As the Rescue Megazord reached the building, the Turbo Rangers saw that time was indeed running out. The first four floors were a total loss, and the fifth, where Wendy, Matt, and the kids were, wasn't far behind. The damage to the floors above them was extensive as well, which made their planned rescue seem less likely.
First things first, however. The fires had to go.
"Iniciate transformation! Shifting back into high stance mode!" No sooner was the order given, than the transformation that formed the Rescue Megazord undone. However, Wind Rescue and Star Racer wasted little time reverting into their vehicle forms.
Lightning Fire Tamer's special tool, a gigantic fire extinguisher, appeared. Tommy took careful aim and fired, allowing the cooling chemical spray to bring the blaze under control, and hopefully, take some of the proverbial heat off of Matt and Wendy.
"Phase one complete! Begin phase two!"
"We're ready!" responded Adam.
"Let's do it!" added Justin.
Their role was the most dangerous of all. Their Rescue Zords would have to literally rip the top half of the building out, but keep from causing debris from falling onto the people trapped inside.
The slightest mistake would spell disaster.
To that end, all they were waiting on were the Turbo Vehicles. It took scant few seconds for the sentient cars to arrive and take up positions on a building across the street, but considering what they were trying to do, a few seconds was a good as an eternity.
As soon as Lightning Cruiser flashed a "lets' go" signal with it's headlights, five green beams fired from the weapons systems of all five Turbo Vehicles. Those beams were tractor beams, hastily designed by Justin to keep the debris from falling as the building was opened like a flashfrozen Twinkie.
Without further hesitation, Siren Blaster and Thunder Loader pulled on the destroyed building. After a few seconds, the structure finally gave in to the pressure exerted by the two Rescue Zords, and allowed itself to be lifted away from the remainder of it's body. They lowered the top half into Star Racer's powerful scoop. Star Racer quickly turned around and headed towards a nearby lot to put the devastated building down.
"Phase two complete." said Tommy. "Changing to vehicle mode." Lightning Fire Tamer unfolded itself, transforming back into an armored fire truck. It's twin water cannons aimed upwards and fired, dousing the fires on what was left of the sixth and fifth floors.
"Now it's up to you, Kat!" said Tommy as he trained the water cannons on an area on the sixth floor that still looked like it was smoldering.
"Wish me luck!" said Kat as she exited Wind Rescue, a pair of medical kits under her left arm. "KE-YAH!" With one powerful leap, Kat flipped through the air, landing gracefully inside the fifth floor, having entered through a shattered window. As she looked around, she saw that the way was blocked by a fallen piece of ceiling.
No problem at all for the Pink Ranger.
Kat set the kits down carefully and pulled out her Auto Blaster.
"AUTO BLASTER: TURBO MODE!" She pulled on the back end of her blaster, causing it to extend and transform into a weapon of ten times the power of it's normal mode. Kat fired a widerange beam at the ceiling blocking her path. In seconds, it vaporized, clearing her path.
She had been prepared for this, or so she thought. However, seeing it on the Viewing Globe was one thing; in person, it was quite another.
For one thing, the room was almost intolerably hot, no doubt from the fires. The smoke filled the room as well, and Kat was relieved to see that all the kids were lying on the ground, choking slightly, but no doubt alive.
She picked up the medical kits and got to work. Inside the kits were enough air masks for all of the children, and would last long enough to transport them to the hospital. One by one, she strapped the masks to the children, until all of them wore one and were breathing comfortably.
What worried her was that Matt and Wendy were nowhere to be seen.
"MATT! WENDY! CAN YOU HEAR ME?!" Kat couldn't see through the thick smoke. Even her helmet's headlights couldn't pierce the thick, dark clouds. "TURBO NAVIGATOR: POWER UP!" Her Turbo Navigator appeared in her hands. She quickly activated the tracking device, and set it to lock onto the Ninja Powers.
In seconds, she knew where the missing Techno Rangers were.
Using a one second Turbo Jump, Kat made her way towards the two fallen Rangers, only to be horrified by what she saw.
Both Matt and Wendy were unconscious, either from the heat or from smoke inhalation. Worse, it didn't look like they were breathing.
"OH NO!" Kat quickly opened the second kit and pulled out two portable breathing devices, little more than plastic bottles with face masks, just like ones used by paramedics. She activated her communicator. "Tommy, I've found Matt and Wendy! I-I don't think that they're breathing!"
"Hang on! We're on our way!" Kat took the first device and started to work on getting Wendy to breath. She was just starting to squeeze the plastic bottle when Adam and Tommy teleported in.
"AW MAN!" exclaimed Adam as he saw the two Rangers sprawled on the ground. He grabbed the second device and started to use it on Matt, while Tommy took over for Kat. "Hang on, guys!" said Adam, who was sounding desperate. "You can't quit now! Fight this! Come back to us!"
Tommy was saying similar things as well, but both Turbo Rangers were still careful not to let on that they actually knew Matt and Wendy. Any slip ups would be costly in the long run... if either of the Techno Rangers survived.
Tanya and Justin teleported in and ran over to Kat, who explained the situation. Neither Ranger took the news well, and almost didn't notice that, one by one, the children Matt and Wendy had been so desperate to help were gathering around them and the Turbo Rangers.
Tina was first. She slowly edged her way over to Wendy and it was obvious, even with the airmask on, that the young girl was crying. Then came Nick and Kevin, both frightened beyond imagination, not for their own safety, but for the two teens that had given their all to save them. Eventually, all the children gathered around. Julie, Alex, Katie, Franklin, Jack, Ali, Karen, and the rest watched in silent horror as Matt and Wendy failed to breathe.
Tense moments passed without anyone other than Tommy and Adam talking in desperate attempts to revive Wendy and Matt.
However, all of it was in vain, until the near silence was broken by the tiny voice of a child.
It was Tina that spoke, suprising everyone, herself included.
She grasped the hands of both Wendy and Matt, and, in a voice barely audible, whispered "Don't go."
It could have been sheer coincidence. It could have been nothing more than fate's whimsical sense of timing.
For whatever reason, the two teens seemed to focus on Tina's tiny, pleading voice and, like it was a shining beacon, used it to come back to the land of the living.
To everyone that saw it, it seemed as though the voice of an angel had been heard, bringing a miracle with it.
It didn't matter.
All that mattered was that they both started to choke at the same time, sitting up as a reflex. They were like that for about two seconds before they opened their eyes and saw their friends and the children.
Tina was still holding their hands.
In a voice that was weak from dehydration, Matt said, "I =NEVER= want to have to go through that again..." He coughed again, and was helped up by Tanya and Tommy.
"Are you all right?" asked Tanya.
"I'll be all right." responded Matt.
"Relax, buddy." said Tommy. "You guys've earned it." Tommy meant it. Never before had any Rangers come so close to death, especially while unmorphed. ***
Divatox watched as the scene played itself out.
"NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY MADE IT OUT ALIVE! HOW COULD THEY-? " Divatox screamed her rage.
Off to the side, Porto simply muttered something along the lines of "Last refuge of the illiterate." ***
The Rangers stepped back to allow Wendy some breathing room.
Wendy slowly pulled herself into a kneeling position and looked at Tina.
"I knew you'd be all right!" exclaimed the young girl, who then hugged Wendy, a move that eliminated the remaining tension immediately.
Wendy's eyes teared as she returned Tina's hug.
In a voice almost as silent as Tina's plea had been, Wendy responded by saying, "Thank you."
And the following silence was mute testimony that the other Rangers all shared the sentiment.
NEXT TIME: Tommy, Kat, Tanya, and Adam take up tutoring positions at the high school as Justin, Matt, and Wendy return to school. However, Prince Gasket has other plans for the Rangers, and a nice peaceful day at school isn't included! Be here for the shock ending of the year in "Identities Secret No More, part 1"!
BLOOPERS COVERED UP BY PROMO FOR "SPY DOGS".
"Does your dog like to drink out of the toilet?"
END OF BLOOPERS
"I'm serious! You really ought to change your name to the Hippo. Did you know that, despite their gentile reputation, hippopotami are actually considerably more dangerous than rhinoceri? Indeed, some rhinos are so docile you can walk right up to them and pet them. You can't say that about hippos.
"I mean it! Ask anybody who knows anything about African wildlife. Rhinos are overrated--it's hippos you have to worry about."
"I... am... NOT... calling myself the Hippo!"
"Why not? You want to be accurate, don't you?"
"Hippo's a name you call fat people!"
"Oh, sure. Like you're svelte."
The Beast and the Rhino
"Spider-Man/X-Men: Time's Arrow, Book 2: the Present"