Disclaimer: The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment. Only my own imagination in coming up with this particular story belongs to me.

Note: This story takes place during the White Light Saga, in which Tommy becomes the White Ranger.

The Countdown
a.k.a.
Exit The Dragon, Enter The Tiger
by Robert L. Torres

Our story takes us to a wonderful & peaceful setting, a beautiful clean lake near an off-white sandy surrounding, and a large summer cabin.

Emerging from the crystal blue lake, after a brisk, refreshing swim, was a handsome teenager, with olive skin, hazel eyes, and long brown hair. His name is Tommy Oliver, and until recently, he was the Green Ranger, a very valuable & treasured member of a group of heroes known as the Power Rangers.

When Lord Zedd took Ritaís place as head villain, he began focusing specifically on draining Tommy of his Green Ranger powers permanently. He sent one monster after the other, until he finally succeeded, and Tommy was once again a Powerless Ranger, this time permanently.

After losing his powers for the last time, Tommy decided that he needed to get away & spend some time alone. So, the former Green Ranger went up to his uncleís cabin. He needed the time alone to clear his head, to think things through. He especially needed this time to get over the fact, that he was no longer a Power Ranger. He would have to sit idly by & watch his friends fight the forces of evil without him. He would no longer be able to come to his friendsí aid when they needed his help. Despite how difficult it would be, he would have to come to this realization eventually. But lately, Tommy started feeling homesick, and he missed his friends.

He missed Jason, the Red Ranger & leader of the Power Rangers. Jason was the one that broke the spell over Tommy & asked him to join the team, despite what happened while Tommy was under Ritaís power. When Rita planned on using a Green Candle to steal Tommyís powers, Jason was the one who volunteered to enter the Dark Dimension & face Goldar to get the candle. Despite the fact that Jason was forced to leave the candle behind to save Tommyís life, Jason was the one Tommy chose to give his Dragon Coin to, to prevent Rita from stealing its power. He did so because he trusted Jason more than any of the other Rangers. He thought of Jason as more than just a friend, Tommy thought of him as a brother.

Tommy also missed Billy, the Blue Ranger, and scientific genius of the group. Upon joining the team, Tommy watched Billy evolved from a shy & insecure boy genius, to a strong and confident intellectual. What Tommy most admired about the Blue Ranger, was his uncanny ability to analyze any given situation with a clear head, and a calm attitude. Billy displayed this many times in the past with many ideas, inventions, etc. First with the molecular decoders to gain access to the Dark Dimension, building a signal blocker to free their Zords from Pirantisheadís control, building an Ice Device to cool off the fiery breath of the Saliguana, making a Mirror Shield to exploit the Octophantomís vanity, and, of course, the Mega Heater Billy let Tommy use to give Turban Shell indigestion. But despite Billyís Vulcan intelligence, Tommy also knew that the Blue Ranger possessed a heart of gold.

Another person the former Green Ranger missed was Trini, the Yellow Ranger. For as long as heís known her, Trini has always been the calmest, most serene, and most caring person he knows, besides Kimberly. Trini was a strong believer that true strength came from within oneís soul. Tommy always admired Triniís philosophy of using your mental & spiritual energy to overcome obstacles. She was also a strong believer in ĎGung-Hoí, a Chinese term meaning Ďto work togetherí. Trini pointed that out to both Tommy & Jason, when they were having a hard time preparing for the Team Ninja Competition. He also admired her deep love for children. This became apparent when Trini was willing to return to Venus Island and face the Invenusable Flytrap by herself, in order to rescue her neighbor, Halley. And when the status of Tommyís powers became a constant worry, Trini always pointed out to Tommy, before going into battle, that he should be conserving his powers. Trini was like the sister that he never had. In Tommyís opinion, Trini was a person most likely to help bring about world peace.

Zack, the Black Ranger, was another person Tommy missed. There was never a dull moment with Zack around, and he often displayed it whenever possible. Whether itís teaching his students his style of martial arts, Hip Hop Kedo, winning dance contests with his extraordinary dance moves, wowing little kids with his magic tricks, charming the hearts of some lovely lady (particularly Angela), or attempting to lighten a dark mood with his witty sense of humor, Zack always managed to keep things interesting. Despite his clowning around, Zack does manage to be serious about a few things: martial arts, being a good friend, and being a Power Ranger. And just like anyone else, Zack has his fears, concerns, and insecurities about things. This was rather apparent about a year ago, shortly after Tommy joined the team. The former Green Ranger had discovered that Zack had a fear & hatred of spiders, and was forced to overcome that fear when Rita sent a spider monster to destroy the Rangers. Also, when Zack was preparing for a big dance contest, he started feeling that he didnít have the confidence to win. This loss of confidence almost caused Zackís destruction when they were transported to the Island of Illusions. Luckily, with the help of a mysterious, magical, rhyming dwarf known as Quagmire, Zack & the others found the confidence within themselves to fight the illusions, escape the island, and save the day once again. Zack applied this renewed confidence when he entered the dance contest, and managed to win first place. But despite all this, Zack was a good friend, and one hell of a fighter.

And finally, the person that Tommy missed most of all was Kimberly, the Pink Ranger, his girlfriend, and the woman he loves with all of his heart. Ever since that day he saved Kim from the harassment of Bulk & Skull, he felt an immediate attracting towards the beautiful Pink Ranger. He had fallen in love with her at first sight. And he knew deep in his soul, that she felt the same way too. He admired Kimís beauty, both externally & internally, her gracefulness, and her deep love & affection for not only himself, but for all of her friends. He also respected her loyalty & devotion to her friends, her gymnastics, to being a teenager, and to her duties as a Power Ranger. Even when he was placed under an evil spell and he unwillingly treated Kim like garbage, she was still there to welcome him to the team once Jason broke Ritaís spell. They got to know each other very well, and began to grow closer to each other. But they never got passed the point of being anything more than just good friends, that is until after he lost his powers the first time. Kim came to see him near the lake while he was practicing, they started talking, and Tommy finally got the nerve to kiss the woman he loved. When Tommy regained his powers temporarily, they grew even closer, and knew for sure that they loved each other and were meant to be together. They were always there for each other, both on & off the battlefield, which was why it was so hard for Tommy to leave after he lost his powers for the last time. He knew Kim would worry about him, and miss him terribly, but he had no other choice, he needed this time to himself to clear his head. Being with Kimberly was ultimately the reason why he decided to come back to Angel Grove. Of all the people he missed in Angel Grove, Kimberly was the most important person he missed. Thatís why he wrote a letter to Kimberly a few days ago, letting her know that he was coming back home. It made him feel good to know he was coming back, even though it would still be hard for him to accept not being a Ranger, just being with his friends again will make up for that.

After having a brisk swim in the lake, Tommy reached for his towel & took a moment to breathe in the pure, clean air around him, and to take in the wonderful scenery all around him.

As Tommy began to dry himself off, he suddenly felt a strange energy field surround his body. He attempted to use all of his strength & will power to fight this strange forcefield. Tommy then felt a familiar tingling sensation flow through his body, the feeling of teleportation, as the former Green Ranger vanished from his location in a ball of brightly colored light.

In the brief seconds that he was caught in the teleportation beam, Tommy thought for sure that Zedd had captured him to make him evil again. And he hoped to God that wasnít the case. Because the last thing that Tommy wanted was to return to Angel Grove and his friends, only to destroy them under evil influences.

Tommyís body plopped to the ground as he arrived at his yet unknown destination. He opened his eyes slowly & all he saw was intense bright whiteness all around. He rubbed his eyes & then felt his face, his hair, and his body, only to discover that he was completely dry, not just dry, but clothed as well. His eyes began to focus as he looked at his mysterious new clothes, a white muscle shirt, white jeans & white sneakers. His eyes slowly looked up & what he saw surprised him even more. He saw various computer consoles & control panels, and it was clear to Tommy that he was in some sort of highly-advanced technological facility, like the Command Center, only in white.

"Where am I? What the hell is going on?" Tommy thought to himself.

"WELCOME TO THE HIDDEN CHAMBER TOMMY!" Said a startlingly familiar voice.

Tommy jumped to his feet & spun around to see where the voice came from. And Tommy saw two people he never expected to see again, Zordon & Alpha-5. Zordon was transmitting his image from a column of light similar to the one in the Command Center. Upon seeing the two of them, Tommy was a little bit relieved that he wasnít captured by Lord Zedd. He realized that it was Zordon & Alpha that managed to use the technology in the Hidden Chamber to dry him off & give him new clothes, but the former Green Ranger was still confused.

"Zordon? Alpha? Whatís going on here, what the hell am I doing here?"

"Tommy, please calm down. Weíll explain everything to you, just sit down, and relax." Alpha said as he indicated to Tommy to sit down on a white & grey examination table to his right.

Tommy, slowly approached the table, and sat down in front of Alpha, and Zordon. He slowly got his bearings together. "Okay, I think Iím calm now. Now, please, tell me, whatís going on?"

"TOMMY, EVER SINCE YOU CAME BACK TO US AS THE GREEN RANGER, ALPHA & I HAVE BEEN CONSTANTLY ANALYZING YOUR POWERS TO SEE IF WE COULD RESTORE YOUR POWERS PERMANENTLY!! BUT AS YOU KNOW, WE WERE UNABLE TO REESTABLISH A LINK BETWEEN YOUR FORMER GREEN RANGER POWERS & THE MORPHING GRID!!"

Tommy started to feel the emotional wounds begin to open as Zordon reminded the once mighty Green Ranger that they were unsuccessful in restoring his powers. "Zordon, I know all this already, why do you insist on pouring salt over my wounds?"

"Weíre sorry Tommy, but weíre just trying to make a point. We didnít mean any harm." Alpha tried explaining.

"ALPHA IS RIGHT, MY APOLOGIES TOMMY. IT WAS NEVER MY INTENTION TO ĎPOUR SALT ON YOUR EMOTIONAL WOUNDSí, AS YOU SAY. WHAT IíM TRYING TO SAY TO YOU TOMMY IS, WEíVE BROUGHT YOU HERE, TO THE HIDDEN CHAMBER, TO MAKE YOU A POWER RANGER ONCE MORE!"

"What? Zordon, thatís not possible, you said that there was no way to reenergize my Green Ranger powers, that they were gone forever. How can you guys make me a Ranger again?"

"We know that we couldnít reenergize your GREEN RANGER powers permanently, but weíre not here to make you the Green Ranger again Tommy. Weíre giving you a new set of morphing powers." Alpha explained.

"RECENTLY, WE DISCOVERED A NEW SOURCE OF ENERGY THAT IS LINKED WITH THE MORPHING GRID, A SOURCE OF POWER KNOWN AS ĎTHE LIGHT OF GOODNESSí. AND WITH THAT SOURCE OF ENERGY, WE BROUGHT FORTH THE SEVENTH POWER COIN! WITH THE SEVENTH POWER COIN AND THE LIGHT OF GOODNESS, YOU SHALL ONCE AGAIN BE A POWER RANGER, ONLY THIS TIME YOU SHALL BE THE WHITE RANGER AND YOUR POWERS WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TAKEN AWAY BY THE FORCES OF EVIL! NOT ONLY THAT, BUT YOU WILL BECOME THE NEW LEADER OF THE POWER RANGERS!"

Tommyís eyes widened as he heard this news. But he was still confused about something. "Me, the new leader? I canít take leadership away from Jason, heís been the leader long before I came around. Wonít he be upset that Iím just taking his role as leader away from him? I mean, heís my best friend, I canít do that to him. And why havenít you told the other guys that youíre doing this? Why all the secrecy?"

"Tommy, recently Zedd has upgraded his monster attacks against the other Rangers, knowing that they were distraught with grief because you were gone. Zedd nearly tried to drain four of the Rangers of their powers with candles similar to the Green Candle, and nearly tried drive Jason to the point of complete anger & rage. You see, when you left after losing your powers for the final time, Jason started blaming himself for you losing your powers in the first place. He blamed himself for leaving the Green Candle behind, and when he started blaming himself, he began doubting his abilities as a leader. But when we found you writing a letter to him, saying that you didnít blame him for what happened, it made him feel a little better." Alpha began explaining as he was working over some controls.

"BUT JASON WAS STILL DOUBTING HIS ABILITIES AS A LEADER! I TRIED TO REASSURE HIM THAT I WAS PROUD OF HIM, AND OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND THAT HE SHOULDNíT DOUBT HIMSELF! BUT I KNEW THAT HE STILL DOUBTED HIMSELF. ZEDD THEN SENT DOWN A MONSTER THAT CREATED ILLUSIONS OF PAST MONSTERS TO EXHAUST THE RANGERS PHYSICALLY & MENTALLY! AND MOST RECENTLY, ZEDD ATTEMPTED TO PLACE KIMBERLY UNDER AN EVIL SPELL & MAKE HER HIS NEW QUEEN! BUT HIS ATTEMPT FAILED, FOR THE SPELL DID NOT WORK ON HER! AS FOR JASON, I KNOW HE WILL FEEL BAD THAT HE WILL HAVE TO STAND DOWN AS LEADER, BUT JASON IS A FINE WARRIOR, AND A VERY UNDERSTANDING FRIEND. HE WILL UNDERSTAND THAT YOU DESERVE THIS TOMMY! HE & THE OTHERS WILL AGREE THAT YOU TRULY DESERVE THIS OPPORTUNITY! WE CHOSE YOU TOMMY BECAUSE YOU COULD BE TRUSTED TO USE THE POWERS WISELY. PLUS YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WILLING TO DO WHATEVER WAS NECESSARY TO HELP THE RANGERS ACHIEVE VICTORY! EVEN WHEN YOUR POWERS BECAME A CONSTANT CONCERN, YOU WERE ALWAYS WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK OF LOSING YOUR POWERS, AND EVEN DURING THAT TIME, YOU ALWAYS CAME UP WITH BRILLIANT WAYS TO HELP THE RANGERS ACHIEVE VICTORY AS WELL!! BECAUSE OF YOUR COURAGE, YOUR STRENGTH, AND YOUR HONOR, WE HAVE SELECTED YOU TOMMY TO BECOME THE WHITE RANGER! AS FOR ALL THE SECRECY, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND TOMMY, THAT THE BASIS OF INFUSING SOMEONE WITH THE LIGHT OF GOODNESS WAS A THEORY, A THEORY THAT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK AT ALL! WE DID NOT WISH TO GET THE RANGERSí HOPES UP IF IT DIDNíT WORK! NOT ONLY THAT, IF THE RANGERS KNEW, LORD ZEDD WOULD MOST LIKELY TRY TO INTERFERE WITH OUR MISSION, BUT KIDNAPPING YOU!"

"Okay, I understand that, but why do you have to infuse so much energy into me? Why canít you just give me the Power Coin?"

"Because although you no longer possess the powers of the Green Ranger, there is still some residual Green Ranger energy in your body. We must infuse your body with the enormous amounts of energy from The Light of Goodness in order to cleanse your body of the remaining Green Ranger energy. That way, the energy will be linked to the seventh Power Coin, and to the Morphing Grid, making you a Power Ranger once again. Isnít this what you wanted Tommy? To be a Power Ranger full-time, to not worry about any evil force trying to steal your powers again, to be with your friends, to fight the forces of evil, and to make a difference again?" Alpha asked him.

"Itís exactly what I wanted, and then some. I mean, Iím gonna be a Ranger again, not just temporary, but full-time. And Iím gonna be the new leader too. I donít know if Iím ready to be leader."

"TOMMY, WHEN I SELECTED JASON TO LEADER THE RANGERS ONE YEAR AGO, EVEN HE WAS NOT SURE IF HE WAS READY TO LEAD! BUT HE HAS DONE A REMARKABLE JOB AS LEADER! BUT THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE MANTLE OF LEADERSHIP TO BE PASSED ON TO SOMEONE NEW, SOMEONE WHO IS EQUALLY AS DESERVING AS JASON WAS! THAT SOMEONE IS YOU TOMMY!"

Tommy absorbed all of the information that was presented to him. He had before him the chance to not just become a Ranger again, but to become the new leader. He knew deep in his heart that Zordon was right, about everything. Tommy hoped that when he is revealed to the others as the White Ranger & their new leader, that Jason will understand and not feel betrayed by Zordon, Alpha or even Tommy himself. He also hoped that when he is officially given the title of leader, that he will trust his own capabilities to make the right decisions, and become a very wise, and powerful leader. Tommy stood up and looked up at Zordon, with a large smile on his face. "When do we get started?"

"I AM VERY PROUD OF YOUR DECISION TOMMY! ONCE WE ARE FINISHED, WE WILL CONTACT THE RANGERS, AND PRESENT YOU TO THEM! THEY WILL BE VERY HAPPY TO SEE YOU AGAIN, AND I KNOW THEY WILL BE MOST PLEASED TO SEE THAT YOU ARE BACK WHERE YOU BELONG, AMONG YOUR FRIENDS, THE POWER RANGERS! ALPHA MAKE THE NECESSARY CALCULATIONS, AND PREPARE TO TRANSFORM TOMMY INTOÖ THE WHITE RANGER!" Zordon said with pride.

Alpha pressed one of the buttons on the control panel, and Tommy was immediately suited in his new White Ranger uniform. He indicated Tommy to lay down on the table, and to just relax as both he & Zordon prepared to infuse the power of the Light of Goodness into Tommyís body.

As the new White Ranger felt the energy of the Light of Goodness flow through his body, one thing that Tommy was also very excited about was this simple fact, he couldnít wait to make his premiere to the others. They were gonna be equally as shocked to see that their old friend is not only a more powerful Power Ranger than the Green Ranger, but is also their new leader.

The End (well, not exactly the end since the story continues in White Light Part II)

Rule

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