REBIRTH OF THE LEGACY
By Chanelle Summer
Season Finale: Day of Reckoning: Part 2 - Episode 23
A/N- Hey! Thanks for everyone's reviews, this is the last chapter of this story, but will continue in the next one shortly…so keep an open mind and I hope you enjoy…
As the mysterious virus spreads, Rita braces herself for a confrontation with Zedd, while Kimberly, Jason and Tommy continue to fall painfully towards unconsciousness. And when a life hangs in the balance...what will it take to save a friend so precious to them all?
From outside the perimeter of the Zedd Empire's moon palace, no one would have believed there was a war burning on inside its prison-like stature. There was an absence of the echoes of gunfire- no screams of retribution or the last minute cries for life. All that could be heard was Their breathing, as they simply stood before each other, staffs cocked and eyes blaringly slapping the other over and over again.
A silent game of warfare.
"Well this is getting pathetically boring," Zedd finally murmured, glancing over at Scorpina as though he were sharing a joke.
Rita narrowed her gaze even further, holding her stance on the higher step. "Don't waste your breath, Zedd- I thought you could kill us all in the blink of an eye?" she jibbed.
She could hear the alien empire smirk behind his mouth plate. "Oh Rita, do you really think that you can strike me down? I admire your delusions, but you cannot begin to dream the reality of a monarch when you are nothing but a slave dressed in colorful robes…"
Scorpina let out a surprisingly sickly-sweet giggle, raising her hand to cover her mouth.
"At least I'm not a disposable piece of space trash," Rita snapped, pointing her gaze on the female assassin. "And a king, no matter how great, can never claim his strength when he brags about it behind the cover of a woman."
Zedd cocked his head slightly, before he put his arm out. "Scorpina, go and find Goldar," he ordered her.
Scorpina narrowed her dark gaze on Rita, before she slowly turned around and slithered back down the stairs.
Rita watched Zedd curiously, waiting for him speak, but she was inwardly taken aback as he merely stared at her coldly.
"Why are you here?" Rita finally asked him, her voice surprisingly soft.
Zedd lowered his staff slightly. "You have failed me, Rita…I ask for so little, and you fail me again and again…"
He took a step up and Rita remained still.
"You were ordered to wipe out Zordon's hold on this end of the universe, and yet lo and behold he is only rebuilding his precious kingdom to greater heights."
"Zordon is hiding behind nothing but an exaggerated power source contained in a handful of coins…If Zordon overthrows the Zedd Empire, then that shows nothing but how weak we are- and a weak army is only as pathetic as the one that leads them!" Rita recited.
She spun around, pacing up the stairs, only to come to a stop as she reached a door at the end. Her eyes lowered slightly, watching as Zedd's shadow crawled up behind her and she waited for it.
Her eyes were now closed.
She smirked, and slowly turned around. "You're nothing but a fool," she taunted him. "What's the matter? Can't you remember what it takes to actually dispose of someone? Or is it that you're so used to getting everyone else to clean up your mess for you, that you-."
Rita's taunt was bluntly cut short as Zedd shot a quick hand to the side of her face, slamming it against her cheek and causing her to whimper uncontrollably with surprise.
She grabbed her cheek, refusing to cower as he stood up toward her. "Dare speak to me like that again, and I will torture you ten times over before I show you just how polished I am at disposing of somebody!" he warned her in a low voice.
Rita gulped inwardly, her eyes lowering to the ground. "Torture me as you will, my lord," she beckoned him in the calmest of tones. "But don't expect me to stand here and allow you to do so without a fight."
She blinked and courageously lifted her gaze, wishing she could see his real expression behind all the metal armor and red flesh.
But as he began to quietly snigger, and then chuckle, she frowned, becoming increasingly annoyed by his erratic behavior.
"What?" she sputtered at him.
"I have a much better idea," he decided out loud. "I too, agree that merely slaughtering you here would be rather jaded and after all, how fair would it be of me to eliminate you before I prove to you just how incompetent you really are…"
Rita raised an eyebrow. "What in hell's name are you talking about?"
Zedd chortled once more, as though lost in his own world. "We shall call it a challenge," he explained. "I will prove to you just how easy it is to eliminate Zordon's precious teenage warriors…once I have successfully murdered them in their own blood, before destroying Zordon himself, I will then earn the right to kill you, my general…"
Rita squirmed her face up a little. "And if you fail…my Lord?"
Zedd moved down a step, opening his arms in an exaggerated gesture. "If you somehow fumble your way to victory before I do, then I'll gladly allow you a stab at the throne!" he announced.
Rita smirked; their jovial exchange cut short as two figures in gold suddenly appeared from behind Zedd.
"What is going on here? I thought you were going to kill her?" Scorpina accused in a steeled tone.
Zedd barely glanced her way. "I've decided it will be more fun to do it another way," he explained. "Now Rita, show me to my chambers…Scorpina, go find me something to eat and Goldar…follow me."
Rita exchanged a smug glare with Scorpina, before she pushed open the door behind her and carefully led the leader of the Empire into her chamber.
Jason felt like he'd been left to rest on death's doorstep. His eyes were heavy, his mind was empty of even the slightest coherent thought and every limb of his body was so enervated that he couldn't begin to move.
Something was wrong. Seriously wrong.
After the incident with Bulk and Skull at the Youth Center, Ernie had called the ambulance. It was clear to the red ranger that the two goons were merely asleep and in no danger of fatal harm, but nothing he or Tommy did coaxed them to return to the conscious world.
Like a domino effect, the sudden burst of exhaustion seemed to pass on. Within a minute of calling the ambulance, Ernie collapsed to the ground in exhaustion, and pretty soon Jason and the others were scrambling about as another five customers also gave into slumber.
Billy immediately suggested their need to go to the Command Center. Jason did not like the idea of having to leave innocent humans lying around the ground alone, but he convinced himself that medical help was on the way and they would soon be taken care of.
Then Tommy dropped. Their friend's knees' seemed to buckle from beneath him and he had awkwardly crumpled to the ground. Unlike the others, however, Tommy remained awake and Jason didn't waste another moment to teleport them all to the ranger headquarters.
That's when everything becomes hazy…he thought, as his mind tossed and turned over the surreal incident that day.
He tried to straighten his body, but it was as though he couldn't control his own movements. His legs were literally cramping as he continued to lie in an almost fetal position, but he couldn't find the breath to verbalize his inner anguish.
"Kim," he managed to speak out, as he clumsily extended his hand and shook her arm where she was sprawled on the ground not far from him. She was struggling to stay awake, and he was doing everything he could to stop her from giving in, but he didn't know how much energy he had left himself.
"I can't…" her words were breathless, and he attempted to crawl closer to her. "I'm so tired…" There was pain in her voice this time: "I think Tommy is asleep…"
Jason managed to move his head slightly and he noticed their friend's eyes' fully closed and unwavering. He had been unable to endure the intense exhaustion that seemed to ravage his body at an uncontainable speed.
"Kim…you need to stay awake, though…" Jason shook her again, even though he could see her eyes slightly open. "We both have to."
Something was seriously wrong.
Billy sighed as he waited for the results. He already had a terrible inner feeling of what the findings would tell them, but at the same time he was trying to stay one step ahead. Even if they received the worst news imaginable, he remained in hope that such a result would give them at least a clue as to how to help them.
From just observing his three friends, he could clearly see they were all suffering the effects of a puzzling and physically distressing ailment. Fearing that the root of it was something severely contagious, the blue ranger had surrounded Kimberly, Jason and Tommy in a glass enclosure as they arrived at the Command Center. And as he watched over them, he could see their physical states dwindle away with each passing moment.
"Billy," Alpha 5 suddenly spoke up, and Billy turned his attention from his friends to the android. "The results are in."
Billy adjusted his glasses and took the paper read-out from the robot. His blue-green eyes skimmed knowingly over the data, and he did his best to block out Zack and Trini's pleading for answers until he was certain.
"They're all suffering from a virus," he finally reported, glancing at his two uninfected teammates. "Just as I thought; it's extremely contagious. It appears to be passed through direct skin to skin contact."
"Okay, so what is this virus? They're all acting like they're drugged or something," Zack stated, the frustration evident in his tone.
"BILLY, WERE YOU ABLE TO PINPOINT THE CAUSE OF THE VIRUS?" Zordon asked him.
Billy shook his head. "Negative," he responded with potent disappointment. "The make-up of the virus is foreign and unspecified. It's not anything I'm familiar with from this planet, and I can only assume that Rita has something to do with this."
"Of course!" Trini spoke up, sighing loudly. "The putty attack this morning…it must have given them the virus."
The blue ranger nodded his head, not surprised that Trini had picked up on his own theory. "Before we left the Youth Center, I took a bandana that Bulk had wrapped around his wrist. I tested the material, and it came back positive when tested for the virus, but the formation of the cells is different to what is present in Kimberly, Jason and Tommy. We don't know what that means yet…all we know so far, is that everyone infected has the immediate sense of exhaustion and once they're asleep, it appears that they stay that way."
Billy looked towards the glass chamber nearby and could see Jason on his hands and knees, tapping on the glass. Trini instantly responded, hurrying over to the see-through confinement and reaching her hand to touch the glass.
"Are you okay?" she asked their leader with concern.
The red ranger's head seemed to drop, as though he didn't have the energy to hold it up. "We need something…" He paused, as though he needed to take a breath. "Anything, to stay awake…Kim-berly…is falling…asleep."
Trini banged on the glass with her fist, and Kimberly seemed to flinch slightly, but remained sprawled on her back.
"Billy, isn't there anything we can do to help them?" the yellow ranger asked, as she turned around and pleaded to him with her dark eyes.
Billy sighed, his mind continuing to sort through all the possibilities. He knew they were in serious trouble if Jason and Kimberly fell asleep, but at the same time, they would be unable to fight in battle in their current state, regardless. Billy realized that his friends' well beings were the number one concern and had become the more essential consideration over concern if Rita was to escalate a battle.
"Guys, look," Zack spoke up, as the viewing globe illuminated.
Billy watched as a news anchor filled the sphere, delivering a news report with utter urgency in his voice:
"Citizens of Angel Grove, we have just received an alert issued by Mayor Stapleton that there appears to be a contagious ailment that causes its victims to fall into a deep sleep. The nature of the virus it so far unknown, but the four major hospitals in Angel Grove city and surrounding areas have been inundated with people who have succumbed to this deep sleep.
"Numerous witnesses have described those infected as appearing to just simply drop asleep without any warning. So far, estimates are showing that over seven hundred citizens have been so far infected and doctors are rushing to perform tests that will give us the answers as to what this virus is. Angel Grove, and indeed the nation as a whole, has never seen a situation quite like this, but the mayor and officials have asked that everyone remain indoors and to stay calm until further information is brought to light."
Billy, Trini and Zack seemed to sigh in unison. Billy turned to face his friends as the news footage faded away from the screen. "Did either of you make physical skin contact with Kimberly, Jason or Tommy today?" he asked them.
They both shook their heads and Billy nodded. "Okay, we need to locate an antidote…except, it's perceptibly comprehensible that Rita would have the only one, being that we can assume she manufactured the virus herself."
"BILLY, IT'S IMPERATIVE THAT WE INFORM THE GENERAL POPULATION OF ALL INFORMATION WE HAVE GATHERED THUS FAR. THE VIRUS IS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS, AND AS WE WAIT FOR ANSWERS, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE RUN THE RISK OF BECOMING INFECTED. THIS IS A GRAVE SITUATION, AND WITH NO ANTIDOTE AT OUR DISPOSAL, WE CANNOT RISK THE POSSIBILITY OF THOUSANDS OR PERHAPS MANY MORE HUMAN CASUALTIES."
"But Zordon- we can't just let this happen…there has to be a way to help," Trini pleaded with their master.
Billy's own emotions ached at the pain in his friend's words'. This was the first time they'd been challenged and had no clear-cut solution. Not even Zordon, with all his power and knowledge, could save them.
Zedd felt the thick smile twist beneath his mouth plate. As much as he hated the woman, he had to admit that Rita's latest plan was indeed delectable.
And it worried him slightly…only faintly, but enough to make him wonder if somehow, it was possible that the sorceress would defeat him in their challenge for authority on the same day of its creation…
"My lord," Goldar spoke up, as he approached his master at the balcony. "Is it time to go down and destroy the rangers yet?"
Zedd chuckled at the titan's keenness, managing to surprise himself by his quick reply. "No. Not yet, Goldar," he ordered. "We can afford to be patient when the cards are all in our favor…we have the time to wait for all the humans to drop into an eternal sleep…"
Goldar seemed to growl slightly under his breath, and Zedd snapped his head in his direction as if to dare the titan to question his authority.
"But oh evil one, shouldn't we take advantage of the situation now that some of the rangers are unfit for battle? Every other time we have waited, they have always-."
"Silence!" Zedd thundered, slamming his fist on the guardrail before him. He intensified his glare on the golden mandrill, waiting for the blood to drain from his head before he spoke up once more.
"The only reason that Zordon and those pathetic rangers had any luck in foiling plan after plan, was because neither my general nor my leading servant and assassin could do their jobs!" Zedd spoke bitterly. "The power rangers are nothing more than little children playing dress-ups in colorful costumes…they are weak, Goldar! Weak!" He moved his hands around in large gestures as if to further his resentment. "From what I can see, a few of them have some capable combat skills, but nothing that could even begin to match the eminence that is expected from this great empire!"
"Their leader is a highly competent warrior by earth standards," Goldar protested, clearly bitter himself. "He has proven a force alone in our few confrontations."
Zedd sniggered, unable to resist his urge to mock and jibe the proud-defeated warrior. "Oh, Goldar. What are you saying? That a little boy is capable of wounding a combatant who has been directly responsible for the assassinations of over two thousand of our enemies?" His voice suddenly drained of his wit and he scoffed. "You should be disgusted in your self-pity."
Goldar lowered his head in shame and Zedd tore his eyes back to the planet below, disgusted himself at the incompetence of his force. He sent his crimson, telescopic vision towards the planet of his desire and focused his attention on the distress that had entertained him just moments before hand.
He chuckled as he watched the city of Angel Grove and indeed entire populations in surrounding cities seem to crash into a state of widespread slumber. Bodies were sprawled throughout the streets, sleeping people slumped over their steering wheels in cars or draped over park benches. It was as though the world was slowly being consumed by some form of death.
It wasn't death per say, but it looked just as good. And Zedd didn't care whether the pathetic beings were breathing or not, just as long as they didn't get in his way.
He tightened his grip around the small vial in his hand and grinned to himself. He could only picture Zordon's panic, loving the thought of his greatest enemy's desperation that harm would befall his 'children'.
"Is this what you're looking for, Zordon?" Zedd said to himself as he thought about the antidote in his hand. "Are you looking for this?"
Billy knelt down, his hand passing through the clear barrier that had caged his three seriously ill friends like the dying during the black plague. He held his hand mid air, watching his hand quiver slightly. He knew his body needed to eat; they all did.
He had watched, as Jason and Kimberly seemed to poke each other weakly every few moments, before deciding that he needed to intervene. It would be harsh, but it was simple and he hoped that it would be more effective. Simply telling his infected teammates to fight the urge of their disease was no longer working.
He tossed the icy cold liquid over them from the container in his hand, flinching as Kimberly let out a strangled shriek and Jason awkwardly scrambled to his knees in such a manner that he would have definitely put his back out.
"You guys are both falling asleep," Billy stated as they both looked at him, dense confusion in their eyes. "Do you want something to eat?"
They remained quiet, and Kimberly seemed to slump back on her back, raising her knees as her eyes began to close once more.
"Kimberly!" Trini raised her voice slightly, as she came barreling to Billy's side.
It had been this way for hours. It was harrowing and disturbing, but even more so it was becoming frustrating.
Trini seemed to sigh sadly and Billy offered her a consoling hand on her arm.
"This is so terrible," she told him quietly. "We've gone over everything so many times, and nothing seems to work."
"We will work out a cure," he told her. It was a statement he was unable to back up with a scrap of proof, but he believed it. "Science takes time. It's just a matter of looking at each component carefully, and then repeating the varying steps until we get it right."
Trini nodded, as though his words seem to temporarily sooth her rising concern. "In the meantime, what do we do for them?" She motioned to the three sick teenagers with her eyes. "We've tried talking to them; making loud noises and throwing freezing water on them- they're not going to be able to stay awake forever."
Billy showed his understanding of her statement by offering a slight nod.
Until a thought popped into his mind. "That's it!" he burst out.
"What?" Zack asked up from where he had been standing on the opposite side of the room.
"A stimulant," Billy stated, to no one in particular. He turned to Alpha 5, his hand reaching to his glasses as he mentally worked his theory in his head. "Alpha, how much of that stimulant formula do we have in stock?"
The robot mirrored Billy's sudden bolt of enthusiasm. "Why, of course!" the android exclaimed, as he hurried over to one of the locked cupboards below the main scanner. He quickly straightened himself back up, and swung around as Billy reached him.
Suddenly the circular chamber exploded into its high-pitched enemy alert, the alarm blaring and causing them all to spin around and stare with dread at the viewing globe.
"Oh man!" Zack exclaimed in annoyance.
"RANGERS, A MONSTER HAS BEEN RELEASED IN THE CENTER OF ANGEL GROVE CITY," Zordon confirmed with almost dread.
"But what do we do, Zordon? Jason and Kimberly are too sick to go into battle," Trini pointed out.
Billy shared a glance with his friends, realizing how lost they were without Jason's guidance.
"ALTHOUGH NOT IDEAL, I BELIEVE OUR ONLY CHOICE IS TO SEND TWO OF YOU TO TAKE CARE OF THIS NEW MENACE," Zordon stated. "ZACK; TRINI. YOUR MISSION IS TO MORPH AND HOLD BACK RITA'S CREATURE TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES. BILLY, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO STAY HERE AT THE COMMAND CENTER UNTIL WE CAN ESTABLISH AN ANTIDOTE OR A MEANS OF REVERSING THE AFFECTS OF THE SLEEPING POISON."
Billy sighed and nodded his head a little hesitantly. Although never one to naturally lean toward battle, he felt inwardly shattered that he couldn't be there to help Trini and Zack when they would be so clearly outnumbered in strength.
"Take care, guys," he offered his friends, as they unclipped their morphers from their belts.
"Just take care of them," Zack told him, slapping him on the shoulder. "We're toast without all of us there."
Billy watched as they morphed and teleported out, before he sighed, allowing himself a moment of quiet contemplation, before he felt the cold of metal brush his arm.
"Here," Alpha 5 said, extending a needle-like gadget towards the blue ranger.
Billy's eyes widened as he suddenly remembered about the stimulate. He let the rush of adrenalin quicken his pace like never before, as he hurried to his three caged friends without delay. He forwent his usual explanations to them, and abruptly administered the liquid fluid to each of them succinctly.
Like a ragged doll, Kimberly almost immediately sat up, her eyes slightly swollen, but open and alert. Jason followed suit and even managed to stand up, watching Billy as he finished giving Tommy the stimulant.
But, the overly exhausted teenager remained motionless.
"What's wrong with him?" Jason asked, his voice clear of his previous fog.
Billy quickly glanced at his leader and shook his head. "I'm not certain," he admitted. He extended his hand as Alpha 5 passed a device towards him, and he ran the advanced scanner over Tommy's body, waiting as the data ran across the tiny screen.
He sighed. One hurdle solved, another born.
"I don't know why, but Tommy's body isn't responding to the stimulant," Billy announced. "But, there's something I've discovered from this scan…it appears that the strand of virus Tommy, you and Kimberly have is dissimilar…it's the originator. You three are the original carriers of the virus."
Kimberly crawled over to Tommy's side and stopped beside Billy. "But why isn't he getting better?" she asked, her eyes remaining on their friend's motionless body.
"FROM THE DATA YOU HAVE COLLECTED, BILLY, IT APPEARS THAT THE RANGER POWERS ARE BOOSTING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS AND ARE BLOCKING OFF THE SAME DETERIORATING AFFECTS THAT TOMMY IS EXPERIENCING," Zordon finally spoke up.
Jason shook his head. "But how do we stop it?"
"UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO. FROM TOMMY'S VITALS, HIS BODY IS DETERIORATING AT A RAPID PACE. EVEN IF WE ARE ABLE TO SECURE AN ANTIDOTE, IT'S UNLIKELY THAT HE WILL SURVIVE THIS DEVASTATING DEVELOPMENT."
Zack had to admit that although he knew that he and Trini were seriously undermanned as they arrived at the spot of Rita's newest monster, he was still confident. If anything, with all the hurdles Rita had thrown at them over the passing months, the black ranger thought that her supposedly indestructible monsters were fairly pathetic overall.
"Watch out!" Trini's high-pitched voice suddenly called out, and Zack grunted, stumbling backward as the creature swung its oversized sickle toward him, catching him off guard.
Okay, so maybe Zack was being a little too cocky.
"Nice costume," Zack jibbed at the creature, as he threw himself into a roundhouse kick and caught it in the lower torso. "But black really doesn't suit you…it's not the right color for that pale skin of yours, you know?"
Zack quickly ducked to the ground to avoid its counterattack and wiped a solid leg toward it, catching it enough so that Trini could back him up with a well-executed kicking combination.
Rita's monster was more than eerily familiar. Perhaps it was a way of rubbing their faces into the fact that the population of the city they were supposed to be defending was slowly deteriorating, but Zack couldn't fathom the humor behind it.
The black cape; the bony, lifeless skin; the trademark sickle.
The Grim Reaper had been apparently sent to collect them, too.
Zack grabbed his power blaster, and bent his knees slightly, waiting until Trini was clear before he let off a multiple ray of energy attacks. The impact of his strike literally shattered through the creature's left hand, but the fragment of bones literally floated to the ground, before another hand simultaneously regenerated in its place.
Oh, man…not another one of these!
Zack grunted, swiping his axe toward its torso, but stood momentarily motionless as he watched his power weapon become lodged in the creature's bony body. He quickly grabbed hold of the handle and pulled on it sharply, falling backward with uncontrollable momentum.
Zack scampered a little backward and feebly stood up, surprising himself as he suddenly realized just how tired he was. Maybe it was the fact that they were missing so much of their strength in numbers, and that there weren't as many rangers to take over when they were out of breath, but Zack was suddenly feeling woozy.
He took a deep breath and tried to focus his vision through his helmet. The bodies of an elderly gentleman and a middle aged woman slumped over a street bench crept into his line of sight and Zack swallowed heavily, dread slowly creeping into his drained conscious.
Zedd glanced around the new surroundings before him and concealed the taste of bile that seemed to creep into his mouth at the sight. He knew the visit to Earth, and most especially to what was considered the headquarters for the city of Angel Grove would be worth it, but Zedd just could not get over how truly ugly the planet was.
Despite lecturing Goldar that patience was the rule they should be following, not even the emperor himself could stick to his own orders. He grew anxious as he continued to watch Rita's virus spread through the population on Earth and he was tired of just watching the fun.
He wanted to have some fun himself. Besides, with Rita sending a monster down in her own predictable effort to screw up his plans to wait, Zedd knew darn well he didn't have any more time to simply watch and muse.
He walked up the main corridor of the City Hall building, unsurprised that he spotted no humans in sight. Turning up the corridor that he was searching for, he suddenly pulled to a stop though, as he came face to face with a lone human.
The middle-aged man eyed the ghastly alien emperor with sheer horror, his hand instantly snapping to the gun that Zedd could see in his holster. Zedd chuckled at the man's fear, and as the security guard raised his gun, Zedd pointed his silver staff toward him and sent out a bolt of electricity.
The shock of such an attack was too much for the human and he didn't even have a moment to scream, before his overheated body slumped against the wall. Zedd stepped over the lifeless form and entered the door it had been guarding, once again beaming with amusement as he came face to face with yet another humanoid.
The neatly dressed man appeared to have been doing an announcement on live television and stumbled to his feet as Zedd instantly moved for the camera and turned it so it was centered on him.
"Good afternoon, humans or should I be saying 'good night' going by the amount of people deciding it's already time to nap," he chuckled slightly. "I am Lord Zedd, ruler of the Zedd Empire and future leader of your measly planet Earth. I have already conquered the surrounding galaxies, and although I pride myself on my ability to obliterate entire species, I like to see myself as a fair destroyer."
He raised the bottled antidote in his hand, moving it so it was just an inch away from the camera's lens. "This here is the antidote for the virus which is currently spreading throughout your population. At this point in time, it has already infected thousands of individuals and in a matter of hours, it will have taken its one-millionth victim. Within three earth days, it's predicted it will have consumed almost every individual in this country alone. Without this antidote, your entire species will be wiped out. I will offer you this single vial in a worthwhile exchange…"
"We will not deal with aliens!" the mayor suddenly spoke up, a clear quiver poorly masked by his forceful outburst. "The power rangers will take care of you!"
Zedd laughed at the threat, surprised at how relied upon his newest enemies had already become on their home planet.
"Where are your precious saviors, anyhow? I can see two of them out on the street, but the last I heard, the other rangers had already been taken out by the virus in which I am offering you an antidote for…"
Mayor Stapleton's mouth slightly opened, clearly stunned by Zedd's announcement. It was evident that everyone on earth assumed the power rangers were indestructible- untouchable by a simple virus.
"I will offer you this vial, and in exchange you will fight for me…" Zedd told him.
"We refuse to help you destroy the power rangers!"
Zedd scoffed at his declaration and then chuckled. Destroying the rangers was already assured…and that was what he was trying to prevent.
"Oh no, I'm not talking about destroying the Power Rangers…I'm talking about destroying Rita Repulsa…"
Trini watched with a mixture of memorization and frustration as Rita's monster regenerated its right arm for the third time, her passionate release of violence against it doing nothing but seemingly inconveniencing it for a mere moment.
Long enough to catch her breath.
She grabbed her stomach with her hand, preparing herself to go into attack again, wishing that she had a moment longer to regather herself. She threw a quick glance over her shoulder, her face immediately dropping as she noticed Zack struggling to remain on his feet.
"Are you okay?" she gasped, as she rushed to her friend's side.
She reached her arm around his shoulder, helping him to standing.
"I don't know what's going on…" he finally gasped out. "I'm feeling really tired, Trin, I can't work out which way it up…"
Trini sighed, still trying to catch her breath. She glanced out at the monster slowly approaching them and tightened her grip around Zack.
"Are you infected with the virus?" she asked him, her eyes remaining ahead.
She could hear him sigh sullenly. "I've never felt like this before…" he admitted.
"You stay here, I'll hold him back as long as I can," Trini promised him, as she carefully helped him down to the ground.
She straightened herself up, preparing herself for yet another confrontation. With a dagger in each hand, and one foot before the other, she organized herself into a defensive kata position, but frowned as the monster suddenly stopped in its approach, its attention moving to a nearby retail electrical store.
Trini followed its gaze, her own concentration immediately stolen as she recognized with horror an alien being live on prime time television.
Oh my God, that's Lord Zedd…Trini realized to herself, how did he get into the mayor's office?
She carefully took a few steps closer to the front of the shop, cocking the right of her head as her movement allowed her to be close enough to hear muffled volume from the television in the front window display.
The king of the alien empire was clearly confident, that much was clear from his conceited stance and his almost pompous tone, but more intriguing to Trini was what appeared to be a tiny blue vile sitting in the palm of his fleshy hand. Zedd seemed to be shaking it front of the camera like one would tease a dog with a stick and Trini knew it immediately.
It had to be the antidote.
But before she could make clear of what Zedd was saying to the clearly frightened city leader, he disappeared from the screen in a wash of metallic energy. Trini slumped her shoulders and spun around in time to watch as the monster she'd been battling also disappeared, leaving her only momentarily alone, before she felt her body jet away.
As she noticed she had arrived back at the Command Center, she quickly demorphed, her eyes widening as she realized both Jason and Kimberly were standing with clarity on the other side of the chamber.
"Guys!" she exclaimed, hurrying over towards them, but stopping abruptly as Billy quickly intervened.
The look in his blue eyes told her that any happiness she felt was not complete and she nodded her head to him.
"Are you better?" she asked the question anyway and Billy shook his head.
"I gave them the stimulant and it worked in temporarily bolstering their energy levels, but only time will tell how effective the stimulant really is," he explained.
She smiled hopefully at Kimberly until Billy brushed past her and stopped in front of Zack. "Zack, what's wrong?" he asked quietly.
Trini sighed, remembering the exhausted state her friend had succumbed to during their battle with the Grim Reaper. "I think that Zack is infected by the virus," she explained, seeing that the black ranger was clearly listless and in no state to describe his state of well-being. "He must have somehow touched one of the infected."
Billy glanced at his African-American friend with compounded concern. Zack's eyes' were anchored to the ground, his arms crossed lazily over his lower stomach. As Billy reached toward him and administered the stimulate, Trini hoped to see the light return to her cheerful friend's eyes'.
That looks like the last of the stimulate…
Zack blinked his eyes with dramatic emphasis, before he looked up and released a breath of relief. "Man, thanks for that," he offered Billy.
The blue ranger nodded, but turned as Trini stepped up before the group. "I don't know if you guys saw it, but I saw Lord Zedd on the news while we were battling the Grim Reaper," she revealed.
"YES, TRINI, I AM AWARE OF THE SITUATION YOU'RE REFERRING TO. IT APPEARS THAT LORD ZEDD HAS HIS MIND SET ON NOT ONLY OVERTAKING PLANET EARTH, BUT ALSO RITA. I AM UNCERTAIN OF HIS INTENTIONS BY OFFERING SUCH A DEAL TO THIS POPULATION, HOWEVER…"
"What did the mayor decide?" Trini asked. She couldn't hold it against the head of the city if he chose to make a deal with Zedd in order to save the population, but Trini also imagined that bargaining with Zedd was like trying to negotiate with Rita.
Before Zordon could respond, a short, but piercing beeping sounded behind the group. Trini watched as Billy abruptly rushed to Tommy's side, his hands hurrying over the small monitor delivering the teen's vitals'.
"What is it?" Kimberly asked, dropping down beside Billy.
Billy remained silent. Trini could tell whatever he was going to announce, that it wouldn't be good.
"Tommy's dying," Billy cut Jason off. His head was hung, and he removed his glasses. "He's dying."
Trini heard the air suck out from Kimberly. "What?" she gasped, tears spilling from the sides of her eyes.
Trini began for her friend, but stopped short as Kimberly shot up to her feet and spun around to face Zordon. "Isn't there something we can do?" she pleaded to their master. "Tommy has been through so much since he's known us…we can't just let him die…please, Zordon…"
"KIMBERLY, I UNDERSTAND THIS IS AN EMOTIONALLY DIFFICULT TIME FOR US ALL, BUT IT IS VITAL THAT WE MAINTAIN OUR FOCUS," Zordon replied. "TOMMY'S SITUATION IS DIRE…I HAVE AN IDEA THAT MIGHT BE THE SOLUTION FOR TOMMY'S CURRENT STATE, HOWEVER THE MISSION IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. THE RISK OF YOUR OWN ENDANGERMENT IS SO HIGH, THAT YOU WOULD ALMOST CERTAINLY PERISH."
Jason stepped up beside Kimberly. "Zordon, we don't have a choice," he stated firmly. "We can't let Tommy die…just tell us what we need to do to save his life."
THAT MARKS THE END OF THIS STORY...
BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT INSTALLMENT SOON...
That's the last episode in this installment "Rebirth of the Legacy". It will continue in my next story "Pride of the Power" which will be put up on the site soon- That's the only reason I will justify my cliffhanger! (Remember, this is like a television show…you know how awful season finales are!). I didn't make it a huge, crazy ending deliberately...I hope you'll all come back and read the next story and you can find a preview of upcoming chapters and summery for the next story in my profile.
In the next story...what will become of Tommy? What deadly mission must the others take at the only chance to keep him alive? And will Rita or Zedd succeed to overthrow the others and crush the rangers in the process? The next story opens with the rangers most dangerous mission yet, as the power of good will struggle in a place ruled by evil. And as the story continues, things certainly don't ease off- after months of finding their way and proving the stronger side in the first installment, the teens are all faced with a world increasingly bitter at their fight and circumstances that pull apart the beautiful simplicity that they once took for granted. New evil comes to life, while others die...and for the teens, new friends are made and through their continued sacrifice, their pride for each other continues to grow. Love between young lovers grows...friendships between friends are changed. And maybe...just maybe...it will be enough when Zedd reveals a shocking plan in the very last moments that will leave it all to unravel.
Thanks to everyone who read this story and for all your feedback- without your help, my writing can never improve (and I have so much to do- that's the fun in writing!) I can't believe that after a year and 200,000+ words later I've actually finished it, so thanks for everyone's patience. The next story will continue in the same format and will hopefully deliver a lot more surprises, twists and turns and personal growth for the characters. See you then!