Kim was puttering around her kitchen one day. She was making breakfast for her and her roommate, Becky Steidan.
“Hey, Beck,” Kim called out, “Time to get up, or you’ll be late for practice.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Becky said, “Why don’t you have practice today?”
“It’s one of my rare days off,” Kim said, “I don’t plan to waste it, so can you make practice as short as you can, so we can go shopping or something?”
“I’ll try, but you know Coach Schmidt,” Becky said. She noticed that Kim seemed a little depressed. “What’s wrong?”
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Kim said. Becky gave her a patented “I don’t believe you for a minute” look. “It’s the letter. I just can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I wish I had never sent that accursed thing. Now, I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m miserable.”
“Why don’t you call this Tommy guy up and explain things? I’m betting that it would do the both of you a world of good,” Becky said.
“Maybe,” Kim said, “No, I couldn’t. Besides, I doubt he even wants to talk to me, after the letter.”
“Kim, you’ll never know unless you try,” Becky said, “Oh, and you better watch it, or you’ll burn breakfast.” Kim quickly took what was on the stove off. They then fixed themselves a plate and sat down at the table.
After Becky left, Kim couldn’t get Tommy out of her mind again. ‘If only I hadn’t sent that letter,’ she thought.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, Tommy was having similar thoughts about Kimberly. ‘Why did she send the letter?’ he asked himself, ‘I just know that it was something I did wrong.’ Kim had always kept him balanced and away from his more suicidal tendencies. ‘And now, I won’t be able to hurt her ever again.’ He slowly brought a gun up to the side of his head.
A jogger passing by jumped at the sound of a gun going off. And a neighbor calls 911.
When Kim got a call from Rocky, she was surprised. “I thought that you guys would be too mad at me to call,” she told him.
“Kim, I’m afraid that this isn’t a social call,” Rocky said. Kim could almost hear the tears he was crying. “It’s Tommy.”
“What about Tommy? What’s happened?”
“I don’t know how to tell you this, Kim,” Rocky said, “But Tommy’s dead.”
“Dead?” Something clutched Kim’s chest, and soon she realized that she was hyperventilating. She took slow, measured breaths until she was breathing normally again, but that didn’t stop the tears running down her face. “Was it a suicide?” That had been her biggest fear, that Tommy would kill himself over the letter.
“Yeah, it was,” Rocky said, “The, um, funerals in a few days, and I thought you’d want to know, so you can try to come down.”
“Rocky, I can’t,” Kim said, “It would kill me to see Tommy dead. It might kill me that he’s dead anyway.”
“I know,” Rocky said, “Believe me, I know. Kim, I know what you’re probably planning, but don’t do it. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, and you’ll see Tommy again soon enough.
“I’ll try, Rocky,” Kim said, “I’ll try.” They hung up after a while, and Kim felt like her heart was about to burst.
When Becky came to their apartment, she found a grim scene. Kim was in the bathroom, and she had slashed her wrists.
And all hell broke loose.
One week prior...
“So,” Becky said, “This is Tommy?” She held up a picture.
“Yep, that’s the man I plan to marry someday,” Kim said, “Isn’t he gorgeous?”
“Absolutely, 100% so,” Becky said, “I do believe that I’m getting jealous, girlfriend.”
Kim blushed, though Becky had meant her words mostly as a joke.
“When do you think he’s going to pop the question?” Becky asked.
“I don’t know,” Kim said, “I’m hoping that he will the second I got back to him after the Pan-Globals.”
“You’re going to send me an invitation, right?” Becky asked.
“Well, of course I am,” Kim said.
“Great,” Becky said, “Well, I’ve got to run. Big sale at the mall, and it’s my day off. Have fun at practice.”
“Yeah, right,” Kim said, “Practice is never fun here, without knowing that Tommy’s watching me from somewhere.” Becky left.
“Does Ziggy have anything on his next leap, Gushie?”
“I’m afraid not, Admiral,” Gushie said, “She says that we’ll have to wait and see, that she can’t predict upcoming leaps. You know that.”
“Yeah, I know,” Al said, “But I was hoping she would have something more concrete.” He sighed.
Kim felt a weird, tingling sensation. She looked down at her arms, and a strange blue glow was emanating from them. “What’s going on?” she asked aloud.
“Admiral, I believe that someone’s in the waiting room, and that Doctor Beckett has leaped,” Gushie said.
“Oh, right,” Al said. He started for the door. When it opened, it showed a vibrant young woman in a jumpsuit flattered very much.
“You’re staring,” she told Al. Al shook his head to clear the cobwebs. She extended her hand. “I’m Kim... Kim... Why don’t I remember my last name?”
“It’s a long story,” Al said, “In Laymen’s terms, you’ve been replaced by a friend of mine somewhere along the timeline. My name’s Al.” He could barely keep his eyes shoulder level to Kim. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“Umm...” Kim’s pretty features scrunched up as she thought long and hard about the answer to Al’s question. “I was in my apartment, waiting for practice. My roommate had just left. Why?”
“What year did you leave, do you remember?”
“1996,” Kim replied, “That I remember easily.”
“What were you doing, exactly, before you were brought here?” Al asked.
“I was thinking about how lucky I was to have the great boyfriend that I do,” Kim said. She blushed when she realized that she had said that out loud. Al held up a little palmtop computer looking thing and punched a few buttons on it. He frowned at the result. “What?”
“Never mind,” Al said, “I’ll try to be back later, if I can. I’d like to talk to you more about your time.” ‘If I can manage to keep my eyes off your...’ Al shook his head. ‘She’s got a boyfriend.’ He left the waiting room. “Check the year 1996, Ziggy. That’s when she said she left.”
“Yes, Admiral Calavicci,” Ziggy said.
Sam had leaped into many girls while leaping, but he couldn’t remember leaping in when one was in the middle of gymnastic exercising. He almost lost his balance and fell off the balance beam he was on.
“Be careful, Kimberly,” a man said, “I don’t want to lose one of my best gymnasts before the games.” Sam recognized the man as Gunther Schmidt, a famous gymnastics coach. He then concentrated on the beam. He let himself go to instinct, which had never let him down before.
When he ended in a moonsault off of the balance beam, most of the others gymnasts applauded. “Very good, Kimberly,” Schmidt said, “You deserve the rest of the day off, I believe. Why don’t you hit the showers, and I’ll have someone take you to your apartment when you’re ready.”
“All right, Coach Schmidt,” Sam said. ‘Obviously, I’m this Kimberly girl,’ he thought, ‘I better not make the mistake of going into the guys locker room.’ He headed for the locked rooms and went into the girls. Just inside the room, he was finally able to look into a mirror. There, he saw a girl who was pretty without being too glamorous.
It didn’t take him very long to find Kimberly’s locker. He got out the clean change of clothes there and a towel. He was heading for the showers, when Al decided to show up.
“Geez Al,” Sam said, “You scared me.”
“Sorry, Sam,” Al said, “Well, Ziggy has the 411 on your leap.”
“411?” Sam asked.
“Information,” Al said, “Anyway, the girl you leaped into is Kimberly Hart, a gymnast practicing for the Pan-Global games.”
“Yeah, I already figured that out,” Sam said, as he stripped and got underneath the shower. “I met Coach Schmidt outside. Do you have anything important?”
“You’ve leaped in here to save two lives,” Al said, “Kim’s and her boyfriend, Tommy Oliver, in Angel Grove, California. Sometime in the next week, Kim sends Tommy a ‘dear John’ letter. Exactly one week from now, Tommy takes a gun to his head and ends his own life, I’m afraid. Kim was quick to follow, slashing her wrists.”
“Sounds more like something out of Romeo and Juliet than real life,” Sam said, “Have any ideas?”
“Well, Ziggy does have one,” Al said, “But we have to time this perfectly. You need to fly to California and do what you can to get this Tommy to propose to you. Hopefully, we can get it to where Kim will leap in right when he’s going to ask.”
“It sounds simple enough,” Sam said, “But how am I going to leave? I just can’t up and take the next plane out. What about Kim’s practice schedule?” He turned off the shower and wrapped the towel around him, remembering at the last minute to wrap it like a girl would.
“She doesn’t have an official one,” Al said, “She told me herself that, as long as she informs Coach Schmidt, she can go anywhere and do whatever she wants to.”
“Oh,” Sam said, as he got dressed. “Well, I’ll go tell him, and see if he’ll get the next flight out.”
“Good,” Al said, “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to ask the little lady in the waiting room if she’ll tell me more about her life.” With several, quick keystrokes, a door appeared behind Al. He stepped through it and disappeared.
Sam left the locker room and found Coach Schmidt quickly. “Hi, Coach Schmidt,” he said, “Look, I need to go back to Angel Grove. A, um, family emergency has come up.”
“No problem then, Kimberly,” Coach Schmidt said, “I’ll call and reserve you a seat on the first plane down there.”
“Thanks,” Sam said. He followed Coach Schmidt to the desk in the front of the huge complex. From there, Schmidt made a phone call.
An hour later, Sam was boarding a plane. He was going to California, to put right to what once went wrong.
Al found that it harder and harder keeping his eyes above shoulder level to Kim. The jumpsuit was just too distracting. “Hi, Kim,” he said, “If you don’t mind my asking, how did you and Tommy meet?”
“I can’t tell you the specifics,” Kim said, “But, we met one day during a martial arts tournament. He was going up against my friend, Jason Scott. Well, actually, we didn’t meet until the next day, at school. These two bozos, Bulk and Skull, were pestering me like they always do. Tommy came up and scared them off. It was love at first sight for the both of us.”
When Sam got off of the plane, he found a big reception waiting. A bunch of people crowded around him, giving him hugs.
“It’s so good to finally meet you, Kim,” a young African-American girl said, “I’ve heard so much about you.”
“Her name’s Tanya Sloan, Sam,” Al said, as he appeared suddenly.
“Thank you, Tanya,” Sam said, “I’ve heard a lot about you, too.”
“The blond bombshell is named Katherine, or Kat,” Al said, “The young, Korean looking boy is Adam Park, the obviously Hispanic guy is Rocky DeSantos. The guy with the bleached blond hair is Billy Mitchell.” Sam greeted each one as Al said their names. “And the guy in black is...”
“Hey, Jason,” Sam said.
All of a sudden, they all parted, and a tall young man approached. “Hey, beautiful,” he said.
“And that’s Tommy, as you can tell,” Al said.
“Hi, Tommy,” Sam said. He let in to Kim’s instincts and threw his arms around Tommy, almost bowling the younger man over.
“How are the Pan-Globals going?” Adam asked.
“Preparations are going good,” Sam said, “We were given some time off, and on an impulse, I caught the first plane here.” He looked up, to see Tommy staring at him. “What’s wrong, Tommy?”
Tommy shook his head. “Nothing, Kimmie,” he said, “Let’s go to the Youth Center and you can tell us all about Florida.”
“Awesome,” Sam said.
“Tommy and I’ll get your luggage, Kim,” Jason said, “You guys go on ahead and bring the van around.” When the others left, Jason turned to Tommy. “What’s wrong, Tommy? I thought you’d be happy to see Kim.”
“I am,” Tommy said, “But something seems... strange. The way she hugged me seemed all wrong. Almost like the way a you or one of the guys would hug me, and she didn’t give me as much as a peck on the cheek.”
“Jet lag, I’d say,” Jason said, “Give her time. Kim will be herself in no time at all.”
Tommy smiled almost hesitantly. “Yeah, you’re probably right, bro,” he said, “Look, I need to talk to you about something. Can you come by my apartment later?”
“Sure, bud,” Jason said. They went to get Kim’s luggage, as they promised.
When only a few bags came out with Kim’s name, Tommy looked at Jason questioningly. Jason shrugged.
When they got to the Youth Center, Sam was nervous. The others were talking, and he wasn’t sure of where to jump in.
Sam wasn’t the only one being quiet. Tommy was watching him. “Penny for your thoughts, beautiful?” he asked.
“Just thinking of how much I’ve missed you,” Sam said, finally meeting Tommy’s eyes.
“Why don’t we go for a walk?” Tommy offered, “I need to talk to you about something.”
“Sure, Tommy,” Sam said. They both got up and headed for the entrance. When Tommy reached for his hand, Sam hesitated slightly. ‘If I don’t, he’ll get suspicious,’ Sam mused. He grasped Tommy’s hand. He didn’t catch Tommy’s suspicious scowl.
“Uh oh,” Adam said, “What’s up with Tommy? And with Kim. The two have barely spoken to each other. I was thinking that they’d be making out like crazy, being separated from each other for so long.”
“Tommy and I were talking about something earlier,” Jason said, “Kat, Adam, do you think that Kim’s not really acting like herself? She hardly said three words to any of us, not just Tommy.”
“She’s probably tired from the plane trip,” Tanya said, “You know, jet lag.”
“Yeah, maybe,” Jason said.
Tommy and Sam ended up by a big duck pond. “It’s beautiful,” Sam said without thinking.
“Yeah, it is,” Tommy said, “Kim, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future. W-would.. would you...” All of a sudden, some robots fell out of a weird space rip. “Cogs.” Sam instinctively went into a defensive stance. To his amazement, Tommy lifted his arms. “It’s morphin’ time. Zeo Ranger Five, Red.” A few seconds later, he was in some kind of armored costume.
Sam barely had the time to think, before the Cogs attacked. Being a master of several forms of martial arts, Sam easily defended himself. All of a sudden, some more Cogs appeared and grabbed him.
“Kim,” Tommy said, trying to get to Sam. There were too many Cogs between the two of them for Tommy to get through. The Cogs holding Sam teleported out.
“NOOOO!!!!” Tommy screamed, “Kimberly.” Then, he disappeared in a blast of red light.
Sam found himself in a strange place. “How nice of you to join us, Ms. Hart,” a voice called out. Sam spun around, to see a fat robot coming towards him. His hands went up in a defensive stance instinctively. “They warned me that you were the little spitfire.”
“Who are you?” Sam asked.
“Why, I’m King Mondo,” the robot said, “And you are my prisoner, to bring that boyfriend of yours, Tommy, here.” Mondo laughed maniacally.
“Zordon, what do we do?” Tommy asked desperately, “We’ve got to get Kim back.”
“I know, Tommy,” Zordon said, “She’s on the main space base, though, and it’s impossible to teleport in to there. You know that.”
“Yeah, I do know,” Tommy said softly. He took a box out of his shirt pocket and turned it over and over in his palm.
“I can’t tell you the specifics this time,” Al said, “All I can tell you is that a couple of friends of yours are going to kill themselves in the next week in your time. We need your help, once you get back.”
“I’ll help anyway I can,” Kim said, “What do I do?”
“Your not really going to remember what happened here,” Al said, “Not consciously, and that’s the problem. We’re hoping that you’ll have Sam’s memory of the days he’s in your place in the timeline, though we’re not exactly sure. We’re going to try our best to leap you back in at the most critical juncture. I can’t tell what’s going to happen, but we need you to go along with whatever happens after you leap back in. Do you think you can do that?”
“Yeah, I think so, Al,” Kim said, “Mind if I ask you something?”
“Shoot,” Al said.
“If you had a wonderful woman like I have Tommy,” Kim began, “Would you try to hold on to her as tightly as you can?” Al had to smile.
“That I would,” Al said, “From what you’ve told me, the two of you remind me a lot of my first wife and me. We were in love. She was the only woman I ever really loved. All of my wives after that, I did love to a certain extent, but not as deeply as my first wife.”
“What happened?” Kim asked.
“I was carted off to Vietnam,” Al said, “I was a POW for I don’t remember how many years. Meanwhile, thinking that I was dead, she remarried. I didn’t want to ruin her happiness when I finally got back, so I never saw her again. To this very day, she still thinks that I died in Vietnam.”
“You poor guy,” Kim said, giving Al a hug.
“Just promise me one thing,” Al said, “Will you?”
“Anything,” Kim replied.
“Promise me that you’ll never let Tommy go,” Al said, “Promise that you’ll love him until the day both of you die.”
“I will,” Kim said, “I promise. And even if I have to do the actual proposing, I’ll keep that promise.”
“I know you will,” Al said. He started to leave, then looked back at her over his shoulder. “Thanks for listening to me.”
“Al, just one thing,” Kim said. Al stopped in the doorway. “What happens to me and Tommy in this timeline? I mean, if I won’t remember this when I get back to my time, then what’s the harm?”
“Believe me,” Al said, “You’re better off not knowing.”
“I believe that’s my decision to make,” Kim said stubbornly, crossing her arms over her chest.
“All right, I’ll tell you,” Al said, “The two people that commit suicide. They’re not friends of yours. One of them is you and one of them is of Tommy.” Kim didn’t say anything, she was so shocked. “Now that I’ve revealed that much, I might as well tell you most of the plan. When we leap you back, hopefully it’ll be right as Tommy’s about to propose to you.”
“Oh,” Kim squeaked in a small voice.
“I’m sorry I said anything,” Al said. With that, he left. Kim sank down to the floor and started crying.
“Admiral Calavicci, I believe that Doctor Beckett is in trouble,” Gushie said, “His vitals are showing that he’s under attack.”
“I’m on it,” Al said, grabbing up a handlink and stepping into the imaging chamber. A few seconds later, he found himself in a strange room. Sam was there, along with a bunch of robots.
“Sire, sensor register something strange onboard,” a robot with a distinctly Scottish accent said.
“I see it,” Mondo said. He walked up to Al. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”
Tommy was pacing the floor of the Power Chamber like a caged animal. “It’s not doing you any good to do that,” Billy advised, “Why don’t you go to the Youth Center or something? Working out always seemed to help when you felt like this. I’ll call you the minute something comes up.”
Tommy reluctantly nodded and teleported out. When he got to the Youth Center, he went inside and headed for the heavy bag. He then proceeded to almost literally beat the stuffing out of it.
“Hey, Tommy. What’s wrong?” Tommy spun, to see Adam and Tanya walking up, hand in hand.
“Kim was kidnapped by Mondo,” Tommy said. He did a spinning side kick that knocked the heavy bag right off the set up.
“Whoa, take it easy,” Tanya said, “There’s something else wrong. What is it?”
Tommy hesitated, then pulled a box out of his shirt pocket. “I was going to ask Kim to marry me when she was abducted,” he said, opening the box, revealing a stunning engagement ring.
“Wow,” Adam said, “No wonder you’re so wound up. I would be too, under the circumstances.”
“Hey, Tommy,” Ernie said, as he came over. He gestured at the heavy bag. “Want to talk about it?”
“No thanks,” Tommy said, “I’m really sorry for knocking it off like that.” He stepped over to help Ernie get it hung back up.
“It’s all right,” Ernie said, “Happens all the time. I need to get a new chain, so it would quit doing that. What’s wrong?” He leaned in closer. “Does it have something to do with the Rangers?” Tommy’s shocked expression was all the answer he needed. “Come on into the back, and I’ll explain how I know.” Tommy nodded and allowed himself to be ushered by Ernie.
When they got to the back, Tommy turned to Ernie. “How long have you known?” he asked.
“Almost since the beginning,” Ernie replied, “I’m stupid, after all. I was just hoping that you kids would tell me yourselves sometime. Besides, who do you think covers for you when you guys have to rush out of here?”
“Nobody said you were stupid, Ernie,” Tommy said, “We’ve just had to keep it from you, because it’s a rule. Oh, and thanks.”
“You’re welcome,” Ernie said, “So, what’s on your mind?”
“Well, for one thing, Kim’s back in town,” Tommy said, “You can imagine how I feel about that.” Ernie nodded. “She was captured by the new bad guys, the Machine Empire, right when I was about to propose to her by the lake. I just don’t know how to handle it. Like I said, I’m really sorry I knocked the heavy bag off the chain.”
“It’s all right, Tommy,” Ernie said, “It just shows that you need to burn off this anger. Imagine what would have happened if it had been Jason or one of the guys.”
Tommy winced. “All right, I see your point,” he said, “But the only other thing that helps me with anger is being a Ranger, and who knows when the Machine Empire will attack next.”
“Well, how about lifting weights? That seems to help you sometimes,” Ernie offered.
Tommy grinned. “Sounds like just what the doctor ordered,” he said, “Maybe I’ll break Jason’s record, while I’m at it.”
“That’s the spirit,” Ernie said, “Now, get out there and quit beating up on my equipment.” Tommy laughed softly at the joke and left the room. Ernie was close behind him.
Sam was roughly thrown into a cell. “And here I was thinking that they were hospitable aliens,” Al joked, as he reappeared.
“Al, this isn’t a joke,” Sam said, “This ‘Machine Empire’ means business.”
“Sorry, Sam,” Al said, “Banged up any?”
“Just my pride was hurt,” Sam said, “So far, at least. I hope Tommy, Jason and the others get me out.”
“Oh, that reminds me,” Al said, “How in the world did you know Jason before I told you his name?”
“I had him as a student last year, that’s how,” Sam said, “And I literally mean a year ago, from this year.”
“Ziggy says that there’s a possibility that, if I go to the Power Rangers headquarters, their mentor Zordon can see me,” Al said, “I’ll go and tell him to tell Tommy that you, and Kim, is all right.”
“Don’t take too long, Al,” Sam said, “I don’t want to be here on my own for too long.”
“You got it, Sam,” Al said. He punched a few keys, and the usual doorway appeared, which he stepped through.
Sam sighed. “This is going to be one long leap,” he said. He laid down on the floor and got as comfortable as he could, and fell asleep.
The minute Al entered the Power Chamber, sirens went off. “Ay yi yi,” Alpha said, “Intruder alert, intruder alert.” He took a look around. “Where is the intruder?”
“It’s okay, Alpha,” Zordon said, “I have the intruder well in hand. Now, what brings you here?”
“I am from what you would consider the future,” Al said, “All I can tell you is that a friend of mine has switched places with a girl that used to be one of your Rangers, to help prevent two suicides: one of the same girl my friend has leaped into, and one of the most important person in that person’s life. I also came to tell you that Kimberly Hart is safe. Don’t ask me how, because I can’t tell you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go check about something.” With that, he stepped through the doorway and left.
“That was odd,” Zordon said, “Alpha, search for the energy pattern of the intruder. I want to see what he meant by checking something.” Alpha went into action, doing what Zordon ordered.
Al reappeared in the Youth Center, right in the middle of the workout mats. He looked around. All of a sudden, someone tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” the person said. Al spun around, to see a young Asian woman standing behind him. “But who are you, and how did you just appear like that?”
“That would be very hard to explain, even if I could,” Al said, “Most people can’t see me, and it has to look like you’re talking to yourself.” The girl took the hint and walked away, and never even looked at him the rest of the time.
“Trini?” Al turned slightly, to see Billy rushing up to embrace the Asian woman he was just talking to.
“Trini, it’s so good to see you,” Billy said, “And I know Tommy and Jason are going to be glad. And Richie.”
“Richie’s not the reason I’m here, Billy,” Trini said, “He never wrote me, in the entire time I was at the Peace Conference. You are.”
“What do you mean?” Billy stammered. To answer him, Trini pulled him into a long, sensual kiss, which resulted in a chorus of ooh’s from everyone in the Youth Center, along with an “about time.” Al looked to see who had said that, to find Jason grinning at his two old friends.
Seeing that what, or who actually, he had come for wasn’t there, Al called the doorway up and stepped through it.
Kim was starting to get frustrated. When she had talked to Al, just not too long ago, she could remember Tommy’s name, but now, it seemed to dance along the edges of her conscious mind.
‘I’m getting as bad as he is, with my bad memory,’ Kim mused, ‘Maybe I just need some sleep.’ She laid down on the bunk and drifted off to sleep.
Tommy was in bad shape all that night. He couldn’t get any rest. All of a sudden, his communicator went off. “I read you, Zordon,” he said softly, “What’s up?”
“I didn’t think you were asleep, Tommy,” Zordon said, “Please come to the Power Chamber immediately. There’s something here you’ll want to see.”
“Be right there, “ Tommy said. He sprang out of bed and threw some clothes on, not noticing that it was a white shirt he had thrown on. He teleported to the Power Chamber. “What’s so important?”
“Watch the viewing globe,” Zordon said. Tommy turned his attention to the crystal ball looking contraption
“Ah, Red Ranger,” a young man on the screen said, “How good it is to finally meet you.” He was wearing a black and gold costume. “I’ve heard that someone close to you has been kidnapped by the Machine Empire, correct?”
“Yes, it is correct,” Tommy said, “Who are you?”
“I am Lord Trey, of Triforia,” the young man said, “Known through most galaxies as the Gold Ranger. And I can help you get your loved one back. I have a sonic shield scrambler, one specifically set to disrupt a force field put up by the Machine Empire. You and I can go in, get whoever it is, and hopefully have enough time to get out before the shield’s go back up. Are you willing to risk it?”
“Anything to get Kim back, Trey,” Tommy said, “And I do mean anything. But, how do we know she’s okay?”
Zordon cleared his throat, to get Tommy’s attention. “Someone came to the Power Chamber a short while ago,” he said, “He insisted that Kim is all right, though he wouldn’t elaborate on how he knew.”
Tommy felt that the information was correct. He turned to Trey. “So, when do we start?” he asked.
A little while later, he was up in space, aboard Trey’s ship, which was called Pyramidus. “To activate the scrambler, the cloaking will be down for a second,” Trey said, “We’ll then teleport in. Do you have any idea of where prisoners are held?”
“Kind of,” Tommy said, “Zordon showed me blueprints of one of the Machine Empire’s usual skybases. I should be able to get us there pretty quickly.”
“Good,’ Trey said, “We’ll have to hold back on morphing, though. Mondo and the others can track that too easily. Only unless absolutely necessary, agreed?”
“Agreed, Trey,” Tommy said, “Let’s rumble.”
“You got it,” Trey said. He looked down at a computer screen. “Scrambler sent. Putting Pyramidus on autopilot. Now... let’s go.” With that, the two Rangers disappeared.
When they were released from the slightly discomforting effect of the transporter beam, Tommy and Trey quickly headed off down the corridor they were in.
Trey was holding a hand held scanner, and looked down at it every few seconds. “I’m picking up a human life sign,” he said, “From over there.” He gently grabbed Tommy’s arm, and the two went down a different corridor.
Sam was starting to get impatient, when he heard the sounds of battle outside the room he was in. All of a sudden, the door got blasted in. Sam jumped when it banged against the cell. A young stranger strolled through the door, followed by...
“Tommy!!” Sam exclaimed.
“We’ll have you out in a second, beautiful,” Tommy said. He looked at Trey, who was watching the corridor outside the room. “I’m going to have to morph to open this cage, Trey.”
Trey nodded. “Go for it,” he said, “I’ll cover you.”
Tommy brought his hands up in a strange gesture, to where the wrists just met. “Zeo Ranger 5, Red,” he cried. In a few seconds, he was morphed. He took out his Zeo pistol and shot the lock to the door. It was fried instantly, opening the door. “The cavalry has arrived, Kimmie.” He held out a hand to Sam to help him out of the cell. Sam took it, and all three teleported away.
Later that day, Tommy and Sam went for a walk in the park. “It’s been one hell of a day, huh Kim?” Tommy asked.
“That it has,” Sam said. Tommy stayed quiet the rest of the way to a platform overlooking the small duck pond they had visited earlier.
Tommy didn’t see a bright flash of blue light wash over Sam. He had his back turned, thinking. Then, he felt Kim’s small hands on his shoulders, massaging them.
“Hmm, that feels good, beautiful,” he purred.
“I’m glad,” Kim said, “What’s on your mind, Tommy? You haven’t said much on the whole trip here.”
“I’ve just been, you know, thinking,” Tommy said.
“About what?” Kim asked.
“Just about things,” Tommy said, and stuck his hand into his pocket fiddling with a little box there. “Kim there’s something I’ve been wanting to know for a long time.” He took out a box and opened it. Inside was a stunning ring. He dropped to one knee. “Will you marry me?”
Kim was taken back momentarily, then threw her arms around his neck enthusiastically. “Oh, yes, yes,” she cried, “I will marry you.”
“Then come on,” Tommy said, with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “What’s stopping us? We’re both eighteen, so we don’t need parental consent. This can be just as easily turned into a wedding band.”
“Now? Tommy, what about school? And my parents? They’ll never accept that we’re married. And both of our parents will hate us forever if they can’t be there to see it.”
“Then, we’ll invite them,” Tommy said, “And we can still go to school. Come on, Kim. Let’s be spontaneous. Let’s go out and get married.”
Kim didn’t want to admit it, but she was thrilled with the idea. “All right,” she said, “Let’s do it. Let’s get married.” Tommy was so happy, he picked her up and swung her around.
Then they went to Tommy’s house, and from there called her mom. They were told no in both instances.
“We’re not letting them stop us, are we?” Tommy asked.
“No,” Kim said, grinning. “Reno’s just a few hours from here. We can go, get married, and have a nice little honeymoon there.”
“No, not Reno,” Tommy said, “No bride of mine’s going to be married in Reno.” He paused mischievously. “We’re going to Vegas.”
Al was sitting around the main control room for Project: Quantum Leap. All of a sudden, a young woman appeared out of nowhere. Al’s jaw dropped as he realized who it was: Kim. “I’ll have the calculation in just a minute, Al,” she said, typing in commands into a console.
“All right, Kim,” Al said, “How’s Tommy?”
“He’s doing great,” Kim said, “He’s in Daytona, working to get enough money to pay for the time when the big day comes.” She patted her stomach, which had a huge bulge.
“How far along are you?” Al asked.
“About seven months,” Kim replied.
“Please, act like we’ve never met before,” Al said, “Tell me something’s, like what happened after you two got married.”
“We went to Las Vegas, like we had planned,” Kim said, “We invited all of our friends down there. Halfway through the ceremony, Tommy’s parents and my mom showed up. Tommy and I were both scared. We were sure they were going to break up the wedding...” Her voice droned on, and Al found himself picturing everything she said perfectly in his mind.
“No son of mine is going to get married in a dump like this,” Mr. Oliver said, “Give the three of us a few days, and we’ll have you a real, first rate wedding.” With that, Tommy hugged his parents, and so did Kim. Kim took the license and the money they had given the “minister” back, and they left.
A few days later, they were going through the real deal. Tommy and his father was the first to come down the aisle, along with Jason, Tommy’s best man, and Justin, a student of Tommy’s. Tommy had talked Kim into letting the kid be ring bearer.
Kim was the last to come out, with, Billy (her father had died the year prior, so Billy was happy to give her away in his stead), Trini, Aisha, Kat, and Becky. Trini was her maid of honor, while Aisha, Kat, and Becky were her bridesmaids. She would’ve picked Tanya, too, but she didn’t know Tanya very well.
Tommy found himself having a hard time swallowing. Kim had on a beautiful bridal gown, one that she had designed herself, with the other girls’ help. Trini, Aisha, Kat, and Becky were in similar dresses.
Down the aisle stood Mr. Kaplan, Bulk, Skull, and Lieutenant Stone, the ushers.
In the first aisle, sat Kim’s mom, Tommy’s mom, and along with Zack, Rocky, Adam, and Tanya. Even Trey was sitting with them, though absolutely no one knew who he was, except for the bride and groom.
Presiding over the ceremony was a shock, as the minister walked up to a podium. The jaw of every Ranger, past and present, dropped, as they recognized him.
It was Zordon. Though he was in a human disguise, the Rangers spent too many years with the man not to recognize him. “Are we ready?” he asked. Tommy and Kim stumbled with the answer, so they just nodded.
“We are gathered her today,” Zordon began, “To join these two in holy matrimony. I, for one, know that this day has been long in coming for many years now, since they first met. For all the few differences the two have had in the past, their lives have led up to this time, this place. And their love will span the ages.
“And now, the rings,” Zordon said. Justin handed Tommy the ring he had originally given Kim as an engagement ring, but what was now a wedding band. Justin then handed a small ring that her mother had gotten her to give to Tommy.
“Do you, Thomas Lucas Oliver, take Kim to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, to put above all else, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, until death do you part?”
“I do,” Tommy said, slipping his ring onto Kim’s finger.
“And do you, Kimberly Ann Oliver, take Tommy to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to put above all else, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, until death do you part?”
“I do,” Kim said softly, slipping her ring onto Tommy’s finger.
“Then, by the power invested to me,” Zordon said, “By the state of California, by the people in attendance, and by God himself, I pronounce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride.” Zordon knew that those were the few words Tommy had been waiting for all of his life.
Tommy reached up and gently cupped the side of Kim’s face. She then stretched up, and he bent down slightly. When their lips met, everybody in attendance could feel the electricity of it.
After the ceremony, the Rangers cornered Zordon and Alpha, who was in the audience the whole time.
“I don’t get it, Zordon,” Kim said, “Not that I’m glad you’re here. I mean, I am glad you could make it, but how are you here?”
“A once in a lifetime event has occured,” Zordon said, “The planets have all been aligned, giving me the power to temporarily leave my time warp tube. And I just couldn’t miss this.” He took Kim’s hands up gently. “Kim, out of all the female Rangers I have ever lead, even those here, you have always been the most optimistic. You’re the absolute closest thing I’ve got to a daughter.”
“Thank you, Zordon,” Kim said, with tears in her eyes. Zordon smiled, gave her a kiss on the forehead, then went to Tommy.
“You have changed a lot, Green Ranger,” he said.
“Green Ranger.” Tommy chuckled. “It’s been so long since I’ve been called that, I’m surprised that I could remember it, with my bad memory.”
“You remember it because it brought you to your soulmate,” Zordon said, “Now, take care of Kim, or I’ll come after you.”
Tommy laughed. “I will, Zordon,” he said softly. The two then hugged.
“I wish you two all the happiness that I would wish upon myself, and more,” Zordon said, “And I hope that you have a long marriage, and have lots of kids. In fact, I’m sure of it.” With that, Zordon teleported back to the Power Chamber, and the Rangers returned to the reception.
“Not too long after that,” Kim said, “I returned to Florida, with Tommy in tow. He had given his place on the team to Billy, who had been itching to get back into action. It’s been years since I’ve seen any of them.”
“That’s bad,” Al said, “What happened after that?”
“Tommy got into racing in Florida,” Kim said, “I went back to Angel Grove a couple of years later, to visit my friends, and had a special surprise. It turned out that Billy and Trini had gotten married. All of my friends had came into town. The Machine Empire had been beaten, and the Zeo Rangers were retired. Zordon found a way to go back to Eltare.
“Ever since then, Tommy and I have barely gotten by on his racing winnings,” Kim said, “We moved, and I got a job here. I make semi-good money, and I’m really happy, Al.”
“And I’m happy for you, kiddo,” Al said. Kim turned back to the console. Al watched her for a little longer, then turned away, wishing there could be warning of changes Sam makes in the timeline.