Cutie in Blue

    Cerina walked quietly into the control room. She looked around to make sure the room was empty. Then closed the door. She went over to the keyboard and typed in a code. A few seconds later, Lucas' face appeared on the screen. Lucas: "Cerina? Where are you?" Cerina: "I'm stuck on this ship because of Ransik's little friend." Lucas: "You're going to have to explain this." Cerina: "He met her in a bar and now she wants him to save her world. He of course asked us to help." Lucas: "Well at least you're not out here in the woods anymore." A sad look formed on her face. Cerina: "I wish I could have taken you with us. You know I tried, but they didn't give me any time to think. I..." He cut her off. Lucas: "Don't worry about me. You and Niki are safe now. I'll be fine." She took a long pause. Lucas: "What? Is there something else?" Cerina: "Yeah." She was clearly upset. Lucas: "What is it?" Cerina: "My... my sister is the one attacking her planet." He was completely surprised. Lucas: "You have a sister? You never mentioned that before." She nodded. Cerina: "I didn't see any reason to. I haven't seen her in years. Since before Jim died. I thought she was gone." Lucas: "Why would she..." Cerina: "I don't know. That's what I've been trying to figure out all day. When she left, everything was fine. She went out to find herself. And now she's... evil. I don't know what to think." Lucas: "Maybe its a spell. Vulca might be behind this too." Cerina: "Couldn't be. I never mentioned Tracy to her either." Lucas: "Maybe not Vulca, but somebody." Cerina: "I doubt it. In battle today, she seemed to be in charge. She had this one warrior with her. He had long, dark hair. Never seen him before." Lucas: "Any idea where he could have come from?" Cerina: "No. He was so weird. His expression never changed and when Tracy... Shelona came up to us, he just froze at her side. Like some mindless soldier or something." Lucas: "Robot?" Cerina: "I guess its possible. But he looked humanoid."
    Rick: "So when do you wanna do this? After we defeat Shelona?" Kari: "Right now. Tonight." He shook his head. Rick: "You're like a kid when you do this. You set your mind on something and that's the way it has to be." Kari: "Are you going to fight me on this the whole way? You already said yes." Rick: "I didn't know you meant tonight." Kari: "Why not? We've got this lovely candle-light dinner here. We're indoors for the first time in weeks. Its perfect." Rick: "Well you did say you wanted to have it while your arm was broken anyway." Kari: "Yeah. So we have to do it now." He looked down at the food on his plate. Rick: "Can we at least finish this first?" She groaned. Kari: "All right. Just hurry up." He laughed. Rick: "Why don't you pick out names or something. That'll keep you occupied." Kari: "I'm going to do that over the two weeks. I'm thinking access the internet through the fortress computer and bring up some kinda data base." Rick: "That could work." Kari: "Oh I'm so excited! I can't wait to have it!" Rick: "One thing though." Kari: "Don't ruin this." Rick: "I'm not. I was just thinking, if you're this excited you won't want to leave after its born. What will we do then?" Kari: "I said we'd get a sitter." Rick: "Please! You'd give the sitter your morpher before you'd leave this child!" Kari: "I would not." She paused. Kari: "Okay, maybe I would. But only for the first few weeks." He attempted to take a drink of wine from the bottle. But put it down again, having never used one. Rick: "We need to find a somewhat long term replacement for you. Since we really didn't take into account bonding time or whatever." Kari: "I know. But who?" They thought for a minute. Kari: "We've got Karone, but she won't be here to long. After her planet's safe she's outta here." A image of Lucas appeared in her head, but she knew better than that. Rick: "Nadira may have worked if the Time Force hadn't got her." Kari: "Yeah right. We wouldn't even need Shelona, you'd be shoot'n yourself." They laughed. Afterwhich, their eyes met and they knew they were thinking the same thing.
    Ice came into her room and looked around. She was thinking about Blaze, now that she mentioned her to Cerina.
   --Ice's breath caught in her throat when she saw Blaze go over the side. She ran full speed and fell to her knees. Blaze looked up at her with an evil look on her face. She held on her hand. Ice: "Take my hand!" She didn't move. Blaze: "I don't need your help, Jensen." Ice: "Don't do this now! Just take it!" Blaze: "You think your so tough. You'll help the weak girl. The one that can't quite cut it. Well I'm not taking your charity." Ice: "God, don't throw your life away over this! Its not worth it!" Tears ran down Ice's face. Blaze: "I won't take anything from you." She let go of the rocks and fell slowly to the bottom without screaming. Ice slammed her fists against the dirt. Ice: "Why?"--
   Her mind returned to the present. She sat down on the bed Looking around, she saw a picture of Scorpina. Her arm was around Goldar in the palace. She noticed the most of the pictures on the wall were of both of them. She used them to try to get her mind off of Blaze. But it didn't work. She laid back on the bed and her mind drifted to Burner, the pilot she lost to Kitana's former boss. She remembered how they used to confide in each other things they'd never tell anyone else. She realized that tonight would have been a night she needed him by her side.
    There was a long silence between them. Cerina: "I don't know what to do about Niki though. I don't want to hide this from her, but I'm afraid if I tell her she'll do something crazy." Lucas: "She doesn't seem that crazy when you explain things to her. And why you don't want her to do something." Cerina: "She's my daughter. Its genetic." Lucas: "She doesn't know her though. She may not think anything of this." Cerina: "That's what I pointed out to Ice earlier. Niki doesn't have any family. I think she'd want to meet her just for that reason." Lucas: "This is tough. But I don't think you should lie to her. You've already done enough of that." She remembered setting up Nadira. Cerina: "You're right. I just don't want anything to happen to her. And I don't know what Shelona's like anymore. It seems so dangerous." Lucas: "You have to tell her the truth. Niki will understand." Cerina jumped when she heard her voice behind her. Niki: "Understand what?"
    Kari: "You think Cerina's wrong, don't you? About Niki." Rick: "Its not that she's wrong, we just don't have any other choice." Kari: "So should we just tell her that?" He didn't answer at first. Rick: "No, not right away. Its not something we jump right into. She's young and shouldn't be put in this kind of a dangerous life." Kari: "But if we can't find somebody..." Rick: "Then there's no way around it. She has to take the morpher." She looked off into the distance. Kari: "Her mom isn't going to like this at all." Rick: "Of course not. Think how you'd feel if our child was put up to this. But when you're backed into a corner like this, you have to do some things you normally wouldn't." She put down her fork. Kari: "Can we skip dinner? All its doing is getting us out of the mood." Rick: "You're right. If we sit here and over think this, we won't do it." They stood up and began to walk towards their bedroom. Kari's smile returned. Kari: "I can't believe this is really happening! We're gonna have a baby!" The didn't notice her, but Kelly was standing around the corner. She hadn't intended to hear them, but she did and took off to find Ransik.
    Cerina turned slowly to face her. Cerina: "I guess I might as well tell you." She sat down on top of the control panel and crossed her legs. Niki climbed up beside her. Cerina: "But you have to promise me that you won't do anything stupid. I mean... just don't over react." Niki: "Oh. So don't do what you usually do." She sighed. Cerina: "Yeah, yeah none of that." Niki: "Okay. What is it?" She took a moment to compose herself. Cerina: "You know how you've always thought it was just us. There weren't any other relatives left." Niki: "Yeah." Cerina: "....well that's not exactly true. You have an aunt." She didn't take her eyes off Cerina. Cerina: "I may have mentioned her to you before, but only when you were younger. I haven't seen her since you were a baby." Niki: "So why bring it up now?" Cerina: "I wouldn't have, except... she's Shelona." Niki: "That killer lady is my aunt?" Cerina: "Yes. That's why I didn't want to tell you. She's family, but not the kind you need to have anything to do with." Niki: "That's fine. I'm not going anywhere near her!" Cerina: "Thank God." She glanced back at Lucas. Then returned her focus to Niki. Cerina: "I'm going to face her later." Niki: "Alone?" Cerina: "I think maybe I can talk some sense into her. I want to see if there's anything of the woman I used to know." Niki: "You used to like her?" Cerina: "I never knew her like this. I'm not sure what could have happened, but I'm going to find out." They didn't say anything. Cerina thought she knew what was coming. Cerina: "So you're not going to beg to come with me?" Niki: "Nope. She's scary. I saw what she did to those people. But I want you to take someone with you. You can't do it alone." Cerina: "I have to. If I bring another ranger she'd think we were ganging up on her. I think if its just me, she might listen. I might remind her of the life she's giving up." Niki: "And what if you don't?" Cerina: "I can take care of myself. You don't need to worry." Cerina thought: "Oh no. Why did I just say that?" Niki: "That's what I told you about being a ranger. But you didn't listen. You said you did it because you care about me." Cerina: "I didn't mean to say that." Niki: "You did though. So its okay for you to takes risks and almost get yourself killed. But if I try to help you, everything changes." Cerina: "You're my daughter, you can't expect..." Niki: "If you can take care of yourself then so can I. We lived the same lives. We were both there dealing with Vulca. Its not a one way street. I'm just as capable as you, weather you decide to except it or not." Cerina was speechless. Lucas: "Go wait in your room. I need to talk to your mom for a minute." Niki: "Fine." She jumped off the panel and ran out the door.
    Kelly walked into her room and saw Ransik laying relaxed on the bed. Kelly: "You aren't going to believe this. Rick and Kari are going to have a baby." Ransik: "Please, he'll never go for that." Kelly: "I heard them. They're really going to go through with it." Ransik: "Even after him saying no?" Kelly: "I guess she was able to work him." He didn't quite know what to make of this. Ransik: "So why are you telling me this?" Kelly: "We can take advantage of this situation." He sat up. Ransik: "Care to tell me how?" Kelly: "We have to get on their good side. Then we can play with the baby." Ransik: "Are you serious? You would suck up to two people we hate just to get in good with their kid." Kelly: "Yes. That would give us what we've been missing all this time. Since we lost Nadira, we've been kinda going through the motions. But nothing really mattered." Ransik: "True. But I don't see how someone else's child can take the place of our own. I didn't understand that when you took that baby from the hospital either." Kelly: "I'm not saying it'll take Nadira's place. Nothing will ever do that. But... at the very least we can have a child in our lives again. Even if its not ours, its a start." Ransik: "All right, I'm starting to see where you coming from." Kelly: "I would have tried this with Niki before, but that wouldn't work. She hates us as much as Cerina does. But this kid doesn't have that kind of an influence yet. If we get in good with it before Cerina, we're set." He nodded. Ransik: "It would make me feel less empty." Kelly: "Exactly." Ransik: "Question is, how do we get Rick and Kari to except us?"
    Cerina: "Oh my lord! What the he*l just happened?" Lucas laughed. Lucas: "She got your skill in an argument, that's for sure." Cerina: "She actually had me in a corner there. Did you see that?" He nodded. Cerina: "I'm so proud." He shook his head. Lucas: "Yeah, that's great. But what are you going to do? This won't be easy to get out of." Cerina: "I know. I... I'm being screwed over by my own kid!" Lucas: "Sounds like you have to take somebody with you. Or let her take the morpher." Cerina: "Not gonna happen. I can't risk her life and that's all I'd be doing in either situation." Lucas: "So what, you just tell her flat no? You'd loose everything you built with her if you do that." She slammed her hand down on the table unsure of what else to do. She ran her hand through her hair. Cerina: "I know that." She got up and began walked back and forth; one hand on her hip, the other gesturing as she spoke. Cerina: "What if I just tell her someone went with me? She wouldn't know the difference. And then all this would be over." Lucas: "I don't think so. What if she asks?" Cerina: "I'll tell her I took you with me. She'd never know the difference. And you wouldn't even have to lie. By the time we get back to Stregna she won't even think about asking you." Lucas: "Its not a good idea, but it might be your only choice." She gave him a dirty look. Cerina: "I listened to you when you said be honest with her and now look where that got me. Any other ways to make my life harder? Come on, you know you got some more!" Lucas: "I didn't teach her how to fight. That was all you." Cerina: "I didn't teach her, she just picked it up." He didn't answer. Cerina: "Fine, I'll be quiet. I know when I've lost." He laughed. Lucas: "Oh since when?" She walked up closer and started to bang on the screen. By this time they were both laughing and actually enjoying themselves.
    Kelly: "That's the hard part. As far as they're concerned, we have no morals. There's no way they'd just let us close to the child." Ransik: "The sad thing is they're right." Kelly: "Well yeah, but that's not the issue here. We have to convince them we're good people, weather or not we really are." Ransik: "They're friends with Cerina. It will never work." They thought it silence for a long time. Kelly: "Hey, I might just have something. But it'll have to wait. We can't make it too obvious what we're trying to do." Ransik: "Would you tell me the plan?" Kelly: "I want you to be surprised." Ransik: "Of course." Kelly: "I like watching you marvel at my genius." He rolled his eyes. Ransik: "I hope you know what you're doing. They're mad enough as it is." Kelly: "When I'm done with Kari, she won't even remember Cerina. And our little feud will be long forgotten." He gave her an evil smile. Then leaned over to kiss her.
    About an hour later, Cerina walked through the streets of KO-35. She wore a white tank-top with black jeans. She glanced around nervously, looking for Shelona. When she looked ahead of her, the road was empty. But the next second, Shelona stood in front of her. Cerina jumped, not expecting her so quickly. She didn't say anything. But glanced down at the morpher on her sister's wrist and Cerina knew that she knew. Cerina: "Tracy." A smile spread across Shelona's face. Shelona: "Its been a long time. Almost five years." Cerina didn't attempt to make small talk. Cerina: "Why are you doing this?" Shelona: "What are you talking about?" Cerina: "This!" She looked around her at the dead bodies on the ground. Cerina: "All this!" Shelona: "Its a thrill. You know what its like to take a life and get away with it. Vulca showed you that." Cerina: "You knew about Vulca?" She nodded. Shelona: "I heard." Cerina: "That wasn't my choice. It was forced onto me." Shelona: "But you can't tell me you didn't enjoy it. Just look around you. I can take worlds and do whatever I please with them. For once in my life I am totally free. No rules, no boundaries, nobody pointing out right and wrong." Cerina: "You had freedom before. This is no excuse for killing these people!" Shelona: "I had it, but I was to big a fool to take advantage of it. I lived life by the book before this. I always brought home straight A's. I took care of you when Mom and Dad weren't around. I never threw wild parties or stayed out all night or anything. I was the perfect daughter." Cerina: "And you think that justifies murder?" Shelona: "No. But as I said, I don't need to justify anything anymore. I do what I want, when I want." Cerina tried to find the words to continue, but she couldn't. She only had one thing come into her head. Cerina: "You're nuts!" Shelona: "You're wrong. I've never been more sane. All that time I did as I was told, what did I get out of it? Nothing. Nobody appreciates it. No matter what you do or how perfectly you do it, its never enough. Somebody always wants more." Cerina: "You don't have to do this!" Shelona: "When I left home, I saw the world for what it really is. A cruel, empty place. And that's when I just stopped caring."
    Niki sat on her bed looking at the morpher. She was furious at her mother for setting a double standard. In anger, she got up and kicked the wall. She had only planned to do it once, but once she started she didn't want to stop. After about 30 seconds, Karone came in. Karone: "Hey, what are you doing?" She stopped. Karone: "What's wrong?" Niki: "Mom's not being fair and there's nothing I can do about it!" She sat back down. Niki: "She thinks its okay for her to go out and do dangerous stuff, but when I want to, she won't let me." She saw the morpher on the bed. Karone: "You shouldn't have that." Niki: "I don't care! If she's going to go out alone like that there's no reason I can't!" Karone: "She does what she has to. But she'd never want anything to happen to you." Niki grabbed the morpher off the bed and strapped it to her wrist. She took off past Karone and out the door. Karone tried to grab onto her, but she couldn't. After she had gone, Karone stood there looking after her. She had a sad look on her face; her arms folded in front of her.
    Cerina: "You could have done anything you wanted with your life and you're throwing it away for this!" Shelona: "This is the life I want to live. Its so exciting." Cerina: "Exciting? Open your eyes, Tracy! This is sick!" Shelona: "In your eyes, maybe. But I've moved past that. The lives of others mean nothing to me now." Cerina: "These are innocent people! Some have their whole lives ahead of them and you have to right to take that away!" Shelona: "Their lives would have ended up as empty as mine almost was. If you're looking for some good in me, think of it this way. I'm just saving them the pain." Cerina: "I can't believe what I'm hearing!" She didn't respond. She only looked around, pleased with her and Caster's work. Cerina: "I used to look up to you! When we were kids all I wanted was to be a strong a person as you! You were everything I could have hoped to be!" Shelona: "I'm a different person now." Cerina: "Clearly. The sister I knew, the one I loved, could never be this empty inside." Shelona: "You can ranger all you want and try to tell me what I'm doing is wrong. But after a while, you'll grow tired of this. And the world will leave you tired and defeated. I won't let that happen to me." A million memories of their lives passed through Cerina's head. She could barely believe the woman in front of her was Tracy. Cerina: "What about all your dreams? A career, a family. Those can't all be gone!" Shelona: "That's just more people demanding things of me. Things I'll never be able to give them." Cerina: "So that's it huh? Give up everything you wanted to be a murderer." She began to breath hard. Cerina: "You may think..." Shelona: "Don't preach to me, baby sister." Cerina: "No. You will stand there and listen to me weather you like it or not." She didn't try to stop her again. Cerina: "You might think this is what you want now, but you're making a mistake. You'll wake up one morning and realize that your life is meaningless. If you go down this road you'll end up alone! Do you think these planets you've destroyed will keep you warm at night? I'm sorry, that's not how it works. And by the time you see it, it might be to late!" Shelona: "You think you know me so well don't you?" Cerina: "I know where this leads! I've been there! I've lived it!" Shelona: "You don't know me at all." Cerina: "I know you, but not the monster you've become." Shelona: "I don't need the things you do. You left Vulca because you're not evil. Its not in you. You want a family and friends and some kind of love in your life. Well I don't need any of that."
    Niki ran up beside a building and saw them together. She wanted to go out and stop them from fighting, but stopped herself. She wanted to see what Shelona was like before she revealed herself. To try to see if there's any sign of good in her. Though she could tell by the tone in her voice that wasn't so."
    Cerina: "God, this is such a waste! You're too good for this!" Shelona: "Maybe I was. But that's long gone." Cerina: "Try to think back to the good things in your life." She laughed at Cerina's attempt to get reach her. Cerina: "Do you remember the day you saw Niki for the first time? The way you held her in your arms. You were so sweet then. When you saw her, you melted. That can't be gone in a matter of a few years." Shelona: "I was foolish in the past. You daughter will be no better than anyone else on this planet. She'll grow up careless, inconsiderate, and a waste of my time. Don't try to play that card with me." Cerina: "What if Mom and Dad saw you now? You know what they'd do? They'd blame themselves. They'd think they failed you as parents. How can you stand there and put them through that?" Shelona: "Simple. They mean nothing to me. If they were here now... if they were here I'd kill them just like the rest." Cerina: "So what are you gonna do now? I'm in your way. You gonna kill me to? Act like we never meant anything to each other?" Shelona: "Of course not." She looked over her shoulder and Caster appeared. Shelona: "I have no need to finish you. Not when he will do it for me." She turned and started to walked away. Cerina: "Tracy stop this! Please!" Shelona: "Oh now you just sound pathetic. I always gave you advice when we were young, so here's one last little bit. Stop living in the past. I'm not the same person I was. Time has changed me as it does everything else. You would be better off if you could have accepted that and not come here tonight." She began to walked again. She watched her go with deep hurt in her eyes. Shelona calmly: "Good bye Cerina." She disappeared.
    Caster grabbed her as soon as Shelona had gone. She didn't have time to morph. He held her arm tightly and punched her in the face. She bent over a little as he jammed his knee into her stomach. Caster looked down at her as her eyes filled with fear. She saw Niki come walked out from beside the building. Niki: "Let her go." Cerina: "Get out of here! I told you not to follow me!" She didn't listen. Instead, tightened her hand into a fist and raised her arm. Cerina saw the morpher and her jaw dropped. Niki: "Psycho Blast!" The powers worked for her, but she still looked as small, even morphed. She jumped into the air and kicked him backwards. He let go of Cerina. She just stood there in shock watching her daughter battle him. After a few minutes in battle, she turned her head to her mother. Niki: "Are you gonna help me or what?" Cerina began to play with the buttons on her morpher; her hands shaking nervously. As the suit formed over her, she stared at Niki, in battle with some heartless creature. She couldn't believe that her daughter was doing it. Once morphed, she ran in and the two of them double-teamed him. He eventually disappeared, but with no word.
    They walked back onto the ship, unmorphed. Niki started to walk into another room, but Cerina grabbed her arm. Cerina: "Where the he*l do you think you're going?" Niki: "I'm going to go tell Karone what I did." Cerina: "No you're not." She dragged her into the throne room. Cerina: "Sit down." She walked slowly to the throne and sat. Cerina looked at the morpher on her wrist, then up at her. Cerina: "Wha... what were you thinking? I told you to stay here!" Niki: "You told me you were taking somebody with you too. But you didn't." Cerina: "I know that. But its my battle. I didn't want you to get hurt because of me." Niki: "So you just lie to me. What is with you? You can't tell me to do one thing and then you go do the other!" She slammed her fists into the table. Cerina: "Da*nit, this isn't about me! I told you to stay here and you deliberately disobey me! You could have gotten hurt or killed out there! But all you see is what you want!" Niki: "I..." Cerina: "Don't... talk! Just.. just shut up and listen!" Niki froze in fear. Cerina: "I do everything to make sure you have a good life! You get everything you could want and you still pull and stunt like this!" Her eyes locked on the morpher again. Cerina: "And that! On top of everything else, you stole the morpher! You think just because its there, you can take it! I didn't raise you this way!" Niki: "I'm sorry, okay!" Cerina: "No, its not okay!" She paused and took a few deep breaths. Cerina: "I didn't teach you this. But I know where its coming from. Its that whiny bi*ch Nadira, isn't it?" Niki didn't answer, knowing she probably wasn't supposed to. Cerina: "I won't have you growing up to be like her! Is that what you want? Just take anything you want because its sitting there! Acting like the world owes you something!" She walked around the table and tore the morpher off her wrist. Cerina: "Go to your room." Niki: "But I only did it so...." She threw the morpher against the wall. Cerina: "Just go!" She got up quickly and ran from the room. She had tears running down her face. Cerina looked over in the floor at the stolen morpher. She was breathing hard. Cerina: "There is no way in he*l I'm going to let her turn out like Nadira. Now way!" She knocked over several of the Space Ranger models on the table and walked out of the room.