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Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Destruction Of The Pink Ranger Part 9
by Cheryl Roberts (no sex)

Kim had never ridden a horse before; fortunately White Lightning was a
patient and intelligent animal. He seemed to know there was a stranger in
his saddle, but he didn't give her any trouble. Perhaps he sensed that she
was trying to help his master. As Thomas had directed, she told White
Lightning to take her to Doc Hart's, and he started right off. Kim imagined
that Thomas had trained the horse to find the doctor in case of emergencies.
The horse took off at steady clip, and the route he followed was extremely
circuitous--no doubt one of Thomas' precautions against being followed to
his hide out.

Kim found herself wondering what had prompted Tommy's ancestor to become
the White Stranger. Tommy didn't know anything about him; he knew
surprisingly little about his family history. She had asked Rocky if he
had come across any mention of the White Stranger in the history books;
one of Rocky's hobbies was the history of the old West, Angel Grove circa
1880 in particular. He had plied her with dozens of questions after her
first adventure back in time. He found nothing more than a brief footnote
regarding the White Stranger and nothing at all about Angel Grove being
attacked by putties, a winged monkey, and a walking cactus. Kim would
have thought there would have been something -- at the very least tall
tales or something from an early newspaper.

Considering the problems of history made Kim consider a more personal
problem: what was she going to say to her four-great grandfather? And what
if she ran into her double -- she assumed she had one since everyone else on
the team had. She had to think back to her own family history. Grandpa
Zack only had one child -- a son; his wife had died young. Joshua Hart had
married Karen Johnson, and they had three or four children. Josh was
supposed to have been in the army in the 1880s, but Kim couldn't remember
the dates or where he had been serving.

Kim was nervous, but Tommy -- rather Thomas was counting on her. In a
way, Tommy was counting on her, too; after all, Thomas was his ancestor
somehow or another. By the time White Lightning began slowing up, Kim
still hadn't figured out what she was going to say. All too soon she found
herself at the back door to the doctor's surgery. As Thomas instructed
her, she let herself in. Inside the door was a series of colored bell
pulls; she gave the green one two quick tugs, then she slipped down the
hall to the doctor's private office. Her hands were shaking as she waited
with her back to the door for her ancestor's arrival.

"Thomas? Thank goodness you're all right," Zachariah Hart burst out
excitedly. "The word all over Angel Grove is that the Black Seven gang took
you down last night. What's up? It's not like you to come here in broad
daylight. Is something wrong with Melissa or little Tad?"

Kim still hadn't found her voice, so she settled for turning around. Her
heart pounded heavily in her chest. The sandy blond hair, sideburns and
bushy moustache were unfamiliar, but she'd have known those eyes anywhere.
They were the same blue eyes her father and grandfather had. Just as she
stared at him, Kim felt his piercing gaze on her. She kept her face mostly
covered by the bandanna, and she pulled the hat low. She had used soot
from the fire to darken her hair, eyebrows, and to give herself a five
o'clock shadow. Even so, it was obvious she wasn't who she was pretending
to be.

"Who are you?" Zachariah demanded warily.

"The Black Seven gang did nail Thomas, Doc," she said, trying to drop her
voice an octave; she wasn't entirely successful. "A bullet grazed his right
arm, and he took a shot in the right thigh. The bullet is still in his leg,
deep. He needs your help."

"You still haven't told me who you are. How do I know this isn't some kind
of trick?"

"How else would I know his real name? Why did White Lightning bring me
here?" she queried in return without answering his first question. Before
Zachariah could answer, there came a knock at his office door. A moment
later in rushed Kimberly's twin. Kim tried not to stare, but it was
impossible. The young woman standing before her had her features and
slender build, but her coloring was darker. A wealth of chocolate brown
curls cascaded down her shoulders and back. She was dressed and carried
herself like a lady. Kim felt plain in comparison.

"What is it, Karen?" Zachariah queried.

So this was Karen Johnson Hart, Kim mused.

"Papa, I just heard from William and Alicia that the sheriff found a trail
of blood out by the hanging tree where the bandits said they shot the White
Stranger! It doesn't look good for him," Karen related excitedly. Then she
spied the white garbed figure behind her father-in-law's desk and let out a
squeak of surprise. "Oh! It's you! You're all right!"

"Just fine, ma'am."

"Karen, if you will excuse us . . . ." Zachariah hinted delicately. He
guided her back to the door; he whispered further instructions to her.
"Please don't let it get around that you saw the White Stranger here. If
the Black Seven gang got wind of it, we could have big trouble."

"Can I at least let William and the others know that he's all right? They're
all really worried."

"Just be discreet," Zach cautioned.

"I will, Papa."

Zachariah quickly sent Karen on her way. "Nice bit of reasoning there,"
Zach said to Kimberly once they were alone. "The Black Seven won't get too
uppity if they think the White Stranger is still up and around."

"I'd better keep a high profile--from a distance," Kim agreed. She hadn't
really considered taking Thomas' place, but it was a brilliant idea.

"Where is Thomas? Did he make it back to his hideout?"

"Yes."

"I have some patients this morning, but as soon as I'm finished, I'll come
out to the cave."

"Is there anything I can do for him now? Do you have something for the
pain?"

"Give him this." Zach prepared a powder and rolled it up in a bit of paper.
"Mix it with a little water. It'll be bitter, but make sure he drinks it
all. It'll numb the pain and knock him out. Also, keep pressure on the
wound. Were you able to get the bleeding to stop?"

"For the most part, but he's lost an awful lot of blood. I'd better get
back to Thomas. Thanks for everything."

"You just be careful. With the Black Seven gunning for Thomas, you're going
to be a target in that white suit. And be real careful around the lake.
That's Indian territory."

* * *

Thomas was finally resting quietly, so Kim gathered up his stained clothing
and took them down to the lake to wash them out. She padded down in her bare
feet, tripping over her pant legs as they came unrolled. At the water's edge
she stripped off her clothes; she couldn't afford to get them soaked. The
hot sun felt good on her back. Her pulse was still racing from her ride back
from town; her bottom would be sore for a week.

As she scrubbed the bloody clothing, Kim had the oddest feeling that somebody
was watching her. She glanced up, shading her eyes from the glare. She
could have sworn she had seen someone on the bluff across the lake, but when
she squinted to take a long, hard look, the only thing she saw was a bird of
prey take wing.

A falcon? she wondered hopefully. She stood up and watched it as it
gracefully circled above the water. Tommy, is this your way of letting me
know you're watching over me?

The falcon swooped and dove towards the water, skimming its surface. It
arced skyward with a fish clutched in its talons. Kim continued watching
until the bird vanished from sight.

* * *

"Thomas, you are a mess," Doc Hart murmured as he unwound Kim's bandages.
Kim stayed in the background holding the lantern; she was careful to keep in
the shadows as much as possible. She didn't want her "grandfather" to get a
good look at her.

"I'd have been a goner if Miss Kim hadn't shown up," Thomas gasped.

"Miss Kim? Sweet Lord, I thought you were a lad, not a woman," Zach
sputtered. "So this is the mysterious Pink Ranger."

"Not any more," Kim sighed ruefully. "Zedd finally succeeded in stripping
me of my powers. At least Tommy still has his." A fierce pride lit her eyes
as she uttered the last part.

Thomas found her expression most curious; he wondered what she meant by
her words. However, Doc Hart's probings drew his thoughts back to his
predicament.

"All right, I've located the bullet. It should be a clean pull, provided
you don't move around, Thomas. Miss Kim, I'm going to need your help."

"What can I do?"

"Put this leather bit in his mouth and keep him still."

"Got it." She placed the strip between Thomas' teeth. "No anesthetic -- God,
Thomas, hang in there." She gave him a quick peck on the forehead. Then,
shocking the men, she straddled Thomas' hips, bracing her feet against his
legs, pinning his arms to his sides with her knees, and holding his shoulders
down with her hands.

"Ready, Doc."

"Hm. Er, yes. Steady now, Thomas."

Thomas screamed behind the bit, and Kim felt his body go taut. She shifted
her weight, putting more pressure on his hips. Kim's position was providing
Thomas with a great deal of pleasure -- as evidenced by his swelling erection
-- in spite of his pain. Kim noticed a blush burning Thomas' pallid cheeks.
Every time Thomas' body spasmed, his cock rubbed up against her pussy. If
Doc Hart didn't hurry, Thomas was going to cream his drawers.

Thomas wasn't the only one enjoying Kim's position. The feel of Thomas' cock
pressed against her sent fire shooting uncontrollably through Kim's body.
Involuntarily, her hips ground against his. Kim's eyelids fluttered shut,
and it was all she could do to keep from moaning out loud as the blaze in her
veins caused her nipples to harden.

"Got it!" the doctor declared triumphantly, startling Kim. She had begun to
lose herself in her proximity to Thomas. "Hold him steady just a little
while longer while I clean and stitch the wound." Kim caught a whiff of
alcohol moments before Thomas screamed against the bit.

"Don't think about the pain," she murmured, stroking his hair. It was
astonishing how quickly she became aroused by merely handling his soft
locks. She didn't know why she loved Tommy's hair so. She ran her fingers
through his hair, sighing deeply, and wanted desperately to bury her face
in it. Next she ran her finger down his cheek, tracing his cupid bow lips.
Kim leaned closer to whisper softly in his ear. "Think about how good it
would feel to have your cock buried deep inside me right now, Tommy. Mm, I
can hardly wait!"

Thomas regarded her with eyes wide with shock, but Kim couldn't see him.
Her eyes were closed and her mind a century away. The hungry look on her
face made him whimper helplessly. His body gave another jerk as the doctor
began sewing his wound shut; his body shuddered underneath hers. He
started to cry out again, spitting out the bit, but suddenly Kim's mouth
descended on his in a fierce kiss. Her lips ravaged his, and he couldn't
stop her as her tongue slid into his mouth. Kim kissed him until she had
to come up for air. Thomas no longer felt the pain in his leg because his
body was screaming for release.

"There we go," Doc Hart grunted as he snipped off the threads. When Kim
didn't budge, he cleared his throat. "You can ease off Thomas now, Miss
Kim."

"What?" Kim shook herself as if waking from a dream. When she realized what
she had been doing, she blushed bright crimson. She quickly scrambled off
Thomas, a glimmer of fear in her eyes. What had she been doing? How could
she have lost it so completely? It was that damned black fire . . . . No,
not that! Please, not again! I thought I was cured!

"If we can keep the wound from getting infected, you should be all right,"
the doctor was saying to Thomas. Kim forced her mind off her potential
difficulties and tried to pay attention. "I am concerned about the amount
of blood you lost. You're going to be weak for quite a while."

"What about a transfusion," Kim suggested tentatively.

"A what?" Zach queried.

"You know, a blood transfusion," Kim insisted. Upon seeing his perplexed
expression, Kim thought back to the chapter on blood they had just finished
in biology class. "Oh, I forgot. I don't think you guys don't know about
those yet. Can you give him an iron supplement to increase the production
of red blood cells?"

"Like I was to treat him for anemia? That might work," Doc agreed. "How
do you know about that sort of thing?"

"We just studied it in biology class," Kim answered with a yawn. The
morning's activities were starting to catch up with her, and she really
hadn't had a good night's rest.

"You look pretty worn out yourself; why don't you lay down and get some
rest," Doc recommended.

"Tommy needs me," Kim protested around a second yawn.

"Thomas is out of danger for now. I want to keep an eye on him for a little
while longer. I'll wake you before I leave."

"Okay. Thanks, Grandpa Zach," Kim murmured. She curled herself up into a
tight ball next to the fire and was sound asleep almost immediately. Shaken
by her words and actions, Zachariah reached over and removed her hat.

"Sweet Lord in Heaven! It's Karen!" he gasped.

"No, merely her many times removed granddaughter," Thomas spoke up, finally
comprehending Kim's reaction when he first mention Doc's name. He spoke with
admiration and affection, and Zachariah found himself beginning to understand
Thomas' behavior over the past two years a little better. He found himself
wishing that he had told Thomas about Joshua.

"You know, I really didn't believe you when you first told me about the Pink
Ranger; I thought you'd smoked your Injun friend's peace pipe one too many
times. I'm still not sure I believe it all."

"She's laying right there, Doc: your own flesh and blood."

"No granddaughter of mine would behave in such an outrageous fashion.
Parading around in pink tights, wearing men's clothing, behaving like a
two-bit whore . . . I can't believe you didn't try and stop her!"

"What could I do?" Thomas protested, his guilt giving his words a sharp
edge. "You told her to keep me still, and she did just that. Besides Doc,
you didn't see her face when she climbed off me. She didn't know what she
was doing, and she was scared to death. It was like she had no control. I
know it wasn't me she was seeing while she was kissing me. It was Tommy."

"Who is this Tommy fella? Can't be much of a gentleman if her lets her
carry on like such."

"He's her beau, and a bit more I reckon. Apparently, he's a descendant of
mine."

"Can't say as I think much of your kinfolk then."

"Doc, please, don't be too harsh with her. She hasn't said much -- she's
been too busy saving my hide, but I think something's really wrong. I'm
sure it has to do with what she said about losing her powers." The two men
were silent for a moment.

"I expect you'll be wanting me to make excuses to Melissa again," Zach said
with a sigh.

"If you wouldn't mind. You can tell her I'm off on another spirit quest or
something."

"I never could understand your fascination with all that Injun mumbo jumbo.
You know, Thomas, you're going to have to tell her about being the White
Stranger someday. She and little Tad need you."

"Not like they used to. They have Walt now; he's real sweet on Missy.
Besides, I swore I'd bring in the villain who killed my brother." A shiver
ran through Thomas' body. "Every time I close my eyes, I see him being
gunned down again, and there wasn't a thing I could do to save him."

"You'd serve Tad's soul better by taking care of his widow and son." Thomas
made a face, and Zachariah sighed resignedly. "All right, you stubborn mule.
I'll figure out something to tell Melissa. You're going to be down for a
week at least."

"Thanks, Doc."

"By the way, do you know what Miss Kim here intends on doing? She's planning
to masquerade as you for a spell."

"What for?"

"I guess to keep the Black Seven from getting out of line."

"She can't! Those scum will tear her apart."

"I've faced worse varmints than outlaws," Kim murmured as she stirred from
her nap. "I beat Goldar without any powers; I can handle those goons."

"Miss Kim, these men are vicious killers. They're wanted all over for
murder, robbery, and just about every other crime you can think of," Thomas
insisted.

"I know; Rocky told me all about Black Jack Wilson and his Black Seven gang,"
Kim said. "They were wanted all over the western United States."

"Black Jack Wilson? I don't think I've ever heard the name of the gang's
leader," Zachariah murmured.

"He was a notorious gambler from back East. His two favorite activities were
playing twenty-one and killing people, lawmen in particular. He always left
a calling card: the ace of spades . . . ."

". . . with a bullet hole in the center," Thomas finished, his blood running
cold. "I found a card just like that by Tad's body. So, I've been after the
Black Seven gang all this time."

"It's time you got some rest, Thomas," Zachariah interjected, noting the
other's haggard features and waning strength. "You've had enough excitement
for one day. Here, drink this." It was another dose of the sleeping medicine
Kim had given Thomas earlier. In a matter of minutes, Thomas was sound
asleep. Zachariah regarded Kim as she knelt next to Thomas, brushing the
hair out of his eyes. It was an eerie sensation to look at her and see his
daughter-in-law. As he saw the exhaustion and concern in Kim's eyes,
Zachariah felt himself softening somewhat towards his enigmatic descendant.
He finally stood up and motioned for Kim to follow him outside.

"I really wish you hadn't told Thomas Black Jack's name," he murmured as he
lit a cigarette.

"I really wish you wouldn't smoke; you'll live longer if you give it up," Kim
countered. "Why shouldn't I have said anything? I thought Thomas already
knew about Black Jack if he was tangling with the Black Seven gang."

"No, he didn't know. Do you know much about the White Stranger?"

"No. Tommy doesn't know much about his family history, and there are little
to no records left of the White Stranger in my time," Kim answered.

"Thomas became the White Stranger after his brother was gunned down,"
Zachariah began. He felt that if Kim was to pretend to be Thomas, she should
at least know the part she was going to play. "Tad was sheriff at the time.
Thomas had just come to Angel Grove to see his brother's new son. He hit town
about the time the Black Seven did. Thomas ran afoul of them first thing.
The men were having a little fun with an Indian girl, and Thomas took
exception to it. He saved the girl, but got himself thrashed in the process.
Tad took it personally and went hunting for Jack. Jack found him first.
Thomas had followed Tad and arrived in time to watch his brother take the
bullet. He swore he'd avenge his brother. The gang hightailed it out of
town after that; a few months later, the White Stranger first appeared.

"Thomas is a good man and a skilled fighter. He's got strong beliefs about
what is right, but this thing with Black Jack . . . it's wrong. Thomas
should just let it go. He's no killer. If he keeps after Jack, he'll like
as not wind up with a bullet through his heart. He seems to think an awful
lot of you; I wish you'd talk some sense into him."

"If his mind's made up, it wouldn't do any good. However, I'll do what I
can to help out."

"You mean take on the Black Seven gang?"

"If that's what it takes."

"Are you a killer?"

"I'm a Power Ranger -- or was." After a long silence, Kim said bluntly, "You
don't think much of me, do you Grandpa Zach." She didn't look at him as she
spoke. Her directness shook her ancestor, but he didn't shy away from her
words.

"I can't say that I do, least ways, not right now. I've been wrong about my
first impressions before, and I'm man enough to admit it."

"That's okay; lately, I haven't thought much of myself either. My only
consolation is that I did what I did to save Tommy, and I'd take that damned
arrow again in a heartbeat even knowing the consequences. Tommy means the
world to me, Grandpa Zach; there isn't much I wouldn't do to keep him safe.
That's why I've got to help Thomas. If anything happens to him, Tommy might
not ever be born."

Zachariah studied her, seeing the fierce determination in her eyes. On
occasion, he'd catch a flicker of that steel in Karen's face -- when it came
to Joshua.

"There is something else you might tell Thomas about: Joshua," Zach
requested. "I know he's sweet on Karen, mainly because of you."

"Why haven't you told him?"

"We haven't told anybody yet. Josh and Karen stayed back East when I first
came out here; then, Josh went into the army. Karen couldn't stay by
herself, so I brought her out here, calling her my daughter for propriety's
sake. It's been two years since Josh left, and months have gone by since
we've heard from him. I'm beginning to wonder if he's all right."

"Josh and Karen don't have any children yet, do they?"

"No."

"Then don't worry so much. Josh will be back. I wouldn't be standing here
talking to you if he never came home."

* * *

"Billy, over here! I think I've found the cave!" Tommy called out. It was
early Monday morning. Before heading to school, Tommy had wanted to head out
to Stranger's Rock to see if he could find any clues to Kim's whereabouts.
Billy had gone with him, having retrieved a scanning device from the Command
Center. Billy scrambled around to the bow of the crescent and found Tommy
kneeling in the wet grass at the apogee of the arc. He could see where the
rocks and plants had been disturbed.

"Kim must have barely fit through that opening," Billy mused, observing the
small size of the entrance. Together, he and Tommy cleared a space large
enough for them to enter. Once inside the cave, Tommy lit the emergency lamp
they had brought along in addition to the flashlights. The cave was much
larger than either had expected.

"It looks like this place was purposely closed up," Billy noted, inspecting
the wall through which they had forced entry.

"There's an awful lot of stuff in here," Tommy said as he stooped down to
examine the remains of a blanket. There was also a battered footlocker and
other artifacts. Tommy picked up a tin cup. "It looks like someone once
lived here."

"I believe I found the location where Kim was laying; the residual heat
patterns match those from Zordon's file of Kimberly's bio-scans," Billy
remarked, consulting the scanner Alpha and Zordon had programmed for him.
"What can you recall of your conversation with Kim before she vanished?"

"Right before she disappeared, she mentioned seeing a light and said
something about it reminding her of time--something; I didn't understand
that part -- then she saw the snake and . . . ."

"The light reminded her of time . . . hm, let me try scanning for . . . ah
ha!"

"What did you find?"

"Chronoton particles."

"Chronoton . . . you mean she got sucked into another time hole? Oh man,
she could be anywhere or any when!"

"And without her communicator, it will exceedingly difficult to track
Kimberly's biosignature through the time continuum."

"Let's get back to the Command Center and see if Zordon has any suggestions,"
Tommy said eagerly.

"That will have to wait until lunch hour. If we don't teleport, we're going
to be late for class," Billy reminded him. Tommy sighed with frustration but
did not argue.

    

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