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Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Destruction Of The Pink Ranger Part 12
by Cheryl Roberts (no sex)

The morning following her experience on the bluff, Kimberly rode out from
the cave with a heavy heart.

* * *

After contacting Tommy, she had returned to the cave to tell Thomas. She had
found him and Soaring Falcon discussing her vision.

"How far away is this Tommy?" Soaring Falcon had asked. "The magic was the
most powerful I have ever witnessed."

"Tommy isn't miles away; he's years--over a hundred years in the future,"
Thomas had answered.

"I have never encountered so strong a bond between two people; the magic she
created was such that she could have crossed over to Tommy."

I could have crossed over, Kim mused. She hadn't known it at the time, but
even if she had, she probably wouldn't have gone yet. She wasn't ready; that
was why she hadn't told Tommy where she was. Thomas still needed her. He
had told Soaring Falcon that Doc Hart had recommended he stay "in bed" as it
were for another week. Soaring Falcon had left some herbs with Thomas. "If
you believe, the herbs will help."

* * *

When she and Thomas discussed the matter over breakfast, he had been
surprised when she told him that she would have stayed even had she known.

"Don't you see? I can't leave you to be killed by the Black Seven gang.
Besides, seeing you hurt is like seeing Tommy hurt. This is as much for
you as for Tommy."

And hurting Thomas was just as painful as hurting Tommy. She couldn't say
precisely how they had gotten on to the topic, but Thomas had mentioned
Karen. Kim had seen the warmth in his eyes and remembered what her
grandfather had said. Damn Doc for not being man enough to do it himself,
but she had to be the one to break Thomas' heart.

"Thomas, Karen is married. She isn't Grandpa Zach's daughter; she's his
daughter-in-law. She's married to Joshua Hart." She poured out the story of
Karen and Joshua before she lost her nerve. It ripped her heart out to see
the anguish in Thomas' expressive eyes. Watching him struggle to hide his
disappointment and hurt brought tears to her eyes.

"I'm sorry, Thomas, but it has to be this way. Your family and mine are
never joined by marriage--at least, not yet. If they were, Tommy and I
couldn't . . . ." Thomas had closed himself off at that point. He had
struggled to his feet and limped out of the cave. When Kim had emerged
astride White Lightning, she spotted Thomas down at the water's edge.

The emotional strain left Kim in a foul mood as she rode into Angel Grove.
She felt like hitting something or someone and found herself hoping that
Black Jack would try something. She was rewarded as three desperados came
racing out of the bank, their guns blazing. Frightened citizens cleared
the street. The thieves had mounted their horses and were well on the way
to making a clean getaway as Kim spurred White Lightning forward.

She gave White Lightning free rein as she nocked an arrow into her bow. She
had examined the contents of the quiver last night and had been surprised and
delighted to discover that each arrow had been designed for a specific
function. The arrow she selected had a barbed head and a long, thin cord
attached. She aimed and fired, not at the bandits but at the bulging sack of
money. Once the arrow was securely anchored, Kim reined in White Lightning
and pulled on the cord with all her might. She succeeded in unhorsing the
man clutching the sack. His companions raced forward, heedless of his
plight. Kim rode over to where the thief struggled to get up; she had White
Lightning rest a hoof on the man's chest.

"Move and I have the horse start counting your ribs," she warned him. She
hopped down and disarmed him. While she was busy, she observed the arrival
of Sheriff Jefferson's posse. Kim collected her arrow and swung herself up
into the saddle again.

"He's all yours, Sheriff. I'll see if I can catch up to the other two."
Kim rode off, following their trail of dust, but the duo had too much of a
head start. They lost her down one of the ravines. Kim halted White
Lightning and sat there for a moment, swearing. Her mood was not getting
any better.

In the end, Kim decided to visit her grandfather. She left White Lightning
in the back of Doc's surgery and made her way to his office. She had a
considerable wait. The housekeeper was muttering in the hall that Doc was
out on a house call. Kim made herself comfortable in Doc's chair, propping
her feet up on his desk. When Doc finally arrived, he was surprised to see
her.

"Nice piece of work bringing down that bandit," Zachariah said by way of
greeting. Kim simply scowled at him.

"I told him, Doc; Thomas knows all about Josh," she reported, her tone
bitter. "Next time, do your own dirty work. I won't hurt him again." Kim
felt tears stinging her eyes, and she wiped at them angrily.

"I really am sorry, Kim," Doc said contritely.

"It was like hurting my Tommy."

"It was for Thomas' own good."

"That doesn't make me feel any better," Kim sighed. Having said her piece,
she couldn't hold onto the anger. "Do you really think it'll take another
week to get Thomas back on his feet? I can't keep this up much longer. I've
got to get back to my own time; my friends are really worried about me."

"No one expects you to continue pretending to be Thomas."

"I can't leave him high and dry with Black Jack on the loose. Jack isn't
One-Eyed Bulk or Doc Skullovich."

"I'll come out and take another look in the morning," Zach assured her. Kim
nodded and started to take her leave. "Wait a moment. I have something for
you." He pulled a pair of brown boots out from the bottom drawer of his desk;
they appeared to be Kimberly's size. "These are Karen's old riding boots.
I've noticed how awkward walking in Thomas' boots is for you, and Johnny told
me how the smoke made the White Stranger talk like a girl and that he had
really small feet. William thought it best to tell Johnny the truth so he
wouldn't spread his observations around. I wasn't sure about telling the boy,
but William seemed to think he could keep a secret."

"I trust William's judgment about his cousin," Kim murmured. She slipped the
footwear on gratefully. "Thanks, Grandpa Zach."

* * *

With trepidation, Kim returned to Stranger's Rock, calling it an early day.
She doubted Jack would cause much mischief for the rest of the day after the
failed robbery attempt, but she did not doubt he would use the time to come
up with some other scheme. As she left Doc's surgery, Kim had the
uncomfortable feeling that someone was watching her. She took the precaution
of taking a very roundabout way back to Indian Lake. She never saw anyone,
and she chalked it up to nerves. She wasn't sure she was ready to face
Thomas again.

As she rode up the hillside to the crescent, Kim noted that Thomas was no
longer by the lake. He seemed to be able to get around fairly well. She
doubted he would need the week Doc prescribed. When she entered the hideout,
she found Thomas sitting by the fire lost in thought.

"Another one bites the dust," she said with a brave smile.

"Excuse me?" Thomas murmured.

"Another of the Black Seven gang has been apprehended. With the two you left
for Sheriff Jefferson Sunday night, that leaves Black Jack and three others."

"You're doing a fine job, Kim; you should be proud of yourself."

"Thanks." Kim couldn't read his mood very well; her own emotions were getting
in the way. Thinking about Tommy so much and seeing him yesterday had made
her a little homesick.

"Want some coffee?"

"I'm not very hungry or anything right now." Kim sat down across the fire
from Thomas and wrapped her arms around her knees. She ducked her head. She
was tired and could feel the tears gathering in her eyes. She wanted to cry,
but she didn't want to do it in front of Thomas. She wished Tommy could have
been there to hold her for a while.

"I'm sorry, Kim," Thomas said. He had moved over next to her. "I shouldn't
have taken my disappointment out on you; you were just looking out for your
Tommy. Doc's the one I should be angry with for not telling me the truth
sooner. I thought you were a very special lady when I first met you, and I
had hoped I might find someone just like you. When Miss Karen arrived . . .
well, that doesn't matter now. Your Tommy is a really lucky fella to have a
gal like you."

"Thomas, would you hold me for a little bit," Kim requested with a sniffle.
Thomas draped an arm awkwardly around her shoulder, and she leaned into him,
letting herself cry.

"Don't worry, Kim; we'll find a way to get you back to Tommy," Thomas said
as he stroked her hair.

"You know, you're pretty special, too, Thomas. I'm really glad I got the
chance to know you," Kim said as she started recovering herself. "Don't you
worry about finding someone special. You will. How else would Tommy have
been born?"

"You have a point there," Thomas admitted.

"I only wish I knew more of his family history so I could tell you more."

"Maybe it's for the best that you can't. You've already told me more about
the future than I probably ought to know. It'd be best if I find out some
things for myself. I'm glad I got to know you, too; I doubt I'll ever forget
you."

"Me either. I'll always have a special place in my heart for you."

* * *

The following morning, Doc Hart came out to check Thomas' progress and was
amazed to find Thomas up and around. When he inspected the wound, he found
it healing ahead of schedule.

"This is the most incredible thing I've ever seen," Zachariah murmured.
"I've never seen anyone recover from a gun shot wound so quickly."

"All it took were a few herbs and some positive thinking," Thomas said
flippantly.

"You mean that awful smelling stuff Soaring Falcon left you?" Kim queried,
wrinkling her nose.

"You let that old kook give you something? That was foolish and dangerous,
Thomas."

"Doc, he's my friend. I trust him."

"Besides, the herbs helped, didn't they," Kim pointed out.

"That they did."

"Now that I'm almost as good as new, we can try and figure out a way to get
you back to Tommy," Thomas declared.

"I think I know just how to do it," Kim said thoughtfully. "Grandpa Zach,
can you help me get a safety deposit box?"

* * *

"Everything is all set, Kim. Your letter is safely tucked away with your
instructions," Zachariah said as he met Kimberly in his surgery later that
morning. "Mr. Denton was pleased to donate the box as the reward for
foiling the bank robbery."

"Great! Now it's all up to Billy and Tommy," Kim replied.

"Are you sure this will work?"

"I saw it in a movie once." She smiled at Doc's puzzled expression. "Once
Billy knows where to look for me, he'll be able to get me back. He has
access to the necessary technology."

"Doctor Hart! Something terrible has happened!"

Kim was about to duck out of sight when William came bursting into Doc's
office.

"What's wrong, William?" Zachariah queried.

"The Black Seven gang have kidnapped Miss Karen and Miss Alicia," William
reported. Zachariah sank weakly into his chair.

"Why? Why Karen?" he muttered in disbelief.

"Did they leave a ransom note or anything?" Kim queried.

"Miss Kim, am I ever glad to see you," William sighed. "Yes, there was a
message for you. It said that if you wished to see the two women ever again,
you would meet the "boss" at three o'clock in the center of town. One
hostage will be released if you show; you're to duel for the other."

"Damn," Kim muttered. "I thought someone was watching me the other day when
I left here. Jack must have figured out that the White Stranger was on
friendly terms with the doctor and kidnapped Karen as bait."

"What are we going to do?" William wondered.

"I'm going to meet Jack at three o'clock," Kim said.

"You can't," Zachariah protested. "Jack'll slaughter you."

"I have to. Thomas isn't ready to face the Black Seven gang, and we both
know that he couldn't kill Black Jack even if he wanted to. You said it
yourself, he's not a killer."

"Are you?"

"I'm a survivor, Grandpa Zach; I'll think of something. I can't let Thomas
or Karen be killed because more than just their lives will be destroyed. The
whole time stream would be disrupted."

* * *

There was an air of excitement at the First Bank of Angel Grove. For 113
years, the bank had kept a safety deposit box in the vault. The instructions
handed down from bank president to bank president informed subsequent
generations that the box was not to be opened until November 7, 1995. That
day was finally here. Photographers and reporters were assembled in the
lobby as bank officials brought out the mysterious box. A hush fell over the
assemblage as Mr. Thompson, the current bank president, turned the key.

Inside the safety deposit box were three things: a gun, a sheaf of papers,
and an addressed envelope. Judith Wayne, a representative from the Angel
Grove Historical Society, came forward to examine the artifacts. Her eyes
lit up as she scanned the contents of the papers.

"These were written by Dr. Zachariah Hart in January of 1883," Judith began.
"The handwriting will have to be authenticated, of course, but being familiar
with the doctor's many birth and death certificates, I would say that it
appears to be his handwriting." Then, she began reading:

"'To the citizens of Angel Grove in 1995: This is the gun which brought down
Black Jack Wilson. The gun once belonged to Sheriff Thaddeus White, who was
killed by Black Jack in 1879, and it was used by the man who was sworn to
avenge Tad, the White Stranger, and the woman who helped him to bring Black
Jack down: Miss Kim.'"

The room was abuzz with the names. White Stranger? Miss Kim? According to
local history, Black Jack Wilson was brought to justice by Sheriff Jefferson.
For the most part nobody had ever heard of the White Stranger, although a few
admitted that there were old family tales of a vigilante who operated in the
Angel Grove of the Old West, but nothing had ever been recorded or proven.
Certainly, even those who had heard the scarce tales of the White Stranger
had never heard of a Miss Kim.

"The doctor writes the tale in full," Judith continued, shushing the hubbub.
She skimmed through the brittle pages. "From a cursory glance, the
particulars listed here match what is known of the incident of the capture
of Black Jack Wilson, except for the mention of the White Stranger and Miss
Kim. The Historical Society will do everything it can to authenticate this
document and verify the facts before the story is made public. There is a
post script to the tale, which I shall read:

"'I know history won't have much to say about the White Stranger and Miss
Kim. I know Sheriff Jefferson will be accorded all the credit for Black
Jack's capture, which was the way the White Stranger and Miss Kim wanted it.
They only did what had to be done. I took it upon myself to record this
tale because I thought it a shame that future generations would never know
of Angel Grove's first protector and because I owed it to the man I called
friend to insure that his deeds were not forgotten. And even if you think
this is all a bunch of malarkey, please don't fail to deliver the enclosed
envelope no matter how bizarre the request may seem. It is more important
than I can say.'

"I assume the doctor was referring to this," Judith said as she held up the
envelope, yellow and brittle with age. The handwriting on the outside was
the doctor's: Urgent! Deliver to Tommy Oliver, Angel Grove High School,
before 3:00 p.m., November 7, 1995.

* * *

. . . then came the day I got a glimpse of the future. I had only been
masquerading as the White Stranger for a few months when the most important
event of my life, next to Tad's death, happened. It occurred on the
afternoon that I foiled One-Eyed Bulk and Doc Skullovitch's attempt to rob
the stagecoach carrying the payroll. I had a little unwitting ehelp from
Doc; he brought the wrong guns--they shot out flags instead of bullets.
Immediately after they fled, I caught sight of a young woman hiding behind
a large boulder. Her name was Miss Kim, and she was the most beautiful
woman I had ever seen. She was dressed as was hardly proper in the most
outrageous outfit I had ever seen, but she carried herself as if her
unseemly state didn't bother her. She looked up at me and seemed to know
me, then she fainted.

Tommy sat in his seat in last period, totally engrossed in the diary. It
was the only thing that was keeping his mind off Kimberly. It had been two
days since she had contacted him, and they had heard nothing further. Zordon
was still scanning the timestream for her, but had not been successful yet.

"What's that you're reading?" Billy queried of Tommy. Billy had never seen
him take such an interest in any form of literature, and he had observed
Tommy pouring over the volume on many occasions over the past two days.

"It's a diary. I found it in the cave under Stranger's Rock," Tommy
explained. "It's written by the White Stranger."

"Really? That's incredible!"

"Yeah, this is really fascinating stuff. Right now, I'm at the part
where Kim first went back in time and met him. It sounds as if my
great-great-great grandfather really liked her." Tommy handed Billy the
century old journal.

I entrusted Miss Kim (I didn't know her name then) to the stagecoach drivers
and didn't think much more about her until I ran into her later in Angel
Grove. She and a group of citizens were surrounded by the most bizarre
creatures I had ever laid eyes on, and Miss Kim was fighting them. I have
never seen a more courageous woman in all my days. And then, two larger
monsters appeared--a winged monkey and a walking cactus. I know it sounds
like I was smoking something; I almost couldn't believe it myself, but it's
true.

"Better put that up," Billy said, noting that Miss Applebee had finally
arrived for class. She was accompanied by Mr. Caplan and another gentleman
in a suit.

"Mr. Oliver," Mr. Caplan began. Tommy didn't respond; he was busy reading
about Kim's visit to 1880. Billy had to nudge him to get his attention.

"What?"

"Something's up. Mr. Caplan is asking for you."

"Yes, Mr. Caplan?"

"Could you come here for a moment, Tommy?"

"Sure." Exchanging puzzled glances with Billy, Tommy headed to the front of
the classroom.

"This is Mr. Thompson from the First Bank of Angel Grove," Mr. Caplan
introduced.

"You are Tommy Oliver?" Mr. Thompson queried.

"Yes, sir."

"Since 1882, our bank has kept a safety deposit box with the instructions
that it not be opened until today. Along with several articles which were
turned over to the Historical Society, there was a letter which was to be
delivered to you."

"To me?" Tommy glanced back at Billy, in bewilderment.

"Mr. Caplan assures me that you are the only Tommy Oliver presently enrolled
in Angel Grove High School; therefore, this letter belongs toyou." The bank
official handed him the century old envelope. Tommy stared at the
instructions on the front of the stationary blankly. Then, the date Mr.
Thompson mentioned sank in. Tommy's eyes lit up and a smile touched his
face as he fumbled to break the wax seal.

"This is it, Billy!" he gasped excitedly. "Angel Grove, November 1882!" It
was all he could do to rein in his excitement. Billy left his seat and came
over to read the letter over Tommy's shoulder.

"Could this really be from her?" he whispered anxiously.

"We're about to find out."

Dear Tommy,
When you get this, I'll be ready to come home. I'm sorry I
couldn't tell you where and when I was when I contacted you
before, but I wasn't ready then. Thomas wasn't recovered
from his gun shot wound yet; Doc Hart only just cleared
him. I am in Angel Grove, the same day, in the year 1882.
I've been trying to help your ancestor out by keeping the
Black Seven gang from gettin out of line.

The time hole opens in the cave under Stranger's Rock, but
it dumps you outside. Don't try anything from the bluff.
According to Soaring Falcon, it's a place of great magic;
that's how I was able to reach you. I'm sorry I blew my
stack and ran off like I did. I guess I didn't want you to
see how angry I was -- not at you but at life in general.
I didn't stop to think how my actions would hurt you, and
I wouldn't hurt you for anything in the world. I've done a
lot of soul searching on this time jaunt, and I've learned
a lot of things about myself. Mostly I've discovered that
with or without my powers, I'm still a Ranger, and no one
can take that away from me. Please find a way to bring me
home soon. I can't wait to see you.

Love always,
Kim

November 7, 1882

"What is it Tommy?" Miss Applebee queried. "Can you tell the class what is
in the letter?" Tommy seemed not to hear her.

"We have to get back to the cave," he said excitedly.

"What cave?" Miss Applebee wondered. Billy had to nudge Tommy to get him to
remember himself.

"I'll be able to tell you more about it Monday, Miss Applebee; first I have
to pay a visit to Stranger's Rock." The bell rang, and Tommy and Billy raced
out of the classroom.

    

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