"Butterfly in the sky
I can go twice as high"

Cassie Chan stared at the computer screen thoughtfully. In the last few years the internet had grown into a kind of gestalt force, a self-perpetuating energy that was far greater than the sum of its parts. The latest step in its evolution was one that no scientist had dared to touch: the ability of multiple dimensions to converge in the ambiguity that was the world wide web. Online writers took advantage of this new resource with an almost fanatic glee, but most of the world preferred the safety of denial.

Most of the world. Rangers were, as a general rule, experts at denial, and there was no need for them to practice the skill on a concept as mundane as a dimensional convergence. Thus Cassie and several of her teammates surfed the web on a regular basis, watching for extradimensional incidents that might herald trouble for their own world somewhere down the road. So far, the web had proved to be less than reliable at predicting coming storms, but dimensional snooping had a side benefit that kept them trying: it was terribly interesting.

Take this particular instance. She'd stumbled over an entire cult devoted to the telling of her friends' stories. There were mailing lists, webrings, discussion boards, and archives of stories upon stories. It was impossible to tell which reports were accurate and which were complete fabrication, but she supposed the very nature of dimensional convergence meant they could all be true--or all false, for that matter, for no one would be the wiser. This cult itself could span multiple dimensions without even realizing it, for it might never occur to an association of storytellers to ask which of their stories were the fictional ones.

A hand fell gently on her shoulder, and she smiled as she heard a familiar voice ask, "Anything interesting tonight?"

"Just the usual," she answered, turning the screen off with a click. "Zordon on trial, some giant mechanical lions, and a couple of KO-35 restorations. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in the Power Ranger version of 'Sliders'."

The one known as the Phantom Ranger took her hand in his and pulled her to her feet. "I've never heard of 'Sliders'," he informed her. "But if there's one thing this convergence has made me appreciate more than ever, it's the fact that--in this dimension--you managed to find me."

Cassie lifted one hand to touch his face. "That was easy," she said with a smile. "I had your pager number, after all."

Run Away