New Girl

Chapter 13: Gem of a Day

A/N: Since I usually do "Down and Dirty" instead of "Gem of a Day," I figured I would do this episode instead this time, mainly because I can fit more Kennedi/Hunter moments into it. There's only one chapter left after this, and I know the story is short, but hey, the next one will be longer, I swear! But I just want to get this story over with because there's more I can do with the Dino Thunder story in this series than I can with this story.

Oh, for the sake after this story, the Down and Dirty episode would've taken place before this one in order for what I have planned to make sense.

Anyway, what'll happen? This chapter may be short.

I know I haven't updated in a few days, but it feels like much longer to me. It's only my second day of school and I'm already feeling stressed out between that, work, homework, finishing summer reading, and finishing college applications. I haven't found time to continue writing my stories, but thankfully, I have some chapters pre-written.

Disclaimer: I only own things not originally in the show.

A couple weeks after the camping trip had the rangers out doing their own thing. Kennedi's softball season was over, meaning she had no more games to play until the fall. With nothing to do, she had been helping Cam and Sensei out at Ninja Ops. She was the only other one on the team that knew enough about computers to help with configuring things, thanks to one of her uncle's friends babysitting her and her sister a few times.

At the moment, Kennedi was out in a nearby quarry, searching for a strange source of radiation that Cam had picked up on the monitors. Something didn't seem right, and they sent Kennedi out to explore it. She had a device that would pick up on the signals, and when she got closer, she checked in with Cam. "I'm getting close to the source of the radiation surge," she spoke into her communicator.

"Good work, Kennedi," Sensei replied.

"Until we know for certain the cause of the disturbance, you must be careful," Cam warned.

Kennedi nodded and continued her walk, searching for the source. As she looked around, she saw something unexpected and frowned. The dirty blonde cautiously made her way over to the dirt bike and to where Hunter was sitting on a rock nearby. When she approached, Hunter appeared to be digging something up.

"Lose something?" she called, placing a hand on his shoulder. Startled, Hunter tried to flip her over, but she was faster and managed to land on her feet. "You need to lay off the caffeine."

"Sorry, Ken," Hunter sighed.

"What are you doing out here, anyway?" Kennedi wondered.

"I should ask you the same thing," the blonde shrugged.

Kennedi followed him to his bike. "And I would tell you I'm tracking an excessive radiation signal Cam picked up on the monitors."

"Well," Hunter grabbed something from his bike. "Maybe it has something to do with this." Kennedi recognized it as a piece of Zurgane's sword. "I found it out here. It's one of Zurgane's swords. But he wouldn't leave the ship without it."

"Not alive, anyway," Kennedi muttered, looking it over.

Once they got back to Ninja Ops, Cam had called the other rangers there to discuss what they had found. They were all a bit surprised to learn Zurgane's sword wasn't with Zurgane and that it was only a piece of it. Cam had the laptop open on the table in front of everyone so they could see information he dug up. Something wasn't making sense, and it was up to the rangers to figure it out.

"After they found the sword," Cam began. "I located a satellite picture of the area." He pushed a button, and a clip played of Zurgane being destroyed by Vexacus.

"It's true, rangers," Sensei confirmed. "Vexacus has destroyed Zurgane."

"Not that I'm going to miss Zurgane," Tori spoke up. "But why would Vexacus do that?"

"It appears that a power struggle is at play in Lothor's lair," Sensei concluded.

"Isn't that a good thing?" Dustin wondered. "I mean, maybe they'll just keep fighting each other until no one's left."

Sensei nodded. "That is possible, Dustin. But I suspect Lothor has an even more sinister plot in mind."

"So what do we do next?" Shane asked.

"The time has come to face the enemy proactively," Sensei declared. "We must reinforce our ranks by rescuing all the captured ninjas. We must find a way to get onto Lothor's ship."

"Something that won't be easy," Kennedi muttered.

"Lothor's ship is protected by a powerful energy field," Cam recalled. "Without some way to break through, we'll never get in."

"Leave that to me," the crimson ranger assured before walking out. This earned him confused glances around the room, even from Kennedi and Blake.

The alarms had gone off and the rangers made their way to the quarry, where Vexacus was attacking with his bird brained monster, Condortron. They had seen Hunter fighting them off on the mainframe, having been there when they attacked. The others morphed on their way over, hoping to give him a helping hand. Cam had found traces of the radiation he had been tracking earlier, which meant something wasn't right.

When they arrived on the scene using the tsunami cycles, Kennedi riding with Tori and Cam riding with Shane, they found Hunter struggling to stand up. They stopped near him, letting the green and orange rangers off and Hunter stood. Kelzaks and Motodrome appeared as well. The Kelzaks charged, prompting the rangers to do the same.

Tori and Blake headed to fight off Motodrome. Shane and Dustin took on the Kelzaks, since there weren't a whole lot there. Cam, Hunter, and Kennedi dealt with Condortron, since none of them had bikes present. The bird flew by and knocked Cam down. Kennedi huffed. "Ninja glider bike!" she called, her bike appearing before them. She hopped on and began chasing after the bird. "Flight mode, engage!"

She took the fight against Condortron into the sky, chasing him. She let the others handle things down below. Vexacus fired at the bike, causing it to malfunction a bit. It allowed Condortron to smack into the bike as well, sending Kennedi spiraling down into the ground. "Kennedi!" Hunter shouted, worried for his girlfriend. He ran over to the wreckage.

"Kennedi," he breathed, seeing she was fine. He helped her to her feet.

"I'm okay," she assured. Motodrome and the Kelzaks fled from the scene, having enough of the fight. Vexacus sent the bird alien back to the ship, making it so only he was fighting the rangers. Kennedi and Hunter joined the others as Condortron flew off.

"Any last words?" Vexacus cackled.

"Yeah," Cam huffed. "Super samurai mode!" The vest on his suit popped off and the helmet changed. Vexacus fired at them, locking them in a hold with some sort of string he shot them with. He lifted them in the air and smashed them into each other. After a couple minutes of that, he dropped them. "What do you want?"

Vexacus attacked Cam before replying, drawing the green ranger closer so he could attack. He tossed Cam aside as the others stood ready to fight. Vexacus drew his sword, prompting the others to draw theirs. The six other rangers charged Vexacus. The fish alien seemed to not be affected by most of their attacks, throwing them back when he could. He vanished before reappearing with his land shark attack, knocking the rangers around.

"You didn't think I'd leave without saying goodbye?" Vexacus smirked, reappearing on the ground. "With or without the gem, I will defeat you!" He vanished before they could do anything.

"What gem?" Kennedi frowned, turning to Hunter as their visors opened. "What did he mean, Hunter?"

Hunter only looked down.

"The Gem of Souls," Hunter spoke as the team stood around the bookshelf in Ninja Ops. Kennedi was confused as to what was going on, having not been there when the rangers originally found this particular gem. Blake appeared to be upset at his brother. The crimson ranger held the gem shards in a cloth on his hand.

"But I threw it into the ocean," Cam recalled.

"Not all of them," Hunter opened the package.

"You should've told me, Hunter," Blake glared as his brother.

"You didn't know about this?" Tori looked to him.

Blake shook his head. "No. And we're going to have a long talk why, aren't we bro?"

"I was gonna tell you," Hunter assured. "But the more time that passed, the harder it got. I'm sorry."

"Those fragments must be the source of the radiation I was tracking," Cam realized. "It had nothing to do with Zurgane's sword."

"After Lothor shattered the gem," Hunter continued. "I hid these two pieces out there. I'd go out there every now and again to find out if they'd help me contact my parents."

"I understand that sometimes your loss is difficult to accept," Sensei went on. "But what's done is done. You can never go back in time."

"Not without a scroll or something," Dustin casually mentioned.

Hunter sighed. "I know my parents are gone, but I still miss them. And those students on Lothor's ship…someone misses them, too. But it's not too late for them. Let's bring 'em back."

After Cam had left for Lothor's ship, the rangers gathered around the monitor, Kennedi sitting in the chair. Sensei was on the desk. They were keeping an eye on Cam's progress and waiting for the okay to teleport onto the ship. Kennedi was still confused about the gem, wanting to hear the story behind it. She knew now was not the time to ask. The rangers grinned as Cam made it into space. However, they became worried when Cam got hit.

"Cam!" Shane shouted. "Cam, come in!"

"I'm hit," the green ranger replied. "But I'm okay. My bigger problem is, if I don't get closer, I'll never be able to break through the energy field."

The monitors beeped, showing a giant Condortron in the city. "Uh oh," Blake sighed. "The big bird is back."

"We have to call the zords," Shane declared.

"We can't leave Cam out there," Hunter pointed out.

"You forget that I don't have a zord," Kennedi pointed out. "I can keep an eye on him with Sensei and Cyber Cam."

Sensei agreed. "The rest of you must take the zords and face Condortron."

"Let's go," Tori nodded. The other five rangers ran out of the room as Kennedi sent the zords, having learned how to do so with all the time she spent in Ninja Ops during zord fights.

"I've armed the drill nose with the Gem of Souls," Cam reported once the others were already fighting. "I think it's opened a portal I can teleport through."

"Then you know what I'm going to say," Sensei stated.

"Don't worry," Cam assured. "This time, I will be careful."

"You do know that every time someone says not to worry, it's the perfect time to worry?" Kennedi raised an eyebrow. Cam ignored her as he broke through the shield on Lothor's ship.

A few minutes later, Cam spoke. "Teleport the others to these coordinates." Kennedi shared a look with Sensei.

"You must return at once," Sensei instructed. "Kennedi will take over for you while you help the others in the zord fight."

"Got it," Cam agreed.

Cyber Cam pushed a few buttons while Kennedi morphed. In a few seconds, Kennedi was gone and Cam was with the other rangers.

"Whoa, creepy," Kennedi muttered as she found herself on Lothor's ship, right where Cam had stood. She looked around the room, looking for the other ninjas. She turned around and spotted a giant bubble that held all the other ninjas in bubbles inside it. A control panel for it was standing in front of it, and Kennedi walked toward it. Before she could get far, she heard something behind her and spun around just in time to see Lothor enter with a bunch of Kelzaks.

"I was expecting my nephew," Lothor frowned. "No matter. You'll do instead, orange ranger. It's so nice for you rangers to visit. Why don't you stay…forever?"

"Not a chance," Kennedi huffed.

She began fighting off the oncoming Kelzaks, trying to stick close to the trapped ninja students. If she could somehow cause the panel to malfunction, then it could set a couple ninjas free. The Kelzaks tried knocking her down, but she wouldn't allow it. The orange ranger continued fighting them off, never once drawing her sword to do so. She charged Lothor, which proved to be a mistake when she was knocked down. Lothor shot her back into a pillar across from the ninja students, causing the device to get back home to fly out of her grasp.

With a huff, she stood and began fighting off Kelzaks once more. She managed to get to the device and pick it up, but it was knocked out of her hand before she could do anything. Kelzaks blocked her way to it, so she drew her bow and began firing. When she had a clear path, she fired right at the control panel, causing it to spark a bit before exploding.

"No!" Lothor cried as the ninja students were released and sent back to Earth. Kennedi smirked beneath her helmet. "You will pay!"

Before she could get back home, she was knocked out.

Sensei had watched both fights on the mainframe. He had seen the rangers take down Condortron, and he had also seen Kennedi be taken hostage by Lothor. The guinea pig knew this wasn't going to end well and prepared an explanation for the rangers. With him in Ninja Ops were the two other senseis from the other two academies, both human and free. Sensei Omino and Sensei Huron both stood by Sensei Watanabe at the mainframe, waiting for the rangers to return. The other ninja students that had been freed had been sent home to see their families.

When the rangers came back, they spotted the three senseis and realized something good must've happened. The only thing they were wondering was where Kennedi was. Cam had told them he and she swapped spots, meaning she had gone to Lothor's ship to try and free the students while he helped them out. With Kennedi not in sight, they began to fear the worst.

"Rangers," Sensei spoke, getting their attention. "There is some good news, and some bad news."

"What's the good news?" Shane wondered.

"As you can probably tell by Sensei Huron and Sensei Omino's presence," Sensei continued. "Cam and Kennedi's efforts to free the other ninja students has worked."

"And the bad news?" Hunter prompted, fearing the worst.

Sensei Huron decided to speak up, since it was about her student. "While in the process of rescuing us, Kennedi has been taken hostage by Lothor."

None of the rangers knew what to say.

A/N: So up next is the final chapter. What'll happen? Will Kennedi be saved?