As the sun set, a young figure in green left a Command Center hidden high in the desert mountains by the town of Angel Grove, California. He was tall and slender with dark, curly hair that he was trying to grow straight and large hazel brown eyes framed with long lashes. The boy was exotic looking with high cheek bones and andronymous features. He wore a green T-shirt and baggy green jeans that hid his perfect figure. His name was Tommy Oliver and up until just a few scant moments ago, he had been the powerful Green Ranger. Tommy paused and gazed up at the secret Command Center. Zordon had offered to teleport him home one last time, but Tommy refused. He needed the long walk into town to clear his mind. He gathered his now empty Morpher and Communicator into his hands. He wound up to pitch them away into the on-coming night, but paused. Something told him that he wasn't ready to part with that last part of his former life yet.
Instead, Tommy sat on a sand stone boulder gazing at the two objects that were all that remained of the Green Ranger. He stuffed them into his knapsack, intending to hide them inside Thumb, his trusty stuffed dragon, with his diary that contained the history of the Green Ranger. His head jerked up when he saw five streaks of colored light race across the sky. Good bye, my friends. Tommy thought as he waved to the lights.
The sunset's rosy light washed over Tommy. An old day had died and a new one was born, ready to take its place. It was at that magic moment, where night and day meet, that Tommy realized that the Green Ranger was dead, but he, Thomas Lyn Oliver was still alive. And, even if he wasn't a Ranger any more, the others were still his friends. With some of the heaviness gone from his heart, Tommy slid off the boulder and walked into town.
As soon as Tommy was back in his house, Tommy hid the old Morpher and communicator inside Thumb with all of his other secret treasures. Once the zipper was closed, Tommy turned Thumb over.
The tiny toy dragon showed the 17 years of love and friendship it had shared with Tommy. One of its black button eyes had vanished long ago, only to replaced by a mismatched pink one from one of his uncle's old dress shirts. The red thread that had outlined his mouth had worn away and had been resown with another, brighter shade of red, that made the dragon look like he was wearing lipstick. Its green body was covered in patches of various, clashing fabrics; and the tail had been redone in a drab camouflage fabric after it fell off (when a five year old Tommy tried to make Thumb the first dragon to fly in space.) There were marks where Shadow, his cat, had gone after Thumb and stains that Tommy couldn't even identify anymore (and didn't really want to.)
Holding the tiny dragon close to his chest, Tommy opened a photo album. Inside where photos of he and the other Rangers, some newspaper clippings about the battles, and photos of he and the Rangers out of costume being normal teenagers. Tears fell down Tommy's face as he traced Kim's picture with his fingertips. He hugged Thumb tighter and put the photo album away. There were too many memories in there.
"Tommy! Are you still up? It's time to go to bed!" Joshua, Tommy's uncle yelled from the bottom of the stairs. "You have school tomorrow!"
"'K, Uncle Josh." Tommy yelled back and stripped off his clothes. Then, he pulled a pair of boxer shorts with little bunnies on them and a t-shirt with pink mice on it. Thumb was soon attired in a similar outfit. "'Night, Uncle Josh!" Tommy yelled and snuggled with Thumb under the covers. He turned out the light and prayed that he wouldn't have any nightmares.
The next day, Tommy ran into the school late, again. He skidded to a stop at his locker, finding Kimberly Harte waiting beside it.
"Hey." Kim smiled.
"Hey yourself." Tommy jerked the locker open. He closed his eyes as he tried to remember what books and binders he needed. As he filled his book bag, he could feel Kim's presence. He could smell the delicate perfume she wore. It smelled like sweet roses. God, why is she teasing me like this! Tommy asked himself as he willed the hardness in his pants to go away. Kim always had this effect on him.
"Um, Tommy, are you gonna be at the juice bar after school?" Kim asked.
"I guess so." Tommy shut his locker.
"Great." Kim giggled and jumped. Tommy was memorized by the site of her firm breasts moving up and down, barely hidden by the thin material of her half shirt. He swallowed once and willed himself not to throw her down and take her right there.
"Um, Kim, would you excuse me?" Tommy asked, his voice squeaking. He ran into the boys room and splashed cold water on his face. He looked up when he saw a red pair of pants enter the field of his vision. "Hi, Jas." Tommy greeted his former leader. Jason Lee Scott glared at Tommy and didn't return the courtesy. Tommy blushed and left with out saying good bye.
All during the school day, the other Rangers seemed to take a cue from Jason to ignore Tommy. At lunch he sat by himself under a tree and watched his friends from afar. Tears fell down his face and onto the lunch he had packed that morning. He wasn't hungry at all, in fact, if anything, his stomach hurt him and he felt extremely warm. A throbbing headache had hit him in biology and hadn't let up since. Discouraged, he was about to toss his lunch away; it hadn't been touched; when the shadow of a hefty boy fell across his path. Tommy looked up.
"What's a matter, Tommy-boy?" Bulk sneered. "Didcha have a fight with your geek friends?" Bulk plopped down next to him and Skull followed suit. Tommy ignored the two bullies. Bulk grabbed his lunch bag and opened it. "What's this? A lunch and you haven't eaten it. Well, food shouldn't go to waste." Bulk gulped it down. Skull laughed his manic laugh.
The smell of the food made Tommy feel even sicker. Before he could stop himself, he vomited on the lawn. Some of it hit the tip of Bulk's shoe.
"Hey you!" Bulk yelled and jumped up. He pulled Tommy up the front of his shirt. The former Green Ranger was so weak, that he couldn't stand up on his own. Bulk punched Tommy in the stomach causing the Green Ranger to become ill again. Enraged, Bulk started pounding Tommy mercilessly. Tommy went down without a fight.
"Let him alone!" Skull yelled and pulled his friend off. "He's down, Bulk! Dammit!" Bulk growled and pushed Skull aside. Much to the surprise of everyone there, Skull grabbed Bulk and tossed him over his shoulder. The heavy-set bully landed in some thorny bushes near the school. Bulk lurched after Skull, who kicked him in the leg with a round house kick. Bulk lost his balance, but kept coming after his former friend, who was all that stood between him and that goody- good, Tommy.
The whole time, the Rangers had been watching the "fight", such as it was, between their former team mate and the bully. Jason ignored it and ordered the others to so also.
"We gotta help them!" Zach Taylor yelled. Kim, Trini Kwan, and Billy Mitchell agreed. Trini ran for the principal while Kim, Billy and Zach ran to Tommy's side. Jason glared at his friends and didn't offer to help. Zach put himself between the enraged Bulk and Skull and Tommy. Using techniques he had learned from a Master other than Jason, Zach was able to scare off the bully.
"What got into Bulk?" Zach asked as he watched the bully run off.
"Tommy got sick, but that was no reason for him to get pounded like that." Skull answered and covered Tommy with his leather jacket.
"Sit him up. He'll afixiate otherwise." Billy advised.
"Oh my God, that sounds awful!" Kim cried. "What does it mean?"
"It means that Tommy could drown in his own vomit if it goes back down his throat. We have to clean his mouth out, so that doesn't happen and keep him upright, so in case he does get sick again, he won't swallow it." Skull explained.
Kim blanched, but didn't comment.
By that time, Mr. Kaplan and the school nurse had arrived at the scene. The nurse took one look at Tommy and called for an ambulance over the walkie-talkie. Soon, Tommy was bundled up and taken to Angel Grove Memorial Hospital.
The four teens walked back to class, talking amongst themselves.
"Why didn't Jason want to help Tommy?" Trini asked.
"Yeah, I mean, it looked like the man ENJOYED seein' Tommy getting beat up like that." Zach concurred.
The other Rangers shrugged their shoulders and walked to class.
"Ha-ha! Perfect!" Rita laughed. "Now is the prefect time to use the soul catcher and transport that traitorous's boy's soul into the Graveyard of Lost Dreams forever!" Rita raised a wand that looked like it was made from diamonds and aimed it at Tommy. No one could see the boy's soul rise out of his body and teleport into the aforementioned Graveyard.
Zach cornered Jason during gym class the next day. "Jason, what the hell is your problem?" The Black Ranger demanded. "Why did you ignore Tommy all day and when he needed help, refused to help him? Face it, if he had been sitting with us, Bulk never would have beaten him up and Tommy wouldn't be in the hospital." He snapped.
"So?" Jason sneered. "It's not like he's a Power Ranger anymore. He's just a kid at school."
Zach growled and pushed Jason against the locker. "Dammit, Jason! Tommy might DIE from those injuries Bulk gave him! And, if he does, you'll be just a guilty as Bulk." With that, Zach stormed away. He left the school and ran to the hospital. He found Kim, Billy, and Trini there. Kimberly was holding Tommy's hand, whispering into his ear for him to get better. Trini wiped the beads of sweat off Tommy's forehead with a wet rag, while Billy held his other hand. Zach came over and ruffled Tommy's hair.
"How is he?" Zach asked quietly.
"No improvement. If anything, he's worse." Billy sighed. His blue eyes were wet, like spring violets, from crying. "The doctor said that Tommy had contracted a virus, but they can't identify it." Billy added. "That's why he couldn't fight Bulk. He was too weak."
Josh had brought in Thumb, who now resided by Tommy's side. Even the little dragon a sad expression on its cloth face. Zach smiled sadly at the little stuffed dragon. He picked it up and was surprised by the weight of it.
"That's Thumb. He's been with Tommy since he was born." Trini explained.
Zach nodded as he turned Thumb over. His sensitive fingers found the tiny zipper. As soon as it was opened, Tommy's old Morpher and communicator fell out, along with a diary, a skeleton key, a brightly colored stone of some kind, a bead shaped like an eagle, a red parrot's feather, and a few unusually shaped stones. After all of that, came out a pretty antique ring with a garnet surrounded by blood stone and lapis lazuli on it. Then, in the feet were a few of Tommy's other secret treasures.
"Wow." Kim said. "And, I thought that I was good at stuffing things. I wonder where he got that ring?" She picked it up. "It's vauble. They don't make rings like this in rose gold any more. And, with such an even tone to the gold." She put it down. Then, she took Thumb off Zach and started repacking in all of the treasures just like Tommy had them. "He obviously doesn't want any one to know about them." She explained.
The three other Rangers nodded, and they continued their stay with their sick friend.
"So, Zach, did you talk to Jason about his behavior yesterday?" Trini asked.
"Yeah, and he honestly doesn't care what happens to Tommy. I think that we should report this to Zordon." Zach answered. "You know I wanted to yesterday."
"Yeah. Zordon should know about this." Kim agreed. Trini and Billy nodded along with her.
"Ha-ha! This is perfect!" Rita gloated as she watched the Rangers from her telescope. "Now, Goldar, send the ransom note to Tommy's room!" She ordered.
"At once, My Empress!" Goldar bowed. He picked up a bouquet of a black roses and handed them to a putty disguised as a flower delivery man. The putty nodded and vanished from the moon palace.
The putty appeared outside the hospital and walked in like a normal man. He paused at the desk.
"Excuse me, where's Tommy Oliver's room?" It asked.
"Oh, sure. Um, it's room 241. Use that elevator over there to reach it." The receptioncess pointed.
"Thanx." It nodded.
The putty strolled over to the elevator, whistling an out of tune rediction of "Achy, Breaky Heart." It quickly found its way to Tommy's room. It knocked on the door.
"Come in!" Billy called out.
"Hey, I got this delivery here fer younz." (So, it's a Pittsburgh Putty:) It put the roses on a night stand.
"Oh, gross!" Kim exclaimed. "Black roses, how tacky!"
"Hey, don't look at me, I juz deliver em." The putty protested.
"Here." Zach handed the putty a few dollars as a tip.
"Thanx." The putty tipped its hat and left the room. Once it was in the hall, it vanished back to the moon.
"Now, who would send Tommy black roses?" Billy asked.
"I don't know. It must be a sick joke of some kind." Trini fumed. "Is there a card?"
"Here." Kim pulled it out. "Let's see: you have twenty four hours to surrender to me or Tommy's spirit will be trapped in the Grave Yard of Lost Dreams for eternity and he will be a vegetable for life. Try to find him, and he will die. Love: Rita Replussa." She looked up.
"Let's get to the Command Center.
Tommy looked around. He was in a field of red fog that came up to his knees. The sky was full of rolling black clouds with out any sun, moon, or stars. Eerie shadows dance around the bewildered boy, blown about by the ceaseless wind.
Hello? Tommy called out. Anyone here?
The wind mocked him, echoing back his questions. Shivering, Tommy trudged forward through the red fog. Unseen claws raked across his body while thorny vines tripped him.
Where the hell am I? Tommy asked himself, finding comfort in the sound of his own voice. He started to whistle. Ignoring the threatening shadows on either side of him, Tommy walked through the fog. Suddenly, a hand grabbed his shoulder.
Who are you? The voice demanded, holding a sharp knife to Tommy's back.
Zordon looked down at the assembled Rangers. His face was grim. THIS IS NOT A GOOD SITUATION.
"Zordon, what is the Grave Yard of Lost Dreams?" Billy asked.
IT IS A DIMENSION WHERE DEAD DREAMS ARE FORCED TO GO.
"Dead Dreams." Jason snorted.
YES, JASON, DEAD DREAMS. DREAMS ARE CONCEIVED AND WILL DIE IF THEY ARE NOT BORN WITH IN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME. APPARENTLY RITA WAS ABLE TO OPEN THAT DIMENSION AND STEAL TOMMY'S SOUL FROM HIS BODY.
"Ai yi yi yi yi!" Alpha exclaimed. "This is awful!"
"What do you mean, Alpha?" Zach asked.
"No one has every traveled to the Grave Yard and returned." Alpha moaned. "And with Tommy so weak..."
"What about Tommy?" Kim cried. "What is wrong with him? He was fine in the morning, but by lunch..." The normally perky Pink Ranger broke down crying.
RANGERS, I FEAR THAT TOMMY HAD CONTRACTED THE MORPHIN VIRUS WHILE HE WORKED FOR RITA. SHE USES IT AS A MEANS TO KEEP HER SLAVES LOYAL TO HER. THERE IS NO CURE. IT MUST RUN ITS COURSE THROUGH TOMMY'S BODY. FORTANATELY, ONCE HE RECOVERS, HE WILL NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING IT AGAIN.
"Zordon, why didn't Tommy get sick before he lost his Powers?" Trini asked.
SIMPLE, RANGERS, THE MORPHIN GRID KEEPS THE VIRUS DORMANT. BUT, AS SOON AS TOMMY LOST HIS POWERS, THE VIRUS BECAME ACTIVE AND RAVAGED HIS BODY.
"Poor Tommy." Kim sobbed softly.
Jason glared at the girl. He felt jealously rushing through him. Damn Green Misfit all hogging the girls. Even Kimberly's in love with him! Before he came, I was the most desired, now I can't compete with Tommy! This is one battle I hope Rita wins. Jason thought to himself.
Billy had been looking over the layout of the Graveyard Of Lost Dreams. "Zordon, if Alpha was to help me, I think that I could construct a dimensional gate key to open a doorway to the Grave Yard." Billy said.
"Zordon, what if Rita finds the gate before we find Tommy? She'll kill him body and soul." Trini pointed out.
"Not if I use a cloaking device." Billy smiled. "I made one when I was little; after watching a week long STAR TREK marathon."
Jason groaned and rolled his eyes. Kim glared at her leader.
BILLY, YOU MAY CONSTRUCT YOUR GATE KEY.
"Right. Um, guys, I'll need your help." Billy said.
"OK, I'll be along later. I, um, have to use the little Ranger's room." Zach blushed.
"Sure." Jason said and the four Rangers teleported out.
"Zordon," Zach started the moment Jason was gone. "I think that there is something wrong with Jason."
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
"Well, he ignored Tommy the entire day at school yesterday and when Bulk was beating up Tommy, Jason would help him or let us do it. I think he wants Tommy gone." Zach sighed.
THIS IS STRANGE. JASON WAS TOMMY'S BEST FRIEND. WHY WOULD HE WISH HIS FRIEND ILL?
"I don't know. You saw how he acted in here." Zach pointed out. "And, he got real mad at us cuz we talked to Tommy a few times during the day. He almost hit Kim when he learned that she planned to meet him at the Youth Center after school."
I SEE. SEND JASON TO ME WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT BILLY'S GARAGE. I MUST HAVE A FEW WORDS WITH HIM. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR FOR A POWER RANGER, ESPECIALLY THE LEADER.
"Sure." Zach teleported out. As soon as he was in the garage, he informed Jason of Zordon's summons. The other Rangers exchanged worried glances.
Answer me, who are you? The voice demanded.
My name is Thomas Lyn Oliver, but people call me Tommy. Well, they call me a few other things, too, but I won't repeat them in polite company.
You are not a dream. And, you are not dead. What are you doing here?
I'd like to know that too. All I remember is Bulk beating me up then, feeling this intense pain. I must have passed out, because when I came to I was here. Where is this place?
This is the Grave Yard of Lost Dreams. I am Andia, it's caretaker. The voice introduced itself.
Well, Andia, it's nice to meet you, but could please remove that knife from my back. It's really unnerving.
Tommy relaxed when he felt the sharp point being withdrawn. He turned around to see his mysterious host. Andia was young looking. Maybe 15 or so. She had long lavender hair that fell in waves down to her knees. Her eyes were sea green with gold mixed in. She had a slim body with just the right amount of curves. She wore a pale pink bikini under a sheer white dress. Her tiny feet were bare. In her right hand, she held a glittering knife that was carved from diamonds.
God, this place is freaky Tommy rubbed his arms to ward off the chill. It can be. Andia agreed.
"Zordon, what do you want to talk to me about?"
JASON, IT GRIEVES ME TO SAY THIS, BUT I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ACTING IN A MANNER THAT IS UNAPPORTAITE TO BEING A POWER RANGER.
Jason flinched. "What do you mean?"
I WAS TOLD ABOUT THE WAY YOU ACTED TOWARDS TOMMY. HE IS YOUR FRIEND AND A POWER RANGER AT HEART, EVEN IF HE ISN'T ONE PHYSICALLY.
"That loser?" Jason snapped.
YES, AND THAT LOOSER IS MORE OF A POWER RANGER THAN YOU WILL EVER BE. HE GAVE UP HIS POWERS INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM, AND HIMSELF, TO FALL INTO EVIL HANDS. YOUR JEALOUSY OF TOMMY HAS MADE YOU AN UNACCEPTABLE LEADER. SURRENDER THE GREEN AND RED POWERS TO ME NOW. "Never, you big bastard! They're mine!" Jason teleported out.
Alpha looked up from the circuit board he was working on. He activated his own communications device. "Zordon, what is wrong?" Billy asked.
-ALPHA, RANGERS, JASON HAS GONE ROGUE. HE MUST BE FOUND AND THE RED AND GREEN POWERS TAKEN OFF HIM IMMEDIATELY. BILLY IS IN CHARGE OF THE RANGERS UNTIL FARTHER NOTICE.
"Right. IT'S MORPHIN TIME!"
Jason rematerialized the Grave Yard. Perfect. Now, I can destroy Tommy's spirit! Jason thought. And, be rid of the Green misfit forever!
"Dammit!" Zach swore as he flopped on to a couch in Tommy's hospital room. Kim glared at him. Zach lowered his voice "Where the hell is Jason? I mean, he just vanished off the face of the Earth."
"Affirmative. Zordon says that he detected a surge in the dimensional vortex shortly after Jason teleported out of the Command Center. He is trying to track it." Billy sat by Tommy's side. The boy was still burning with a dangerous fever. The sweat rolled off Tommy, soaking his sheets. "What did the doctor say, Kim?"
Kim, who had Tommy's head resting on her lap, looked up from stroking Tommy's sweaty brow. "He's gotten worse. They have to take him into surgery cuz Bulk did a lot of internal damage that they didn't catch at first. They want to wait until the fever breaks, but..." Her voice caught. Trini hugged her Pink friend.
Just then, a Korean man came into the room. Behind him was an orderly pushing a cart.
"Doctor Chung." Kim greeted the doctor.
"Kimberly. Um, I'm sorry kids, but you'll have to excuse us. We need to get Thomas prepped for surgery." Chung explained.
"OK, and it's Tommy. He hates Thomas." Kim corrected.
Chung shook his head in amusement as the teens left. They found Josh in the waiting room. His eyes were red with crying. A young Korean boy was sitting next to him.
"Mr. Oliver?" Billy asked.
"Oh, William." Josh smiled. "Guys, this is Adam, Doctor Chung's son. He's one of the paramedics who treated Tommy that day."
"Hi, Adam." Billy held out his hand. "I'm Billy. This is Kim, Trini, and Zach."
"Hi. How's Tommy doing?" Adam asked.
"Um, your dad's preppin' him fer surgery." Kim answered. Adam was cute, but shy. Just like Tommy, in a way. Kim was sure that they would get along very well.
At that moment, Tommy was wheeled past on the way to surgery. He was still in the depths of the coma. Kim cried when she heard Tommy moan out her name.
Jason followed an instinct that told him his hated enemy was near by. He found Tommy talking with Andia. Irrational jealousy welled up inside the Red Ranger. Stupid Ass, always had to steal the girl, eh? Well, you'll pay for your crimes against me. Jason dug out a knife and carefully sharpened the blade.
TOMMY! Jason yelled.
Tommy and Andia looked over. Jason hurdled his knife. It missed its target, though and buried itself deep into Andia's back. Andia screamed and collapsed, her life spilling over Tommy.
ANDIA! Tommy screamed and cradled her close. She smiled at him and pressed her special knife into his hand and died. You bastard! Tommy glared at Jason.
The Rangers huddled together as they waited for news of Tommy. Adam's two best friends, Rocky de Santos and Aisha Campbell joined them, along with Adam, in their wait. Aisha's bubbly personality keep the other teens laughing, easing the tension of the long wait.
"Oh, Billy, um, may I ask you a question?" Adam asked.
"What does Tommy have against green candles?"
The Rangers looked at Adam aghast. "What?" Zach asked, his voice strained.
"When we took him to the hospital he kept mumbling something about a green candle and pain. None of us understood what he meant. He also when on about a green coin." Adam's innocent eyes met the Rangers'.
"Um, we don't know what you are talking about." Kim lied. "It must have been like a fever dream or somethin'."
"Oh, OK." Adam smiled. He knew that the Rangers were lying, but he could also sense that that topic was making them uncomfortable. So, he let it drop.
Just then, Skull joined the little group. He looked ashamed and almost guilty.
"I'm sorry about what Bulk did to Tommy." Skull blushed. "I don't want anything to do with him anymore and I told him that today."
"I'm sorry you lost your friend, Skull." Trini said. "But, it was for the best. If you had stayed with Bulk, he would have just gotten you into trouble. And, thanks for helping Tommy."
"Well, I told him that he deserves any and all punishment he gets for doin' that. I mean beating a person when he's down!" Skull humpfed.
"Where is Bulk?" Zach asked.
"In jail. He's 18 and a legal adult. Right now, he's only being charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault with the attempt to kill. If Tommy dies, involuntary manslaughter charges will be added." Skull sighed.
The teens gathered around the dejected Skull and introduced him to Adam, Rocky, and Aisha.
Aw, how touching. Jason sneered.
Jason, what are you doin' here? Tommy squawked.
I've come to kill you once and for all! Jason snarled.
Aren't I already dead? What more can you do to me?
You're not dead, yet. But, you will be! Jason rushed Tommy. The former Green Ranger leaped into the air, just as high as he could when he was the Green Ranger. He landed on a twisted tree branch. Jason growled, then backed up. You think you're so tough. IT'S MORPHIN TIME!
Jason Morphed into the Red Ranger. He jumped up into the tree. He grabbed Tommy by the throat and began to choke him with his formidable strength. A red haze descended over Tommy's vision.
He really means to kill me! Tommy thought. He raised his knee and jammed it into Jason's groin. Jason let and doubled over with pain. Tommy used this to his advantage. He let loose a roundhouse kick to Jason's head. The Red Ranger fell to the ground, impaling himself on a stunted tree. At that same moment, he unMorphed. So, that's what Zordon meant by his rules. Tommy felt shaky. Suddenly, two Coins appeared in his hands, next to Andia's knife.
As Tommy tried to figure out what had just happened, a hole opened in space and sucked Tommy into it.
WHAT THE HELL?? He cried out as he vanished from the Grave Yard.
The surgery went smoothly and after five hours, Dr. Chung had Tommy back in his room. The Rangers and their new friends gathered around Tommy's bed. He looked so small in the bed with bandages and machines surround him. Kim held his hand.
Tommy found himself floating above his body. He could feel the intense pull from that empty shell. Tommy didn't fight and slipped into his body. The two Coins and the knife appeared in his hand.
Tommy opened his eyes and moaned. A blurred face was leaning over him.
"Tommy, can you hear me?" A female voice asked.
"Kim?" Tommy croaked. God, his throat was dry.
"Yes, baby. I'm here." Kim kissed him. Salty tears flowed down her cheeks and splashed onto Tommy's face. She hugged him tight, ignoring the machines. Billy found the knife and Coins. He excused himself from the little group and teleported to the Command Center.
"NO! I can't believe it! Tommy survived and he got the Knife from Andia! Goldar, take a legion of putties and a monster and GET THOSE RANGERS!" Rita screamed.
"Yes, my mistress, they will pay for this." Goldar bowed and vanished.
Billy materialized in the Command Center.
"Zordon, Tommy is awake." He started.
IT PLEASES ME TO HEAR THAT NEWS, BILLY. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE WRONG.
"Yeah, when Tommy woke up, I found these in his hands." Billy held out the Coins and the Knife.
THE KNIFE IS FROM ANDIA, THE UNDERTAKER OF THE GRAVEYARD. SHE WAS KILLED BY JASON WHEN HE WANTED TO KILL TOMMY. AND, JASON PAID WITH HIS LIFE FOR HIS MISUSE OF THE POWER. WE NEED TWO MORE RANGERS.
"Zordon, what happened to Jason's body?" Billy asked.
LOOK IN THE VIEWING GLOBE. The Blue Ranger turned to the Viewing Globe and gasped. He could see Jason lying at the bottom of a cliff. It looked like he had jumped from the top and landed on the rocky beach below. PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE THAT JASON COMMITTED SUICIDE AFTER HAVING A FIGHT WITH TOMMY, HIS BEST FRIEND, AND LETTING TOMMY GET BEAT UP BY BULK. "HE FELT GUILTY.", EVERYONE WILL SAY.
Just then, the alarm went off. "Ai yi yi yi yi yi!" Alpha cried. "It's Goldar, putties, and the needle sneezer!"
BILLY, GET YOUR NEW FRIENDS, AND PREPARE THEM TO TELEPORT HERE.
YES. AND, TOMMY IF HE IS ABLE TO BE MOVED.
"OK." Billy teleported out.
Instead of teleporting into a bathroom stall or into a closet, Billy teleported into Tommy's room. Skull, Aisha, Adam, and Rocky squawked with surprise when they saw Billy materialize out of a flash of blue light.
"How didcha do that?" Skull asked.
"Guys, we need to go to the Command Center. All of us." Billy looked as his new friends. "Can Tommy be moved?" He asked Adam.
The young Korean boy looked over Tommy. "He's stable. But, how are you gonna....OH!" Adam exclaimed as he vanished in a flash of white light.
When Adam's vision cleared, Tommy was laying on a cot with a strange looking robot leaning over him. Aisha was cowering behind Skull and Rocky, both who looked scared out of their wits. Kim, Billy, Trini and Zach were facing a large floating head in a column of energy. Even Tommy looked happy to see it.
GREETINGS, MY YOUNG FRIENDS. The head said. I AM ZORDON.
"Um, Live Long and Prosper." Skull gulped, holding up his hand in the Vulcan way. "We come in peace."
DO NOT WORRY, SKULL. I ALSO COME IN PEACE.
"Whoa!" Aisha whispered. "It knows Skull's name!"
"Aisha, shhhh!" Rocky scolded. "You don't want to make it mad."
"Well, he looks like a reasonable man, er whatever." Adam responded.
"Um, Mr. Zordon, sir, what have your brought us here?" Skull asked.
YOU, SKULL, HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO BE THE NEW RED RANGER.
"Ranger???? Me???" Skull squeaked.
YES. JASON, THE ORIGINAL RED RANGER MISUSED THE POWERS GRANTED TO HIM AND PAID FOR HIS CRIME WITH HIS LIFE.
"Jason's dead?" Kim asked.
"Unfortunately. He was gonna kill me." Tommy said. His voice was weak and he was tired.
TOMMY, I AM GLAD TO SEE YOU ALIVE. YOU MUST NOT BLAME YOURSELF FOR JASON'S DEATH. YOU ACTED IN SELF-DEFENSE. JASON IS THE ONLY ONE TO BLAME FOR HIS DEATH. ALL OF YOU, PLEASE WATCH THE VIEWING GLOBE.
"The what?" Aisha asked.
"That round thing behind you. Kinda looks like a crystal ball." Kim said.
The Viewing Globe showed the fight between Jason and Tommy and Jason's death. While the Rangers would mourn Jason's passing, there would be no blamed laid on Tommy.
SKULL, HOLD OUT YOUR HAND, AND ACCEPT THE POWER. Zordon said. The Red Coin appeared in Skull's trembling hand. Suddenly, he was covered by a flash of Red Light. When the Light faded, Skull was clothed in the uniform of the Red Ranger. All of Jason's memories of battles filled him. Skull removed his helmet and looked around. SKULL, AS A POWER RANGER, THERE ARE THREE RULES THAT YOU MUST OBEY: 1. NEVER USE YOUR POWER FOR PERSONAL GAIN. 2. NEVER ESCALATE A BATTLE UNLESS RITA FORCES YOU TO. 3. NEVER REVEAL YOUR SECRET IDENTITY TO ANY ONE.
"You can count on me, Zordon." Skull said firmly.
"Um, Mr. Zordon, sir?" Rocky raised his hand.
"Um, if you'll forgive us for asking, but why were Aisha, Adam, and I brought here?" Rocky asked.
YOU THREE WILL FORM AN ASSAULT SQUAD THAT WILL BE PART OF THE POWER RANGERS. YOU WILL CALL UPON THE POWERS OF THE COSMOS AND BE KNOWN AS THE COSMIC RANGERS. As Zordon made his announcement, Rocky, Adam, and Aisha were suddenly clothed in sparkling, jewel-like versions of the Power Rangers' uniforms. ROCKY, YOU WILL CALL UPON THE FIERY POWER OF THE MIGHTY COMET. AISHA, YOUR POWER IS THE SOLAR WINDS. AND, ADAM, YOU WILL COMMAND THE POWER OF THE SUPER NOVA. LIKE THE POWER RANGERS YOU WILL COMMAND THE MIGHTY STAR ZORDS. In the Viewing Globe, there appeared three Zords that looked like larger, heavily armored versions of the newest Rangers' uniforms. AND, LIKE THE POWER RANGERS, YOU MUST OBEY THE THREE LAWS. ROCKY WILL LEAD THE COSMIC RANGERS, BUT HE MUST ANSWER TO THE LEADER OF THE POWER RANGERS.
"Zordon," Skull interjected. "Who will be the leader. I know Jason was the original leader, but I'm Red Ranger now and I know that I don't have enough skill or experience to lead the Rangers in battle."
BILLY WILL BE THE TEMPORARY LEADER UNTIL THE TRUE LEADER OF THE POWER RANGERS IS FOUND. WITH ANDIA'S KNIFE I CAN CLEAN THE TAINT OF EVIL OUT OF THE GREEN COIN. TOMMY...
"Shh." Kimberly held her finger to her lips. "He's asleep."
The former Green Ranger had fallen asleep, his body and mind exhausted by the day's events.
VERY WELL. ALPHA TELEPORT TOMMY BACK TO THE HOSPITAL. WE CAN TALK TO HIM AFTER HE RECOVERS.
"Right away, Zordon." Alpha said. Tommy vanished from the Command Center in a flash of Green Light.
Suddenly, the alarms went off again.
RANGERS, YOU MUST BATTLE GOLDAR AND NEEDLE SNEEZER. MAY THE POWER PROTECT YOU ALL.
"IT'S MORPHIN TIME!
SOLAR WINDS POWER!
SUPER NOVA POWER!
The Rangers landed in the park. Goldar was standing with a metallic monster with an enlarge, red nose. The putties surrounded the Rangers.
"Let's take these clay-heads out!" Zach yelled. He kicked a putty in the stomach. It went down.
One putty jumped Skull, who kicked it in the groin and punched it in the stomach at the same time. The putty collapsed, squalling with pain.
"Good job, Skull!" Billy gave the new Red Ranger a "thumbs up" sign.
"COMET FIRE BALL!" Rocky yelled and sent a fire ball slamming into a group of putties. The putties caught fire. The sent of burnt clay filled the area. "Yeah!"
"SUPER NOVA BLAST!" Adam yelled as the putties surrounded him. A bright flash of light desentergrated the putties.
Kimberly, Trini and Aisha gathered together to fight their putties.
Using their combined strength, the female Rangers beat the putties in record time.
"You're next, Goldar!" Billy shouted.
"Get them, Needle Sneezer!" The gold space monkey ordered
:Yes, Lord Goldar!: Needle Sneezer bowed. The monster took a deep breath, then blew it out his nose, sending large needles covered with green goo hurdling towards the Rangers.
"Ew, gross!" Kim gagged.
Then, the needles slammed into the Rangers. The needles exploded on contact, sending the Rangers flying backwards. Painfully, they scrambled to their feet.
"OK, Rangers, let's bring 'em together!" Billy yelled.
A multicolored beam of light shot out of the Power Blaster and stuck Needle Sneezer in the chest. It exploded.
"This isn't the last you'll hear from me, Power Rangers!" Goldar howled and vanished before the Rangers could turn the Blaster on him.
SKULL, ADAM, AISHA, AND ROCKY, I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU. YOU ARE A WELCOMED ADDITION TO THE POWER TEAM. Zordon smiled at his young Rangers.
"Thanks, Zordon." Skull smiled. He felt something that he had never felt before: complete and unconditional acceptance by his peers.
"Welcome aboard, Skull." Billy held out his hand. Skull eagarly shook it.
The Rangers gathered in a group hug. Then, they teleported out of the Command Center, to join Tommy, who had slept through the entire battle.
Tommy swam laps in his uncle's pool to regain his strength. He had been released from the hospital two weeks ago. After completing his thearpy, Tommy peacefully floated on his back, imagining shapes in the few puffy, white clouds.
Suddenly, there was a flash of lightening and a crack of thunder. Tommy looked around. Strange, He thought. There isn't a storm cloud in the sky. And, the weather man wasn't calling for any rain this week.
On the moon, Rita was fuming as she watched Tommy swim. That wonderful speciman of maleness was within my evil grasp, but now, such a waste. She mused quietly.
At the same time Tommy noticed the odd thunder and lightening, Rita was thrown to the floor of her lunar palace. "What the...?"
"I am Lord Zedd, Emperor of all I see." A glowing, hellish figure snarled. "You, Rita, have failed in your duty to destory Zordon and the Power Rangers, and now you must pay!" He pointed his staff at the cowering Rita. It was a wicked looking staff with a sharp point at the end and "Z" on the top. A red light shot out of the staff and enveloped Rita. She vanished in a small explosion. "Now, I am in control!" Zedd proclaimed. He used his visor to search the Earth of something to make into a weapon. His eyes fell on a silver statue of a man, brandishing lightening bolts, on a pegasus "SILVER RIDER, ARISE!"
In the park, Silver Rider appeared, scattering civilians in several directions. :Prepare to be ruled by Lord Zedd, pathetic humans!: The monster gloated.
The Rangers were in the Youth Center, studying for an up coming test. Ernie kept his best customers supplied in juice shakes and snacks. Kimberly was giving her friends lastest update on the still recovering Tommy.
"...And, Tommy said that he didn't want to press charges against Bulk. The lawyer kept saying something about a malfunctioning Caldate Nucleus." Kimberly said.
"So, Tommy's doing OK, then?" Skull asked.
"Yep. He's still rilly weak, but Dr. Chung said that since he was in such good shape before all this happened, he'll make a full recovery in no time!" Kimberly clapped her hands.
BEEP! BEEP-BEEP-BEEP! BEEP! Billy's communicator went off.
"Let's go." Billy covered the watch-like device with his hand. The Ranger gathered in the hallway and teleported to the Command Center.
"Zordon, what's wrong?" Kim asked when they reappeared.
RANGERS, LORD ZEDD IS HERE. HE DISPLACED RITA AND TOOK OVER. HE IS FAR MORE DANGEROUS THAN RITA EVER WAS.
"Great." Zach muttered. "I don't like the sound of that.
"Zordon, you sound like we can't defeat him." Trini said.
YOU CAN DEFEAT HIM. ALPHA, NOW.
Tommy laid out on the deck, soaking up the sunshine. The heat eased the ache in his sore and tight muscles.
Zedd watched the former Green Ranger sun himself. Hmm. This boy poccesses great powers. Zedd mused. He'll make the perfect heir to my Throne of Darkness. Just as Zedd raised his staff to kidnap Tommy, the boy vanished in a flash of White Light.
"Damn you, Zordon! He's mine!" Zedd roared into space.
Tommy was suspended in the Light.
This is what the heart of a star must be like. Tommy thought woozily.
The Light penetrated every cell of his being. A strange Energy, alien, yet strangely familar at the same time, filled him. Suddenly, the Light became too bright to bare.
RANGERS, TURN AROUND AND GREET YOUR NEW LEADER. Zordon announced.
The Rangers turned as they were bathed in a bright, Golden-White Light. A Ranger, clothed in White appeared above them and floated to the ground. The new Ranger bowed.
WHITE RANGER, REVEAL YOUR IDENTITY. Zordon commanded.
The White Ranger unsapped his helmet. Kimberly fainted as Billy started to laugh.
"Guess who's back?" Tommy happily announced.
The Rangers gathered around their leader excitedly. Zordon chuckled softly. After accepting welcoming hugs from his friends, Tommy knelt beside Kim. He craddled her in his arms and kissed her.
"Hey, Beautiful, time to wake up." He whispered.
Kim opened her eyes. "I don't believe it. Is it rilly you?" She whispered.
"In the flesh." Tommy chuckled. He helped Kimberly to her feet.
I ASSUME THAT YOU APPROVE OF THE NEW LEADER OF THE POWER RANGERS?
"This is awesome!" Zach laughed and did a little dance for the heck of it.
"But, how didcha do it, Zordon?" Kim asked.
SIMPLE. USING ANDIA'S KNIFE I WAS ABLE TO PURIFY THE GREEN COIN. WITH THE TAINT OF EVIL GONE, ITS TRUE COLOR, WHITE, SHONE THROUGH. NOW, TOMMY IS THE WHITE RANGER AND LEADER OF THE POWER RANGERS. RAISE YOUR HAND TOMMY, AND ACCEPT ALL THAT HAS BEEN GRANTED TO YOU.
Tommy raised his hand and a white sabre appeared in it. At the same time, Andia's knife, encased in a jeweled scabbard appeared at Tommy's waist. Tommy lowered the sabre and gazed at it. The handle was caved with the head of a white tiger with rubies for eyes.
"Awesome." Tommy whispered.
"Thank you, Tommy." the sabre said. Tommy squawked and let go of the sabre. Instead of falling to the ground, the sabre floated in the air infront of Tommy. Kimberly fainted.
"You can talk." Tommy squeaked.
TOMMY, THIS IS SABA. HE IS TO BE YOUR PARTNER IN BATTLE AND HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR NEW WHITE TIGER ZORD.
"Wow. This is gonna take some gettin' used to. I've never had a partner before." Tommy took Saba in his hand again. Then, he looked at Andia's knife which now hung at his narrow waist. "Zordon, why do I have this knife?"
ANDIA'S KNIFE, THE CRYSTAL DAGGER, HOLDS GREAT POWER. USE IT TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT, NEVER TO ATTACK. AND, NEVER DRAW BLOOD WITH IT IN THE PASSION OF ANGER. ANDIA'S SPIRIT STILL LIVES IN THE DAGGER AND SHE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE TO ADVISE YOU. Zordon paused. WELCOME BACK, TOMMY.
The Rangers gathered around their new leader. They hugged and cooed over Saba. Just then, the alarms went off.
RANGERS, YOU MUST BATTLE THE SILVER RIDER. BECAREFUL RANGERS, AND MAY THE POWER PROTECT YOU.
"IT'S MORPHIN TIME!
SOLAR WIND POWER!
SUPER NOVA POWER!
SABER TOOTH TIGER!
The Rangers landed in the park. Silver Rider thundered over to them.
:Have you come to surrender to me?: Silver Rider demanded.
"No!" Tommy said. "We've come to take you out!"
:You'll pay for your impudence, White Ranger!: Silver Rider's horse reared up and struck Tommy in the chest with its front hooves. Explosions threw Tommy backwards. He landed on Saba.
"Tommee!" Kim screamed.
Tommy pulled himself painfully to his feet. He shook his head, trying to clear the stars from his eyes. Then, he took Saba out of his holder.
"I'm sorry, Saba." Tommy said. "Are you OK?"
"Fine, but you are a lot heavier than you look, Tommy!" Sabs scolded. "I was completely squashed!"
"I said I was sorry!" Tommy protested. Saba humphed. Under his helmet, Tommy bit his lip so he wouldn't laugh. Shaking with suppressed laughter, Tommy rejoined the Rangers.
"Are you OK?" Adam asked.
"I'm fine." Tommy answered. "Now, let's take out this scrap heap!"
:First you must defeat Lord Zedd's putties.: Silver Rider announced. :Putties, get them!: Zedd's putties were silver gray humaniod figures with a "Z" spot on their chest plates. They had the same mottled faces and inability to speak. These new putties rushed the Rangers.
"Spread out!" Tommy ordered. Then, he whipped out Saba. He went after what appeared to be the lead Putty. It a large putty with a sword for one of its hands. The putty and White Ranger clashed swords.
The rest of the Rangers were each facing off with a putty patroler. Skull howled as his putty kicked him in the groin. "You son of a bitch!" The Red Ranger growled.
"COMET FIRE BALL!" Rocky yelled. A fire ball shot out of his chest emblem. The putty ducked and the fire ball leveled a port-a-john. "Oops." Rocky blushed under his helmet as human waste and tolit paper fell over the battle field.
"Eww! Gross!" Kim gagged. She was fighting one of the female putties, judging by its body. They traded blows and kicks, neither winning the upper hand.
Billy was facing off with his putty. "POWER LANCE!" Billy swong his Power Weapon at the putty's chest, intending to impale it. When it broke the "Z" spot, the putty broke into six pieces. "Everyone, hit the "Z"! It's a weak spot!" Billy called out to his friends.
Once the only weak spot on the Putties became known, the Rangers were able to take out all of these putties. Then, they faced off against Silver Rider.
:So, you defeated the putties. Does that mean you can defeat me?: It tossed lightening bolts at the Rangers. The Rangers were thrown into the air.
"Whoa! That dude's tough!" Rocky gasped.
"What do we do?" Trini appealed to Tommy.
Tommy closed his eyes. In his head, he could hear Andia's voice: "DAGGER SHIELD!" She called out. The Crystal Dagger glowed in its scabbard. Tommy pulled it out. He held it in front of himself. "DAGGER SHIELD!"
The Crystal Dagger glowed bright white. The glow encased the Rangers. Silver Rider threw more of his lightening bolts at the Rangers. The lightening bolts bounced off the shield and hit Silver Rider. The monster fell off its horse. The horse collapsed and exploded. Silver Rider stood up. He was dizzy.
"OK, Rangers, let's hit him with all we got!" Tommy yelled. The Rangers fired all their weapons at once and exploded Silver Rider.
The Rangers gathered at the Youth Center. They were waiting for Tommy to join them.
"Did he say where he was going?" Aisha asked.
"No. Ah, there he is." Adam said.
Tommy walked into the Youth Center. He looked healthy, albeit a little thinner than he had been. His hair was now long and straight. Smiling at his friends, he slipped into an empty chair by Kimberly.
"Hello." He kissed her cheek. He gave her a small, gaily wrapped box.
"What's this?" Kim asked.
"Just something I want you to have. A small thank you present for all the help you gave me over these weeks." Tommy said.
Kim opened the box. It was the antique ring that the Rangers had found inside Thumb. Kimberly slipped it on her ring finger. It fit perfectly. She threw her arms around Tommy's neck.
"You're wonderful!" She squealed.