"Would you like to know what really happened?" His voice
faded, slowly and his face bore the pain he felt inside.
The color drained from Tommy's face, and for the first time realized the possible age of the being standing before him.
The being raised his left hand and a very different, frightening image was displayed in midair. The gun fired and as he fell to the sand, the gun still held in his hand, he was teleported from the beach to the Command Center. Where Zordon and Alpha 5 received a terrifying dose of reality as his body materialized on the floor. Alpha 5 didn't need to be told to teleport Tommy to the hospital. Blood covered the floor.
"Alpha, awaken the Rangers . . . tell them not waste time getting dressed." Zordon's voice was heavy with despair.
At the hospital, several doctors and nurses stood at the emergency room desk. It had been a very slow night, for a change!
One of the nurses turned, "Doctor . . . " her voice echoed with the sudden discovery of the body, motionless, on the hospital floor. The doctors and nurses jumped into action! Emergency treatment began, x-rays and blood tested were ordered. A surgical team and theater were put on stand by. The fight to save the boy's life began!
A nurse recognized the teenager. "I know this boy . . . he's a friend of my sons! His name is Tommy Oliver." Her name tag said "LEE" on it.
"Oliver . . . the new chief of Police . . . that Oliver?" One of the doctors present exclaimed.
The same doctor yelled to another nurse to contact Tommys' parents, immediately.
Back at the Command Center, the five half-awake Rangers appeared, wearing their robes.
Zack, rubbing his eyes, "What's the emergency, Zordon?"
Billy noticed the blood almost immediately. "What happened here!" He inquired with a sense of urgency.
Alpha 5 pointed the viewing globe, his entire body slumped forward so if he were in pain.
Kimberly and Trini jumped at the sound of the gun going off, and both girls screamed as Tommy's body fell to the sand.
"Alpha 5 has teleported him to the hospital, where he is undergoing treatment now."
"Kimberly, there is a message coming in, on your answering machine," Alpha 5 said . . . his voice barely rose above a whisper.
"Kim, its Jeff Oliver, Tommy's brother . . . Tommy shot himself tonight." The boy's voice was completely without any emotion. "My mom told me not to call you or Jason, but I knew you guys would want to know. There was no answer at Jason's house. I overheard part of the conversation my dad had with the hospital." His voice faded slightly. "He may die!" The boy began to lose control as his voice broke with fear. "Bye!"
The five Rangers stood, in shock, as the realization of what they had just witnessed sank in.
Jason was the first speak, "We'd better get dressed and go to the hospital, now."
"Why?" Kim asked in a small frighten voice.
"I know," Trini replied in the same tone of voice.
She proceeded to tell them what Tommy had said2. He would try to fight off Lord Zedd, but he didn't know if he could.
They all teleported, from the Command Center, to their respective homes.
Shortly thereafter, the five teens gathered together outside the hospital.
"I don't want to get Jeff in trouble!" Kim said trying to the keep from crying again, because her face already showed the fact.
"Just as I teleported back into my room, my dad knocked on my door," Jason said. "I jumped into bed still wearing my robe!" He paused for a second. "Anyway, my mom had called and told my dad to use his judgement whether or not to tell me about Tommy. So we can say that she called me."
"Will she get in trouble?" Zack asked.
"I don't think so . . . she knows Tommy and I are friends, so she figured, according to my dad, that I had right to know."
"Ok!" Billy said as he and the others started toward the emergency entrance of the hospital.
Tommy's parents were in the waiting room talking to one of doctors, as the five teens entered the room.
"I told Jeff not to call any of you!" Marsha Oliver said rather abruptly as she saw the kids come around the corner.
Jason's mother saw her son, and informed Tommy's mother that she had called home. "Tommy and Jason were friends, and she felt that Jason should be told."
As Mrs. Oliver looked into the eyes of the five teenagers, she knew that Jason's mother was right.
The doctor left, and Frank Oliver turned to his wife and said grimly, "Marsha, the doctors are taking Tommy into surgery. We should know more about his condition in an hour or so." A sorrowful look of despair spread over Frank Olivers' face as he gathered his wife into his arms. "The doctors aren't to optimistic about his condition."
After a few minutes, he turned his attention to his son's friends. "Do any of you know why Tommy would do something like this?" His voice echoed with anger, fear, and frustration.
"No Sir!" Jason answered avoiding eye contact Tommy's father. The other teens all shook their heads in agreement with Jason.
A nurse came to escort the group down to the surgical waiting area, where Trini and Kimberly convinced Marsha Oliver to sit down. Her face had lost all of its color, and they were afraid she might pass out!
The time passed at a snails pace, and all they could do was wait!
After what seemed like hours, the doctor came out. His face lacked any emotion of any kind.
Frank and Marsha Oliver braced for the worst. The five teens knew bad news when they saw it. They lowered their heads in sadness at the death of their friend!
Dr. Burns, the attending physician, cleared his throat and began speaking. "Your son is ONE lucky kid!" He held up, to the light, the x-ray that had been taken prior to going into surgery.
"The bullet missed the brain all together." He showed them the path the bullet had taken on the x-ray. "It entered the skull here, missed the brain by a centimeter, before exiting, straight up."
His parents and the five teens began to celebrate. Instead of tears of grief, the tears were now joyful. However, the doctor broke their moment of joy.
"However, he's not out of the woods yet." His voice piercing returning them all to reality.
"What do you mean . . . he's not out of the woods yet?" Frank Oliver express sharply.
"Your son is in a deep COMA. His condition is stable yet critical. I'm having him transferred to the intensive care unit as we speak." He paused to take a breath. "There's no guarantee his condition won't change. Injuries to the brain are unpredictable, now all we can do is wait."
"Can we see him, please!" Marsha Oliver pleaded.
"When he is settled, I'll have a nurse from ICU come and get you. Family ONLY!" The doctor expressed rather abruptly.
"Doctor, these kids are friends of our son, and I've read that familiar voices can help a comatose patient recover. I want their names placed on the Visitors' list." Frank Oliver responded just as abruptly as the doctor had. "Is that understood?"
The waiting room scene was replaced by the drab setting of the intensive care unit, and the gruesome picture emerged.
Tommy was connected to all sorts of different monitors. IV bottles and tubes hung from various places around him. His head was covered entirely, with a single tube coming out from under the bandages.
Jason's mother was the nurse who came to get the group. "It looks worse than it really is." She said before opening the door. "He is breathing on his own. There is a tube protruding from the bandages around his head, but it is there just as a precaution."
Marsha Oliver was the first to faint, followed by Kimberly and Trini. All three were taken into another room and revived.
The life form froze the image of Tommy in the hospital.
Terror shown on Tommy's ashen face, as he at looked the scene before him, trembling.
"You were in a coma for four months. Jason, Zack, and Trini did not go to the peace conferences. Between school, their jobs, and Zedd, they spent most of their time at the hospital."
As the hospital scene changed, Trini was helping Tommy's mother out of the room, and into another, so she could lie down and rest.
Kimberly sat holding Tommy's hand, and gave him a piece of her mind. "Of all the stupid, dump things to do . . . you HATE guns. If you weren't already in this hospital bed, I'd put here myself, Thomas Oliver." Her voice crackled with fear, angry, and frustration. Kimberly felt helpless. Her first serious boyfriend lay unconscious, and there was nothing she could do.
Several tears fell from her eyes as she remembered the first time she had seen him3. Jason, Zack, and Billy must have thought she had lost all sense of reality when she unconsciously commented about how CUTE he was. After the competition, she and Trini had discussed his appearance - GORGEOUS.
Even the next day at school, when Bulk tried to impress her with his macho image, he had come to her rescue. Scaring the daylights out of both Bulk and Skull, with a demonstration of his martial arts abilities.
She remembered other times when thoughts of him gave her strength4. Being sucked into a jar wasn't the most pleasant way to end what had already been a rotten day.
After Lord Zedd had stripped the Green Rangers' power5 from him, Kimberly didn't think she would ever see Tommy again.
Once again she gave him a piece of her mind, "If you weren't already in this bed, I'd put you there myself." This time her voice crumbled with sobs of anguish.
She felt something . . . Tommy was squeezing her hand ever so lightly. "TOMMY . . . Open your eyes!" She squeezed his hand back, and slowly his eyes opened.
In a faint whisper Tommy said, "I'm glad I'm already in this bed . . . Fire Birds' pack a pretty good wallop."
Kim jumped up nearly knocking the IV unit over, just as Trini entered the room. As she pulled her friend into the room, "He's awake, Trini!" Tears of joy now trailed down her face.
"What . . . Tommy!" Trini looked toward the bed, and her eyes also filled with tears of joy. Both girls, one on each side, held his hand for several minutes.
It was Trini who remembered the guys! She struggled to regain her composure before opening the hospital room door. She mumbled ever so quietly into Jason, Zack and Billy ears', so not to alert the hospital staff.
Each one of the boys got up separately, and walked into the hospital room. Trini didn't want wake Tommys' mother because she hadn't had much sleep, maintaining a constant vigil at her oldest sons' bedside.
The six friends spent almost an hour together before letting the hospital staff and his mother know that he was awake.
His mother can't contain her joy, as the tears of a mother's prayers being answered, fell freely down her face.
Jason volunteered to call Tommy's father, and since nobody stopped him, he did!
"Chief," Frank Oliver's secretary interrupted the meeting that was in progress when Jason called. "It's Jason from the hospital!" Her blank expression gave no indication of the phone call.
As Frank Oliver picked up the phone, he braced himself for the news.
"Chief," Jason said "Tommy's awake!" His voice was full of happiness and joy.
"Jason, this is not the time for jokes!"
"I'm not joking, Chief . . . Tommy's awake!"
Several tears fell from Frank Oliver's eyes as he put the phone back into its' cradle. The other people in the meeting assumed the worst, and their heads slowly bowed in silent grief.
His father let out the biggest and loudest shout for joy, as he jumped to his feet. "Tommy's awake! . . . He's awake!"
Everyone in the room breathed a sigh of relief, as shouts of joy from others echoed, throughout the second floor of the Angel Grove Police station building.
The meeting could wait until tomorrow, his son was more important.
"It took five months of painful rehabilitation for you to get back on your feet. Kimberly, several times, as the Pink Ranger, dumped you out of the bed." The image projected showed the Pink Ranger pushing him out of bed, and standing there with her hands on her hips.
"It took three months, working with Jason, to get you back up to your present martial arts level. After which he, Zack, and Trini replaced the three delegates at the peace conferences. An entire year was lost because you felt it was the only way to protect your friends."
Tears now fell from Tommy's eyes as reality set in, what had he put his parents, his friends, and Kimberly through.
The life form moved over toward the upset teen, and sat down on the lounge chair next to him. "What you just witnessed DID NOT happen, this time. I changed the future when I knocked the gun out and away from your head."
Tommy looked into the big brown eyes of the life form, and found that he spoke the truth.
"You changed the future . . . how?"
"When I knocked the gun out and away from your head, the only injury you received was this." Tommy suddenly remembered the bandage on his temple as the life form pushed his hair out of his face.
"On the card that accompanied the flowers I sent when your grandfather passed away," Paladar` replied after a pause of several minutes. "I had written, "May the Power of the Light comfort you in your time of sorrow, as for the Light of Power shines brightly from within."
"I still have that card," Tommy replied just above a whisper. "I have no idea what it means!"
"Perhaps it isn't time yet," Paladar` said as he stood up. "When the time is right, you will understand what the card means!"
"Why don't you get some rest," Paladar` replied as he picked up a blanket from off the seat of his picnic table.
Tommy didn't want to sleep, he wanted answers. There were so many questions running through his mind, he didn't know where to start.
"There will be time for questions later, but first you need to rest!" Paladar` said as he handed the blanket to the teenager, and began walking toward the house.
Before Tommy could respond, the life form had disappeared into the house. "Of all the . . . ," Tommy thought as he stretched out on the lounge chair, and covered himself with the blanket.
Soon after, the former Green Ranger was fast asleep.
Footnotes and References:
2. Welcome to Venus Island.
3. Green with Evil, Part 1.
4. Calamity Kimberly.
5. Green No More, Part 2.