Kari's Secret

    That night, Vulca sat alone in her room. She looked out the window. Vulca: "Somehow I thought I could love you forever, Scorn. Like nothing bad could ever happen to us. I thought we were set for life." She looked over at the side of the bed where he usually slept. Then sighed. Vulca: "I can't believe you're really gone." She laid down and stared at the ceiling for a minute. Afterwhich, Kitana opened the door. Kitana: "I thought I heard voices." Vulca: "You did. I was just talking to myself. How sad is that. My life is so messed up, I'm talking myself." She came in and closed the door. Kitana: "He was just one guy. You'll find another one and maybe he'll be right." Vulca: "Find another. How many men do you think will put up with me? Scorn was one in a million. He accepted the fact that I had a planet to rule and he even helped me. Most men would want me to spend all my time catering to them and I can't do that." Kitana: "Like you said, Scorn was perfect. And you just can't get perfect. You have to find a guy who can deal with not being the center of your universe. He may not help you, but hey. You don't need him to." Vulca: "I got so used to that. He was like a fantasy. And now I'm not sure if I can really face reality again." Kitana: "It was only a couple weeks. Just try to forget him." Vulca: "You don't understand. You've never been in love." Kitana: "I know that. But I've seen people who have been. Its not everything. I've noticed its hard, but people can overcome it." Vulca: "Some people." Kitana: "You can too if you get off your a*s and stop feeling sorry for yourself." Vulca: "Loosing one man is fine, but look at this. Every man that's ever been in my life left. Any boyfriend I ever had, Dad, now Scorn. Its too much when I come to depend on them and then suddenly, they're gone." Kitana knocked her hand against the wall in frustration. Kitana: "You should have known better than to depend on him that way. The only person in this world worth depending on is yourself. Anybody else can leave you, turn on you, or anything else." Vulca: "You're right. But I'm not as strong as you. Somehow you can go through life without any companionship and be perfectly happy. I don't know how to do that. I need someone there when I come home. Someone to talk to. I want to know when I'm out there on the battle field that there's someone waiting at home who really loves me. If not, then what is all this for? Why bother?" Kitana couldn't answer. She just stood there, speechless. She had never thought so deeply on a subject she cared nothing about.
    Niki came walking into a bedroom where she found Cerina. Cerina: "So what did your new friend have to say?" Niki: "She used to be evil like us." Cerina: "I was evil. You were forced to live that life because of me. Don't ever consider yourself that." Niki: "Whatever." She sat down on the bed and looked around. Niki: "Who's room is this?" Cerina: "Ours now. But whoever was here before was pretty messed up." She picked up a picture and handed it to Niki. Cerina: "Look at this." She made a disgusted face. Cerina: "That's what I thought. I mean, what the he*l is that thing?" Niki opened the frame and took out the picture. She read the writing on the back. Niki: "Daddy and me - 1999" Cerina looked at the picture again. Cerina: "So the women in that bug armor used to stay in here." Niki: "And that thing's here dad?" Cerina: "I guess." Niki laid back on the bed. Niki: "I like her." Cerina: "Karone?" Niki: "Yeah. She's really nice." Cerina: "Makes you wonder what she's doing with Ransik." Niki: "I told her not to trust him." Cerina: "That was good. But I doubt she'll listen." Niki: "She's going to tell me more about her later. She's had a really weird life." Cerina: "Don't go getting any ideas from her, all right." Niki: "She's not bad. She wanted to be a ranger when she was little too." Cerina: "I'll bet her parents didn't let her go into battle at six years old." Niki: "I didn't ask her that. But I will."
    Ransik and Kelly were in Zedd's old room. Kelly: "So what does that lady want with you?" Ransik: "I offered to help her steel this crystal. We were supposed to do it tonight, but this came up." Kelly: "Steeling the crystal, I understand. But saving her world? Why are we doing this? Can you tell me that?" Ransik: "We talked for a long time in the bar. We have a lot in common." Kelly: "And that's reason to risk getting killed?" Ransik: "She could be a friend to us, Kelly. You know we don't have that many." She looked at the door. Kelly: "I guess so. Just look at this ship. There's not one person here other than you that I can honestly say I like." Ransik: "Maybe Karone will be different." Kelly: "Did you see how she acted with Cerina's brat? If they end up friends, then she's not worth our time." Ransik: "I think she just likes kids. She acts like one herself sometimes." Kelly: "Well she should stay away from her and her crazy mother." Ransik: "We can't tell her what to do. We have to let her see them for what they really are." Kelly: "And when will that be? Before or after she punches her?" Ransik: "I know she's a loose cannon! But what am I going to say? Excuse me, you're an adult, but I forbid you from speaking to her?" She sighed. Kelly: "God Ransik, do you have to be such a prick? I was just trying to help your friend." Ransik: "I'm sorry. We were getting along so well before. Lets not ruin that." Kelly: "You're right. Cerina's not worth us fighting about."
    Kari knocked on Cerina's door, interrupting them. Cerina: "Come in." She walked in slowly. The door slammed behind her automatically. Kari: "You got a minute." Cerina: "Sure." She sat down on the bed and rested her head in her hands. Cerina: "What happened? Are you and Rick fighting again?" Kari: "No." She paused. Kari: "But we might be soon." Cerina: "Oh no. What happened?" Kari: "Can you keep a secret?" Cerina: "Yeah. You kept mine about Lucas." Kari: "Well I'm not sure about it yet, but its possible." Cerina: "What is it?" Kari: "I... I might be pregnant." Cerina and Niki both looked stunned. Cerina: "How? You and Rick haven't.... ya know." She shook her head. Kari: "No, we never did." She took another long pause. It was hard for her to get the words out. Ceirna: "But..." Kari: "But me and Scorn did." Cerina: "Oh my God." Niki: "You and Scorn did what?" Cerina panicked. Cerina: "Uh... can you go find Karone? We need some time to talk." Niki: "Oh. Adult stuff." Cerina: "Yeah. Thanks." Seeing that she was upset, Niki hugged Kari. Then left the room. Cerina after she knew Niki was far enough down the hall: "You slept with Scorn?" Kari: "Yes. On one of our dates. I didn't tell you all I was leaving and snuck back in the next morning." Cerina: "Oh my God!" Kari: "Is that all you're going to say?" Cerina: "I'm sorry. Its just a shock." Kari: "How do you think I feel? I could be carrying his demon kid inside me!" Cerina: "Why do you think its possible?" Kari: "I kinda missed this month." Cerina: "That could be a number of things. Not necessarily that." Kari: "But its a possibility." She rubbed her face and groaned. Kari: "I can't believe I did that! Somebody please tell me this is a bad dream and wake me up!" Cerina: "Lets not get too carried away. We don't know anything for sure. Just try to relax." Kari: "Relax! I could be giving birth to this planet's next psychotic ruler!" Cerina: "If you are pregnant, it'll be your child. Not Scorn's. He's dead. You can raise him yourself to be the kind of person you want him to be." Kari: "But what if he.. or she finds out? Then they'll take the throne anyway." Cerina: "What if we're making all this up? Go take a test and be sure."
    Kitana was finally able to speak. Kitana: "You'll find someone. But you don't want to spend your life obsessing over this one. You'll end up like Kylara. This princess of the empire I used to work for. All she ever thought about was winning back Loki. And when she saw that wouldn't work, she wanted to make him pay for breaking her heart. Its not a good way to live." Vulca:"So what happened to her?" Kitana: "I don't know. I left after Demosi died. And never really paid that much attention to the princess anyway." Vulca: "But how can I forget? He's all I can think about. The time when spent together and the life we could have had." Kitana: "It doesn't matter anymore. You could have had a life with him, but he gave it up. He's gone. Find a way to forget him!" She began to pace back and forth in front of Vulca's bed. Kitana: "If you keep torturing yourself with his memory, he wins. You're just another woman he conquered. Don't let him destroy your life." Vulca: "I don't know if I can." Kitana: "That's it. We're going out." Vulca looked stunned. Kitana: "You can't sit in this big dark palace thinking about him for another second. I'm going to find something half way decent to wear. And when I come back, you'd better be out of that armor and in something beautiful." She walked out the door. About five seconds later she stuck her head back in. Kitana: "Can I borrow something of yours? All my stuff has blood stains on it." Vulca: "Help yourself."
    Kelly was looking under the bed and pulled out a box. Kelly: "Wonder what's in here." She opened it. Inside were some pieces of paper, which had yellowed with age. She unfolded it slowly and began to read. Kelly: "My darling Rita, I think of you every day and wish we could be together. My leaving you couldn't have been more of a mistake. You are the only woman I ever loved and I would give anything if you'd take me back. My life without you is empty and meaningless...." She stopped. Then looked at another. Then another. Kelly: "They're all like that. What do you think they mean?" Ransik: "Who cares?" Kelly: "Look, we've got a long way to go till we get to KO-35. You can sit there bored or you can go through this guy's stuff. What'll it be?" Ransik got on the floor with her and picked up a piece of paper. Ransik: "There's an address on the back." Kelly: "Letters? But why would he keep them?" Ransik: "Maybe he was to scared to send them to her." He thought for a minute. Ransik: "Or maybe she sent them back to him." Kelly: "That's so sad. His relationship might have been saved if she only read them." He gave her a pitiful look. Kelly: "What?" Ransik: "We don't even know these people. Why should we pry into their personal lives?" She didn't pay any attention to him. Kelly: "They're signed 'Zedd'." Ransik: "Rita and Zedd. Great. Can we go to sleep?" Kelly: "No. He seems like he really loved her." Ransik: "For all we know, they could have been dead a hundred years. Look at those things." Kelly: "What if they're not. What if they're sitting alone somewhere wishing for them same thing." He laid his head onto the pillow. Ransik: "Then I say, good for them. At least Zedd isn't wasting his time watching his wife sit in floor and nib through people's mail." She threw one up to him. Kelly: "Read it to me." Ransik: "Oh come on." Kelly: "Read it!"
    Niki found Karone in front of the monitor in the main room. She turned and smiled when she noticed her standing in the door. Karone: "Hi." Niki: "Mom and Kari kicked me out of my room." She walked over and stood by Karone. Niki: "Adult stuff, they said." Karone: "Sometimes they need time alone." Niki: "I wish she wouldn't hide stuff from me. I'm not a baby." Karone leaned on the keyboard. Karone: "Maybe they're not hiding anything. They could have told you to leave because you get bored with what they were talking about. Not all adult conversations are interesting." Niki: "But what if it is?" Karone: "I'm sure you'll hear about it someday if its something important." Niki looked up at the monitor and saw Shelona's ship firing on the planet. Niki: "Are we there yet?" Karone laughed. Karone: "It'll probably be tomorrow morning before we get there." She looked down at the clock on the keyboard. Karone: "Aren't you tired?" Niki: "A little. But I can't go to bed. Remember, kicked out of my room?" Karone noticed an attitude she didn't like, but ignored it. She knew it was Cerina's fault. Karone: "Wanna hear more about my days as Astronema?" Niki: "Yeah!" She picked her up and carried her into the throne room. They sat on the big, gold throne; Niki on her lap. Niki: "How did Dark Spector react when you found out about your brother?" Karone: "Not well. When I tried to join them the first time, he reprogramed my dad and had him capture me. Then he did the same to me and forced me to unleash the Psycho Rangers." Niki: "But the Psychos were in Vulca's family weren't they? Passed down or something." Karone: "Possibly the morphers those guys have. Now a Psycho Ranger is just a ranger that isn't 100% good at heart. But before, that meant a totally evil ranger; made as copies of the Space Rangers." Niki: "Oh. So how'd you get out of the programming?" She smiled and looked over at the toy model of the Red Ranger. Karone: "My brother saved me. But he almost killed me in the process." Niki: "Wow."
    Kari: "I asked Rick what he'd think of us having a baby. He wasn't against it like I thought he'd be, but he doesn't want one now." Cerina: "You said that! So he knows something's up." Kari: "He asked if I was pregnant. I guess I made it too obvious." Cerina: "And you said?" Kari: "I told him no, of course. If I said yes, then he'd know I slept with Scorn and he probably wouldn't forgive me for that." Cerina: "So what are you going to do if you are? He'll know its not his cause you all never did anything." Kari: "I don't know. But I couldn't blow it when it could be over nothing." Cerina: "I guess we'll worry about that later. Right now you need to go get a test." Kari: "Tonight?" Cerina: "Yes. You know how short Stregnite pregnancy is. You've only got two weeks tops." Kari: "You're right. How am I going to handle this in two weeks?" Cerina: "Don't get started on that again. Just get the test. There's a drug store open on Stregna. Teleport back and get one. If its positive, we can think about this other stuff. If its negative, go on about your life. And never mention you and Scorn to Rick." Kari: "You think I should lie if its negative?" Cerina: "No, don't lie. Just don't volunteer the information. I'm pretty sure he'll never ask." She started to breath hard. Kari: "Okay, I'll go." She teleported out.
    Kitana stood in the throne room waiting with her hands on her hips. She wore tight blue jeans and torn up t-shirt that didn't cover her stomach. Vulca walked into the room silver paints and a strapless top to match. Vulca: "Where are we going?" Kitana: "To a club. I am going to loosen you up. By the time we get back, you won't even remember Scorn's name." Vulca: "Its not that easy." Kitana: "Don't count me out yet. You've never been out with me before." Vulca: "You never asked. You always said you didn't want a friendship. You were just my warrior and nothing else." Kitana: "I know what I said. But... I changed my mind." Vulca: "That's good. I could use a friend right now." Kitana: "So lets go. What are we standing around here for?"
    Ransik looked at the letter and gave in. Ransik: "I guess since I got no response, it means you've fallen out of love with me. It breaks my heart to think of you with another man, but if that's what makes you happy then you deserve it. Even if you move on, I will never forget you. I'll look back on our time together and be thankful to have even met a woman like you. Your love meant the world to me even though it only last a short time. May you find the love you're looking for. Zedd." Kelly: "I can't believe this. He just let her go." Ransik: "Why are you acting like this matters?" Kelly: "What if this happens to us some day?" Ransik: "It won't." Kelly: "You can't say that. I'm sure they never thought it could be them either, but look." Ransik: "Put down the letters and come to bed." She sighed and pushed the box back under the bed. Kelly: "I still think this is worth looking into." Ransik: "No way. If they wanted to be together, they'd find each other. They don't need us butting in." She shook her head. Kelly: "Fine. Whatever." She climbed into the bed and turned out the light.
    Niki remembered what her mother had mentioned earlier. Niki: "Hey, what age did you start fighting?" Karone: "I'd say right after I wound up on Ecliptor's door step. He trained me every day until I was strong enough to beat him." Niki: "Mom said you wouldn't have started this early." Karone: "She's just worried about you. I think I was actually younger than you." Niki: "I'm going to tell her you said that." Karone: "Now wait. I didn't become a ranger right away or anything. When I first started, it was just me and Ecliptor. Then as I grew up he started to take me to these one on one battles with other people." Niki: "So when did you start doing real fights? Wars and stuff?" Karone: "It was probably ten the first time he took me with him. And he worried about me the entire time." Niki: "Can you tell my mom you were six? That might change her mind." Karone: "Why do you wanna fight so much? You've got the rest of your life to be a warrior. But this is the only time you're going to have someone there willing to protect you. Enjoy it." Niki: "Its boring here while they have all the fun." Karone: "I guess it can be fun. But that's only until you meet someone stronger than you." Niki: "I'll bet you thought it was fun when you were little." Karone: "Well yeah. But now I can see why. I always had Ecliptor right there with me. He'd never let anything happen to me. Even when I was an adult, he was always there. I never really knew how hard battle was until I became a ranger." Niki: "Oh." Karone: "See, I don't think Cerina can take the risk the way Ecliptor did. She has a whole team to worry about. He only had me and that worked." Niki: "I wish I could go take care of myself out there." Karone: "I know. No decent person would want to sit by while someone in their family is attacked. It killed me when I had to do that with Andros." Niki: "But you said you could fight when you met him." Karone: "I could. But if I had tried to save him, Dark Spector would have killed me. I didn't have any choice but to stand there and pray he got out of my attacks alive."
    Vulca and Kitana walked into a crowded club. It was dark except for the small colored lights on the ceiling. Vulca: "I don't know about this." Kitana: "Come on. Loosen up." They walked over to an empty table. Kitana: "Now look around. Do you see anything that looks like fun?" As a man walked by them, Kitana snatched the beer from his hand. Kitana: "There has to be something you feel like doing. Dancing, talking..." She looked back at the man. Kitana: "...pi*sing people off." Vulca: "I just can't have fun tonight. Scorn hurt me to bad." Kitana pushed the bottle of beer towards her. Kitana: "Take this and call me in the morning." Vulca: "Get drunk? That's your answer?" Kitana: "Absolutely." She looked back at the bartender. Kitana: "Give me whatever you got! 100 proof! She needs help!" Vulca: "Shut up! This whole place is going to think I'm some looser or something." Kitana: "Well that's what you're acting like." Vulca took a sip of the beer. Kitana: "Oh he*l no you did not just sip that." She got up out of her chair and went of to her. Then pushed her head back and poured the rest of the bottle down her throat. Kitana as she headed back to her seat: "Don't make me keep doing that." She glanced over at a table across the room. Kitana: "That guy's been looking at you since you walked in." Vulca: "So?" Kitana: "So go over there and talk to him." A waiter came up with several bottles of alcohol. Kitana: "But before you do that, I'd like to set you up with an old friend... Mr. Jack Daniels." Vulca: "Kitana please." Kitana: "You're not going to make me get up again are you?" She took the bottle from her. Vulca: "Fine. I'll just drink a little." Kitana: "That's a start."
    On the old pirate ship, Nemeen walked quietly into Scorn's room. She stared at him for a long time, thankful he had finally went to sleep. Nemeen: "How are you alive?" She continued to talk to him as if he could hear her. Nemeen: "You were shot in the head, yet you still breath." She walked closer to his bed. Nemeen: "Well whatever world you come from, my dear, you will never know again. Your destiny is here with me and I promise you I will make you see that." She leaned over and kissed him as she had done earlier. Nemeen: "I only hope one day you'll love me for who I am and not the lie I made you believe." She turned and walked back out onto the deck. She looked out at the moon reflecting off the water and drifted into deep thought.
    Kari teleported back into Cerina's room about a half hour later. Cerina: "Good. Now get in there." Before she could go into the bathroom, they heard a knock on the door. Niki: "Can I come back in yet?" Cerina: "Fine." She came in and jumped onto the bed. Niki: "What's that?" Kari: "I'm going to see if I'm really pregnant." Niki: "With a stick?" Cerina: "You be quiet." She looked up at Kari. Cerina: "And you get in there. We are going to know if you just stand there." She went into the bathroom and closed the door. Niki: "Is she really going to have that scary guy's baby?" Cerina: "If she's really pregnant, then its his." Niki: "Hope its not like him." Cerina: "Oh it will end up like Kari. Since Scorn's gone." Niki: "That's good." Kari walked back out. Kari: "It takes like five minutes or something." The tension in the room was think. She couldn't sit down. So she paced back and forth in front of the door. Cerina felt herself getting a headache. She didn't understand why, but she actually found herself caring what happened to Kari. Kari: "What if I am? What about being a ranger?" Cerina: "You'll only be out for two weeks or so." Kari: "I know. But when we get to KO-35, you're going to need all the help you can get." Cerina: "We can't worry about that. If you are, then you are not going into battle." She looked down at her arm. Kari: "I couldn't be much help anyway." She hadn't noticed the cast in a while, but it was still a problem. Niki: "If you are, can you give me your morpher." Kari: "I don't think it will work for you. Like we said when took them, you aren't old enough to activate it yet." Niki: "You could try. You don't know if it'll work or not." Cerina: "It doesn't matter if that thing gives you Mega Battle, you're still not going." She got up and ran out of the room, slamming the door. Cerina: "This is the joy that awaits you." The heard her stomping down the hall. Kari sarcastically: "Oh I can't wait." They looked at the clock. Cerina: "Its close enough. Go see." Kari: "I can't. I'm too scared." Cerina: "You've gone this far. Now you have to look at it. We need to know the truth." She walked slowly through the door. A few seconds later, she came back out with her arms folded in front of her. She didn't say anything. Her face was expressionless. Cerina: "Well?"