When I first saw the promos for "Recognition" I was so excited. I thought I knew exactly how the episode was going to play out and I was happily looking forward to it all week. Needless to say, I was totally wrong…and then I was disappointed because the story didn't go the way I thought it should. So this is a quick one-shot – my version of what I think "Recognition" should have been. I only saw the episode once, so the sequence of events may be a little off…but you get the general idea.
SPOILERS for "Recognition" – if you haven't seen the episode, I don't think the fic will make much sense to you.
Disclaimers – I don't own the Power Rangers – not even an action figure.
Sky sat quietly in the cell where he'd been tossed, desperately attempting to figure out a plan of escape. He had to fight against the spiral of panic and fear that was encroaching. But even stronger than his fear of the situation he was in, was the fear for his friends. Wootox was out there in his body – who knew what kind of damage he could do?
No longer able to sit, Sky began to pace. He tried to assess his situation. No matter how he looked at it, the situation was bad. Sky began to tick off items in his head as he paced. One – Wootox has my body, and already knows how to morph. He's psychotic and extremely dangerous. Two – he took away my ability to communicate when he broke the translator. Three – I'm in here and he's out there.
Sky slammed his fists against the cell's bars as he yelled in frustration. Looking at his clenched fists gave him an idea. A human never would've been able to reach through the bars to the control pad and input the code, but Wootox had these handy claws…
Sky grinned internally as he successfully punched in the code allowing him to get out of the cell. Almost immediately alarm klaxons began to sound, and Sky took off running. With a little luck he'd make it out of the Delta Base; then he could work on a plan to make the others understand what had happened.
Sky had a good working knowledge of the Delta Base's layout, and he used that knowledge to his advantage. Crawling through the air vents allowed him to move through the building undetected. Before Sky had completely fled the Delta Base, he'd overheard the Rangers talking. If they saw him again they would immediately attempt to contain him. The tactic didn't surprise him; but it certainly cut down his options.
Sky was surprised and elated when he spotted Wootox alone. He dropped down from the vent in the ceiling above the unsuspecting alien. He hoped that he'd be able to force the alien to switch their bodies back – Sky hadn't yet figured out how to do it himself, though the knowledge of the alien body was slowly filtering through his consciousness.
It was completely surreal fighting himself. On the one hand, he was concerned about causing damage, but on the other hand he was pleased with how much strength his human body displayed. Wootox's fighting style was unfamiliar to Sky, so seeing himself employing unfamiliar tactics was disconcerting. Sky was glad that Wootox's body gave him a height and strength advantage over his human body, and was able to overpower the alien quickly.
But before he could force Wootox to switch them back, the other Rangers arrived. For a brief moment, hope flared. It was immediately dashed when the Rangers took up offensive positions.
"Put our friend down!" Bridge yelled.
It was completely ridiculous, but Sky was absurdly pleased Bridge's phrasing. He didn't simply say "put him down" or "let him go" – it was "put down our friend". It wasn't until that moment that Sky realized just how important that was to him.
Sky didn't think attempting to use his own body as a hostage was a good idea. He was hoping that somehow he could get through to the others and make them understand what had happened. He tossed Wootox in the direction of the others – immediately the flaw in his plan was apparent. He could yell as loudly as he wanted, but none of them could understand him; except Wootox, who stood back with a sickly smirk on his face.
Good God! I hope I don't ever look like that!
Then there was no time to think as the other Rangers attacked with the intention of taking him down. At first, Sky tried to hold back – he genuinely didn't want to hurt anyone. But that put him at a severe disadvantage. They'd trained four on one before – and of the Rangers, Sky could fight the longest against those odds – but this wasn't training, and Sky couldn't call a time-out.
Sky grabbed Syd as she attacked. Though he knew it was pointless, Sky tried to make her understand anyway. Syd, it's me…Sky! PLEASE! But all she heard was alien growling and grunting.
Sky quickly determined that fighting the Rangers was not to his advantage – he needed to get away. He needed to find a place where he could regroup and devise a strategy to communicate with his friends. Releasing Syd, he flung her into the others. Sky took the opportunity to flee, knowing full well he had very little time before the Rangers would regroup and redouble their efforts to bring him in.
As he sat on the dock staring into the water, Sky tried to devise a plan. He knew that if it came down to it, he might have to destroy his human body to put a stop to Wootox. He wasn't happy with that plan, and he hoped it would only come down to that as a last resort. But he wasn't willing to let the alien run amuck because he felt the need to protect his own hide. Better to destroy the alien and accept the consequences than let him destroy the planet.
But what was he after? Sky thought back over every moment of contact he had with Wootox before the switch occurred. Then it hit him! He was after the Delta Base Megazord! Sky felt a new determination as he sprang to his feet. No way am I letting that freak get control of the Megazord! I've got to stop him. I have to let the others know!
Sky knew his only chance was to somehow communicate with the Rangers before they morphed and attempted to contain him. And that's when inspiration struck. He couldn't believe it hadn't occurred to him earlier. There was a way to communicate - he would just have to time it correctly, and maybe he could save his own skin after all!
Sky's heart was pounding in Wootox's alien chest. He was running right out in the open, right toward the Delta Base. It was an insane move because it all depended on the Rangers attacking him unmorphed. Sky prayed that Fate would be on his side. That whatever deity looked out for justice and right would recognize him where others could not, and throw him a break.
Luck was on his side.
Sky didn't even pause as the Rangers lined up on the promenade of the Delta Base building. He ran right at Jack, and anticipating the move Jack would make, countered it easily and sent him flying into Z who had moved to back him up. Two down, two to go! Syd was next. Sky caught her as she executed a flying kick aimed at his shoulder. He tossed her at Jack and Z, causing the three to go down in a jumble of limbs.
Only got one chance to get this right.
Bridge was next. But instead of punching and tossing Bridge away from him, Sky drew him slightly away from the others. Bridge threw a jab at his chest, and Sky made his move. Catching Bridge's fist, Sky pulled him off balance and into his chest. Sky had Bridge effectively pinned. To the others it looked like he was trying to use Bridge as a shield; but that wasn't Sky's intention at all. Sky ignored the others as they morphed. He was totally focused on getting the glove off of Bridge's right hand.
It wasn't easy because Bridge was going for his morpher, and he was struggling mightily against Sky. Sky managed to knock the morpher out of Bridge's hand and send it skittering across the pavement. Sky was impressed with the pure grit of the Green Ranger. He was pinned and helpless in Wootox's grip, but he never gave up. Sky had to take away Bridge's leverage, so with his left arm wrapped around Bridge's chest, he lifted the Green Ranger off his feet.
Sky could feel his opportunity slipping away from him. He wasn't paying enough attention to make out what the others were saying, but their defiance and determination was clear enough. And, he didn't have a good angle to get the Velcro loosened with just one hand while also fighting Bridge.
COME ON! Sky bellowed in despair.
Then luck smiled again. Sky was able to hook a claw on the glove. In one smooth motion he ripped the Velcro and slid the glove off of Bridge's hand. Hanging on to Bridge's forearm, he tossed the Green Ranger back onto his feet and swung him around so they were face to face. Sky took a deep breath and deliberately laid Bridge's right hand on his chest.
Please Bridge…please! You have to know it's me in here. BRIDGE, IT'S SKY!
Bridge was unprepared for the sudden psychic input and was a little unsteady with the contact. Sky couldn't see his face or read his reaction. The other Rangers were closing in – there was no time left. Sky's hopes were crushed. From in front of the Delta Base, Sky could see Wootox as the Blue Ranger ran toward the fight, weapon drawn.
Without releasing Bridge, Sky took on the Rangers. Because of Bridge's proximity and the fact that he was unmorphed, none of the others had drawn their weapons, which worked to Sky's advantage. Again, timing became important. He had to hold the Rangers off long enough for the Blue Ranger to get close enough for his plan to work. He'd kill his human self before he let that monster get away with his evil plan. Come on you body swapping creep. Get just a little closer…
A double set of kicks from the Pink and Yellow Rangers from behind caused Sky to stagger. He would have gone down if Bridge hadn't helped him stay on his feet. Startled, Sky looked toward the Green Ranger. He was thrilled with what he saw – recognition.
Without even thinking about it, Bridge and Sky began fighting in tandem. Bridge was trying to get the attention of the others, but they were too concerned for his safety to listen. But, Wootox heard. He moved in as well.
Now the battle was fully joined. Having Bridge in the fight gave Sky a little buffer. He was running interference, allowing Sky to maneuver his way around the others – avoiding them without causing any injury. Bridge kept yelling and trying to get the attention of the rest. "Hey, guys! We're fighting the wrong guy!"
A miscalculated blow from Z sent Bridge flying away from the main fight, giving the others a clear shot at Sky. Sky hardly noticed his own danger because he had seen Bridge go crashing to the pavement at the feet of the imposter Blue Ranger. "NO!" Sky reached out toward the Green Ranger. Sky's yell gave the Rangers pause. Another yell, this one from Shadow Ranger, halted the Rangers as well.
But Wootox, understanding that his time was up did not hesitate, and he grabbed the only advantage he had – Bridge. Wootox pulled the Green Ranger to his feet and pinned him against his chest with an arm across his throat. With his free hand he held the Blue Ranger's Deltamax Striker in short ranger laser mode against the base of Bridge's skull. The other Rangers, still not clear on the situation, couldn't understand the Blue Ranger's actions.
"Sky, what are you doing!" demanded Jack.
"Not…Sky…" Bridge choked out before the pressure on his throat no longer allowed him to speak.
"I told you before, Wootox." stated Cruger grimly, "No one messes with my Rangers."
Wootox, sensing that Cruger was his greatest foe, turned in his direction keeping Bridge as a buffer between him and the Shadow Ranger. "And I told you, Shadow Ranger. I want the Delta Megazord. What's the life of this Ranger worth to you?" He gave Bridge a little shake.
They were frozen in an impasse. Sky wanted to scream with frustration. He saw the tableau before him and knew he had to do something to break the stalemate. Shadow Ranger stood with Shadow Saber drawn. Wootox, in Sky's stolen body, held Bridge tightly against him. Sky knew that Cruger would be concerned not only with saving Bridge, but also with saving Sky's body. Sky had gotten past the point where that was important to him – right now, nothing was more important than making sure Bridge was safe, and if a sacrifice needed to be made, he would do it.
"Wootox!" Sky yelled as he stepped forward. "I'll take you in. I'll lead you to the Megazord. Just let him go." Wootox turned slightly to listen to Sky, and as he was distracted Shadow Ranger moved in closer. It was just what Sky wanted.
"Wootox!" Cruger called, drawing the alien's attention back toward him. "Release that cadet! Your plan will never work." Even as Cruger was speaking Sky moved closer again.
"Do you think I don't see the game you two are playing?" responded Wootox. "Is the life of this Ranger so meaningless to you?" Wootox increased the pressure on Bridge's throat; Sky abruptly stopped moving as Bridge's face turned an alarming shade of red. He sensed, rather than saw, the other Rangers gathering beside him. There was no time left.
In the end, it was Ric who saved the day. Dashing out of the Delta Base, Ric ran unerringly toward the unsuspecting alien. With a giant leap, Ric crashed into the shoulders of the imposter Blue Ranger causing him to stumble and loosen his hold on Bridge. The Green Ranger wasted no time extracting himself from Wootox's grip, and with a kick to his captor's chest, worked himself free. Bridge rolled away from Wootox giving the others a clear shot at the imposter.
Wootox was immediately bombarded by the other Rangers – with Sky taking the lead. He could not withstand their assault, and in a short time was forced to power down. Wootox was pinned by Cruger and Jack; though he struggled in their grip, he was unable to break free.
"I'll never tell you how to switch back, Ranger. You'll be stuck in that body forever!" spat the enraged Wootox.
Sky stepped forward. "You don't have to tell me…I already know." A look of disbelief crossed the Blue Ranger's face; it quickly turned to alarm as Sky started running toward him.
"Do it, Sky!" encouraged Cruger.
Sky hardly paused as he reached the imprisoned alien suspended between Jack and Cruger. Engulfing him in his arms he brought his forehead down to the struggling alien. A shower of lightning and sparks accompanied the exchange. Wootox was flung backward onto the pavement; Sky only remained upright because of the support of the other Rangers.
Sky blinked slowly, readjusting to his body. And it was his body. His face was split with a beaming grin of relief. But, damn – did that hurt! Staggering slightly, Sky pulled himself away from Jack and Cruger. He was pleased to see that Bridge looked none the worse for wear, heading in their direction with Syd and Z.
"Welcome back, Sky." Cruger stated.
"Good to be back, sir." answered Sky. With the other Rangers ranged around them, Sky and Bridge powered up. They called upon Ric and Wootox was quickly contained. "It's good to be back in Blue!" Sky proclaimed.
I may tack on an epilogue...