This story will largely incorporate a slight re-imaging of the journey into the wastes the Rangers take, and the introduction of Gem and Gemma. Wherever the script overlaps with the show, needless to say I don't own the script, Disney does.
Rating: T – Adult themes, including violence.
Timeline: Around the time of the episode "Embodied".
Legal: I do not own Power Rangers or the associated names, characters, events etc. Anything not covered by the above rights should be considered purely the creation of the author.
Summer came into the main room of the Garage, finding unusually that all of the lights were out. She looked around curiously as she tried to find out what was happening.
"Hello?" She asked as she made her way through the room. "Is anyone there?"
She looked around, finding a warm glow coming from one of the side rooms. She made her way towards the door cautiously, opening it. Inside, she found a table set up for a candle lit dinner. Soft music started to play as she approached the table. There was a bottle of champagne resting in an ice bucket, awaiting her. She could smell something cooking nearby. As she arrived at the table, she could feel a pair of arms wrapping around her waist, holding her to his warm body. Dillon leant in, kissing her cheek softly.
"What's the occasion?" She asked him.
"Dr. K gave me some good news this morning." He whispered in her ear as she enjoyed the warmth of his arms. "It's over."
She turned to look at him, a smile creeping onto her lips as she heard this.
"Is she sure?" Summer asked him. "It's really over?"
"She managed to decrypt the virus taking control of my body." He told her with a huge grin on his face as he brushed some hair from her face, caressing her cheek. "The implants are no longer growing. I'm in control now for good."
Summer couldn't contain her excitement and threw herself into his arms, kissing him deeply in her joy. Tears of happiness ran down her face as she finally allowed herself to believe what he had told her. The nightmare was finally over. Venjix would not take the man she loved from her. As they parted a little, he looked deeply into her eyes and took off her jacket, hanging it on a hook nearby.
"I thought you might want to celebrate." He said as he gestured back to the table. "I know we haven't had much to feel happy about recently."
"I can't believe you went to all this trouble." Summer replied as she took a seat. "This is unbelievable."
"Well I have to put in a little effort, don't I?" He asked her as he popped the cork on the champagne, causing her to jump in fright. The champagne frothed a little over the neck and onto the floor, before he grabbed a glass, catching some of the errant spill and pouring it. He handed her the glass as he poured his own, before turning back to her.
"So what do we toast to?" He asked her. "To us?"
"I like the sound of that." She replied, eyeing up his body thoughtfully. The light from the candles reflected off his flesh, giving him a warm glow. His t-shirt was a little tight, and showed off his thickly muscled, toned torso. She found her thoughts straying a little as she gazed at him, feeling her heart racing faster, and her face getting warmer. She took a long sip from her glass as she surveyed him, thinking about everything they had been through together. She could see happiness in him that she could never recall seeing before. The look in her eyes confirmed that he was telling the truth. He truly was cured; the dark days where they feared him losing himself to Venjix were over.
"This is good." He told her, setting down his glass. "I guess I should probably go and get the first course."
As he started to get up, Summer grabbed his hand, stopping him from leaving. Dillon looked at her a little curiously.
"There's no hurry." She whispered. "I'm not really that hungry."
"You're not?" He asked her. "So do you just want to talk for a while?"
Summer just smiled at him and crossed the distance between them, kissing him passionately, running her hand through his hair. As they parted a little, she looked deeply into his eyes and shook her head.
She took him by the hand and led him towards her bedroom, taking him inside and closing the door behind them. Dillon gazed down at her with a slightly unsettled look in his eyes.
"Summer, are you sure about this?" He asked her. "You know I'd never ask you to do anything you don't want to."
"Who said I don't want to?" She asked him with a smile, placing her hands on his shoulders and guiding him down, sitting him on the edge of her bed. She grabbed his t-shirt, pulling it over his head and throwing it aside, before pressing him down onto the bed, caressing his chest as she kissed him again. He smiled up at her as she crawled onto the bed, sitting on his chest.
"Are you sure about this?" He asked her again. Summer just laughed and pulled off her t-shirt, throwing it aside."
"What do you think?" She asked him as she pulled her hair aside and lowered herself towards him for another kiss.
She woke with a start in the second bedroom of her parent's apartment, breathing rapidly as she came to. Her pyjamas were clinging to her, and her bed clothes were soaked in sweat. This was far from her first dream of this kind, though normally they didn't affect her quite so deeply. If nothing else, she was a little wary of dreaming these days because of the issues she had been having. Of course now Dr. Young had once again suggested that she stop taking the medication to see if her dreams caused her the same distress as they had before.
She pulled back the covers and made her way to the mirror, checking over herself as she tried to calm down. Her dreams had often turned into horrendous nightmares as a result of her trauma over Ronan's attack. While this dream had become largely uncomfortable for its own reasons, she couldn't help but smile as she thought about it. She wanted to be able to think about taking that step with Dillon some day; though it was just so hard for her to have those kinds of thoughts without coming back to what Ronan had done to her. This was the first time she had a dream about Dillon that hadn't ended up with her facing him. She made her way through to the bathroom and started to run a much-needed shower, and again smiled as she looked at herself in the mirror. While in reality the virus was still within Dillon's system, she had a sense of hope, after all, if she was starting to show signs of getting better, perhaps Dr. K would find a solution to his problem.
Having got dressed, she made her way through to the living room, finding Dillon lying on her parent's couch, holding the musical pocket watch he played at times during the long periods between shut downs when he had nothing else to do. Summer knew that occasionally he got fragments of memories when he listened to the chimes of the watch, though lately he had been listening to it more and more. He seemed to be getting a lot more such flashbacks. As he realised she was standing there, drawing his thoughts back to reality, he flipped away the watch, and gave out a frustrated sigh.
"I saw her again." He informed his girlfriend. He had told her about some of his flashbacks. She knew that he kept seeing himself guiding and taking care of a younger blind woman, though so far he had no memory of who she was, or her relationship to him. All he seemed to know was that he was meant to take care of her. He still felt guilty about the fact he couldn't save her, despite still not knowing who she was.
"Do you remember anything else?" Summer asked him, taking a seat on the couch next to him, putting her arm around him. Dillon shook his head.
"This time I was in a city with her." He told Summer as he recalled as much as he could. "We weren't in the Venjix compound."
"Dillon, I know this is hard." She replied, holding him closely. She had been having an idea for a while now, and she was just trying to think of a way to suggest it. "You know, that watch seems to be acting as a trigger to your memories. In a lot of ways it's a lot like what Dr. Young does when he hypnotises me."
"Are you suggesting that I should get hypnotised?" He asked her. "Summer, knowing Ziggy he'd try to get me to act like a chicken or something."
"I wasn't thinking of trying to hypnotise you ourselves, I wouldn't know where to begin anyway." She replied. "I was just thinking that maybe it would be worth booking a session with Dr. Young for you."
"Summer, what are you trying to say?" He asked her.
"Look, these flashbacks are obviously upsetting you. You feel badly about not being able to remember who she is. Maybe Dr. Young can help you remember some stuff that could help you figure out who she is."
"Summer, the sat bot said he took my memories." Dillon reminded her.
"Well obviously some of them are left." Summer reminded him. "It's possible that if you remember more about what happened to you before you woke up in the waste land, that Dr. K could use that knowledge to help find a cure."
Dillon just snorted as she said this. He was still understandably bitter about finding out that Dr. K was responsible for releasing the Venjix virus. While they hadn't gotten on before, now he had every reason to hate her. He had quite literally lost everything to Venjix. He had lost his past, and as a result of the virus within his implants, it seemed like he was destined to lose his future too. He was either going to end up turning into a machine completely, or he was going to advance to the stage where Dr. K would have no choice but to put him back in the stasis pod.
While they could all sympathise with what she went through as a prisoner of the Alphabet Soup programme, that didn't stop them from hurting over their own losses. In particular Dillon found himself in an awkward position. He hated what had been done to him, and a part of him blamed Dr. K for it. Of course, he also knew that if anyone would be able to cure him of his affliction, then it would be her. He was relying on her to return his life to him.
"If nothing else, maybe if you remember who she is you can get some peace of mind." Summer stated as she saw he was thinking about it. "Besides, what have you got to lose?"
Dillon just smiled as he realised that she wasn't going to be denied. She had a warm quality about her that allowed her to convince most people of just about anything when she put her mind to it. He gave a weak laugh.
"You're not going to give up on this are you?" He asked her.
"What kind of girlfriend would I be if I did?" She asked him in response. Dillon kissed her softly, before holding her tightly. Summer's father cleared his throat, bringing their attention to the fact he was there. Summer pushed Dillon's arm off and moved a little further down the couch. While her parents knew about Dillon, and were pleased their daughter had found someone that made her happy, it was a little early in the morning for the side show. Especially since they were both staying under his roof during the couple of days' hiatus Colonel Truman had sent them on to get over Dr. K's revelation.
"Would you like some coffee?" He asked them.
"That would be nice, thank you Mr. Landsdown." Dillon replied.
"I'll just help you." Summer chipped in as she followed her father to the kitchen to help pour. Dillon watched her go, thinking long and hard about what she had said. Maybe there would be answers in his past, and like she said, it couldn't hurt, could it?
Over at the orphanage, Ziggy was having a great time helping Ms. Foster around the place. Since he didn't really have a family, when he was told to take a couple of days to himself, he took the opportunity to visit her. Since no one was going to be at the Garage to keep an eye on Tenaya, he had brought her with him. At this point they were in the basement working on the boiler. Ziggy really didn't have much idea what he was doing, but he knew that Tenaya had a level of technological know-how as a result of her time with Venjix.
"OK, I've tightened up everything I can see, but the water pressure gauge still isn't rising." Ziggy complained as he wiped his brow. "What else can I be missing?"
"I think it might be something underneath." Tenaya suggested quietly. Ziggy didn't know why, but she was being incredibly quiet that morning. He knew she enjoyed spending time at the orphanage with him. The kids loved playing with her, and it was one of the few places she was accepted without question. Ziggy lay down on the floor, picking up a monkey wrench.
"Would you mind?" He asked her. Tenaya reached down, grabbing the edge and lifting the unit with an unnatural ease for someone of her size, her cybernetically enhanced strength allowing her to hold it. Ziggy slid underneath the unit, checking the connections. Feeling water dripping onto him, he located the leak.
"OK, here it is." He commented, reaching for some plumbing tape. He started binding it, before reaching for the wrench. "Could you check the pressure gauge?"
Tenaya switched position, holding up the unit with one hand while she looked up at the gauge.
"The water pressure's increasing." She told him. Ziggy slid out from underneath the unit, allowing her to place it down, before helping him back to his feet.
"Is everything going alright down there?" Ms. Foster asked as she came down into the basement with some sandwiches and a couple of glasses of lemonade.
"I think we've just about finished here." Ziggy told her. Tenaya took a look at the unit, using her optical implants to scan it, checking for any further faults and smiled.
"We've fixed all the leaks." Tenaya added as she picked up a glass of lemonade. "It shouldn't take long for the water pressure to build back up, and once we re-light the furnace, it won't be long until the hot water returns."
"Thank you so much for your help." Ms. Foster told them. "I really appreciate it. I know I'm going to have to get that furnace replaced eventually, but if this one can last a little longer, it'll help me save a little more for the replacement."
"Well we're just happy we could help." Ziggy replied with a smile as he took the plate of sandwiches. "It's just a shame we have to have our lunch down here."
"Well I'd appreciate you not getting grease and soot all over my kitchen." She chuckled. "Besides, it's like your g..."
Ziggy gave her a small warning glare, stopping her from saying it. Ms. Foster still loved teasing him about the fact that he was beginning to have strong feelings for Tenaya. She had to stop herself from laughing as she saw him turning a little pink.
"It's like your assistant said, it'll be a while before the hot water's back up to temperature." She continued. "You can have a shower and change then."
She turned and headed back up the stairs, leaving them alone together. Ziggy watched her as she took a little bite out of a sandwich, only to look a little uncomfortable.
"Is everything alright?" He asked her. Tenaya looked a little uneasy as he asked her this. She looked down at the ground.
"Ziggy, I think something might be wrong with me." She told him. "Not my implants, if there was anything wrong there, Dr. K would have found it."
"What's the problem?" He asked her. "Are you ill?" She nodded her head weakly.
"Since I've no longer been receiving Venjix's regenerative serums, I knew I'd be having a lot more health issues. I've been feeling a lot more minor pains, aches, illnesses..."
"Tenaya, what's wrong with you?" He asked her.
"I've been feeling a lot of stomach pains." She told him. "It isn't a constant pain; it's more like several intermittent cramps. I've been feeling hot at times."
"It sounds like you've just picked up something." Ziggy told her. "Trust me, it shouldn't be serious."
"This morning I woke up to find out that I'd been bleeding." She told him. Ziggy looked at her a little curiously. She pulled a small canvas bag out from behind the stairs, handing it to him. He looked inside, finding her bed clothing.
"Oh, right." He replied.
"I'm really scared." She told him, as a tear started to form in her eye. "You know what Venjix did to your friend. Maybe he did this to stop me from leaving him. Maybe he planted some kind of virus in me to force me to undergo his treatments..."
Ziggy took her hand in his in a comforting gesture. He had an idea what was happening to her, but he needed to confirm his suspicions.
"Um...Tenaya, you said Venjix dealt with all your biological functions. How much did he deal with?"
"While I was in the regeneration chamber he dealt with everything." She replied. "I didn't need to eat or drink, he dealt with..."
"I think I get the idea." Ziggy interrupted her. "How long would you say you've been with us?"
She tried to think about that. She hadn't really had any reason to give the passage of time since she had left Venjix much thought.
"I've been your prisoner a little over a month." She told him as she finally figured it out. Ziggy breathed a small sigh and put his arm around her, holding her closely.
"Look, I'm probably not the right person to explain all of this to you, but I can assure you that it is perfectly natural." He told her warmly.
"It's natural to bleed so much for no reason?" She asked him. He took the bag and shoved it aside, before holding her closely. She felt herself growing warmer as he held her tightly in his comforting embrace. He hadn't explained what was wrong with her, but when he told her that she would be fine, she could believe it.
"I'm going to call Dr. K; she should be able to explain..."
"Please, don't bother her with this." Tenaya interrupted him. "I still don't think she likes me very much."
"Fine, I'll ask Summer if she can explain things to you." He told her, picking up the bag. "In the meantime, I think we should have enough hot water for those showers. I'll wash this and return it to Ms. Foster."
"I'd really like to clean up." She told him. "I feel like I need to scrub for a week after this."
"Well you do have a little something on your face." He told her. She looked at him a little curiously. "Right there!"
With that, he stroked his finger down her nose, smearing soot onto it. Tenaya's mouth hung open and she laughed as he did this.
"Oh you are so dead!" She called out as he sprinted out of the room with Tenaya in hot pursuit, laughing as they went. He was glad he could make her feel better. Growing up in the orphanage, he had some experience with what it meant for the kids to grow up and experience puberty, and since Tenaya seemed to have no memory of her life before the implants, he figured it had to be a pretty frightening experience going through that and having no idea what it meant. He was sure that once she spoke with Summer she would understand. In the meantime, he just had to make sure she didn't catch up to him and exact vengeance for the soot attack.
Meanwhile, over at Mr. McAllister's garage, Flynn was spending his time fixing his truck, in between helping his dad with his business. Mr. McAllister came over to the truck and banged on the side, causing Flynn to jump with a start, banging his head on the underside.
"You've got a visitor." He announced.
"Dad, did ye have tae do that?" Flynn asked him as he wheeled the cart out from under the scorched wreckage of his hummer. "You know better that to startle me like that while I'm working."
"I would have thought you'd be happy for a little company." Sam said as she arrived with a sandwich bag. She was still limping, but Flynn smiled as he noticed that she was no longer using a cane to help her walk. "Besides, it isn't like this burnt out heap's going anywhere any time soon."
"I keep telling him it would be easier to replace the stupid thing than repair it, but will he listen to me?" Mr. McAllister complained. "I mean what do I know? I only taught him everything he knows."
"Look, you know the military's paying for the repairs anyway, so what's the problem?" Flynn asked him. "Besides, it has sentimental value."
"You've not even had it three years, what possible sentimental...?" He paused as he realised Sam was in the room and held up his hands. "You know what? I don't think I want to know. I'm going to go and do some paying work."
Sam came over to Flynn, greeting him with a soft kiss as he pulled up a couple of stools for them. She set down the bag.
"How are you finding working in the old place again?" She asked him.
"I can't say I object to the money, but I'll be glad to get back to the Garage." He told her. "Sorry you had to fall for a super hero and not a grease monkey."
"I still can't believe your dad earns more for changing oil and spark plugs than you do." She giggled.
"Well it's like my dad always told me when he started to teach me about engines." Flynn began. "If people knew enough about odd jobs to know they were being overcharged, then tradesmen would be out of work, because they'd do the jobs themselves. Besides, it's not like Corinth is full of mechanics."
Just then, his cell phone rang. Flynn looked at Sam a little apologetically and answered it.
"What is it Dr. K?" He asked as he checked the caller ID.
"Flynn, Summer contacted me this morning with an idea about how we can treat Dillon's condition." Dr. K told him. "Please return to the Garage. We may need you."
"I'll be there as soon as I can." He replied. He turned back to Sam as he hung up and kissed her gently. "Sorry about this, can we take a rain check?"
"I can always share this with your dad." Sam said with a shrug. "I guess that's what I get for falling for a super hero."
"I'll make it up to you, I promise." He replied as he sprinted out the door. "Sorry dad, it looks like I'm going back a little early. You're on your own."
"Aren't I always?" He grumbled. "I tell you this Sam, I'm proud of that boy, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't like to spend a little more time with him."
"I know the feeling." She replied in a sigh. "Anyway, how would you like some lunch?"
Back at the Garage, Colonel Truman, Ziggy and Scott were sitting in the corner as Dr. K and Dr. Young were working with Dillon. Summer had convinced him to come to the Garage to work on retrieving more of Dillon's memories. Flynn came to Ziggy's side and sat down.
"What's going on here?" Flynn asked him.
"Summer thinks that if Dillon remembers more of what happened to him before he got the implants, then Dr. K might be able to find a cure." Ziggy explained.
"Where is Summer?" He asked in response.
"She's talking with Tenaya." Ziggy informed him. "It's a little private."
Dr. Young was holding Dillon's watch close to his face as he went deeper into his mind. He could see in his reactions that the music was having the desired effect.
"So what does the music mean to you?" He asked him. "How does it make you feel?"
"I feel...responsibility." Dillon answered. "I think about a girl. I'm not sure who she is, I just know I'm meant to look out for her."
"Can you see what she looks like?" He asked him. Dillon shook his head.
"All I know is that she has dark hair and she's blind." Dillon told him. "She uses a white cane to get around, but when I'm there, she holds my arm. She lets me lead her. She trusts me."
"Where are you right now?" He asked him.
"I don't know. We're in some kind of city square." Dillon answered. "It's nowhere in Corinth, I know that much. I don't recognise any of it."
"Try to pinpoint something, anything about what you're doing." He willed him. "You said you're leading her. Where are you taking her?"
"We're shopping." He said. "I'm taking her around some market stalls. We..."
His words tailed off and he noticed something.
"I can see a sign. It says Kenmore." He told him, coming back to full consciousness. "We were in a place called Kenmore."
"Kenmore?" Scott asked as he heard this. "Where's that?"
"Downtown Omega City." Dr. Young answered. They all looked at him in surprise.
"My old surgery used to be there." He told them. "Omega City was one of the first cities evacuated right after the first Venjix attack."
"That might fit with when Dillon was captured." Scott commented. "So what do we do now?"
"What I would have recommended before is going to Omega City." Dr. Young responded. "That way we could see if anything triggered more memories, but I know you can't do that..."
"Why not?" Dillon asked him. "I lived in the wastes for almost a year. I can do it again."
"Dillon, you can't do that." Scott told him. "At least...not alone you can't."
"That's right." Summer told him as she arrived back in the room. "We're in this together."
"Besides, we'll need to take a remote power unit." Flynn reminded him. "Outside the dome, we can't access the zords without it. We'd be sitting ducks."
"Well we're going to need a pretty big vehicle to take all of us and the remote power unit." Scott stated, turning to his father. He noticed a slight look on his face. "We really should travel in style."
"Do you have something that would accommodate that?" Dr. K asked him. Colonel Truman realised he was being ganged up on and gave up. He pulled out his cell phone and dialled Central Command.
"Vasquez, the Rangers need to borrow a vehicle." He told the communications. "Have the technicians bring around the Go-Onger."