Legacy of Valor – an Always a Ranger Mini Series

Chapter 8 – The Best Offense

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

 

-x-

 

With as much swagger as Jack could muster, he walked to the front door of the SPD HQ, memories of his first and last time there warring in his head as he prepared to lay his hand on the handle. Behind him Z stood, eyes scanning the area, waiting to see if they were being watched.

 

Other than by their allies.

 

Bridge had tapped into the security system in the training area outside SPD. While Charlie’s resident techno-psycho Bradley seemed to have disabled the remote access to the feeds inside the building Bridge could still piggyback the signal to the outer cameras so they could make sure Jack and Z got inside in one piece. But once in there…

 

Before Jack’s hand could even fall on the metal handle the door flew open, revealing a barrel of blaster rifle. Behind it was the former pink ranger, Raine. The sight of the weapon pointed at him caused his hands to reflexively rise even as he could tell Z had startled at the sudden appearance of the former ranger, taking a shuffling step backwards.

 

“Hey, we come in peace!” Jack announced, nodding to the rifle.

 

“What are you doing here?” challenged the one time pink ranger.

 

“We heard there was a change in regime around here and thought maybe we could help each other out…” he said with a wide, disarming smile.

 

The woman before him paused, unsure of her next move. She was there to protect them from rangers and threats, but the man before her and his companion didn’t look or act like threats…

 

“How about you let me speak to your boss…”

 

With that last trademark charm Raine lowered her rifle slightly and stepped aside, allowing Jack to walk to her side where he waited until the woman watched Z follow Jack inside before closing and locking the door behind them. Then Raine moved to usher them both forward, using the barrel of her rifle to guide them along as she walked with them to the elevators.

 

Calling one to the main floor was simple and the three rode it upwards. When it stopped on the seventh floor Raine indicated they should get out and Jack and Z complied readily. Both of the former rangers recognized the command floor and followed the renegade ranger before them as she led them to the command center. As the door to the room opened, all eyes within the room turned at the sound.

 

 

Charlie had turned from where she was speaking with Morgana in hushed tones when the door opened and watched as Raine walked in, escorting two people. Her eyebrow quirked up as she assessed the two people before her; the way the man walked spoke of confidence and familiarity with his surroundings. Her mind quickly tried to process who the man, and more than likely the woman behind him were in relation to the SPD.

 

Raine, what do you have there?” she asked, her voice dropping ever so slightly as she took on a wary edge.

 

“They wanted to talk with you… seemed to know a lot about… us, here…” the other woman stated, even as she worried she’d made a mistake.

 

Jack gave a cocky smile as he brushed his dreadlocks over his shoulders and down his back. This was his moment. He remembered Charlie – being attacked and locked up by her had left an impression. But he wasn’t sure he’d made an impression on her…

 

“Charlie, it’s been a long time. I doubt you remember me…”

 

The turncoat A-Squad Red Ranger stared at the man before her, some of her last memories before Morgana’s rescue bubbling up at the sound of his voice as he stood there. The reason for his comfort level in SPD finally kicked in, and her eyes narrowed, her body language instantly becoming aggressive as she knew him for what he was.

 

“I remember you… Red Ranger…” spat Charlie, her hand poised to direct her people to attack before Jack raised his hands in the air in a placating gesture.

 

“Whoa! Hold up there… we’re not with SPD anymore. We’re actually here looking cut a deal,” remarked Jack, his voice raising a bit as he showed his empty palms at shoulder height, the posture showing her he wasn’t there to threaten her.

 

Charlie’s hand froze and her head cocked a bit. The man before her had been a red ranger, and was no longer… she wondered what had prompted him to give it up.

 

“What do you mean you aren’t with SPD?”

 

“Just what I said… we had a… falling out less than a week after you made your way back. It’s all in the records…” Jack noted, nodding his head to the computer banks.

 

Once Charlie had been released she’d accessed the database to know whom she was dealing with, like Commander Sky, Nova and the current rosters of rangers and command staff. But she had glossed over former staff and rangers, considering doing deep research on them a waste of time and resources. Now however these two were here in her building looking to… make a deal?

 

Slowly she turned her eyes towards Bradley, who instantly started a search of the system. Once he had their files he nodded, and Charlie moved to join him, Morganna following in her wake. Charlie quickly scanned the material, pausing when she saw that a Jack Landors, former Red Ranger had resigned less than a day after her team was incarcerated. The woman with him, Elizabeth Delgato, former Yellow Ranger had left a few months after him. Beyond that there was no other history for them, and taking into account that their records seemed to indicate they’d been ‘drafted’ into service, she was now more curious than wary as to his return.

 

“So, you left… why?” she questioned, leading him into divulging his true feelings.

 

“They promoted Sky Tate… and I found that I wasn’t much of a joiner…”

 

 “Tate was an egotist and a letch,” threw in Z, frowning as she said it, ad-libbing from their prepared ‘script’. “Always was hitting on Sydney and me… when I wouldn’t put up with it any more I left too.”

 

At that Charlie smirked a bit. She liked the idea that the great Commander Sky Tate was tainted. And any woman that would put the man in his place she immediately liked. In fact neither of these two seemed to be the career rangers that she had learned to hate.

 

“You said you wanted to make a deal? What do you want?” she questioned and both Z and Jack could see the immediate change in her posture and her voice.

 

Jack smiled wide, his natural charm shining out. Charlie was buying their story and now he just needed to complete the ‘deal’.

 

“When I was here before, I had the chance to get my hands on certain… items. I can’t begin to tell you their value on the open market. And now with things having changed here, I thought perhaps you might be interested in some financial restitution from SPD in the form of you and me doing some business; you give me the SPD’s tech and I cut you in on the profits.”

 

“So, I supply you with what… the morpher tech, blasters, armor, equipment?”

 

“Whatever you want to pass my way. I can find buyers for everything. As long as you don’t have any qualms about what they do with it after they buy it…”

 

Charlie laughed, the suddenness of the sound startling her allies. She smiled at Jack finally, her eyes showing the evil intent behind her thoughts. “So if I agree to this, what’s my take?”

 

“A cut of my profit. I figure since you have the tech but I have the connections we can do a say… 60-40 split,” Jack offered, his smile growing wider even as he was repelled by her obvious happiness at the idea that SPD’s weapons could be used for evil.

 

“That’s rather… generous.”

 

“I like to have my partners feel I’m being fair.”

 

“He’s a damn good boss,” tossed in Z from beside Jack.

 

“And if I agree…”

 

“Then I get a guided tour to see what you have and I find out what kinda buyers I have for the tech. When I have a sale lined up, I come back and get the tech and come back with the cash.”

 

Charlie looked at Jack, noting the relaxed manner of the man. Nothing about his behavior seemed out of place. His files said he ran a charity though…

 

“How is it that you’re running black market tech sales but you’re supposed to be a do-gooder?”

 

“Man’s gotta have a cover,” he replied quickly.

 

Charlie looked around her. Her people had been imprisoned, along with her. And while they had taken revenge on SPD, reparations of the monetary kind weren’t going to be forthcoming. But Jack and his partner were here, offering them some significant cash that once they burned this place to the ground they could all use to start new. And she liked the idea of selling off SPD’s secrets to fund their future.

 

“We have a deal then,” said Charlie suddenly, walking to Jack, her hand outstretched.

 

Jack quickly took it, shaking it even as he masked his revulsion at the woman’s touch.

 

“Well, how about you get your people to give us that tour, see what you have so I can start getting us some cash?” Jack asked, rubbing his hands together in a gesture of glee at the prospect.

 

Charlie nodded, pointing to Raine and Bradley. The former pink and yellow rangers jumped forward at her summons.

“You two take them around, tell them what we’ve got…”

 

Within minutes Bradley and Raine were walking Z and Jack throughout the building, Z having taken out a portable tablet and made a show of taking notes as they “assessed” the value of the tech they were seeing, talking about potential buyers and how fast they thought bids would come in on certain tech. They made their way through the first five floors and were working their way through the sixth when Jack and Z noted the containment room’s door, the location that Sky had stated the command staff had been held and he suspected might be the holding location of Kimberly and Beth.

 

“What’s here?” asked Z as they got closer to the locked, secure room.

 

“The containment card room,” remarked Raine, not suspecting the two remembered what the room was for.

 

“That tech might be of value. How many do you have in there?”

 

“Not sure… Bradley?” asked Raine, confused.

 

“I don’t know either.”

 

“How about we just go in and count?” questioned Z, her tone innocent to her true motives.

 

“I can’t open this…” remarked Bradley with a bit of a stammer to his voice, even as his eyes slid from the door to Jack and Z who stood there, expressions questioning and open.

 

“Why not?” asked Jack.

 

“I…”

 

“Come on. Your boss trusts us. We’re gonna make you guys wealthy… but I can’t do that without seeing the merchandise.”

 

Bradley looked at Raine, and after seeing the confused look on her own face he mentally vacillated for a few more minutes before he typed in a code and the door slid open. Jack and Z stepped inside, eyes perusing the containment cards lining the walls, and pointedly not looking at the end of the room.

 

Kim and Beth both were up and pressed against the cage bars the instant the door opened. They had both been waiting for a chance to escape and when they saw the former yellow and pink rangers walk in with two other people they both reacted. Kim was surprised and wary, while Beth turned her back to the newcomers quickly to school her features before she turned around once more. She couldn’t let anyone know she recognized the former red and yellow SPD rangers.

 

Jack and Z glanced around the room, both making a show of being interested in the technology around them. Finally Jack allowed himself to focus on their real reason for being there – the rangers they were there to rescue.

 

“Prisoners?” he finally questioned, pointing down the room at a safe distance to keep the others from recognizing their true interest.

 

“They’re some leftover problems…” remarked Raine with more than a hint of disgust.

 

“If you need them gone, I might have a buyer interested in their kind of software, if you know what I mean,” Jack remarked, winking at the Asian woman before letting his eyes slide away to Z.

 

“Charlie wants them here for now,” Raine said with a slight growl to her voice and Jack raised his hands in surrender once more.

 

“Not a problem. Just offerin’. So, what else you got?”

 

At that Jack turned with Raine at his shoulder, Bradley already heading out the door even as Z hung back briefly, signaling to the two ranger women with a brief thumbs up before she quickly turned to catch up before Bradley slammed the door shut.

 

-x-

 

The moment the door closed on the containment room Beth let out a huge breath before sliding along the bars of the cage to the floor.

 

“What’s going on? You know those two?” questioned Kimberly.

 

“They’re former SPD, and not the kind like Charlie. Jack and Syd are like the best of buddies… I would bet anything that Commander Sky called them in to find us.”

 

“Which means what? Unless they can walk us out of here we’re kind of stuck,” reminded Kim.

 

“Not necessarily. If they can find my morpher and get it back to me, I can get us out of here,” stated Beth with a grin that reminded Kim of the one she saw in the mirror some days.

 

Kim stared and then remembered that he daughter’s morpher had more powers than just changing into uniform. It had been what had brought them here to the future as well as from the auxiliary bunker to the SPD HQ. And with it…

 

“You can use the time travel portal to get us out of here!”

 

Beth nodded, smiling at her mom. But the fact that Jack and Z were here, and obviously posing as something they weren’t was a big risk. Still…

 

“I guess the cavalry’s here… we just have to be ready when our time comes.”

 

Kim nodded. She was more than ready to get out of the clutches of Charlie and her goons. So she gave a small sigh and resigned herself to wait until the two came back and got them out of here.

 

-End Chapter 8-

 

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