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NINJA RANGERS/JAG

SIREN SONG

by Red Falcon

(SEE MAIN PAGE FOR DISCLAIMERS)

************************************************************************


** THE PAST **

== IN A DREAM ==


On a clear sunny day in Falls Church, Virginia a group of teenagers run for the airfield.

"Whoa, hold it right there. Just where do you think you're going?" the security guard asks when he stops them.

"Come on, sergeant. We're running late. If we miss another flight we're not gonna qualify for the INTERNATIONALS next month." the group leader, Alex says.

"You know this airfield is off limits. You're just going to have to go the long way around. Go on now." he says.

"Give me a break. There's nothing going on today. There has never been a problem with us cutting through here before." Michael complains.

Alex looks closer at the sergeant then motions for the others to follow her.

"Sorry we bothered you sir." she says.

When she and the others are far enough away Alex dashes for a near-by phone.

"Security. I think there is a problem on the air field. My friends and I just tried to cross for our flight class and there was an unfamiliar guy at the gate." she says.

Someone tries to put her off,

"I know everyone who has that duty. I'm telling you there is something wrong. You better send someone to check it out." she says.

"What was that all about, Lex?" Jonny Miller asks.

"That guy wasn't supposed to be there. I think someone's on the field that shouldn't be. Let's get out of here before that creep decides that we know too much." Lex says.

The teens race for the other entrance to the military field and to the squad bay to change.

"You're late. What happened this time?" Lt. Donavan asks.

"Nothing. We just couldn't get across the field at our usual spot that's all." Johnny says.

The lieutenant runs them through a quick pre-flight and then they race for the sky. He gives them a little time to horse around then they get down to business. For the next three hours the teens practice for the upcoming international combat trials that are to be held in Washington DC next month. When they finally land they are all running on adrenaline and bouncing all over the place. None of them even suspect the danger that they are in. They have been found out and targeted.

At the INTERNATIONAL AIR COMBAT TRIALS the following month the team from Falls Church are still in the running for the prize.

"This is great. I can't believe that we just won the semi's. This is too good to be true." Michael says.

They all laugh. In the distance two men watch,

"They will never see the end of this day." the leader says.

"Why kill them all? Why not just the one they call Alex? She's the only one that could really cause you trouble." the other one says.

The thought of killing teenagers sickens him.

"You fool, if we only took out the one the others would just come after us and never stop. They all will die and no one will even suspect that it was murder. A simple accident with the planes and they all go down in a blaze of glory." he says laughing at his wit.

They melt into the crowd as the group walk right by them.

"ALL PILOTS IN THE FINALS REPORT TO THE FLIGHT LINE FOR FINAL INSTRUCTIONS." the loud speaker says. Alex and her team race for the flight line.

"Wait a second !" someone steps in front of Alex and nearly gets rundown. "SHIT!" Alex exclaims in suprise.

"Sorry, Lex. I just wanted to wish you guys luck. This is it. You win this and you win the entire thing." * Rab says. {author's note: that's right, Harmon Rab from the series JAG. just thought I'd throw him in. look for him later in the story.}

" Damn, you startled me, Harm. Thanks." she says.

She shakes his hand and continues on. The others follow her as they pass the JAG lawyer.The last round of combat goes very well for the Falls Church team and they even win the TRIALS.

It is when the team is coming in to land that the trouble starts. First Alex,

"Coming in on final. . . I've got a problem. . . Hydraulics are out. . . Main systems are shutting down. . . What the hell is going on? I'm losing it up here."

Then Johnny "I've lost all my onboards. . . Stick is sluggish. . . Navigation is not giving me anything. . . What the hell is down there?. . . Am I near the field?"

The others are having the same troubles. To make matters worse for the people on the ground is the fact that the tower left the radios open so the crowd could hear the excited winners as they came in to accept the trophy and prize money. Now the crowd hears as the teens begin to lose control of their planes. Many in the crowd marvel at the cool level heads they maintain as their planes continue to lose altitude. For awhile it seems that they may even make it back and land. That is until the first plane hits the ground and explodes.

"Oh my god. MICHAEL !!! Answer me, Michael are you all right?" Alex shouts.

"Punch out ! Everybody bail out. We've got to get out of here." she says.

Ten 'shoots blossom in the smoke filled sky. Alex it having trouble getting out. Almost at the last second she makes it out just as her plane hits the ground and explodes under her. She catches the worst of the shrapnel and flames.




** THE PRESENT **

== ALEX CARPENTER'S HOUSE ==

"Not again !" Alex cries out as she wakes up from another nightmare.

She looks around as the flames and pain disappear back into the darkness of sleep.

"Alex, what's wrong?" her uncle asks.

"Just another nightmare. Damn, it's been almost four years and it still hasn't gone away." she says.

Alex looks at the clock on her nightstand, it's already 5:00 am.

"You've got to give yourself time. You only got out of rehab last month. It's bound to still hurt. Where do you think you're going?" he asks when he sees her getting dressed.

"To the Youth Center. I'm never going to get back to sleep before I have to get up for school. Besides I need a good workout and Ernie has mats and weight machines. I'll see you later Uncle Peter." Alex gathers what she needs for both school and to workout in and goes to her car, a 1991 blood red *VIPER. She puts in a CD of the TOPGUN soundtrack and puts the roof down.{author's note: this car has nothing to do with the defender from the series VIPER. I just like the car. sorry folks}

The wind whips through her hair as she drives through town. She notices the signs of reconstruction and wonders at it. There hasn't been a monster attack since she moved here to join her uncle so she has no idea about the Power Rangers or Lord Zedd or any of the other weirdness that goes on in the town of Angel Grove, CA.


** THE YOUTH CENTER **

She pulls into a parking spot near the door, gets out, and goes inside. At this time of morning there is usually very few people inside and Alex can workout in peace but today her luck has run out. There are six teenagers inside either studying or doing what she had planned. She sighs and goes to the locker room to change. If she doesn't get a tough workout in the morning she is will to be in pain the entire day. She quickly walks past the table where the girls and a couple of the guys are sitting. Kat looks up as she goes by. Alex doesn't even say hello or look at her. Kat notices something odd on Alex's arm. Jason also notices her but for an entirely different reason, he thinks she's beautiful and wants to meet her.

"Did you see the scar on her arm?" Kat asks, no one has.



** THE LOCKER ROOM **


It hurts when Alex takes her shirt off to change into her workout cloths. She still has the stuff she used when she would train with the Falls Church Imperials Flight Team. It has Navy all over it and the team logo, an eagle with a crown on its head. The jersey has the sleeves cut off and the pants are a little bigger so the fabric doesn't rub against the still raw wounds on her body. Alex stifles an outcry when the jersey slides over her back. Tanya is at another locker and hears her whimper.

"Are you all right?" she asks as she approaches the new girl.

"Yes, it still hurts sometimes." Lex says then walks away.



** THE YOUTH CENTER WORKOUT AREA **



Lex leaves the locker room and goes over to the mat and begins to stretch. Slowly at first, having stiffened up during the night, then with increased mobility she begins a fluid kata that no one has ever seen before. Jason and Tommy watch as she moves with such grace and perfection.

"Unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it before."

Tanya rejoins her friends as she gets a look at Alex. Even Ernie is impressed and he's seen her doing this before.

"Amazing. I never would have thought she could move like that." Tanya says absently.

"Why?" Jason asks.

"I saw her in the locker room. She's got scars all over her back and legs. It looks like it's painful for her to even move." Tanya stops talking when she sees the other girl looking at her.

Jason goes over to her.

"Would you like to spar? I was just going to start working out."

"Sure why not. I haven't done this for a while though." Lex says.

They both get into a fighting stance and Lex waits. Jason watches for her first move. Her head cocks to one side and she strikes with a pilots reflexes. Jason never sees it coming and hits the ground with a thud. This sound startles Lex and her mind flashes back to the crash four years ago and Michael's death. She runs for the locker room and then runs out of the building before anyone can stop her.

"What happened? What did I do, except fall on my ass." he says and laughs at himself.

Tommy approaches and helps his friend up,

"I don't know, man, but she was scared." Tommy says.

"I'm going to find her." Jason says.

He goes out the door and finds her sitting under a tree. Her head is buried in her hands. He can tell she has been crying.

"What's wrong? Did I do something?" he asks.

"No. It's me. I just remembered something that I've been trying to forget for the past three years." Alex says, her voice a bare whisper.

"You know, I don't even know your name. I'm Jason Lee Scott." he offers her his hand.

"Alexandra Carpenter." she says.

She tries to get up but the pain stops her. Jason reaches out and helps her to her feet,

"Thanks. It's hard getting up sometimes."

"What happened? If you don't mind telling me." he says when he sees the fear in her eyes.

"Let's go inside. I don't want to say anything out here, just in case."

"All right you can join me and my friends." Jason says.

Lex follows behind him so he doesn't see the sadness in her eyes.

"I found her outside under a tree. Alexandra these are my friends Tommy Oliver, Katherin Hilliard, Rocky DeSantos, Adam Parke, and Tanya Sloane. This is Alexandra Carpenter."

They are all happy to meet the new girl and she sits down next to Jason.

"Three years ago, I was in a plane crash. It was bad, really bad. I was in the burn unit in Falls Church for nearly two years, skin grafts, bone replacements, the whole nine yards. I guess I freaked when you hit the ground, Jason. It brought back memories of the crash." Lex says.

She carefully avoids any mention of the Imperials and her family and the Navy. Lex thinks she has gotten away with it when Tanya innocently asks,

"What is the Imperials Flight Team? I saw it on your shirt."

Blind terror flashes through her eyes as she remembers.

"The Imperials don't exist any more. They were whipped out after the TRIALS three years ago." Lex says.

"That was the crash you were talking about weren't you?" Adam asks.

She nods and wants to run away but with Jason on one side and Rocky on the other she is hemmed in.

"It's all right, Alexandra. You can talk to us." Jason says.

"You don't understand. It really wasn't an accident. They wanted us dead. The others were killed one after the other because I saw them kill the admiral and some guy that came over for a secrete conference. We walked right up to the gate and saw them getting ready. My friends are dead because we were running late and tried to take a short cut." Lex says.

Finally she bolts out of the Youth Center, knocking the chair over and nearly squishing Rocky in her haste to leave. { author's note: sorry about that, I just thought it sounded funny and would be perfect right there}



** ANGEL GROVE PARK **

Jason tries to find Alex but she manages to avoid him and his friends all day. Alex heads for the park after the last bell rings. She craves the solitude. What Alex doesn't know is that someone is watching her. {NOT ZEDD OR RITA OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT} A man with a rifle takes aim at Alex's head as she watches the birds drift on the wind.



** THE COMMAND CENTER **

* ALPHA, CONTACT THE RANGERS AT ONCE. THERE IS A PROBLEM IN THE PARK *

"At once Zordon." Alpha says.

In that instant six columns of light enter the Power Chamber.

* RANGERS. A YOUNG WOMAN IS IN DANGER IN THE PARK. SOMEONE IS AIMING A HIGH POWERED RIFLE AT HER HEAD AT THIS MOMENT. OBSERVE THE VIEWING GLOBE.*

The rangers gasp in suprise when they see Alex standing there.

"Let's do it. It's Morphin Time." The rangers morph and teleport to the park.



** THE PARK **


The rangers come in a little distance from Alex so as not to scare her too badly.

"I'll get Alexandra. You guys take care of the shooter." Jason says.

The others nod and take off after the shooter. Jason, as the Gold Ranger, approaches Alex.

"Miss Carpenter. You've got to come with me. There is someone trying to kill you." he says.

Alex just looks at the costume but doesn't take the stranger seriously.

"Who or what are you? Did I miss Halloween or something?"

"No time for this. We spotted a shooter in the trees behind you. I've come here to keep you alive.* MOVE IT OR LOSE IT! " the Gold Ranger shouts. {author's note: sorry about that, I just couldn't resist}

Alex hits the ground just as a bullet wizzes by her head. She reacts instantly. Alex jumps to her feet and rushes for the shooters location. She grabs him before the other rangers can stop her. She breaks his neck and tosses him into the lake, more than three hundred meters away. She turns on the rangers then runs away. The White Ranger stops her,

"Hold on. We're not going to hurt you." he says.

Alex looks around then passes out.

"What the hell?" Jason says.

"Let's take her to Alpha." Kat says.

This time seven columns of light enter the Command Center.


** THE COMMAND CENTER **


* WHY DID YOU BRING HER HERE? *

"Something weird happened when the guy shot at her. We thought maybe Alpha can tell us why she reacted the way she did." Jason says worried.

He really likes this girl. It would be just like Zedd and Rita to find a good looking girl and program her to be the perfect spy. Alpha runs a scanner over the unconscious girl.

"She is human and under no evil spell. However, she has been modified." Alpha says.

"Modified? How?" the rangers ask at the same time.

"Because of the extensive injuries she has suffered, someone went to a lot of trouble to give her the latest in cybernetic limb replacements and experimental genetic alteration to compensate for the burn damage. This must have accelerated her already finely tuned reflexes." Alpha completes his evaluation.

"Seeing us couldn't have helped." Adam says.

Jason gathers Alex up and he and the others teleport back to the park before she wakes up.



** THE PARK **


The rangers unMorph just as Alex starts coming around. Jason smiles when she opens her eyes,

"Take it easy. Looks like you ran into trouble." he says, trying to calm her down.

Alex looks around but doesn't see the guy in the gold costume.

"Where did he go?" she asks, badly confused.

"Where did who go? What did you see?" Tommy asks.

She jumps when she hears him, "A guy in gold. He was here a second ago. Oh, man my head hurts." Alex says.

She tries to stand but something in her head explodes and she pushes Jason out of the way as a grenade lands where they just were.

"What happened? What the hell was that?" Kat asks clearly shaken.

"Grenade. Some idiot is using grenades." Alex gets to her feet and goes after whoever is throwing the explosives.

She gets away from them before they can stop her. They try to follow her but it's no use. The rangers return to the Youth Center and hope that Alex will come to them.


** THE WOODS NEAR AND INSIDE THE YOUTH CENTER**


Alex stumbles into a tree near the Youth Center. She is in pain and disoriented. Bulk and Skull pick that time to arrive. They hear something strange in the trees and go to investigate and find Alex, battered and bloody. At first they think she is dead but she moves when they approach her.

"What happened? Who did this to you?" Bulk asks.

"Don't know. Faces covered, didn't get a good look at them. Help me please." she says and collapses.

The boys are hesitant to move her but can't just leave her here. They pick her up and carry her inside. She cringes in pain at their touch. As they enter, Jason sees her immediately and knows something's wrong. He gets Tommy's attention and they go over to her.

"What happened? Where did you find her?" Jason asks.

"Outside in the trees. It looks like someone really kicked the shit out of her. What's going on?" Bulk says.

"Go call an ambulance she's hurt bad. It looks like some of these burns have been scraped raw somehow." Adam says after examining her.

"Is she going to be all right?" Jason asks.

"In time I think so, at least physically. Emotionally, I don't know. If this keeps up, she could end up a basket case." Adam says.

"Call . . . Admiral . . . JAG . . . they're back. Got to get out." Alex mumbles.

The gathered teens look at each other in confusion.

"What or who is 'JAG'? Admiral who?" Bulk asks.

"I don't know. Go watch for the ambulance and any more trouble." Jason tells Bulk and Skull.

They nod and wait outside. Ernie comes over to them and sees her.

"Ernie do you know who 'JAG' is?" Kat asks.

"The only thing I can think of is the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corp. But what would she have to do with them? This is even stranger than the Power Rangers. I'll call her uncle, he'll probably know." Ernie says.

Alex reaches out for Jason as another wave of pain hits her. She begins to relive the fiery crash once again and hears a strange kind of music calling her back to the sky.

"Your time is coming, Little Eagle. The eternals are waiting for you." the musical voice keeps repeating.

"NO! I don't want to die, I want to live!" she shouts at the specter.

The figure just laughs. The flames reach up to take her again and again. Alex keeps running away but the flames always find her. She is unaware of the paramedics as they lift her into the ambulance and race to the hospital. Peter gets to the Youth Center just as the truck leaves,

"What happened? Where is Alex?" he asks the first person he finds.

"They're taking her to the hospital. Someone hurt her real bad." Jason says.

"Did she say anything before they took her?"

"Yes. Something about an admiral and JAG and someone being back. She's just delirious" Adam says.

"I'm afraid not. I've been afraid this would come back to haunt her. They have to know she is being threatened again. Damn, they told her she would be safe here. This isn't fair to her, she's been through too much to have to deal with this again." Peter says and stalks off to make the call that will no doubt cause more trouble than it will solve.



** JAG HEADQUARTERS **


"JAG, can I help you" Lt. Bud Roberts answers the phone.

"Admiral Chedwidden please. Cmndr. Donavan calling about the Imperials." Peter says.

That's right this is the same Donavan that was the flight trainer for the Imperials team three years ago, he is not just her trainer, he's her uncle, really he's married to her mother's sister.

"What about the Imperials?" the admiral asks when he gets on the line.

"Sorry to disturb you, sir. Alex was attacked a little while ago and taken to the local hospital. I'm on my way there now. She said they're back. If she's right we all could be in real trouble, sir." Peter says.

"All right. I'll send you a small security force." Admiral Chedwidden says.

"Could you send Harm down here with a TOMCAT? I think she needs to see him." Peter asks.

"I guess so. He would enjoy the flight time. He and Major Mackenzie should be there in a couple of hours and the Marine detail will arrive tomorrow."

"Thank you sir."

In minutes Harm and Mac are in the admiral's office,

"Commander Rab, you and Major MacKenzie are going out to Angel Grove, CA. Commander Donavan just called and said that Alex Carpenter is in trouble. He asked that you fly down there in a TOMCAT." the admiral fights off a smile when he sees Harm's face light up.

He gets excited at the prospect of flying cross country in a fighter once again. Major Mackenzie is a little worried,

"Do you want me to go with Cmndr. Rab in the TOMCAT?" she asks.

"Unless you want to fly out with the security detail leaving this evening. I hear that landing in Angel Grove is a dicey proposition at night." Harm needles her.

She is a little afraid of his flying.

"All right, all right I get the point." Mac says.

Harm laughs as they head off to pack.

"Don't worry so much. I know what I'm doing. It will be good to see Alex again." Harm says.

"How do you know her?" Mac asks.

"She used to be the leader of the Imperials Flight Team. A bunch of pilot's kids that trained for combat trials and other air events. Her father was a friend. He was killed five years ago when a van exploded outside an airline reservations office. She has no family left except Peter and his wife. I saw her again when they were getting ready for the INTERNATIONAL AIR COMBAT TRIALS almost four years ago. She's a beautiful girl. This has got to be a nightmare for her." Harm says.

"I remember that one. One kid died on the runway and a girl was badly burned and mangled when her parachute took her through the flames and shrapnel." Mac says.

"That was Alex. She's a brave kid but she can only take so much before even she breaks." Harm says.

"I'll meet you in the ready room in twenty minutes." he says when he drops her off at her apartment. He goes home and packs a few things. He sees the picture of Alex, Peter, himself and the entire Imperials team, smiling. He decides to take the picture with him and one of just her, her father and him.

Twenty minutes later Harm walks into the ready room and finds Mac waiting.

"You ready?" he asks.

"As I'll ever be." Mac says as she picks up her bag.

She and Harm head out to the flight line. They are airborne in minutes and on their way west.



** ANGEL GROVE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL **


"How is she, doctor?" Jason asks.

"It only looked bad. She's exhausted and has a bad headache, nothing that a good night's sleep won't cure. We're going to keep her here over night just to be safe. Those burns are healing very nicely and it looks like she's following her rehab instructions to the letter. I've never seen anyone with that kind of burn damage that can still move." the doctor says.

Jason and the other rangers sigh in relief as they sit back.

"When can we see her?" Tommy asks.

"You can go up now. Just remember she needs rest, so don't stay too long."

They nod and head for the elevator and go up to Alex's room. A nurse is just leaving as they enter. She smiles then continues out of the room. The rangers gather around Alex's bed and wait for her to open her eyes.

Jason is the first to notice a change in her breathing and asks, "Did you catch him?"

The others are puzzled, they think she is still asleep.

"No, he got away. He'll be back though." Alex says, her eyes still closed.

Unknown to even Jason, Alex has let them in on a secrete. If they watch her closely they can tell what is going on.

"How did you know she was awake?" Tommy asks Jason.

"Her breathing changed. I just happened to notice." he says.

Alex opens her eyes in time to see her uncle come in.

"I made the call. The admiral is sending a security detail down, they'll get here tomorrow. He's even agreed to send Harm down. He should be here soon." Peter says.

Alex smiles at the mention of an old friend.

"Is he bringing a TOMCAT?"

"Yes. He's got a new partner and they're both coming down."

"I hope he's better to this one than he was to Meg." she says.

She tries to laugh but ends up in a coughing fit.

"Take it easy. That would be ironic for you to choke after all that's happened." Peter says.

Alex nods and settles down. Peter leaves her alone with her new friends.

"Who's 'Harm'" Rocky asks.

"A friend of my dad's. I haven't seen him since the crash. He's with JAG but he's also a pilot. He taught me everything I know about combat aircraft. You'll like him. I did from the beginning." Alex says.

She yawns and tries to stretch and is stopped by pain, "Damn."

Jason sits down on the bed next to her.

He puts his arm around her, "We'll stay till you fall asleep. I'll come and get you tomorrow when they let you go." Jason says.

Lex nods as she struggles to stay awake despite the sedative the nurse gave her. Her head rolls over onto Jason's chest as she finally drifts off. He sits there a moment to be sure she is asleep before he tries to stand. She won't let him go.

"I'll catch up with you guys later." he says.

Tommy smiles at his friend as they leave quietly.

Jason watches her as she sleeps. * She is so beautiful. Her strength is amazing. I can't imagine what I would do in her place. I wonder what she is thinking right now. Man, what am I doing to myself. She's in deep trouble and all I can think of is spending time with her. She has been through so much she doesn't need me around hounding her.* Jason thinks to himself.

Alex begins to dream.



**THE DREAM**



An endless, clear sky. There are no clouds in sight and the sun is bright. The only sound is that of thousands of fighters warming up and taking to the sky.An endless line fighters fly by overhead. She can here the chatter of the men as they call back and forth. After all the men and machines take to the sky there is one fighter left. "It's yours, Little Eagle. All you have to do is join us. Then the squadron will be complete." a voice says from behind. Alex turns and sees her father. "I can't believe you want me here now. I thought you told me to live and be happy. What changed your mind?" she demands. "You should have joined us years ago. The crash in Virginia should have brought you home to us. But now it's only a matter of time and you'll be with us." he says. "Is that what you told Harm when he crashed. No dad I won't be here for a long time. I'm sorry but I just got my life back and I want to enjoy it for awhile." Alex says. She starts to walk away when her father stops her. "You won't have much choice when your time comes." "We always have choices and I choose to live my life with my new friends and even with Jason." Alex says. She jerks away from him and runs in the opposite direction.


** THE NEXT MORNING **


Alex jerks awake and startles Jason. He spent the entire night at her bedside. Alex opens here eyes when she realizes someone is with her.

"Good morning Jason." she whispers.

"Morning, oh man am I stiff. I am gonna get it. I didn't even go home last night." he says.

"I don't think your parents will be too upset considering I wouldn't let you go. Sorry about that." she says.

Jason smiles at her. The doctor comes in before he can say anything else.

"Good morning Jason. Did you sleep well?" the doctor teases.

"Alex, Your uncle has checked you out and you can go as soon as you get dressed. Your aunt sent some clean cloths for you to change into." he says.

The doctor hands her an overnight bag.

"Thanks. I'll be out in a minute and then we can go." Alex says.

"I called your family, Jason. They understand why you didn't come home last night. Did she sleep all right?" the doctor asks.

"Yes. Maybe it helped, my being here for her." he says.

Just then she comes out, dressed and ready to go. "You should go home and rest you've got the entire weekend." the doctor says.

Alex nods absently as she watches Jason. The doctor sighs and lets the two teenagers go.

Alex and Jason leave the hospital and she is in good spirits.

"You want to go over to the Youth Center and workout?" Alex asks Jason.

She may be in high spirits but she is stiff and needs to do something physical.

"Shouldn't you rest, like the doctor said?" Jason says.

"If I don't, I'll be miserable all day. You wouldn't want that would you? " she says.

Jason laughs at her.

"All right, but instead of the Youth Center why don't we go to the park, its such a nice say, and play a game or two of volleyball?"

"Even better. We need a good opponent though. Who would you suggest?" Alex says.

"I'll call Tommy and the others and meet you in the park." Jason says.

Alex nods and heads off toward home.


** THE DONAVAN RESIDENCE **


Alex walks in and starts to go upstairs when she hears voices in the kitchen. She decides to get something to eat before she changes to meet her friends. As she enters the kitchen she recognizes the tall man in the beige uniform,

"Harm!" she shouts.

He turns and is nearly flattened when Alex throws her arms around his neck, she's nearly as tall as he is.

"It's good to see you again." she says after she lets him go.

"I heard you were having trouble and decided to come and bail you out. This is my new partner, Major MacKenzie" he says.

She nods at the woman. Alex smiles, she knows he's kidding. Nothing short of catching the guys that are after her or her death will help her but she says nothing. She grabs something to eat from the stove and starts back up stairs.

"Where are you going? You should stay out of sight until those maniacs are caught." Katherin Donavan says.

"I'm going to the park with Jason and his friends. We're going to play volleyball. If I stay here I'll just go nuts. Besides if I don't do something you wouldn't want me around any way. I'll see you later." Alex says.

"Wait, your plane came in yesterday don't you want to check it out?" Peter asks.

"I'll get Jason to drive me over later after the game." she says.

She goes upstairs and to her room. Mac follows, she stops at the door when she sees the girl, her back to the door, with her shirt off. She knocks before entering.

"Come in."Alex says.

"Sorry to bother you. You do realize that they only want to see you safe. You shouldn't blow them off like that."

"I'm not. I just can't live all cooped up. I need my freedom. Soon enough I'll have to follow orders and right now I want to have fun. Besides with all the marines and the Power Rangers hanging around I'll be perfectly safe in the park with my friends."

That threw Mac.

"What the hell are Power Rangers?" she asks.

"I'm not really sure but I ran into them the other day. It was really weird. If you're so concerned why don't you and Harm come down and keep an eye out." Alex says as she finishes putting on a T-shirt and lycra bicycle shorts.

She digs out a pair of socks and hi-top sneakers.

"If you do though, you guys should change into civvies. In those uniforms you two will stand out worse than a Power Ranger." she dashes down stairs and out the door.

Mac returns to the kitchen,

"I told you she's a handful." Peter says.

"Wonderful. Should we follow her?" Mac asks.

"Why not. It should be interesting. Besides the security guys will have to get used to her schedule and her habits." Harm says.

They change and follow her to the local park.


** ANGEL GROVE PARK **


"Jason." Alex calls out when she sees him.

He turns and smiles.

"What took you so long?" Tommy asks.

"Harm was there when I walked in. I had to talk to him. That and his partner cornered me while I was changing. I think they're going to come and keep an eye out for the creeps that have been after me. Oh, before I forget,"

The rangers groan and look over at Tommy,

"What? What did I say? I was just going to tell you that the Marine security unit is here and they will by swarming all over the place. I've seen these guys at work. They're good but terribly trigger happy so be careful around them. Can one of you drive me over to the airport later. My plane came in yesterday and I want to see it." Alex says.

"You have your own plane. How?" Kat asks.

"I did a project for the Navy and ended up with a multi-million dollar contract. It's nothing fancy, like the TOMCAT Harm brought down. It's just a modified T-16 Corsair. I redid the engine design and brought it close to the FALCON specs. I want to see how well it came out." she is so matter of fact about it, it throws the others for a loop. "Are we going to play or not?" Alex asks.



** ZEDD AND RITA'S LUNAR PALACE **


Rita is looking down on the Earth as the rangers and their new friend begin to play their first volleyball game. She doesn't see the marines or the two JAG lawyers as she plots the rangers latest demise.

"Zedd, the rangers are in the park again. What are you going to do about it?" Rita screeches in his ear.

He smacks at her then gets up to see for himself.

"How about using the Earthlings combat aircraft. It should make an interesting monster." Zedd says.

He sends an energy blast that changes the TOMCAT into a snarling armored lion. The rangers have no idea what is about to happen.


** THE PARK **

{A little warning before you go on. This is where it gets a little silly. America's finest coming face to face with one of Zedd and Rita's monsters. Picture this real hard and you will laugh so hard you may choke, so be careful.}


"Come on, Alex. This is humiliating. You can't always win." Kat says.

She looks over and gets Harm's attention.

"Commander, why don't you join our team?"

"I don't know. Alex is the best player I've seen." Alex turns red in embarrassment.

"Go on. We'll still beat the pants off you." she taunts.

Harm laughs and joins Kat's side of the net. All of a sudden they feel the ground shake.

"Earthquake?" Mac asks.

"No. They're impact tremors. Could they be from all the construction?" Harm says.

"Not unless one of the machines grew legs and is coming this way. Oh hell." Adam says.

He points to the oncoming critter.

"Scatter. Protect Alex and run for it." Jason says.

"Head for the Youth Center. We'll meet there. Alex knows where it is." Tommy directs.

They go off in the opposite direction.

"What the hell is that?" Mac asks, she points to the oncoming monster.

She's spooked and a little annoyed with the way the teenagers ordered her around.

"If I didn't know better I'd say it was a TOMCAT. " one of the marines says. "I think it is. I heard about this kind of thing happening. Just never thought I'd see it. Don't take the way they act personally. They must be used to this kind of thing happening." Alex says.

"What? What the hell is going on? What is that thing?" Harm demands.

He's not used to this kind of thing and it's got him slightly upset. I mean we're talking monsters and aliens and the modern military, what do you think.

"Not here. Let's get to the Youth Center and I'll tell you what I heard." Alex says.

They make it to the Youth Center and Alex finds a table near the door so she can watch for Jason. The marines take up positions around her. Ritchie comes over to take their order.

"Anything that's got sugar in it. Is it on the news yet?" Alex says.

"What?" Ritchie asks in confusion.

"Another monster attack. We saw it in the park. Big, mean. It looked like an armored lion." "No but I'll check. Maybe Ernie will turn on the TV." he says.

"Do you mind telling us what is going on?" Harm insists.

"That's the only problem with this town. The monster attacks. From what I've heard it happens every now and then and the Power Rangers fight them off..." She doesn't get a chance to finish.

All of a sudden they hear screaming and Alex looks up to see a flock of Tengas rushing in and straight at them.

"Ah hell ! TENGAS ! Get the civilians out of here ! " she says.

The marines respond instantly and aim their weapons, "No! Too many civilians around. Take them out hand to hand. Besides I don't think they'd work." Alex says as a Tenga rushes her.

"Shit ! That hurt." she hits one of the birds in the beak.

The fight goes pretty well for the group until the building shakes.

"Let's get out of here. We can fight better in the open anyway." Alex says.

She runs passed the Tengas and heads for the outside. Harm, Mac and the marines are hard pressed to keep up with her.

"Oh man, where did that thing come from." Mac says as she pulls up suprised.

"Damn. It's either the Tengas or that thing. Frankly, I'd rather deal with Tengas." Alex says.

From off to the side the Gold Ranger appears.

"Did everyone get out?" he asks Alex.

"Yeah, we were the last. What is that thing?" she asks pointing to the monster.

"It doesn't say much, just growls alot. I'll take the Tengas." he says.

"No, we can handle it, you go help the others. They're gonna need it more than we do." she tells him.

Gold nods and teleports out. Harm and the others are dumb founded. That doesn't last long because more Tengas come at them. One of them has a weapon of some kind and fires at Harm. Alex sees this and throws a rock at the creature and hits it in the eye and the shot goes wild. Unfortunately she doesn't see the other one taking aim at her. She dives on another Tenga just as the one behind her fires and grazes her arm. She doesn't notice right away. Soon enough the Tengas give up and fly away. Alex sits down heavily, the adrenaline finally wearing off.

"You're hit, Alex." Harm says.

A marine walks over to her to check out the injury.

"It's not bad." he says and patches it up. They return to the Youth Center to find it in shambles. Alex begins to help clean up.

"Thanks, Alex. You and your friends did a good job." Ernie says.

He brings all of them free food and drinks.

Soon the news reports yet another victory for the Ninja Rangers. Right after that Jason and the others return. Alex sees Jason and smiles. Jason sighs in relief when he sees she is unharmed. He goes over to her, that's when he sees the bandage on her arm.

"What happened? " he asks.

"A Tenga fired something at me. It's not bad, just singed, promise." Then she turns to the others, "Anyone want to give me a ride to the airport. I need to check out my plane." Alex says.

The teens are tired but decide to go with her.


** ANGEL GROVE AIRPORT **


The entire group arrive at the civilian hangars and see a beautiful blue and silver T-16 Corsair shining in the sun.

"It's beautiful. I've never seen anything like it in my life." Tommy says.

Like the others, he is very impressed.

"You want to see it up close. I'm going to run a pre-flight then take it up." Alex says.

They follow her over to the plane.

They watch as she does a visual inspection, "Looks like it survived the trip over here." she mutters to herself. Alex turns to Jason, "You want to come up with me?" she asks him.

He looks at the plane then nods. It's a chance to be alone with her with no distractions. He follows her to the locker room to change into a flight suit.

"Don't worry, Jason. I know what I'm doing. My team won the INTERNATIONALs the last time I went up. This is the fun stuff." she says.

She laughs as she gets ready. Jason smiles to himself as he listens to her. This is the first time he has ever heard her laugh. He waits for her at the door. Alex comes around a bank of lockers studying a weather report not looking up.

"Looks like good flying weather. Clear skies to 10 thousand and excellent visibility for 30 miles. Just perfect." she is saying.

Again Jason smiles. She looks like she's comfortable in her flight suit and she really looks good in it.

"Ready?" she asks, then looks up, "Huh, guess you are. Let's go. The big blue awaits." she says and races for the plane.

Jason follows close behind. They climb in and Alex does the onboard pre-flight. She calls the tower for take off instructions. Jason has never seen her this serious and is impressed. Soon they are racing down the runway and taking off.



** OPEN SKY AND BEYOND **


"Sorry for the rush. Guess I need to remember that this isn't a competition. We would always get points for everything including how fast we did the pre-flight and got in the air. I got pretty good at it. Hold on." she says just before she does a hard right bank.

Jason barely has time to hear the warning before he ends up looking at the world upside down. "Oh man, I'm gonna toss my breakfast." Jason mutters.

Alex hears this and laughs.

She brings the plane rightside up, "Better?" she asks.

"Yes, thank you. I wasn't ready for that one. You got anymore." he says.

She laughs and puts the plane through its paces. After an hour and a half she finally lands. Jason is a little green but he enjoyed himself and tolerates the nausea.

"It's perfect. They followed the designs exactly and it worked." she announces happily.

Harm smiles as he watches Alex and her new friends. He can't shake the feeling something is going to happen.

"That was incredible. Can I ask you something?" Rocky speaks up and asks her.

"Sure, what is it?"

"What is it like up there?"

"It's pure freedom. There's nothing like it except maybe flying the Space Shuttle or maybe the Falcon Zord I saw in the news." she says.

Alex doesn't catch the look that crosses Tommy's face when she mentions his zord.

She looks around then at her watch, "Let's get something to eat, I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." This gets everyone going.

"Just like Rocky, always hungry, imagine that." Tommy teases.

Rocky turns red and Alex turns away, tears filling her eyes. Jason and Harm notice this and Jason goes to her first. Harm stands back and watches. "Are you all right, Alexandra?" he asks.

"It's nothing. The others would always tease me about that after practices. A good flight always makes me hungry. I just wasn't expecting to ever hear that again that's all. Really, Jason, I'm all right." Alex says. Jason holds her for a moment.

They leave the airport not knowing that they are being watched.


** YOUTH CENTER **


Once again the rangers and Alex return to the Youth Center to relax and enjoy themselves. They try to ignore the marines that are hanging around and the two lawyers but it's not easy. Alex and Tommy are jumpy and decide to spar.

"Come on Jase. Let's have a little fun." Tommy says.

He looks at Alex before he decides. She shrugs her shoulders and goes back to the locker room. Tanya and Kat follow her, they've decided to get in on the action. Soon enough all the rangers and Alex are in the middle of a mock battle. Even the marines are impressed as they watch.


** THE BATTLE **



In slow motion they do battle. No one takes sides. It's a free for all. Alex faces off against Adam and suprises him with a lightening fast reverse round house to his head. He barely ducks out of the way. She is gone before he can counter her move. Tommy goes after Rocky with a front double punch that sends him into Kat. She swings around with a back hand that flattens him, it takes a few seconds to regain his senses. Jason lays into Tanya but can't do too much damage because she never stays in one place very long. Tommy backs into Jason and gets socked in the kidneys for his troubles. They turn on each other and battle fiercely until Alex comes in with a Talon Strike that sends them spinning off in opposite directions.To the uninformed it looks like they are really trying to kill each other instead of having fun. She looks so fierce as she battles each of the rangers in turn. When it's over, Alex is the only one standing.


** THE AFTERMATH **




Tommy and the other rangers are spralled on the ground breathing heavily as they look up at Alex. She stands over them watching. She knows that they are in no condition to continue the fight. She isn't even breathing hard, almost as if taking on the rangers was an effortless task. At first they are a little *miffed {author's note: * you like that word, i did} but then they remember what Alpha said about her being modified. They put it off to the fact of what the doctors did to her to save her life, never suspecting the truth, that she really is a mutant. One with the strength and physical and mental power to overcome almost any attacker. Alex smiles and offers them a hand in getting up. "That was fun." she says. The rangers laugh as they get to their feet. They all go over to their table and order something to drink.

"Whatever possessed us to do that?" Tommy asks.

"I don't know but we should do it more often." Jason says.

Everyone, Alex included, laughs themselves silly. The marines think the kids are nuts but say nothing. Harm smiles as he watches Alex having fun for the first time in so long. Ritchie brings a large plate of fries and sets it down in the center of the table.

"Food, good I'm starved." Rocky says.

First Tommy starts laughing then it spreads to Kat, then Tanya, then Alex, Adam, and finally Jason. The entire table is rocked with a fit of hysterical laughter.

"Oh man, stop. My sides are hurting. This is too much." Alex says through the laughter.

No one can stop to save their lives.


** IN THE WEEKS TO FOLLOW **


During the weeks that follow, Alex and the rangers become the bes of friends. She and Jason become even more than friends. Alex and Jason spend all their free time together, each learning from the other, loving each other. Alex is very happy during this time and Jason is amazed with all the joy he is bringing to her. Zedd and Rita don't bother them again but the TOMCAT Harm brought with him was trashed in the battle when they first showed up. Alex and Jason spend a lot of time alone and even spend time in the air. She almost completely forgets about the nightmare that awaits her. She even is able to ignore the siren song that constantly sings its baleful tun at the back of her mind. Almost but all of a sudden on a beautiful winter morning she finds a note from Jason asking her to meet him in the park by the lake. She has no idea that it's a fake and a trap set by Horton himself.



** THE TRAP **

** This is where it gets painful. Take care as you read on. Have plenty of hankies close at hand.**

Alex is in the park, alone, waiting for Jason. She hears someone soming up behind her. She turns, expecting to see Jason, to find a gun barrel in her face.

"We finally meet face to face. You have given my associates and myself a lot of trouble over such a small thing. Now you will join your team mates in hell." the strange man says.

He doesn't know her very well or he would have fired before he said anything. Alex dodges to one side just as he shoots. She rolls to her feet and runs for the entrance to the park. She hears the shooter following close behind. She is near the edge of the park when the Ninja Rangers appear between her and the gunman. The one in Gold goes to her and stands with her as the others try to discourage the attacker.

"This isn't a good idea. You could kill someone." the red ninja says.

"That's the idea." Horton says.

"NO!!!! Leave them out of this." Alex shouts and tries to get away from the gold ninja but he wouldn't let her go.

Harm and the marines are close behind them, but not close enough to stop events from unfolding. The rangers have never had to deal with the treachery of their own kind before and don't know how to handle it. They think that this guy will behave just like the creatures they have fought before. Unfortunatly this is not the case. The gunman isn't alone, a dozen more have arrived to back thier boss up.

"This was just going to be about you and me, Carpenter. You caused me to lose all my contacts and clients because of what you did. Now you involved these freaks and they are going to die with you." he says.

"Don't be too sure. They're better than you think. But you're right it is about you and me." Alex says.

She walks away form the gold ninja and through the other rangers to face Horton.

"NO!" the gold ninja shouts.

He is looking at a sniper in the trees and he races for him. Too late, the shooting begins. Everyone hits the ground, including the rangers. Horton staggers through the shooting and grabs hold of the gold ninja.

** WOUNDED EAGEL **


"That is QUITE enough !" Horton shouts.

Everyone stops and looks over at him.

"Very good, Alexandra. But not good enough. Time for things to come to an end. Step away from the trees with your hands where I can see them. Don't do anything funny or this freak will die right here right now." he threatens.

Alex knows Horton's serious and does as he says.

"Alex, don't ! Stay where you are!" Harm shouts.

She doesn't hear him. All she can hear is the siren call from the sky.

"Look only at me, ranger." Alex tells the gold ranger.

Her voice is strange, he listens and waits for her to do something. At this range a gun shot would be fatal to even a ranger.

She looks at Horton, "All right I'm here. Let him go. He's not part of this and you know it." Alex says.

"Now, now, let's not get ahead of ourselves." Horton says, his voice sickly sweet.

He points the gun at her. This is what she's been waiting for. A slight nod and the gold ninja pulls away from Horton and dives off to the side. It all happens in slow motion as Jason watches his worst nightmare come to life. Alex draws the gun she has from behind her back and fires at the same time Horton does. Alex's shot is better, it hits Horton between the eyes. Alex remains on her feet even though she is hit in the chest. She doesn't feel it. With their leader dead the other attackers are rounded up by the marines. Alex turns to the rangers and looks for the gold one.

"Are you all right ? Horton didn't hurt you did he ?" she asks him.

"No, I'm ok, just a little shaken up." he says.

"How did you know what was going on? I got a note from Jason asking me to meet him here and Horton shows up." Alex says.

"We saw the trouble on our monitoring system and got here as soon as we could. We also called Commander Rab and he brought the marines. Are you all right ? You look a little pale." the white ninja says. She smiles, "He's here, I think I heard him before the shooting started." she says.

Before Alex can continue she collapses. The white ninja catches her. When he moves her to check her out he notices the blood on the front of his tunic.

"OH GOD!! She's been shot." he calls out to the other rangers. They disapear and take Alex with them.


** THE COMMAND CENTER **


The rangers arrive at the command center and unMorph. Jason is frantic to save Alex, her blood staining his cloths and hands. He looks around for Alpha.

"Alpha, get a cot. Alex has been shot, she's bleeding bad." Jason says, his voice shaking.

He stays with her as Alpha runs a scanner over her.

"It doesn't look good, Jason. I can't stop the internal bleeding. What was she shot with ? She's all messed up inside. There's a lot of internal damage." Alpha says as he works feverishly to save Alex's life.

In the end though it does no good, she's dying. Alex comes to and is frightened until she sees Jason.

"What is. . . ?" her voice fails.

"It's all right. You're safe here. No one can get to you here."

* I AM ZORDON. THIS IS THE HOME OF THE POWER RANGERS. THEY BROUGHT YOU HERE AFTER YOU WERE SHOT. DO YOU REMEMBER ? YOU SAVED JASON FROM HORTON * Zordon says.

Alex looks over at Jason.

"That was you out there. You're the Gold Ranger. Oh my god, Jason ....... I never wanted you to get in the middle of that. I'm ......... so ...................... sorry." Alex says, her voice failing along with her strength.

She tries to sit up. Jason eases her back down.

"It's all right. I'm fine all that matters is that you get better and live. I want you to teach me how to fly. I want to learn from you. I need you to stay and be with me." he says.

The other rangers back off and give them some privacy. Tears fill there eyes as they watch the life drain away from the brave young woman and Jason as he tries to fight back death.

"I want ......... to stay. I ............ need you ...... Jason. Oh god .............. it hurts. Hold me. I love you Jason." she whispers.

She shivers as the cold enters her body, death is near and they know it.

"I love you too, Alexandra. Please don't go." he pleads.

"I'm so cold. I'll never leave you again my love." she says.

With her last bit of strength she lays her hand on his chest and a warm glow flows into him. She has given him all her memories and what little power she had as she dies. Just then the viewing globe comes to life.


** THE VIEWING GLOBE INTO ETERNITY **


The rangers turn to see what is going on. They are in no mood to deal with another monster of any kind. This time, however, the globe doesn't show an impending attack. The rangers see Alex running across an open field, laughing. She throws her arms around a man that looks like her.

"Daddy, I'm ready. Let's go." she says to the man.

They run to the last two fighters. Both pilots are dressed for combat. They climb aboard their fighters and race for the endless sky.

"Aren't you going to miss your friends back there?" her father asks.

"Yes, but they aren't alone. I'm still with them, especially Jason. Let's do it. I've waited my whole life for this." Alex says.

Then the globe goes dark.

"What was that?" Jason asks, tears sliding down his face.

* ALEXANDRA PROVIDED YOU WITH A LOOK INTO THE WORLD BEYOND. I BELIEVE SHE DID THIS SO YOU WOULD NOT WORRY FOR HER. AS YOU SAW THE MAN SHE MET IS HER DEAD FATHER AND NOW THEY ARE REUNITED IN A BETTER AND SAFER PLACE AWAY FROM THE HARM OF THE WORLD OF THE LIVING.* Zordon explains.

"Oh man, we've got to go back. They're going to wonder what happened." Rocky says.

With this the spell is broken that has fallen over the rangers.

"What are we going to tell them?" Kat asks.

No one says anything at first then Jason speaks up.

"We tell Commander Rab and her family the truth, all of it and hope they have the sense to keep the details to themselves. I don't think I could lie to them right now as it is." he says.

Jason stands and picks Alex up. Even in death she is so beautiful. The other rangers agree. Zordon takes that moment to speak:

*BRING THEM HERE. THEY SHOULD KNOW THE SACRIFICE SHE HAS MADE FOR YOU. THE VIEWING GLOBE HAS THE IMAGES STORED AND I SHALL REPLAY THE MESSAGE FOR THEM*

"If you're sure. It would make things easier. Jason, why don't you stay with her and we'll bring her family here." Tommy suggests.

Jason just nods, his grief to strong. He lays her back down and sits at her side holding her cooling hand. **She can't be gone. This is a cruel trick, right. Zedd is playing one of his sick games and Alex will wake up once we break the spell. Oh, god this can't be happening.**

"I'll stay with him. He shouldn't be alone right now." Tanya says.

Rocky and Adam stay behind as well. Kat and Tommy Morph and go to the Donavon residence.

"This isn't going to be easy." Kat mutters.



** THE DONOVAN RESIDENCE **



The rangers appear in front of the startled adults.

"What the hell? How did you get in here?" Commander Donavon says supprised.

"That doesn't matter right now. We know where your niece is." the white Ninja says.

"Where did you take her?" Harm demands.

Mac is at his side.

"If you'll come with us, we'll take you to her." the pink Ninja says.

"If you'll stand close to us we can go" the white Ninja says.

Alex's family doesn't understand but they obey and they all disappear form the house.



** THE COMMAND CENTER **

The Donovan's, Harm and Mac land hard and on their backsides when the teleport field lets them go.

"Ow, that hurt. Where the hell did we end up? And how did we get here?" Harm asks.

He sums up the general consensus. They look around for the two that brought them but only see the little robot, Alpha, and a floating head, Zordon.

* DO NOT FEAR. I AM ZORDON. A FRIEND AND ADVISOR TO THE POWER RANGERS. THEY DECIDED TO BRING YOU HERE TO TRY AND HELP YOU DEAL WITH THE DEATH OF ALEXANDRA. AND TO SHOW YOU HER FINAL MESSAGE. * Zordon says.

He replays the images from the viewing globe. during this the rangers gather around Jason and the body of their fallen friend.

"Where is she? You said she is here." her aunt asks, her voice choked with sobs.

"Over here, Mrs. Donavan. She . . ." Jason tries to say more but his voice fails him.

"What happened? It looked like she was fine." Harm asks Tommy.

"She was shot in the chest. Alpha tried to save her but couldn't. If it helps, Alexandra didn't die alone. We were with her." Tommy says.

Harm looks over at Jason, "He's taking this really hard isn't he?" Harm asks, not totally understanding the reason why.

"The last thing she said to him was 'I love you Jason and I'll never leave you again.' He really fell for her and now this." Tommy says.

Kat walks up to Tommy and slips her arms around him.

"We had to watch her die and not be able to do anything to save her. Some times I really hate this job." she says.

Harm looks at the teens. He never would have suspected them of being Power Rangers. The thought of kids fighting the kind of battles that marines would probably lose really has him shaken up. He sees how the death of Alex, a girl they hardly knew, has really affected them deeply.

"Why did that bastard have to kill her." Jason says.

He has finally found his voice.

"He was a killer for hire. Four years ago Alex and the other Imperials saw them as they set a trap and killed Admiral John Morgan and Senator James Conroy. The other Imperials were killed one by one never knowing what was going on. Alex helped us catch the men responsible for the assassination. Horton was the only one who got away. None of us ever thought he would find her that's why we sent her here. Who would ever think a valuable military witness would be in a town like this. Boy were we wrong. DAMN, DAMN, DAMN !" Harm says.


** THE FUNERAL **


"We have to take her home. Everyone will wonder what has happened." Jason says. the others agree.

This whole situation has them so upset it takes a while for things to register in their minds.

"How are we going to explain what happened? No one saw us there. They saw the Ninja Rangers." Tanya says.

Jason turns at her with a blank look in his eyes. Something is happening to him.

"I say we morph and take her and her family home, answer any questions, then come back unmorphed and deal with what ever has to be done." Tommy suggests.

The others agree absently.

Tommy turns to Alex's family, "You do understand that what you have seen here can't leave this command center. Too many lives depend on what we do. Our parents don't even know about this." he says.

"All right. The way things stand no one would believe us even if we did say anything." Harm says.

Harm is trying to be strong but isn't having much luck. Mac moves closer to him. This is the first time since she has met him that she has seen him break down emotionally.

"It's Morphin time!" Tommy calls out.

"THE BEAR"

THE FALCON"

"THE APE"

"THE FROG"

"THE CRANE"

"THE COUGAR"

Six rangers morph into their Ninja gi's. When Tommy looks at Jason he notices something different about his totem.

"Jase, what happened? Your totem is split." he says.

Jason opens his eyes and the others notice the difference is not just in the totem.

"I know. It was Alexandra. Her spirit guide was the Eagle. When she passed she gave me her memories and her power. Now I am both the Eagle and the Cougar." he says.

At that moment he begins to float and a ghostly voice cries out, "We can fly free." it was the voice of Alex, she laughs as Jason flys around the Command Center.

* IT IS HER FINAL GIFT TO YOU JASON. WHEN THE EAGEL AND THE COUGAR JOINED THEY AWAKENED A LONG DORMANT POWER. THE GIFT OF FREE FLIGHT. YOU MUST BE CAREFUL WHEN USING IT AND DO NOT USE IT OFTEN. THE ENERGY TO FLY COMES DIRECTLY FROM YOU AND WILL DRAIN YOUR STRENGHT. BUT FOR EMERGENCIES IT WILL SERVE YOU AND THE OTHER RANGERS WELL. * Zordon says.

Harm goes to pick up Alex's body when Jason stops him, "Let me do it." he says.

Harm backs off. They all return to the park to meet the police and the marine detachment.

"She's gone. There was nothing we could do to save her, we tried." the white Ninja says to the first officer that approaches.

The gold Ninja lays the body on a gurney near the ambulance the police had ordered, "She died to save me." he says absently to the cop who approaches him.

The cop says nothing as he helps the coroner put the body in the wagon. He can tell that the rangers are having a difficult time with the death and doesn't want to do anything to add to their pain. The other officers know of the sacrifices these young people make for the world and they are begining to understand how hard it hits them when someone dies and they can do nothing about it.


A week later Harm, in dress whites, Mac, in full dress blues, Admiral Chegwidden, also in whites, the marines who were assigned to Alex, in blues, the rangers and their families, and Alex's family gather for the funeral. They have decided to bury her on a high mountain platue, so she can be close to the sky. The wind blows softly across the gathered mourners when the silence is broken by the howl of a squadron of TOMCATS on fly-by. As the squad reaches the place where she is laid to rest one of the fighters peals off and the rest continue on toward the horizon. When the sound of the fighters fades enough the honor guard takes position and fires off several volleys then stand at a strict attention.

"We gather today on this beautiful spot to honor Alexandra Carpenter. She was a brave young woman who's life was taken far too soon. She served her country and her friends in the most noble tradition. She gave her life to save someone she didn't even know. Alexandra Carpenter honored her friends by doing this so no one else would be hurt. There is nothing more special than a friend or a stranger who would make that ultimate sacrifice." the priest says.

He stands back as Admiral Chegwidden stands. This isn't easy for him. He has sent people to their deaths before but none of them had been so young and none of them had been a young girl.

"Alexandra Carpenter was one of a kind. I had never seen anyone with her knack with aircraft before. She put even some of the most seasoned pilots to shame but she never let that interfere with what she knew was right. She would never show off and make anyone look or feel bad. And when it came to doing what was right she would never take the easy way and ignore something even if it put her in harm's way. Alexandra saw someone in trouble that fateful day four years ago and tried to stop it from happening. For this and all the other times she has done us proud we honor her this way. Fly free and proud Eagle, we will miss you." the admiral says, he salutes her courage and steps back.

Harm approaches the head of the coffin and looks down at it before he speaks, "Lex and her father were good friends when I needed it most, right after I crashed and found out I could no longer fly. She came and visited me in the hospital and even encouraged me to go into law. If it wasn't for her I don't know what I would have done. I am going to miss the way she would always make me laugh. She always had this unique way of seeing things. Lex would go to the ends of the earth to fix something or someone if she thought she could or at least give it one hell of a try. Lex never let a little thing like pain get in her way. Even when she was a target she would look out for those around her first then herself. Fly free and proud, Eagle. I am going to miss you so much." Harm says, he too snaps her a smart salute.

The rangers wait to say anything until they hold their private memorial. Jason, however, stands and takes Harm's place at the casket's head.

"I have never met anyone like her before and I doubt I ever will again. When I first met her she was scared and in pain from all her injuries and over the few weeks I spent with her I saw her change. Now I don't know what she was like before the accident that brought her here but the Alexandra that I knew was the sweetest most kind girl I have ever known. Fly proud, Eagle." then he sits back down. The honor guard steps up and folds the American Flag that they had placed over her coffin. Instead of giving the flag to her uncle one of the marines approaches Jason.

The marine sergeant hands him the flag, "For bravery and sacrifice above and beyond anything asked of her. We thank you for her service and duty." the marine stands back and salutes him.

** THAT SAME DAY AT SUNSET **


Everyone has gone and the rangers have returned to honor Alex in their own way. They arrive separately already morphed. Jason is the first to arrive. He kneels beside the mound of freshly turned earth.

"I'll live your dream for you, Alexandra. You have given me your love of flying and service. I only hope I can live up to your example. I miss you so much." he whispers.

"I know you do. You don't have to follow my dreams. You must live your own life, that's the only way you'll truly be happy. Your happiness is what I truly want for you." Alex says.

He turns and sees her shimmering image standing before him, tears fill his eyes. She is so beautiful standing there with the sun cascading off her flowing hair. "Nothing else makes me happy anymore. It's only when I'm doing something that reminds me of you that the grief goes away. I want to do this, it's the right thing to do and you know it." Jason says.

"All right, if that's what you truly want then I won't try and discourage you anymore. Just don't mourn me too long. There's a whole world out there waiting for you." she says.

She vanishes before the others arrive. Jason smiles under his mask as a new warmth flows through him.

Tommy stands next to Jason. "Are you all right, bro?" he asks.

"Yeah, I just miss her that's all. It's hard not having her here. Why did that bastard have to shoot her. Why did she have to die?" Jason rages.

His grief finally breaking through his shields.

"We'll never know why he had to kill her. I never knew what bravery was until I met her. She never let the pain get her down. Alexandra never once thought of herself. It's like the admiral said, she gave the best of herself so others, you Jase, could live. I don't think it really mattered that she didn't know it was you. I think she would have done it for any of us."

"It's not fair. I was just getting to know her. Just getting to love her and she died. I want her back, Tommy. I want Alex back." Jason sobs uncontrollably and sinks to his knees by her grave. "Fly free and safe, Eagel. I love you."

Tommy holds his peace and waits. Eventually Jason regains his feet and Tommy can pay his last respects. "You would have made a good Ranger, Alex. Maybe one of our best. We never had the chance to really know you but I know that you have touched my life and changed me for the better. Thank you, my friend. Fly safe, Eagle, I'll miss you."

"You showed all of us so much. I just wish we had more time to know you better. " Aisha says.

Just as the moon begins to rise six columns of light race back to town and different locations.



** EPILOGUE **


In the months and years that followed the death of Alexandra Carpenter, Jason spent many sleepless nights just thinking about her. She gave him so much of herself. He has a very difficult time coming to terms with her passing even knowing that she is happy and safe. When the pain is at its worse a strange but comforting warmth fills his entire being and he can go on for another day. He finally learns to fly and earns his wings. As her final wish, Alex has given Jason her plane. For his first flight, after getting his wings, he takes the Eagle and flys cross country. He decides to continue Alex's dream of becoming a Naval Aviator. And on his graduation from the academy, in front of all his friends and family he climbs into the cockpit of his TOMCAT and takes his first solo flight as a Naval Aviator and officer. Just as he is about to take off he sees Alex in a phantom fighter next to him also reading to take off.

Harm and Mac have gone back to Virginia and later attend the trials of the remaining men belonging to Horton. Harm still has nightmares about Lex's death. One night when the dreams are particularly bad, Harm sneaks off to try and take a TOMCAT up. He knows that with night blindness he would never be able to land.

Just before he climbs into the cockpit, he feels a hand on his arm, "Let me go. I know what I'm doing." he says without turning.

"Do you Harm? You know you'll never be able to take off much less land. Do you hate your life so much that you are ready to die. Don't do this. It's not your time. I'll be there when it is, if you like?" the voice says.

He turns and sees the shimmering image of Alex in her flight suit.

"How can this be? We buried you years ago."

"I know but I felt your pain and had to come back. Don't do this. It's not your time and it serves no purpose. When I died I did it to save Jason. This was a good reason and now I'm with my dad and will see Jason when his time comes. If you do this now, it will be for nothing and a waste. Go back home. The dreams won't bother you anymore." she blows him a kiss and vanishes.

Harm feels better than he has in years and goes home.

Everyone that ever met Alex has a similar experience when they are at their lowest point and some how they can go on knowing that she is watching over them.


The End

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All right, all right so this ended up being more a story from JAG with the Power Rangers thrown in for a twist. So sue me. I love both shows. And yes I purposely set Jason up to fall for Alex only to kill her off. Thems the breaks. HE! HE! HE! HA! HA! HA! That's what happens when you listen to music from a movie about the Navy and love a show about the Navy, with a very good looking guy in the lead role, David James Elliot, and try to write about the Power Rangers. It's still a good story though. Let me know what you think. ******************************************************************

*E-mail me at reddragon@sprintmail.com *

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