"Zedd! Come on!"
"I'm coming Tommy!" Zedd called back as he slipped on a short sleeved, tight, purple shirt with a pair of black jeans. He stopped for a second and looked at himself in the mirror.
"You okay?" Tommy asked as he came up from behind Zedd.
"Yeah. I guess I just like to check to make sure it's still me and not Lord Zedd."
" Don't worry about it. It's over, it's in the past."
" How did you go on after being the evil green ranger?"
"Yeah. I'll tell you about it later. Now come on we have to get to the Youth Center or Kim will and the guys will kill us." Tommy replied as he grabbed Zed and then ran out of his apartment. They jumped into Tommy's white jeep and drove off.
"Where is Tommy?" Kim said as she paced back and forth in the Youth Center.
"He's always late, there's nothing new about it." Rocky smiled as he hung a streamer.
"But this is even late for him." Kim frowned as looked at her watch/communicator. " Do you think him and Zedd were attacked?"
" Come on girl, relax. He'll be here any minute now." Aisha replied as she lifted a box of decorations.
"Here let me help you." Adam politely said as he took the heavy box from Aisha.
" Thanks." Aisha smiled.
"So what exactly are we doing at the Youth Center?" Zedd asked as he gazed out the car window.
" Decorating for the Fall Ball."
"The Fall what?"
"Ball, it's a dance the school holds every fall."
"Yeah, it's a blast."
" I dunno if I'm going to go."
"Oh come on, don't be shy or nervous. I'll help you out."
"Okay." Zedd sighed as they pulled up to the Youth Center. The two rangers got out of the car and walked in.
"Sorry we're late." Tommy said as he and Zedd entered the Youth Center. Tommy looked to see Kim standing there with her hands on her hips, staring at him. "Oh man, she does not look happy."
Everybody just stood there for a second waiting for Kim to explode, but instead she smiled and took her hands off her hips. "It's about time. I thought I would have to blow up all the balloons myself."
"Come on Zedd, I'll show you what to do." Aisha offered as she grabbed Zedd and dragged him over to the box of decorations.
Tommy walked up to Kim and put his arms around Kim. "Sorry I was so late beautiful."
" It's okay, now come on we've got work to do."
"So Zedd, have you ever been to a dance?" Aisha asked as she looked at the CDs that the DJ was going to play.
"No. What do you do at a dance?"
"Dance." Rocky laughed as Aisha glared at him.
"Don't mind him. Well you can ask someone you like to a dance or like Kim and Tommy; they are going together because they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Everybody talks with his or her friends and dances with someone. If you have a date, you dance with your and so on. It's fun." Aisha said picking out a certain CD.
" I don't know how to dance."
"It's okay Zedd, I'll teach you." Aisha smiled as she popped in a CD.
"What CD?" Adam asked
"Brandy." Aisha replied. "Now Zedd, put your arms on my waist and I'm going to put my arms around your neck. You now sway with the music. I'll lead right now and when you get the hang of it, you'll lead because the boy is supposed to lead. Gotta it."
" Sure." Zedd replied nervously as the music began to play.
I had a dream, a crazy vision
It may sound strange, this intuition
But it was true beyond description
And somehow I knew that it was real
When I saw
One sky above, there is just one source of love
If I've got one chance, one choice
I'll sing it from the heart
One song, one voice
"Ouch!" Aisha cried as Zedd stepped on her feet.
"Sorry, maybe I'm just not the type that dances."
"Now, just wait. Maybe if you see someone dancing you'll get it. Hey Kim! Tommy!"
"Yeah!" Kim called back.
"Will you guys dance for Zedd, so he can see how it's done."
"Do we have to." Tommy moaned.
"Oh come. I thought you liked dancing with me."
"I love to dance with you, but in front of everybody?"
How can I not. "Sure." Tommy replied as he got up and Kim pulled him to the dance floor.
"Aisha, play Everything I do by Bryan Adams." Kim asked as she put her arms around Tommy's neck and he put his arms around her waist and pulled her close.
"Got it." Aisha said as she put the song on.
Look into my eyes
You will see, what you mean to me
Search your heart, search your soul
When you find me, then you'll search no more
Don't tell me it's not worth trying for
You can't tell me it's not worth dying for
You know it's true, everything I do I do it for you
Zedd just stood there and stared at Tommy and Kimberly. God, look at them. They are so close. I can see how they feel just by the way the look at each other. Zedd continued to watch as Tommy pulled Kim even closer and they just looked deeply into each other's eyes.
Look into your heart, you will find
There is nothing there to hide
Take me as I am, take my life
I would give it all, I would sacrifice
Don't tell me it's not worth fighting for
I can't help it; there's nothing more
You know it's true, everything I do I do it for you
Kimberly then laid her head on Tommy's shoulder and closed her eyes. They must care for each other so much. I can't believe I tried to destroy them so many times, but wait maybe that's why they kept going and never gave up. Tommy was always there to protect and save Kim and she did the same.
"All wasn't that sweet."
Everybody turned around to see who had made the remark. "And who are you?" Aisha asked putting her hands on her hips.
" The name is Mark. These are my friends Joey and Nick. We are new here. I thought I could lift weights here."
Zedd observed these three new guys. Weird clothes, nothing like Tommy's or any of the other guys. Black; leather jacket, black jeans, and a shirt that says Metallica and big black boots. His friends are dressed the same. "There're are usually weights to lift, but we are setting up for a dance." Zedd smiled
" Oh really, thank you so much green hair." Mark said as he shoved Zedd. "So there's a dance, well looks like we'll just have to help decorate. I know..." Mark smiled devilishly as he picked up a bucket of red paint and poured it all over Zedd.
Zedd clenched his fists and gritted his teeth and raced himself towards Mark. Rocky and Adam quickly grabbed Zedd by the arms. Zedd tried to break free, like Tommy, he had a horrible temper.
"Zedd, chill, this piece of trash isn't worth it." Rocky said as he and Adam held Zedd tighter.
Tommy let go of Kimberly and stepped in front of Zedd, hands crossed over his chest.
"Wuz up, pretty boy. Protecting your friend."
"Not really. Just protecting you from getting your butt kicked."
"Oh thanks for the concern, but no way could that fag hurt me."
"Oh really? I beg to differ." Zedd yelled as he struggled to break free from Adam and Rocky's grip.
"Yeah, but I don't feel like fighting now. So when's this dance?" Mark asked.
"Friday." Kimberly answered. This guy is starting to really bug me.
Nice body. I'm going to have to get to know her. " Thanks babe." Mark replied as he stepped up to Kim. He put his arms around her waist.
"Ewww, get off." Kimberly said as she tried to push him off. Tommy quickly made his way over to Kim.
" You heard the lady, hands off." Tommy said as he pushed the guy off of Kim.
"Why? You're her protector too. Well I do what I want to do." Mark laughed as he pulled Kim closer to him.
" Get off of me now!" Kimberly yelled, trying to break free.
"Oh crap, here we go." Aisha rolled her eyes as she noticed Tommy's fists clench.
" I give you a choice here. You can either let my girlfriend go or you can have my fist in your face." Tommy pronounced.
"Girlfriend, well then. I'll see all you losers later." Marked replied. And I'll have a little one on one with this guy and then his girlfriend will be mine. With that Mark let Kimberly go and him and his friends left.
"Well that was fun." Billy smiled.
"You're telling me. Man when that jerk touched you Kim, I thought Tommy was going to explode and kick his butt to kingdom come." Rocky began to laugh.
"You too Zedd." Aisha joined Rocky in the joke.
"Even Bulk and Skull aren't like that." Kimberly replied.
"I swear, if that touches you again, I will kick he sorry butt." Tommy said as he wrapped his arms around Kim.
"Come on Zedd, let's work more on your dance moves." Aisha smiled.
"Sounds great." Zedd agreed.
She stormed down the long hall, her heels clicking hard against the floor. She walked into a large room with a balcony looking out to the earth. Her telescope was positioned on the balcony so she could look down on the earth and check on the ones that she wished to kill. " Those power punks think they can just take him away and not be punished. Well they are in for a fight."
"Empress Rita, the new fleet of putties are ready to go. Scorpina and I are ready to kill the Power Rangers." Goldar announced as he bowed to Rita.
"You are to wait till 8:30."
"But why my Empress?"
"Because you fool, Tommy and Kimberly always take a walk by the lake at that time. It will be dark and they will be alone. You will attack with all your might. The other rangers will come to their aid, but it will be too late. Tommy and Kimmie will be captured. Zedd will feel he let Tommy down. The rangers will be at a lost with out their leader and friend. They will also be short their two most powerful rangers."
"As you wish my queen." Goldar bowed and left Rita smiling wickedly.
"Oh don't worry Tommy and Kimberly, I have plenty ideas of how to torture you." Rita thought as she down in now "her" throne.
"Hey everybody, how is the decorating going?" A large man asked as he entered the Youth Center.
"Hi Ernie, it's going great." Kimberly smiled.
"He's in the locker room helping Zedd get cleaned up. He got paint spilled on him." Kimberly answered remembering that it got thrown on him, but she didn't need to bother Ernie about it. Kim then climbed up a ladder to hang up more streamers
"Yeah, Tommy's cousin."
"Oh, well if you guys need anything I'll be in the back doing some inventory."
"Thanks Ernie." Kim answered as got higher on the ladder.
Tommy then walked out with Zedd. "Well guys, It's practically gone, but some still remains on my shirt." Zedd announced.
"That's okay. Now come on let's get back to work." Aisha replied.
Tommy walked over to where Kim was hanging streamers on the ladder. "Kim, are you okay up there?"
"Yeah Tommy, I'm okay."
"Hey, we want to decorate!" A fat, large, punk kid whined as he entered the Youth Center with his skinny punk friend."
"Well then grab some streamers and blow some balloons up." Rocky answered.
"Well Skull looks like we are needed." Replied as he bent over to get some balloons and bumped into the ladder.
"Guys! AHHHHH!" Kim screamed as the ladder began to fall.
"Kim!" Aisha yelled as Tommy ran over and caught Kim as she fell. The ladder hit the ground making a loud noise.
"Whoa, beautiful, that was close."
"You're telling me. I'm going to kill that clumsy fool!"
"You okay?" Tommy asked as he gently put her down.
"Yeah, thanks." Kim replied with a kiss on the lips.
"Please be more careful." Rocky glared at Bulk.
Aisha popped another CD into the player. Tommy and Bulk groaned when they heard Paula Cole singing. Tommy dropped his brush and sighed.
"I'm gonna fall asleep here!" Tommy cried out. Bulk nodded his head. Skull had already fallen asleep. Tommy ran over to his gym bag and fished out a CD with a black cover. Tommy killed the first CD and slipped the new one in.
"What is that one?" Kim asked.
"Queensryche's "Empire." " Tommy answered with a grin. The other Rangers, not fans of hard rock or heavy metal, wailed out in pain. The noise woke Skull up. He and Bulk high fived each other. "Hey, be glad I didn't bring "Operation MINDCRIME" with me!" Tommy warned. ""Empire" is their lighter work."
Last night the word came down
Ten dead in Chinatown
Innocent, they're only crime was
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
Too bad, people say, what's wrong with the kids today?
Tell you right now they've got nothing to lose
They're building EMPIRE!
Zedd tapped his foot in time to the music. It had a harder beat than the stuff Aisha was listening to. Since he had come to live with Tommy, Zedd was more used to the darker, harder music Tommy favored. This new music reminded Zedd of a question he wanted to ask and leaned over to Rocky.
"Hey, Rocko, what's a "Metallica"?"
Rocky bit back a laugh. "It's a heavy metal band. Tommy some times listens to them. I saw their video, "One", and I had nightmares for a week. Give me Brandy any day!" Rocky shivered.
"Oh. Do you think those guys that were in here earlier were fans of this Metallica?"
"Maybe. Or they could be just wanna be posers. You get that a lot in Angel Grove."
"Posers?" Zedd asked, confused.
Johnny used to work after school
At the cinema show
Gotta hustle if he wants an education, he's got a long way to go
Now he's out on the street all day
Selling crack to the people who pay
Got an AK-47 for his best friend, business the American way
Eastside meets westside downtown
No time the walls fall down
Can't you feel it coming? EMPIRE!
(Here Tommy, Bulk and Skull yelled out "EMPIRE")
Can't you hear it calling?
Outside the Youth Center, Jason Lee Scott, Trini Kwan, and Zach Taylor gathered. The former rangers laughed as they heard the strains of music blaring from the building.
"Well, I guess Tommy got control of the CD player again!" Jason snickered.
Using the noise as cover, the teens slipped into the Youth Center.
Black man trapped again, holds his chains in his hand
Brother killing brother for the profit of another
Game point, nobody wins
Decline, right on time
What happened to the dream sublime?
Tear it all down we'll put it up again
Eastside meets westside downtown
No time the walls fall down
Can't you feel it coming? EMPIRE!
Can't you hear it calling?
Can't someone here stop it...?
Kim slapped the CD off. "Tommy, why do you listen to this depressing stuff?" She asked.
Tommy shrugged. "I like the beat," Tommy answered.
Kim sighed and found another CD. Hanson started their singing. Upon hearing the first cords to "M M M Bop," Jason screamed in pain.
"NO! The horror!"
The gang turned around to find their former teammates standing in the doorway.
"Jase!?!" Tommy laughed. "What are you guys doing there?"
"The Peace Conference buildings were damaged by a recent rash of avalanches. So they sent us home until the mountain side is stabilized and stuff is repaired." Jason answered.
Zedd let out a small cry as he saw Trini. The Asian girl was far more beautiful than he remembered when he fought against the Rangers. Trini smiled at Zedd and the newest Ranger suddenly felt dizzy.
"Zedd," Rocky whispered. "Are you OK? Your face is almost as green as your hair."
"Is that Trini?" Zedd gasped. "She's..."
"She's coming this way," Rocky answered, then sauntered off.
"Hello," Trini held out her hand for Zedd to shake. "I'm Trini Kwan."
"Hi..." Zedd's eyes widened. His voice choked off.
Tommy strolled over to his "cousin" and made the introductions.
"Trini, this is Zedd," Tommy said.
"Zedd? The one you wrote Jason about?" Trini looked around and saw that Bulk and Skull were both sleeping. She lowered her voice. "The former..."
"Former Lord Zedd, that's me," Zedd spoke up. "Former thanks to Tommy." Tommy blushed slightly.
"Just doing what Jason did for me, " Tommy pointed out.
"What are you guys decorating for?" Zach came up and asked.
"The Fall, um..." Zedd frowned as he tried to remember what Tommy had called it.
"The Fall Ball," Tommy answered. "And you guys are in time to help us decorate."
"OK." Zach went off in search of Jason. Tommy strolled over to the CD player.
"Tommy, what are you going to do?" Rocky asked.
"Put the CD player out of its misery," Tommy answered and pulled out the Hanson CD. He dropped it back into the case, then found a dance mix CD. "There, something for everyone."
Kim put her arms around his waist. "Thanks, Tommy."
Just then, Jason's voice boomed out: "Hey, we're out of acorns!"
"OK. Kim and I'll go get some from around the lake," Tommy spoke up.
"It's almost seven, so you'd better hurry. It'll be dark soon," Aisha pointed out.
Tommy grabbed a canvas bag, then the pair left.
The sun was setting as Tommy and Kim strolled around the lake, picking up the small acorns that fell from the oak trees and some pinecones from the massive stone pines that lined the lake.
"I love fall," Kim stopped and stretched.
"Yeah, it's the prettiest season," Tommy agreed. "Do you think we have enough?" He held out the almost full bag.
"Yeah. Let's go back to the Youth Center."
On the moon, Rita watched the two lovers. "GOLDAR! SCORPINA!" She screeched. "GET YOUR LAZY BUTTS OVER HERE!"
The hench monsters scrambled into the room. "Yes, my empress?" Goldar asked.
"Go now and get those lovey dovey Rangers!"
"Yes, your evilness!"
The monsters teleported to the park
"Hello, Green Traitor!" Goldar sneered as he and Scorpina rematerialized on Earth.
"Goldar!" Tommy hissed. "What do you want, Metal-head?"
Goldar held up his sword. "You're head on my Mistress' mantle!"
"Sorry, pal, I'm still using it!" Tommy launched a flying kick and slammed his booted foot into Goldar's chest. The monster staggered back, then swung his sword, catching in the shoulder. The blade slid down his chest, cutting deeply. Tommy tottered backwards.
"TOMMY!" Kim screamed. She started to run to her injured boyfriend, but Scorpina blocked her.
"Going some where, Pinkie?"
"Get lost!" Kim kicked Scorpina in the back of the knee, then in the ribs, breaking some bones. The golden warrioress fell to the ground with a cry of pain. Kim scurried over to Tommy and cradled his head in her arms.
"Tommy..." Kim whispered.
"Kim...look...out!" Tommy gasped out as Goldar and a limping Scorpina stood up.
Suddenly, a horde of strange putties surrounded the teens. These putties were larger than the normal putty. They were also covered in spiky armor and carried heavy weapons. One putty laid the sharp edge of its sword against Kim's exposed neck. She could feel the cold steel against her skin, but the creature did not cut her head off.
"You and Tommy are now the prisoners of Rita!" Goldar proclaimed. The group vanished off the Earth.
"It's getting dark guys, shouldn't they back by now?" Trini asked walking up to Rocky and Adam.
"Yeah. Maybe we should contact." Adam began as a familiar beep sounded from his communicator.
"Well that answers that question." Rocky kinda laughed.
"Come in Zordon." Adam answered.
"RANGERS, TOMMY AND KIMBERLY HAVE BEEN CAPTURED. REPORT TO THE COMMAND CENTER NOW."
"We're on or way." Adam replied as he looked to the other rangers, past and present. They all had the same look: horror. Who knows what Goldar and Rita could be up to? "You guys want to come?" Adam asked looking at Jason, Trini, and Zach.
"You bet!" Zach replied with a smile as Trini and Jason nodded in agreement.
"Zach, you're with me, Trini-Aisha, and Jason-Rocky. Let's go." Adam commanded as the seven friends vanished in red, yellow, black, blue, teleportation beams.
"Ayyiiiyii!" Alpha said over and over as he went around the control panels pressing buttons.
"Calm down Alpha. Just tell us what is going on." Jason replied.
Gosh, Jase still looks likes he's going to lead us into to battle. Trini thought as she smiled.
"RANGERS, ALL WE KNOW IS THAT KIM AND TOMMY HAVE BEEN CAPTURED AND TAKEN TO THE MOON PALACE."
"So what can we do?" Aisha asked.
"We go and save them." Zedd replied stepping in front of everybody and looking up at Zordon. "We have to and I'll lead you to them."
"Go to the Rita's palace!?!" Aisha shivered at the thought.
"We split into teams." Adam pronounced. "Zedd and I will go and Aisha, Billy and Rocky will stay here."
"You guys need more help than that. There must be something we can do, powers or no powers." Jason spoke up.
"But Jase...."Adam started.
"CALL UPON YOUR ANIMAL SPIRITS."
"But Zordon, how? Dulcea is not here and..."
"SHE IS HERE, AISHA."
"I don't get it." Rocky replied with a puzzled face.
"I'm in all of you."
"Who said that?" Zedd asked looking around.
"It is I, Dulcea. I only helped you see and receive your animal spirits. You are the ones who called upon them."
"So Jase, Trini, and Zach can too?" Adam asked.
"Yes. Jase, Trini, and Zach look deep into your souls and hearts, there you will find your animal spirits."
Jason, Trini and Zach all closed their eyes and looked for their animal spirits. First Jason glowed a gold/black color and then appeared in a ninjetti uniform like Adams, black, but where there was white on Adams, there was gold on Jason's. Trini was next; she glowed green and appeared in a green ninjetti uniform. Lastly Zach glowed silver/black. He appeared in the same uniform as Jason but there was silver where there was gold on Jason's uniform.
"Totally cool!" Zach jumped up all excitedly.
"This is incredible." Trini also excitedly said as she looked over her new uniform.
"I can't believe it." Jason chimed in.
"Jason you are the powerful and proud bison. Trini you are the quick and calm panther and Zach you are the brave and wise eagle. Use these powers wisely. The spirits will guide you, always trust them. Good luck rangers."
"Now we have a better chance at kicking Rita's butt and getting Kim and Tommy back. This rocks." Rocky jumped as the other rangers laughed.
"Can you teleport us to the palace?" Jason asked.
"YES RANGERS, BUT I WARN YOU, THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS MISSION. ONE OF THE WORST YOU PROBABLY FACED. YOUR POWERS ALSO MAY NOT BE A FULL FORCE BECAUSE OF ALL THE EVIL ENERGY THAT ROAMS THE PALACE. BE CAREFUL AND LET THE POWER PROTECT YOU."
The rangers knodded and looked at each other. "It's Morphin Time!" Adam called.
"Ninjetti!" Jason called.
"Let's go guys." Adam commanded as the ranger's teleported out.
The rangers appeared in the palace. "Man this place is worst than I imagined." Zach said as a shiver went down his back.
"Got that right." Aisha agreed.
"I never thought I would have to be back in this hell hole." Zedd thought as he looked around at the yet too familiar room. "The throne room."
"Huh?" Rocky asked.
"That's where they'll be." Zedd responded.
"Then let's go." Adam replied.
"Follow me." Zedd answered as he began walking down a corridor.
"So, my green ranger is back in my hands." Rita laughed as she looked at Tommy lying on the ground with his hands and feet tied.
"I am not yours. I belong to nobody." Tommy growled.
"Really? Well you think you can just take Zedd from me? Guess again power puke. You take from me and I'll take from you. I will take what is most important to you." Rita wickedly grinned. "Goldar!"
"Coming my queen." Goldar replied as he walked into the throne room.
"Oh god. Kim........." Tommy looked up to Goldar who had Kim slung over his back.
Goldar dropped Kimberly on the floor. "Hmmmm....what are we going to do to you." Rita said as she lifted up Kim's chin and looked into her eyes. "Afraid? Terrified? Scared to death?" Rita snickered.
"Oh god, I can't let her see my fear. Oh god help me."
Gust of wind blew through the corridor where the rangers walked. "What are those noises?" Trini asked getting closer to Zedd.
"The dungeon." Zedd answered as he remembered how many people he put down into that awful place to die. He also felt Trini's warm body close to his. "She is so wonderful, when we get through this, if we do; I'm going to get to know her better."
The rangers kept walking down the dark corridor in hopes to find their friends and leave this evil place alive.
Tommy groaned as Rita gloated over him. Blood pooled under his still body. The massive sword cut had stopped bleeding some time ago, but Tommy was already too weak. Kim struggled against the magical bonds that held her to the wall. Goldar leered at the tiny Pink Ranger.
"Let me go!" Kim yelled. Goldar ran a claw over Kim's face. Kim bit the gold space monkey.
"OW!" Goldar yelled, shaking out his wounded hand. Kim's sharp teeth had drawn blood. "I'll kill you!" He raised his sword over Kim's head.
"Stop!" Rita commanded. "We need her alive until we have Zedd back. Then, she is yours to do with as you please."
Goldar bowed. "Thank you, my evil empress."
Kim shivered, then looked over at Tommy. The White Ranger had not moved for a long time. His breathing was becoming increasing shallow. *Oh, Tommy... * Kim thought.
"So, White Ranger, will you surrender to yourself and Zedd to me?" Rita demanded. "I don't take kindly to loosing my possessions, but if you surrender, I'll let you both live."
"Go to hell, Rita," Tommy gasped out. "Zedd and I are people, not your possessions!"
Rita didn't answer. She kicked Tommy in the ribs with her pointy-toed shoes. A sickening crack filled the room. Tommy bit his lip, but didn't cry out.
"So proud," Rita cooed. "Goldar, help our little traitor up."
Goldar yanked Tommy to his feet. The White Ranger's dark head sagged forward. Rita used her wand to nudge Tommy's face up. "This is your last chance, Tommy. Surrender," Rita growled.
Tommy spat on her face. Rita snarled and pointed her wand at Tommy. Evil lightning shot out from the tip of the wand and encircled Tommy. Tommy screamed in pain, his back arching. Goldar dropped the White Ranger, the evil energy hurting his metal shod hands. Tommy landed on his right leg. Kim heard a sickening crunch as the White Ranger crumpled to the ground.
"NO! TOMMY!" Kim screamed and renewed her struggles against the magical chains that held her. Goldar joined his Empress, kicking Tommy with his clawed feet. Tommy passed out from pain and shock.
The Rangers quietly crept through the castle. Oddly enough, there were no putties patrolling the area. Jason mentioned this to Zedd.
"It's a waste of Putties," Zedd answered. "Only a total looney would try to break into the lunar palace. So, unless they are guarding a prisoner, Putties don't do much until a battle."
"What do Putties do when not in battle?" Zach asked. Zedd blanched. "Goldar and Scorpina had "special" ones made as slaves," The Purple Ranger looked down. "Rita never used Putties outside of battle. Well, occasionally they'd be used as waiters if we had a feast of some kind. That was kinda rare. Rita preferred conquered warriors, especially male Rangers, as her personal slaves."
The group shivered. Trini laid a hand on Zedd's shoulder and the young Ranger blushed. They traveled in silence until they reached the thresh hold of the throne room. Zedd closed his eyes as memories washed over him.
*How many times did I try to destroy my friends from this very blasted room? * Zedd thought. *I had hoped I'd never see this place again, but I guess Rita isn't one to let go of things. *
"Zedd?" Trini's soft voice intruded into Zedd's musings. "Zedd, is something wrong?"
Zedd smiled at the former Yellow Ranger. "Be careful. The entrance is booby trapped." The others started to comment, but Zedd cut them off. "If we went the other way, we'd risk detection by Scorpina. I don't see her in the throne room, so she must be in her quarters. I don't see Finster either."
Zach leaned against the wall. Suddenly, it gave way and Zach fell into a secret room. "What the..."
The other Rangers entered the room. It was a small alcove containing a stone bench. A massive heap of food covered one end. Zedd wrinkled his nose.
"This must be Squatt and Babboo's," Zedd commented. He spied eyeholes cut into the wall. "You can see the whole throne room from here!" The Rangers gathered around their friend.
Jason frowned, then smiled. "Zedd, where is Finster's lab?"
"Just down the hall, why?"
"You and Trini go there and get something that can be used as a diversion, so we can go in and get Tommy and Kim out." Jason leaned against the wall. He could see the wounded White Ranger and the evil Empress. Suddenly, Scorpina entered the throne room. "Damn!" Jason whispered.
"What's wrong?" Adam asked.
"Scorpina just joined them."
Zedd and Trini slipped out of the alcove and hurried down the hall. The carved door to Finster's lab was unlocked. Zedd carefully pushed it open. The onion-domed monster was fast asleep in his chair. The two teens slipped into the room.
"Wow," Trini whispered as Zedd grabbed bottles from the shelves. She picked up a few beakers that were scattered over the table. "I didn't know Finster had such a massive lab."
"Yeah. I don't want to know where Rita found the money for it," Zedd commented.
The pair returned to the alcove. Jason looked over at Adam. "Are you good with chemistry?"
"A little," Adam admitted. The Black Ranger quickly mixed the chemicals in a glass bowl that Trini found in the mass of food. "Ready," Adam held up the frothing mass.
"Let's go," Jason ordered. The group slid out of the door, then hovered in the shadows near the thresh hold. At Jason's signal, Zedd quickly disarmed the traps. Jason nodded his head and Adam threw the mix into the room. A thick, foul-smelling fog filled the room. Muffled curses and coughs could be heard.
As the teens ran into the room, a strange flash temporarily blinded them. When it faded, all were demorphed. The evil energy in the throne room blocked out their Ninjetti Powers.
"Damn!" Jason swore. "Let go!"
The teens ran towards where they had last seen Kimberly. Jason pulled against the bonds, but could not break them.
"These are magical bonds. The more you struggle, the tighter they become," Zedd said. "Kimberly, just relax and slip right out them!" He coaxed his friend.
"OK," Kimberly said, unsure. She relaxed her body and the chains slipped off her. "Morphin!" Kim laughed, then coughed. "Where is Tommy?"
"We're still looking for him!" Zach called out from the fog. He and Trini and Adam moved through the fog, towards where Tommy had last been seen. Trini slipped in a puddle of thick fluid.
"Oh!" Trini cried out when she realized it was blood, Tommy's blood. The former Yellow Ranger reached out and found Tommy's limp body. She felt for a pulse. It was weak, but at least he had one. "ZACH! JASON!" She called out. The two strongest Rangers ran over. Jason picked up his best friend.
Suddenly, the fog cleared. Scorpina and Goldar faced the Rangers.
"Where did you Power Punks come from?" Goldar demanded. He held his sword up while Scorpina readied her stinger. Rita straightened and grinned.
"Well, Zeddy-poo," She purred. "Did you come to surrender?" She held out her hand. "If you do, I'll let your friends go. After all, we're married..."
"Get real!" Adam snorted. "Any court would say that your marriage is not legal! You drugged Zedd! You had him under a mind control spell! He didn't marry you because he wanted to!"
Zedd stepped forward. He glared at his "wife." "Rita, if I thought that surrendering would save Tommy's life, I'd do it. But I know all too well how your black heart works. You can rot in this hell hole of a palace alone."
The Rangers ran out of the throne room as Rita howled in anger and peppered the room with lightning bolts. As soon as they crossed the thresh hold, their Ninjetti Powers returned.
"Zordon, we have Tommy and Kim!" Jason yelled into the communicator. "Tommy's hurt really bad! Teleport us to the hospital!"
[AG Memorial Hospital]
The emergency room was quiet since there had not been a monster attack in a while. A nurse was strolling into the ER to deliver a few charts when the Rangers appeared, carrying the wounded Tommy Oliver. She squealed and dropped her papers.
"What's wrong?" The nurse asked when she recovered.
"Rita Repulssa took these two humans," Here Adam pointed to Kim and to Tommy. "Hostage. The male was injured trying to defend himself."
A trauma team had been summoned and Tommy was taken away in a while of white. Kim slid into a chair, crying. Aisha, Billy, and Rocky were alerted and quietly entered the ER to be with their friend.
A police officer turned to speak with the Rangers, but they teleported out before the office could speak.
(AG Memorial Hospital)
*How could I have let this happen? He saved me and I couldn't save him. Zedd sighed as he looked over to Kimberly, who was still crying. Poor Kim. Why couldn't I have stopped this? Tommy's in pain and Kim is in pain because I couldn't stop this! Damn!*
"It's not your fault."
"Huh?" Zedd replied as he was whipped from his thoughts.
"It's not your fault."
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh come on. The look on your face the way you've been acting ever since we rescued Tommy and Kimberly. Tommy has acted the same way."
"Yeah." Trini answered as she sat down next to Zedd and took his hands in hers. "We have all been taken once or hurt before. He felt it was his fault. He felt he let us down because we saved him from Rita, but he couldn't do the same. You feel the same. You have a good heart just like Tommy and you both can't stand something happening to your friends, but believe me, it's not your fault. Don't worry. Tommy will be fine."
"How do you know?"
"Because my heart said so." Trini smiled, as the two just seemed to stare at each other for a while.
"Thanks Trini." Zedd returned the smile.
Trini just held Zedd's hand and sat with him. Rocky and Adam had fallen asleep along with Billy and Aisha. Zack and Jason stood by a hospital window and looked at the rain pour down. Kimberly sat in her chair. Her face was red from crying. She couldn't get Tommy's painful scream out of her head.
* Why couldn't I do anything? I swear I'll get Rita for what she did to Tommy.* For once in her entire life the innocent Kimberly felt pure hate towards someone. *I can't loose Tommy. Oh please god, don't let him die.* Kim prayed as she buried her face in knees and silently cried.
"They came into my palace, in my domain and beat me!!" Rita screamed. "Goldar!"
"Yes my queen."
"How is Tommy?"
"He is still in the ER room."
"What about the other rangers?"
"Half of them are asleep and the others are waiting for Tommy. They are a mess."
"Perfect. Go down with putties and attack them." Rita laughed wickedly as Goldar vanished in a ball of fire.
Jason began to pace back and forth in the waiting room. He quickly stopped at the sound of his communicator. "I read you Zordon." Jason whispered.
"JASON, YOU AND THE OTHERS MUST GO TO THE PARK. GOLDAR HAD APPEARED WITH A GROUP OF PUTTIES."
"We're on our way." Jason replied as he walked over to the other rangers. "Guys we've got trouble. Trini wake the others and meet Kim, Zack, Zedd, and I in the park."
"Got it." Trini answered.
"Let's go guys. Ninja Ranger Power now!"
The rangers then appeared in the park to confront Goldar and the putties. "What kind of putties are these?" Zack asked.
"Those are Rita's new ones. They are the ones that captured Tommy and I." Kimberly replied as she got into a defensive stance.
"Let's split into teams until the others get here. Zedd and Zack. Kim you're with me." Jason commanded as the battle began.
Kimberly flipped over some putties. Jason just began punching and kicking them. Zedd and Zack were doing okay against them, but everytime they seem to be beat, more of them appeared.
"Could you guys use some help?"
"Nice of you to join us." Zack joked as Trini, Rocky, Adam, Billy, and Aisha joined the fight.
Kimberly was doing well against the putties. She then spotted Goldar and something seemed to boil inside her. "Power Bow!" Kim called as she ran towards Goldar.
"Kim!" Jason called. * No, she is blinded by revenge.* "Zedd! Stop Kim!"
Zedd looked confused for a second, but then realized what Jason meant by stopping Kim. Zedd quickly ran in front of Kim.
"Get out of my way." Kim snapped.
"No, you don't want to do this. He is not worth it." Zedd replied.
"He is going to pay."
"Not like this. This won't help Tommy."
Kimberly stood there and stared at Zedd. "Revenge will only make it worst." Kim slowly lowered her bow.
"Rangers!" Goldar said as Zedd and Kimberly swung their heads around. "We will meet again."
"Oh you can count on it." Kimberly said under her breath.
"Let's get back to the hospital." Jason commanded as the teens vanished in flashes of color.
(AG Hospital, Sometime later)
The rangers were all sitting in the waiting room and were getting impatient. "I want to talk to a doctor now!" Kimberly demanded.
"The doctor will talk to you soon, Miss Hart." The nurse answered.
"You said that hours ago!" Kim's voice began to get louder.
"Excuse me, I'm doctor Williams."
All the rangers quickly gathered around him. "So, how is he?" Jason asked.
"He has three broken ribs, cuts and bruises, and a fractured leg. He is in his own room now and is doing fine." The doctored smiled.
"Can we see him?" Trini asked.
"Yes, but not too many at a time. Please."
"Kim, you go first." Zedd replied with a smile as Kim left the waiting room and walked into Tommy's room.
Kim pulled up a chair next to Tommy's bed. She brushed some hair out of Tommy's face careful not to wake him.
"Hey beautiful." Tommy whispered.
"Hey yourself. I'm sorry I didn't mean to wake you."
"No, I wanted to see you. Are you okay?" Tommy asked as Kim giggled.
"Tommy you're the one in the hospital bed. The question is, are you okay."
"Yeah, just a little pain." Tommy smiled as Kim took Tommy's hand in her own.
"Tommy, I am so glad you are okay." Kim smiled as she leaned over and kissed him passionately.
"Um, guys." Jason cleared his throat as Kim giggled.
"Sorry." Kim blushed.
Jason had come in with Trini and Zedd. "How you doing bro?"
"Okay, I am kinda hungry."
"They haven't given you anything to eat?" Trini asked.
"Now that you bring it up. I'm kinda hungry too." Kimberly laughed.
"How long are you stuck in here for?" Zedd asked.
"The doctor said probably a week!" Tommy moaned.
"You'll miss the dance." Kimberly replied.
"Oh, I'm sorry Kim." Tommy answered.
"Don't worry, I'll stay with you tonight." Kimberly smiled.
"Oh no you don't. You're going."
"I'm staying here with you."
"You guys are ridiculous!" Trini laughed.
" I want you guys to take Kim to the dance for me." Tommy replied.
"Tommy!" Kim cried.
"We will." Jason answered.
"Please go Kim." Tommy replied.
"You just had to give me that look." Kim giggled.
"Well, you have other people who want to see you." Jason smiled as he, Trini, and Zedd left the room.
"Do mind some more visitors?" Aisha asked as she walked into the room with Rocky, Adam, Billy, and Zack.
"No, not at all." Tommy answered.
"Good, we would of come in anyway." Zack laughed.
"What time is it?" Tommy asked.
"Oh, about six in the morning." Rocky yawned.
"You guys should go home and get some sleep. You have the dance tonight." Tommy suggested.
"We couldn't leave you." Billy replied.
"Go!" Tommy said, this time in his leader voice.
"We're gone." Zack answered as they left.
"You should go home too."
"No way, I'm staying right here with you." Kim answered.
"Fine." Tommy smiled.
"Hey did you notice Trini and Zedd?"
"What about them?"
"They were holding hands. They have gotten so close since Trini arrived. Don't you think the look cute?"
"Now that I think about it, yeah they do."
(Later that day)
Jason walked into Tommy's room to find him asleep with Kim curled up next to him on the bed. Jason walked over and tapped Kim on the shoulder.
"Jason?" Kimberly whispered as she rubbed her eyes.
"It's four thirty. I promised Tommy you would go to the dance, you need to go home and get ready."
"You are going. Thanks Jase." Tommy said as he opened his eyes.
"Okay, I'll see ya later." Kimberly replied as she lightly kissed Tommy on the lips.
"Have fun." Tommy said as Kim and Jason left.
Jason dropped Kimberly off at her house. Kim ran up to the bathroom and turned on the shower and then turned on the radio to hear Will Smith's Getting Jiggy Wit it. Kim hopped in the shower and washed her.
At the hotel Trini was drying her hair. *Got to look great for Zedd.* Trini smiled as someone knocked at her door. Trini walked over to the door in her robe and opened it.
"Here is your dress Miss Kwan." A hotel worker said said.
"Thank you." Trini said as she took her dress and gave the man a tip and closed the door. Trini had bought a new dress before leaving Switzerland and had gotten it pressed. Trini slipped into her dress. It was purple dress that went down to her ankles and had a slit up the side that went up to her knee. *Purple is Zedd's color, how perfect is that.* Trini twisted her hair in a bun and stuck and beautiful silver clip in it. She had put on a light purple eyeshadow and little lip-gloss. She put her shoes on and looked in the mirror. *Perfect.* Trini smiled.
Jason and Zack walked to Trini door. Jason was wearing black dress pants with a red polo shirt. Zack was wearing the same thing, but had on a gray polo shirt. They knocked on the door and Trini came out and they just stared. "Wow!" Zack gasped.
"Do I look good?" Trini asked.
"You look great." Jason answered as the three left the hotel.
Kimberly was waiting by her door for Jase and the others to pick her up. She glanced into a mirror. She was wearing a pink spaghetti strap dress that flowed down to a bit above her knees. Her carmel curls were resting on her shoulders. She was wearing the gold chain necklace with a pearl that Tommy had given her last Christmas and pearl earrings. She had a light pink eye shadow on with a light shade of pink lipstick. I wish Tommy were picking me up. Kim thought as she heard the sound of a car horn. Kim opened the door and got in the car with Jason, Zack and Trini.
"You look great Kim." Zack said.
"Thanks, you guys look great too."
They arrived at the Youth Center and walked in to meet Aisha, Billy, Adam, and Rocky. "Hey guys!" Rocky greeted them excitedly.
"Hi, is Zedd here yet?" Trini asked.
"I'm right here." Zedd replied as Trini quickly turned around. Zedd was wearing black dress pants and a purple, long-sleeved dress shirt with a black vest. His long green hair was pulled into a tight ponytail. "You are gorgeous."
"Thanks." Trini blushed.
"Now take your loved one because here a song for you." The DJ said. "It's Aerosmith's, I Don't Want To Miss A Thing."
"May I have this dance?" Zedd asked.
"I would love to." Trini said taking his hand.
Rocky asked Aisha to dance. Adam, Billy, and Zack were dancing with other girls. "Kim, I promised Tommy you would have a good time. Would you like to dance." Jason asked. Kim hesitated a little but agreed.
I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure
Don't wanna close eyes
Don't want to fall asleep
Coz I'd miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing
Coz even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream would never do
I'd still miss you baby
And I don't wanna miss a thing
Zedd and Trini gazed into each other's eyes. Trini then layed her head on his shoulder and Zedd felt something. Something was different. It was like an empty part of him had been filled.
Just then Mark and his gang walked into the Youth Center. Mark spotted Kimberly and walked over to her. "So your lover boy is in the hospital?" Mark teased.
"Who are you?" Jason asked sternly.
"Another protector? I'm Mark."
"Go away." Kimberly spoke up.
"I want to dance and I'm going to dance with you."
"I don't think so." Jason replied as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"I didn't say now." Mark said as he walked away.
"Great." Kimberly moaned.
"Don't worry. I'll get us something to drink."
Mark watched Jason leave. This was his chance. He quickly walked over and grabbed Kim. "Get off of me!" Kim yelled.
"Nope, this is our dance time." Mark replied.
"Get away for me!" Kim yelled again as she tried to push Mark off of her.
Jason dropped the drinks and ran over along with Zack, Rocky, Adam, Billy, and Zedd. "She said get off!" Zack said.
"What are you going to do about it." Mark answered.
"This!" Zedd growled as he pulled Mark off of Kim.
"So the green haired freak wants a piece of me?" Mark yelled as he swung his fist at Zedd. Zedd easily dogged it. Mark charged Zedd, but Zedd stepped out of the way and Mark fell on his face. Mark quickly got up. He then felt someone tap his shoulder. He turned around and met Kim's fist in his face. Mark fell to the floor again and held his face.
"You bitch!" Mark cried.
"Next time you touch me. It'll be my foot in your stomach." Kim snapped as she put her hands on her hips.
"I think you need to come with us." Bulk said as he grabbed Marks arm.
"Yeah." Skull said as he grabbed Marks other arm.
"Hell no." Mark replied.
"Oh you will Mister," Lt. Stone said as he handcuffed Mark and everybody in the Youth Center cheered. Lt. Stone, Bulk and Skull left with Mark and hulled him to the police station.
"Never mess with Kim." Rocky said as everybody broke out into laughter.
"Now back to the party!" Zack shouted as he began to show off his smooth dance moves.
[That night, Tommy and Zedd's Apt.]
Jason leaned against the back of the second hand couch that dominated the living room. The young Purple Ranger asked him to stay at the apartment until Tommy was released from the hospital. Jason readily agreed since Zach was staying with Rocky and Kim invited Trini to stay with her.
"Here," Zedd called out as he tossed Jason a can of soda. Zedd had shed his fancier clothes for a pair of purple cut off sweat pants and a white muscle shirt. His long green hair was loose. Zedd flopped down into a worn lazy boy. He opened his own can of soda and sipped it.
"Thanks, bro," Jason smiled. The Purple Ranger reminded Jason a lot of Tommy when he first joined the Power Team. He waited for his soda to settle before opening the can. "So, Zedd, do you like it here?"
Zedd looked at the bland walls. "Yeah. I mean, it's taking time for me to get used to it, but I like it. It's better than living on the moon with Rita."
Jason snorted. "I think prison would be better than living with Rita!" Zedd laughed, choking on the cold soda. Jason hurried over and patted Zedd's back. "Take is easy, Zedd!"
Zedd's eyes watered. He sputtered: "No one ever told me that cola could be so dangerous!"
Jason laughed and settled back into the couch. He finished his soda in a gulp, then set the can on the coffee table. Like everything else in the apartment, it was a scarred second hand piece.
"Do you want to watch some television?" Jason asked, since he was closer to the old black and white set. Cable was a luxury that Tommy could not afford, so the small television only received three local channels. However, Kimberly had recently given Tommy a small VCR as a birthday present. A small collection of used videos, plus stuff that had been recorded off TV by friends with cable, stood near the TV.
"No, thanks," Zedd shook his head. The young Purple Ranger reclined his chair and drifted off.
Suddenly, the telephone rang. Jason rushed into the kitchen and answered it.
"Hello, Oliver residence," Jason said.
"Hey, bro, it's me," Tommy responded.
"What's up?" Jason asked. Tommy was quiet, then he said:
"How is Zedd?"
"Zedd? He's sleeping right now. Do you want me to wake him up?"
"No. Jason, you know the problems I had after..." Tommy's voice trailed off. Jason remembered all too well the terrible nights after he broke Rita's spell on Tommy. The then Green Ranger was wracked with severe nightmares and hovered close to a nervous break down for months afterwards. After Tommy lost his Powers for the first time, thanks to the Green Candle, the former Ranger slid into a suicidal depression and finally a mental and physical collapse. It took all of Jason's efforts to pull his best friend through those tough months.
"Yeah, I remember. Is Zedd having the same problems?"
"Unfortunately. I have no idea what his nightmares are, but I can imagine." Tommy sighed. "Under one of Rita's spells is a frightening experience. She really enjoys messing with people's minds." Tommy paused, then he said "Do you think you can talk to Zedd while you're staying there? There is no one on the team now who understands what he's going through. I've been able to help him some since I've been in the same boat so to speak, but I think he'll need some one else to help him fully get over his time being evil."
"Sure," Jason smiled.
"Thanks, man," Tommy sounded relieved. Just then, a new voice intruded on the conversation.
"Mr. Oliver, it's time for your medication and time to get some sleep," A nurse ordered. Jason could hear Tommy's grumblings before the nurse hung up the phone.
Jason laughed, then hung up his end. He raided the fridge for another can of soda, then returned to the living room. As he entered the living room, he heard Zedd whimpering. The Purple Ranger shivered in his sleep.
"Hey," Jason gently shook Zedd awake. Zedd bolted awake, tears still falling down his face. Jason led the boy to the couch, then sat down next to him. "Do you want to talk about it?" Zedd shook his head and looked away. Jason clapped a strong hand on the Purple Ranger's thin shoulder. "Zedd, it's nothing to be ashamed of. When Tommy first joined the team, he had a lot of problems too. Nightmares, depression..." Jason's voice trailed off as Zedd looked up.
"Really?" Zedd asked in a weak voice. "Is that why he's been so understanding?"
"Tommy's been through it before," Jason explained. The former Red Ranger looked down.
"Why are you being so nice to me?" Zedd blurted out. "After all I've done to you guys!"
Jason looked up. "You weren't in control of your actions. You're a victim of Rita's games, just like the rest of us."
Tears fell down Zedd's face. The Purple Ranger angrily rubbed them away. Then, he sighed and faced Jason.
"I keep dreaming about when I found Kenji, after Rita captured me," Zedd admitted. "He was already dead. She'd tortured him to death, I think." The young Ranger shivered. He looked up at Jason. "The last thing I remembered was Finster injecting me with something, then...I woke up as Lord Zedd."
Jason wrapped an arm around the distraught Ranger. "It's over now, Zedd. You're back on the side of Goodness."
"That doesn't erase all that I've done as Lord Zedd," Zedd pointed out.
"No, it doesn't," Jason agreed. "But you have a chance to do good, to make up for what evil was done, if you feel that need to."
"Thanks," Zedd smiled at his friend, then yawned.
[Next Day, Tommy's Hospital Room]
"...Then Kim knocks his block off! Bulk and Skull arrested him and hauled him off to jail!" Rocky gleefully related the tale to Tommy.
"Way to go, Tiger!" Tommy wrapped an arm around a blushing Kim. Kim murmured something and sat on Tommy's bed. "Seriously," Tommy said once everyone stopped laughing. "With Rita gunning for revenge, we don't need any wanna be punks hanging around, causing trouble."
"Exactly," Billy agreed. "Especially if one of these so called punks claims to be in lust with our Kimberly." Tommy's face briefly darkened.
"Hey, bro," Jason spoke up. "Do you think you'll need any help with Rita?"
"Jason, you know you didn't have to ask that," Tommy answered. "I talked to Zordon before you guys came here. He's said that Rita's called her family for assistance."
"Rita has a family?" Aisha raised an eyebrow.
"Unfortunately," Zedd answered. "And they are all warriors and mages. We're in for big trouble if any of them show up!"
The Rangers frowned, then Ernie came in. The portly man was loaded down with food.
"Here ya go, Tommy!" Ernie said. "I know how bad hospital food is, so I took the liberty of fixing ya up some decent grub." He placed it on the small table. It was enough for all the Rangers. "Enjoy!" He waved, then left.
"Man, that was nice of Ernie," Rocky moved towards the table. Aisha grabbed his shoulder. "Let the rest of us eat first, pal!"
"Well, hurry it up! I'm starving!"