Living in Danger

    Cerina and Kari were on the steps that lead up to the cave. Cerina leaned against the wall. Kari was sitting on a step looking at the ground. Kari: "I just don't think I can." Cerina let her head fall back a little against the wall. Cerina: "Can't you see how he feels about you?" Kari: "No." Cerina: "He became a ranger for you. Just trust me, all you have to do is ask." Kari looked up at her. Kari: "He just seems so silent. He doesn't act like he's interested at all." Cerina: "You're acting like some da*n school girl. Just ask him out. If he's no interested, go on with your life. But I garuntee he is." Kari stood up. Kari: "You know where he's at?" Cerina thought for a second. Cerina: "Oh, Kelly saw him walk out earlier. That's the last I heard." She began to walk up the stairs, leaving Kari thinking about her approach.
    Kitana walked up to the dark place where she had spoke with Ecliptor before. When she got there, she saw him looking at a piece of paper. Like a blue print. He didn't see her. Kitana: "I can't do it." He looked up quickly and hid the paper behind his back. Ecliptor: "Kitana, what are you doing back here?" Kitana: "I can't work for Vulca anymore. She treats me like an idiot." Ecliptor layed the paper on a table beside him. Ecliptor: "She needs you." Kitana turned to look off the side into the sky. Kitana: "Oh really. Cause I could have swore she said she didn't." Ecliptor: "Why leave? Just try to work it out with her." Kitana: "Can't. She blames me because the rangers defeated me." Ecliptor: "She sees you as her warrior, not her friend. So that's the way she treats you." Kitana shook her head. Kitana: "What are you trying to say?" Ecliptor: "Go back and try to become her friend." Kitana turned back to face him. Kitana: "You didn't send me there for that!" Ecliptor: "I know. I asked you to look out for her. And you can't do that if she hates you." Kitana: "She won't talk to me now." Ecliptor: "I know her well. If you open up to her, she will trust you." Kitana laughed. Kitana: "Me? Open up? You know better than that." Ecliptor: "That's the only way." He hesitated to continue, but did. Ecliptor: "And it wouldn't kill you to be a little more open." Kitana: "I'm a warrior. That's it." Ecliptor: "Locking all that pain up inside you will come back to get you one day." Kitana: "Oh please!"
    In the year 3000, Lucas was walking towards Time Force Headquarters. He stopped when he saw Jen running up to him. Jen: "Lucas, I'm glad I caught you." Lucas: "What is it? I have to get to the station." Jen: "I wanted to say I'm sorry... about yesterday. I was just worried about you." Lucas: "I know you think it should be you. But this place can't run without you." Jen: "Go. Good luck." Lucas nodded and walked off.
    It was about 11:00 at night when Rick walked back into the living room. He saw Kari sitting on the couch reading a book. She looked up from the book at him. Kari: "Hey. Where have you been?" Rick: "Out." She was searching for the right words to ask him out, but couldn't do it. Rick: "Is there something else?" Kari: "Oh... uh.. I guess not." Rick: "All right." He walked out into the hall and shut the door. Kari: "Da*n! What was I thinking?"
    At about 12:00, Kari decided to try again. She walked down the hall and up to Rick's room. The door was pushed shut. Inside, she heard him talking. Rick stood at the window with the phone to his ear. Rick: "I don't care what you have to do! I want it done and I want it done right!" There was a pause. Kari waited to go in. Rick: "Do it, or your life won't even be worth living anymore." He slammed the phone down. He turned and saw Kari out of the corner of his eye. Rick: "What's up?" Kari pushed the door open the rest of the way and came in slowly. Kari: "Who was that?" Rick: "Oh, nobody. Don't worry about it." She stood there for a minute, without saying anything. Her hands were shaking. Rick: "Is something wrong? You've been acting weird since I came back." Kari: "I've been meaning to ask you something, but I'm not really sure how to start." Rick: "Don't think so much about it. Just come on and say it." Kari: "I'm attracted to you. I think that's pretty obvious. What I wanted to know was..." Rick: "Do I feel the same way?" Kari breathed a sigh of relief. Kari: "Well yeah." Rick: "Of course I do. I'm just not one to start these things." Kari smiled, aquardily. Kari: "So ya wanna go for a walk or something? I don't know." Rick walked over and put his arm around her. Rick: "Sure."
    Kitana: "Why should I go back? There's no reason why you can't." Ecliptor: "Just please do this. I can't explain right now. This is just something I have to do." Kitana: "Ok. How about I do that and you go deal with Vulca." Ecliptor, annoyed: "Kitana." She wanted to think it over, but Ecliptor wouldn't take his eyes off her. Kitana: "Fine! But you better hurry. I don't know how much more of this I can take." She headed for the side of the mountain. Ecliptor: "I will return as soon as I can. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this." Kitana: "Don't get soft." She walked into the darkness.
    Lucas entered the captain's office and went up in front of his desk. Lucas: "I'm ready, sir." Logan stood up. Logan: "Excellent. I trust you've said good-bye to your team." Lucas: "There's no need. I'll be back." Logan: "I see you don't understand the danger of this mission. Ransik is a powerful...." Lucas: "With all due respect, save the speech. I'm not afraid of him." Logan turned and headed for the window. Logan: "Don't say I didn't warn you." He then pointed to a gold ship sitting in launch position. Logan: "That will be your ship. It is preset to take you to his destination. But you will have to look for him. We can't pinpoint his exact location." Lucas: "I understand."
    Kari looked at Rick as they walked down the street. Kari: "When did you realize you liked me? I'm not trying to push or nothing, I just..." Rick: "Relax. You're so on edge." Kari: "Sorry." Rick: "It was that day I saved you from Cerina." Kari smiled. Kari: "That's what Cerina said. Right from the start." Rick: "Of course. Otherwise I would have let her kill ya." Kari: "Oh that's real nice." Rick: "I saw people getting taken out by the Drika all the time. I never cared till I saw you." He reached down and held her hand. They walked on out of the small town. Rick: "Where are we going?" Kari: "You'll see." Rick: "Know what else?" She waited for him to continue. Rick: "You're absolutely the only person I'd let drag me out to the middle of nowhere for no reason." Kari: "Well that's cool."
    Kitana walked back into the palace and into the throne room. Kitana: "Vulca, we gotta talk." Vulca: "What are you doing here?" Kitana: "Don't make this harder than it has to be. I talked to Ecliptor. He convinced me to come back." Vulca: "What good will that do if we keep bickering?" Kitana: "He had an answer to that too. Not an answer I liked, but..." She trailed off. Vulca: "Well? What is it?" Kitana: "Said you'd like me more if you knew more about me." Vulca looked up at her. Vulca: "Probably so." Kitana: "But I don't go for that. I have had so many masters over the years and I never told any of them one thing about me." Vulca stood and walked over to her. Vulca: "Well why don't I start? Maybe then you'd be more comfortable doing this." Kitana: "Ok. But I ain't promising you nothing." Vulca: "Well, as you know my mom was killed by Psycho Red when I was seven. We also lost mom's general that week." Kitana leaned against the wall and poped her neck. Kitana: "And that bothered you?" Vulca: "Her name was Velossa. I liked her." Kitana: "She bring ya candy all the time or something?" Vulca: "Oh no. It wasn't that she was nice. She reminds me a lot of you, actually. She couldn't stand kids. Loved battle and wanted nothing more than to kill her sister." Kitana nodded in approval. Kitana: "I probably would've liked her."
    Kari had lead Rick over to a lake. Rick: "What are we doing here?" Kari sat down next to the lake. Kari: "I just love the outdoors. Don't you think its romantic out here?" Rick looked down at her seriously. Rick: "I wouldn't know." She grabbed his arm and pulled him down next to her. Rick looked around, unsure what to think. Kari: "I just love how the moon reflects on the water. Its so peaceful here." They heard crickets around them. They sat for a while in silence. Kari was in heaven. Not a worry on her mind. But Rick was unable to rest. He was constantly looking around, in fear of Vulca's attacks. Kari noticed that he seemed uneasy. Kari: "What's wrong?" Rick: "Its nothing. I just have a lot on my mind." Kari: "Its the others, right?" Rick couldn't have cared less about that, but didn't want to tell her what was really bothering him. Rick: "Oh.. uh... yeah. I was just thinking that Cerina is probably at Ransik's throat again." Kari: "Well forget about them. Just block everything out of your mind but this place. Nothing can possibly go wrong here." Rick sighed. In his mind, he knew she was wrong, but let her go on with it anyway.
    A portal opened up in a field on Stregna. Lucas's ship came through it. It made a pretty rough landing, but no major problems. Skaken, Lucas opened the hatch and climbed out. The planet took him totally by surprise. The mulitcolored sky, pink grass, and total lack of people. Lucas: "The Captain can't be serious. I can't find Ransik in this place. Why the he*l would he even come here?" He stopped when he noticed he was talking to himself.
    Vulca sat down on the balcony step. Kitana: "So if she didn't like kids, wouldn't she have avoided you?" Vulca laughed. Vulca: "Oh she tried at first. But I wouldn't let her. Neither would mom. She told me Velossa was the one who named me." Kitana: "That had to be your mom's doing." Vulca: "She was the first one to teach me to fight. After she realized she liked me." Kitana: "Sounds like a good woman." Vulca: "I swear, if I ever see Olympius or Vypra again...." Kitana looked down at her quickly. Kitana: "Hold on, did you say Vypra?" Vulca: "Oh yeah, she's Velossa's twin sister. And the one who killed her on Shadow Island." Kitana: "I know her." Vulca: "How?" Kitana: "One of my old boses, Demosi, hired her as a general before me. Then she fell in love with the Green Ranger, Loki." Vulca: "So you fought her?" Kitana thought for a minute. Kitana: "I think I did once or twice. It was back in 2001. Kinda hard to remember."
    Lucas continued to walk around. After a while and stopped and just stood. Lucas: "I'm going around in circles here!" The only thing he had managed to do was lose the time ship. Lucas: "Hello! Is anybody here?" Vulca stood and looked off the balcony. Vulca: "Hey, who's that?" Kitana looked over the side. Kitana: "Don't know." She slammed her fist down on the rail. Vulca: "We can't risk that he's here to help the rangers. Take the Drika and go take care of him." Kitana walked over to the door, but stopped when she heard Vulca say something else. Vulca: "This was actually fun. We'll have to continue it later." Kitana was stunned. She actually found herself liking Vulca. She knodded to her and left for the field.
    Kari looked at her watch. Kari: "Its almost two. Ya wanna start back?" Rick: "Why? You in a hurry to hear the lovely sound of bickering?" Kari smiled. Kari: "No. I just thought we might need to." Rick: "I guess you're right." The two of them stood and took one last look at the lake. Rick: "Its ashame we have to go back to that place." They began to walk back towards the cave. Kari: "Maybe we can sit them down tomorrow and try to work something out. They both said they didn't want to start a fight in the group, so maybe we can reason with them." Rick: "Worth a shot. But I doubt it'll work. Ransik and Kelly have to much pride. And I've seen that wicked look in Cerina's eye. She's not going to stop unless they can control Nadira better." Kari: "I see what you're saying. They won't even try to get her to grow up cause they don't think there's a problem."
    Kitana appeared beind Lucas. Kitana: "Who are you?" He turned and drew his badge. Kitana: "Time Force? Well whoever or whatever that is, it ain't welcome here. Drika, attack." As they came running, he jumped up kicking two in the heads. Then came back down and slammed one on the ground. One came flying through the air at him, so he ducked making it kick the one that was sneaking up behind him. Kitana: "Oh forget it." She pushed past the Drika and kicked Lucas in the chest. He fell down and held his chest in pain. She grabbed him by his white jacket collar and picked him up. She gave him a fake smile, then punched him in the face as hard as she could. She laughed a blood came pooring out of his mouth. Kitana: "You should have never come here." She leaned down, still holding him, and pulled a knife off her leg. Without another word to him, she drew the knife back and stabbed him in the chest. Then dropped him to the ground. He was out instantly. Kitana signaled for the Drika to follow her as she walked in the direction of the palace. Pleased with her work and allowing the Time Ranger breath his last breath on the cold pink grass.