Legacy of Valor – an Always a Ranger Mini Series

Chapter 10 – Rock and a Hard Place

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

 

-x-

 

Tommy was down the stairs and through the doorway, still invisible to everyone who waited outside the tree line even as the rangers stood and waited for his exit, along with their double agents… and Kim and Beth. He moved carefully, concerned that if he reappeared before getting to cover the whole rescue and assault could be blown.

 

As he got closer he smiled behind his helmet as he saw his team standing together, Kira’s hand gripped around Conner’s bicep even as Trent and Ethan seemed nervous and jumpy – the two stood near one another, feet and legs moving in repetition as they had to stay put.

 

Moments later the brush before them parted and suddenly Tommy was among them, dropping his invisibility and finding everyone turning to focus on him.

 

“Kim? Beth?” asked Kira anxiously.

 

“They should be here…”

 

Before he could even continue his thought a small portal appeared behind the other SPD rangers, and from it stepped a uniformed Kimberly and Beth.

 

Tommy was across the space in seconds, grasping Kim to him in a tight hug, her arms circling his waist. Beth stood there, as did everyone else, watching the black and pink dino thunder rangers reunite. Kira leaned into Conner even as Syd grasped Sky’s hand at the sight of the two rangers, both of whom had their own reputations as well as the one they held together… the model of ranger love.

 

A long moment later Tommy released her and turned to Beth, his hand reaching up to clasp her shoulder. Beth nodded, her eyes unreadable behind her visor so she covered her father’s hand with hers. Then Tommy broke away from the family reunion, turning to regard Sky, Kim and Beth mirroring him.

 

“Sky, where…” began Tommy before Kim cut him off.

 

“So, where’s Charlie and her people? Cause I have a bone to pick with that bitch,” asked Kimberly, the raw edge to her voice cutting her team to the bone with the pain and animosity it revealed even as it focused everyone back to the matter at hand.

 

“That’s a great question. Where’s the bad guys?” asked Conner from his space beside Sky in the woods.

 

“And Z and Jack,” remarked Syd, worried for her friends.

 

“I can’t imagine Charlie taking the easy way out. She’ll have to be convinced,” explained Sky as he looked up to the top floor of the SPD HQ and felt his heart start to hammer in his chest. If Jack and Z had been caught…

 

Suddenly the front doors to the SPD building opened as Jack and Z hurried across the courtyard, calling loudly about the fire on the seventh floor, even though there was none and there wasn’t anyone outside to hear them that didn’t know it was a ruse. As they did so they homed in on the place that Sky had assured them they’d be waiting and dove through the underbrush into the waiting group of rangers. The two scanned the collected group of colorful uniforms and breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the pink and black dino thunder rangers and Nova.

 

“Sorry we’re late,” said Z with a small smile even as Bridge, Syd and Sky moved to greet them.

 

“Were they following?” asked Sam quickly, his tone nervous as well as anxious.

 

“We should have everyone out here pretty soon,” remarked Jack, turning back and looking at the still closed doors in concern. If they screwed up…

 

Finally the doors of the building opened, revealing Broodwing and several of his allies, followed by Morgana. The rangers looked around at one another even as the blaring siren within the building kept going. Only after another long few minutes did Charlie and her team emerge. And with that Sky stepped out from the foliage and led his people out onto the courtyard to confront her.

 

“Charlie!”

 

“You,” she spat back, recognizing now the trick for what it was as the line of rangers face her and her allies.

 

“Surrender now and I will do everything I can to guarantee you will be treated fairly,” announced Sky, knowing for a fact that the universal government that the SPD did actually answer to ‘unofficially’ would want her out of the way in a more permanent manner, lest she ever became a threat like this again.

 

“You should know me better than that Tate,” Charlie retorted even as her hand went for her gun on her hip, “a “True” ranger would never surrender!”

 

A split second later Charlie had pulled the laser pistol from its holster and fired, even as the rangers before her moved, racing to engage the enemy before them… and the battle was on!

 

Sky dodged the blast and reached for his own weapon. The senior staff of the SPD didn’t have morphers any longer but their skills were still as sharp as they ever were. Yet before he could engage Charlie he saw a flash of pink move past his peripheral vision and fired off a few covering shots before watching as the pink Dino Ranger launched into a snap kick, sending Charlie sprawling.

 

Before he could worry about Kim taking on Charlie alone he saw the black Dino Ranger moving to her side. Years of training, fighting side by side along with the bond the two married rangers had made the instinct to work together impossible to break. The two rangers formed up in battle positions next to one another as if it was instinctual as breathing.

 

“I believe you haven’t formally met my husband. Charlie; this is the man who is more legend than you will ever understand. And he’s gonna help me whip your ass,” spat Kim.

 

With a small grin, knowing that if any two people could reign in Charlie’s fanaticism it would be them, Sky tore his attention from that confrontation to survey the rest of the field where he found the battle already underway…

 

The SPD rangers had immediately sized up the opponents they were facing and acted accordingly. Beth had immediately teamed with her regular partner in crime, Sam. Together the Nova and Omega Rangers were moving to isolate Morgana from her support.

 

Broodwing had found himself under attack by the red and yellow Dino Thunder Rangers; Kira and Conner targeting the monster with a flurry of kicks and blows.

 

The former blue and green SPD rangers, Knox and Xakx were targeted by the white and blue Dino Rangers, Ethan and Trent, being backed up with several members of the SPD squads. Raine and Bradley, the former pink and yellow SPD rangers were equally engaged with the A Squad leader, the blue SPD Ranger William and his team mates.

 

Realizing that everyone was pretty much engaged, Sky was content to leave the battle to those with uniforms, knowing that his command staff would be prepared to do whatever was required to assure their win.

 

“Letting others do the hard work?” asked Bridge as he fired on one of Morgana’s goons trying to sneak up on Sam.

 

“Leaving it to the professionals with morphers,” Sky replied.

 

 “That’s a good idea,” remarked Jack from where he and Z stood behind Syd; neither had any weapon of any kind so they had wisely decided that they’d wait out the situation with their former SPD team mates.

 

“Although I have to say, I’d hate to be in their shoes right now,” stated Syd, standing at the ready beside Sky.

 

At Syd’s words Sky shook his head slightly, feeling sorry briefly for Charlie, Morgana and their allies that had found themselves in the cross hairs of not one but three well trained teams, and a pair of legends. As the former team mates stood there watching, the battle raged. Pairs of rangers that had years of practice working together battled foes that hadn’t… and it was nowhere near an even battle.

 

A sudden magical explosion turned the five sets of eyes towards Morgana, knowing that a burst of dark magic like that had only one origin. Sam and Beth had been sent flying, their armored selves crashing into Broodwing and Kira and Conner, who had been fighting nearly ten yards away. The Nova and Omega rangers leapt to their feet and moved to reengage Morgana.

 

“Well played sorceress, but rangers don’t fall that easily,” called out Sam as he launched a spinning kick at Morgana’s head, forcing her to retreat even as Beth moved to intercept her, catching her by her arms and holding her in a vice like grip.

 

“And now it’s time to send you back to where you came from,” stated Beth as Sam dug into a pouch on his belt and pulled forth a containment card.

 

Morgana’s eyes widened as she struggled and for a split second she was free as Beth let go of her so she could move out of the way before Morgana was enveloped in the light of the card. After a long minute Morgana was gone and Beth hurried to Sam’s side as he checked the containment card, assured that Morgana was safely stored away.

 

“One down,” commented Z where she stood with her former team, watching as the battle turned decisively, the SPD teams taking on Charlie’s rangers as well as Morgana’s minions were hurriedly containing them with cards.

 

“And more to go. Sky, please tell me we gave the dino thunder team containment cards too…” Bridge questioned, realizing that to end the battle they would need to capture all their opponents.

 

Sky whipped his eyes to Bridge, not realizing that the teams of dino thunder rangers without SPD backup had no way of securing their foes other than either destroying them or causing them to surrender. And since those two opponents were Broodwing and Charlie, he was certain that surrender was going to be the option not taken…

 

“Do we have two spare cards?” Sky asked quickly, looking worriedly at his former green ranger.

 

Jack, Z and Syd glanced at one another and then back to Sky and Bridge. It wasn’t like either of them not to be fully prepared, and Syd personally had to wonder if there was more to this…

 

“I don’t. Maybe one of the SPD rangers still has one?” replied Bridge with a nervous tone.

 

Without waiting for a command, Syd pulled forth her communicator, tuning it to the leader frequency, allowing her to contact William and Beth.

 

A and B squad leaders report; do you have unused containment cards?”

 

“I have one,” called William as he verified that his squad had taken care of their targets.

 

“I have one as well,” announced Beth, nodding to Sam beside her.

 

“I need you to aid the two dino thunder teams fighting with Broodwing and Charlie. You need to hurry,” Syd directed them, and the two rangers quickly rogered the command and broke out running to the remaining two battles.

 

After having been flattened by Broodwing when he’d been struck by Beth and Sam, Kira had let loose with a Terra Scream, throwing the villain off of them so they could scramble back up into attack mode. Broodwing shook his head to clear his vision before attacking once again. Kira and Conner engaged him, the two trading kick after fist with the monster before them.

 

Finally frustrated Conner backed up and reached up, calling for the Shield of Triumph.

 

With a burst of light and crackle of lightning the weapon appeared in his hand, and he moved forward, Kira a half step behind him as he let forth the power of the shield, the explosions as it detonated against Broodwings armored form. Seconds later he was falling like a cut tree in the forest, slamming hard onto the ground with a huge thud.

 

Suddenly the B Squad leader, William was there beside them, holding up a card. The two dino rangers looked to him, helmets tipped in questioning.

 

“Let me take care of taking out the trash,” he stated, turning the card towards Broodwing’s prone body.

 

“Be our guest,” said Conner, waving a hand out towards Broodwing’s body.

 

With a minute tap of a gloved finger to the card the light flashed from it, and Broodwing was gone, trapped within the infinite confines of the millimeter thick card in William’s hand.

 

Sky and Syd watched as William helped Kira and Conner lock up their opponent before they swung their gaze towards where Tommy and Kim had been double teaming the fiercely determined Charlie. They knew that despite their anger at the former ranger, the two dino rangers had been holding back.

 

“How is Charlie still on her feet?” asked Trent as the other rangers moved to join the audience that had formed around the two legendary rangers and their foe.

 

“She was a ranger,” Ethan stage whispered, noting Sam’s arrival with Conner and Kira even as Beth had moved to back up her parents… the only ranger among them with any right to do so under the circumstances.

 

“Still…” Conner began before Kira put a hand on his shoulder as he made a move to join his mentors and team mates.

 

“They have instilled in all of us the code of Zordon Conner… the last thing they want to do is…” Kira remarked, trailing off as what she wasn’t saying was known by everyone.

 

Rangers didn’t kill.

 

Unless there was no other choice.

 

“Come on!! You’re supposed to be legends!” screamed Charlie as she threw a punch at Tommy, who moved to block it with his hands before showing her backwards with the stopped momentum of her punch. She staggered and glared, her hands coming up to prepare another attack. “Kill me! You want revenge, so do it!”

 

“In all your studying of ranger history, you missed one important thing,” remarked Kim just as Charlie launched herself at her, causing Kim to levitate out of the way, sending Charlie sprawling. As Tommy watched, his opponent to drug herself up off the ground once more and turned to face him.

 

He and Kim had been trying to force Charlie to surrender, but the hate and determination in the once red ranger was unlimited. He was starting to worry that unless there was a way to force her capture or surrender that they’d have to take more drastic measures. As he contemplated the thought he saw Beth appear behind Charlie, holding something in her hand and motioning for them to clear out. But Tommy persisted, standing tall in his black uniform, looking through his visor at the woman who in her twisted heart and mind had turned everything that being a ranger stood for and trampled it.

 

But even though he’d wanted to exact that revenge Charlie was goading them to take for what she’d done to Kim and Beth, he knew that it was the wrong path. He and Kim had been taught a different way, one they’d done their best to instill in the dino thunder rangers, and would one day teach their daughter…

 

“Rangers don’t kill,” Tommy stated simply, making Charlie’s face freeze in understanding for just a moment as the realization hit her that these two rangers really were what they’d been made out to be in the history books. And that she was nowhere near to what they embodied.

 

She wasn’t the ranger she should have been… she’d made her choices and they’d taken her here, a place that she wasn’t sure she could ever come back from.

 

Silence filled the battlefield as Charlie’s red haze of hatred lifted, and she looked around seeing that her allies had fallen and she was all alone.

 

Sinking to her knees her eyes swept the ground before her, even as Tommy, Kim and Beth moved forward to take her into custody. Sky, Syd and the command team started forward as well, determined that they’d remove her to SPD HQ and put her in lockdown.

 

But before anyone could move Charlie struck forward, grabbing her previously lost weapon and put it to her head and pulled the trigger.

 

Several of the rangers screamed in shock, Kim turning into Tommy as he stood stunned, his arm automatically going around her. Beth stared, watching Charlie’s body slumped on the ground, blood pooling beneath her head. No one here had wanted her dead more than she had when she’d been being tortured, or when she’d tortured her mom, but now…

 

This wasn’t how she’d been raised. This wasn’t how rangers died… even former ones.

 

She turned her head to look at the others; Conner held Kira in a mirror to her mom and dad, Trent and Ethan close by. Sam and William had moved to her side as well and she nodded to them. But seeing the saddened faces of Sky, Syd, Bridge, Jack and Z, all of whom had fought Charlie when she’d originally returned from who knew where the way she was now… or had been.

 

She wondered what had happened then, and if it had been her would she have come back broken and filled with rage like Charlie had. Or because she’d been brought up the way she had, instilled with the principles of a ranger from so early on that nothing would have changed.

 

She hoped that she would never be tested that way, but as she tucked away her unused containment card and moved to stand with her parents, who wordlessly wrapped her in their embrace, she wanted to believe that she would do her parents proud.

 

Like she always had.  

 

-End Chapter 10-

 

Again, my deepest regrets on the delay of getting this update out there… next chapter will be the aftermath (which may or may not wrap this up… if not then there will just be an epilogue),

 

Ms. J.

 

 

 

If anyone wants to e-mail me:

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