Author’s Note: Please see the end of this fic for an important message about stolen PR fics and images.
Hi all. Okay, so you know who the evil ranger is, and you get what’s happening. But what happens between now and rescuing him? Ah ha! See, there’s still new twists in here to surprise you. So with that said, let’s get to the story...
Legends and Heroes
By Jeannine Trevizo
Chapter 8: Bad Moon Rising
“This isn’t what I asked for!” roared Mesogog as he used his brain waves to discipline Elsa, sending the dark haired woman to her knees.
“Master, my apologies. He attacked us and I lost the crystal. I tried to locate it, but had to retreat. The white ranger must have found it.”
In a rare display of mercy, Mesogog released her, continuing to rant.
“Oliver was supposed to find it. He was to relive his worst moments as he turned evil again. Instead… “
With a wave of his arm he smashed an array of beakers and potions that lay on the counter closest to him, showering the floor and Elsa with broken glass and liquid. Elsa cringed even more as she wiped the multi colored ooze from her shoulders while Zeltrax moved forward now that his master had vented most of his anger.
“My lord, perhaps this is a stroke of good fortune. His inability to save the white ranger may drive him to make a deal with you to save him,” Zeltrax suggested, his head bowing in acknowledgement of his lord.
Mesogog looked at Zeltrax and tilted his head. He had not even considered the emotional trauma Oliver would suffer as the white ranger, his friend, attacked and attempted to destroy the rangers. And to possibly have to destroy him to stop him… it was better than he’d planned.
“Yess, perhaps you are right. Just to be sure that the white ranger is truly on our side of things, we should contact him and see if he will guarantee the ranger’s demise for a place with us.”
With that, Mesogog grinned brightly, his pointed teeth making both his minions cringe.
“Tommy?” called out Kim as she climbed the stairs to the main area of Tommy’s house.
A house he normally shared with Jason.
Kim had been waiting to get him alone to see how he was really doing. The act they both had put on downstairs had been for everyone else’s benefit, and perhaps slightly for each other’s. But the truth was that they both were feeling Jason’s loss in similar yet different ways. And Tommy would be sliding into his guilt without a net unless she reminded him that she was there for him, however he needed her to be.
“Tommy, where are you?” she said again when only silence greeted her earlier request.
Kim was reluctant to simply walk through the house looking for him. He didn’t seem to have put on any lights after coming upstairs after sending the others home and she wasn’t that familiar with the layout that she could walk through the house in the dark, and didn’t want to turn on the lights.
“I’m in here.”
A light appeared in the back room, illuminating the hallway. Moving along the corridor, she found him in the place should have expected him to be in; the spare bedroom where Jason had been spending the last week weeks. She sat beside him on the plain bed and reached for his hand. As her fingers slid around his, she felt his grasp tighten almost painfully around her hand.
“How are you hanging in?” she whispered, her head leaning close to his shoulder.
“Do you really need me to answer that?” he answered darkly, not looking at her, but getting as close to her as he could.
“No, not really.”
Kim nodded, not trusting her voice to say the words again. Jason was evil. Like before. Like Tommy so many years earlier. And with that came a terrible choice… how to stop him before he did something that he’d have to live with forever.
“I can’t help but feel like this is somehow my fault.”
“How could it be?” she asked in stunned disbelief.
“You and Jase are here because of me. If I hadn’t let myself get captured…” he started his head turning and his chocolate gaze piercing her even in the dimly lit room, causing her to gasp slightly.
“Don’t finish that… don’t even suggest that you could have prevented getting captured, when you didn’t even have powers. And you know that Jason would have done anything to help you. Even if it had been simply a matter of you needing another ranger when the white gem was found, he would have come if you had asked him, not caring about the consequences.”
“And because of that, he’s going to kill us unless I stop him.”
“We stop him,” Kim corrected him. “You remember how he was when Maligore took him over. Just like me, we both had flaws that allowed you to break the spell…”
“Larigot broke the spell on you. All I did was make you mad,” Tommy reminder her with a defeated tone.
“But you broke the spell on Jason, remember?” she replied, pointedly ignoring her own feelings about that day, that moment when she had been freed of her anger and was returned to her guilt.
Tommy went silent, remembering the sensation of being choked by Jason, the pit’s rock border cutting into his back. He’d let loose a desperate kick that had sent his friend flying over the rim of the pit. And then he’d made a frantic catch of his wrists before he fell into the fiery pool again. The struggle to hold on to his hand as the man whom he called his best friend struggled in his grip.
If Kim hadn’t come to join him…
With Kim by his side, he felt sure that he could save Jason. Because if he didn’t, he’d have to stop him… once and for all.
“We’ll get him back…”
Kim nodded and laid her other hand on his cheek. That small gesture broke him, and Tommy released her hand to wrap his arms around her, holding her tightly. She reciprocated the gesture, holding onto the man she had lost and now found once more as they both began to accept the realities of what Jason’s situation could mean.
And their determination that they wouldn’t have to go that far.
With the light of day, everyone was hoping that their luck might change. Instead, things seemed to get worse. In the early afternoon, they’d already been in a battle with one of Mesogog’s monsters, and as it disappeared, they found themselves up against a new opponent as the Drago zord appeared on the top of a girder framed building in the downtown close to the warehouse district.
With a sudden massive wind, buildings shook and lost windows, and a high rise under construction bent under the weight of the massive winged zord that had previously fought to protect the city that it was currently menacing.
From different sides of the city, the rangers converged on the scene. Conner, Kira and Ethan in the Megazord, prepared for battle. Below on the pavement, Kim and Tommy stared upward in agonized concern at the escalation of aggression by their friend.
“Hello again rangers,” said Jason with a dark tone as he leapt to the beak of his Dragozord.
“Oh no,” Tommy breathed quietly, realizing just how much destruction an evil Jason with a zord could do, once he started focusing on the civilian population and away from the rangers.
“Dragozord, show these fools what you can do.”
Hurriedly the white ranger leapt from the zord once again to the safety of a rooftop. Once there, the wings of the zord in questioned beat furiously, the down stroke of them creating an even more furious wind than before, ripping tiles off buildings, and sending trees and cars flying.
“No!” screamed Tommy, his mind filled with fear as Jason gleefully laughed with the destruction his zord was causing.
The wind was so hard, that the Megazord staggered backwards under the onslaught.
“Hey, no need to get crazy!” exclaimed Conner from the cockpit of the Megazord as it stumbled under the gale force winds.
In the city, people were running for safety while Kim and Tommy were realizing that they had to stop Jason now.
“They need help now,” Tommy said, looking to Kim.
“Stegozord, activate,” she called out, urging her heavy zord into the battle zone, hoping to bolster the Megazord.
“I was hoping you’d do that. Stegozord, you are under my command,” Jason stated with a complicated wave of his dagger, firing a multicolored wave of light and energy at the zord.
Kim swayed dangerously as she felt her control of the Stegozord ripped from her grasp, her powers stretching to try and re-establish dominance of her zord. But Jason’s control was too much for her, and she crashed to the ground with a thud, her armor dissolving as her powers fried out.
“Kim!” Tommy screamed, dropping beside the woman he loved and checked for a pulse. He breathed a sigh of relief as he found one, but the moment was soon overshadowed as he turned and looked up to see that Jason had started the Dino Stegozord formation, increasing the damage that he could cause by linking Kim’s zord with the Dragozord. “Jase, no!”
As the pieces of the two zords melded into one and Jason jumped into the command seat, Conner, Kira and Ethan stared at the new megazord, realizing that Kim’s hold on her zord had been broken.
“He stole the Stego!” yelled Conner, stunned.
“What?” Kira asked.
“How? It’s Kim’s,” added Ethan, and the three looked down to note Dr. O standing over Kim’s unmorphed form.
“Dr. O’s with her… she’ll be okay,” assured Conner.
“Not bad for an old guy, eh?” commented Jason from his newly formed zord.
With that Jason attacked, sending the Megazord staggering back before Conner could bring up the arm of the zord to block the sword strike a second time. They circled one another in the small intersection of the streets below them.
“I say we go at him full-on!” suggested Ethan.
“But it’s Jason…” Kira replied worriedly.
“Tell that to Kim,” shot back Ethan. “Tricera fist.”
The horned punch of the triceratops sent the Stego zord backwards.
“Ethan’s right. Tyrano drill!” yelled Conner as he engaged the weapon.
“Dino Stegozord stinger, intercept!” called out Jason from his own zord.
A boomerang like projectile fired forward, and as the Megazord attacked, it sliced into its mid section, exploding in a fiery mass. The three rangers on board screamed as the zord exploded into its parts, sending the teens flying to the pavement.
“You’re telling me.”
“Kira, Conner, Ethan! Are you guys all right?” asked Tommy as he raced to their sides.
‘Yeah, but our zords are seriously tweaked,” said Conner. “How’s Kim?”
“Back and ready to kick Jason’s ass,” said a voice from behind them, and they turned to see Kim back in her purple armor.
“Now I’ll take the rest of your zords,” announced the white ranger, beginning to circle his dagger in his cockpit.
“Not gonna happen,” said Tommy with a determined voice as he glanced to Kim, who nodded enthusiastically before she started pushing buttons on her morpher.
“What are you doing?” Kira asked Kim.
“Trying to break the Stegozord away,” replied Kim. “Alright Jason, give me back my zord!”
In front of them, the Stegozord crackled with purple lightning and the two zords separated as Kim took control back of her zord.
“All right!” cried out Tommy as he moved to Kim’s side again.
“Yeah!” yelled Conner.
“Good job,” said Kira and Ethan.
“You’ll pay for that,” said the white ranger as he flew off to nurse his bruised ego.
“Good save Kim.”
“I doubt that it’ll last,” tossed in Tommy. “Jason’s tapping into his power very deeply, learning things about it that I had no idea about. Next time…”
He left the rest unsaid as everyone began to understand just how much worse this could get.
“Wow, that was like the worst day ever,” remarked Conner as the team reconvened in the command center, the group unmorphed and demoralized by the afternoon’s events.
“Brutal,” agreed Ethan.
“There’s gonna be a lot of days like this guys,” Tommy explained as he walked between them to where Kim sat.
“Uh, whatever happened to “the glass is half full”?” asked Kira.
“Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s empty,” fired back Tommy in a matter of fact tone. “But that’s when you gotta dig deep. That’s when the qualities that made you Rangers become most important.”
“You’re right. What can we do?” asked Conner, straightening his back and feeling a bit surer of his role as a ranger and leader again.
“Go have a little fun. Ethan, isn’t there a new video game you want to check out?”
“I never thought I’d say this, but I have no desire to go near a computer.”
“I know what you mean. I haven’t picked up my guitar in days,” interjected Kira, and looked to Kim to see her nod in understanding.
“Go on. Teacher’s orders,” Tommy said insistently, even as they all stared at him. “Go.”
As the three started to the cave door, Tommy looked to where Kim sat, her head slumping over to catch in her hands. Today had not been a great day for her, or any of them, but seeing her unmorph and fall unconscious had reminded Tommy just how precious she was to him.
“Conner,” called Tommy, bringing the red ranger up to a sudden halt. “Don’t wait for this to be over. You need to go on with things. We all know you and Kira have a date set. You should keep it.”
“You never know what might happen tomorrow. Live for the moment, or some day, you might regret it.”
Conner watched as Tommy’s gaze unconsciously drifted towards Kim again, and got the picture. He grinned and hurried to catch up with the others knowing that Dr. O and Kim needed to be alone. He found Kira leaning against the car door of his Mustang, as he’d brought everyone earlier in it, and Ethan hanging around the rear, as if trying to keep out of the way.
“So, did you still want to see that ‘50 First Dates’ movie tomorrow?” he asked as he moved to her side and unlocked the car door.
“But what about…”
“You heard Dr. O. He said to take a break, go have fun. We had a date…”
“Alright,” Kira said somewhat reluctantly. “I’ll meet you at seven at the cybercafé?”
“Yeah. Now let’s get you and Ethan home.”
Opening the car door, Ethan bolted past them and clamored into the back seat as Kira got in the front. Rushing to the driver’s side, Conner got in and turned over the engine, stepped on the gas and headed out onto the road, leaving Dr. O’s place behind them.
“You okay?” Tommy asked as he moved to sit beside Kim on the slab of rock in the command center basement, his arm wrapping across her back.
“Yeah. I just… bad memories.”
Tommy understood. He was having his own nightmares since Jason had gone evil. He doubted he’d had more than a few hours sleep a night since. And from the looks of it, based on the dark circles under her eyes, Kim was probably having a similarly bad time of it.
Maybe it was time for them to bring down all the barriers and let themselves take whatever measure of comfort from one another that they could find.
“Why don’t you come upstairs? You look like you could use some sleep…”
“Is your couch comfortable enough to sleep on?” Kim asked as she stood and stretched, fighting a sudden yawn.
“Actually, I was hoping you’d stay with me tonight,” he said softly, and Kim’s head whipped around.
“Tommy, you’re not…”
“Just to sleep,” he quickly said, moving to catch her hand in his. “I haven’t been sleeping well and thought maybe you were having the same kind of problems and maybe together we…”
Kim gave him a tender smile, and gripped Tommy’s hand tightly. She knew she loved this man more than anything, and he just kept making her love him that much more.
“Fine, but if you start snoring, I’m shoving you off the bed.”
He grinned and escorted her upstairs. When they got to his bedroom, Tommy moved to his dresser and found a tight t-shirt and drawstring shorts and handed them to Kim. Taking them, she moved to the bathroom to change while Tommy stripped down to his underwear, throwing on his pajama pants.
Kim came back in, sporting a slightly nervous look as she caught Tommy turning down the covers. He looked up and felt his breath catch.
“Those look good on you.”
“I feel like I’m swimming in them.”
“You could go starkers…” he suggested with a half smirk and she gave him a half hearted glare. “Come on. You can have that side.”
Kim moved to the bed and climbed in, her feet nowhere near the end of the bed. Beside her, Tommy slid in, and she noted the gap between them. Being in the same bed might help her sleep, but having his arms around her…
“You can get closer you know,” she said quietly, and she almost immediately felt the bed move.
He slid closer and she turned into him, his arms wrapping around her as she snuggled into his chest, his head resting against hers. She could feel his heart pounding in his chest along with the contented sigh that rattled his body.
“Good night Beautiful,” he murmured before placing a light kiss on her hair as he closed his eyes.
They both were sound asleep before they knew what had hit them.
The next evening, Kira sat at the cyberspace, drinking a smoothie as she waited for her date. Rather than do the traditional “pick up at the girl’s house” thing, they’d agreed to meet at the café at seven to leave for the movies. As she sipped through her straw the berry-mango smoothie, she nervously tapped her foot as she glanced at the clock. It was ten till and he wasn’t there yet.
Glancing away, she looked to the stage and smiled at the thought of her last performance, being applauded by Dr. O, Kim, Ethan and Conner. She felt like she’d really connected with the audience…
“Hey Kira,” said Trent, appearing from behind the counter to grab an empty chair beside her.
“Oh, hi Trent, I was just…”
“Waiting for Conner?”
Kira’s face showed the surprise she felt, and Trent smiled inwardly.
“I know. Conner called and said something came up and that he couldn’t make it.”
“He…” she started, her mind a whirlwind of emotions and her heart feeling like it was cracking.
“I don’t know. Sounded like he was busy, so he just asked I let you know.”
“So, since your date flaked, do you think maybe I could take you to that movie?”
There was a long pause as Kira considered everything. First Conner had been so determined, asking her out. And then he just bailed, even after the whole ‘live for today’ speech. And then Trent was here, just like always seemed to be, and even after she’d turned him down he was trying again.
Maybe there was more to him than she gave him credit for.
“Sure, why not.”
With a grin, Trent got up and offered Kira a hand. She took it and he helped her up and they headed for the door.
And five minutes later, exactly at seven, Conner walked in, to find her not there.
Per the author’s note, I want to take a moment to let my readers know about a disturbing situation at Yahoo Groups. A group called PowerRangerCouples has stolen several author’s works and posted them in their files or as posts to their list without crediting the author or asking permission. My own AAR graphic from my website was stolen to promote their group – when you go to their main page, there it was, with my name still on it even. I am asking everyone to make sure your work isn’t there without your permission, and to let everyone know that the owner of the group did this without my (and many, many other people’s) consent and its’ wrong. Thankfully Yahoo Groups Abuse has taken steps to help me redress the issue. Thanks! J.