Pyramidas, though spacious enough, was very cramped to all the passengers aboard. Almost 100 Triphorian soldiers were aboard the space war vessel, armed and ready for a ground battle. Up in the control room, the Gold Ranger, better known to the soldiers as Trey, Prince of Triphoria, piloted his vessel (known to us as a zord) through the space battlefield. He grunted in surprise as an enemy bomb hit Pyramidas, making the large ship quake.
From behind him, a small girl, no more than thirteen Earth years, put a hand on his shoulder. Her hair was long and dark brown, and she was clothed in a shimmering gold dress. The Triphorian royal black and gold stripes were painted over her right eye, and her nails were average length and painted gold. She smiled, “Why don’t you let me pilot for awhile, Trey? You’ve been flying all night, and Pyramidas can’t get any worse than it is.”
Not facing her, Trey, in ranger form, shook his head, “Can’t you see that we’re being attacked, Gloria!? Don’t disrupt me!”
“Stop whining for just one second,” Gloria screamed, “You know I can fly Pyramidas just as well as you, and yet you continually tell me I’m too young. Well, from the quake caused by that last blast you aren’t doing anyone on this ship much good!”
Using all his strength to keep from killing his sister, Trey shook his head again, “Go hang out with Dad.”
“Dad’s drunk,” Gloria said, softly, “again.”
This earned a response from Trey, who turned to face his younger sister, shocked, “Again? Gloria, why didn’t you stop him!?”
Gloria’s eyes narrowed with fury, “You’re the one that’s supposed to be watching over him, Trey, so don’t you dare blame me. If you weren’t so concerned about being the one to single-handedly win this war for Triphoria maybe Dad wouldn’t be so sick!”
Trey was going to retort but only found that he had nothing to say. Hanging his head in shame, he unmorphed and motioned to the controls, “Go ahead. I’m going to put Dad to bed. If you do anything stupid I’ll be up here in one minute to personally kill you.”
“You’re trust in me is overwhelming,” Gloria remarked, sitting down in front of the controls. As Trey left the room Gloria looked out into space through the large screen showing the outsides of the ship from all angles and began to look around for enemy ships.
Trey ran down the metal stairs of Pyramidas in his usual black outfit with gold cape. Stepping into the passenger area of the ship, he scanned the crowds of soldiers for his dad, jumping in surprise when someone touched his arm. He relaxed when he realized that the person who had touched him was just Jaime Talsik, his best friend. Jaime was about two years older and was the most flippant person that Trey knew. During a war Jaime was the one who lightened soldiers’ spirits.
Now, Jaime was clothed in a silver shirt and black slacks. He was laughing heartily with a cup of Triphorian red wine in his hand. Triphorian red wine was the best in the galaxy, and Trey knew how many people savored it’s sweet taste. _Triphorian red wine_ he thought _gets you drunk really quickly. Sometimes it only takes three rounds to get drunk. Dad..._
Judging from the goofy smile on Jaime’s face, Trey could tell that his friend was a little on the tipsy side, though he seemed to be at least partially sober. Jaime slapped him on the back happily, “Hey, Trey! You’ve finally come back to the land of the living!”
“Gloria insisted on using the controls for awhile,” Trey explained.
Jaime grinned and took a sip of his wine, “Have you tried any of this wine yet, Trey? Its been so long since I’ve had Triphorian red wine, and I realize now how much I’ve missed it.” His hazel eyes sparkled as he spoke, making Trey feel even worse about abandoning his friend so much of the time in battle. Gloria was right, Trey felt a need to be the one to win the war for his world.
Who could blame him? Most Triphorians saw him as the most powerful warrior on the planet. ‘It runs in the family’ they would say. Jaime was an excellent fighter as well, and was just slightly less experienced than Trey. While Trey and Gloria held the royal gold ranger coins, Jaime had become so well known in Triphoria that Trey’s mother and father, the king and queen of Triphoria, had awarded him the silver ranger coin.
Even though Jaime was a great fighter, Trey still had a habit of leaving him behind when he went to fight in battle. This habit would cause horrible arguments between the two friends, but they usually ended with Trey promising to take Jaime with him the next time. He usually never did, which surprised even him. Trey didn’t know why he didn’t like bringing Jaime along. Jaime was a wonderful warrior, and, though he was known to joke around, he was always dead serious when it came to fighting a war. What was it, then? He didn’t really know, but maybe it was because he wanted to be the one to win the battles and the wars...not him and Jaime.
At the moment, however, Jaime was in the lightest of spirits; he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. Trey couldn’t help but envy Jaime some of the time. He had a great life, having left his family early on to become a Triphorian soldier. Trey was buckled down with the pressures of being in the royal family, plus, the responsibilities of taking care of his younger sister and his weakened father, who was an alcoholic.
Despite knowing that his Dad was no where in sight, Trey smiled, “How many rounds have you had, Jaime? You definitely aren’t sober.”
Jaime chuckled, “Is it really that obvious?” Trey just nodded, making Jaime laugh even harder, “Don’t worry. This is only my second cup.”
Trey laughed faintly, “Please don’t pass out like you did at that party at the palace a few months ago. It took three hours and a lot of slapping to get you up that time.”
Even though he was intoxicated, Jaime could still tell that something was wrong with his best friend, “Why the down expression, Trey? If you keep that frown on your face you’ll ruin my drunken spirits!”
Trey sighed before scanning the room again, “You haven’t seen my dad, have you?”
Jaime looked around for a minute, thinking. He ran a hand through his short brown hair before answering, “No, I haven’t seen him. Why? Is he OK?”
“Gloria said that she heard he was drinking again.”
Jaime frowned, “See, when you came down I knew you weren’t going to let me have any fun, Trey. Well, I might as well return this wine because its obvious I won’t be drinking any more.”
Trey averted his eyes, guiltily, “Jaime, I’m sorry. Listen, I was just wondering if you’d seen him. You can stay here while I go look for him--”
“...and let you ditch me again?” Jaime smiled weakly, “No way, Man. I’m not letting you do that to me.” Setting his wine on a table nearby, he rejoined with Trey and the two men pushed past the people in the room to go look for the king.
- * *
The two men, having completed looking in the passenger areas, decided that they should look in the lower levels of Pyramidas. While walking down a flight of metal stairs Trey couldn’t help but laugh as he saw his friend was paying the price for doing so much after being drunk, “Jaime, you look as green as a tulupa fruit.”
“I feel like I’m going to throw up a tulupa fruit,” Jaime groaned, clutching his stomach, “Why does that wine have to taste so damn good!? If it tasted awful I definitely wouldn’t have drank enough to get buzzed like I did.”
“You have to start being more conservative,” Trey said, “Maybe you should lay off the wine while we’re still on the ship.”
Jaime chuckled, “Let’s not get carried away, Trey. I don’t feel that sick. Besides, I don’t want to become a goody goody like you.”
Trey was about to respond, when the two heard a soft moaning coming from the bottom of the stairwell. Jaime’s eyes widened, “Is that him?”
Trey didn’t respond. Instead, he took off down the metal stairs with Jaime right on his heels. When they reached the bottom of the stairs they found the king lying on the cold metal floor of the engine room, clutching his stomach. Trey was quickly by his side, checking for injuries, “Dad, you knew that you weren’t healthy! Why the hell did you get drunk!?”
“It was Triphorian red wine, my boy,” the king, Philip of Triphoria, explained, his speech slurred, “You must always drink Triphorian red wine.”
“One day this alcohol craving of yours is going to kill you!” Trey exclaimed, “Do you want to die!?”
The king laughed heartily, “Trey, my boy, you would become king if I were to die.”
“Your people need you!” Trey yelled, “Especially in the middle of a war!”
“Have patience with your old man, Trey,” The king said, “I will be more careful.”
Slowly, Trey pulled his stout father to his feet, and propped him against the wall. Jaime, who had been standing by the stairs motionlessly, stepped forward, “Should I get your mother?”
Trey looked at his father, who was sweating heavily, before responding, “No. Just bring some of the guards down here so that we can lift him up the stairs. There’s no point in worrying my mother while she’s at the party.”
Jaime nodded, and was about to leave when the intoxicated king grabbed his arm, smiling, “Jaime! You seem to have gotten even stronger since this mission began!”
Not knowing how to respond, Jaime just nodded politely, “Thank you, my Lord.”
Though he tried to pull away, the king would not let him, “If I die, Jaime, my son will be king. When Trey is king I want you to be his bodyguard. Take care of him.”
Jaime glanced at Trey before nodding again, “I’ll die for your son, my Lord.”
“You are a good boy, Jaime,” the king continued, “As I recall, it was because of my son and your fighting that we won the battle of Feltor.”
“I’m honored to serve you and my planet, my Lord.”
The king coughed before continuing, “You are truly a model warrior.” Letting him go, the king touched the black and gold stripes over his right eye and motioned for Jaime to get nearer to him. Once he had, the king put the fingers that had been on his eye on the younger man’s forehead. After doing this, he put his hand over the black and silver stripes on Jaime’s eye. The king sighed in contentment and pulled his hand away, “Go, do what you must, and do not think that I have done what I did because I am drunk. I have been meaning to do it for a long time.”
For a minute Jaime couldn’t move. Though anyone on Earth would have puzzled by what the king had done, Jaime knew that it was a gesture that any Triphorian would kill for. The king had given him the royal touch, which meant that the king had literally said that Jaime was of equal power as the royal family. He was shocked. Never in his life had he dreamed of getting the royal touch. The only people that got the royal touch were soldiers who kings admired for bravery and strength. Jaime didn’t feel like that. Sure, he would die for the king, for Trey, for his planet, but he had never seen that as bravery. He had seen it as what he was required to do.
Others had said that he was a good warrior because of his loyalty towards his planet and his courageous, but he never paid them much mind. Yes, he was loyal to the throne, but not brave. When at war he was always frightened...but it was more for the king and the royal family’s safety than his own. Silently, he prayed that he would live up to this unimaginable honor.
Trey, who was as startled as Jaime by what his father had done, felt awful when he touched his best friend’s shoulder, “Um, we need to get soldiers down here to help my dad up.”
Concentrating on the task at hand again, Jaime nodded, “Right. I’ll be back.” With that, he began the long climb up the stairs, doing his best to push what had just happened out of his mind.
- * *
On Earth, it was a hot day. Too hot for spring. Teams of workers, both paid and volunteers, were forcing themselves to continue the rebuilding of Angel Grove despite the awful heat. Some men and women worked so hard that they passed out under the harsh rays of the sun and were lucky that there were medical staff members on almost every corner.
By the rubble of what used to be the Youth Center was Emily Johnson who was cursing under her breath as she dug into the scorched soil with a shovel. Her usually silky blond hair hung in sweaty knots from her head. Perspiration made her face shine, and her orange shirt and blue jeans were brown from dirt. Setting her shovel down on the broken sidewalk, she looked across the cracked street at her boyfriend, Jason Scott, who was helping another man lift a wooden board onto a truck. She groaned, “Help me find Tommy so that I can kill him with this shovel.”
After setting the board down, Jason walked across the street. His red tank top was moist with sweat, and his brown hair was matted down. Jason’s face was bright red, as were his arms, while his legs, clothed by his black shorts, were still white. He smiled, “I’m guessing someone is a little cranky today.”
“That’s not the half of it,” Emily muttered, “I feel good about doing this, but its such hard work!”
“As we knew it would be,” Jason said. He sighed, “I’m tired, too. Plus, this heat isn’t helping, but you shouldn’t blame Tommy. If I had been the one to find out about this rebuilding thing, I would have definitely tried to get you guys to sign up, too.”
Emily grinned slyly, “It would have been easier to kill you if you had been the one to have found out about it. Tommy’s on the other side of town helping out with construction, and I don’t feel like lugging this thing with me. You’re right here. I could have hit you over the head with this thing whenever I wanted to.”
Jason laughed and kissed her cheek, which was steaming hot, “I guess you could have.” He looked down at the black watch fastened over his wrist, “Well, its time for lunch.”
“About time,” Emily said. She grinned, “Maybe I should take my shovel along. Tommy is going to be there, right?” Jason just laughed again and put his arm around her shoulders. The two walked slowly towards the dining hall.
Reaching it, they walked inside, just to find a crowd gathered around one of the tables. They were about to sit somewhere else, when they heard a familiar voice yell, “You guys don’t have to crowd around. He’s all right. Besides, if there’s a crowd around him he won’t get enough oxygen, which is what he needs right now.” Slowly, the crowd backed away.
Emily and Jason moved towards the table just to find Rocky DeSantos sitting on it, handing his best friend, Adam Park, a cup of water. Jason was instantly by his friends’ sides, “What happened?”
Seeing that Adam was too dehydrated to answer, Rocky did, “We were working and Adam said he felt light-headed. He overheated, but it wasn’t serious. I got him in here before he could pass out, and he’s not looking as pale as he was before.”
Adam, having finished the water, looked up at Jason and smiled, “The sun and I have never gotten along.”
The door to the dining hall opened and Tanya Sloan entered. Her springy hair was unusually flat, and her yellow tank top was covered with mud. She put a hand on Adam’s arm, concerned, “I heard that you passed out, and I couldn’t wait to see if you were OK.”
“I’m fine,” Adam assured her, “I didn’t pass out; I just got dehydrated, but I’m fine now.” Tanya nodded, reassured, and took a seat next to her boyfriend.
The door opened again, and Emily smirked, “Speak of the devil.”
Seeing Tommy and Kat enter, Jason chuckled, “Shhh...be nice.”
The two rushed over to Adam. Kat sighed with relief, “Tommy told me that you had passed out. We thought they may have had to take you to a hospital or something!”
Adam smiled weakly and shook his head, “No, I’m fine.”
Tommy grinned, “That’s good to hear.”
Kat, in her pink short-sleeved shirt and blue shorts sat down next to Rocky, who was wearing a stained blue tank top and black shorts. Tommy sat down near his girlfriend in his white tank top and blue shorts. While Kat’s hair hung loosely over her shoulders, Tommy’s hair was tied up with a white band. Jason took a seat across from everyone else with Emily and laughed, “Emily was being a little whiny today.”
Emily blushed, though no one could tell because her skin was so red already, “It was just because it was hot. I’m glad to be helping out.”
Tommy looked at Jason, “I thought you said you were going to come help out with construction, Bro.”
“I was going to, but they still needed help by the Youth Center.” He averted his eyes to the table, “What used to be the Youth Center, I mean.”
Adam looked at Rocky with sympathy, “I felt bad for you, Man. When I heard they made you help to get rid of the remaining corpses I couldn’t believe it.”
Rocky sighed, “It wasn’t the best job to help with depression, but it needed to be done.”
Tanya shook her head, “I couldn’t have done that. Its hard enough for me just being here in this ghost town. Angel Grove seems so empty now, even with all these people here.”
Emily nodded, “I know. When I first saw the debris from the Youth Center I couldn’t help but remember working there...meeting Jason...” her voice trailed off. Jason kissed her cheek softly, remembering, as she was, about their first meeting at the Youth Center.
Tommy looked at the floor, “Where I’m working now is near the exact spot where Tina Garcia died.”
Kat, wincing as she heard the pain in her boyfriend’s voice, put her hand on his, “I’m so sorry that you had to go through that.”
“Jeffery Garcia is staying with friends of Tina’s now until they can put him up for adoption,” Tommy told her. Though his voice sounded calm, everyone at the table knew that he was using all his might to keep from breaking down and sobbing.
Jason looked at the table in front of him, his hands folded on it. Hearing everyone’s grief just made the sorrow and anger inside him grow until he was almost sweating with the effort of keeping it bottled inside. How dare that clone, Robert, kill Rocky’s one and only love, Cassandra. How dare the evil forces on the moon make Tommy go through that horrible experience with Tina Garcia. How dare they. They were going to pay for what they’d done. He vowed at that moment to kill them. They would die for what they had done.
Tommy, noticing his best friend’s expression of anger, leaned towards him, “Jason, are you OK? You look like you’re going to explode.”
Shaken from his thoughtful state, Jason nodded, “I’m fine. Its just...I’m so mad! If ever I meet up with Rashell, Uriel, Zedd, or Rita, I swear that I will kill them.”
Rocky nodded, “If you do that, be sure that I’m there to see it.”
Adam grinned, “See it? I want to be part of it!”
Tommy smiled evilly, his eyes twinkling, “Me too. They’re going down for this, mark my words.”
“Remind me not to get in the way,” Emily remarked, “I’d be afraid that I would be caught in the brawl the four monsters will be in with you.”
Kat laughed, “I’m in. Nothing would satisfy me more than jamming a power arrow down Uriel’s throat.”
Tommy looked at her, flippantly, “Seeing you in these homicidal moods makes me love you even more.” Kat flushed.
Tanya nodded, “I’ve got my power daggers. Bam, bam!” She made motions with her fists to make her point, “Render Rita incapable of fighting and then she’ll get a dagger across the face.”
Adam chuckled, “I always thought you wouldn’t have a homicidal thought in your body, Tanya.” Tanya just grinned shrewdly in response.
- * *
Jaime led a small group of morphed Triphorian warriors down the stairs toward the king’s position. When morphed, Triphorian soldiers all looked the same. They wore black armor with a black helmet. The helmet had the Triphorian symbol on it (you know this as the symbol on the Gold Ranger’s helmet) Two green lines formed upside down triangles from the shoulders to the middle of the chest area of the soldiers.
Reaching the king, Jaime moved towards Trey, a concerned expression flashing across his soft features, “Is he OK?”
Trey nodded, “He passed out, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him. Tell the soldiers to help us carry him up to his quarters. When he wakes up he’ll have a hell of a hangover, but besides that he’ll be fine.”
Jaime sighed, relieved, “Should we morph?”
Trey looked at his father before answering, “Yeah. It’ll be hard to help them carry him if we don’t.”
“SILVER RANGER POWER!”
“GOLD RANGER POWER!”
The two friends morphed into their ranger armor. Jaime’s armor was black with the Triphorian symbol on his helmet outlined in silver. There was silver chest protection over him (the same as the gold chest protection on Trey’s armor) His gloves were white with silver embroidery, and his shoes were the same.
Trey and Jaime slowly moved the king away from the wall, supporting his shoulders. The soldiers picked up his legs, and they all made their way back upstairs.
After almost a half hour they reached the royal chamber of the king and queen. Leila, queen of Triphoria, was not in the room, allowing the king all the room on the bed. Motioning for the soldiers to leave, Trey unmorphed and sprinted to his father’s side, relieved to notice that he was still breathing.
Jaime also unmorphed and sat down in the leather chair next to the bed, sighing heavily. He glanced at the king, who was snoring softly, both full of admiration and full of puzzlement, “Why did your father do that?”
Jaime buried his face in his hands, “The royal touch. Why did he give that to me? I sure as hell don’t deserve it.”
Trey looked at his friend, confused, “Aren’t you happy? Its a huge honor.”
Jaime laughed ironically, “I never even dreamed about getting the royal touch because I never thought it would happen. Trey, I’m not some big shot hero. Yes, I’m thrilled. This is overwhelming. Right now, I don’t know if I’m going to scream for joy or cry like a baby.”
“You deserved it, Jaime,” Trey told him, “I’d hope that my word would be good enough to assure you. You’re an exceptional fighter, a great guy, and extremely loyal to Triphoria. You deserved this.”
Jaime sighed, frustrated, “You don’t understand, Trey. To get the royal touch you’re supposed to be brave. I’m not brave. All I am is a simple soldier who’s vowed my life to Triphoria. How is it that I get the royal touch and countless other men and women in this service don’t? How am I different?”
Before Trey could reply, they both heard a small groaning from the bed, “My boy, I gave you the royal touch because you are the best of the best.”
Jaime gasped and turned a deep shade of red in embarrassment before running to the bed and kneeling by the king’s side, “My Lord, I--”
“You are brave, Jaime. The bravest in my kingdom.”
Jaime shook his head, “I’m sorry, my Lord, but I don’t feel that I deserve this honor. All I do is serve my planet. I’m not a big shot hero, My Lord, and I never--”
“Silence!” the king yelled, startling both Jaime and Trey. Jaime quickly stopped talking and bowed his head in shame, feeling tears threaten to spill from his eyes. As soon as he had averted his eyes, the king spoke again, fiercely, “Raise your head, Silver Ranger. Do not hide your eyes from your king.”
Jaime slowly raised his head, begging his eyes to hold back his tears. As soon as he caught sight of his king, his eyes would not obey him, and tears began to flow. Humiliated, Jaime quickly began wiping at the tears furiously, wishing for them to stop. They didn’t. The king grabbed Jaime’s hand from his face and pulled it towards his eyes, squinting at the moist line where the tears had been wiped. He then used his other hand to wipe away more of the younger man’s tears. The king brought his hand back to his face and peered at the wet line of tears.
By now, Jaime was both mortified and scared. He had no idea what the king was doing, or what he would say. This dread did nothing to stop his weeping, and tears continued to spill from his eyes.
The king looked at Jaime, his expression unreadable, “Come closer to me, Silver Ranger.”
Jaime did as told, feeling himself shiver with fright. Whenever the king told people to get closer to him, it usually meant that they were going to be slapped...or worse... Instead of hitting him, the king looked into his eyes and traced his tears with them as they slowed to a halt. Once his crying had stopped, the king gingerly wiped the tearline away with his fingers before looking into Jaime’s eyes again, “What are you feeling right now, Silver Ranger? Tell me honestly.”
Jaime took a deep breath, thinking of how he should answer. Finally, he decided to tell the truth, “I feel ashamed.”
Jaime let out a shaky breath, terrified to find that his whole body was trembling again, “I have disrespected my king.”
The king’s eyes narrowed, “How?”
“I have cried in your presence, my Lord,” Jaime whispered. “I have lowered you to my level of grief.”
“Do you feel that I should reprimand you for this, Silver Ranger...Jaime?”
Jaime nodded slowly, “Yes, my Lord.”
Jaime turned his head to the side, not wanting to answer. The king put his hand on Jaime’s face and forced the younger man to look at him again. Jaime felt another tear escape his eye, “You should not be forced to lower yourself to anyone’s grief, my Lord. Especially mine.”
The king sighed, “How do you propose that I reprimand you?”
“Banish me, my Lord. I’m not worthy to work in your services.”
Seeing that Trey was moving forward to protest, the king put his hand up to halt him before turning back to the morose Silver Ranger, “You want me to banish you?”
Jaime shook his head, “No, my Lord, but I will leave if you wish me to.”
The king looked into Jaime’s eyes, boring into them until he felt the younger man squirm under his gaze, “I do not wish you to leave, Silver Ranger. You are honest, humble, strong, sensitive, and brave in that you could tell me the truth. This is why I gave you the royal touch, Jaime. This is why you deserved it above all the other soldiers.” Feeling weary again, the king looked toward his son, “Escort the Silver Ranger to his chamber, Son. If I do not have too much of a hangover in the morning, I will announce to the armies that I have given Jaime the royal touch.”
“Goodnight, Father,” Trey said, quietly. Putting his hand on Jaime’s shoulder, he helped his friend to rise.
Jaime looked at the king again, seeing that he was already asleep. “Thank you, my Lord,” he whispered. He and Trey left the room and walked down the hall to Jaime’s chamber.
Once reaching it, Trey sat down on Jaime’s bed, an incredulous look on his face, “I can’t believe that you would banish yourself from the Triphorian kingdom just for shedding a few tears!”
Jaime shook his head and sat next to the Gold Ranger, “I felt so ashamed, Trey. In a way, I still do.”
“Yeah.” Jaime sighed, “I hate crying. My father would always tell me that to weep was a sign of weakness and immaturity. He would always tell me that crying in front of a king was worse than treason, and I believed that. I thought that because I was dumb enough to shed tears in front of your father that he would see me unfit as a soldier.”
Trey couldn’t help but laugh at this, “Jaime, my father is the king of guilt as well as Triphoria. He has cried many times. There was nothing for you to be ashamed of.” Pushing his friend lightly, Trey sighed, “Go to sleep. I have to get Gloria off those Pyramidas controls or she’ll start calling it her ship.”
Jaime nodded, lying down on top of the covers, “Leave the light on. I’m just going to think for a little bit.” Trey grinned, bided his friend goodnight, and left the room in search of his younger sister.
- * *
Trey was sitting in the chair of the control room in Pyramidas, eyes closed. Opening them slowly, he sighed groggily, “Gotta stay awake and keep and eye out for enemy cra-” Before he could stop himself his head was nodding again. Trey’s eyes closed, and he leaned back in his chair wearily. Between this thing with his father and the war, he hadn’t slept in nearly two days, and he was exhausted.
He had just begun to get flashes of dreams when, suddenly, a loud alarm went off on the computer. Grunting in surprise, Trey looked at the system just to find a red light flashing on and off. Checking the exterior of the ship, he nearly hit his head on the low ceiling of the room as he saw a squadron of Veron fighter ships following them. Behind those were larger ships which he was sure carried land soldiers.
Trey had just barely reached the controls when he felt a deep shudder run through the ship. It was so violent that he fell to his feet, grabbing pathetically for the controls. Finding them again, he veered out of Veron’s firing range and turned on a radio that would reach the rest of the ship, “Triphorians, we are under Veron attack. I repeat, we are under Veron attack. Grab hold of something if you’re a land fighter. If you’re a fighter pilot get your asses to your ships and get the hell out there because we’re getting nailed!” As if on cue, another violent quake went through the ship, knocking him to his feet again.
By now, about five different alarms were sounding. Telling himself to keep calm, Trey did his best to maneuver the ship in a way that the fighter pilots wouldn’t be launched right into passing enemy fighters. That was like sending them to their deaths. He sighed in relief as he saw the first of the Triphorian ships exit Pyramidas and begin attacking the oncoming Veron ships. Soon, multi-colored lasers flashed before his eyes, and he felt so dizzy that he almost passed out.
The door to the control room opened, and Jaime sprinted inside, crashing to his butt as another shudder ran through the ship. Once he got up, he was barely able to catch his best friend before he fell to the ground. Still breathing rapidly from running all the way up to the control room, Jaime set Trey down in his seat, “Damn, Trey, you look as white as a ghost. Do you need me to fly this thing for awhile?” Trey could only nod in response, another dizzy spell making him close his eyes and use all his energy to keep from throwing up.
Jaime grabbed the controls for Pyramidas and did his best to dodge all the lasers that flew at it. Trey grinned weakly, “Congratulations, Jaime. You’ve just been promoted to prince of Triphoria. Obviously, you can fly much better than me.”
Not even looking at him, Jaime smirked, “Don’t start that crap with me, Trey. You know that you haven’t been good at flying in battle ever since you crashed in Aquitar. It gets you dizzy, which is why I came up here.”
“Its a good thing that you did,” Trey said, “I would have passed out.”
Jaime turned and faced Trey, a frown on his face, “I’ve gotten orders from your dad. He’s ordering us to land on Wirth.”
“Land?” Trey inquired weakly.
Jaime nodded, “Yeah. He says that we stand a better chance if we’re fighting a land battle.”
“Do it,” Trey pleaded, “I can’t--”
Jaime put his hand up to halt him, “I was planning to do it, Man. I just told you because I didn’t want you freaking out if we suddenly went downward...like this.” He pushed a button and Pyramidas went plummeting down through the atmosphere of Wirth, landing with a thud on the ground. Putting the cloaking device on, Jaime looked back at Trey, “Are you up to fighting, Trey, because you look really pale.”
“I’ll be fine,” Trey told him. Thinking for a moment, he extended his hands to his best friend, “Could you?”
Understanding what he meant, Jaime helped Trey to his feet, “Morph. You might feel better.” Trey nodded.
“SILVER RANGER POWER!”
“GOLD RANGER POWER!”
Strengthened, the two men ran down to join the rest of the armies. Before they could blend in, the king grabbed the two rangers and pulled them into his embrace, “You two be careful.”
Trey nodded, “We will.”
The king turned his attention to Jaime, “You, Silver Ranger, remember what I said.”
Jaime grinned underneath his helmet, “I will, my Lord. Thank you.”
Suddenly, another ranger, clad in all gold with the Triphorian symbol on her helmet in black, jumped around excitedly, “When are they going to begin unloading?”
“Soon,” the queen told her, “Very soon.”
Trey sighed, “I guess you’re coming along, too.”
Gloria nodded, “Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She glanced up at Jaime and grinned, “Hi, Jaime.”
Jaime coughed, feeling himself blush, “Hi, Gloria.” Trey snickered.
The king laughed, “Oh, my daughter, do not embarrass the Silver Ranger. Go find another soldier to bother.”
Gloria pouted, “I’m not embarrassing him. As I’ve said before, he’s cute, but I’m a lot younger than he is. Now, I just act like all women would act towards a forbidden love.” Jaime just stayed quiet as Trey, laughing heartily now, pulled him away.
Once they were out of Gloria’s hearing range, Trey motioned back towards his sister, “Why do you let her do that? You act like you’re helpless, and what she’s saying is true!”
“This is the only drawback of being accepted by your family,” Jaime groaned.
Slowly, the door of Pyramidas opened and soldiers, screaming battle calls, poured out. Trey, Gloria, and Jaime were the last three soldiers to exit Pyramidas. Once they did, they found that the once barren land of Wirth was covered by feuding armies. The Veron soldiers could be seen by their shiny purple armor. Suddenly, a Veron soldier yelled, “Look, it is the silver and golden warriors!”
A crowd of Veron soldiers ran towards the three and were easily blocked by Triphorian soldiers. A few got through, however, and Jaime chuckled, “Well, here we go.”
Getting into fighting stance, the three warriors attacked the oncoming Veron soldiers, engaging them in nasty battles. They all prevailed and looked around for new targets as most of the other Triphorian soldiers did.
Jaime looked around whenever he could and surveyed the battle field. He cursed as a group of Triphorian soldiers cried out, being hit by Veron’s most powerful weapon, the power beam. Getting a strange feeling, he jumped out of the way, looking back to see that a beam had come too close to hitting him full on. Taking in a shaky breath, he found a group of unoccupied group of Veron soldiers and engaged them in battle.
“It’s time for a gold rush!” Trey yelled, striking seven Veron warriors with right on with the golden power. Looking around for his sister, he didn’t get enough time to find her before another group of Veron warriors approached him.
Gloria glanced around, not able to see over the horde of Veron and Triphorian soldiers. Seeing more Veron warriors come near her, she grinned before yelling, “Golden lightning!” A powerful string of golden energy struck the warriors before they knew what was happening.
This war, which would become known as the ‘Battle at Wirth’ or the ‘Calm Before the Storm’ raged on for a few hours until a strange voice from the Veron ships called to the Veron warriors. Hearing this, the Veron warriors backed away and sprinted back to their ships. Suddenly, the voice changed from Veronian to basic, which is the tongue which is spoken by Earthlings, Triphorians, and most beings in the universe, “May the Triphorian royal family and soldiers hear this.” The battlefield became silent. “We are impressed by your fighting skills, and are prepared to make a deal. Veron agrees to withdraw all war efforts if, in return, Triphoria would turn over the two gold rangers and the silver ranger to us.”
There was a long uncomfortable pause. Trey, Jaime, and Gloria regrouped and shifted on their feet as all the soldiers stared at them. Finally, Philip, the Triphorian king, responded from inside Pyramidas, “Never.”
“We agree that this is harsh,” the voice from the Veron ship continued, “So we will cut our deal to the tall Gold Ranger and Silver Ranger.”
“We refuse this,” the Triphorian king responded, “You may not have them.”
The voice from the Veron ship sighed, “Well, you are possessive, though we now realize that the Gold Ranger is your son. Very well, we will settle for the Silver Ranger. Turn him over to us, and we will withdraw our soldiers from these ridiculous wars.”
Jaime didn’t realize that he was shaking until Trey put a hand on his shoulder. “Never,” they heard the Triphorian king say, “You cannot have our Silver Ranger.” Jaime sighed with relief.
“You are a fool,” the voice from Veron commented, “We were offering you a fair chance. Prepare to meet again, Triphoria. We challenge you to an all out war on the planet Earth. Whoever is victorious will claim both Earth and Triphoria, as well as Veron.”
There was another long pause, “We don’t want Earth.”
Gloria could practically feel the king of Veron’s smile, “We do. You are a peace loving nation, Triphoria, and if you do not show on Earth, we will take over the planet and make the inhabitants slaves.”
Jaime looked over at Trey, who was all tense. He knew what his friend had been through on that planet. Trey had nearly died on Earth as he helped out a small fighting force called the Power Rangers. He had split into three persons and had been forced to give his powers to an Earthling named Jason Scott. The gold ranger powers had been too much for Jason, and Trey had taken the power back, reuniting his three selves into one. Now, this same planet was being threatened by Veron. What was the king going to do, and what would Trey do if his father refused to defend the planet?
“We’ll see you there in an Earth day,” the Triphorian king spat, “Be ready.”
The Veron king laughed, “You threaten me, Philip, and yet you do not fight yourself. Perhaps it is because you are too sick, too drunk, too old, too fat...”
“Enough!” the Triphorian king yelled, “I will see you in an Earth day, Gerlin. Face to face. My soldiers: return to Pyramidas to get some rest.” The Triphorian soldiers stood in stunned silence for a moment before following orders, ignoring the hideous laughter of the Veron king.
- * *
That night, in the Angel Grove Volunteer Shelter Jason tossed and turned in his sleep. It was almost as if his subconscious was trying to figure out a mystery that no other part of him understood.
Dreaming, he saw himself in the gold ranger armor fighting Rashell and Uriel. His armor was flashing on and off, but he didn’t seem to care. None of his punches were phasing them. Uriel was laughing in delight, “Stupid ranger. You’ve always looked better in red.”
“I am the red ranger,” he whispered, not believing what was happening.
Rashell cawed, “No, Jason. You are the gold ranger now, for we have eliminated him, and his powers are you.”
Jason felt tears burn in his eyes, “He’s not dead, you bastard! He’s alive!”
Sure enough, Trey came staggering out of the woods, bemused, “J-Jason? What are you doing with my powers?”
“You gave them to me!”
“No, I didn’t!” Trey exclaimed, “How dare you take them from me!”
Jason growled, “I didn’t take them from you! Take them, then!”
Suddenly, the powers rushed out of him like a golden river and flowed into Trey. Feeling weak, Jason collapsed onto the ground and into his red ranger costume. All the while, he was crying softly while Trey fought alongside the other rangers...taking his spot.
All of a sudden, the view changed to all of the rangers circling around his dead body. Emily was crying on Trey’s shoulder, “I can’t believe Jason’s dead!”
From where he was lying on the ground, Jason tried to call to them, “Emily, I’m not dead! Adam? Tommy? What’s going on? I ‘m not dead!”
Adam just stared at him, his eyes lifeless, “If I had pushed him out of the way in time he wouldn’t be dead.”
Tommy shook his head, “It wasn’t your fault, Adam. I was closer to him, and now, look at what I’ve done. I should have taken the beam for him. Jason was the best ranger. He was a better leader than I ever was.”
Jason’s eyes widened, “Adam, Tommy, no! Stop! Tommy, you’re the better leader! Adam, you couldn’t have helped me!”
Tanya was sobbing on Adam’s shoulder, “We can’t be the rangers without Jason.”
Kat nodded, “It’s not the same.”
Tommy, Adam, Rocky, Emily, Tanya, and Kat slowly faded into the mist, leaving Trey alone with Jason. Trey smiled, “Jason, you can quit pretending to be dead. I know the truth.”
Jason sat up, glaring at the Gold Ranger, “You let them disappear, Trey! Why?”
Trey sighed, “It wasn’t my choice, Jason. If the rangers were meant to die, then they were meant to die. That’s all there is to it.”
“You mean they--?”
Trey nodded, “In their next battle they were killed. I was the only survivor.”
“No!” Jason screamed, “I don’t believe you!”
“Believe it, Jason,” Trey said. “There is a chance for you to stop this from happening.”
Trey sighed, “This hasn’t happened yet. You aren’t dead, and you can prevent this from happening. There is a war raging, Jason, although you and the others don’t know it. My race is in danger, and we are coming to Earth to protect you and your kind from Veron attack.”
Jason’s eyes narrowed, “Veron?”
Trey nodded, “Yes, and its up to you to decide who will win...and who will die...”
Before Jason could ask anything more, Trey disappeared into the mist, leaving Jason alone. Suddenly, he felt himself being pulled away from everything. His vision blurred until everything went black.
Jason opened his eyes to find Emily and Tommy looking at him, concerned. Tommy leaned towards him, “Are you all right, Bro? You were having a nightmare.”
Jason nodded, “I’m fine...no, I’m not fine, Tommy, I had a vision.”
Tommy tilted his head in confusion, “Of what?”
“I saw myself dead, and Trey was there. All of you just disappeared, and he told me that you all died in battle, but that I could decide how it happened. Trey said that the Triphorians are at war with Veron, and they’re going to come to Earth and try to take us over, but Triphoria was going to protect us.”
Tommy and Emily looked at each other, worriedly, before looking back at Jason. Emily sighed, “Maybe we should go to that Zordon guy.”
Tommy nodded, “Yeah, Jason. Then we could find out if this was a vision or a dream.”
Jason’s eyes narrowed, “You don’t believe me?”
Tommy shook his head, “I believe you, Jason, but I also know that dreams can look very real.”
“He’s right, Jason,” Emily persisted.
Jason sighed, “Fine, lets go.” Grabbing onto Emily, the three disappeared in a flash of white and a flash of red.
Reaching the Command Center, the three found Alpha working on a console. The little droid turned around, his scanners picking up the three newcomers, “Tommy, Jason, Emily, why are you here?”
“Jason said that he had a vision,” Tommy explained.
Alpha’s disk-shaped head tilted in puzzlement, “What about?”
“I saw Trey, and he explained to me that Veron and Triphorian troops are going to come to Earth.”
Before Alpha could respond, Zordon of Eltar’s massive head appeared in the large tube in the middle of the room, “DID I HEAR YOU CORRECTLY, JASON? YOU HAD A VISION?”
“Yes, Zordon. Can you just see where Pyramidas is right now?”
“I SUPPOSE IT WOULD CAUSE NO HARM. ALPHA, ACTIVATE THE GALAXY SCANNER.”
“Right away, Zordon,” Alpha called, pushing a few buttons on a console. In a few minutes lights began to flash in the Command Center. Alpha began running around the room frantically, “Ay yi yi! Scan complete. Pyramidas is just outside our atmosphere, as is a fleet of Veronian ships!”
Zordon frowned, “WHY WOULD THIS NEWS NOT HAVE REACHED US SOONER, ALPHA?”
“Perhaps both ships have activated tracking blockers so that they cannot be captured on radar. That way, this invasion...or battle will be as unexpected as possible.”
“We should get the other rangers up here,” Jason suggested, “That way we can be ready for this arrival.”
Zordon nodded , “JASON IS RIGHT. ALPHA, CONTACT THE OTHER RANGERS AND HAVE THEM TELEPORT UP HERE IMMEDIATELY.”
Tommy walked over to Jason, his eyes shimmering with curiosity, “So, tell me more about this vision.”
- * *
Most of the soldiers aboard Pyramidas were too worn out to return to their chambers. Instead they piled on top of each other on the floor of the passenger area. The golden and silver warriors were going to do this as well, but the king had forced them to walk up the long staircase to his chamber.
Philip of Triphoria, Leila of Triphoria, and Gloria of Triphoria had all managed to squeeze into the queen-sized bed in the room, while Trey opted to sleep on the leather chair by the bed. Jaime, not wanting to be a bother, had offered to take the floor, which was where he was now.
The king and queen walked around the room, unable to sleep. Leila sighed, “What you said today, Dear. Are you sure that we’re doing the right thing?”
Philip nodded, “First of all, we are a peace loving nation, as Gerlin said, and second of all, we owe Trey’s life to Zordon of Eltar, who has resided on Earth for longer than I can remember. A boy there, Jason Scott, took Trey’s powers while he was split into his three selves. I need to repay the planet for its kindness, and this is the best way to do it.” Leila merely nodded.
Philip’s gaze fell onto Jaime, who was shuddering as he slept on the floor. Walking over to the closet, he opened it quietly, pulled out a blanket, and draped it around the sleeping man. He moved closer to Jaime and looked at the black and silver stripes over his eye, sighing, “Sometimes, I wish I could change that silver line to gold.”
Leila smirked, “Are you drunk again, my husband? You want more children?”
Philip glared at her, “No, I’m not drunk, and, yes, I would like another child. Him. I pity him. His father was abusive, and his mother was killed by Veron.”
“If you were to give him a golden stripe, Jaime would be put in line before Trey for the throne. Is that how you want it? You love this boy more than your own son?”
Philip scoffed, “I said nothing about making Jaime king after me.”
“He is older than Trey,” Leila spat, “You couldn’t make him royalty unless you also made him next in line for king.”
“Perhaps there are ways to pardon his from the throne. Plus, Jaime would turn down the offer to be king, even if I asked him. He is too humble.”
Leila’s eyes opened wider with shock, “You love him more than you do your own children!”
Philip laughed wryly at this, “Woman, have you gone mad!? I do not love Jaime anymore than I love a poor orphan. All I said was that I pitied him. That is all.”
Leila shook her head, “Why, then, does your tone suggest that you are trying to convince yourself more than me?”
“Stop being paranoid,” Philip hissed, “We are at war with Veron. I don’t want to be at war with you.”
Leila let out a deep sigh, “I’m not at war with you, Philip. Its just that I can tell that you’ve taken a liking to the boy, and, well, I don’t want you to forget your own children.”
Philip chuckled, “Dear, I’m far from forgetting our beautiful children. Trey, so strong...so determined. I will be honored to have him follow me as king. Gloria, still ignorant, but with all the potential in the world. If I live long enough, I hope to meet the lucky man who gets to marry her.”
Leila giggled, an action that was very rarely done by a queen, “Maybe Gloria will marry Jaime. It seems to be her wish.”
Philip looked down at Jaime, barely unable to contain his laughter, “That poor boy. She torments him so!”
Leila smiled and motioned towards the bed, “Let us rest. Tomorrow will be a big day.”
Philip nodded, “Yes, it will.” Together, the two climbed into bed next to Gloria and went to sleep.
- * *
At the evil base on the moon, all the monsters were sleeping peacefully. Zedd was snoring in his throne, and his henchmen, Goldar, Scorpina, Finster, and Rito were circled around him.
Rita had gone to sleep in her bed for the first time in ages, saying that she had a headache as well as a backache. Rashell was curled up on the floor, and Uriel was nodding off to sleep, leaning against the railing of the throne room.
All of a sudden, a loud shockwave echoed through the palace, shaking it like an earthquake. Uriel screamed after bumping her head on the railing. Rashell got up and began squaking like a little bird about to be eaten by another animal. The henchmen rolled around on the floor a little bit before they awoke and felt the shaking. Zedd was thrown out of his seat, and he angrily looked around. Rita emerged from her room holding her head. “This isn’t helping my headache!” she screeched.
“What the hell is that!?” Uriel demanded, looking out towards Earth. Seeing something, her eyes widened, “A-aren’t those Veron ships?”
Zedd looked out over the railing and used his eyes to zoom in at the ships, “Yes, that’s a Veron ship, and that is...Pyramidas!? What the hell is that thing doing here along with a Veronian ship!?”
“Pyramidas!?” Rita whined, “It’s that Gold Ranger brat! Why didn’t we get a reading of their arrival? Did anyone know of a Veron/Triphoria battle that was going to take place on Earth!?”
“There was nothing to indicate it,” Rashell cawed, looking at the ships, “All I know is that if Veron is entering Earth, they plan to take it over and use the inhabitants as slaves. I’ve seen it before. Veron is too predictable.”
“Triphoria, being a peace loving planet, will protect Earth, but why? Triphoria has no reason to get involved,” Uriel pondered.
Rita smiled, “Oh, but they do. They have a favor to repay Earth...more specifically, Jason Scott for saving Trey’s powers.”
Zedd nodded, “So Triphoria will defend. What position does that put us in?”
“As I said, if Triphoria wins, nothing will change, but if Veron wins, they will take over the planet and all the inhabitants. We will no longer have control,” Rashell explained again.
Rita’s eyebrows came together in thought, “Maybe we could join forces with the Veron leader--”
“Been there, done that,” Uriel said. “Don’t bother. Veron’s king, Gerlin, will not negotiate. Not unless you offer him some big profits...”
“...which we don’t have,” Zedd finished. “Damn. So, what do we do? Fight on Triphoria’s side!?”
“Lets wait to see how the Triphorians handle everything. If worse comes to worse we can join the battle on the side of the Triphorians and the Earthlings,” Rashell said.
Rita sighed, “That means joining sides with the Power Rangers.”
Zedd shrugged, “There’s no way to prevent that. Besides, we’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”
Uriel smirked, “You’ve helped the Power Rangers!?”
“When Tommy Oliver was caught in Prince Gasket’s trap we helped the other rangers to free him,” Zedd explained.
Rashell tweeted in laughter, “You helped Tommy Oliver!?”
“It was better than letting Prince Gasket win. We wanted to win, damn it!” Rita exclaimed.
Uriel nodded, “I see what you mean. That machine empire is so annoying. Luckily, after what you did to them, it will take forever for them to be rebuilt. Gasket and that bitchy wife of his, Archerina, won’t come around here without their family to bounce off of.”
Rita looked into her telescope, “They’ll be landing soon.” Without realizing it, she held her breath.
- * *
Jaime awoke on the floor, surprised to find that he was now covered by a blanket. He sighed, thankful for the warm material against his body, “Whoever gave me this, I’m glad they did.”
Looking around groggily, Jaime rubbed his eyes, noticing that the only person left in the room was Leila of Triphoria. Noticing the young man stir, the queen smiled, “Ah, you’re awake, Jaime. I didn’t want to wake you, for you looked so peaceful. Hurry, we must prepare for landing.”
“Landing?” Jaime breathed, “All ready?”
The queen nodded, “You slept in. Hurry, lets go!”
Not needing to be told a third time, Jaime jumped to his feet, checking his appearance in the mirror that hung from the wall. He pushed a few unruly strands of his brown hair into place, straightened his silver shirt, and followed the queen out of the room.
Walking into the passenger room of Pyramidas, Jaime looked around for Trey, only to find the king staring at him. Philip of Triphoria walked over to the sill sleep dazed man and shook his shoulders, “You look as if you are going to faint from lack of sleep, Silver Ranger. Didn’t you sleep well?”
“I was bothered by horrible dreams,” Jaime confessed.
The king frowned, “What were they?”
“I dreamt that the whole royal family was killed, and that I was the only survivor of the war today. Finally, I was so depressed and guilt-ridden that I killed myself,” Jaime explained.
The king smiled faintly, “I see. Well, that definitely isn’t pleasant, but I trust that you would never do such a thing in real life.”
Jaime shrugged, “If ever that guilt-ridden I don’t know what I would do.”
Not satisfied with this answer, the king put his hand on Jaime’s arm, “Though you may not believe it, there should be more to life for you than just your service here. Have you ever thought of marriage, Silver Ranger?”
Jaime bit his lip to keep from laughing at this, “Marriage, my Lord? No, I haven’t thought of it. After my family life, I’ve never felt the desire.”
The king sighed, “You may have had a tough family life, Silver Ranger, but you shouldn’t count out marriage.”
“Maybe when I’m old and crippled I will think about it,” Jaime said.
The king laughed, “That’s my boy. My son is briefing the soldiers on what to expect here on Earth. You should join him.”
Jaime nodded and ran off in search of the land fighters. He found them inside the room leading to Pyramidas’ opening hatch. Trey was lecturing on the importance of trusting their instincts and not endangering the Earth civilians whenever possible, “....remember, Earthlings do not have protection like we do. Their protectors are five colored beings called the Power Rangers.”
“Zordon’s power rangers!?” A voice exclaimed.
Trey nodded, “Yes. Zordon of Eltar dwells on this planet. If we win, perhaps some of you will meet him. That’s another reason for us to win this war. If we lose, Zordon may become vulnerable to attack by Veron troops.”
One of the soldiers pumped her fist in the air, “Veron will never harm Zordon!” There was a chorus of shouts supporting this. Some muttered curses against Gerlin, and some began chattering enthusiastically about getting the chance to meet the legendary Zordon of Eltar.
Seeing this break, Jaime was able to get to the front of the room and next to Trey, “Well, I guess I don’t have anything to do. They looked pumped enough.”
Trey glanced at him, “We will win, Jaime, if it takes forty years to do it.”
Jaime nodded, a huge smile on his face, “If I do end up face to face with Gerlin, I’m going to tell that bastard to kiss my ass, even if it means that I die.”
Suddenly, the room fell silent as the king and queen entered. Pushing their way to the front, the king grinned, “Who will win the day?”
“We will win the day!” the troops shouted, confidently.
“Who do you represent?”
“Triphoria, the world of peace!” The troops yelled, jumping up and down and embracing their fellow soldiers with pride.
The king grabbed Jaime’s arm and pushed the startled man closer to the crowd, “I am pleased to announce that Jaime Talsik has been given the royal touch of honor.”
The soldiers became deadly silent. Jaime swallowed hard and glanced at Trey, nervously. Finally, someone yelled, “We will win the day for the royal family and the royal guard!”
“We will win the day for the royal family and the royal guard! Long live Triphoria!” The soldiers screamed in delight. Jaime smiled and felt his body relax. Doing this, he was unprepared for the horde of soldiers who rushed at him, shouting congratulations and patting him on the back. Some of the women kissed his cheeks as the taller men (the tallest of whom was seven feet two inches) rubbed his hair lovingly.
By the time the soldiers had emptied into the living quarters in order to morph, Jaime was as stiff as a board. Trey laughed and circled his best friend, doing his best to fix Jaime’s hair which was now standing on end. The gold ranger grinned flippantly, “Overwhelmed?”
“Who ever knew that Triphorian soldiers were so friendly?” Jaime whispered, still in a state of shock.
The king smiled, “I’m going to brief the soldiers a little more. Get ready to lead the soldiers as we go into battle, Trey.”
Trey nodded, “Yes, Father.”
The king leaned closer to Jaime so that Trey could not hear, “Come see me after we have landed. I have special orders for you.”
Jaime nodded, “Yes, my Lord.” Content, the king and queen left the room, leaving the Gold and Silver Rangers alone.
- * *
“I hope Trey is all right,” Jason muttered, sitting in a corner of the Command Center.
Emily walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder, “I’m sure he is, Jason.”
Rocky and Adam were busy discussing some printouts from Pyramidas’ location while Kat and Tanya tried to get a visual readout on the viewing globe. Tommy was just pacing back and forth like a dad waiting for his baby to be born. Jason looked up at him, almost hypnotized by the constant movement, “Tommy, cut it out. You’re making me dizzy.”
Tommy looked at him innocently, “What am I doing?”
“You were pacing,” Jason said with a sigh.
Tommy shrugged, “Sorry, I hadn’t noticed. I guess its something I do when I’m nervous.” Jason merely nodded.
Tanya turned around and frowned, “We still can’t get a visual readout of Pyramidas.”
Rocky took in a sharp breath, “The printouts show that Pyramidas and the approaching ships are going to land in Angel Grove Park, but there’s no telling when.”
Adam nodded, “I guess we’ll just have to wait.”
“There’s nothing better to do, and I want to be ready to morph when they get here,” Tommy commented.
Emily looked up at Zordon, “Can I stay?”
“YES, EMILY.” Emily nodded and sat down next to Jason, watching as the other rangers went back to work. She knew one thing for certain: it was going to be a long day.
- * *
The room was filled with unmorphed Triphorian warriors who were waiting for the time to come when they would morph and step onto Earth for the first time. Jaime pushed through the crowds and reached the king, panting heavily once he got there, “You wanted to give me specific instructions, my Lord.”
The king nodded and turned to the queen, “I would like to speak to the royal guard alone.”
The queen nodded reluctantly and turned to her maid, Jennifer, who was combing her brown hair, “Let us go, maid.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Jennifer said, grabbing the queen’s brush and walking towards the royal chambers.
The queen leaned closer to the king so that Jaime would not hear her, “He is not your son.”
The king glared at her, steam nearly coming from his ears, “You do not need remind me of this. How dare you.” The queen just frowned, spun around, and hastily left.
Turning back to Jaime the king didn’t notice that he still had the face of a man confronted with his greatest enemy until Jaime questioned, “Have I done something to upset you, my Lord?”
“No, Silver Ranger,” the king assured him, “You have done nothing wrong. My orders to you concern my son, Trey. During battle, you are not to let him leave your sight.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
The king continued, “If anything is to happen and I am put to my final rest--”
“That will never happen, my Lord.”
“Let me finish!” The king growled. Jaime lowered his head and nodded. The king sighed, “If I die, you will become the highest guard in the kingdom. It will be your job to protect my son. To you accept this?”
“I am honored to serve you and your son,” Jaime remarked.
The king inclined his head slowly, motioning for Jaime to leave. He did so without being told. Jaime had just found Trey again before a mechanical voice yelled, “Triphorian warriors, it is time to morph. We are nearing the landing zone.”
Knowing what was going to happen, Trey and Jaime covered their ears just before a deafening cry rang through Pyramidas, “GRANT US THE POWER OF TRIPHORIA!”
A bright green flash shined through the room, followed by a blinding golden light. When Jaime and Trey looked up again all of the Triphorian warriors were morphed. Jaime turned to Trey and smirked, “I always get excited when they do that.”
Jaime grinned, “Lets do it.”
“It’s morphing time!” They shouted together.
“SILVER RANGER POWER!”
“GOLD RANGER POWER!”
Standing in their armor, Jaime looked at Trey, half jokingly and half serious, “Now, don’t you go running away from me again, all right?”
“I don’t run away from you!” Trey lied, “You just can’t keep up!”
Jaime smirked, “Right. I’ll have to stay on my toes today.”
Just then, Gloria ran up to the two men in her all-gold armor, “I’ve been looking all over for you guys.”
“Well, you found us,” Trey deadpanned, “Now go away.”
Gloria pouted and removed her helmet letting her brown hair flow over her golden costume, “Jaime doesn’t want me to leave, do you, Jaime?”
Jaime stretched his arms out nervously, “I, um--”
“That means yes,” Trey intervened, “Go bother Mom.”
“Fine, but I’ll find you guys once we get there. We have to stay together, remember?”
Trey sighed, “Whatever.”
Gloria stole a final glance at Jaime before sprinting away to find her mom. Jaime pulled his helmet off and looked at Trey thankfully, “Good job.”
Trey laughed, “I think that’s the most you’ve ever said to her.”
Jaime was about to retort when a voice spoke over the intercom, “Triphorian warriors. We will land in about five minutes. You all know your assignments.”
- * *
A small light began to flash on one of the consoles in the Command Center, but no one seemed to notice it. Tanya, Kat, and Emily were looking at the viewing globe while Jason argued with Tommy over his constant pacing. Adam and Rocky were trying to decipher to computer readouts.
“Is that it?” Emily questioned.
Tanya shook her head, “I don’t think so. Maybe its a jet or a plane.”
Kat sighed, “Veron and Triphoria aren’t making this easy for us.”
From the other side of the room Adam shrugged, “I think that’s supposed to mean North.”
“North?” Rocky shook his head, “I think that’s the symbol for East, don’t you?”
Adam smirked, “East 60? That doesn’t make sense, Rocky!”
Rocky sighed, “Its better than North 60. That would mean Pyramidas is going to land in Oregon!”
“I was not pacing!” Tommy persisted.
Jason got up from where he had been sitting, trying to prove his point, “Yes you were. You keep saying that you’re not, but you are, and its getting on my nerves.”
“Well, I think better when I’m doing something,” Tommy remarked.
“Could you just sit down for a minute?” Jason pleaded, “Please. You’re walking around is making me sick.”
Alpha looked at the rangers before glancing at the light that was flashing on the console, “Um, rangers?”
None of them paid him any mind. He tried again, “I think you should see this.” Not knowing what else to do, he boosted his volume, “Ay yi yi!”
All the rangers looked at him, “What?”
Pleased by his success, Alpha motioned to the console, “We’re receiving a transmittion.” Pushing the button, everyone watched as Pyramidas appeared on the screen.
“They must have sent us the coordinates so that we could be there when they arrived,” Adam stated.
Jason watched as Pyramidas made its quick descent to Earth, “Its going to land in a minute. I can tell by the rapid descent and the slowing of the thrusters.”
Kat looked at Zordon, “We should get out there then, shouldn’t we?”
“YES, KATHERINE. BE CAREFUL, RANGERS. VERONS WARRIORS ARE QUITE POWERFUL.”
“We’ll be careful, Zordon,” Tommy assured him. “Its morphing time!”
Now in morphed form, the rangers looked at the viewing globe. Pyramidas had just landed and the Triphorian warriors were emptying from its doors. Across from Pyramidas was a strange looking ship with purple-armored warriors running from it. “YOU MUST HURRY, RANGERS.”
“Here we go,” Tommy muttered. The rangers looked at each other briefly before teleporting away.
- * *
As soon as the rangers reached Angel Grove park they found themselves in the middle of a vicious brawl. Everywhere they turned Triphorian warriors were fighting Veronian warriors. Blasts from both sides’ ships caused mass hysteria among the fighters. “I wonder where Trey is,” Jason yelled above the noise.
Tommy shrugged, “Keep a look out for him.”
The rangers were just about to begin searching for Trey when a Veronian warrior shouted, “Its Zordon’s power rangers! They have come to fight us!”
Suddenly, all the Veronian fighters were in an uproar. They charged the rangers as a joint force, and the Triphorian warriors had to push them out of the way in order to hold them back. “What a nice welcome,” Tanya murmured.
Adam sighed, “Well, lets give them what they came to see.”
Getting into fighting stance the rangers charged the Veronian warriors. Meanwhile, Trey was looking over the heads of his people and the Veronians trying to find the rangers, “If their wearing different colors why can’t I see them? It shouldn’t be this hard!”
“Knowing Zordon’s strategies they’re probably in the middle of everything,” Jaime speculated.
Gloria snarled, “Yeah, taking all the credit for our war efforts.”
Trey glared at her, “Stop being selfish.”
He had no sooner said this than Jaime pushed him and Gloria out of the way just before a blast from the other ship. Jaime smirked, “Quit arguing and pay attention, or you two are going to get me killed.”
Gloria grinned, “Now who’s being selfish?”
- * *
Night fell over Angel Grove and neither side seemed to have an upper hand on the battle. From inside his ship Philip of Triphoria scowled, “Damn those Veronians!” Getting up, he put on his golden battle cape and turned towards the door of Pyramidas.
Leila of Triphoria watched him, terrified, “W-what are you doing, my husband?”
“I’m tired of having other people risk their lives for my war.” Walking up to the speakers he called out, “Gerlin! Come out and face me! I’m tired of this petty war. Fight me yourself!”
A hush fell over the battlefield and the fighters looked at each other, shocked. From within the Veronian ships Gerlin hesitated before responding, “I give you my respect, Philip, but a fight? You are no match for my strength. Stop being a fool and leave this place. You have no chance.”
“You think I have no chance, and yet you are too cowardly to step out of your ship and see for yourself,” Philip retorted, ominously.
Gerlin chuckled, “I’m impressed, Philip. Your bravery has grown over the past hundred years, but we will see who’s strength outmatches who. I accept your challenge.”
From Pyramidas out came Philip of Triphoria. His golden cape shined in the moonlight, making him look younger than his years. The Triphorian warriors parted like the red sea so that their king could approach the enemy ship.
Gerlin appeared from the Veronian ship in black skin-tight clothes. A dark purple cape was hanging from his shoulders. His face was paler than any human skin, and his hair was as black as a starless night. Gerlin’s eyes were a ghastly mix of purple and black, making him look like a night creature young children fear in their dreams. He laughed, “I was right. You have been putting on the pounds, Philip.”
“While I may have done so you have seemed to become more hideous than ever,” Philip called back. He looked around and his troops, who were all watching him wide-eyed. “Turn your eyes away, my warriors,” he commanded before shouting, “ROYAL GOLDEN POWER!”
The warriors turned away just before a blinding light shined from their king. The Veronian warriors sniveled in fear, covering their eyes. A sharp pain touched all of the Veronians, making them howl in anguish. The Triphorians, however, were relaxed, somehow feeling a warm comfort from their king.
When this moment ended Philip was dressed in black and gold armor. His helmet was like Trey’s, only his Triphorian symbol was filled in with gold. Philip’s chest armor was gold and had strange Triphorian characters on it. The rest of his outfit matched his sons. His stout form had seemingly vanished, leaving him as thin as he was in his youth.
Gerlin, not affected like his soldiers had been by this event, smirked, “You do know how to win over an audience, Philip. Now, it is my turn. ROYAL VERONIAN POWER!”
There was another blinding flash of light, though this light turned quickly to blood red blinking lights. The Triphorians clutched their stomachs, suddenly nauseated, while the Veronians muttered praises.
The rangers watched this display, amazed. They didn’t feel any of the pleasure or pain coming from this evil warrior. Rocky sighed, “Well, they both put on a hell of a light show.”
“I don’t like this,” Kat muttered, “I don’t like this at all.”
Tommy grunted in agreement, “Stay alert, everyone. We may need to get involved in this one.”
As soon as the horrible lights had dissipated Gerlin was left in all black armor. His face was shielded by and all black mask outlined with purple stripes across the eyes. His ranger outfit was all black except for his purple belt. “Lets tango,” he muttered.
The two kings rushed each other, engaging in a vicious one-on-one fight. Sparks flew everywhere as the two overlords continued the battle. Finally, after about fifteen minutes, Philip kicked Gerlin down to the ground and summoned his golden blaster. Before he could finish off the Veronian king Veron fighters held back his arms, preventing him from doing so.
The Triphorians roared with protests and angered curses, and they charged the Veronians, pulling them off their king. They had begun fighting these warriors when Gerlin stood and pulled out his purple blaster, laughing maniacally, “I think its time to end this.” None of the Triphorians could move fast enough to block the laser that hit their leader’s heart.
- * *
Jaime’s eyes widened in horror as he saw Philip of Triphoria fall to the ground, lifeless. Gloria was in tears, and Trey just stood, silent. “Fire on the Triphorians,” they heard Gerlin cry, “Aim for the silver and gold rangers. They are not to escape.”
Looking around, Jaime saw the blaster on the Veronian ship come to life and swivel towards them. Pushing Trey and Gloria along, Jaime ran as fast as he could. “We can’t leave my father!” Trey screamed.
“You have to,” Jaime yelled back, “Just keep moving!”
Trey snarled, “Gerlin can’t get away with this. I must face him.”
“Not now,” Jaime shouted, “You have to get back to Pyramidas.”
Trey pushed him away, enraged, “What the hell has gotten into you? Unless you’ve forgotten I’m a warrior. I have to fight.”
Jaime stepped back a few steps before scowling, “I haven’t forgotten, but you’re forgetting that your father is dead. You’re the king of Triphoria now, which means both you and your sister’s lives are in danger.”
Trey just stared at him for a few seconds before running towards Pyramidas, dragging Gloria along with him. Jaime sprinted after them. Suddenly, there was a loud shriek of terror from the Triphorian troops as all their armor evaporated. Gloria stopped and looked around, seeing that she was no longer in ranger form, “What the hell was that?”
Trey looked around, too, “My father’s death must have caused a large weakness in the morphing grid.”
Suddenly, Trey heard a familiar voice call out, “Trey! We’re coming!”
“Jason?” Trey whispered. He glanced up and saw a ranger in red running towards him. He frowned, puzzled, “Tommy?”
“No, its me, Trey. Jason,” Jason called back, “C’mon. We have to get you to the Command Center.”
Trey turned towards Jaime and Gloria and motioned for them to follow him. Quickly, the three continued after the red ranger, blindly pushing Triphorians and Veronians out of their way.
Jaime looked up at the Veronian ship, mouthing a curse before forcing himself to run as fast as he could towards Trey and Gloria. Pushing them with all his might, they stumbled out of the way before a blast hit the spot where they had been. Looking back, Trey saw Jaime sprawled on the ground, his face twisted into one of agony. He was clutching his side, and the Gold Ranger thought he saw blood coming through his silver shirt. Trey was about to turn around and run back to Jaime, when a strong hand grabbed his arm. Turning, he saw that the Red Ranger was pulling him in the other direction. “No,” Trey protested weakly, “Jaime--”
“You have to get out of here,” Jason persisted, “We can teleport him back.”
“He’s going to die if we don’t bring him now,” Trey shouted.
Jason glanced over Trey’s shoulder at Jaime, who was motioning for them to keep going. “I’ll send one of the others after him,” Jason promised, “but you have to go.”
Stealing one more glance at his fallen comrade, Trey turned and ran with Jason, pulling Gloria along with him.
The three had been running along for no more than a minute, before Trey felt the hand in his grow untouchably hot. Looking back, he saw that his sister was no longer with him. She was on the ground, steam coming from her mouth. Her eyes were closed, and blood was coming from her chest. Crying out in agony, Trey ran back to her side, ignoring Jason’s protests. He felt for her pulse, only to find that she had none. Looking at his now damp hand, he began to tear as he saw the red substance that was now on it.
“Trey,” Jason whispered, “We have to go.”
Trey nodded slowly, and allowed Jason to pull him to his feet. Reaching a clearing, Jason put his arm around Trey and pushed the button on his belt that made them both dissipate in a flash of red.
- * *
Reaching the Command Center, Jason let Trey go, allowing the other man to sink to his knees and sob. Kat, Emily, and Adam, who had been looking at the viewing globe, turned around just in time to see the Gold Ranger arrive, completely morose. Kat quickly looked away, feeling tears threaten to spill from her own eyes. To lose all that Trey had...she didn’t know how the Triphorian would be able to live with it.
Jason just watched the Gold Ranger wordlessly for a moment, before turning to Adam, “Contact the others. The Silver Ranger may still be alive.”
Adam nodded and brought his communicator to his lips, “This is Adam. Come in, Tommy.”
“I read you, Adam,” Tommy’s voice replied. There were horrible sounding shouts in the background, “What’s up?”
“You need to find the Silver Ranger. Jason says he might still be alive.”
From the other side, he heard Tommy kick someone before replying, “OK. I’m on it.”
- * *
Jaime laid on the cold earth in excruciating pain. Looking down at his side, he cringed, noticing the bloody tear in his skin. Glancing some ways ahead, he dropped his head to the ground as he saw Gloria’s dead form steaming on the ground. He had tried, but in the end he had lost. The king was dead and Gloria was dead. Jaime hoped that Trey had gotten to Zordon’s realm safely.
As the world began to fade away, Jaime struggled to open his eyes, hoping for some reassurance that everything would be OK once he had left his body to continue in the afterlife. He let out a shaky breath seeing only more killing of Triphorian soldiers around him.
Forcing his body to twist, he looked back at Pyramidas, remembering that the queen was still inside. “I...have...to...” Jaime told himself, beginning to crawl to the door of the massive craft.
The burning in his side was unbearable, and he pulled his hand away from it feeling that it was now sticky with blood. His blood. Glancing at Pyramidas again he knew he had to go. Maybe the queen could take his power coin and use it to teleport back to Triphoria or to Zordon if she had to.
Continuing on Jaime shielded his head from the blasts that were hitting the ground all around him. Taking a moment to rest he looked out at the battlefield seeing that most of the Triphorian warriors were fighting for their lives more than anything else. A few of the warriors were badly injured but they continued to fight, and Jaime knew they were trying to buy the queen enough time to get out of Pyramidas. _That’s my job_ Jaime told himself _I’ve already failed the king and Gloria. I won’t fail this. I can’t, because I gave my word to be the royal guard_
Reaching the door of Pyramidas Jaime used all his power to stand, closing his eyes as a wave of nausea ran over him. Forcing himself to walk in, Jaime looked around, his vision becoming blurred. Rubbing his eyes, the Silver Ranger stumbled into the main body of the ship and squinted at the queen who was crying softly.
Leila looked up at the Silver Ranger, taking in his badly injured form. Jaime’s whole face was now covered with mud, and his clothes were torn and covered with soot. She could easily see the blood coming from Jaime’s left side, and she nearly fainted when she saw the red substance running from him.
Jaime, pale-faced, fell to the carpet in agony, rubbing his eyes again to keep from blacking out. He knew he couldn’t. Not yet. Pulling his silver ranger coin from his pocket Jaime put it on the ground in front of him. “Zordon,” he breathed, “Go to Zordon.” Unable to say anymore, the Silver Ranger clutched his side even harder, biting his lip to keep from crying out.
Leila rushed over to him and picked up the coin, bringing it close to her heart before looking down at the wounded man, “All this time I fought with my husband over him giving the royal touch away to such a young man, but now I know what he saw in you.”
Licking his lips Jaime glanced up at her, his eyes watering from the pain, “I...let...down...”
Leila shook her head, silencing him, “You did not let me down, Silver Ranger. I am sorry for not seeing in you what my husband did.”
Jaime nodded slowly his eyelids drooping. Forcing them open Jaime looked back up at her, “Go...Zordon...go...leave me...”
Leila bent down near the fallen ranger and put her hand on his shoulder, “Rest. You’ve deserved it. If you continue to struggle there’s more chance that Veron will defeat your body.”
Jaime grinned faintly and let his eyes close. It was only a moment before Leila knew he was out. Checking his pulse she smiled weakly. He was alive, though not by much. Looking at the silver power coin again, Leila pulled a golden charm necklace from her neck and put the two together. She closed her eyes in concentration, “If it be your will, let the Triphorian power grant us access to Zordon’s command center.” She shook violently from the strain the mind teleportation was causing her, but she did not bend to it. Soon there was a gold and silver flash and the two slowly disappeared into a cloudy mist.
- * *
As soon as both Jaime and the queen had teleported into the Command Center Trey was quickly by their sides. Trey hugged his mother affectionately, “I feared the worse.”
Through her tears Leila smiled, “I’m just glad you’re all right, Trey.”
Glancing down at Jaime, who was lying, unmoving, at his feet, he bent down and felt his pulse, “He’s alive...barely...” With that he broke down and began to cry again.
Walking away from the Triphorians Jason brought his communicator up to his lips and spoke as softly as he could through it, “Tommy, this is Jason.”
“I read you, Jason,” Tommy called from the other side of the communication, “We haven’t found this Jaime guy yet, but we’re still looking for him.”
Deciding not to address the fact that Tommy sounded like he was about to pass out Jason continued, “Jaime has already been brought in, Tommy. Apparently his last action was to help the queen teleport up here.”
There was a pause before Tommy continued, “He’s dead?”
“Not at the moment, but he’s unconscious with a life-threatening injury,” Jason whispered, “I think you should teleport up here with the others. You’re fighting a losing battle.”
“If we don’t keep fighting all these Triphorians will die.”
“You’re fighting a losing battle,” Jason repeated, “Get up here.”
This time it was Tommy who was persistent, “All these soldiers will die without our help. Maybe we can bring some of them up...”
“You’re fighting a losing battle,” Jason said for a third time. “Believe me, Tommy, you won’t be able to help them. I know it sounds awful, but you need to let them die. All you’re doing is risking your life, not saving theirs.”
There was another pause. Finally, Jason heard Tommy sigh...or was it a panting breath? “I’ll try to find Tanya and Rocky, and then we’ll teleport up.” With that the communication was ended.
Jason turned around to see Trey and Adam helping Jaime onto a table in the middle of the room. Trey was still sobbing, and now he was muttering, “My last words to him were words of anger...”
- * *
Tommy looked around the vast battlefield, not able to tear his eyes away from the fighting of the Triphorians accompanied by the dying’s pain-filled cries for help. Cringing, Tommy looked down at Saba, “Jason wants us to teleport up.”
“I heard,” Saba said softly, “Lets get the others and get out of here.”
Tommy shook his head, “I’m not going back.”
“What!?” Saba exclaimed, “What are you talking about?”
“Look around you, Saba!” Tommy cried. Realizing how dumb that sounded he turned the sword around so he could see the endless fighting all around them, “I can’t let all these people die. After Tina Garcia I vowed that I would never allow myself to see death like that again while I had the power to stop it. We have the power, Saba. I can get Tanya and Rocky to go back up, and then we can stay.”
Tommy looked at him, surprised by his question, “Of course ‘we’, Saba. You don’t want to stay?”
“Jason was right,” Saba told him, “All you’re doing is risking your life. This is a lost cause.”
Tommy snarled at him, “How can you take Jason’s side? You really want all these Triphorians to die!?”
“I didn’t say that,” Saba told him, “What I am saying is that these soldiers are going to die with or without you risking your life. The question here is not whether the Triphorians should die, its whether you should die, and I don’t think you should.”
Tommy glared at him before sighing, frustrated, “I hate you.”
Saba looked towards Rocky and Tanya who were fighting off a group of Veronians, “I know you do. Lets go.”
Knocking down a group of Veronians that approached him Tommy finally reached Rocky and Tanya, helping them defeat the Veronians they were fighting. He sighed, “We have to go to the Command Center.”
“Why?” Tanya asked, breathlessly, “There’s still so much to be done.”
“Jason thinks its a lost cause,” Tommy told them.
Rocky nodded towards him, frowning, “What do you think?” When his leader and friend refused to answer Rocky shook his head, “Look, Tommy, I know you. Something inside of you is telling you to stay, and I feel it to. I just want you to know that if you stay here you better not try that ‘lets teleport up’ crap and then you stay here alone. If you stay I stay.”
“I will, too,” Tanya voiced.
Tommy looked at them before surveying the battlefield again. Averting his eyes to the ground as he saw a group of unmorphed Triphorians fall to the ground after being hit by a beam from the Veronian ship he sighed, “Its a lost cause. We should go.”
Tanya and Rocky both nodded reluctantly and touched their communicators, disappearing in flashes of yellow and blue. Tommy looked around one more time before pushing his communicator and fading away in a flash of white.
- * *
Trey kept his eyes on Jaime’s face the whole time, not even noticing when Tommy, Tanya, and Rocky appeared in the Command Center. He knew the horrible truth, and it was tearing him up inside: Jaime had given his life for him.
Jason slowly put his hand on Trey’s shoulder, “I’m sorry, man. I really am.”
“He gave his life for me,” Trey whispered mournfully.
Jason shook his head, “Jaime isn’t dead yet.” They both took a moment to look at the Triphorian who was still unconscious on the monitor table.
“He is still feeling the pain,” Trey argued softly, “Why would he do that for me?”
Jason looked at him, almost able to feel the pain and confusion radiating off of the Gold Ranger, “I gather you two were best friends. That may be why.”
“My father told Jaime...or so I was told, that he was to watch over me in battle if he were to die. Dad...loved Jaime like a son. Now he’s dead, my sister is dead, Jaime is dying...the Triphorians are going to die, and its all my fault.”
“Your fault!?” Jason exclaimed, “How the hell is this your fault!? Look, Trey, this is not your fault. None of it is your fault. This is Veron’s fault, and I swear to you that we’ll fight by your side to defeat this Gerlin.” Realizing that he had spoken for the whole team he looked around sheepishly. None of them were looking at him, however. Instead they all seemed to be interested in the floor.
“My father was in danger and I just stood there,” Trey cried, “I could have helped him, and if I had had Gloria running in front of me instead of behind then she wouldn’t have died, and if I had been watching the Veron lasers as we ran then I would never have been in danger which means Jaime wouldn’t be in this position right now, and where am I? Standing in here while my people are dying. I’m their king! I should be out there fighting Gerlin.”
Leila looked up at him, her eyes watering with angry tears. “Stop it,” she hissed, “Stop blaming yourself like a self-pitying animal. Putting the blame on yourself is not going to bring your father back, nor will it bring back your sister, the Triphorian soldiers, or Jaime. Everything happens according to what fate deems worthy of happening.”
“Then fate is more horrid than guilt,” Trey spat.
Leila slapped him in fury, “How dare you talk to me like that! How dare you put down fate!” Trey hung his head and returned his eyes to his best friend who, even in unconsciousness, held the face of a man in the greatest pain.
- * *
All the rangers, knowing that what was going on did not concern them, backed away into a corner of the room, looking up at Jason as he joined them. Adam glanced at Alpha, who was attaching all manners of tubes to the Silver Ranger’s body, before breaking the uncomfortable silence, “Do you guys think he’ll make it?”
“We shouldn’t give up hope,” Kat commented, “Trey needs all the support he can get after what happened to him.”
“Why did you call us back?” Tanya asked Jason, “We were helping a little bit. Our distraction let some of the healthier soldiers tend to the wounded ones.”
“It was a losing battle,” Jason told her. “Didn’t Tommy tell you what I said?”
Tommy nodded, “I told them.” He frowned at the sharpness he heard in his voice.
Jason turned to him, “You know as well as I do that you weren’t doing any good out there.”
“Sometimes you have to be willing to risk your life to help others, Jason,” Rocky said, “Besides, we weren’t even scathed out there. Yes, we were tired, but we could have at least allowed the Triphorians some time to run.”
“You were tired,” Emily echoed. “Since you were tired you would have started to make mistakes. Knowing you guys I’d hope those mistakes wouldn’t be fatal, but somehow I know they would have been. Jason was smart to call you back when he did.”
Kat looked at Tommy cautiously, “You didn’t even argue with him.”
“What was the point?” Tommy lied. He knew he had argued with Jason, and he knew, if it wouldn’t have been for Saba that he would have stayed their while Rocky and Tanya returned to the Command Center. Tommy had learned long ago that if he wanted to risk anyone’s life he should only risk his own.
“Now that the king of Triphoria is dead what chance does that leave Triphoria of winning the war?” Adam asked, changing the topic.
Jason looked at Trey, “The morphing grid has been weakened, the soldiers are dying as we speak, and Trey isn’t acting very much like a king.”
“Can you blame him?” Kat questioned, “He lost almost everyone he cared for in less than a half hour.”
“It happens,” Rocky said softly, “I can’t imagine losing any of you...almost like I could have never imagined losing Cassandra before it happened.”
“I never want to lose any of you either,” Tanya commented, “What Rocky went through was bad enough. If I lost Adam or any of you, I would die.”
“Just like I’m sure Trey’s heart is doing now,” Tommy whispered, looking at the crying Gold Ranger.
“We have to keep fighting,” Kat told them, “for Trey’s sake, and all of Triphoria.”
“As well as our planet,” Jason added, “I mean, if Veron wins not only do we have the end of the peace-loving Triphoria, but the end of freedom on Earth. That will never happen, guys. I won’t let it happen.”
The group hadn’t noticed that Trey had moved closer to them until he cleared his throat. His hair matted down against his forehead, and his dark eyes shimmering with unshed tears, he looked at them with an intensity that made them all shudder, “I must face Gerlin. It is the only way that we’ll win.”
“Are you sure, Trey?” Adam asked, “I mean, after all you’ve gone through--”
“What I’ve gone through can only make me stronger,” Trey argued, “This isn’t your battle.”
Tommy shook his head, “Its our duty to help you.”
Trey scowled at him, “I don’t want your pity.”
“This is our planet, Trey,” Jason told him, “Whether you like it or not we’re involved. I know this isn’t exactly the best time to be reunited with us, but we have been, and you should know that we’ll fight by your side until Veron is off our soil and away from our planet.”
“You fight by my side only because of your people!”
Tanya glared at him, “You said you don’t want our pity, and yet you just asked for it. Make up your mind, Trey.”
“I’m the king of Triphoria,” Trey exclaimed, “I can’t accept...I mean I don’t need...you shouldn’t help me.”
“We understand that you need to fight Gerlin alone,” Kat told him, “That is your battle, but there are still hundreds of Veronian soldiers and even more wounded Triphorians who are out there fighting for you.”
“They fight for my father,” Trey spat, “What good am I to them?”
“You’re their leader,” Rocky said, “Now is not the time to abandon them.”
Trey nodded slowly, “I know that. Its just, its hard to accept. First my father dies, then my sister, now Jaime is on his last breaths.”
“You can’t give up hope on him,” Jason remarked, “I was on that bed when the Gold Ranger powers were too much for me. Rocky and Kat were both on it after their doubles attacked them. Tommy was on it when he had to take back the Green Ranger Powers after our power coins had been taken.” He looked at Tommy who winced at the memory before continuing, “Jaime isn’t dead yet.”
Trey looked at him, his brown eyes soft, “I know that, but its almost easier for me to accept that he’s dead. Its better than telling myself that he’s in a lot of pain, and he can’t escape it. At least death would be an escape for him.”
Jason sighed, “If he dies he’ll know that you never meant the words you said to him.”
“I was thickheaded,” Trey admitted, “Jaime was just trying to protect me. I hated that about him. He was my best friend, but he had to be so damn sensitive and maternal. Yes, he was the royal guard, but I hate the feeling of being watched out for.”
Rocky glanced at Tommy for a moment, making the White Ranger blush. Turning to Trey he let out a deep breath, “Even though you hate being watched out for, you have to admit that you must have been protective of him sometimes, too.”
The seven watched as Trey considered this before tersely responding, “You’re right, Rocky.”
Their conversation was interrupted as alarms began to sound in the Command Center. Alpha ran around, his disk-like head spinning frantically, “Ay yi yi! We’re receiving a transmittion from the Veronian ship!”
“What?” The queen of Triphoria demanded, startled by the news.
“Put it on the viewing globe,” Trey commanded. Alpha did as told without any hesitation.
There was a moment of static before the screen cleared and Gerlin’s hideous face popped onto it, “I know you’re there, Trey of Triphoria.”
“What do you want, Gerlin?”
Gerlin chuckled, “Your father was a disappointment to me. His skill had dissipated since the last time we battled. Its a shame, but I was only doing the right thing.”
“My father had prevailed over you, but your guards came to your aid. Do not talk to me about his skill,” Trey screamed at the monitor.
From the other side of the transmittion Gerlin shook his head, an awful grin on his pale face, “I’m prepared to make you an offer, Trey of Triphoria. You’re a young lad, and, as I understand, you are the king now. I am holding the survivors of this war captive. Come fight me. If you win we will leave this miserable planet, but if I win Earth will be ours.”
“I don’t trust you.”
Gerlin smiled at this stepped aside, allowing Trey to see the faces of his people. Blood flowed from most of them, and they were crying in agony as Veronian warriors tortured them viciously. Gasping at the sight Trey turned to Gerlin, a venomous gleam in his eye, “If I fight you, your warriors must leave them alone.”
“We will let them go if you fight me.”
Trey frowned, “I need assurance that you will do what you say. You killed my father, and I have no reason to believe you.”
Gerlin nodded, “If I am correct you and your lovely mother ran to the Command Center of Zordon. That means that his Power Rangers are there with you. Am I correct?”
“Let me see their faces,” Gerlin said, “I want to know who I am fighting.”
“You will not fight them,” Trey told him, “and no, you may not see them.”
Gerlin smirked, “Trey of Triphoria, you and I both know if will not make any difference if I know who they are. Since you will not let me see them I can only speak to them broadly.” Looking past Trey he smiled, “Power Rangers, I am holding the Triphorians captive. If Trey battles me, you six will be allowed to enter my ships and get the soldiers out. Deal?”
“No,” Trey told him, “You could harm them aboard your ship.”
“You’ll just have to trust me, Trey of Triphoria. Do you accept my challenge?”
Trey licked his lips and looked towards the rangers. They nodded slowly. Turning back to the viewing globe Trey nodded, “I accept. We will meet in front of the ships in an Earth hour.”
“Very well,” Gerlin said, and with that his image disappeared.
Zordon looked down at Trey and his rangers, “ARE YOU ALL SURE YOU’RE DOING THE RIGHT THING?”
“We have to support Trey,” Adam said.
Tommy nodded, “Besides, those Triphorians need help, and we can’t let them be killed in there.”
“VERY WELL. REST, RANGERS. ONE HOUR FROM NOW YOU WILL BE FACING A GREATER EVIL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.”
- * *
Gerlin leaned away from his transmitter and cackled, pleased with his plan. Soon Triphoria and Earth would be his, and he would be rid of the Gold Ranger and Zordon’s power rangers. Turning to a centurion standing by the door he sighed, “Go down and make sure the force field around the Triphorian prisoners is working properly.”
The centurion nodded and walked away. Gerlin laughed again and flipped his greasy black hair away from his face. When Trey came to fight him the younger ranger would be no match for him, and as soon as the rangers were inside the ship they would be destroyed. Looking up as his computer he smiled. Just a half hour left to go.
- * *
Exactly a half hour later lights began to flash in the Command Center, and the rangers looked up to see the viewing globe turn on. Gerlin was standing outside his ship yelling, “Rangers, where are you?”
“This is all like a game to him,” Adam noticed.
Jason nodded, “All the more reason we should watch each other’s backs. I don’t trust this Gerlin guy.”
“Are you sure you’re up to this?” Tanya questioned Trey.
The Gold Ranger nodded, “I’m sure.”
“Its morphing time!” Tommy yelled.
“GOLD RANGER POWER!”
The rangers appeared in morphed form in the center of the room. Emily walked up to Jason and put a hand on his chest, “Be careful.”
“I always am,” Jason assured her.
Trey walked up to Jaime once more and looked at his mom, quietly murmuring, “Take care of him.”
Leila nodded, “Of course.”
Trey looked towards Alpha pleadingly. Understanding his unasked question, the little droid nodded, “We have all health monitors hooked up to Jaime, Trey. He will be well supervised, and you will be informed when he wakes up.”
_If he wakes up_ Trey thought. Nodding, Trey joined the other rangers just in time to hear Zordon say, “BE CAREFUL, RANGERS, AND MAY THE POWER PROTECT YOU.”
“Lets get this over with,” Jason said.
Kat nodded, “The longer we wait the longer those Triphorian soldiers suffer.” With that thought in mind, all the rangers teleported out.
- * *
After reaching Angel Grove park the rangers looked around at the burned scenery. Trees that had once stood were now split in half because of blasts from the Veron ships. They turned around abruptly as they heard Gerlin’s evil cackle invade their ears. Gerlin grinned wily, “Hello, rangers. Trey of Triphoria, I’m glad to see you made it.”
“Let them in,” Trey ordered, making to effort at using the same false tone of voice as the Veron king.
Gerlin snarled at him before turning towards his ship, “The door is open. Go and save those puny Triphorians.”
Tommy looked at the Gold Ranger who nodded at him, mentally saying they could go. The White Ranger glanced at the others, “Lets go, guys.”
The six rangers ran towards the Veron ships, looking back a few times to make sure the battle between Trey and Gerlin hadn’t begun. They had just reached the door of the ship when they heard the Veron king shout, “ROYAL VERONIAN POWER!”
Not expecting anything to happen to them, the rangers yelped in surprise as a horrible burning sensation crept through their flesh all the way from their heads to their toes. Falling to their knees, they cried out and cursed the horrible sensation.
Just as quickly as this had began it ended, and they all slowly got to their feet and looked around, sweating heavily. Kat took in a deep breath, “Is everyone all right?”
“Yeah,” Rocky gasped out, letting out a small sigh. Turning around his eyes widened as he saw the Gold Ranger barely making it to his feet without falling over, “Trey looks out of it.”
“Maybe we should get out of here,” Tanya suggested, “Something isn’t right.”
“I feel it, too,” Tommy told her, “but we have to keep going. Those Triphorians are counting on us.”
“What if its a trap?” Adam questioned nervously.
Jason shook his head, “We have to go, guys. Tommy’s right. The Triphorians are depending on us. Trap or not we have to try.”
“What about Trey?” Kat asked, looking at the Gold Ranger, “He didn’t look so good back there.”
Rocky looked at Jason, “Should we get him?”
“Trey’s smart enough to know when he can and can’t fight. We shouldn’t worry about him.”
“He’s also under a lot of stress,” Tanya pointed out, “Trey may not be thinking clearly.”
“We have to trust him,” Adam said.
Tommy nodded, “I hate to admit it, but this isn’t our fight. Its up to Trey to decide what to do. Not us.”
All the rangers sighed in agreement and turned towards the Veron ship again. The door was still open, almost like an eerie invitation. Tommy looked at the yellow light coming from the door, almost hypnotized by it, “Lets go.” All the rangers followed him as he ran into the large ship. No sooner had they entered that the door closed behind them and locked.
- * *
Trey glared at Gerlin as the king of Veron looked at him in ranger form, “You promised not to harm the rangers, and, first off, you do this. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you.”
“If you knew that then you shouldn’t have come,” Gerlin retorted. “Now, the battle is not for just the Triphorian warriors, but for your pitiful ranger friends. If I win they become my warriors, but if you win they go free.”
“Temper temper,” Gerlin scolded mockingly, “Remember, Trey, you’re the king of a peace-loving nation.”
Trey got into fighting stance, his body pointed at the larger being ominously, “Quit chatting and fight me.”
“As you wish,” Gerlin growled. With that, the older being attacked the Gold Ranger.
- * *
The rangers looked around the inside of the Veronian ship searching for any type of life. Tanya frowned, “Where the hell are they?”
“Maybe they’re in another section of the ship,” Tommy suggested.
Rocky sighed, “Gerlin isn’t making this easy for us.”
Jason laughed at this, “What do you expect from an evil king that looks like Marilyn Manson?”
Walking for a few more minutes Kat stopped suddenly and looked around, making Adam bump into her. Adam smiled apologetically before asking, “What’s wrong?”
“I heard something,” Kat whispered, “Its close.”
Tommy stopped as he heard his girlfriend say this, stumbling forward as both Jason and Rocky fell on top of him. Regaining his balance, he sighed, “OK, guys, when this is all over we’re going to have to train for this kind of situation.”
“Sorry,” Jason and Rocky said in unison.
Tanya gazed around the bleak, cramped hallway, “I heard something, too. Something isn’t right. I don’t like this.”
“I have the strange feeling we’re being watched,” Rocky told them.
Adam nodded, “Me too.”
He had just said this when Veronian soldiers stormed into the room, strange looking weapons drawn. “Its a trap!” Jason yelled.
Kat smirked, “You think?”
“Spread out!” Tommy commanded. Seeing how tight the room was in the hallway he shook his head, “Well, spread out as much as you can.”
“Right!” The others acknowledged. They had just gotten into line when the Veronian soldiers showered on them and began the small war.
- * *
Trey circled around the Veronian king, his staff in hand. Though it had only been a few minutes he was already breathing rapidly. Gerlin laughed at him, “Well, it looks like your father was more athletic than you. I’m surprised, considering all the weight he had put on.”
“You haven’t killed me off yet, Gerlin,” Trey taunted, getting back into fighting position.
Gerlin smiled, his dark teeth shimmering in the light of the moon, “Unfortunately, the rangers are probably all ready dead.”
“No!” Trey screamed, “They’ll be out soon!”
“I’ve set a trap for them,” Gerlin told him calmly, “There are over one hundred guards waiting for them. If they haven’t died all ready I’ll give them about fifteen more minutes.”
“You shouldn’t underestimate those whom you haven’t fought yourself,” Trey said, “They’ll defeat your warriors.”
“I overestimated you, Trey of Triphoria,” Gerlin commented, “I guess I’m just aiming lower now.”
Trey snarled at him, “Well, you haven’t defeated me yet. Its time for a gold rush!” With that, a gold beam of light came out a struck the evil king, sending him plummeting to the ground.
Getting up again Gerlin sighed, “I was offering you a chance, Trey of Triphoria. Allow me to take the stripes from your eye. Join the Veronians. You’d make a fine soldier.”
“Never,” Trey growled, “I’ll never fight on your side.”
“Fine, I’ll make it easier,” Gerlin persisted, “Pick a ranger.”
“Pick a ranger,” Gerlin repeated. “I’ll take any of them. The White or Red ranger, preferably, but any would be good.”
“You can’t have them,” Trey said, his voice low.
Gerlin shook his head, “Not the White or Red ranger? Fine, I’ll take the yellow one. She seems energetic enough.”
“Green?” Gerlin asked.
Trey shook his head, frustrated by the fact that Gerlin thought this was a game. The evil king just sighed, “Fine, Blue or Pink ranger. Come on, give me one of those. They don’t seem close to you.”
“I’m not one to give them away,” Trey spat, “and if I was I still wouldn’t give you any of the rangers.”
“You are a fool like your father,” Gerlin scowled, “All I ask is for one ranger, just like before I asked for one ranger.”
“If you really wanted the Silver Ranger you wouldn’t have killed him,” Trey retorted.
Gerlin shook his head, “I didn’t fire at him, Trey of Triphoria. If you recall I shot at you, but he got in the way. He always was brave, wasn’t he, Trey?”
“Stop talking and fight!” Trey yelled at him.
Gerlin smiled, “Jaime Talsik was a nice boy. Isn’t it true that your father gave him the royal touch?”
“The maid, Jennifer, overheard your father and mother talking at night. Your father wanted to change Jaime Talsik’s silver stripe to gold. I know this is true. Jennifer was a spy for me.”
“You’re lying!” Trey screamed at him, “Shut up!”
Gerlin got closer to him, his eyes unusually soft, “You were always in some kind of competition for attention with Jaime, weren’t you, Trey of Triphoria? Since your father was giving him attention you wanted some, too.”
Raising his staff, Trey glared at him, “I’m warning you!”
“Jaime was a golden boy, even though he called you the goody goody. Jaime was good at everything. He could fly a ship with the best of them, he was the best fighter in the kingdom, besides you, of course, Your Majesty, but he was also your bodyguard, wasn’t he? Your father appointed him as the royal guard, did he not?”
“Stop talking and fight, you bastard!” Trey yelled at him.
Gerlin grinned sweetly at the Gold Ranger, “I know why your father gave Jaime the royal touch, Trey of Triphoria. He wanted to give Jaime a gold stripe and make him part of the royal family, but your mother forbid it.”
“Shut up,” Trey said, this time with less power than before. Any observer could have seen that the Gold Ranger was cowering under the mental stress. His body, which had been firm before, was now beginning to relax.
“I know, Trey of Triphoria,” Gerlin said quietly, “I know your father wanted Jaime to be the king.”
- * *
“There are too many of them!” Kat exclaimed, looking at the Veron warriors that continued to swamp them down, “I don’t know if we’ll be able to hold them all off.”
The rangers found themselves backed into a corner with barely any room to fight. Tommy looked at them, “We can’t give up.” Pushing a Veronian fighter off of him, he pulled Saba from his holder and fired at a group of Veronian warriors, sending most of them to the floor. This barely did again good, however, because a group of twice as many Veronians followed them, jumping on top of him with their weapons.
Rocky looked around frantically, not knowing exactly what to do. There were Veronian soldiers all around him, and he didn’t know where to begin. Sighing, he cried out, “Zeo Power Weapon!” Looking around, he sighed, “Damn, I knew that was wrong.” Blushing beneath his helmet he called out, “Power Lance!” The weapon appeared in his hands and he attacked the first Veronian he laid his eyes on.
Power Daggers drawn, Tanya did her best to fend off the Veronians. Trying to look over the warriors she yelled, “Jason, should we try bringing them together?”
“Good idea!” She heard Jason faintly call from the other side of the room.
Flipping over a group of Veronians, Adam landed next to Jason, “Lets do it.”
The two watched as Kat and Tanya flipped over the warriors and joined them. Rocky and Tommy soon followed. Tommy looked down at Saba before backing away behind the others, not wanting to get in the way. “I hope this works,” Jason muttered.
“Power Ax!” Adam called. Throwing the weapon in the air it hung there, unable to be reached by the enemy fighters.
“Power Bow!” Kat cried, throwing her weapon in the air. It instantly attached to Adam’s.
“Power Lance!” Rocky yelled. Throwing the weapon into the air he watched as it split in two and joined onto separate sides of Kat’s bow.
“Power Daggers!” Tanya screamed. Throwing the yellow weapons in the air she watched as each one connected beside the two pieces of the Power Lance.
“Power Sword!” Jason called. Jumping into the air he placed his weapon on top of the weapon. When he had landed the large device was in his hands. The other four circled around him.
“Fire!” They all cried. Lasers shot from the weapon and hit the Veronian soldiers dead on, killing most of them instantly. Though it seemed to work at first, they were shocked as a small group of Veronians charged them, having not been hit.
The five were about to get into fighting stance when they heard a familiar voice yell, “Fire!”
Looking up, they watched as Tommy jumped over them, using Saba to fire at the oncoming troops. The lasers from Saba’s eyes killed most of them. About five continued to stand. Looking over at Jason, Tommy grinned, “Shall we?”
“I’d love to,” Jason called back.
Running over to each other, they put their swords together and screamed, “Tiger/Rex, Fire!” A beam of white and red light hit the leftover warriors, killing them on impact.
Tommy slapped Jason’s hand, grinning happily, “Good shooting, bro.”
“You too,” Jason responded. The two returned to where the others were gathered.
Looking around Rocky sighed, “What now?”
“I guess we just go on and stay alert,” Kat speculated, “That’s about all we can do. I don’t even remember how we got here.”
Adam looked around, his eyes wary, “Lets get the Triphorians and get out of here. This place is giving me the creeps.”
Tanya nodded, “I heard that.”
“Proves your not deaf,” Rocky murmured. Hearing him, Tanya pushed him jokingly. Slowly the six power rangers continued further towards the middle of the ship.
- * *
The rangers had been walking through the Veronian ship for nearly a half hour without finding any signs of danger or the Triphorians. Most of the ship looked the same to them. It was all a series of hallways with metal walls. Jason sighed, “Well, where the hell are they? My feet hurt!”
“Mine, too,” Tommy agreed. “We have to keep going, though. I keep having the feeling that the next place we go to will be where the Triphorians are.”
Walking through an open door, the six gasped in surprise as it closed behind them, leaving them in the dark. “What’s going on?” Kat whispered.
Not able to see through the dark Adam shrugged, “I don’t know. We need some light.”
“Activating Power Beam,” Tanya called. The lights on her helmet flashed on, giving the rangers two small rays of light.
Rocky shook his head, “Remind Alpha to boost the power on those things when we get back.”
Tanya ignored him and continued to look around, “It just looks like a storage area of some sort. Maybe its some weird closet or a--” Her voice trailed off as the beam fell on a strange type of feet. They were Caucasian, but the toes were more pointy than a humans. Raising the beam Tanya saw that the thing was clothed in a burgundy robe, and, reaching the head, she saw that it looked like a black haired boy, only it was obvious he wasn’t human. His face was angled into more of a point, and his eyes were just white with black slits in the middle. He smiled slyly before opening his mouth. A tongue resembling that of a snake popped out of it and flickered in front of them. Stepping back Tanya realized that there were three more of them standing behind this one.
“Welcome Power Rangersssss,” The lead one hissed, “I am Levisssss, leader of the Sssselvin tribe.”
“What do you want with us?” Tommy asked fiercely.
Another one of the being stepped forward. This one was female with blond hair up to her shoulders. She grinned at him, “We have been recruited by Gerlin. He ssssent for us sssso that he could dissssposssse of you.”
The third, a brown haired male being, blinked before saying, “You have met your final competitorsssss.”
“Yessss,” the fourth, a black haired girl muttered, “You mussssst be dessstroyed.”
“Gerlin is evil,” Jason told them, “Why do you work for him?”
The leader smiled, “We are evil, too, Red Ranger.” With that, the rangers watched his eyes become yellow as he sprinted forward and lunged on top of Jason, his tongue flapping wildly. The others simultaneously attacked as well.
Jason tried to push the smaller being off, surprised by the force he was placing on him. The leader, Levis, chuckled darkly, “Do not fight with fate, Red Ranger. You will be dessssstroyed with or without a battle. Make it easssier on yoursssself.”
“Don’t underestimate me,” Jason growled, continuing to try and kick the little monster off him.
The other male being attacked both Tanya and Kat, relishing their agony-filled cries as he shocked them with his fiery tongue, “Itssss sssso ssssad to ssssee how eassssy it issss to defeat Zordon’ssss famousss rangerssss.”
The black haired female being jumped on Adam before he could raise his Power Ax in defense. She smiled, placing a hand on his chest and pushing as hard as she could. The Black Ranger struggled to breath, ending up coughing dryly in order to try and get oxygen. “Sssstruggle not, Black Ranger,” She cooed, “It will be over ssssooon.” Sensing that he had passed out she shrugged, “I will let you live for now, jussst because I love black.” Getting up she eyed Rocky with a devilish glare and pounced on him before he could move away.
Saba in hand Tommy circled around the final being. He shook his head, “You don’t have to do this.”
“Yessss, I do, White Ranger,” She growled, “You mussst be desssstroyed.”
“Gerlin is tricking you into thinking you’ll get something out of killing us. In reality he just wants what he wants. He will not pay you.”
She smiled at him, “Gerlin doessss not pay ussss. He hassss offered to give us ssssafe passsssage to our homeland.”
“You won’t get it,” Tommy told her, “Trust me.”
“I don’t trusssst an enemy,” She snarled, pouncing on his before he could order Saba to shoot. Before he knew what had happened she was on top of him, eyeing him after throwing Saba out of his reach, “Don’t underessstimate your competitorssss, White Ranger.”
“I didn’t underestimate you,” He gasped out, feeling her burning touch through his armor.
She smiled falsely, her long tongue coming through her teeth, “I ssssuppossse you sssshould know my name if I am to kill you. It issss Trimaya.”
“Trimaya,” Tommy said, noticing how rough his voice sounded, “you don’t know what you’re doing. Stop.”
She laughed wryly, “Foolissssh boy. You sssstill don’t underssstand that I am evil. Your elementary mind gamessss will not work on me.”
Tommy tried to respond, only to discover that it had become too hard to speak. His breath had slowed, and as he breathed a faint rasping could be heard. Closing his eyes, he wished for the pain to stop, feeling a small tear trickle down his cheek. Trimaya watched this with an eerie satisfaction, “That’sss right, White Ranger. Sssssleep. You have earned your eternal ressssst.”
- * *
Outside of the Veronian ships Trey was still battling Gerlin, but it was obvious that the Gold Ranger was weakening under Gerlin’s mind power, “It was a good thing I killed your father before he was able to make Jaime king.”
“He wouldn’t have,” Trey protested weakly, “I mean, my father would tell me I would make a great king and that Jaime would just be the royal guard.”
Gerlin grinned sympathetically, “That was all your mother would allow for Jaime. See, your mother knew you had to be king, and she didn’t want some warrior to take the throne.”
“My mother loves Jaime as my father did.”
Gerlin shook his head, “So you think.”
Trey sighed, “If my mother didn’t love Jaime why would she allow him to be given the royal touch?”
“She wasn’t with your father when he did it, was she?”
Trey thought about this before shaking his head, “No, she wasn’t.”
“Plus, unless you’ve forgotten, he was drunk,” Gerlin pointed out, “His mind was scrambled, and he may not have remembered your mother’s pleas begging him not to give the royal touch to Jaime.”
“That’s not true,” Trey told him, but there was no hint of anger in his voice. Just doubt and confusion.
Gerlin smiled, “Yes it is, Trey of Triphoria. It is true. I had people on Pyramidas recording this information. Did you really think I couldn’t bribe some of those under appreciated in the kingdom so I could find out what was going on?”
“Why, then, do you tell me this now? Why don’t you just destroy me?” Trey questioned. “You obviously think you can.”
“I know I can,” Gerlin said, “but you are valuable to me, Trey of Triphoria. I will not forget you like your father. I will not see anyone better than you. All I ask is that you consider letting me remove the stripes on your eyes.”
“No,” Trey told him, “You can’t do that. Whatever my father may have done in the past is over. I am the king.”
“Jaime is rightfully king,” Gerlin responded, “Your father gave Jaime his blessing.”
Trey laughed, “Don’t try to fool me with that. I would have been there.”
“Your father was ashamed of his feelings,” Gerlin said, “He was afraid to tell you.”
“My father isn’t afraid of anything.”
Gerlin shook his head, “You are wrong, Trey of Triphoria. He was afraid of losing your love and admiration.” Trey was silent, unconsciously motioning for Gerlin to continue. He did so, “You meant a lot to him, Trey, but we both know that Jaime is the better fighter. Ever since your little accident on Aquitar he’s been able to pilot better than you, he can fight better than you in one-on-one situations, plus he can keep a level head in battle situations while you go all around and try to get a piece of everyone.”
“Why tell me this if Jaime is dying anyway. For all I know he’s already dead.”
“You don’t know that his injury won’t heal, Trey of Triphoria,” Gerlin said, “What you must decide is not when you should go back to Triphoria and lead, its if. If Jaime wakes up will you take the throne or will you give it to its rightful owner?”
“Jaime knows nothing of royal ordeals,” Trey said with a chuckle, “He wouldn’t know the first thing to do when it came to leading a country.”
“Do you want to go back to a planet that will scorn you for letting its best leader die? Do you really know, Trey of Triphoria, that they will accept you as their king?”
Trey grinned, “They won’t have a choice.”
“They could choose Jaime.”
“Jaime will be dead,” Trey told him.
Gerlin smiled, “What if he’s not? Do you really want to go back?”
“Yes...” His voice trailed off.
Gerlin grinned, “Let me remove the stripes from your eye, Trey of Triphoria.”
“Allow me the honor of making you my royal guard.”
Gerlin sighed, “You know you want it done, but you’re afraid of what your mother will think. Where is your mother now, Trey?”
“She’s with Zordon,” Trey replied.
“What is she doing?”
Trey thought for a moment, “Um, she’s watching over Jaime.”
Gerlin smiled, “I rest my case,”
“That’s bull,” Trey said, “I told her to stay with him.”
“And, of course, she didn’t seem hesitant to do so, or angry?” Trey shook his head no. “Well, then, if she didn’t seem reluctant that means she must have given in to your father’s wishes. She feels that in order to honor his memory she should make Jaime the king.” Trey was silent as Gerlin spoke, not knowing what to say.
Gerlin smiled, “Now, let me remove those stripes.”
“Let me allow you entrance into a world where you will be respected and loved as all beings should be.”
“No...well, um, I--”
Trey cleared his throat, “I, um, I don’t know. I need to think.”
Gerlin grinned, showing his horrible teeth, “Take all the time you need, Trey of Triphoria. I’ll wait.”
- * *
Opening his eyes Rocky realized that he was no longer on the floor, though he could still feel the burning sensation he had gotten when the being had jumped on him shooting through his body. Thinking that he was dead he was surprised to feel a horrible shock on his cheek. Whimpering softly Rocky turned his head to realize that the black-haired being was staring at him, her tongue returning to his small mouth. She smiled, “Risssse and sssshine, Blue Ranger.”
Looking away, Rocky noticed that he was hanging from a hook on the wall, and his arms were tied above his head. He was still in morphed form, but it was at that point that he realized his helmet was no longer on. It was lying on the floor. “W-what do you want from us?” Rocky questioned, his voice shaky and soft.
The being smiled, “We do not want anything from you, Blue Ranger, except to receive pleasuressss that we have not enjoyed in a long time.”
“Who are you?”
“I am Delssssia,” She purred, bringing her face irritably close to Rocky’s soon, he could feel her breath on his cheek, and just the small contact made his cheek sting. Delsia raised her hand and caressed the Blue Ranger’s face, smiling as he tried to pull away from the touch, “Do not fear me, Blue Ranger. You will be rid of thisss pain ssssoon.”
Silently wishing that he had enough strength to kick Delsia away, Rocky took in a deep breath, wincing at the pain this caused, “Why didn’t you kill us before?”
Delsia chuckled lightly, “Undersssstand, Blue Ranger, that we do not get to kill many humanssss often. You may not realize that killing a human is like a drug to Sssselvinsssss. We yearn for any chance we have to kill an Earthling, sssso, now that we have the opportunity, we are taking it ssssslowly ssssso we can relisssssh the feeling.”
Suddenly feeling a chill inside, Rocky looked around the room at the other rangers, hoping to see that they were all alive. Kat and Tanya were propped against the wall, eyes open as one of the beings probed their bodies with his hands. Jason was gazing around as he was while Levis found pleasure in shocking his chest with his hands. Tommy seemed to be really out of it, but he was awake and Trimaya was saying something to him, but she was so quiet that he couldn’t hear what it was.
Shivering, Rocky gazed around frantically for Adam, finally finding the Black Ranger lying on the ground, his face pale. Not seeing any movement, Rocky used all his energy to try and break free from his bindings, only to be slapped by Delsia. This force was multiplied by the burning in her fingertips, and it made Rocky cry out in pain as he felt a small trickle of blood run down his cheek and onto his blue ranger armor.
Delsia glared at him, her eyes cold as a stone, “Do not be childisssssh, Blue Ranger.”
“Did you kill him,” Rocky whispered, motioning towards Adam with his head.
Delsia glanced down at the Black Ranger before replying, “He’ssss not dead. I musssst have pressssed too hard on him when I attacked.”
“You bitch,” Rocky muttered, feeling any strength he had leave him.
Delsia, seeing this, placed a hand over his eyes, “Do not quessstion me, Blue Ranger. Resssst.” His face numb, Rocky was oblivious to the burns he was receiving from Delsia’s fingertips, and he let himself pass out.
While this was happening Jason was glancing around the room, his face twisted in fear and pain. Levis continued to shock him, and, at moment, half of his body felt numb, “Yes, Levis, I can see you’ve conquered me, so go ahead and finish. I don’t need to be tormented.”
“Quiet, Red Ranger,” Levis said, “You musssst let a Sssselvin enjoy itssss prey to the fullessst before killing it.”
“Believe me, this is all the enjoyment you’re going to get out of me,” Jason told him dryly.
Levis smiled, “The enjoyment I have with you, Red Ranger, is not perssssonal, but physssical.”
Jason smirked, “That’s perverted.”
Levis shook his head, “No, that’sssss a way of life. I’ve learned that Earthlingsssss are expected to relisssssh thosssse of oppossssite gender, but Ssssselvinianssss do not have thissss rule.”
“Its not a rule,” Jason told him, hoping that keeping the being talking would give him time to think of a way to escape, “Many people choose to get together with those of the same sex, but I’m not one of them, and I don’t think that’s right.”
“You missss out on many pleassssuressss then, Red Ranger.”
Jason frowned, “Perhaps, but they aren’t pleasures I want.”
“Ssssselviniansssss can enjoy killing thosssse of all genderssss and planetssss. It issss our way of life.”
“I’m sure its wonderful,” Jason deadpanned. Levis did not respond to this. Instead, he went back to using his electric touch to make the Red Ranger whimper in anguish, smiling as he did so.
Kat gasped in startlement as searing pain went through her chest. Looking up she saw that the Selvin, who’s name she had learned was Kiptel, was caressing her breasts with his hands. Though this was usually a pleasure on Earth, the Selvin’s burning touch made her lungs ache, and she struggled to breath, “Please stop.”
“I can’t. It feelssss too good.”
Kat growled, “You’re doing it to me! How can it feel good to you!?”
Kiptel smiled, “Feeling the body of a human issss not the ssssame assss feeling the body of a Sssselvinian. We don’t get many chancesss to feel a human body, let alone a human female.”
“You’re crazy,” Kat snarled, “If you’re going to kill us do it. I don’t feel like being raped by an alien.”
“No, Pink Ranger,” Kiptel laughed, “We do not rape humanssss. You would be dead before we could finissssh what we had begun.” Not having the power to fight back, Kat looked at Tanya who was shaking uncontrollably and closed her eyes, waiting for the same pain that her friend had endured.
Trimaya laughed contentedly as she continued torturing the defensless White Ranger. Wanting to know how he was responding to the torture she glanced at his face, sighing as she saw he wasn’t having the same reaction she was. Somehow Trimaya was never as comfortable with torturing humans as the rest of the group was. A part of her wished they could feel the same exhilarating feeling from being touched by a Selvinian as they got from touching a human, but she knew that wasn’t the case. Instead of receiving comfort and pleasure from the touch they were burned and tortured.
Now, looking at the White Rangers face, she saw that he had turned away from her and had closed his eyes. He seemed to have forgotten all about her, and was concentrating more on breathing than anything else. Becoming angry, she moved her fingers to the White Ranger’s heart and covered it with her whole hand watching, content, as he took in a sharp breath and winced, his whole face becoming red from the action. “Why won’t you acknowledge me, White Ranger?” She questioned, “You don’t even beg me to sssstop.”
“Why should I?” Tommy asked, “You’re not going to stop if I ask you to, so why waste my strength?”
“You’re not like other humansss,” Trimaya admitted, “What isss different about you?”
Tommy shrugged, though it was barely noticeable, “I’m like everyone else.”
“Other humanssss beg for mercy.”
Tommy frowned, “Why die without pride?”
Trimaya just sighed and continued to massage his body with her fiery touch, never once taking her eyes off his face. She knew he was different, he couldn’t lie. There was something about him...he wasn’t like the others. Her thoughts were ended as she heard him whisper, “I’m not begging for my mercy but for my death.”
“What do you want, White Ranger?”
Tommy took in a deep breath, turning away from her as he started to cough. Finally becoming calm again he looked at her, “Kill me before the others are killed.”
“Why?” Trimaya inquired.
“I don’t want to see them die,” Tommy told her, “You can torture me, rape me, do whatever you please, but kill me first. Nothing could be worse for me than seeing the others die while I live.”
Trimaya looked into his eyes, seeing that he was being completely truthful. She shook her head, “I can’t promissse that, White Ranger.”
“Then kill me now.”
“I have not gotten all I want out of you,” Trimaya said.
Tommy licked his lips slowly before saying, “Then get it quickly.”
Trimaya sighed, “You will not be killed until all the torture issss complete. No one elssse will, either. When the final killing ceremony arrivessss I will sssuggessst that you be the firssst to be sssslaughtered.”
Tommy nodded, flinching at the pain caused by this, “Thank you, Trimaya.” Trimaya grinned faintly and continued her torture, not able to tear her eyes away from the White Ranger’s face. No one that she had ever tortured had asked to be killed first. Hell, no one she had ever tortured had asked to be killed. Around that time they would be screaming and begging for mercy, but not the White Ranger. In fact, none of the rangers seemed to be begging for mercy. They were all begging for death. Why?
The time that passed after that went slowly for Trimaya. She continued her torture as did the others, never taking her eyes from the face of the White Ranger. As before, he continued to concentrate of breathing, though once or twice she caressed a sensitive part, making him cry out or sob, but he never asked for mercy, and he never asked for death again. He just kept his head turned so that he wasn’t facing her. At one point, a half hour after their brief conversation, she had become enraged by this and had slapped him repeatedly to get him to look at her. After about ten minutes, when his face was badly burned and scraped, he finally agreed not to turn away from her again. At that point, however, she didn’t want him looking at her, and she let him turn away again.
After that incident she continued the slow torture, watching as the White Ranger grew more and more pale by the minute. Still, he barely ever made a sound, though she suspected that was because he didn’t have the energy to. The only noise he made was to whimper in pain as she touched an irritated portion of his badly bruised body. Once or twice he cried, and Trimaya had to force herself not to wipe the tears away for fear of shocking his face and killing him.
An hour after their conversation all the rangers unmorphed simultaneously, leaving them even more vulnerable to the Selvinians touch. At that point all of the rangers were screaming, not for mercy but just because of the pain. Trimaya glanced at the other rangers from time to time. The red one seemed to have taken the same position as the White Ranger. He had turned away from Levis and didn’t make much noise. The Pink and Yellow Rangers were both shaking, and, from time to time, they screamed, but they didn’t’ beg for mercy at all during their torture by Kiptel. The Blue and Black Rangers were at the hands of Delsia. The blue one tried once or twice to get loose, but each time Delsia would laugh and push him a few times, while the Black Ranger still hadn’t come back to consciousness.
A half hour after the rangers loss their powers Trimaya looked at the White Ranger, startled to see that he didn’t seem to be moving. At first she thought she had killed him, but, when she checked his heart, she found that he was breathing. In order to check a theory she forced herself to slap him as hard as she could. He quickly opened his eyes and looked at her with fresh tears of agony in his eyes. Not having the power to scream he just whimpered and tried to back away from her, a few tears falling from his eyes. She looked at him in pity and merely said, “I needed to know if you had died, White Ranger.”
He had shaken his head, “No, I’m not dead.” His voice, soft and shaky, had been enough to make her look away from him before continuing to caress his body.
At this point, though she felt slightly guilty, she knew she was at the peak of her excitement. The movement of her hands on the ranger’s body had become natural, and she knew exactly where it was that, though she had a fiery touch, still gave him some pleasure, and she knew exactly where it was that made him squirm or scream.
Selvinians felt that when you knew these things you had almost become one with the one you tortured, and that from that point you received the highest thrills possible. Trimaya, from experience, knew that this theory was true. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a human’s body were great advantages in knowing what would be the most enjoyable for the Selvinian. Feeling she knew these things now, Trimaya began what the Selvinians called ‘Pleasure Ritual’ where you took the steps towards reaching the highest level of pleasure with a human.
Looking on the White Ranger’s beaten form she whispered, “I musssst begin the final processssss, White Ranger. For that I need to know your real name.”
For a moment he didn’t answer, and Trimaya thought that he hadn’t heard her. She was about to repeat what she had said before when she heard him say, “Tommy Oliver.”
“Yeah,” Tommy murmured.
Nodding slightly, Trimaya placed her fiery fingers on the White Ranger’s neck, watching as he took in a sharp breath and coughed slightly. Moving her hands slowly downwards she placed them over his chest and massaged, hearing him whimper softly and shift under her touch. Continuing, she moved her hands further down, massaging his thighs, legs, and ankles. Looking at his face, she saw he was cringing but not making any sound. Moving back up she put her hands over his cock, watching as he took in a deep breath and tried to move away from her. She pulled him back towards her and moved her hands up and down. Over and over...up and down...up and down... Trimaya saw that he was crying softly now, and that he was desperately trying to escape her touch. She didn’t let him, and, moving her hands, she rubbed his hips, his abs, and the whole length of his body again. He shivered under her touch, and continued to cry despite her constant orders to stay quiet through this time.
After a half hour she was done, and she sat back, exhausted from the adrenaline that had been rushing through her during the ritual. Glancing at the White Ranger, she saw that he had curled up into a ball as best he could and was still crying. For a moment she questioned if killing the rangers was the best thing, but she knew it was. Gerlin wouldn’t send them home if they didn’t complete the job. Also, she knew after the Pleasure Ritual death was the only thing a human desired. Something about that saddened her.
The White Ranger...Tommy Oliver wasn’t the same as other humans. There was something different about him...about them. She knew they were Zordon’s Power Rangers, and that was probably what she was sensing, but looking now on the leader of the rangers, she didn’t see the threatening figure that others around the galaxy like Rita Repulsa or Prince Gasket and his wife Archerina spoke of. All she saw was a young Earthling who was trying to protect his mortal body yet, at the same time, he wanted nothing more than to die for his friends. Yes, Tommy Oliver was definitely noble, a trait that most humans couldn’t even dream of having.
- * *
In the Command Center Alpha was rushing around frantically trying to find a way to contact the rangers. Emily was looking at the viewing globe, her heart racing, “They definitely should have been back by now.”
“ALPHA, HAVE YOU FOUND A FREQUENCY THAT CAN BE USED TO CONTACT THE RANGERS?”
“I’m trying, Zordon, but it seems like there’s a forcefield around the whole ship. I can’t get through it.”
“Keep trying, Alpha,” Emily told him. Gazing through the viewing globe she sighed, “I hope they’re all right.”
Leila of Triphoria was sitting down by the cot where the Silver Ranger laid. Though the blood had stopped flowing from his wound, he was still really pale The queen looked up at Zordon, “We should check on Trey. He should have been back by now.”
“Trey told us not to monitor him while he was in battle with Gerlin,” Emily told her.
Leila snarled, “The hell with what he said. He’s my son!”
“ALPHA, ACTIVATE THE VIEWING GLOBE TO THE OUTSIDE PERIMETER OF THE VERONIAN SHIP.”
“You’ve got it, Zordon.” The little droid ran over to a console and pushed a few buttons. They watched as a picture of Trey came up on the screen. They’re eyes widened as they saw he was unmorphed and was walking closer to Gerlin, a saddened expression hardening his features.
“What the hell is he doing?” Emily questioned.
Leila seemed to turn a shade of white as she saw the small device that Gerlin held in his hand, “Trey is getting his Triphorian stripes removed.”
“Ay yi yi!” Alpha whined, “What do we do?”
“We can’t do anything,” Lila told them, a tear rolling down her cheeks, “Giving up your origin is a choice Triphorians make for themselves.”
“But Trey is the king!” Emily exclaimed, “Besides, Gerlin must have tricked him!”
“Its too late to do anything.”
“No, its not,” A voice said weakly from behind them.
Turning around, the two saw that Jaime was up and had staggered out of the cot, stepping shakily on the cold floor of the Command Center. Leila ran over to him and draped his arm around her shoulder so that he wouldn’t fall, “Come on, Silver Ranger, lets get you back into the cot. You need rest--”
“Trey needs help,” Jaime gasped you, “You can’t let him become a Veronian.”
Leila frowned, shaking her head, “Its his choice.”
“Well, he made the wrong choice,” Jaime argued weakly, “I have to go to him...contact him...something...”
“You’re in no position to contact him, Jaime,” Leila snapped, “Just an hour ago we thought you were going to die.”
“If we don’t stop Trey he’s going to die,” Jaime persisted, “Please, my Queen, let me try.”
Leila just looked at him for a second, her face still molded into an expression of anger. Finally, her face softened and she nodded, “Do it.”
Jaime looked at Alpha, “Can you show me how to do it?”
Alpha nodded and ran over to another console, Jaime following him, “Just push this red button here when you want to speak.”
Jaime smiled faintly, “Thanks.” Pushing the button, he ignored the fact that the real Alpha Five had just given him instructions, and began to speak, “Trey? Trey, can you hear me?”
It took a moment before he heard his friend’s soft voice call, “W-who is that?”
“Trey, its me. Jaime. Listen, you’re doing the wrong thing. Gerlin is tricking you,” Jaime responded.
“J-Jaime? You’re alive?”
Jaime smiled, “Yeah, Trey, I’m alive. Don’t let Gerlin remove your stripes. He’s tricking you.”
“Dad wanted you to be the king anyway, Jaime,” Trey said, “I don’t feel like being the underdog to you anymore.”
The smile fell from Jaime’s face, and he leaned against the console for support, “What are you talking about? Your dad didn’t want me to be the king.”
“Gerlin told me everything,” Trey sneered, “I know Dad gave you the royal touch just because my mom wouldn’t let you be given a gold stripe.”
Jaime gasped, “Trey, you know that’s not true. Gerlin is a liar.”
“Jennifer was a spy on ship. She heard Mom and Dad talking. Dad wanted you given the gold stripe, and he wanted you to be king.”
“That’s not true!” Jaime exclaimed. He realized that Trey wasn’t paying attention to him at all.
Trey growled, “Don’t lie to me, Jaime. I know Dad gave you his blessing.” At this Leila looked at Jaime in horror.
The Silver Ranger shook his head as if Trey were right there in the room, “Trey, he’s lying. Your dad never gave me the blessing. He loved you and wanted you to be king. All I am is the royal guard.”
“I don’t want to hear your lies, Jaime. As soon as I’m a full fledged Veronian I’ll be sure to go to Triphoria and tell your people how much of a liar you are.”
Jaime rubbed his temples before inquiring, “My people!? Trey, listen--” He stopped as he heard the connection go dead. Turning to Leila who was now almost as pale as he was he stepped towards her, “My Queen, he never did that. He never gave me his blessing to be king.”
“He thought about it, though,” Leila whispered, “My husband told me one night that he wanted to turn your silver stripe to gold.”
Jaime’s eyes widened in shock, and he grabbed the console to keep from falling over, “I-I never knew. Now, I feel like such a fool.”
“This isn’t your fault, Silver Ranger.”
“I have to get him to stop this,” Jaime told them.
Emily walked up to them, hands on hips, “You sure as hell aren’t going to do that. All you’ve done since your injury is stand and now you want to go fight Gerlin.”
“I’m not going to fight Gerlin,” Jaime told her, “All I have to do is snap Trey out of this. I’m not going to let him do this to himself.” Before anyone else could say anything he teleported away.
Alpha tilted his disc-like head, “Well, he won’t be able to morph without his power coin.”
Looking at the place where she had put the power coin Leila shook her head, “The Silver Coin is gone.”
- * *
Jason grunted as he was thrown to the floor by Levis. Landing on top of Tommy and Rocky, he quickly crawled off them as he heard his fellow rangers yelp in surprise. Plopping between the two he sighed, “What do you think they’re going to do to us?”
“They’re going to kill us,” Tommy told him, “After all they’ve done to us I don’t know if they can do anything worse. Getting a look at Jason’s face he saw that the Red Ranger had burns all over her face.
As if having the same mind, Jason winced sympathetically, “Man, what did that bitch do to you, Tommy? You look like shit.”
“That’s how I feel,” Tommy said. He was about to say more to his best friend when, suddenly Kat was thrown next to him. Catching her, he glared at Kiptel as he felt how hard his girlfriend was shaking, “Kat, what did he do to you?”
“I thought he was going to rape me, but he didn’t,” Kat cried softly, “but that was a whole lot worse than being raped.” With that, she began to sob. Tommy pulled her against him and rubbed her back soothingly, cursing the Selvinians as he felt his girlfriend stiffen against his touch.
Levis jumped in front of them, the smile on his face cool and demonic, “Well, itssss time for you to die.”
“Yay,” Adam muttered. He was sitting next to Tanya at the end of the row, and his face was badly scratched due to the amount of times Delsia hit him to make him become conscious again.
Ignoring him Levis continued, “What we do issss have one of you at a time come up here and sssstand in front of your peerssss. Then, all of ussss punch you at the ssssame time. Our blowsss will burn your ssskin, and will be sssso forceful that you will die on the ssspot. Any volunteers?”
Tommy looked at Trimaya and watched as she went over to Levis and whispered in his ear. He grinned slyly before motioning towards Tommy. Trimaya and Delsia walked over to the White Ranger and picked him up, dragging him to the front of the cramped room. Kat frantically turned to Jason and Rocky, “Do something! We can’t let him die!”
Rocky shook his head, “I tried to tell him he shouldn’t, but Tommy actually wants to be first.”
Jason gazed up at Tommy, shocked, “Tommy, why?”
“I had to,” Tommy told him softly, “As I’ve said before, I would go crazy without you guys.”
“Well, we have our firsssst human victim,” Levis said excitedly. Looking at Tommy, he let his tongue flicker against the White Ranger’s cheek, smiling as he turned away, “Any lassst wordssss?”
Tommy nodded slowly and turned to the rest of the rangers who were watching him, eyes wide, “My Ninjetti Spirit was the falcon. I was supposed to be cunning and swift. Guys, I’m sorry I couldn’t live up to that and get you out of here, and I’m sorry for everything I’ve ever done wrong to get you guys into situations like this. I never thought we would end this way, but, well, I’m sorry,” A small tear rolled down his cheek, and he averted his eyes from the rest of the rangers.
Kat, despite the pain, forced herself to get up and run to her boyfriend, kissing him and hugging him as hard as her arms would let her, “Don’t let them kill you first.”
“I’m sorry, Kat,” Tommy whispered, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve ever done to hurt you.”
Kat began to cry again, hugging him harder, “You don’t need to apologize for anything. I love you, Tommy.”
“I love you, too.”
“Aw, how ssssweet,” Levis spat, “Letssss hurry it up, people. Remember, there are ssssix of you. Whoever goesss lasssst hassss to do thisss four more timessss.”
Jason looked at his best friend, eyes filling with tears, “I’m going to tell you now, Tommy, that I’m sorry I didn’t get the candle in Rita’s palace when you were losing your powers.”
Tommy smiled weakly, “Its forgotten, Jason. I know you tried.”
“I’ll miss you, Bro.”
“Yeah, I’ll miss you, too,” Tommy replied. Quickly, he added, “But, hey, we’ve always got the afterlife.”
Adam shook his head, “You can’t go first, Tommy. Let me.”
“No,” Tommy said, “You’re not going, Adam. Lets say they decide I’m enough and they let you guys go. You have Tanya.”
“You have Katherine,” Rocky intervened, “Let me go first, Tommy. If they let you go you’ll have the team and Katherine, and you can finish helping Angel Grove rebuild because you have a family who loves you. Me, well, my girlfriend’s dead, I’m the least needed person on the team, and my family life can’t even match yours.”
Tommy just stared at him in disbelief, “You have to be kidding me, Rocky.”
Adam sighed, “Look, Tommy, what Dulcea said to you about being a falcon, she was right. You’ve gotten out of a whole lot more than you’ve gotten us into, and we don’t blame you for this.”
Tommy looked at him, and faint grin on his face, “Thanks, Adam.” Glancing at Trimaya he sighed, “All right, I’m ready.”
Instead of proceeding all the Selvinians were staring at him in surprise. Trimaya stepped towards him, “Um, you’ve sssseen Dulcea?”
“Yeah,” Tommy told her, slightly confused, “Adam, Rocky, and I went to see her when we lost our powers and needed the Ninjetti powers.”
Delsia glanced at the other Selvinians, “Damn.”
Kiptel looked at Levis, “You knew they had been to ssssee Dulcea, didn’t you?”
“I had no idea!” Levis exclaimed. He looked at Tommy, “Gerlin told ussss none of you had ever sssseen or heard of Dulcea.”
“What does Dulcea have to do with anything?” Rocky asked.
“Dulcea wassss the masssster of our masssster. Durga. We were told never to harm anyone who had been in contact with Dulcea, or Dulcea hersssself,” Delsia told them.
Trimaya walked towards Tommy, “You were right. Gerlin lied to us.”
“Letsss get out of here,” Levis suggested. “I want to give that basssstard a piece of my mind.”
Jason shook his head, “We have to get the Triphorians.”
“There are no Triphorianssss in here,” Kiptel said.
Tanya frowned, “Gerlin allowed us to enter the ship because there were Triphorians in here.”
“Yesss,” Delsia began. “There were Triphorianssss in here, but right before Gerlin exited the sssship, he killed them all. Gerlin wassssn’t going to. In fact, he had the forcefield around them on and everything, but, at the lassst minute, he wanted it to be a lossse/lossse ssssituation for all of you.”
“Great,” Rocky muttered.
“Lets go kick Gerlin’s ass,” Adam said.
Kat nodded, “I know its supposed to be Trey’s battle, but this is personal.”
Trimaya stepped forward, “You may want to morph. It will help you regain your ssstrength.”
Tommy nodded, “Thank you.”
“We apologize, rangerssss,” Levis said.
“Its morphing time!”
The rangers stood in morphed form in front of the four Selvinians. Tanya looked around, “Well, how do we get out of here?”
“I know the way,” Kiptel announced, “Follow me.” The rangers followed the Selvinians as they made their way to Gerlin’s position outside the ship.
- * *
Trey was in a whirlwind of confusion as he walked towards Gerlin unmorphed. Part of him knew he was doing the right thing, but then Jaime’s communication had thrown him off. Had Gerlin been telling him the truth, or was Jaime telling the truth? He didn’t know.
“Yes, come to me, Trey of Triphoria, or should I say, Trey of Veron.”
Trey of Veron. He didn’t like the sound of that. Trey of Triphoria had a better ring to it. Oh well, fate was fate. If he wasn’t supposed to become a Veronian something would happen. At least that’s what his mother believed. His father died because ‘fate’ knew it was time. The same for his sister. Trey didn’t know if he believed this. It sounded dumb, but every single time she’d been right. Well, she didn’t want him to join Veron but nothing was happening. Maybe he was meant to be a Veronian after all.
He stopped right in front of Gerlin, who was laughing, “Good, Trey. Now, close your eyes. I’ll use this to remove the stripes.” He held up a weird looking mechanical device.”
“Make it quick,” Trey murmured, closing his eyes.
Gerlin was about to start the process, when, suddenly, a voice called, “Silver Thunder!” There was a loud cracking, and Gerlin felt himself being pushed back by an invisible force. He stumbled and fell, crying out as he felt explosions circle his body. Not morphed, this caused thick black blood to begin trickling from his leg.
Standing, Gerlin scowled at the Silver Ranger who ran in front of Trey, shielding his body with his. “My my, Jaime Talsik, you certainty recovered fast.”
“Jaime, what are you doing here? You could reinjure yourself!” Looking at Gerlin, Trey silently added, “...not that I’d care...”
“He’s a liar, Trey,” Jaime said, talking more to Gerlin than the Gold Ranger, “You can’t believe him.”
“He knew about you getting the royal touch,” Trey whispered.
Jaime sighed, “So, he had some pathetic maid be his spy, so what? He exaggerated points, Trey. Your father never gave me his blessing, and he definitely never intended for me to be king. The queen even agrees.”
“My mother?” Jaime nodded.
Gerlin rolled his eyes, “Yes, Jaime, I may have exaggerated, but it was true he wanted to change your silver stripe to gold.”
“So what?” Jaime spat, “He’s dead and I still have the silver stripe, and, you know what? I couldn’t be happier. I’m glad I’m not the king, and I’m glad I wasn’t here like Trey was for two hours having to listen to you babble on about nonsense.”
“Um, Jaime, it was three hours and we were talking about you.”
“Shut up,” Jaime whispered, a small grin tugging at his features. “Anyway, Gerlin, what were you going to do to him? Take away his stripes then kill him?” The two Triphorians looked at him.
Gerlin just growled at him, “You’ll feel my wrath, Silver Ranger.”
Jaime just chuckled and grabbed Trey’s arm, “Lets go.”
“Not so fast,” Gerlin shouted, “You don’t get off that easily, Silver Ranger.” With that, he raised his arms and called, “ROYAL TRIPHORIAN POWER.” Gerlin concentrated all of his power in to his morph and directed it at the two rangers.
Jaime and Trey both felt the effects immediately. They both cried out and fell to the ground, unmorphing at the power of the morph. In his armor, Gerlin smiled, “Now who will be the one with the power, rangers. Triphoria is nothing compared to Veron.”
Suddenly, there was a loud shout, and Gerlin turned around to see the power rangers along with the four Selvinians that he had hired to kill them off running towards him. He was barely able to brace himself for their attack.
Soon, he found himself unmorphed with the four Selvinians burning him with their touches though, unlike with the rangers, they took no time caressing him. Instead they were punching him with all their might, making the evil king scream in torture.
Trey and Jaime stood and looked at Gerlin, smiling as they saw the Veronian king being carried away by two of the Selvinians. Just as he was about to begin thanking his friend continually for saving his life Trey looked over to see that Jaime was really pale and was rocking back and forth like he was going to pass out. Draping his arm over his shoulder Trey shook his head, “I can’t take you anywhere.”
“Likewise,” Jaime muttered, closing his eyes and letting most of his weight fall on Trey. The Gold Ranger grunted but didn’t buckle.
Jason ran over to Trey and, seeing his position, put Jaime’s other arm around his shoulder so they could balance the weight. He looked over at Trey, “It was all a trick. There were no Triphorians in the ship.” Glancing at Jaime, who was unmoving, he checked his pulse, “Did he pass out?”
Looking his friend over Trey chuckled, “No, he’s just asleep. I’ve never felt more horrid in my whole life. You know, I owed him a big one for the time he saved my life during the battle here, but now I owe him a lot more than that. He saved my life again. I was about to join the Veronians.” Jason shot him a questioning glance making the Gold Ranger smile, “I’ll explain later.”
Trimaya walked up to Tommy and sighed, “Well, I don’t know that we’ll enjoy torturing thissss one, but its ssssomething that hassss to be done. Believe me, he’ll be dead in about an hour or two.”
“Will you be able to get home?” Kat questioned, coming behind Tommy.
Levis nodded, “Yeah, the Veronian sssship will let ussss return to Sssselvin with ssstyle.” Glancing at Jason he grinned, “I hope you enjoyed it assss much assss I did, Jason.”
The Red Ranger grimaced, “If I weren’t helping Trey steady Jaime I’d go over there and shoot you with my laser.”
Levis chuckled, “I think thissss issss the beginning of a beautiful friendsssship.” Touching Trimaya’s shoulder he walked back into the Veronian ship.
Trimaya frowned, “Tommy, when I sssaid we were evil that wassss a lie. I know you mussst conssssider ussss to be pure evil, but we aren’t. We are ssssimply bounty hunterssss who kill to live and to get pleasuressss. Its what we do. I hope...maybe...if we’re ever around here that all of ussss could ssssee all of you again.”
“I’m not going to promise that everyone will be thrilled with the idea of becoming friends with the beings that nearly killed us all, but, well, if you’re ever around come by and see.”
Trimaya nodded, “I know thissss won’t be worth much, but you’re a great guy...for a human.”
Tommy smiled, “That means the world from the person that was going to kill me.”
Trimaya laughed, “I’m really ssssorry about that.” She embraced him, startling the White Ranger who yelped as her burning fingers touched his back. Moving away Trimaya shrugged, “Ssssorry, but we hug on our world, too.”
“Goodbye, White Ranger.” With that, Trimaya walked back into the Veronian ship, waving right before the door closed. The rangers watched as the Veronian ship raised off the ground and flew off into the sky, disappearing in the mist of the clouds.
Rocky watched them go, sighing, “That was the most painful experience I’ve ever had. I swear, I’m going have a temperature of 105 for a week.”
“Make that two for me,” Adam murmured.
“Guys,” Jason called, motioning to Jaime with his head.
Tommy nodded, “Yeah, we should get back to the Command Center.” Pushing their communicators the rangers disappeared in flashes of pink, yellow, black, blue, red, white, gold, and silver.
- * *
A few hours passed in the Command Center, and all the rangers watched as Trey talked with his mother. “You had me worried. If you felt your will fading you should have teleported up.”
“I thought I could handle it,” Trey argued weakly, getting a headache from the bickering.
Jaime, who had woken up, watched the exchange along with the other rangers. He couldn’t help but feel sorry for Trey. Philip of Triphoria was the shouter, but Leila of Triphoria was a woman you did not want to be in an argument with.
Suddenly, he remembered something and pulled out a coin from his pocket, “Guys, I don’t mean to interrupt--” He cut himself off as the queen of Triphoria glared at him. Slowly, he began again, “Um, I have Gloria’s power coin.”
Trey stared at him, “Really? Where did you find it?”
“It was in the park. When I teleported down there I landed right behind it, so I picked it up.” Looking around he shrugged, “Who should it be given to, now that Gloria isn’t here?”
“We should do something like we did for Jaime. Maybe we could do another testing of skill,” The queen suggested.
Trey shook his head, “No, I know who it should be given to.” Taking the coin from Jaime he walked up to Emily and put it in her hands, “Do you accept this responsibility?”
Emily gasped, “Me? B-but I don’t know anything about being a ranger. Hell, I can’t even to karate!”
“It comes with the coin,” Trey assured her, “About the ranger power, you’ll learn how to control it.”
“How?” Emily questioned, “I mean, I know Jason was the gold ranger once, but he won’t know how to use it.” She smiled apologetically at Jason who just shrugged.
Trey smiled, “Well, I have to go back to Triphoria and lead my people, and my mother is coming with me.”
Emily frowned, “Oh, so I guess you want this back.”
“I’m not done,” Trey said. Emily silenced, and Trey continued, “but Jaime is staying here. He’ll teach you everything you need to know.”
Jaime glanced at Trey wide-eyed, “What!? Trey, I’m going back to Triphoria with you! I’m the royal guard, remember?”
“Jaime,” Trey began, stepping towards his best friend. “I know you want to make my father happy, but you need to stay here. Emily will need you to show her how to use the power coin, and you know in your heart that it will take time for you to regain your strength.”
Jaime looked at the ground and nodded, “I know. You’re right.”
Leila walked over to Trey, “We should go, my son. The council will be waiting for our return.”
Trey nodded, “All right, Mother.” Moving closer to Jaime he embraced him, “I’m not trying to get rid of you, all right? You really aren’t well enough to go back to Triphoria. Being the royal guard you would have to undergo really heavy training, and I don’t think you’re ready, with that injury and all.”
“I’ll be over there ordering you around before you know it,” Jaime told him.
Trey just smiled, “Sure you will.” Backing away Trey grabbed his mother’s hand, but Leila pulled away, an action that many queens would never do to their sons. It was unheard of for a queen to pull away from a king, but she did so anyway.
Walking over to Jaime she grinned weakly, “Bend towards me, Silver Ranger.” Jaime did so quickly. Leila bent down as well, putting her head just above his so that he mouth was where his forehead was. “Close your eyes,” she whispered. Her playful grin made her look Jaime’s age again, and, for a moment, Jaime forgot he was dealing with the queen of his planet. He close his eyes.
Raising her hands, Leila put them over Jaime’s head, her eyes closed, as well. “May fate protect you, Silver Ranger. May it guide you on the right paths, so that, one day, you will return to Triphoria.” Removing her hands Leila stood and smiled, “Get on one knee, Silver Ranger.”
Doing so, Jaime felt the queen put her hands on his shoulders and squeeze them lightly. Hearing her order to stand, he did this, and opened his eyes to face her. She grinned, her eyes sparkling, “May your fare well, Silver Ranger.” With that, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek lightly before moving back with Trey.
Jaime smiled, “Have a good journey.”
Soon, the royalty of Triphoria teleported away leaving Jaime along with the power rangers. He looked up to hear Zordon say, “I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR TIME ON EARTH, JAIME TALSIK.”
Seeing Zordon for the first time, Jaime gasped, “Um, thanks, wow...” The other rangers just glanced at him and smiled. Somehow they all had the feeling this was going to work out all right.
- * *
A few days had passed since this incident in the Command Center, and the rangers were back at work in Angel Grove. Jaime had agreed to help out with the city’s repair, but Zordon had insisted on keeping him in the Command Center for a week so they could be sure strenuous activity wouldn’t cause him any serious harm. In the afternoons Jaime would join Emily and help her to learn some things about the gold ranger powers so that she wouldn’t be caught off guard if ever in a battle situation.
That day Tommy was working across from Jason at one of the many construction sites helping the workers rebuild some of the homes and buildings. At that point they were moving boards around. It was 1pm, and Tommy was sweltering hot. Even though he was in a tank top and shorts he was still sweaty, and face and chest were shiny with sweat.
With his back turned to the street he was alarmed when someone tapped him on the back. “Let me just set these down,” Tommy said, dropping the boards he was carrying on the ground.
“Tommy, you don’t know how hard it was to find you!” The person called.
Recognizing the voice instantly Tommy spun around and froze. Smoothing back his moist hair Tommy smiled weakly, “K-Kim?”
“I’ve missed you!” Kimberly Hart cried, hugging him lightly. Embracing her back Tommy looked over at Jason who was eyeing him with an unreadable expression on his face.
Kim pulled away and smiled, her soft brown hair running over her bare shoulders, “Zack and Trini are here, too! This is so great! We heard about what happened here, and so we decided to come back and surprise you guys!”
“Yep, its a surprise, all right,” Tommy said, forcing himself to sound cheerful.
Kim seemed to become cautious for a moment, and she looked around before saying, “We’ll be here for about a month.”
Tommy just kept smiling, though inside he was a wreck. _A month? How the hell am I going to manage that? What about Kat and me?_