Kari's Secret - Part 2

    Cerina waited for her to answer. Kari took a deep breath. Cerina: "Come on." She saw the fear in her eyes as she looked out the window into space. Her hand was shaking. Kari: "Its positive." Cerina sighed. Kari: "I don't know what I'm going to do. So much could go wrong because of this. He*l, this baby could ruin my life." Cerina: "Don't look at it that way. You're having it. There's no turning back. So try to think positively. Kari: "Are you out of your mind? I finally had everything the way I wanted it. Rick and I are back together, Vulca's army is down a member, and I actually had him talking about having a baby. But now... now that could all be gone." Cerina: "You're not making sense. What is it you're worried about?" She fell backwards onto the bed. Kari: "There's so much. Like when Rick finds out. Do you really think he'll stay with me after this? After everything I said about a commitment, I go and sleep with Scorn." Cerina: "You didn't know what he was. You could have never predicted this." Kari: "It shouldn't have happened. Even if he wasn't evil, I never should have done it. And this baby will be a constant reminder of that." Cerina: "You could be right, but you have to tell him. There's no turning back now." Kari: "We could have had our own baby and been happy for the rest of our lives. But after this, he will never agree to have another one." Cerina: "You don't know what he'll say. Don't worry about that until you tell him." Kari: "I'm not doing it right away." Cerina: "You'd be better off to. That way at least you were honest." Kari: "He won't care about that! He loves me, yeah! But he won't forgive me for this!" She started to comment, but Kari kept going. Kari: "He is cold, Cerina! When he hears this and realizes I'm not his perfect angel anymore... he'll just shut down. Treat me like I'm nothing to him." Cerina: "He couldn't just do that." Kari: "He's told me before. His trust in people only goes so far. And once its broken, you never get it back." She didn't say anything. Kari: "I just don't think I can live with him hating me." Cerina: "Just explain it. You two were fighting. There's no reason why you shouldn't have seen another guy." Kari: "Seeing another guy he dealt with. But to sleep with him after like two weeks! Why would I do that?" Cerina: "Stop getting yourself worked up. He might forgive you." She stood up. Kari: "Forget it. I can't even forgive myself!"
    After a few hours in the club, Kitana and Vulca split up. Kitana walked over to an older guy. He was big and had tattoos all over his arms. Man: "Well ain't you something." Kitana: "Care to buy me a drink?" Man: "Sit down." He yelled the order to the guy behind the counter. She gave him a seductive stare. Kitana: "I'm Kitana." The man seemed nervous. Man: "I'm..." She grabbed onto his shirt collar. Kitana: "It doesn't matter." She wrapped her arm around him and started to kiss him.The two of them fell to the floor, but she kept going as if nothing happened. Another one walked over to them. Man: "Wow Earl, she's a looker." She grabbed onto his belt and pulled him down on the floor on the other side of her. Kitana: "There's room for two." Over at their table, Vulca sat drinking. The longer she sat, the more empty glasses piled up. She looked over at Kitana. Vulca: "At least she's having fun."
    It was about 4:00 in the morning when everyone had finally gone to bed. But Niki didn't sleep. She stared out at the planet the was just coming into view. She noticed the space ship floating beside it. Niki: "So that's Shelona." She shook her head. Niki: "You're not going to fight her alone." She looked around to make sure the room was empty. Niki: "I won't let you." She walked quietly out into the hall. Niki: "Good, its clear." She proceeded to Kari's room and looked around. There was a small amount of light coming from the hall, but not enough to wake her. Niki looked around the room frantically. Niki: "Oh where is it?" Kari began to turn over. Then she saw it. The morpher was on the table next to her bed. She grabbed it and ran out of the room.
    Kitana and Vulca were still at the club. The men with Kitana were beginning to bore her. Man: "Would you believe I can fit my whole fist in my mouth?" Kitana gave him a pitiful look. Kitana: "Do I really look like I care?" Man: "Wanna see?" She got up to leave. Kitana: "No, that's all right. Really." She gasped when she looked over at the bar. Kitana: "You're kidding?" Man: "What, you know her?" The three of them stood there staring at Vulca. She was dancing on the bar, her hair a mess, beer running down her. She was topples with the bottle in her hand. Kitana: "Oh my God." She ran up to the bar. Kitana: "What the he*l are you doing?" Vulca: "You told me to loosen up!" She signaled for a man to join her on top of the bar. But Kitana held her hand up against his chest. Kitana: "Oh no ya don't. We'll just be leaving now." Vulca: "Why? I'm just getting started!" Kitana: "Its 4:00 and you falling down drunk!" Vulca: "I am no!" She stumbled as she tried to continue dancing. Kitana: "Sure." She laughed. Vulca: "I meant to do that." Vulca jumped down off the bar. Kitana grabbed her arm and pulled her towards the door. Vulca: "What's wrong with you?" She tripped over a chair. Vulca: "I don't feel like leaving yet. This is great!" Kitana: "We're going. We have things at home you can trip over." She snatched Vulca's top from a man sitting by the door. Man: "Hey!" Kitana: "Oh go home to your wife." She went out and closed the door behind her. Vulca broke away from her and headed over to a shiny, red sports car. Vulca: "Hey, come here!" Kitana sighed. Kitana: "Its late. I am really not in the mood for..." She took her sword before she could finish. Then started to carve words into the hood. Kitana: "What is wrong with you?" Vulca: "Here, you want a turn?" Kitana: "Oh somebody shoot me."
*  *  *
    The next morning, Karone called the rangers into the control room. Kari stood off to the side, knowing that she couldn't go with them. She stared at the floor. She couldn't even look at Rick, afraid he'd see right through her. Niki was in the corner, the morpher hidden in her pocket. She looked mad. Karone: "Its time." They teleported out one by one. Kari: "Be careful." Rick: "Stop worrying. We'll be fine." She waved, still nervous. But he didn't notice that about her. Cerina: "Niki, would you please get over this? There's no reason for it." The others had already gone out. Niki: "I'm sick of you acting like I'm too little to help you. Just because of that, you won't even give me a chance." Cerina: "I just can't do that. It would be putting the entire team in danger, not to mention yourself. If you went, I'd be scared to death. We've never even faced Shelona before. I have no idea how powerful she is." Niki: "You don't have to worry about me! I'm never going to grow up if you keep doing this. Is that what you want? Its why you hated Nadira!" She didn't speak. She started to think it over, but teleported out instead. Niki turned to the other two women. Niki: "Did you see that? I had her! If she would have stayed, I could have convinced her!" Kari: "You really should lay off her. Even if you do make her give it, that doesn't make this a good idea." Niki: "Karone?" Karone: "I'm not all for it either. Especially since we know nothing about this girl." Niki: "But you said..." Karone: "I know what I said. And its not the same thing. You're forgetting Ecliptor did that to train me. This is not training. My world depends on their success."
    The five remaining rangers ran up in the middle of the street. Ice looked around, horrified. Thousands of people lay dead on the ground. They were cut up badly, some weren't even recognizable as humans. Ice: "How could somebody do this?" Cerina: "She's sick." Kelly held her chest, trying not to be sick. Rick's eyes locked on a man walking towards them. Caster's armor was covered in blood. As always, he had no facial expression. Caster: "Do you want to be next?" Cerina stepped up in front of the others. Cerina: "Psycho Blast!" He shook his head. Caster: "Rangers. You think rangers can stop me?" He fired a blast of energy up at a building. Then jumped out of the way as it came crashing down on top of them. Ice climbed slowly out of the rubble and attacked him. She punched him twice, but he didn't give her any time to continue. He cut her with the bloody sword, sending her flying through the air. Caster: "Come on. I know that building didn't finish you. Get up." He stood waiting for the others to crawl out.
    Scorn woke up to see Nemeen standing beside him. Nemeen: "How do you feel?" Scorn: "Confused." Nemeen: "You still don't remember me, do you?" Scorn: "No. I'm sorry, but I don't." Nemeen: "Its not your fault. My father did this to you." Scorn: "Tell me about us. How did we meet?" She sat down next to him and put her arm around him. Nemeen: "You were working for my dad, when he was the captain of this ship. You didn't pay attention to me at first. Your worked seemed to be your only interest. But the more we saw of each other, something just kinda happened." He tried hard to remember the even the least little thing about her. Nemeen: "I started to try to talk to you, but you shot me down for a while. To you, I was just a helpless little kid. Not anybody you could fall in love with." Scorn: "So what changed?" Nemeen: "When I was about 17, I snuck down to your room. Dad didn't know I had gone. There, I got the nerve to tell you how I felt about you." Scorn: "And?" Nemeen: "Your face changed instantly. You looked deep into my eyes, as if you were seeing me for the first time. I fell into your arms and we made love on the cold, wood floor." Scorn sat there in shock that none of it brought anything back to him. Nemeen: "Dad didn't find out about us right away. We started sneaking around. We were together any time he wasn't watching. You even started to take jobs where you would be around me." Scorn: "When did he find out?" Nemeen: "One of his former slaves saw us together. Out of loyalty, he told. Dad was going to have you killed, but I wouldn't let him. The night it was going to happen, I untied you and you hid in my room after that." Scorn: "It sounds so romantic. I wish I could remember."
    Niki sighed as she sat down on the floor of the control room. Kari: "You should be happy that your mom cares so much. She just doesn't want anything to happen to you." Niki: "You don't like sitting here anymore than I do!" Kari realized that she had been tapping her foot on the ground nervously. Niki: "See. You wanna help them." Kari: "Yeah I do. Its my job." Niki: "You wouldn't have to feel so bad about this if you let me go in your place." Karone: "Come on. At least wait until we know what Shelona is capable of. She may be another Galaxia. And if that's the case, then having you one the team would be a great help." Niki: "Who's Galaxia?" Karone: "The woman I fought when I was a Psycho Ranger. She was bad news. But her one weakness was children. No matter what happened, she'd never lay a hand on them." Niki: "And she was evil?" She nodded. Karone: "Oh she'd kill any adult without thinking twice. But after loosing her son, she could never bring herself to hurt a kid." Kari: "What happened to her son?" Karone: "Her husband stabbed him when he was a baby. She assumed he was dead and after Mutiny left the room, she snuck out. And for years she thought she'd lost him." Niki: "That's sad." Karone: "Yeah. Sometimes I really felt sorry for her. Mutiny was a cruel bas*ard without a soul. No woman should ever have to live with that." Niki: "So why would she marry him in the first place? If he's so bad, I'd tell him to get lost." Karone: "He wasn't like that in the beginning. He seemed to be the perfect guy. Gave her everything she could ever want. But when he started drinking, he was a totally different person. He didn't see her as anything but his slave after that. Just one order after another until she couldn't take it anymore. She eventually started fighting with him. Every night almost. It kept getting worse and worse, until he would just attack anything in sight... even his own son." Kari looked confused. Kari: "You said you were a ranger. How do you know all this about the girl you were fighting?" Karone: "Because her son is my husband."
    Growing impatient, Caster reached into the remains of the building and pulled the rangers out one by one. Kelly threw a punch, but he kicked her away. She landed on top of a pile of bricks. Cerina jumped through the air and kicked him down. He got up quickly and came after her. She jumped into the air and landed behind him. Frustrated, he threw back his arm and grabbed her. Rick grabbed onto him, forcing him to let go of her before he did any damage. Ransik then came at him and started striking him as hard as he could. Caster groaned as each tightly clenched fist collided with his chest. Behind them, they heard a woman's voice. Shelona: "Stop." They turned and put up a fighting stance. Ransik let Caster fall to the ground. Shelona: "You think you can stop me from taking this planet? Well you're wrong. I have destroyed so many worlds and all who tried to stop me..." She looked around at the bloody remains on the ground. Shelona: "They ended up like them." Cerina's eyes grew wide. They were locked on Shelona. Ice heard her gasp softly, but she didn't respond to it then. Shelona: "Get up." Caster struggled, but managed to return to his feet. He walked over and stood at her side. Ice took a step forward and a silver blaster appeared in her hand. Shelona smiled. She pulled her blaster from the strap on her leg. Cerina couldn't speak. The other rangers just watched them. Ice moved her finger slightly to pull the trigger, but before she could, Shelona fired a blue energy blast which hit her in a flash. She hit the ground. Ransik whispered to Kelly: "She's fast." She nodded. In a split second, she blasted each of the other rangers down as she had Ice. Then signaled for Caster to follow her. Shelona: "If I see any of you on this planet again, I'll make da*n sure you don't survive." They teleported away.
    Vulca put the pillow of her head when Kitana came into her room. Vulca: "Turn off the light." Kitana: "Well I'm glad to see you're finally awake." Vulca: "God, what did we do last night?" Kitana: "I don't think you really need to know." Vulca: "I feel like I've been run over by six trucks." Kitana: "That didn't happen, but you almost got run over by one." Vulca: "What are you talking about?" Kitana: "What's the last thing you remember?" She thought for a moment. Vulca: "You got up to talk to a couple guys." She sat down on the bed. Kitana: "Well you're in for a treat. The night sure didn't end there." She laughed at the sight of Vulca sick. Her eyes looked like she were half dead. Kitana: "After I got done with those guys, I turned around to see you up on the bar... dancing with no shirt." Vulca: "What?" Kitana: "That's right. And when I finally did get you to come down and got your shirt back from some dude, you proceeded into the parking lot." Vulca: "When I came back here, right?" Kitana: "No, no. Not quiet yet. You had to carve obscenities into the hood of someone's truck. Which would have been fine, except he came out and caught you." She couldn't help but laugh. Vulca: "You're enjoying this just a little too much." Kitana: "You already had your fun. That big S.O.B chased us probably ten blocks before we lost him." Vulca: "So then we..." Kitana: "So then you meet up with a group of college age guys. They smell liquor on your breath and decide 'what the he*l'. They took you back behind a building and were good and ready to have their way with you..." Vulca: "Oh nooo." Kitana: "Don't worry, I beat the crap out of them." Vulca: "Good." Kitana rested her head in her hand. Kitana: "And our perfect night couldn't be over without running into a few Dexes on the way back here." Vulca didn't say anything. Kitana: "You owe me one big fat apology."
    Niki: "Your husband? I thought he was dead!" Karone: "So did Galaxia for most of her life. She found out later that he was our Silver Ranger. When Mutiny stabbed him, it nearly killed him, but somehow he survived." Kari: "So what happened after she found out?" Karone: "She came to our side for a while, but it didn't last. Taylor was faced with saving us both and when he couldn't do it, it broke her heart. She returned to Velossa and never gave him any more than a cold stare after that." Kari: "Velossa? She was..." Karone: "Yeah. Before Cyann, she worked for Galaxia." She looked out into space and thought for a moment. Karone: "I don't know where she is now. Or if she's even still alive." Niki: "Why would you care?" She didn't respond at first. Karone: "We were enemies, but looking back... I can't help but respect her. She never asked for the life she got. And how she handled it.. well... I don't think I could have done any better." She paused again. Karone: "The last time anybody saw her was Christmas of 2000." Kari saw the she was upset. Karone: "I wish I could have gotten through to her. Showed her that we weren't the real enemy. Maybe things would be different now. Taylor could have seen what its like to have a parent." Kari: "So he pretty much grew up like Rick." Karone: "He lived on his own until Galaxia found him again. Gave him the morpher." Kari put her arm around her. Kari: "You tried to show her the light. That's all you could have done." Niki started thinking about the morpher. Partly wishing she hadn't taken it. She got up and left the room.
    Scorn slowly tried to get up from the bed. Nemeen: "Are you sure you're ready?" Scorn: "I think if I get a look a the rest of the ship, my memory might return." He stood, but nearly fell. Nemeen grabbed him before he did. She sat him back down. Nemeen: "You're still too badly hurt. You have to wait." He looked up and saw the love in her eyes. He leaned closer and kissed her. She smiled. Nemeen: "You're starting to feel at home here?" Scorn: "I don't know. Something just clicked. Like all of this could really be real." Nemeen: "I knew it would come back. Just a little while longer and everything will be back to normal." He laid back down. Scorn: "You don't know how much I want that to be. Our lives seem like something out of a fairy tale. I would give anything to be able to look back on that the way you do." Nemeen: "It was amazing. I don't think I'd believe it either.. in your position."
    Cerina went off by herself when they got back to the ship. She sat on Astronema's throne, the room still dark. Shelona's image was frozen in her mind. Her words sent a chill down her spine. She saw images of the bodies on the ground, ripped apart savagely. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Kari stood in the doorway. Kari: "Are you okay? You kinda disappeared after the battle." She took a while to answer. Kari: "Cerina?" She looked up as if she was just noticing her. Cerina: "Oh, I'm... fine." Kari walked over in front of the throne. Kari: "So what happened?" Cerina: "She took us like we were nothing.. This is not gonna be an easy battle." Kari: "Karone and I tried to talk to Niki. I'm not sure how she took. She left just before you got back." Cerina: "Know where she went?" Kari: "No. She's probably around here somewhere. I don't think she'd leave the ship." Cerina: "She wouldn't have to. This place is so big, we could loose her just as easily on board." Kari: "Want me to go find her?" She shook her head. Cerina: "No, not right now. I think I'll just sit here for a while." Kari: "All right." She headed for the door. Then turned back for a second. Kari: "I think I figured out what to do about Rick and the baby." Cerina: "Yeah? Tell him the truth?" She smiled. Kari: "Not exactly. I'll have to tell ya later. I'm going to go get it ready now. Make sure he stays out of that big room down the hall. Tell him its a surprise." She shrugged. Cerina: "Whatever."
    Vulca: "Hey, it was your idea." Kitana: "I wanted you to have a good time, not almost get us killed." She stopped. Kitana: "What are you smiling at?" Vulca: "It worked though. I didn't think about Scorn once." Kitana: "Now if you can forget him the rest of the time, you're set." Vulca: "But what about this? The room hasn't stopped spinning since I woke up." Kitana: "Just go back to sleep. It'll stop." Vulca: "Sleep? Its morning." Kitana: "No, you slept through that. Its a little after 3:00." She pulled the blanket over her head. Vulca: "I don't see how Cerina could do this every night." Kitana laughed. Kitana: "Anybody'd drink work'n for you." Vulca: "Hey!" She rolled her eyes as she left. Kitana thought: "I can't believe what my life has become. I go from a warrior to Vulca's freak'n baby-sitter. Ecliptor is gonna be paying out the a*s for this."
*  *  *
    That night, Cerina still sat in the throne room. Ice walked in and pushed the button to close the door. Ice: "What happened earlier? I saw you staring at Shelona. And that gasp." She didn't answer. Ice: "You know something." Cerina reached into the pocket of her black jeans and pulled out a small photo book. She handed it to Ice. Looking through it, she saw a picture of Niki, another of Jim, and... one of Shelona. Ice: "Why do you have this? Where... where'd you get it?" Cerina: "Shelona is my sister." Ice dropped the book to the floor. Ice: "Huh?" Cerina: "I couldn't believe it when I saw her. That's why I froze. I didn't think it could really be happening." Ice: "But..." She stopped, unsure of what to say. Cerina: "Her name is Tracy. We haven't spoken in years. Last I saw her, she was going off to find herself. To try to make something of her life." Ice: "So you didn't know she was evil?" Cerina: "She's not!" She tried to calm herself down. Cerina: "Or, I mean, she couldn't be. Its... its just not possible." Ice: "She never gave you any signs of this before she left?" Cerina: "No. Its like she's a totally different person now. The woman I knew could have never done that to those people. She isn't some monster. She'd never have the heart to kill." Ice: "Well something sure happened." Cerina: "I've been here all day trying to figure out what to do. I can't fight here, but we promised Karone we'd protect the planet." Ice: "Does anybody else know?" Cerina: "I didn't tell them yet. I wanted to tell Niki earlier, but she probably wouldn't remember her anyway." Ice: "Do you think your parents know?" Cerina held her head for a moment. Cerina: "I don't know. They haven't spoken to me since I went to work for Vulca. I tried to explain that to them, but they wouldn't except it. They just thought I was doing it for some adventure or something. Just another stupid stunt." Ice: "And you did it to save you daughter?" Cerina: "Yeah." She picked the book up off the floor. Cerina: "The funny thing is, they would have told me to be more like Tracy. And now she's turned out like me." Ice: "You're not evil. No matter what your parents think." Cerina: "I know. But if I tried to tell them, they'd just think we were the same and never speak to either of us again."
    Rick walked into the big room and saw Kari sitting at a table. It had candles and two places set at it. He walked up and sat down across from her. Rick: "What's all this?" Kari: "Just a little treat. We've been so wrapped up in work, we haven't had time for each other." Rick: "You did all this just to be together?" Kari: "Yeah. I got everything ready while you were in battle." Rick: "I know I've told you this before, but you are one he*l of a woman." He looked down at the table. Rick: "Where are the drinks?" She smiled. Kari: "They're coming." Niki came walking in with two baby bottles. She sat one in front of each of them. Rick: "What are you doing?" She tried not to laugh as she went running back out the door. He picked up the bottle looked at it strangely. Kari: "Its wine." Rick: "In here?" Kari: "Yep." Rick: "Honey, have you lost you mind?" Kari: "Of course not." She reached under the table and pulled out a box. Kari: "I got you something." He took it from her and opened it slowly. Inside was a shirt which read 'World's greatest dad'. Rick: "Okay, I thought we already discussed this." Kari: "I know, but now would be the perfect time to have a baby." Rick: "Here we go. Everything with you has to lead to some kinda fight. Go ahead, lets start round one." Kari: "Don't say no yet. Think about it. With my arm broke, I'm already out of battle for a while. So if I'm going to be pregnant it should be now. That way I'd only miss twice as much time as a ranger." Rick: "Sure the time for pregnancy would be fine, but what about after? When we get back to Stregna and Vulca tries to kill it. Then what?" Kari: "It wouldn't be anywhere near Vulca! We could leave it here with a sitter. That's what Karone did with Sarah!" Rick: "Does it mean nothing to you when I say no?" Kari: "I just don't see why we can't do it now." Rick: "We can't bring a child into the world under these conditions." Kari: "If not now, then when? We may never get rid of Vulca. And if that's the case, we let her win. She would be the reason we miss out on one of life's greatest joys. You can't let her do that."
    Nemeen leaned on the rail looking out at the ocean. She jumped when she felt someone's lips on her cheek. She turned quickly. Nemeen: "Oh! You scared me." He put his arm around her. Scorn: "I'm sorry." Nemeen: "What are you doing up?" Scorn: "I just felt strong enough. And I wanted to surprise you." The both returned their attention to the ocean. Nemeen: "Beautiful, isn't it?" Scorn: "Yes, it is." Nemeen: "I used to come out here at night when Dad was here. I always thought you.. about us. What we could be like if he'd ever allow it." Scorn: "Well now your dreams can come true." They were silent for a moment. Nemeen: "How's you memory?" Scorn: "Everything is still blurry. But its not anything I'm worried about. Everything here is so perfect. So what if I don't remember how I got here." Nemeen: "So you're like this and I'm still like a stranger to you?" Scorn: "I suppose. When I look at you, I can sense that I love you. But I don't know little things. Dates, interests, things of that nature. Only what you've told me in the past couple days." She turned to face him. Nemeen: "Ask me anything." Scorn: "For starters, what's my name?" This threw her. She hadn't thought of that. Scorn: "Well?" Her eyes lit up when she saw the tattoo on his arm. It was a black snake with his name written underneath it. Nemeen: "Scorn." He nodded. Nemeen: "Come on. What else?" Scorn: "Why are we on a pirate ship? Isn't that a little... I don't know, historic?" Nemeen: "Maybe. I just can't see myself any other place. After growing up here it just feels right." Scorn: "So have you been on land? That might be a stupid question." Nemeen: "No its not. I've been before, but not for a long time. Usually just docks and stuff." Scorn: "Have I?" Nemeen: "You went more than me. Dad used to have you run arrends there when you first came to work for him."
    Cerina: "When we were kids, Tracy was always the responsible one. She did everything right. I used to think of her as a second mother. I just don't see how she could have ended up this way." Ice: "How long were you two apart?" Cerina: "I'm not really sure. I think I was in High School when she left. She's just turned 18." Ice: "A lot could have happened to her in that time." She thought for a minute. Cerina: "I guess she's about 28 now. She was only a few years older than me." She shook her head. Cerina: "She could have had the world at her feet. Been anything she wanted. But she threw it away for this." Ice: "Its sad. I knew a woman back on the base who was the same way." Cerina: "Oh." Ice: "Her code name was Blaze. She could have been such a great pilot if she had only worked at it. Instead, she spent her entire time trying to make me look bad." Cerina: "How is that the same thing?" Ice: "Because she came back when I was Ranger. Something happened to her over the time I left. She was pure evil. I tried to save her when she insisted on a fight. But I couldn't. She died on top of a mountain." Cerina: "I see." Ice: "She could have been so much better than that. If she'd just worked for it like I had to." Cerina: "So what do you think I should do?" Ice: "Its hard to say. If you tell her who you are, it might make her more determined to kill you. But she's your sister. You have to at least try to help her." Cerina: "But why would she listen to me? Before, I was always listening to her." Ice: "Things change. Now she needs you." She nodded. Cerina: "I have to do it. If she kills me, its a chance I'll have to take." Ice: "I hope you get through to her. I really do." Cerina: "Me too."
    Rick: "I want to have a kid. You know that. But I'm not going to risk its life now." Kari: "I don't want to risk it either. But this wouldn't be. If Sarah could survive, why not our baby? And each generation of royalty on Stregna has kids. They all lived." Rick: "They have guards." Kari: "Then explain Sarah." Rick: "I don't even know Karone's kid! How can you expect me to justify something I know nothing about?" Kari: "You don't have to know her. The point is, she survived a war. She had the same disadvantages our child will have and according to Karone, she turned out great." He slammed his hand down on the table. Kari: "Please Rick. Just trust me on this." Rick: "Do you want to leave you kid with a sitter all the time?" Kari: "Well no. But we don't go into battle all that much." She stopped and tried another approach. Kari: "It would mean the world to me. Just think how great it would be. You could sit up a night and read stories to it and teach it to fight in a few years." He thought for a minute. Rick: "I've always wanted a chance to be a good father. The kind I never had." Kari: "So lets do this. You know we'd be good." He didn't answer, but she could tell she was winning him over. Kari: "I promise it'll be nothing like Nadira." He laughed. Rick: "I guess we can. I'll just have to protect it with everything I've got." She got up and threw her arms around him. He kissed her. Kari: "Thank you so much!"
    Ice: "Do you want me to go with you? You might need some help. If she doesn't take it well." Cerina: "I couldn't ask you to do that. She's my problem." She looked at the door. Cerina: "I just don't know how I'm going to tell Niki. If I do, she's going to want to come with me." Ice didn't have an answer. Cerina: "I've mentioned her before. She knows Tracy used to hold her when she was a baby. If she finds out about this, I know I can't stop her." Ice: "You think she'd really try to go up there? Even after seeing what she did on KO-35." Cerina: "Niki's never known any real family before. She doesn't remember her dad, her grandparents aren't speaking to me. Meeting her aunt would fill in a missing part of her life." Ice: "I didn't realize she didn't know any relatives." Cerina: "I guess I have to keep this from her. At least for now. I can't have them meet until I know she's okay again." Ice: "Don't worry about this. She gets mad when you try to protect her now, but when she grows up she'll understand." Cerina: "I know." She stood up from the throne. Cerina: "I wish I didn't have to do this sometimes. I hate it when she's mad at me. Like I said, she's the only family I have left. And if I make her mad too, I'm alone." Ice: "She won't stay mad at you. She loves you. I can tell." Cerina smiled. Ice: "You two are about as close as any parent and child I've seen." Cerina: "But part of that is because I was honest with her before... with Vulca. I told her things I probably never should have. But she was the only one there I trusted." Ice: "So that made her feel like an adult. And now you're treating her like a child because that's what you feel you should have done all along." Cerina: "Yeah." Ice: "I don't know what to tell you. You'll just have to make a decision and hope its the right one." She headed for the door. She didn't say anything else as she left. Her mind was going in a million different directions.