Disclaimer: I do not own Power Ranger. I do however own Garthon, sadly.
Summary: The continuation/sequel of Be Careful What You Wish For…. This chronicles the events taking place in the Rangers lives directly and several months after BCWYWF ended. You really need to read that to understand why people act the way they do and where some people came from.
Author's Note: Yes, I'm back. Unfortunately, I got a job about a month after BCWYWF ended and between that and school I didn't have time for much else. But thankfully I finished at Community College last month and left my job a week ago so I've finally had time to write. This is all done. There'll be one chapter a day, except for one (hopefully only one) where I feel you need two so that you don't hit me with sticks because of the pointlessness. But I made the chapter long, I think, so it all works out. These chapters are longer than before, slightly, and the entire story is twenty-five pages longer. I'm proud. I warn you, I have this annoying habit in this story of telling you events have already happened, sometimes I go back and show you everything, but mostly I make you find everything out with the new people. You'll get it by the end. If you know what I'm talking about and you hate that, sorry. Anyway, thanks for hanging with me so long. I hope you enjoy!
When It Rains…
Chapter 1 - Confrontation
"No one ever said this was gonna be easy," Jeff muttered as he pulled himself up over the side of just the latest in a long series of rocks.
He was in the Andes, climbing this blasted mountain for what felt like the third time. Although technically, it was. A long series of wishes had caused him to have to do this again: scale a mountain, save a village, get super powers. It was getting old really. But Jeff knew that if everything had been reset again, then the village was in danger again and someone had to save it. Plus, he wasn't sure he liked not having the power. The Infinity powers, as their name implied, were forever. There was no passing them on, not until you died that is, and Jeff wasn't dead yet.
Jeff thought back on everything that had led him here. A long series of wishes made to an alien genie had effectively changed the course of history – twice. First his sister had been kidnapped by some alien bounty hunter and he had sought out the Infinity power in an attempt to find her, and then after he made a wish someone else ended up being kidnapped. It appeared that no matter what anyone did, on one lazy afternoon, on the fifth day of Aquitar's thirtieth S'let cycle, a young child would be kidnapped by the being known as Darkonda.
Jeff sighed as he pulled himself onto level ground once more. There was a village here; he remembered children playing, adults working, the occasional llama meandering past. None of that was here now. The houses were still there, but an eerie wind blew through the air, emphasizing the missing life. It seemed that in this, the apparently original version of reality no one had managed to defeat Garthon.
'Life just sucks everywhere, doesn't it?' Jeff thought.
Jeff gathered up his gear and made his way through the village. He didn't know what he expected to find. When he had come to this village before there had always been people. It was the eve of Garthon's return then and he had managed to tap into the ancient power that had defeated him centuries before. It was now several months after Garthon's scheduled return and return he obviously had. What he had done with the village however, remained a mystery.
Jeff approached the tomb at the village's center. It wasn't much, just a stone box made to keep the ancient evil in. Still, it gave Jeff the creeps as he walked inside.
"Ah," a deep, booming voice said as Jeff came into the darkness, "a new slave. I was getting so bored with the old ones."
"Hello Garthon," Jeff muttered as he walked around the room. Garthon had worked his magic it seemed, to make the room bigger on the inside than it was on the outside. Jeff seriously thought he could fit the entire population of Angel Grove Community College in that room and still have space for a couple of big rigs.
"My reputation precedes me," Garthon said, pride making his voice even more disturbing.
"Actually no," Jeff said, fingering a spear that hung on the wall. "In an alternate version of reality I already beat you, actually that happened in two alternate versions of reality. So now I'm gonna have to ask you to bring the villagers back and leave this dimension."
Garthon looked at the boy before him for a moment. He was young, strong, obviously had the attention of more than one woman, but all in all he was still a boy. And even if he were a man, Garthon had defeated men much stronger than this one could ever be. Honestly, the boy was wearing the most ridiculous outfit and had no weapons with him at all.
The evil lord laughed. "You are a most amusing human. For that I will not send you to the Sweltering Heat and Painful Light Dimension; instead I will keep you here to amuse me."
"No," Jeff said nonchalantly as he stepped before the evil overlord, "I think I'm gonna beat you."
"Infinity Power!" Jeff yelled.
There was a minute of silence. "What was that supposed to do?" Garthon asked.
"Um," Jeff had never thought that this would be a problem. In both realities before this he had managed to get the Infinity Powers, but now-
"Okay," Jeff said, "I'll beat you without super powers. It's not like I'm completely incapable."
"I'm completely incapable," Jeff muttered. He was chained to the floor in that same room with Garthon seated high above him, blathering on and on about how great he was.
"And then I swallowed his pet bird whole," Garthon said. "That's when he got really mad and charged at me. He ended up getting impaled on the back of his spear, quite sad really."
Jeff sighed, wondering what had gone wrong. Garthon was supposed to be nothing more than a giant ball of goo that had centuries ago figured out how to change his shape. Beating him should have been easy! After having to deal with a little sister who had been turned evil, then the same little sister never being evil but being love slave to an evil prince, defeating a giant metamorphic ball of goo should have been easy, especially since he'd done it twice before!
'Maybe he's gotten more power in the extra months of freedom,' Jeff thought, 'or maybe I'm really nothing without the Infinity Powers.
'No!' Jeff's inner voice cried. 'I can't give up! Those villagers are counting on me! The world (theoretically) is counting on me! I must defeat him, even if I have to die doing it! Because like Yoda said, "There is no try, there is only do."'
Jeff stood, heedless of his chains to face his enemy. The beast was now in the form of a man, what he preferred Jeff had found, and if there was one thing Jeff Hammond understood, it was men. 'Thank God he didn't turn into a woman,' Jeff thought, stepping forward.
It was then that Garthon noticed his slave's movements and stopped his stirring tale of evil triumphing over good. Jeff, despite his lack of a plan or any clear train of thought for that matter, managed to hurl himself at Garthon with impressive speed and strength. The evil being got ready to chuckle, remembering the chain that held the boy firmly to the floor.
At just the moment when the chain should have gone taut and pulled Jeff back to the ground with striking effectiveness, something amazing happened. A great light filled the room, the sound of a chain shattering could be heard, and before Garthon could figure out what was going on a fist went through his head, shattering the back of his throne.
"How?" the gurgling voice of Garthon's true form asked as he slithered away from this new and familiar threat.
"I do not really know," Jeff said, "but you are going to fix things!"
"Of- of course," the goo slithered over to the wall where it reached up to touch a strange stone set there. The stone glowed and three figures appeared in the room, just as the sounds of people began to flow in from outside.
The room shrank back to its original size as the three new men gazed upon the figure before them. This was the warrior of old, the legendary savior of the village. His thick armor seemed to give off a light of its own and while there was a sword at his side, he had not yet had need to draw it.
"What are you going to do now?" the figure asked the pile of goo before them, much as an angry mother would ask a naughty child.
"Leave this dimension," the goo said sheepishly. It reached up to the crystal once more but before it disappeared it called out, "I will return Ranger! And when I do I will have my revenge on you and you alone!"
"Blah, blah, blah," the Ranger muttered as his armor faded. "Hi," he said, noticing the men for the first time. He recognized them from his previous adventures as the village elder and the village's two strongest warriors.
Ashley Hammond was happy for what was perhaps the first time in thirty years, despite the fact that she was only seventeen years old. She had survived three lifetimes and found that her heart always rested in the same place: with Andros, the Red Ranger of KO-35. Said Ranger was sitting across the table from her and making a rather valiant effort to eat his breakfast while ignoring her constant stare. He was not being rude, he was simply trying to preserve himself. He knew, from experience, that if he looked up at her she would capture him in those eyes of hers and he would never finish his meal.
Unfortunately for Andros, DECA suddenly broke the silence of the Jump Bay, surprising him into looking up.
"What is it DECA?" Ashley asked, snapping Andros out of his sudden stupor.
"There is an urgent transmission for Ashley from Tanya Sloan."
"Put it through," Andros said.
Tanya's voice came over the speaker. "Ashley?"
"Yeah, I'm here. What's wrong?"
"Your parents have been freaking out. A couple days ago your brother just walked out of one of his classes. When your parents got home that night there was a note saying that he was fine and he'd be back by the end of the month. They found out that he-"
"He went to Peru, didn't he?" Ashley sighed.
"Yeah, how did you know?" Tanya asked, the confussion evident in her voice.
"Have you talked to Justin lately?"
"No, but I heard something weird happened to him right around the time Jeff went AWOL."
"Yeah," Ashley said guiltily, "we should probably explain to everyone."
"We've already compiled a list of all the people we need to explain things to," Carlos said, walking into the Bay and over to the synthetron. "We'll be contacting everyone in the next couple of days."
"Ooookay," Tanya said, obviously still confused. "So, you can handle the Jeff thing?"
"Yeah, we can handle it," Ashley sighed.
"Good. Now, I gotta go."
"See ya Tanya."
"So..." Carlos offered after a moment of silence.
Ashley grimaced. "DECA? Can you scan the Andes for any unusual activity?"
"Of course. Scanning... There is evidence to suggest that very recently a rather large amount of dark energy coalesced in the mountain range. That energy has since disappeared to be replaced by a faint power signature."
"Are there people around the holder of the power?"
"No, he appears to be climbing down a rather large mountain."
"Teleport him here please."
There was a flash of silvery black light and a man in many layers of clothing and climbing gear fell onto the floor next to the table.
"Hey Jeff," Ashley said, her face lit with a brilliant smile.
"Ashley!" Jeff cried, jumping up and giving his sister a snowy hug. "It's great to see you again! I've been worried, a lot."
"I know, but everything's fine now." Ashley showed her brother to a chair and ordered him a plate of all his breakfast favorites. When she turned to give it to him she stopped dead. Carlos too, had frozen where he was, a look of worry and fear, for who Ashley wasn't sure, on his face.
Andros and Jeff were having some sort of staring contest.
After what seemed to Ashley to be an eternity, Jeff spoke. "Ashley is my little sister."
"I know," Andros said. He said nothing more so Jeff decided to speak again, but was cut off. "I know how it feels to be an older brother. I know the responsibility and the fear. And I know how it feels to have a younger sibling fighting in a battle. I also know how it feels to have a little sister who thinks she's fallen in love. But I promise you, I will do everything in my power to make Ashley happy, even if that means letting her go to someone else. And I will keep her safe, no matter what."
Jeff was silent for a very long time. "Okay," he finally said smiling. "Now don't tell me you Space Rangers just teleport people off the sides of mountains, then refuse to feed them!"
"Of course not," Ashley laughed. As she sat down next to her brother she gave Andros a shy smile.
"I'll just be calling – everyone," Carlos said, sidling out of the room.
"This is so unfair," Garthon muttered. The evil overlord was floating in a rather swirly dimension. "I was so close to being free. Just a few more slaves and I would have had enough energy to leave the mountain. And then that boy had to come along in all his cockiness. I should have crushed him when he started talking about alternate realities and-" Garthon brightened, his gelatinous body took on a bluish-green hue and if he had had a mouth at that moment, he would have smiled wickedly. "There is only one being in the universe capable of doing something like that- Rissai." The giant goo-thing headed across the expanse to his ultimate destiny.