Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. The character of Mackenzie Dekalb is property of Karilee who can be contacted at kajwr@twcny.rr.com. The character of Cassandra Jensen(the Emerald Ranger) belongs to Helen who can be contacted at helen0724@yahoo.com. Jeffrey Kincaid, Lord Crucible, and all other characters relating to them are mine. Should anyone wish to use my characters contact me at foi72@yahoo.com.

The song Here I go again is by Whitesnake. The song I never walk alone is by Huey Lewis and the News.

I Never Walk Alone
by John Chubb

The CarrierZord Defiance left the mobile safehouse as it headed down to the spaceport to Iocaste. Justin insisted that he go along, so Kincaid agreed, on two conditions. One, Justin had to go down morphed so he could look bigger and not so much a target. And two he had to wear a disguise so he would not stand out.

Everyone was watching him get into a pair of pants and overcoat over his ranger uniform. Then Kincaid completed the ensemble with an oversized hat and muffler.

"Talk about overdressing.", said Ashley.

"Trust me. He won't stand out.", said Kincaid as he put on his bomber jacket and fedora. Cassandra got into her Iocaste wardrobe, and Adam decided to wear an overcoat as well with hat. Mackenzie stayed in t-shirt and black leather jacket. Ashley went to the wardrobe closet and grabbed a trenchcoat and yellow fedora.

When they got dressed they all went out into the harsh run down world of Iocaste again. Some for the first time, others for the second. As they walked down the street Ashley and Justin saw the sight of the poor and downtrodden. Some were set up in cardboard boxes as homes when space in the run down buildings was all taken up, or someone was evicted from one. A few were drowning their sorrows in alcohol from one world or another. Others were just lost in worlds of their own. Fantasies that fared much better than the reality that they currently lived in.

Ashley couldn't believe the sight that she was seeing, and she shed a tear at what she saw. Justin held on to Ashley as he became scared at what he saw. Then as they were walking by they were shaken by a voice in the distance.

"Come heed the word of Apex. Apex is forgiving.". Ashley and Justin got curious and broke away from the group. Kincaid said wait but followed along with the rest of the group following behind.

They came to a clearing in town to where there was some sort of tent set up and people were gathering around heading in and a barker was calling for those to heed the word of Apex.

"What's Apex?", asked Ashley.

"I'm not sure.", asid Kincaid. "But it looks like one of those traveling revival meetings that comes in through these parts. This preacher shows up and he preaches about how someone can lead them to salvation and asks them to join him. Most of them are little more than cults looking for members."

"I'd like to take a look.", said Cassandra. "See what this guy is selling. The rest agreed, just as curious as Cassandra was. Kincaid was skeptical but he agreed to check it out for five minutes.

The rangers walked into the tent and were able to find seats. Justin kept his hat on when all the other rangers had taken theirs off. Kincaid just said "He's sensitive to chills", when they cast glances in Justin's direction.

On the stage one of the revivalists came out and began to speak. "Sinners, that's what we are. We are all slaves to the dark impulses that govern our lives. Lust, gluttony, greed, averice we are all led down that road to temptation. But it is the words of those we love that lead us down the path of righteousness.

"But there are times when we lose the ones we love. That they are taken from us in ways too terrible to mention.". Upon mentioning this Adam and Cassandra held their hands tight as a sign of reassurance. Ashley and Justin looked at each other sharing a look that they knew what the preacher meant. Kincaid and mackenzie looked on with skepticism.

"We all need someone to love in our lives.", the preacher continued. "Without that pure emotion that enriches us, we are cast adrift. Bitter and alone. I ask you to be a part of our community. Where we all love one another, where we all support one another, where we seek to find the ones we love in this universe of barren hatred. We come to crisis in our lives that break us away from those we love and we spend our lives trying to find it again.

The rangers felt as if the preacher was talking directly to them, as if they were unaware of the audience's presence. Memories also rose to the surface of their painful times. Ashley had thought of the separation from Andros and the other rangers and sent to a prison where she was tortured, beaten, and would have been raped if it wasn't for Adam.

Mackenzie thought of the death of her mother, and the downward spiral that it sent her into. She missed her mother terribly, even to this day.

Cassandra thought of her own mother's death when she was only five. Her mind also thought of the time when she was growing up in Kentucky. Much of those times she wanted to forget.

Justin thought about his father and sister being shot down by Crucible's guardsmen. He wondered if they were all right.

Adam was thinking about the other rangers that Crucible had prisoner. Many were his friends, and in many ways the extended family that he never had. He wondered if they were all right.

Kincaid found himself thinking about the break up of his family and the time he had growing up in Ohio. Many of those memories he wanted to forget.

The ministor spoke again. "Fear not my friends. For through it all, we all emerge from a central point. An apex as it were. And throughout our lives we strive to find our way back to this Apex where we will have achieved the goal of peace and harmony. And without further ado, I'd like to persent one of our faithful followers and head minister of the religion of Apex."

All eyes turned as they saw a middle aged man in his fifties come out on the stage. He had a rugged build, thinning gray hair, and wore glasses. Kincaid seemed to recognize him as he snapped out of the funk he was in and stared in disbelief.

The head minister spoke, "Ladies and gentlebeings. We all strive to reach the Apex, but many of us fall short in our journey. I myself have stumbled many times. But I have eventually made it. Through the Apex, you will find the love you lost. Pain you had will be left behind. Old friends that you have missed will be found."

Kincaid did not believe the man. Just then he saw an oblesk appear behind the head minister. The oblesk started to irradiate a light that seemed to entrance the audience. They all seemed to rise out of their seats and head for it except for Kincaid.

Kincaid tried to snap the rangers out of the trance, but to no sucess. The head minister saw what was going on and motioned a few aides to collect him. Until a gang of bikers showed up and crashed the party.

"Evening folks who's got cash and stash?", said the head biker who knocked down the obilesk, snapping the rangers out of their trance. Kincaid then told the rangers to get out of the tent. They followed.

"Let's morph.", said Adam and the rangers went into their respective morphs, except for Justin who removed his disguise. Ashley who had no powers stayed outside and helped the people escape.

Adam and Cassandra took out the bikers that were flanking the leader. It was two on one but Cassandra and Adam held up pretty well as they went flying and delivered drop kicks that knocked them off their bikes. When some of their friends showed up Cassandra split into two rangers, then four, then six as the odds evened up. Adam and the six Cassandras then waited for the bikers to attack and took them down in practically no time.

"Going Solo", said Cassandra as her other selves merged together.

Mackenzie was facing a group of bikers herself who looked like they were ready to pounce on her. When they made ready to lunge she jumped in the air, did a flip and landed behind them. "Astro Scattershot", she said as white energy blasted out of her hands in a random pattern knocking down the bikers.

Justin was taking on three bikers when one of them decided to use a chain. The chain biker threw the chain around Justin's head and the biker started to take off dragging Justin like a water skier who had lost his footing. When the biker decided to round the corner Justin grabbed a pipe and held on for dear life. The biker was thrown back as Justin's grip held thanks to the blue turbo power. Justin then picked up the chain as the biker got up and started moving towards him.

"A power ranger?. What ranger in his right mind come to this toilet bowl?", said the biker.

Justin said nothing as he did a mid-air flip over the biker, landed on the other side of him, and threw the chain around the bikers legs. Justin then yanked back the chain and threw the biker off his feet.

Justin then stood over the biker and said "A good ranger."

Kincaid was fighting in his usual "end it quick" style. He had his hand full with the leader who was using something of a chainsaw against him. Kincaid then realized that it was nightime and he let the spirits of the night fill him as he transformed into his red Night Ranger armor.

"Nice threads.", said the leader. "But you don't scare me." Kincaid just stood there as the air around the leader started to get colder. Before long he was shivering. The leader had a look as to what was happening to him. Then Kincaid stood over the leader as he was on his knees. The other bikers saw what was happening and were shocked.

Kincaid then turned to face the rest of them. "Do you want your leader to freeze to death? Or do you want to join him?" The voice was enough to send chills itself. The bikers nods were all Kincaid needed to know. He released his 'cold hold' on the leader and told them to get out.

The other rangers then rushed up to Kincaid, especially Justin who was riding the biker's cycle. "What did you do?", asked Mackenzie.

"I used the Night Ranger powers to slow the molecules around him.", said Kincaid. "The Night Ranger powers allows a ranger to control aspects of the night. "The air, the temperature, the environment. All these aspects are at a Night Ranger's command."

"How do you become a Night Ranger?", asked Justin.

Kincaid said nothing but, "What happened to the head minister and his group?"

The head minister and his ministers were scurrying out the back of the tent. They had lost the obilesk which would not sit well with their benefactor. They would have to cut their losses and leave before the people banded together to hunt them down.

As they rounded a corner they saw a row of six headlights. On them were five demorphed Power Rangers and one ex-ranger.

"Good work Ashley.", said Kincaid as he nodded to her. Then Kincaid stared down the head minister.

What Kincaid said next shocked everybody. "What's the matter dad? After all these years you have nothing to say to your son?"

The rangers later made their way to Bruce's bar. They brought Kincaid's father Vincent along and Bruce had two of his bouncers put him in a 'deluxe suite' which was little more than a room small enough to be a closet with nothing more than a bed and alien cockroaches. Kincaid then introduced Ashley to Bruce. "She needs a place to crash while she tries to find her friends."

"No problem.", said Bruce. "You look like you've got something on your mind though."

"I'm wondering what happened to Dad.", said Kincaid. "Last time I saw him he was getting cozy with my new stepmom. Now he's putting a revivalist meeting together and using a mind control device. What gives?"

"If it wasn't for the bikers, we'd have been in trouble for sure.", said Mackenzie.

"Well I recognized Dad from the back of my mind.", said Kincaid. "I guess that was what kept me from getting in too deep."

"Still, you did ask a good question. Where did Mr. Kincaid get all that stuff from?", asked Cassandra.

"We'll talk about that later. You up for another show tonight?", Bruce asked Kincaid.

"We're going to hear you sing?", said Justin as his face lit up. "You gonna do 'Twinkle Twinkle?'"

"In this place? I want to get customers not lose them.", said Bruce. Justin looked around the bar and agreed. "I guess you're right."

"Get them a table towards the front. I got a good song in mind.", said Kincaid.

Before long the rangers were seated. Ashley and Justin did not know what to expect. Adam, Cassandra, and Mackenzie watched as if they were ready to enjoy the show. Before long Kincaid came out and the band started to play. When Kincaid sang, it was with a mix of sadness and anger.

I don't know where I'm going
But I sure know where I've been.
Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday.
An'I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time.
But here I go again, here I go again.

Tho' I keep searching for an answer,
I never seem to find what I'm looking for.
Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on,
'Cos I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams.

Here I go again on my own,
going down the only road I've ever known.
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.
An' I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time.

Just another heart in need of rescue,
waiting on love's sweet charity.
An I'm gonna hold on for the rest of my days,
'Cos I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams.

Here I go again on my own,
Going down the only road I've ever known.
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.
An' I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time.
But, here I go again, here I go again,
Here I go again, here I go.

Cassandra thought Kincaid chose his song well. Kincaid spent a good part of his life as a drifter walking alone with no other path before him. The song also spoke of his hope to find the charity of love and dreams as he goes down whatever journey fate had before him.

Mackenzie and Adam were wowed again at Kincaid's performance. They seemed to notice a harder edge in his singing as well as a sadness. Justin's reaction was pretty much the same as the rest of the rangers when they heard Kincaid sing the first time.

Ashley also found herself mezmerized by the song, as well as wondering if in her search for Andros and the other Astro rangers that she was going down the lonely street of dreams Kincaid was singing about. Then Kincaid went into the final verse.

An' I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time.

Here I go again on my own,
going down the only road I've ever known.
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.
An' I've made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time.

Here I go again on my own,
going down the only road I've ever known.
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.
'Cos I know what it means to walk along a lonely street of dreams.

The audience and the other rangers cheered as Kincaid made his way to their table. Everyone was saying "great" and "good job".

"When I find the right song, you guys are singing with me.", said Kincaid. The other rangers backed off. Then Bruce came up to Kincaid.

"Jeff, your dad wants to speak to you."

Kincaid walked down the stairs to where his father was sitting. The elder Kincaid looked up at the sight of his son. "What are you doing here Jeff? Abducted by aliens?"

"Oh that's funny Dad. I was about to ask you the same question.", said the younger Kincaid. "What happened to…what was her name?…Becky?"

"She left.", said Vincent Kincaid. "I started preaching at a small church after I divorced your mom. Becky came to live with me. But then we started drifting apart and I had to leave.

"I met someone who would allow me to get a new start. I would continue preaching and try to recruit as many people as I could. I know you don't agree with the device used…I don't either…but it was non negotiable."

"Was this person this…Apex that you preach about?", asked Kincaid. "Yes", said Vincent.

Kincaid was silent for a moment then spoke again. "Why would you join someone like that?"

"I didn't have a choice Jeff. I did what I had to to survive.", said Vincent. "Now, what are you doing here? I thought you were in Port Clinton."

"I was going through a cornfield and I was abducted by aliens from space.", said Kincaid. "We tour around space bars playing a couple of gigs here and there."

"Interesting life.", said Vincent. "I'm glad to see you son."

"Are you?", asked Kincaid. "Then why haven't you come to see me? Last I saw you you walked out on not only the rest of the family but me as well. I LOVED YOU DAD!!!AND YOU WALKED OUT!!!"

"Your mom didn't make it easy for me Jeff!", said Vincent. "She put out a restraining order saying that I was too much a negative influence on the boys and that I shouldn't be near you. Didn't she tell you?"

"No.", said Kincaid. "She was to busy telling me what a rotten person you were."

"Well, I'd really like to make a fresh start with you son.", said Vincent. "I know that I wasn't there for you before, but I'd like to be there for you now."

Kincaid said nothing as he walked out the room.

Bruce was waiting out in the hall. "How'd it go?"

Kincaid sighed. "We can't hold him forever can we?". Bruce shook his head no. "And there really is no law to turn him over to other than Crucible.", Bruce continued.

"We let him go tomorrow", Kincaid said. "I'll escort Dad to his ship and watch him leave."

As morning dawned two Kincaids, father and son, walked down to the run down spaceport where Vincent Kincaid's ship was left at. "So what will you do now?", asked the son to the father.

"I'll have to find a way to make things worth Apex's while somehow. I'll see you son." Vincent went to hug his son when Kincaid felt something prick in his back. Kincaid then fell groggy and started to slump down.

Vincent Kincaid and his ministers came around him as they looked down on the fallen red Night Ranger. "The red ranger will be enough to make Apex, or should I say Crucible, happy.", said the father looking down on his son. "Load him onboard.", ordered Vincent and the ministers brought him onboard.

Not far away Mackenzie and Justin were watching the scene go down. "Guys, we have a problem.", she said in her communicator.

Cassandra answered on the other end. "What's up Mackenzie?"

"Dear old dad double crossed his baby boy. He's taking him on board his ship to give him to Crucible."

"Adam and I are on our way. It's morphin' time." Cassandra and Adam morphed as Bruce and Ashley turned and watched.

"Emerald Ranger Power!", said Cassandra.

"Dragon Ranger Power!", said Adam. Then they teleported to where Vincent's ship waited.

Bruce and Ashley watched them teleport and Ashley wished that she could join them. Bruce seemed to sense the wish as he asked Ashley to follow him.

"Let's Rocket!" shouted Mackenzie as she punched in 3-3-5 and morphed into the White Astro.

"Shift into Turbo!" said Justin as he morphed into the Blue Turbo. Adam and Cassandra later appeared to their sides.

"Justin, call Roadbuster and see if you can get him to crash through the ship.", ordered Cassandra. Justin called for Roadbuster and the blue semi fell from the sky.

Justin climbed on board the zord, not taking it to full size, and started to gun the engine.

"Put me on the intercom.", ordered Cassandra again. "All right Vincent Kincaid. I know you have the red ranger on your ship. Let him go or I'll send this Zord crashing through you ship." making reference to Roadbuster.

Vincent Kincaid looked out at the rangers and then to his son. He had the means to get into Crucible's good graces again. He wasn't going to blow that.

"Deploy ground forces. Launch an air strike. TAKE OUT THOSE RANGERS!!!", ordered Vincent.

The front of the ship opened to reveal a group of tanks coming out as well as fighters.

"Astro Viper now!", shouted Mackenzie as her ship came out of the sky and she leaped on board. The fighters were on her tail.

"Zord Transform now!". The nose of the Astro Viper started to fold back to reveal a head. Legs extended from the undercarriage and arms emerged from the fighter as the Astro Viper went into Air Warrior mode and stopped as the fighters went by.

Mackenzie then brought out her Astro cannon and picked off the fighters like ducks in a shooting gallery.

"I loooove this zord!", she said.

Tanks started to rush out and Justin started to gun Roadbuster. When he had enough power he shifted the semi-truck/zord into gear and roadred forward.

As the tanks maintained their deadly approach Justin was giving an approach of his own. He roared the Zords horn as he was approaching the tanks. Next thing the tanks knew was that they were plowed through by the power of Roadbuster. Scrap stood where a tank once was.

Vincent saw Roadbuster coming for his ship. "As much as I hate to fall into a cliche I have no choice. Send out the monster Landmine.

A door opened as Roadbuster was approaching. On the other side stood a metallic grey monster who threw something at Roadbuster's wheel. When it exploaded Roadbuster was on his side.

Then Landmine started to grow. Adam and Cassandra were about to call their Zords when a black and gold hawk appeared and attacked Landmine with it's lasers blazing. Mackenzie's Astro warrior was covering the Blackhawk Zord as it made it's pass.

"BlackGold Blackhawk, transform", came the voice of the Zord's controller. A voice that sounded a lot like…

"Ashley?", asked Cassandra and Adam together.

"Yeah, it's me.", said Ashley. "But you can call me Black Gold Ranger." Ashley then transformed her black and gold hawk into warrior mode. Adam and Cassandra called the DragonZord and the Emerald TigerZord and she transformed it into warrior mode.

Justin then righted Roadbuster by transforming it into warrior mode. It easily towered over all the zords but they had a formidable force.

Landmine tried to be brave. "You will not destroy me!!!" he shouted.

"Ashley? Do you want to do the honors?" asked Adam in the DragonZord control cockpit.

"Sure!", she said. "BlackGold Razorclaw!" a giant claw flew from her Zords hand and slashed through Landmine. Landmine then fell over and exploded.

Cassandra then turned to the ship. "All right now Mr. Kincaid. Are you going to let Jeff go, or what?"

Vincent Kincaid saw the sight before him. "Launch NOW!!!", he ordered. Nothing happened.

"LAUNCH!!!", he screamed.

"I'm sorry but the pilot of this ship is not in right now but if you care to leave a message…aww even then he won't get back to you Vince.", said the voice of Bruce on the other end.

Vincent was fuming until he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around and Kincaid gave him an uppercut that sent Vincent sprawling. Kincaid then went to face his father.

"I didn't want to believe you'd sell out your own son. But I guess you would. I was stupid to think that there was a chance that we could be a father and son again. I looked up to you, even when you hit me that one time you were my hero. Talk about a let down huh?"

Vincent tried to speak. "Jeff I…"

"SHUT UP!!!", screamed Kincaid. "Listen up old man. I'm gonna wreck your world. Whatever you do, I'll be watching, and one day everyone will know what a bastard you really are. You won't be able to breath without wondering if I'm looking over your shoulder."

And with that Jeffrey Kincaid left the man he once called 'father' on his hands and knees.

When Kincaid walked out he was greeted by the rangers and Ashley who wore black ranger armor with gold trim and a gold chest plate. "Bruce gave you one of his morphers huh?"

"Yeah, he said I would be needing it.", said Ashley.

"Where did he get morphers?", asked Adam.

"You'd be surprised what one finds in this galaxy", said Bruce. "And no, I don't have anymore of them."

"I'm not complaining Bruce, Thanks.", said Ashley.

"Well don't get too attatched to it. It's on loan until you get your Astro morpher back.", said Bruce as he came out of the door of Vincent's ship. He was wearing red and silver ranger armor. "Dragged out the Silver Centurion morpher huh?", asked Kincaid.

"I'd be needing it soon enough. I'm just lucky I didn't need the Zord yet.", said Bruce. "How you holding up?"

"I'll get by.", said Kincaid.

"Thanks for coming for me guys. If it wasn't for you I'd be on my way to Crucible's right now.", asid Kincaid as he was drinking a fruit punch back at Bruce's bar. The other rangers were there as well.

"No problem", said Cassandra. "We're there for friends."

"Speaking of being there for friends I was wondering if you could help me with a little something.", said Kincaid. The other rangers were curious as to what he meant.

Bruce walked up on stage. "Ladies and gentlebeings. Tonight, a special treat. Performing the song "I never walk alone"–THE NIGHTFIGHTERS!!!"

Kincaid, Ashley, Mackenzie, Adam, and Cassandra walked up on the stage. The keyboardist started playing the melody then Kincaid broke into the first verse.

Well I remember my old neighborhood.
Everyone there, well they understood.
You could wind up stranded in the lost and found
so you better stick together
if you want to stick around.

Ashley sung next.

So me and the boys got our own little plan.
Somebody out there, well they'll understand.
And we'll have the world in the palm of our hand.

All of them sang next.

I never walk alone.
I never walk alone.

Cassandra sung next.

It ain't what you've got it's who you know.
We take that with us wherever we go.

Adam was next.

We stick together when we have our fun.
You know we're taking our days one by one.

Then came Mackenzie.

And when there's trouble in my face
I'm a tired runner in the human race.
I've got to get back to a familiar face.

They all sang to gether again.

I never walk alone.
I never walk alone.
I'm taking care of my own.
I never walk alone.

They went into the refrain again after the melody played and got a tremendous reaction from the crowd. The Nightfighters came off the stage feeling the rush of adrenalin.

"That was great.", said Ashley. "I don't think I've had so much fun."

"Where did you get the name Nightfighters?", asked Cassandra.

"From the book of Zordon.", said Kincaid. "It said that a group of rangers would rise up to face a great evil and that group would be called the Nightfighters."

"I guess that makes us the Nightfighters since we just used the name.", said Mackenzie.

"Hey does anyone know where Justin is?", asked Adam.

Bruce anounced on the stage. "And now coming on the stage. Justin Stewart of Earth will come and sing Twinkle Twinkle…Please be gentle."

Justin started to sing, and with the help of the electric guitarist did a number that the audience almost liked. Justin then came off stage where the other Nightfighters were waiting.

"I realized a lullaby played to the sound of screeching death may be what the audience wanted. This was no place for cute. The other nightfighters laughed and hugged him.

Ashley decided she wanted to go with Kincaid and the rest of the team. Bruce remained behind to tend to his bar but said that he had a ship ready in case they needed him. With that the nightfighters went back to their safehouse ship and went on their way.

Not far away, a ship emerged from Hyperspace over Iocaste. And from the ship a shuttle left from the hangar bay.

The shuttle set down near Vincent Kincaid's ship, and inside Vincent heard the door open and soon came face to face with Lord Crucible who was flanked by guardsmen.

"You dissapoint me Mr. Kincaid.", said Crucible. "Not very wise."

The only thing heard was screaming from the ship before Crucible stepped out. "I'd hoped to never come here. But sacrifices must be made I guess."

End of Part 8