Disclaimer: The following is a work of fan fiction based on the television series, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. It is not intended to infringe on the copyrights of Landmark Entertainment Corporation or anyone else who may have legal rights to the characters and settings. I don't own the characters. However, I am putting them into an adventure since the show was cancelled and the writers/producers/directors/actors can't put them into any new adventures.

Author's Notes: I wondered – what kinds of adventures would our team have if there were seven members – the original five (Pilot's still alive!) plus Christine "Ranger" O'Connor and Chip "TNT" Morrow (aka Andy Jackson from The Intruder)? The more I wondered, the more I pondered. The more I pondered, the more the plot bunnies began to form, and I decided to try my hand at an episode-like tale. This particular story and outline took shape, but it still didn't quite read right. Then I read LongTimeFan's story Resurgence (and she graciously gave me permission to use an idea from her story) and watched an episode of Bones, and both of those helped turn this plot bunny into a full-fledged rabbit. It's set in season two since they're at the Northstar base, and Christine and Andy are members of the team, but if there's anything even closely resembling anything else that was supposed to happen in season two by The Powers That Be, that's purely coincidental.

STEALING THUNDER

PROLOGUE

"Did I make a mistake?"

That was a question no commander ever wanted to ask because who would want to know the truth? A mistake in battle or an error in judgment could cost a fighting group dearly. It didn't matter that no one was infallible. It didn't matter that a human being could grossly miscalculate facts. The ultimate success or failure – not to mention the credit or the blame - of any fighting group ultimately lay with the commander.

"Was I wrong?"

Then again, sometimes the harsh truth had to be known for the success of the group. The problem was that the truth could hide in mysterious places. Sometimes, it could be right out in the open, trying to get everyone's attention. Other times, it was buried deep within the outer layers, hiding for its own unique reasons.

Yet truth had always been a mystifying force. Truth could be relative in some instances, concrete in others, but whatever the 'truth' was, it had to be sought. Answers didn't always appear easily to anyone's questions. Solutions were sometimes beyond everyone's grasp. Often enough, events revealed many truths if given the opportunity.

Then there are the questions that that are asked that the truth resolutely defies to give an easy answer.

"Did I make a hasty decision without weighing all the facts?

For a captain of a Resistance team, a hard-to-find 'truth' could lead to doubt, concern and anxiety.

Captain Jonathan Power was the type of man who could see the big picture in a mission. He could take smaller details into account almost unconsciously and work them into the attack plan. He could plan a defense tactic and stand by his decision without doubt, certain that the chances of success were in their favor. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of each member of his team and knew how to use them to their advantage and mitigate any dangers.

But that was all before…

"Did I let emotion cloud my judgment?"

The long twisting road of doubt had started more than a year earlier, and it had been a long road of uncertainty for Jonathan Power.

It all began when they lost Jennifer, when they lost the Power Base, when a hidden file in Mentor's database revealed another base built by Stuart Power – Northstar.

For all intents and purposes, Northstar Base was invisible to the naked eye and hidden from all surveillance equipment. Buried deep inside an icy mountain in the Arctic Circle, the structure was indistinguishable from its surroundings. Only the landing bay doors were discernible if someone knew where to look. It was smaller than the original Power Base – perhaps by necessity, perhaps by natural elements or perhaps because Stuart Power didn't have the time to build a larger base. It was sparse, bare, spartan but functional, yet its advanced technology made up for the lack of creature comforts. Stuart Power had considered the Arctic base a backup site if the main Power Base was compromised or as a last stand position if Resistance forces failed.

Internally, it was a busy place, a far cry from the way it stood for all those years alone in the Arctic. When the four remaining team members first entered the structure, there was a sterility that permeated the air; a lifeless cold that seeped into them at all hours yet it wasn't the Arctic winds that caused it. They had lost Jennifer Chase, one of their own, and the cold emptiness of that loss continued to affect them.

That loss had affected Jon in ways he couldn't have expected. He kept most of his emotions to himself. He turned them inward. He didn't want to lose any of it… any of her

Yet they all grieved. They mourned, but then the war ramped up and life had to go on. They set up shop at the new base, downloaded Mentor in the base computer system in double-quick time and learned their way around their new home. They established new jump gates and found various ways of keeping in touch with the Resistance groups. Jonathan Power oversaw the set-up, taking into account the small details while he kept the big picture firmly in mind, all the while keeping his personal thoughts and feelings to himself.

It was business as usual.

Almost.

For years, they had functioned as a five-person team. It had been a comfortable, well-organized balance, only now, they could no longer perform their mission with only four soldiers. Their battle tactics required more soldiers in order to succeed. That meant they needed to find new team members. They had a war to fight, and people were counting on them. They couldn't let their heartbreak stop them from rebuilding their team.

Christine O'Connor, a former officer in the Special Forces, ex-commando, codenamed "Ranger," proved her worth when she rescued Captain Power after he had been captured by Lord Dread during a suicide mission. She was a good soldier; there was no doubt about that. She followed orders for the most part and firmly understood the need for the chain of command even if she didn't always follow each link. Still, her contributions to any team were noteworthy and, more specifically, required. The guys were still adjusting to Jennifer's death, so it was difficult for them to accept Christine. She had been welcomed, not quite with open arms but with the knowledge that her skills were needed.

Jonathan Power knew that Christine O'Conner could find a niche within the group and work with the team, but she had an independent fighting facet to her personality that had to be taken into consideration whenever he made tactical plans. That particular task was proving to be somewhat tricky.

The next addition didn't happen quickly, but his consideration for the group started when a single secure communication came over Freedom Two's frequency. "Black sheep found a lost sheep, looking for the shepherd." The code was meant for the Power team, but which "lost sheep" was Elzer Pulaski referring to?

Mentor received a coded message less than ten minutes later from Freedom Two.

"Intruder and partner infiltrated Dread lab. Rescued prisoners. Partner killed. Survivors taken to Passages for medical care. Team needed."

The intruder. Their intruder, Andy Jackson. Certainly, he wasn't the lost sheep Elzer referred to, was he?

The team left their hidden base and flew to the Passages. Once there, they found a weary, wounded, miserable Andy Jackson being treated by one of the doctors.

"Captain," he greeted them, his face set in a frown.

"Jackson. You okay?"

"Will be. This morning, me and Jim sneaked into an underground lab we found. Turns out Blastarr's digitizer was there. Dreadheads been bringing some of the digitizees back for questioning. We couldn't get all the prisoners out, but we did find out who some of them were and where they were stashed. Jim was killed just after we found out that one of them's your pilot."

Jennifer was alive?

"Give the doc a couple of minutes to finish sewing up this gash so I don't bleed all over the floor and I'll take you back to that lab before the Dreadies get there."

Jackson led them back into the well-defended lab, destroying any biomech that moved, getting revenge for the loss of his partner, and helping to secure the facility so Power's team wouldn't lose any more personnel.

Amidst the hundreds of prisoners they rescued, they found Jennifer - badly hurt, unconscious, but alive.

Afterwards, back at the Passages, the conversation with Jackson had been somewhat tired, strained and clumsy, yet the gratitude from the team was unmistakable. He'd risked his life to save Jennifer's, and they owed him. In a spontaneous moment of truthfulness – and after a cup or two of celebratory homemade moonshine - Jackson told the team that his real name was Chip Morrow, a former marine demolitions expert with Earthforce, but please, call him Andy. Dread had placed prices on the heads of the Earthforce survivors, so he had used the name Andy Jackson to throw off any of Dread's bounty hunters. He didn't ask to join the team, but he did say that if they ever needed help on a particular mission, he'd be happy to toss his hat into the mix. He still owed the Dreadheads for what they did to his partner, and the Power Team seemed to be at the business end of all the action against Dread and his clickers.

He wanted revenge. That was something Jon understood all too well.

Somewhat reluctantly, Jon reconsidered Jackson for the team. It wasn't the same war anymore. Dread becoming a full biodread had altered the course of the fighting. The enemy had changed, that meant their tactics had to change. Andy was an unpredictable resource, and that unpredictability could be an asset against machines who think logically. He had the experience and an impressive résumé, that was certain, but it was more than that. Jon was grateful to him for helping rescue Jennifer, but gratitude alone could not be the sole deciding factor in allowing him to join. Then there was his personality to contend with – the man had little to no concept of verbal restraint, cracked bad jokes like his life depended on it and seemed to have a boundless supply of energy. Could they work with that? It wasn't a quick decision. They had a team to rebuild – Christine was still a relatively new member and was learning how they worked together. Jennifer had just been returned to them and needed time to recover. They couldn't take the chance of adding the wrong person to the mix, but was Jackson a team player? Could he become one?

Could the seven of them work together well?

There was time to discuss the matter. There were other opportunities to work with Jackson, and after a few months of debate, it was decided. The next time they worked with Jackson, Jon would officially invite him to join.

"Did I just make the biggest mistake of my career?"

No matter how many doubts, no matter how many questions, one thing was certain – life would not be boring.