The Setup

    The next night, Cerina sat in her room. She was reading a book by the lamp. Niki came running in and hopped onto her lap. Niki: "Do you like Lucas?" She put the book down. Cerina: "I don't really know yet. We haven't had much of a chance to talk. But he seems like an ok guy." They heard the water running from the bathroom built onto Cerina's room. Lucas was in the shower. Cerina: "Why do you ask?" Niki: "I like him. And you need a man." Cerina laughed. Cerina: "Oh, I do?" Niki: "Yeah. You haven't seen anyone since Daddy, have you?" Cerina: "No. Your father.... he was perfect. I just couldn't see myself with anyone else for the longest time." Niki stared up at her curiously. Cerina: "You wanna know what happened to him." She nodded. Cerina: "I guess its about time I told you." She paused for a moment. Cerina: "He died when you were just a baby. It was a virus that was going around." Niki: "Couldn't anyone save him?" Cerina: "Oh we tried everyone. But nobody knew a cure for it." Niki began to look sad. Cerina: "I wish you were old enough to remember him. He just adored you. Couldn't wait to see you when he came home a night. You were his angel." Niki hugged her mother and didn't say anything. She was trying to imagine what he must have been like. About 15 minutes later, Lucas came out of the bathroom. He wore black jeans and a white t-shirt. Cerina looked down at her duahter. Cerina: "Hey. Time for bed." Niki: "Do I have to?" Cerina: "Yeah. Lucas and I need some time to be alone." She got up and headed for her room. Then looked back at them. Niki: "Hey, go ahead and kiss her." Lucas smiled. Lucas: "Get your butt in bed."
    Kitana and Vulca stood on the balcony. The cool night are blew through Kitana's hair. They had been watching Cerina for a few minutes. Vulca: "Ever wish you had a kid?" Kitana: "Hell no." Vulca: "Oh, I forgot. That would get in the way of your tough girl act." Kitana: "Who told you it was an act?" Vulca looked at her doubtingly. Vulca: "Come on. Nobody is heartless all the time. Not even you." Kitana: "I told you. I'm a warrior. I don't have any emotions left. And that includes the need for motherhood." Vulca: "I don't know. I think there's still some part of a soul left in you. You're just to lost to see it." Kitana smiled. Kitana: "Have you always been this way?" Vulca: "What way?" Kitana: "You really think there's good in everyone." Vulca: "Its true. Even the people I hate most in the world have wants and needs. I just don't care to hear them." This amused Kitana. Vulca: "I will find something you still care about. I might take a while, I will some day." Kitana sarcasticly: "Ok. Sure you will."
    After Niki had gone to bed, Lucas sat down in a chair across from Cerina. Lucas: "You said yesterday you didn't know anything about me." Cerina looked up at him. Lucas: "Here's your chance. Ask away?" Cerina: "Ok. What's with the uniform?" Lucas: "I'm a Time Force officer." She sat there expecting an explanation. Cerina: "Well what the he*l is that?" Lucas: "Police from the year 3000. Our goal is to capture Ransik. He was the last criminal in our time." Cerina: "Really." Lucas: "Yeah. We have him captured in our time, but something messed with the timeline. Allowing a past Ransik to get stuck here. And for our victory to have ever really happened, I have to capture Ransik, Nadira, and Kelly." Cerina: "Seems we both have the same goal. To get that family out of here as quick as possible." Lucas didn't respond. Cerina: "What is it?" Lucas: "The thing is, if I capture them now, our relationship will be cut short. Captain Logan will only allow me to stay long enough to arrest them." Cerina: "So tell logan off and stay on Stregna." Lucas: "I can't. That's another thing you don't know about me. This job is my life. I have never let anything get in the way of my duties." Cerina: "So what are you going to do?" Lucas: "I guess just put off doing it right away. See where this thing goes." Cerina looked over at the door to Niki's room. Cerina: "It would be great if it worked out. Niki really seems to like you." Lucas: "She's a nice kid."
    Rick came out of his room in his usual leather jacket. He walked toward the door but stopped when he saw Kari. For a moment they just stood there staring at each other. Rick: "How long can you keep this up?" She turned and walked away from him without a word. He sighed and walked to the phone. He punched in a number. Rick: "I'll be there in ten. Make sure you're alone." He hung it up and walked out the door.
    Cerina looked at Lucas and smiled. He saw a look of evil in her eyes. Lucas: "What's with you?" Cerina: "I think I may have found the solution to our nagging problem." Lucas: "What are you talking about?" Cerina: "I have wondered how to get Nadira out of this house since the beginning. Now I have my answer." She got up and pushed on the door to make sure it was closed. Then continued. Cerina: "All I have to do is get her far enough away from the cave that her parents can't help her. And that's where you come in. Wait there and when she's alone, arrest her." Lucas: "What if Ransik finds out you set this up?" She walked over and pulled him out of the chair by his collar. Cerina: "That's just it! He won't find out!" Lucas didn't say anything. Cerina: "I get a bi*ch free environment and you get one out of three of them. That should tide Logan over for a while." Lucas: "What about her parents?" The evil smile returned to her face. Cerina: "As soon as Vulca is defeated, I will personally turn over Ransik and Kelly." He thought for a moment. Unsure if he could trust her. But the more he thought, the better it sounded. Cerina: "You in?" Lucas took a deep breath. Lucas: "Fine."
    Vulca looked down from the balcony and saw Rick walking up the street. Vulca: "What's he doing there?" Kitana looked down too. Kitana: "Who the he*l knows?" Vulca: "I want him stopped." Kitana: "Why?" Vulca: "Just do it. I'll explain later." Kitana shrugged. Kitana: "Anything for a fight." She grabbed her sword and ran out the door.
    Rick saw a man standing by a dumpster. The man wore torn clothing and his eyes were blood-shot. Man: "Got it?" Rick: "Yeah. Where's the cash." The man looked at him, hoping for a bit of sympathy. Rick: "If you can't pay, you ain't gonna get nothing from me." Man: "All right. I've got the money. But its the last I could get." Rick: "Better come up with more... before its to late" Kitana almost jumped them, but decided to hear them out first. She hid on the side of the building. Man: "This was going to be my car payment." Rick: "To bad." He took them money from the guy's hand. Then reached into his jacket and pulled out a small bottle. Kitana jumped out and kicked his arm. The bottle went flying into the air. She reached up and caught it. Kitana: "I'm afraid I'll be taking this." Man: "No! You don't understand!" Kitana: "Be quiet." The man made a sorry attempt to grab it from her. But she turned quickly and stabbed him in the stomach. When she pulled the sword back out, he fell to the ground. Then Kitana turned her attention back to Rick. Kitana: "What the he*l is the stuff?" Rick: "Didn't your boss tell you?" Kitana: "Nope. But its got her real worked up." Rick: "I'm not going to let you have it." Kitana rolled her eyes. Kitana: "So just morph and try to stop me already. So we both can get on with our night." He gave her an angry look. Then morphed. Rick: "Psycho Blast!"
    Lucas: "How do you expect to get Nadira to leave with you? She's not exactly your biggest fan." Cerina: "Watch and learn." She walked into Niki's room and kneeled down by her bed. She gently woke her. Cerina: "Hey." Niki sat up in bed. Cerina: "Mommy needs your help." Niki: "With what?" Cerina cleared her throat. Cerina: "Its Nadira. She's been complaining all day about how she never gets to do anything with you. So I thought, why not go play in the woods for a while." Niki jumped out of bed and headed for Nadira's room. But stopped. Niki: "Its dark. Shouldn't you be mad?" Cerina: "Nonsense. Nadira is a grow woman... weather she acts like it or not. She is..." She paused, barly able to finish. Cerina: "She is perfectly capable of taking care of you." The girl ran out the door. Lucas just stood there giving Cerina a disappointed look. She looked up at him and laughed. Cerina: "What is it now?" Lucas: "You used your daughter to get rid of your enemy." Cerina stood up. Cerina: "Its for the best. Nadira is a horrible influence." Lucas: "I know that. But..." Cerina: "Da*nit, Niki is the only one of us Nadira trusts. If you have a better idea, I'd love to hear it." He didn't say a word. Cerina: "That's what I thought."
    Rick didn't even have time to move before Kitana kicked him in the chest. He went stumbling back into the dumpster. She ran up to him and pushed him against it. He strugled to get free, but couldn't. She punched him in the face twice as hard as she could. Then threw him down. Kitana: "Come on. Try to take it." It only angered him more that Kitana was enjoying this. He stood and made a run at her. She threw the bottle into the air, kicked him in the face, and caught it. Suddenly, she saw a blue blast come down from the distant palace. She knew what the ment. Kitana looked over at Rick with a sad look on her face. Kitana: "I really wish I could stay and play with you, Black Ranger. But I'm afraid I have to go. Maybe another time." She turned and jumped onto the dumpster, then the rooftop. And vanished in the darkness. Rick stood and kicked the wall with all his strength. Rick: "I can't believe I let her have it!"
    Nadira and Niki were walking in the woods. Nadira looked around happily. Nadira: "I'm glad Kari talked your mom out of fighting my dad. Now we can get away with doing stuff like this." Cerina and Lucas hid in the trees watching them. They wore total black. Cerina: "She is such a fool." Niki: "Hard to believe it was her idea, huh?" Nadira: "Oh I know, it totally took me by surprise." They came to a small clearing. Nadira sat down on the log. Nadira: "Ya know, I've been thinking about how lucky I am to have this chance." Niki: "What chance?" Nadira: "It stay young for as long as possible. And that I didn't end up like my cousin Andromeda. She had no childhood at all. Her dad wanted her to be the queen of some Vola thingy." Niki: "Your cousin was a queen? Lucky her." Nadira: "That's what I thought at first. Until she explained everything she had to go through for it. Truth is, she never really wanted it. Just did it because that's what she thought she had to do." Cerina rolled her eyes. Cerina: "Just arrest her now. I'm tired of hearing about her family history." Lucas: "When the time is right."
    Ransik and Kelly sat together in the living room. Ransik had an angry expression. Kelly: "What's your problem?" Ransik: "Cerina thinks I'm falling for this. She really thinks I'm that stupid." Kelly: "Oh my God! You're still upset about that?" Ransik: "You're not?" Kelly flicked the ashes off the end of her cigerett. Kelly: "It seems like she's making an effort to be nice. Just give her a chance." Ransik: "I don't buy into this for a second." Kelly: "One thing does bother me. Why would she just wake Nadira up in the middle of the night? Seems like she'd at least wait 'till morning." Ransik: "See. I'm not wrong." Kelly glanced back the hall. Kelly: "Where is Cerina, anyway?" Ransik: "Probably still in her room with that guy she brought in. She's been there all night." Kelly smiled. Kelly: "Maybe she likes him." Ransik: "Who cares?" Kelly: "That way she'd lighten up a little."
    Nadira stood up and turned around. She gasped in shock when she saw Lucas standing there. He held his badge out. Lucas: "Nadira, you're under arrest." Nadira: "How did you get here?" He walked over to her and grabbed her arms. She fought to get away, but he wouldn't let go. Lucas: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will...." Nadira: "Blah, blah, blah!" He cuffed her hands behind her back. Cerina watched from the trees. Niki: "What are you doing? Let her go!" Lucas: "She is a criminal and must be brought to justice." He looked down at the child and saw the pain in her eyes. Lucas: "Go back to the cave. Now!" He couldn't bare to watch that anymore. She turned and ran back. Lucas could hear her start to cry, but ingored his emotions. After Niki was far enough away, Cerina came walking out of the trees. Nadira gave her a dirty look. Lucas pushed her back against a tree and came to stand next to Cerina. Cerina: "Sorry to rain on your prade, sweetie, but your days as daddy's little girl are over." Nadira: "You bi*ch! I never should have trusted you!" Cerina laughed. Cerina: "Da*n right." She turned to face Lucas. Cerina: "Take her away." He nodded without a word. Then grabbed her and made his way towards into the woods.
    Cerina ran back to the cave quickly and into her room before anyone noticed. Just as she sat down in the chair, Niki came running in. She ran into her mother's arms, crying. Cerina forced herself to hold a straight face. Cerina: "What's wrong?" Niki: "Your stupid boyfriend took Nadira away." Cerina: "I know she was your friend, but Nadira did a lot of evil things before. Lucas was only doing his job." Niki: "I don't care! I thought he liked me!" Cerina: "Oh, he does. This doesn't have anything to do with you. His boss told him to take in Ransik's entire family. If he didn't, he would have lost his job." Niki: "Will she come back?" Cerina: "I'm afraid not. She had enough charges against her to be put away for life. As do her parents." Niki ran into her room and slammed the door." Just as Cerina began to relax, Ransik came into her room. Cerina: "I have got to learn to lock that door. What is it?" Ransik: "I heard Niki. So where's Nadira?" Cerina: "I don't know how to tell you this." He looked at her, concerned. Cerina: "The Time Force got her." Ransik turned and slammed his fist down on the table. A piece of the table fell to the floor. Ransik: "NO!" Cerina: "I'm sorry." Ransik: "Don't act like you care! You wanted her out of here! Now you got your wish!" She stood and walked over to him. She put her hand on his shoulder. Cerina: "Really. Its no secret I didn't care for her much. But I never wanted this." Ransik: "Do you know where they went?" Cerina: "No. Niki just told me they got her." Ransik sighed. Ransik: "How am I going to live without her? She was my whole world." Cerina: "I know. I've lost somebody too. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but it doesn't. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Jim and the time we spent together." Ransik: "There's no way I can rescue her now. They're probably already back in the future by now." Cerina: "They wouldn't waste any time." Ransik started for the door. Cerina: "Where are you going?" Ransik: "I need to be alone."
    Lucas stood in the mountains now. Nadira was on the ground next to him. He pushed a button on his morpher. Lucas: "Captain, Nadira's in custody." Logan: "Exellant. Send her back now. Well will assemble the high council tomorrow to decide her sentence." Lucas: "Yes sir." Logan pushed a button and a portal opened in front of them. Lucas picked up Nadira. Lucas: "Take a good look around. This is probably the last time you'll see the outside world." Nadira: "My daddy will get you for this." He shook his head doubtfully and threw her into the portal. It closed behind her. Logan: "I want Ransik and Kelly soon." Lucas: "They will be more difficult to defeat. But it will be done. Lucas out."
    Kari came into Cerina's room after Ransik left. Cerina: "Da*n, why doesn't everyone come bother me tonight?" Kari: "What the he*l was that? You've taken a total 180 with Ransik." Cerina: "Your speech the other day inspired me." Kari: "I don't get it." Cerina: "He just lost his daughter. He'll probably never see her again. You can't expect me to rub that in his face." Kari: "I guess you're right. I just thought...." Cerina: "I know. It would have been the perfect oppertunity. But then our team would be hopeless."
    Kitana came walking into the throne room holding the bottle. She threw it to Vulca. Kitana: "What's that?" Vulca caught it. Vulca: "The end of this empire as we know it." Kitana: "Ok. Explain." Vulca looked down at the little bottle. Vulca: "Its a drug called Dexicon. I outlawed it years ago, after I saw what it effects were. But its still avaible on the street. Thanks to people like the Black Ranger." Kitana: "So what's it do?" Vulca: "It was created to make people into super soldiers. Cyann was having it developed before she died. I continued the work. But what we didn't know was, it also makes them uncontrollable. With that kind of strength and no use of cohearent thought, they could overthrough us like that." Kitana: "So these people just get addicted to it?" Vulca: "Yeah. Once they feel that power, they can't live without it. Their bodies get so used to it, if the boost is taken away for a long period of time, they die. That's how Rick and the others like him make their money." Kitana: "How many are addicted to it?" Vulca began to walk back and forth. Vulca: "We don't know. But I know its a lot." Kitana: "We have to get that supply under wraps quickly." Vulca: "Right. But there's no way to know who all has access to it." Kitana: "The best way to start is to kill Psycho Black." Vulca: "My thoughts exactly." She handed the bottle back to Kitana. Vulca: "Take this to Boron. Have him destroy it." She nodded.
    Lucas came back in after everyone was asleep. He walked quietly into Cerina's room. She sat up in bed and turned on the light. Lucas: "She's gone." Cerina breathed a sigh of relief. Lucas: "Does anyone know?" Cerina: "Nope. We pulled it off." He came and sat down beside her on the bed. Cerina: "We make a good team, ya know." Lucas: "Yeah. But what about Niki?" Cerina: "What about her?" Lucas: "She probably hates me after tonight. I took away her best friend." Cerina: "Sure she's mad now. But she'll get over it." Lucas: "Maybe, maybe not." Cerina: "She's a kid. They forget this kinda stuff after a few days." Lucas: "Little things, yes. But I think this might be worse." Cerina: "If you're that worried about it, talk to her in the morning. You just have to explain that it was your job." Lucas: "She'll really except that?" She hesitated. Cerina: "...well no. She didn't except it from me, but..." Lucas: "See what I mean." Cerina: "It was right in the heat of the moment. Once she cools off a little, everything will be fine." Lucas: "All right." He started to stand, but Cerina grabbed his arm. Cerina: "You should probably stay here tonight. The guest room doesn't have a lock. And after what we did, you don't want Ransik or Kelly to know you're here." He layed back down and flipped the light off. He thought about his relationship with the child for the longest time. It didn't make any sense to him. She was just his girlfriend's daughter, but for some reason he wanted her to like him. He tried his best to convince himself he wasn't going soft, but inside he knew he was. Just as he had with Holly (The girl from "Bodyguard in Blue") years before.