. "Wasn't that kind of a low blow?" she asked
"Hey if it works don't knock it." Dawn shrugged and looked down at him. For a moment she felt pity for the massive demon. He was just so stupid and in so much pain it was impossible not do.
"What we going to do with him?" Cassie asked.
"I haven't a clue." Dawn admitted. "We can't just kill him like this."
Faith looked at the two of them, "Hey, I know what your saying, I feel it too but there ain't a prison that can hold this guy and as soon as he's healed he'll be coming back."
She was right and Dawn knew it. Still she couldn't bring herself to kill him in cold blood. So in a way it was fortunate when the three Rangers were blown of their feet.
"Up there." Cassie pointed to a roof top. Another demon stood there, they were a lot thinner than the Rock Demon or Tretrax, but that wasn't saying much. "Rockthorn!" They shouted down and Dawn realised that it was a woman, well demoness. "The power of Darkness, infuse you." She shouted.
"And I was hoping only Tretrax could do that." Dawn hissed from between her teeth as Rockthorn grew. He was about twenty stories tall now and looked really angry.
Standing up the three Rangers looked at the massive stone demon. "Without the sabre-tooth Tiger we can't combine the Zords." Faith pointed out.
"Then we'll have to do this separately. I summon the Dragonzord" Dawn drew the Dragon Flute and played the tune. From over the hill the powerful Zord roared in response, charging towards the city.
"We need Dio-zord power now!" Faith and Cassie called their own giant robots into battle.
End Chapter Two.