Note: This story takes place after the fourth season finale of Power Rangers, Bulk and Skull are getting ready to leave the country, Zedd is poised to begin his return to power.

Goodbye Old Friend
by Derik Smith

My Name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm a detective.

..........Long graceful fingers caressed worn genuine ivory keys. The baby grand looked dilapidated on the outside, it'd been water damaged in a mud slide when he was just a child, but it still played true.

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm a policeman.

..........A single bead of sweat trickled from his matted hair down his nose, threatening to break free. He closed his eyes and played the dream.

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm going to find out who they really are.

..........The dream was different, it always was. Like homemade ice cream, it was familiar, but never quite the same twice. How long had it been since he'd tasted homemade ice cream?

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I am Earth's most powerful warrior.

..........He couldn't quite place the change this time, sometimes he couldn't at all, but he knew it was there. Some quality about the sunlight?

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm from the Angel Grove Building Inspector's office....

..........No, not the sunlight... damn! His fingers tripped on the sudden change in tempo, and he lost the melody. In frustration, he slammed his hand into the keyboard. It wasn't the sunlight, it was the shadows...

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm a musician.

..........Outside his window, one of the shadows detached itself from the darkness and took perch. It was followed by another, and another. Skull gave up, he just wasn't able to concentrate tonight. He went to the refrigerator to get some milk.

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm Bulk's best friend.

..........Sipping the milk he stared out into the yard. It was a full moon directly overhead, the kind that cast perfect shadows. Somewhere, out of the corner of his eye, he saw one of the shadows move.

My name is...

..........He looked closer, it had moved.

..........Mommy, I'm scared! The shadows are watching me.
..........Shh, shh Eugene, it's all right, the shadows can't hurt you, there's nothing there.

..........There was something there, and it was watching him. He could see its eyes glitter.

..........See, when I turn on the light, they disappear.

..........Skull flicked the yard light absently, and for the billionth time he made a mental note to fix the fuse for the outdoor lighting system tomorrow.

..........Thanks Mommy, I feel better now.
..........That's all right, sleep tight now. Don't let the bed bugs bite.

..........Sighing, Skull finished his glass of milk and put it down on the unprotected surface of the piano. He'd been doing that for a lifetime now and the rings the glasses left behind were beginning to form a nice mosaic pattern.

..........Bed bugs?

..........He opened the sliding glass door, and stepped out into the night. The first thing he noticed was that it was chilly, he should have brought a jacket. The second thing he noticed was the shadows, moving around him, seeming to move out and fold back into the night at will. The shadows had eyes. Skull swallowed, dry. He felt the wind die, the pick up again. One of the shadows reared up beyond the tree line. It began to advance. Suddenly, all the other shadows were still, as if they were watching that one. Skull decided to take the initiative, he knew what was coming, why not simply get it over with?
..........His eyes focused sullenly on the dark figure, it had to be him, there was no mistaking the profile. "Hello Goldar."
..........The warrior emerged form the shadows in one fluid, considered motion, moonlight streaked from feet to wingtips, splaying square across his face. The impression was difficult to ignore. Under the pure moonlight, his golden armor seemed to glow pale pale blue. For a long time, there was no sound, not even a gesture to acknowledge his presence. Then, in a low rumbling voice came, "Hello Skull."
..........For a long time it was like that. Just two figures standing there, studying each other, one towering and undeniably alien, the other a diminutive human in plaid sleeper pants, with only the shadows as witnesses. They both began at once, "I-"
..........Goldar rumbled, it might have been a laugh.
..........At least Skull saw the shadows begin to relax. He was able to make out one of those bird-creature that'd gone virtually unseen for over a year. "You first."
.........."No, I insist."
.........."I'm the host!" snapped Skull, "And I'm telling you to go first!" He was sure he saw a smile crease Goldar's thick features before he replied. He was almost sure....
.........."I came..." he paused, looked around him, and continued, "I came to say goodbye."
..........Skull was silent for a long moment. There was a lump forming in the base of his throat, and he blinked back tears. "Goldar, I- Thank you." he stuck out his hand.
..........Goldar hesitated for a moment, then took the human's tiny fine-boned hand in his own great paw, and shook it. "I shall miss tormenting you."
..........Skull blinked, had Goldar just made a joke? It was so hard to judge from his face... suddenly, the second meaning to his statement came to him. "You mean, things are back the way they were? Zedd, Rita, the attacks on Angel Grove?" Goldar nodded solemnly. Skulls passive face took on an angry cast. "So that's it huh? Nothing learned, nothing gained, just back to square one." He poked Goldar in the chest with his forefinger, "Hasn't anything that's happened changed you? Let you think for an individual? Goldar, I know you-"
..........Goldar grabbed Skull's finger, he briefly considered breaking it but eventually decided against the action, it might impair his musical ability, and he was almost certain the resultant sound would be unpleasant. Instead he simply pushed Skull back roughly, causing his to stumble. "You think you know me? You never knew me. There was never any me there to know!"
..........Skull stared defiantly back into Goldar's small, red eyes. "I don't believe that. I knew everything that mattered. This is not your war! And I know you don't believe in it. Come on Goldar, think back, before Zedd, before Rita, were you always like this? Were you always so intractable, so sure?"
..........Goldar's eyed burned, "My path has always been clear, for me, there has never been any doubt."
..........Skull absorbed that for a moment. "Then I envy you, I envy your surety. I've never been that certian of something in all my life."

My name is Eugene Skullovitch,
and I'm a...

..........For a moment Goldar's voice softened, "Then perhaps I should envy you."
..........Skull looked up, startled, "What?"
.........."Nothing." Goldar flexed his wings impatiently. "I must go. I wish you luck Skull, in whatever path you find."
..........Skull was suddenly aware how cold it was out, he looked around, the shadows had departed, and the first traces of sunrise were on the horizon. How long had they been out here? Shaking himself from his fugue, he wrapped both hands around one of Goldar's large wrists, holding him there. "Godspeed Goldar, find happiness."
..........Goldar shifted uncomfortably, "Whatever."
..........Skull smiled, turned and went back into his house. It'd been a long night, and he needed to sleep. He had a plane to catch in four hours... If he'd been listening, he might have heard Goldar's last words to him, uttered after the sliding glass door locked shut. "Godspeed Skull, don't choose your path too soon, and don't let it be chosen for you. You are a being of infinite potential in a finite universe. Find bliss." And then he let the shadows of the forest swallow him, and he was gone.