Legacy of Valor – an Always a Ranger Mini Series
Chapter 4 – Once More Into the Breach
Nova had touched some controls on her morpher and suddenly the eight person ranger rescue squad were standing just outside of the main building housing the SPD in the facility’s forest training area. Immediately they all took kneeling positions in the underbrush, observing the building to see if there was any security patrols on the outside of the building.
“Stay here until we make sure it’s safe,” stated Beth as she and Sam moved to first power down to their grey based military-style civilian wear before they broke from the forest area to head towards the primary building before them.
Hurriedly Beth and Sam ran for the wall, pressing themselves flat once they got there as the Dino Thunder team watched and waited for the all clear signal to join them.
Making the decision to go into battle with a rudimentary battle plan wasn’t unknown to Tommy Oliver. Going into a fight with his girlfriend/fiancé/wife wasn’t unheard of either. But the idea that he was following his *daughter* into combat was… more than disconcerting.
“You holding up okay?” asked Conner as he glanced over at the black ranger as they both huddled in the dense brush, waiting for Beth or Sam to signal to them to cross over.
“Define okay,” murmured Tommy even as his head unconsciously swiveled away from Connor to check the direction Beth and Sam were focusing on.
“I get that this has been a lot to take in,” replied Conner in a hushed tone, recognizing that they needed to be quiet, but still too curious for his own good.
“Which? The fact that we have helped a future ranger team twice and don’t remember either incident, that we’re now in the future trying to rescue an entire ranger installation or that my 21 month old daughter is here and nearly 32 years old, wearing the uniform…”
Conner couldn’t help the smirk that crossed his face. Suddenly Ethan and Trent decided to butt into the conversation even as Kim and Kira, who were situated ten feet or so from them focused on awaiting their all clear from Nova and Omega.
“Like you should be surprised Beth ended up a ranger,” pointed out Trent, realizing just how much of her parents had to have been in her to take up their calling.
“Yeah, it’s not like it isn’t in her blood or anything,” joked Ethan.
Tommy grimaced. The idea of Beth being pulled into being a ranger frustrated him. He and Kim had served their time, more than a few times for him. Now their only child was here, living a dangerous life of a ranger…
“We weren’t supposed to have to give any more,” reminded Tommy, the tone of his voice almost sorrowful. “The Solar Rangers were on Earth to allow Kim and I to retire and have Beth, raising her in a safe environment. She shouldn’t have ended up here… like this…”
“Following her mom and dad’s footsteps? I doubt she even thought twice about it,” stated Conner.
“I’m curious why she came and got us. The Solar Rangers were around when she came to recruit us for this mission,” Ethan added inquisitively.
“Why wouldn’t she ask us? She knows us; can trust us. I mean if I was in her shoes I’d want my parents and my family to help me…” answered Conner seriously.
Tommy paused at that. He hadn’t even considered the choice that Beth had made was to trust that her family would be able to help her. She’d done exactly what she’d been taught – come to her family for aid.
He couldn’t fault her logic at all for it when considering it from that angle.
“Guys, less socializing, more focusing on the task,” hissed Kim from her vantage point with Kira a few feet away as she pointed to where Beth was signaling them to join her and Sam.
Cautiously the Dino Thunder team sped across the open space, Kim first, then Kira, followed by Trent, Conner, Ethan and Tommy. Once all eight rangers were pressed flat against the wall or crouched near the ground Beth gave Sam a go signal. He quickly made his way around the building to the air duct and used some kind of tool to pry open the vent cover. He waved back to Beth who then sent the rest of the team ahead of her.
“You can take out the fans, yes?” Beth checked once again as she looked at Sam seriously.
“Shouldn’t be an issue. I’ll teleport them from our path.”
“Good, then you get to go first.”
Sam nodded and took the lead, slipping into the air duct and sliding inside. Tommy and Kim shared a look and she followed, her still lithe gymnast body having no problem with the space. Ethan followed, and then Trent. Conner and Tommy looked at one another before glancing at Beth. She waved them forward, wanting to take the last spot, knowing that once inside they were going to need someone from the current SPD in the lead and the rear.
Once Beth slipped inside the vent she pulled the grate back over the space, hoping that a cursory look wouldn’t reveal their entry point. As soon as she was done she turned and followed the rest of her rescue team through the maze of vents.
Slowly they made their way through the metal vents, which for some of the team was easier than others. Conner, Tommy and Trent all had their shoulders jam more than once on the metal of the vent.
“Could this be any more cramped,” asked Trent in a whisper that no one answered.
The air ducts were big enough… barely, for them to get into the SPD HQ. But they were all unmorphed… their uniforms and helmets being too problematic to fit through the small space. Sam, in the lead led them upwards, the people at the bottom of the vent three times the team had to wait on him to transport the fan out of their way or the few times that they had to go up the several stories to get to the fourth floor. In those cases Sam had gotten Kim to boost him, and then each subsequent ranger had boosted the person before them, leaving Beth to be hoisted up by her father reaching down to catch her hand and pull her to the next level.
After what seemed ages Sam finally stopped, halting the line of people behind him as he found their end destination before him. He carefully evaluated the area they were headed into through a mesh screen before popping it loose.
Once Sam had landed on his feet he hurried to the door to check for potential enemy combatants. Finding none on the other side of the door he went back and quietly called up for the next person to come down. Slowly each member of the team filled the room; now the next step in their plan began.
“Alright, let’s ranger up and then we can go,” said Beth quietly.
At that, each member of the rescue team moved to give themselves space as they called on their powers to provide them the protection and enhanced abilities they needed to rescue everyone inside the building and defend them against any hostiles.
“Dino Thunder, power up… hah!” called Conner, Kira, Ethan and Trent.
“Dino Thunder, power up,” said Kim and Tommy.
“Nova Ranger, power on!
“Omega Ranger, power on!”
Six Dino Thunder rangers and two specialized SPD rangers now stood in the space, uniforms in place. Beth reviewed the group before giving out orders.
“This is where we split up. The containment area for the rangers and Sky’s staff will be on the seventh floor. I’ll take… Kim, Ethan and Trent with me,” said Beth as she nervously walked the perimeter of the room, making sure there was no one on the other side of the door. “That leaves Tommy, Kira and Conner with you Sam.”
“You okay with that?” Conner questioned Tommy, knowing that he always preferred to team with Kim, which none of them faulted really since they knew each other the best and were very motivated to protect one another’s backs.
“It’s fine…” stated the black ranger, realizing that since he wasn’t intimately familiar with the building or potential opposition he needed to take a back seat in the leadership department.
“Okay. Sam, you know where the largest space on the fifth floor is, that should be where they have the cadets and support staff. Watch out for Gruumm’s people and when you find them, get out, head to the point we arrived at past the tree line to rendezvous with us… but don’t go back into the building…” reminded Beth from behind her helmet.
“Be safe Beth,” Sam said as he moved to throw his arms around her in a brief, caring hug.
With that Sam moved to the door, Tommy, Kira and Conner right behind him. Opening the door a crack he confirmed it was clear before he slipped out, the three Dino Thunder rangers right behind him. The door swung closed quietly behind him and Beth slowly moved to it.
“We’ll head directly to the containment area on the seventh floor. I don’t know if they’ll have the current squads and the senior staff in the same place, so we may need to check several areas on that floor. Are you ready?”
“We’re right behind you,” stated Trent.
She waited a minute or so before she grasped the handle in her hand, turning it slowly before peering out into the hallway. Luck seemed to be with them as the corridor was still clear, and she motioned Kim, Trent and Ethan to prepare to follow her.
Sam had unerringly maneuvered his four person team up the stairs and to the fifth floor where they now were presented with a pair of guards in front of their objective – the largest room on the floor and based on security, the obvious location of the cadets and support staff. As Sam prepared to turn the corner they were hiding behind to rush them, Tommy reached out an arm to restrain him, causing the Omega Ranger to turn his helmet towards him.
“Wait… I have this.”
At Tommy’s words, Sam looked past him towards Kira and Conner, who both stood back at the black ranger’s announcement. Tommy then used his powers, shimmering and then disappearing. Moments later first one guard, and then the second dropped to the floor before the door slid open, revealing a mass of people just on the other side. Then the black ranger reappeared as his team mates rushed to join him.
“Invisibility?” asked Sam, eyes wide behind his visor.
“Comes in handy sometimes,” relied Tommy with an audible grin to his voice.
All eyes in the cramped space for nearly 300 stared at the four rangers in the doorway, the Omega Ranger being the only one they immediately recognized. That being the case Sam took charge, raising his arms over his head to get everyone’s attention.
“Okay everyone, we’re making a run for it,” he announced as loud as he could considering he didn’t want to alert anyone that they were there. “Take the stairs down and we are heading South outside the building and meeting up in the forest outside the main HQ. Don’t stop for anyone or anything and if you need help, there will be a ranger somewhere nearby. Let’s go!”
With that Sam headed out first, dozens of the civilians and recruits following him.
“Kira, Conner, space out within the crowd in case they need help. I’ll take the rear position,” Tommy stated authoritatively, picking up the leader slack.
“Gotcha Dr. O,” responded Kira and Conner as they quickly melded into the crowd to protect them from whatever was still in their path to freedom.
Swiftly taking the stairs up three flights was easy enough for Beth’s team, especially with their powers in place; Kim was even more suited for the climb as her feet barely touched the steps as her levitation powers kicked in, allowing her to move quickly up the staircase and earning her a few envious stares. At the top of the stairs Beth eased the door open to see what awaited them.
On the other side of the stairwell door Beth recognized Morgana and a few of her hired thugs, including Broodwing. However a fight with them wasn’t that worrisome… especially if the tables turned to their advantage once they got the A and B Squads free. However she knew that to get that backup she needed to release them. And that would mean a diversion…
“Trent, Ethan… I need you to turn left down this corridor, and then about 20 yards there should be a sealed door; that’s the containment unit for high level security threats. They should have Sky and his people in there. Use code A45O1… that will override any pass code,” Beth explained quietly as she closed the door to speak more freely. “If they aren’t in there, move on to the next door… they have to be here somewhere.”
“What about you and Kim?” asked Ethan.
“We’re going to keep Morgana and her crew busy while you get the Commander and the A and B Squads… Once you have them headed out, come back and help us finish off Gruumm’s people.”
“Okay, we can do that,” replied Trent, nodding before Beth cracked open the door.
With a silent gesture from Beth, Trent and Ethan ducked around the corner, headed for their objective even as Kim and Beth gave up on stealth and walked directly into the line of sight for Morgana and her people.
“Alright Morgana… your jailbreak of Emperor Gruumm is over… surrender now,” commanded Nova as she and the pink Dino Thunder ranger took up a fighting stance.
Morgana let out a child like laugh, her dark hair whipping around her as she waved her arms about.
“You are so mistaken… you are the ones that need to surrender…” she said with a smile that looked anything but friendly.
“You obviously don’t know who you are dealing with,” Kim snarked out… “We’re power rangers, or hadn’t you noticed?”
“I can tell a ranger by their tacky sense of style any day of the week. But your fancy powers won’t be enough to save you. Attack!” she yelled, prompting Broodwing and two other monsters to engage Kim and Beth.
Behind them Trent and Ethan could hear the sudden sounds of a fight. Knowing that their first responsibility was to complete the rescue they sped up until they found the door Beth had described. Ethan punched in the code and the door opened. They rushed inside, finding all manner of electronics, including small brightly lit boxes with moving images within them and in the back of the room… a large area that was caged in which held a baker’s dozen of people, all dressed in military like uniforms, similar to the ones Sam and Beth wore.
“Come on…. We’re here to rescue you!” announced Trent as he and Ethan blasted the lock and then threw open the barred door where Sky, Syd, Bridge and the A and B Squads were being held captive.
“Who… Dino Thunder Rangers?” said Sky, slightly stunned as he recognized the blue and white Dino Thunder rangers.
“Well we certainly aren’t Luke and Han!” announced Ethan from behind his blue helmet. “We need to get outta here! We’re supposed to meet in the forest outside…”
Trent and Ethan moved aside, knowing that the people before them knew the building a whole lot better than them; they were just the muscle to get them out. As it was, Sky had them turn from where they’d come in from and cut through a storage area, slowly making sure the space was safe. Then he rushed to a locked cabinet and punched in a code. Seconds later the doors popped open and he scooped up what looked to be an armful of morphers…
“Grab your morpher and head out of the building!” announced Sky as the A and B Squads rushed to grab their confiscated morphers from their commander.
“We have to go back and help our team mate and Nova…” Trent said, his head swiveling back the way they’d come and the direction that sounds of a fight were still coming from, knowing that Beth and Kim were counting on them as well as the A and B Squads as reinforcements.
“I’ll come with you…” he said after directing Bridge and Syd to go out with the other rangers while he and the Dino Thunder rangers headed back to the fight.
Kim and Beth had taken their fight through the corridors and towards the command center, Beth thinking perhaps the location would be more beneficial to them even as they traded punches and kicks with the monsters under Morgana’s command. As they burst through the door they were brought up short by a woman with dark hair and eyes and a wicked expression standing there, gun drawn.
“What do we have here…” she asked with a grin that belied her words; she seemed to know exactly who was in front of her.
“Charlie…” breathed Beth, shock evident in her voice as she suddenly realized that Emperor Gruumm was never the focus of the attack… it had been the A-Squad in the containment area.
“That’s A-Squad leader Red to you, Nova Ranger,” Charlie replied simply.
“You were stripped of that title when you became a traitor!” spat the Nova Ranger, still appalled by the fact that the former ranger who had turned on the SPD was here, free and looking to be the obvious ringleader of the takeover of SPD’s HQ.
“Doesn’t matter now… because I own this place and I can be commander of the new SPD! Now I suggest you surrender before I’m forced to shoot you and your colorful friend here.”
Before Beth and Kim could even consider making a break for it or trying to fight their way out of the situation they felt their arms being caught as two of Charlie’s A-Squad team members seized them from behind even as Morgana walked around them, Broodwing trailing after her.
As Charlie continued to smile at them, Ethan and Trent, followed by Sky had followed the sounds and sights of the fight that now led them to the doorway of the command center where they skidded to a halt at the scene before them. Sky’s eyes bulged as he recognized the woman pointing the weapon at the pink Dino Thunder ranger and Nova.
“What the!” called out Ethan, causing Kim and Beth’s heads to swivel in place at his outburst.
Ethan’s cry stirred something in Kim and she knew that she had to do something quick or the two would try to take on this Charlie and her allies. She had a responsibility to make sure that as many of her team as well as the hostages got to safety, and letting them and the other man, whom she guessed was one of the command staff come to their aid would surely get them caught as well. She struggled in the grasp of the person holding her, knowing that she had to convince them to leave; Beth and she would have to find a way out on their own.
“Guys, no! Run!” screamed Kim from behind her helmet, earning her a painful strike in the left shoulder by the heavy gun in the former green ranger’s hands, staggering her.
At her mother’s cry of pain Beth tried to break the grasp of her captor. Charlie casually aimed her weapon and discharged it, sending a bolt of fiery agony through Beth’s left leg, causing her to crumble to the ground. Broodwing and two more of Charlie’s people began firing at Ethan, Trent and Sky and the SPD commander immediately grabbed both rangers, dragging them towards the elevator bank.
“You heard the lady… we can’t help them if we get caught!” Sky said as he shoved his hand on a plate at the doorframe, making the elevator door immediately pop open.
With a shove he sent Trent and Ethan sprawling inside the elevator car even as he slammed his palm on the plate inside, causing the doors to close and the elevator began moving towards the first floor instantly, Sky’s handprint engaging the evacuation mode for the building.
Charlie stared viciously at the closed elevator door before cursing and sweeping her eyes over her accomplices, her hand with the gun stabbing towards the pink ranger and Nova ranger angrily.
“Take them back to the holding cells. I will be speaking to them shortly after I figure out just how much damage they’ve done,” she spat before turning towards Morgana with a deadly look.
The civilian ‘hostages’ being evacuated by Tommy, Sam, Kira and Conner had been funneled out the double doors from their makeshift prison and weaved their way down the stairwell. There were a few sounds of scuffles and at least one Terra Scream from Kira, indicating that they might have met some resistance. But before the escaping people could get bunched up or any of them could be caught, the flow of the staircase resumed. Tommy could only assume that Sam and Kira, who were in the lead, along with the overwhelming numbers of the recruits and non-combatant staff of SPD had cleared their path.
They were halfway out of the building when Tommy felt a sudden pressure in his chest. In his soul he felt something pushing him to run. He didn’t hesitate to heed the instinct and yelled ahead of him for people to move faster. Then he was out with the last of the ‘hostages’ and they made a mad dash for the woods. So far there hadn’t been any kind of alarm… he could only hope Beth’s team had been able to get to their hostages as easily as his team had.
Before he could turn to Sam to ask him how much longer it might be before the others exited the building he saw maybe a dozen people racing from the building, but he didn’t see any of the rescue team. Then suddenly Trent and Ethan came bursting from the building with one other man right behind them just as sirens began to sound…
And Tommy immediately seized on the fact that Kim or Beth weren’t with them.
Sky quickly confirmed his people were safe as he arrived at the meeting point, and then he turned, realizing that the other Dino Thunder rangers were there along with the recruits and support staff and heaved a sigh of relief. But when his eyes fell on the Omega ranger and the three Dino Thunder rangers he could instantly feel the tension coming off Tommy as the black ranger strode towards him, Ethan and Trent.
“Where’s Kim and Beth?” asked Tommy, his voice registering the fear starting to spike through him.
“They were captured by the traitors…” explained Sky simply, putting as much matter of factness into his voice as he could.
Tommy froze at Sky’s announcement even as Syd and Bridge hurriedly moved to join Sam in coordinating the evacuation of everyone from the SPD HQ even as they feared they would be converged on by Morgana and Charlie’s forces at any moment.
“How could you leave them behind?” growled Tommy, shaking off his inertia and straining not to launch himself at the SPD commander.
“Kim ordered us to!” Ethan quickly interjected even as he, Conner, Trent and Kira converged on the black ranger, “She didn’t want any of us to get caught along with her and Beth.”
“We have to go back in there…” Tommy started, his helmet moving to look at his former students to get their agreement even as a hand clamped down on his armored shoulder, forcing him to look at the older man before him, grey streaking his temples and the mantle of authority evident in his carriage.
“This isn’t the time,” Sky insisted before turning to the people that he was responsible for… a number much greater than two, “We have people we need to get out of here. Sam, you’re using the auxiliary command center?”
“Good. Help Syd and Bridge get everyone away from here safely then join us there. The A and B Squads will come with me and the Dino Thunder rangers to the base where we’ll wait for you.”
At that Sam nodded, his helmet catching the dying rays of the sun as he helped Syd and Bridge direct the recruits and staff towards the city where they could go to their homes or otherwise hide out. Tommy turned his head to Sky, the anger obvious through his helmet as he reached up to pull Sky’s hand from his shoulder.
“We will get them back, but for now we need to retreat.”
Then Sky moved to pull a device from his pocket, one that looked a lot like the one Beth had used before and then the Dino Thunder team, Sky and the A and B Squads vanished just as Sam, Syd and Bridge directed their people away from the SPD HQ, and moved to follow their commander.
-End Chapter 4-
So, yeah… Beth and Kim are not in the best of situations, but with Sky, Syd, Bridge and the other SPD rangers freed, they have more manpower to rescue them. And yes, if you recognize Star Wars, Captain Power and MMPR:TM references/dialog, they are here intentionally.
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