Kat's hand gently brushed Tommy's forehead, careful not to touch the wires attached to his temples.
Rocky: "There's nothing we could've done, Kat. The mechanics said it happened too fast for anybody to do anything. The rescue teams got him out of the car as fast as they could."
"Just not fast enough.....", replies Tanya, her hand slightly tightening around Tommy's.
"Knock it off."
Tanya:" What did you say, Adam?"
They turn and find him staring out the window, arm leaning against the frame, his eyes focused on something far, far away. He does not look at them, but continues staring out the window.
Rocky:"Hey, man, we're all worried about Tommy, but..."
Suddenly, Adam turns, and explodes at his friends. "I said knock it off! You're all acting like Tommy's gonna.....die....or something! He's going to be fine! He's a Power Ranger! We've been through worse things than a damn car crash!"
Adam:" Forget it, Kat! If you guys want to give up after all we've....." His words choke in his throat, a tear starts to run unbidden down his cheek. "....after all we've been through, then go ahead! I'm out of here!" Grabbing his jacket, he turns and storms out of the room.
His three friends stand silent for a moment, stunned.
Kat:"He's taking this harder than we realized."
Tanya:"Yeah. We should go to him......"
"Nah", Rocky reassures her. "I know Adam. Let him blow off some steam, first. He'll be okay."
Suddenly, two nurses and an orderly rush into the hospital room.
"Is everything alright in here?"
"Oh, uh, yes, ma'am", Rocky replies sheepishly.
Tanya:"Sorry about the noise. Our friend's a little upset."
"Well, that's understandable, given the situation," replies the nurse, "but you kids have to be more quiet. There are a lot of other patients here who need their rest!"
Kat:"We're very sorry. Guys, maybe we should go now, too? Someone's got to tell Justin......"
Rocky:"You two go. I'm gonna stay with Tommy for a while longer...." Although not as obvious as Adam's, the girls can see the concern and sadness in Rocky's face. They know how he has always looked up to Tommy. He was always looking for attention and approval from him. Rocky and Adam were best friends since before they became Rangers, but Tommy became the big brother Rocky never had.
Tanya:"Sure, Rocky. Call us if anything changes, okay?"
After Kat gives Tommy a kiss on the cheek, the two leave the room.
Kat:"I-I can't believe this is happening....."
Tanya:"Easy, girl. We can't fall apart, not yet. There's too much to do, and it looks like the guys're gonna need us...."
At first, Kat wants to turn on Tanya and ask how she can be so cold. Then, she realizes who it is that's saying these words to her. Her best friend. The one who always encouraged her through the countless karate lessons Tommy gave her. The one who tried to make her "loosen up" and learn to trust people after being used by Rita. The one who would do whatever she had to do to help her friends, any one of them.
Kat:"....You're right. I'm going to go see Justin. He should know what's going on."
Tanya:"Okay. I'll head for the Command Center, and check with Alpha. Maybe he or Dimitria can do something to help Tommy."
Kat:"Oh, I hope so....."
Tears begin to form in both the girls' eyes, and they start to walk, hugging each other in support as they leave the hospital.
Dimitria:"After the punishment his body took on that racetrack, are you surprised, Alpha 6?"
Alpha:"Er, no, but the other Rangers are pretty bummed out about it...."
Suddenly, there is a flash of bright yellow light and Tanya appears in front of them. Tanya:"Alpha! Dimitria! Something's happened to Tommy!"
Alpha:"Cool it, sweetie! We already know about it!"
Tanya:"Then....can you help him? There's got to be something you can do!"
Dimitria:"What would you have us do, Tanya?"
Tanya:"I don't know.....something! Anything! The doctors say that....that Tommy's dying. Please, Dimitria....help him."
Once again, tears well up in Tanya's eyes. Dimitria and this new Alpha are still a mystery, for the most part. They are so different than.....Zordon and Alpha 5. God, she's never missed them more than she does right now.
Alpha:"Cool yer jets, Tanya. Dimitria's already workin' on the problem....."
Tanya:"You are?!? Oh, thank you, Dimitria!"
Dimitria:" Alpha, why do you mislead the girl?"
Tanya:"Mislead me? What...?"
Dimitria:"If you look into your own heart, you know the truth, do you not, Tanya?"
Tanya is silent. Dimitria stares at her, forcing her to face what she knows is true. Tanya:"Y-Yes. I know. He's....dying. And there's nothing you can do for him....."
Dimitria:"Perhaps not for his body, but would you not agree that he deserves peace for his soul, as well?"
Tanya:"What do you mean? Please, Dimitria, I don't understand...."
Suddenly, the doors to the room whisk open, and a familiar sight greets Tanya. "Hello, Tanya. How's Tommy?"
As Billy steps from the Zord chamber in the Command Center, Tanya is overjoyed to see her friend. "Billy! I can't believe it!"
She runs over and throws her arms around his neck, nearly choking him. Billy:"Wow....Nice to see you, too, Tanya.........Um, do you think I could breathe now?"
With a broad smile, she releases her hold on him. Tanya:"I'm sorry, it's just so great to see you......especially now. Tommy's been hurt..."
Billy:"I know. That's why I'm here. Dimitria and Alpha 6 contacted me on Aquitar. I came as soon as I could. Has there been any change?"
Tanya:"Billy, there's got to be something we can do......"
Billy:"Tanya, if the information Alpha supplied me with is correct, I'm afraid Tommy's brain damage is extensive.....We have to be prepared for the worst."
She stares into his eyes, looking for any sign that Billy does not believe his own words. Surely Billy can help? Billy has always been able to solve everything, finding a solution for their problems even at the last possible moment. He's the smartest guy she's ever known! If even he admits it's hopeless, then.......Without warning, her strong facade melts completely, and she falls against his shoulder, sobbing.
Rocky:"Hi, guys. Look who's here."
At Tommy's bedside stand Ernie, Bulk and Skull. For once, Bulk and Skull are silent.
Kat:"Hi, guys. Any change in Tommy's condition?"
Ernie:"Nothing yet, Kat. The doctor was just in here a few minutes ago."
Bulk:"Listen, guys, we're really sorry......"
Skull:"Yeah, Tommy's good people. We never wanted to see him like this..." Skull begins sniveling into his sleeve.
Lt. Stone:" Alright, Skullovitch, cut that out!"
Ernie:"Yeah! Tommy'll be okay. I even brought his favorite fruit shake for when he....wakes up. It's, uh, in the fridge over there....."
Suddenly, the door opens and a soft, yet strong voice speaks. "Oh, man........Tommy, what happened to you, bro?"
Jason drops his dufflebag on the floor and hurries to his friend's side.
Kat:"I'm glad you're here......"
Jason:"What did the doctors say?"
Rocky:"It's....not good, Jase. There's been some brain damage, and he's bleeding internally."
Kat:" He needs your strength, Jason."
Choking back his emotions through gritted teeth, Jason kneels at Tommy's bedside, trying to reach his friend. Jason:"Hey, bro......I'm here. You....You really did it this time, man......."
Sensing that this is a moment to be shared by only a very few, Ernie and Lt. Stone say their goodbyes. Although Bulk and Skull are too dense to realize this, Lt. Stone drags them out with him.
Justin:"There's gotta be something we can do for him....."
Rocky:"Not this time, buddy. Even the Power Rangers can't help him out of this one."
As he clenches his fist on the bed, Jason knows that Rocky may be right.
As Jason did before her, she runs to Tommy's side, tears already trickling down her cheeks. Kim:"Oh, Tommy......"
She glances up at Jason, who stands protectively beside her. Even though they broke up months ago, Jason knows the intensity of the feelings that Tommy and Kim had shared. He knows this will hit her harder than any of them. He has to try and help her through this.
Kim then looks at Billy. She knows he is the smartest of all of them. If anyone can offer hope, it's Billy. As she stares at him, pleadingly, Billy's head lowers and his eyes begin to moisten. That is all the reply she needs. As Jason kneels to comfort her, Kim begins to cry.
This is too much for Kat, who races out of the room, excusing herself in the proper English manner.
Tanya:"I'll get her."
As Tanya goes after Kat, Kimberly realizes how she must feel. "Oh, I really blew it now, huh?" she says as she dabs at her eyes.
Jason:"Relax, Kim. You can't help how you feel."
Kim:"Yeah, but what about how she feels? It must be hard enough having me here without this big display...."
Rocky:"Kat's a big girl, Kim. She'll be okay."
Justin just stands there, Rocky's strong arms draped around his shoulders. He's heard the others talk about Billy, and he's met Jason and Kimberly before, but right now he isn't sure how he feels about them. After all, they're the ones that left Angel Grove. And the Power Rangers. He, Kat, Tanya, Adam and Rocky were Tommy's friends now. How dare they come back here, now, and upset Kat like that? Just then, Rocky steps from behind Justin and goes over to Kim. Justin listens as Rocky makes some silly, stupid joke and Kimberly smiles. She hugs him, and gives him a kiss on the cheek. "Now I'm really confused....", thinks Justin.
Just then, the doctor walks into the room. Dr. Campbell:"Kids, I've got some bad news...."
He stops and looks down at Justin.
Billy:"It's okay, doctor. He's....old for his age."
Dr. Campbell:"Hmph. Very well, then. There's been a change for the worse. If there's anyone who hasn't been contacted, I'd suggest you do so. I doubt Tommy will make it through the night."
Kat:"Yeah, I guess so. What a bloody fool I made of myself...."
Tanya:"Hey, cut that out. We all know how you feel."
Kat:"It's just......Seeing Kim break down like that, I had to get out of there before I did, too."
Tanya:"I know. It must be hard for you to have her here."
Kat:"Well, actually, it's not that bad. I mean, Tommy and I have been broken up for a while, now. I've always known that he and Kim still had....feelings for each other. He'd....want her here right now. That's why I called her."
Tanya:"You....? You called her?"
Kat:"Mm-hm. Right after I called Jason. He wanted to call Kim himself, but it was something I wanted to do, you know?"
"Yeah. I know." Tanya replies. "Y'know, you are a very special person, Katherine."
For the first time in a long while, Kat smiles. Kat:"C'mon, we'd better get back."
Suddenly, they hear a newsbroadcast from a nearby radio: "....And the monster continues to destroy the Angel Grove Airport! Where are the Power Rangers?"
Kat:"Oh, no! Not now!"
Tanya:"C'mon, we'd better get the others!"
Seconds later, the two girls burst into Tommy's room, where their friends are watching a tv news report about the invading monster:
Kat:"Guys, we've got trouble........"
As they glance at the television, the two are surprised to see a quintet of multi-colored heroes battling the beast.
"Very little in this universe is completely impossible, Rangers."
At the sound of Zordon's voice, Tanya and Kat spin around to see Alpha Five standing in a corner of the room, holding a miniature globe in his two hands. Next to him stands the sorceror, Leirogot.
Kat:"Alpha? But you left months ago....!"
Zordon:"What you see before you is a projection of ourselves, Katherine. We are here in spirit, if not in actual form."
Alpha Five:"Dimitria notified us of Tommy's condition, and we used the Essence Projection Unit to join you here."
At the sight of their former mentor and friend, the gathered teens smile, their spirits lifted higher than they have been in days.
Rocky:"But, what if somebody sees you guys in here?"
Zordon:"Although he is not with you physically, Rocky, Leirogot's magic is still strong enough to keep anyone from entering this room until our business here is done."
Kimberly:"Oh, wow, this is so great! Now I know Tommy's going to be okay!"
Alpha Five:"Ay-yi-yi.........Zordon....You have to tell them......"
Rocky:"Tell us what, Alpha?"
Zordon:"Rangers......Our friend Tommy is dying.His condition continues to worsen, and it is beyond my abilities to stop this from happening. I am sorry, but this time, there is nothing I can do."
It feels as if they have been dealt a physical blow. Although they have known it in their hearts, to hear Zordon put words to their thoughts is overwhelming. Kimberly covers her eyes, silent tears rolling down her cheeks. Rocky runs his hand through his hair, trying to understand why this is happening, while Justin tries not to run crying from the room. Tanya bites her lower lip as she hugs Cat, whose face in buried in her shoulder. Billy lowers his head wiping a tear from under his glasses, and Jason's teeth grind together, the muscles in his jaw tightening. It takes a few seconds before Rocky breaks the silence.
"I don't get it. If you can't help him, then why are you here?"
Alpha Five:"You really have to ask, Rocky?"
Zordon:"Tommy is very special to us, Rocky, as are all of you. In the years since you all came together as Power Rangers, you have conquered numerous foes, sometimes waging battles even against your own fears. No other Rangers in history have defeated as many obstacles as you have. I am proud of each and every one of you, and although we may no longer wage battles together, you will always be a part of us."
At Zordon's words, they all feel a sense of pride and caring well up inside themselves.
Then, Justin speaks out as he suddenly realizes something they've all overlooked. Justin:"Hey! What about those other rangers fighting the monster!? Where'd they come from?"
Billy:"I believe I can answer that, Justin. Those are the Rangers of Aquitar. When I received Dimitria's transmission, they volunteered to come with me to help keep things under control while we all spent some time with Tommy. It's their way of helping us through this ordeal."
Suddenly, there is a shimmering of golden light in the center of the room. As it fades, three identical figures begin to materialize from the light.
Trey of Wisdom:"Rangers! We have news! Tommy does not have to perish!"
The gathered group of teens stand in stunned silence as the three Treys appear before them. Then, Jason, ever the leader, steps forward. Jason:"Trey, what're you talking about? We can save Tommy? How?"
Trey of Heart:"All will be explained to you, Jason. But first, there are those who have not yet joined you....They must be brought here before we continue...."
Tanya:"He must mean Adam....."
Rocky:"I'll find him. He's been alone long enough anyway....."
Zordon:"No, Rocky. Adam has many feelings to work through right now. Feelings that Jason is best suited to help him with."
Jason:"Me? But, Zordon,....."
Zordon:"You must trust me on this, Jason. Go to Adam, and bring him back here."
Jason:"Okay. You can count on me, guys."
Kim:"Haven't we always?"
With a concerned glance at Tommy, Jason leaves his friends.
Alpha :"Good luck, Jason."
"He'll need more than luck when I finish with him!" A burst of smoke erupts in the room, and when it clears, Rita and Goldar stand at the bottom of Tommy's bed.
The gathered Rangers immediately spin into attack positions.
Kim:"Get away from him, you witch, or...."
Goldar:"I told you they would not listen, Rita! Come on, Power Brats! I'll destroy you all, and then get the Red Ranger!"
Rita:"You'd better calm your little pets, Zordon, or I'll turn them all into toads!"
Zordon:" Wait, Rangers.....Let us hear what Rita has to say....."
The Rangers reluctantly stand down, letting Rita talk.
Rita:"Hmph! That's better! As most of you may remember, Tommy was once under my control as the Green Ranger. During that time, he proved a strong and worthy warrior. I only want to see him one last time, to....pay my respects."
Rocky:"You've gotta be kidding...."
Billy:"Actually, Rocky, I don't think she is. Remember, Rita's from another galaxy. We really can't expect to apply our views to her way of thinking. Maybe, deep down, she really does respect Tommy's strength and spirit enough to come here in peace."
Zordon:"You are correct, Billy. Go ahead, Rita.....But remember, any harm done to Tommy will not be tolerated."
With Goldar at her side, Rita Repulsa approaches Tommy's bedside. Kim moves warily aside as Rita approaches. Goldar merely grunts at her. When the two villains reach the injured Ranger's side, their eyes close and they begin chanting. The words are undecipherable to the gathered teens, but they instinctively know that the verse is as old as time. Suddenly, tiny balls of light dance from Rita's staff and Goldar's outstretched sword, swirling around Tommy's head....
Tanya:"Shhhh.....Easy, Kat. Trust Zordon.....Watch...."
The globes of light form a circle around the Red Turbo Ranger's head, then they disappear in a blink.
Rita:"Rest easy, my Ranger."
Goldar:"You are a strong and valiant warrior, Tommy. I will meet you on the field of battle again one day."
Then, they turn and face Zordon.
Rita:"My husband, Lord Zedd, doesn't appreciate Tommy's spirit or strength as I do, Zordon. That's why he tried to take advantage of this opportunity by sending that monster down to Angel Grove Airport. He didn't plan on those other Rangers being around to ruin his plan."
Rocky:"Zedd! We should've known he'd try something now......"
Rita:"Zedd is the least of your problems, former Ranger! Remember, Zedd, Divatox, even King Mondo are all aware of this situation. It's only a matter of time before they come to visit you themselves.....and it won't be a peaceful visit like this one! Bye bye, Rangers!"
Goldar:"Tell Jason I said hello!"
In a burst of smoke and flashing lights, the two villains are gone.
Justin:"Wow. So that's Rita, huh? She's not so tough...."
Kim:"Yeah, well, wait'll you get to know her, Justin....."
Tanya:"Zordon, what about what she said? About Divatox and the others coming here?"
Rocky:"You think they would?"
Zordon:"The possibility is very likely, Rocky. Obviously, while Leirogot's power is strong enough to keep out ordinary humans, Rita and her ilk are another matter. You are all under great stress right now, and your minds are distracted. It is a very bad time to have to battle those villains."
Trey of Heart:"Then perhaps we'd best get started......."
The three Treys clasp hands, and close their eyes. Golden energy crackles around them. Then, a golden light forms in the corner of the room and Trini and Zach step out of it.
Trini:" Kim? Billy? What...? Omigosh! Tommy!"
Their other friends momentarily forgotten, the former Yellow and Black Rangers hurry to Tommy's side. Zack:"Damn, this looks bad...."
Billy steps up behind Zack and puts a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. "It is, Zack, but Trey says there may be some hope, after all."
Trini:"Really?! That's wonderful! But wait.....Where's Jason? He should be here...."
Kim:"Jason went to find Adam, so Trey can try and help us save Tommy."
Trey of Wisdom:"He had better return soon. If our plan has any chance of working, it must be done before Tommy gets much weaker, or he is lost to us."
Kat:"Oh, Jason, please hurry....."
"Whoa! Easy, Adam! It's me, Jason!"
Adam:"Jason?!? ......Sorry. Guess I'm just a little edgy......."
Jason:"Hey, no problem, man, we all are.......You okay?"
Adam:"Sure......I mean........No. I'm not. Not really."
Jason:"Wanna talk about it?"
For a long minute, Adam is quiet. He knows he cannot continue like this much longer, holding everything inside. Tommy needs him, and he's not doing him much good out here on the football field. "Jase, why? Why did this happen? Tommy's fought against Rita, Goldar, King Mondo, Divatox....all of them...and he beat them! How can a car crash do this to him?"
Jason:"I....I don't know......Y'know, I think it's harder this way. I mean, we all knew the risks when we became Rangers. We all knew that someday Rita or the others might beat us. But a car crash is so....so ordinary, it's hard to deal with....."
Adam:"Yeah......And I can't help thinking that he was all....alone when it happened......"
Tears begin to fall down the Green Turbo Ranger's cheek. Then, he feels a strong hand gently squeeze his shoulder. Adam:"I-I should've been there, Jason. I was supposed to go and watch him at the track that day......But I wanted to get in some extra practice at the Youth Center........Because of me, Tommy was....alone....."
Jason:"Hey, Adam.....He wasn't alone, man."
Adam:" Yes, he was! After all the times he's been there for us, I couldn't be there for him! I let him down!" The tears fall freely, now.
Jason:"Is that what's bugging you?.......Adam, listen to me. When we all became Power Rangers, we formed a bond between us......All of us; no matter whether we stayed or left, we're bound together. We're family, man....."
Adam:"But, Jase, you don't understand.......I left him alone! If he....if anything...happens....to Tommy, all he'll remember is that he was alone....And that I let him down....." In anger and frustration, Adam slams his fist into a nearby trash can.
Jason:"Hey, take it easy, Adam! I understand how you feel, but you're wrong, man! You could never let Tommy down. Do you know how many times he's told me how glad he is that we met you? He's told me how you were there for him after he and Kimberly broke up. How you called him every day, kept tabs on him. And after Billy left the Rangers, you automatically stepped into the second-in-command role, something Tommy was going to offer you, anyway. You think he'd do that if he felt you'd ever let him down?"
Adam:"I - I guess not....."
Jason:"Right. And you were really good at it, too. I saw that when I was the Gold Ranger. T'tell you the truth, dude, I was....kinda jealous of you....."
Adam:"You?!? Jealous of me?!? No way....."
Jason:"Yeah, man! I saw how close you and Tommy had gotten, how he depended on you, and it felt a little weird. But I got over it. Tommy and I had a long talk about it one night, and he made me realize that if you hadn't been there for him when he took over as leader of the Rangers, things would've been a lot harder for him. When Kim broke up with him, it was a rough time for him. But then, when Billy left, it was really tough, because he felt like he didn't have any of us there to guide him. You helped him out a lot with that."
Jason:"You sure did, man. You followed him no matter what he did, or where he went. And when even he wasn't sure how to handle something, you stood by him and backed him up, no matter what. Even Tommy couldn't believe how much faith you had in him, sometimes."
As memories of past adventures flood his mind, Adam begins to grin. Adam:"Well, sometimes it wasn't as easy as it looked......."
The two friends finally begin to laugh, easing the tension of the past few hours. Adam:"Jason?"
Adam:"Thanks. I owe you one."
Jason:"Hey, bro, you don't owe me anything. I told you; we're family. Now, let's go see how Tommy's doin', huh?"
She suddenly feels exhausted, the stress and anguish of the past day finally catching up to her. She feels overwhelmed, helpless. These are feelings that are usually alien to her. She doesn't like them one bit.
"Kim? Are you okay?"
Turning at the soft-spoken voice, Kim sees Katherine Hillard, the young woman who replaced her as the Pink Power Ranger.....and as Tommy's girlfriend. Kim:"Yeah.....Yeah, I'm okay. Thanks, Kat."
The tears welling up in her friend's eyes do not go unnoticed by Kat. Kat:"No luck with Tommy's parents?"
Kim:"No, none at all.......Wherever they are, I can't reach them."
Kat:"Adam tried earlier, but he said he couldn't reach them, either. What are we going to do? They have to be told about....the accident......"
Kim:"I know, but we'll just have to hope they check the answering machine and get our messages. There's nothing else we can do...."
Kat solemnly nods her head and begins walking towards Tommy's room.
Kat stops and turns. "Yes, Kim?"
Kim:"Well, I just wanted to thank you again.....for calling me. I know it couldn't have been easy for you....."
Kat smiles. "It's okay, Kim. Really. You should be here, and I wanted to be the one to call you. We used to be so close, back when you were still on the team. I'm sorry we...drifted apart....."
Smiling up at her friend, Kim feels a closeness for Katherine that she never thought she'd feel again. After all, Kat was the one Tommy turned to when she left him all those months ago.....A mistake that she'll probably never get a chance to correct, now...........
Kat does not pretend to understand why Kimberly left Tommy the way she did, and she was very angry about it for quite a while, but she does know that Tommy and Kim were always meant to be together. She realized that even before she and Tommy "officially" broke up. Deep down, Kim always had Tommy's heart. Unfortunately, confusion and resentment kept the two girls from reaffirming their friendship all this time. But now, it all seems so pointless....
Looking into each other's watery eyes, the two girls realize that the bond they once shared is still between them. Whatever differences they may have had in the past pale in comparison to what they are facing now. Simultaneously, they both throw their arms around the other, finding strength in their newly rediscovered friendship.
Suddenly, the moment is broken by a voice tinged with fear. "Kat? Kim? What's happened?!? Is Tommy......?"
Turning, the two girls see Adam and Jason running towards them.
Kat:"Adam! No! It's nothing like that. Tommy's still...the same."
Although Adam's relief is obvious, only Kimberly notices Jason put his hand to his temple, his stoic facade cracking with emotion. It only lasts for a split-second, however, before his inner strength returns to the fore. Clearing his throat slightly, Jason ushers them all towards Tommy's room. Jason:"C'mon, guys. The longer we wait out here, the longer it takes for Trey to work his magic."
Proudly staring up at her friend, Kin smiles and wraps her arm around Jason's waist, taking comfort in his strength and pride as she has done so many times before. "Guys, Jason's right. Let's get going....", she says, dabbing at her eyes.
As the four teenagers open the door to Tommy's room, they are greeted by the sight of all their friends gathered together, quietly awaiting their arrival. Zach immediately walks over to Jason, throwing his arms around his former leader. " How you holdin' up, Jase?"
Jason: "I'm okay, bro.....But, I gotta tell ya, I'm glad you guys're here...."
Trini walks over, joining their embrace. "Where else would we be, Jason? Tommy's a part of us, no matter where we are....."
Adam watched as Billy and Kimberly stood only feet away, smiling. Billy's arm was draped around Kim's shoulder. He noticed that as soon as they were all together in the room, the five of them seemed to naturally gravitate to one another. Not intentionally, of course. None of them would ever make the others feel unwelcome or left out, it was just instinctive for them. Adam knew that no matter who came and went, the five of them, along with Tommy, would always be the heart and soul of the Power Rangers.....and he was glad to be included in their friendship.
Suddenly, Trey of Courage interrupts.
"Rangers, I am glad you are all finally together. Tommy's time is running short...."
Billy clears his throat. "Trey's right. We'd better get started."
Adam:"Right. What do we have to do, Trey?"
Trey of Wisdom:"As we told you, my friends, there is a possiblity that Tommy can be saved......However, to do so would mean a great sacrifice for all of you!"
"Ha ha ha ha! I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when we destroy their beloved city!"
"Bah! Forget about the city, Divatox!", laughs Lord Zedd. "I just want to destroy those pesky Power Brats!"
"As always, you think too small, Zedd!", chastises King Mondo. "I will settle for nothing less than their entire world!"
Divatox:"Alright, you two! Don't start your arguing again! Zeddy, where's your lovely bride, anyway?"
"She's........unavailable right now.....", replies Zedd. No need to tell his new allies that Rita actually defied him and refused to take part in their plan to strike while the Rangers were at their lowest. He still couldn't understand where she got all that garbage about 'honor' and 'respect'.
King Mondo:"No matter. I'm sure the three of us are more than enough to finally rid the universe of the Power Rangers once and for all!"
The three evil villains laugh as they prepare to strike.
"We really can save Tommy?" Kim's heart almost stops, waiting for the triplets' reply.
Trey of Wisdom takes a deep breath before he answers, turning to Adam, Katherine, Tanya and Justin. "Yes, it is possible.....But it will mean you four giving up your Ranger powers forever."
For a moment, there is silence as Trey's words register. Then, he continues to explain. "With the help of my staff, I may be able to channel your Turbo Powers into Tommy's body and reignite the flickering spark of life within him. However, this process is extremely delicate and cannot be reversed once it is begun, even if it does not prove successful........"
Adam:"What do you mean, 'If it's not successful'?"
Zordon answers, his voice echoing in the small room. "What Trey means, Adam, is that this particular procedure has never been attempted before. While in theory it may indeed save Tommy's life, there is no guarantee it will work. What Trey has not told you, is that it will very likely drain his own powers, as well."
"Trey? Is that true?", questions Jason.
"Yes, Jason, it is," replies Trey of Heart. "However, if it will restore our valiant friend, we will gladly make this sacrifice."
Tanya turns to Zordon and Alpha Five, her mind racing. "What should we do, Zordon?"
Again, their mentor's voice rings through the room. "This decision must be yours and yours alone, Rangers. You have all earned the right to decide your own destiny. However, if it is to have any chance of succeeding at all, the process will require the energy from all four of you. This must be a unanimous decision."
Kim stands off to the side with Jason, Trini, Zach, Billy and Rocky. As much as she wants Tommy to be well again, she realizes what Trey is asking of the Turbo Rangers. Not only must they be willing to give up their powers, they must also accept the responsibility of any future attacks from Divatox and her monsters. With no Power Rangers at all to stop them, how much death and destruction will they cause? Can she really expect them to live with a burden like that?
Katherine is the first to step forward, biting her lower lip. "I couldn't live with myself knowing we could have saved Tommy and didn't try. I'm in."
Zach and Trini quietly exchange looks. In Switzerland, they had both expressed their reservations about the others letting Kat join the team after she originally tried to betray them. Jason had tried to defend her after he rejoined the team as the Gold Ranger, but they were still skeptical. Now, watching her step forward, they both realize that Jason was obviously right; Katherine Hillard was a Ranger through and through.
Adam joined Katherine at Tommy's bedside, putting his arm around her. "Tommy's taught me almost everything I know about being a Ranger, and he's always told us we have to be there for each other. I've really tried not to let him down in the past, and I won't start now. I'm in."
Rocky remembers the training sessions in the Juice Bar when Tommy used to say that, back when he, Adam and Aisha had first joined the team. He remembers that, of the three of them, his best friend Adam was the one who was most serious about doing a good job as a Ranger. He was always training, or trying to help Tommy and Billy solve the latest problem. Although Rocky wishes with all his heart that he could do something to help Tommy also, he knew what Adam's answer would be probably before he, himself, did.
Tanya walks across the room, determined. "I came here from a place very different then this, unsure of myself and how I'd fit in. Tommy was always there to help and support me, whether he was teaching me martial arts or just being my friend. I can't let him down if he needs me, no matter what happens."
Jason smiles. He really grew to like and admire Tanya during his time as the Gold Ranger. There was a quiet strength inside of her that erupted whenever one of her friends were in any kind of trouble. If any of them ever fell in battle, she was the first to rush to their side, defending them like a lion would her cubs. Yet, she could also be tender and caring, as he found out when he was going through the loss of the Gold Power. She was always cooking him some African dish, or just stopping by to cheer him up. He recalls the day she had given him the Key of Auric, and told him there was no one else she'd rather trust with it. He was so proud; almost as proud as he is of her right now.
All of them turn to Justin, standing in the shadows. Slowly, he approaches his three teammates, tears welling up in his eyes. "I-I never really had many friends until I met you guys", he says, his voice cracking."....And being a Ranger is the best thing I've ever done. But Tommy's like the....the big brother I've never had. I don't wanna see him die......"
Billy watches as Justin buries his face in Katherine's side, sobbing. What was Zordon thinking, bringing someone so young into this? Yet, as she comforts the boy, Billy looks at the four of them, arms around each other, eys moist with held-back tears. From what he knows of Justin's upbringing in various foster homes, Billy imagines the boy must have been very lonely.....Probably as lonely as he was, growing up the neighborhood "nerd" until he found Jason and the others. He shudders to think of how different his life would have turned out if they had never met. How alone he would have been.........Suddenly, Billy realizes that Zordon might have been right in bringing Justin into the Rangers, after all..........
. Then, in a small burst of golden light, the three Treys merge into one. Holding his staff high above his head, he speaks. "Very well then. Let me say that we are proud and honored to have fought beside each of you, and although those days will soon be at an end, we will always call you friends. Now, please, place your Turbo keys in my hand and touch the Golden Power Staff...."
The four friends gather around him, their Turbo keys held out before them. Suddenly, there is a loud crash which sends shockwaves throughout the entire building. The Rangers grab onto Tommy's bed, holding it steady as the shocks subside.
"Power Rangers! Show yourselves!"
Rocky runs to the window. "Holy cow! Guys, look at this!"
Jason, Tanya, Zach and Adam race to the window. On the street outside, Divatox, King Mondo and Lord Zedd stand defiantly amidst an army of Piranhatrons, Cogs and Putties. They are flanked by two enormous canon-like guns, one of which is smoking.
"Surrender yourselves, Power Brats, or this building falls with your precious Red Ranger in it!", bellows Lord Zedd.
Staring out at the gathering of evil below him, Zachary Taylor comes to a rather obvious conclusion. "Oh, man.......Guys, this does not look good....."
"You said it, bro...", agrees Jason.
"What'll we do, Jase?", asks Adam. Although he has been Tommy's second-in-command, Adam knows that Jason is much more qualified to handle this.
Before the former Gold Ranger can answer, another blast rocks the hospital, causing the gathered Rangers to grab the nearest piece of furniture for support. For Kimberly, the nearest thing is the railing on Tommy's bed.
"Unnh! Why can't they just leave us alone?!?"
"Jason, we've gotta stop them before they injure Tommy even more!", yells Billy.
"Ay-yi-yi! Or the other patients!", squeals Alpha Five.
"You're right, Alpha." Jason easily slips into his "command mode". With a look of stern determination, Jason begins giving out orders. "You guys have gotta get out there and try to hold them off until Billy can contact the Aquitarian Rangers. Leirogot, will you be able to help them?", he asks, turning to the image of the alien wizard. Leirogot nods his head as Zordon explains.
"He will be able to assist them, Jason, but not for long. Leirogot has already expended most of his energy just keeping this room secluded from prying eyes."
"Any help is better than none, though", interjects Tanya.
"I'll go with you, also", offers Trey.
"But what about Tommy?", asks Katherine.
"Don't worry; we'll stay here in case any of them get through you and try to get to him", Jason reassures her. "Although if you can't stop them from bringing this building down, it won't really matter....!"
Suddenly, another thunderous boom shakes the room. This time, the machines attached to the injured Red Turbo Ranger begin beeping.
"Ay-yi-yi!!!", cries Alpha Five, desperately trying to keep his hold on the globe containing Zordon's projected essence.
"Billy, what's happening?!?", yells Kim.
Regaining his balance, Billy rushes over to Tommy's bed. "As far as I can tell, that last blow damaged Tommy's life support!"
Trini raise her hands to her face. "Oh no....Tommy....."
As concern for his best friend rises within him, Jason turns to the four Turbo Rangers. "You've gotta get out there and stop them! Go!", he yells.
"Don't worry, Jase. We'll stop them", replies Adam. "Ready, guys? Shift into Turbo!" Seconds later, Adam, Katherine, Tanya and Justin are transformed into the four Turbo Rangers and are teleported out of the room with Leirogot.
Rocky watches his teammates leave, the helplessness of the past few days finally catching up to him. "I can't just stand here any more, man! I'm gonna see if anyone else needs help!" With that, he throws open the door and races down the smokey hallway.
"I'll try to raise the Aquitarians...", offers Billy as he pulls a communication device from his back pocket.
With Zach behind him, Jason pulls Trey off to the side. "Trey, isn't there something you can do?", he asks.
"Yeah, man. We can't just let Tommy die like this....!", echoes Zach.
"There is only one way that I can think of....but it requires much more of a sacrifice than just the Turbo energy."
Jason looks silently into Trey's golden eyes. In his heart, he already knows what Trey is getting at.
Zach, however, does not. "What, man?? What is it?", he asks.
Still staring into Jason's eyes, Trey replies, "It would require siphoning some of the life energy of you five to compensate for the four possessing the Turbo energy, effectively shortening your expected lifespan........"
A forward roll takes Justin out of the way, just as two Piranhatrons pounce. "Oh, man! There's so many of 'em! They just keep comin'!"
"Hang in there, Justin! The Aquitarians should be here any minute!", reassures Adam.
"I sure hope so! Leirogot's starting to fade!", cries Tanya.
Even as the wizard continues to scatter the various monsters with his magic, his image becomes more and more transparent. They all know it will not be long before he is unable to maintain his connection to Earth and the four Rangers will be completely on their own against this monstrous army.
Divatox's laughter can be heard above the sounds of the battle. "Give it up, Rangers! You can't possibly defeat our army! We've already won!"
"Never!", shouts Adam, defiantly. "The Power Rangers never give up!"
"We'll find a way to beat you, Divatox, no matter what it takes!", adds Tanya.
"Jase, you know we are", answers Kimberly, gently brushing a strand of hair from Tommy's forehead before covering Jason's strong hand with her own.
"There really was never any question, was there?", adds Billy as his hand joins those of his two friends.
"Billy's right; we've gotta do this. I mean, Tommy's one of us, guys....."Three hands become four as Zach adds his.
"You know, this feels...right, somehow. Like it should have been the five of us all along...". Trini's delicate hand rests on top of Zach's.
For once, Zordon's booming voice seems quiet....and tinged with a great sorrow. "I cannot express how proud I am of each of you at this moment. You have all grown much in the time we have been together. You have learned all that I could teach you......and you have taught me some things, as well. The Power Rangers have become so much more than a means to keep evil in check. You have become...."
"A family....", interrupts Jason, smiling. Kim and the others glance at their leader and see a single tear run down his cheek.
Zordon is silent for a moment. Then, his voice strained with barely repressed emotion, he finishes. "Farewell, my Power Rangers......my family."
"Goodbye.....R-Rangers........sniff!.........", adds Alpha Five.
Trey's voice is urgent as he interrupts. "Rangers, it is time. Are you certain you want to do this? Remember, there is no way of knowing exactly how much of your lifeforce will be required. You may return with only days left to live..."
The determined looks on the five faces in front of him is the only answer Trey needs. "Very well. Place your hands on my staff....."
With one last shared smile, the teens reach up and grasp Trey's staff, their outstretched hands tightening around one another's.
Suddenly, there is a swirl of golden light and then everything turns black.
In the empty greyness, Tommy sees a pinprick of pink light. The light grows as it comes towards him, until it encircles his body with a familiar warmth. "K-Kimberly.....?', he thinks.
Suddenly, he feels the light enter his chest, bringing with it a warmth that he thought he would never feel again. Four words suddenly swirl through his mind: "I love you, Tommy".
At first, he is overwhelmed with a profound sense of sorrow and loss, but then a wave of love and warmth fills him, just as he notices a ray of red light approaching through the void. As this light encircles him, Tommy could swear he feels a strong hand grasp his shoulder and squeeze it, gently. "Jason........"
The light slides into his chest, and he suddenly feels a surge of strength and confidence shoot through his body.
Three more lights break through the emptiness, each one adding something to Tommy's spirit. After the blue light has entered him, Tommy feels more determined to see this situation through and find a way back home to his friends. He won't give up. "Billy....."
The black light strikes him, and he feels energy suddenly shoot through his body like lightning, and an overwhelming desire to.........laugh? "Thanks, Zach....", he says, smiling.
Lastly, the yellow light enters his chest, and Tommy feels more serene and calm then he ever has before. A soft yet strong voice repeats over and over, "Fight, Tommy, keep fighting...." "Trini....."
Suddenly, his body spasms and Tommy sees the smiling faces of his five oldest friends just as everything explodes in golden light........
Katherine:"Tommy? Want some visitors?"
"Hm? Oh, sure, Kat! C'mon in....", replies Tommy.
"How're you feeling?", asks Adam.
"Pretty good. The doctors can't understand it, but they say I should be fully recovered by next week....."
Remembering the reason for Tommy's swift recovery, Justin and Katherine glance downwards.
"How's Trey doin'?", asks Tommy.
"He's fine, just still a little worn out. Dimitria and Alpha are helping him get ready for the journey home. It's a bit harder without his powers.....", Kat answers. Again, the memory of what happened hits them....
"Guys, it's okay........I can talk about it........", offers Tommy. "How's the new Red Ranger doing?"
"Great!", beams Rocky. "It is so cool to be back on the team!"
Adam gives his friend a dark sideways glance.
"Relax, Adam." scolds Tommy."Even with my fast recovery, I know I'm not up to being back on the team just yet. Let Rocky have all the glory for a while........ What about all the damage to the city?"
"Well, most of the damage Zedd, Divatox and Mondo caused is almost repaired, too. It's a good thing the Aquatarian Rangers showed up when they did, or we'd be in that bed with you!........Well, not actually with you....aw, you know what I mean!", says Rocky, clearly embarrassed.
Tommy laughs. "Yeah, Rocko, we know what you mean...."
"Rocky, you will never change.....", smiles Tanya, wrapping her arm around his waist.
"And I, for one, hope he doesn't..." The gathered teenagers turn at the sound of Kimberly's voice just as she, Billy, Trini and Zach walk in.
"Hey, guys!" Tommy nearly jumps out of the bed at the sight of Kimberly.
"Hi, everyone", smiles Trini.
Kimberly rushes to Tommy's bed and kisses him gently on the cheek before bursting with news. "Tommy, we saw your doctor on the way up here. She says you're healing nicely and should be out of here by the end of the week! Isn't that great?"
"Alright! That's fantastic!"beams Tommy.
"One might even say........Morphinominal?", asks Billy with a sly grin.
A simultaneous groan erupts from the group.
"Man, Billy, even I wouldn't have said that!", teases Zach. Amid the good-natured teasing, Tommy notices Justin off to the side, staring at the floor. He reaches over and tossles Justin's hair. "Hey, you okay, Justin? You're pretty quiet...."
"I guess so....", replies Justin.
"C'mon up here....", says Tommy as he lifts the boy onto the side of his bed. "Now, what's bugging you?"
"I dunno.....I guess I just miss Jason......I mean, I never really got to know him that well, but just knowing that he's.....not coming back......", he answers, his voice cracking
. Tommy pauses, remembering his friend's sacrifice. "Yeah, I miss him, too, sport.....a lot..........."
"We all do......." adds Kim, offering a slight smile as she puts a reassuring arm around the boy's shoulders.
"But none of us realized just how much the Gold Ranger powers had drained him. His body just wasn't strong enough to.......to survive the transfer..........", explains Billy, the words catching in his throat.
Tommy lowers his head for a second as fond memories wash over him. Then, he continues. "But, you know what? Jason will always be with me...and all of you, too. He was the best friend anyone could ever have and we'll always share a bond as Rangers that'll never be broken......"
"Yeah", adds Adam, remembering Jason's words."As Power Rangers, and as....family."