A massive bon fire burned in the middle of a dead cornfield. At the head of the fire stood a wooden stage with a podium and microphone attached to it. On the left of the stage sat a long bench. The first string of Angel Grove High's football team sat there. The boys were in full uniform. Cheerleaders sat on a bench on the other side of the stage. On the stage, a small group of "dignitaries" from Angel Grove clustered. Fans, family and friends gathered in the darkness.
One of the football players, Tommy Oliver, looked up at the stars. A bloated full moon hung over head. For once, Rita was quiet.
*Man, I'm so bored! * Tommy groaned in his mind. *I almost wish Rita would pull something so I wouldn't have to sit here and listen to the coach pat himself on the back because we won last week's game and we're playing Stone Canyon tonightIf he stops talking in time for the game that is! *
Jason Lee Scott, the Red Ranger, and captain of the football team, looked over at his friend. Jason smiled as Tommy fidgeted around. Tommy was not one for sitting still.
"Hey, bro," Jason whispered. "Chill out! The coach'll be done soon."
"Are you sure?" Tommy hissed back. "I think he enjoys taking all the credit for any wins. And blaming some one else for any mistakes."
Jason shrugged his shoulders. "Typical dictator," He answered. "Don't let the coach bug ya, Tommy."
Tommy frowned at his football helmet. He checked out his watch. It was 7:30 and the game would start in about a half-hour. *And people bitch me out for being late! Hell, if the game wasn't a home one, we'd be late and it would be coach's fault. Not that _he'd_ be punished for being late. Or cause twenty people to be late. *
Just then the cheerleaders jumped up and started bouncing around. Tommy's girlfriend, and fellow Power Ranger, Kim Harte, was the head cheerleader. The cheerleaders recently received new uniforms. The blue and yellow skirts were shorter than before and flared out. A gentle breeze caused them to fly up. Their tops were white, crop tops with an "A" surrounded by a halo: the symbol of the Angel Grove Saints. They had also received new shoes: blue, high-heeled ankle boots.
Kim leaped in the air while the rest of the squad yelled out pro-Angel Grove statements. Tommy tilted his head slightly and could see up her skirt. He smiled and sat back. Jason elbowed his best friend in the ribs, then snorted.
"You're supposed to be preparing to do battle against the Gophers, not lusting after your girlfriend," Jason laughed softly.
"Frankly, I'd rather lust after Kim. I'm a lover not a fighter, Jase."
Jason bit back more laughter.
Suddenly, the coach and his assistant strung up a large straw mock up of the Gophers' mascot. Everyone was quiet. The cheerleaders stood infront of the stage.
"What are they doing, Jase?" Tommy asked, worried. The temperature seemed to drop several degrees. The Green Ranger shivered. The air had a slimy feel to it.
"Tradition," Jason answered in a dead voice.
The crowd started counting, shouting out the numbers. "ONE! TWO! THREE!" Each time the crowd called out a number, the coach pulled harder on the hanging straw gopher. At "Three," the rope broke and the coach hurled the poor gopher into the fire.
"BURN! BURN! BURN!" The crowd yelled. Even Tommy's normally calm parents were screaming and throwing their fists in the air. The Olivers, a small blonde couple, often reminded their adopted son of a pair of kewpie dolls. Right now, the pair looked more like possessed creatures. The fire reflected in their pale blue eyes and they picked up rocks to throw at the burning gopher. One of the rocks missed the gopher and struck Tommy in the cheek.
"Ouch!" Tommy yelped.
The entire football team jumped to their feet, shrieking and stomping their large feet. Even Jason, Billy, and Zach had joined in the madness. Tommy looked at Kimberly and found the Pink Ranger tossing her pom poms in the fire, hollering. Even quiet, serene Trini yelled and hooted, throwing a powerful fist into the air.
*Omigod! * Tommy thought. *Everyone has gone nuts! *
Since Tommy sat on the edge of the bench, no one saw him as he slipped into the shadows. The insanity hung thick in the air. Tommy had to duck a few flying objects. As soon as the crowd was worked up enough, the coach yelled "TO BATTLE!" and pointed to the near by stadium. The team, sans Tommy, stormed onto the field, the cheerleaders and fans following. Tommy paused at the fire's edge. A tiny bundle of fur lay at his feet. Tommy scooped it up; it was the teddy bear his parents brought to the pep rally. It was a beanie baby teddy dressed in a blue and white football uniform. His mother waved the bear during the rally, much to Tommy's embarrassment. To make matters worse, the Olivers showed it to his fellow Rangers. Jason spent the first fifteen minutes of the game teasing Tommy about "Teddy."
*Mom must have dropped Teddy when they ran to the stadium, * Tommy slipped the teddy bear into his shirt, under his shoulder pads. The bear fit perfectly.
The first strands of the school's fight song reached Tommy's ears. He slipped the helmet and ran to the stadium. No one noticed when he quietly rejoined the team. He looked up at Assistant Coach Lee Scott, Jason's dad. Tommy waited for the muscular man's words of wisdom. Scott took a deep breath, then roared:
The team dashed onto the field. They faced the Stone Canyon team. Tommy frowned as he shivered again. Tommy knelt behind Jason and yelled out the signals.
"HUT!" Tommy yelled out and Jason passed him the ball. Suddenly, Jason, Billy, and Zach plowed into the Gophers. A boy cried out in pain as Jason drove into him. Tommy stood still as madness erupted around him. The Angel Grove team abandoned the rules and chased down members of the Stone Canyon team, slamming the other boys into the walls or stomping them.
"STOP IT!" Tommy yelled as Jason strangled a boy. Tommy threw his friend off the wounded player and helped the boy up. "You OK?" The boy nodded, to frightened to speak. "Get out of here and call the police, OK?" The boy scurried off to the gate, but a guard stopped him. Tommy felt a trickle of sweat run down his spine as he watched the guard confront the boy. "No," Tommy whispered and ran towards him. Jason blocked his best friend.
"Where do you think you're going, _bro_?" Jason sneered in a deep voice. His eyes shone a dull red. Tommy backed away from his friend and leader.
"Jason, what is going on?" Tommy asked.
"NO! HELP!" The boy screamed as the guard wrapped his fingers around his throat. The scream gurgled and stopped when the guard crushed his throat.
"Jason! Dammit, bro, stop this!" Tommy pointed to the carnage on the field. Most of the Stone Canyon's team lay injured or dying, staining the artificial turf a reddish-brown. The Angel Grove crowd joined the rampage. The parents and fans scrambled into the field and up to the boxes that held the Stone Canyon fans. New howls filled the stadium.
Jason backed Tommy into the center of the field. Tommy took a deep breath, then yelled:
"STOP THIS, DAMN YOU!"
The riot stopped. A dark red mist rose from the people of Angel Grove and hovered over Jason. Then, it slammed into the Red Ranger.
"Jason?" Tommy asked.
"No," The voice hissed, rolling like metallic thunder. "I am Ghe"or SuvwI', the Dishonored Warrior."
"What the hell do you want?" Tommy growled.
"Hell," Ghe"or SuvwI' answered.
*Great, * Tommy thought. *A demon with a language problem! *
Aloud, Tommy responded: "Leave everyone one alone, Ghe"or SuvwI'!"
"No, Green One," The demon shook Jason's head. The demon regarded Tommy briefly. "You have great power. More than this one does," Ghe"or SuvwI' hammered Jason on the chest. Tommy winced as he thought about the massive bruise Jason would have later. "But, you should still be under my control! Why?"
Tommy smirked. "Like I told Jase before. I'm a lover not a fighter."
Ghe"or SuvwI' snarled and grabbed Tommy by the right wrist, crushing the Communicator he wore under the sweat band. Green sparks and smoke exploded from the broken device.
"Damn," Tommy gritted his teeth.
Ghe"or SuvwI' pointed to Tommy and chanted the word "bIj." A ball of black and red lightning shot towards Tommy. Tommy froze as the mass of death hurdled towards him. Suddenly, a bright flare of Green surrounded Tommy, absorbing most of the Energy. The demon howled, then hissed "nIS!" The ground under Tommy shook then rose into a pillar, slamming Tommy down. Tommy winced as he felt his ribs break from impact. His helmet cracked and fell away from his head. Tommy's vision blurred as the demon pointed again and yelled "bagh!"
Bands of energy surrounded Tommy, squeezing him. Pain shot through out his body as the bands tightened their grip on him. He could smell his own flesh burning.
"Now, Green One, you will die!" Ghe"or SuvwI' gloated. "baH!"
A lightning missile formed in the demon's hands. He launched it at the helpless Ranger. Tommy closed his eyes and prepared to die. Suddenly, he felt a tingling in his brain.
"No," Tommy whispered. He knew this tingling. During battles, a Power he hasn't used since his evil Green Ranger days demanded release; Tommy's personal demon, in a way. *As soon as that thing is out of, Jase. * Tommy agreed with the Power.
Tommy dropped to the ground and the missile flew overhead. It impacted into the now empty stands. Pieces of shrapnel dug into Tommy's body. The bands dissolved. Tommy forced himself to stand up.
"It's your turn, Ghe"or SuvwI'!" Tommy roared. He tackled his best friend's body. Jason gasped, a red mist escaping from his body. *Gotcha! * Tommy thought grimly.
Ghe"or SuvwI' hovered over the field. "HoH!" The demon snarled. Energy built up around the being.
"PYROBLAST!" Tommy yelled, calling on the Power inside him. A ball of Green energy formed in Tommy's hands. "FIRE!" He launched the ball towards the demon just seconds before Ghe"or SuvwI' could release his pent up Energies. The demon flew into the air. His body expanded with the overload. Green and red lights shot out of the demon. A deep rumble filled the stadium.
"NO!" Ghe"or SuvwI' wailed as the explosion ripped his body apart.
The force of the blast knocked Tommy to the ground. He watched as a shimmering rain fell onto the turf, then passed out.
Tommy slowly opened his eyes. A bright light shone overhead. "Hey, bro," He heard Jason's voice near by.
"Wha?" Tommy opened his blurry eyes farther. He tried to sit up, but a wave of pain and nausea forced him back down. "Oohh"
"Take it easy, bro," Jason said. "You've been out for three days."
"What happened?" Tommy gasped out. "Is Ghe"or SuvwI' gone?"
"Who?" Jason raised an eyebrow.
"The Dishonored Warrior" Tommy started, but Jason cut him off.
"I don't know what you're talking about. There was an explosion at the game. Some fireworks went off early. Many people where hurt. Some even died. When the fireworks went off, the people rushed to get out. Many were trampled during that." Jason explained. "You were near Ground Zero when the fire works went off. The doctors were afraid you were gonna die. You were running a high fever and suffered from a skull fracture, among other things."
"You don't remember?" Tommy whispered. "At the pep rally, you guys went nuts. All of you. You tried to kill the Stone Canyon guys."
Jason laughed softly and placed a cool cloth on Tommy's forehead. "Man, you must have had one hell of a fever dream, Tommy."
"It wasn't" Tommy protested, but Jason cut him off.
"Here's your communicator, bro. Billy fixed it for you. It have been damaged during the explosion." Jason put the communicator on Tommy's thin wrist.
"Well, I'm gonna go. You get some rest," Jason ordered, then left.
As soon as Jason was gone, Tommy forced himself to sit up. He uttered a cry when a large, white tiger confronted him. It was a plush animal. A big green ribbon hung around its neck. Tommy read the attached card.
"To Tommy, Get well soon. Love Mom and Dad," Tommy read aloud. He shook his head, then regretted it as pain exploded through his body. "Damn."
The Green Ranger stood on shaky legs, then teleported to the Command Center.
"Ai yi yi yi yi!" Alpha cried out when Tommy appeared in a hospital gown. "Tommy, you should be resting!"
"Zordon, what really happened at the pep rally on Friday?" Tommy demanded.
GHE'OR SUWVI' POSSESSED THE PLAYERS AND FANS AT THE GAME.
"I thought so! But why doesn't anyone else remember?"
WHEN THE DEMON REMOVED HIS INFLUENCE FROM THE PEOPLE, HE ALSO TOOK THEIR MEMORIES OF WHAT HAPPENED.
"So, they just decided that it was an accidental misfiring of the fireworks and that's that?" Tommy frowned.
I'M AFRAID SO, TOMMY.
Tommy stumbled. Alpha held him up while Zordon teleported the Green Ranger back to his hospital bed. Tommy was unconscious by the time he rematerialized in his bed.