Author's Note: Next chapter. I'm posting this now because my semester is about to get really hectic and I won't have time to post anything until the end of December. Plus, I'm feeling really really sick and need a break. :(
That being said, please read and review. :). All feedback is appreciated.
Angel Grove, CA
Friday, 11:16 PM
Tommy shook his head as he made his way down the hallway of the command center.
'What's wrong with them? You'd think that they would have taken certain precautions to secure their command center given how easily I destroyed it the last time.'
The door to the control room opened, and Tommy raised an eyebrow at what he saw. The panels were almost completely fixed, Alpha 5 was back together, and Zordon's energy tube was cackling with static.
Tommy rushed down the ramp, yanking up the panels once again.
"Can't have you getting too far," he whispered as he blew open the panel.
"Intruder! Intruder!" The green ranger jumped when the small robot started yelling at him.
He ran over to Alpha 5. "Shut up," he hissed.
"Intruder! Intruder! Rangers, please –"
Alpha 5's body split into several pieces, hand spinning before it came to rest at Tommy's feet. Green energy and smoke rose from his outstretched hand.
He turned to the remaining panels, blowing them apart and hacking the wires with his Dragon dagger. He smiled when Zordon's energy tube once again went dark.
"That's done," he whispered. "Now for the next part."
Tommy teleported from the Command Center to Angel Grove Park, landing several feet away from the battle between the Megazord and Goldar and Scorpina.
He flinched at the sight of Scorpina, still slightly disturbed by how hideous she looked when she grew to that size.
'How could something so big and ugly be inside someone so small and hot?' he thought to himself, not for the first time.
The Megazord staggered from a strong blow of Scorpina's sword, and it fell onto its back when Goldar kicked it hard in the chest. The large zord rolled, climbing back to its feet and taking a defensive stance.
'This is taking too long,' thought Tommy. 'We need to end this now.'
He wished his Dragonzord wasn't undergoing Finster's many upgrades. Hit by a sudden idea, the green ranger ran full speed toward the Megazord.
"I hope this works," he whispered before jumping as high as he could in the air, latching on to the Megazord's back.
Tommy carefully climbed the back of the Megazord, hissing when he nearly flew off when it jerked wildly. He would've teleported, but the machine was moving too much for him to have a sure spot to land.
At least the element of surprise was on his side. No one would think he was crazy enough to do this.
His limbs burned as he made his way up; he was relieved when he finally made it to the machine's shoulder. The teen pulled himself up, curling his body so that he rested inside of the crevice. He was sweating inside his suit, droplets on his forehead. He braced himself, careful not to fall.
'This thing is tall,' he thought as he looked down below him.
Taking a deep breath, Tommy crawled out of his hiding place, climbing so that he was standing on the Megazord's shoulder. He could clearly see Goldar and Scorpina before the machine, legs lifting to deliver a power kick to the Megazord's chest.
"Aw, shit," he whispered before clutching onto the neck of the machine, nearly flying off from the force of their kick. His head rattled, and he shook away the dizziness that hit him.
"Need to make this quick."
When the Megazord steadied itself, the green ranger made his move, moving over to climb into the ear of the zord. He pressed his coin into the side panel there, and the door slid open with a soft hiss. Tommy ran inside, grinning when he walked into the cockpit of the Megazord.
Shouts broke out in the small room at Tommy's sudden appearance.
He saw Billy first and grabbed the blue ranger by the front of his suit.
"What the–" Tommy punched Billy in the face, grabbing and dragging him roughly out of his seat to the back of the cockpit. The blue ranger struggled violently against the green ranger the closer he got to the door. "Tommy, let me go!"
Tommy laughed, opening the door to Megazord. "Gladly."
He kicked Billy in the chest, sending the screaming teen down to the ground.
"Billy! NO!" shouted Trini from behind.
Tommy turned, knee slamming into the yellow ranger's stomach. He grabbed her by her throat, dangling her body outside the door. He could feel hands tugging on him from behind, voices begging him to leave Trini alone.
He released her, laughing as her body fell rapidly to the ground. A stabbing sensation on his spine startled him, and he turned in time to see Zack pounce on him. The black ranger slammed his fist into Tommy's helmet repeatedly.
Tommy growled, pushing his legs between their bodies and flipping Zack over his head. The black ranger landed on his back, rolling over in pain. He fell from the Megazord, hand clutching its side at the last second.
The green ranger made his way over to him, foot slamming down on Zack's fingers. Zack cried out in pain, and Tommy moved his foot from side to side, breaking Zack's grip. He lifted his foot, and the black ranger flailed wildly as he fell to the ground, screaming in fear.
"I never liked you anyway," muttered Tommy.
Tommy suddenly found himself on his stomach, hanging halfway off the shoulder of the Megazord. A knee was pressed into his back and he winced at the pain.
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" asked an enraged Jason. "You could have killed them!"
Tommy was rolled onto his back, and he gasped when Jason's fist connected with his ribcage.
"That's the point, Jase," he choked out.
Tommy swung at the red ranger, fist connecting with his helmet. Jason grunted, grip never loosening as he took the blows.
Tommy's eyes rolled into his head and his hands sought his Dragon dagger at his waist. He found the handle, fingers wrapping around it before he yanked upwards, shoving the small knife into Jason's side. The red ranger screamed, rolling off the green ranger.
Tommy shook his head, coughing as he caught his breath. Quickly, he climbed to his feet, slamming into Jason and twisting the dagger in his side.
"Tommy!" cried out the younger boy.
The green ranger growled, pressing the dagger harder into his side. "It's not a good feeling is it, red ranger? Knowing that the only person controlling your fate would rather see you die than do the honorable thing and save you."
Tommy grabbed Jason by his throat, using his powers to crush his windpipe. Jason twisted violently in his grip.
Tommy's voice dropped to a whisper. "I hope you survive this fall… I want to see the fear in your eyes when I kill you."
He yanked out the dagger, letting the red ranger go before kicking Jason in the stomach with enough force to make him plummet to the ground below.
Tommy froze when he heard the sound of string being pulled behind him, and he turned to see a pink arrow hovering in front of his face.
Kim was in position to shoot.
He took a deep breath. "Kim…"
"Shut up," she snarled, pulling the string tighter. "You have nothing to say to me, green ranger. You are my enemy."
His eyes trailed from the arrow to her visor. "Then why haven't you shot me yet? You had the chance to save Jason…but you didn't."
Her hands shook slightly, bow and arrow quivering in her grasp. "Why are you doing this?" she croaked out. He could tell she was crying behind her visor.
He glanced quickly at Scorpina and Goldar who were watching him carefully.
"I have no choice."
She dropped the arrow slightly. "What do you mean, you d–"
His hand shot out, wrapping around her throat tightly, and he shivered when he felt her struggle against him. He dangled her small form in the air, chest tight when her hands wrapped around his wrist in fear.
"Goodbye, pink ranger."
He let her go and her fingers slipped, and it seemed as if her body fell to the ground in slow motion. He looked away before her body hit the ground, jaw clenched painfully as he teleported from the Megazord down to the ground.
Tommy watched numbly as Scorpina and Goldar hacked away at the defenseless Megazord, its parts flying around as they attacked. In the dark, he could make out the forms of the power rangers on the ground. They were huddled together, some still unconscious while the others watched helplessly as their zords were destroyed.
He could make out Jason holding Kim's fragile form in his arms; helmet off as he held her face in his hands, blood pouring from his wounded side. Tommy watched them exchange words, unable to make out what they were saying from his position, but he figured he knew the story when Jason pulled her into a tight hug.
And she hugged him back just as fiercely.
Tommy felt nausea hit him strongly, nearly bringing the teenager to his knees.
'I can't be here,' he said to himself, quickly teleporting away.
There was nothing there for him to see.
Saturday, Local time, unknown
"What is the status of the power rangers?"
Tommy looked at Lord Zedd on the small screen. The emperor was calling in from Serpentera.
"The Megazord has been destroyed, master. All that is left of the zords is scrap metal," said Goldar.
The green ranger stared at Zedd with unseeing eyes, mentally replaying Kimberly dropping from the Megazord in his head over and over again.
"And the Command Center?"
Tommy spoke up. "Has been taken care of."
"Excellent." The emperor's gaze turned to the generals on the other screens. "Status report on the invasion?"
General Elgar spoke up. "We will be invading the planet Earth in two days at dawn. All soldiers are ready for battle, sir."
Tommy had met General Elgar the day before when the creature was beamed to the Lunar Palace. He and the other generals met with Goldar to coordinate their attacks for the upcoming invasion. The green ranger would be leading an army of ten thousand foot soldiers in Europe, attacking first Paris and then Berlin. Accompanying them was one warship and six megaships for aerial cover.
"The plan is to hit ten major regions of the planet, namely highly-populated cities. We will be hitting Los Angeles, Beijing, Paris, New York City, Moscow, Delhi, Seoul, Lagos, Buenos Aires, and Istanbul. At dawn, we will launch simultaneous aerial attacks on the cities for an hour straight. After that, each general will send in their army to launch a ground attack," Goldar explained.
Zedd nodded. "What size are the armies?"
"Ten thousand soldiers. That leaves us with 150,000 foot soldiers to spare."
"When will you be addressing the people of Earth about the invasion?" asked the emperor.
It was intergalactic law that any intention to invade must be announced at least a day in advance to give the inhabitants of the planet the opportunity to surrender in order to avoid bloodshed.
"How are the negotiations going with the KAX union?" asked Scorpina.
Zedd sighed. "It appears I will be detained for longer than I anticipated. They wish to hold off negotiations until the ambassadors from Eltar arrive."
Tommy winced internally. 'That's going to be ugly.'
"Understood," said Goldar. "The invasion will go as scheduled. I will send you updates."
Zedd nodded. "Status reports on those of you that are not part of the invasion of Earth? Edenoi?"
"Nothing out of the ordinary on Edenoi. The population is growing steadily and trade with neighboring Mirinoi is going well," said Commander Archerina.
Commander Barbarax spoke up. "Two thousand have enlisted in the army as of yesterday. Employment rates are up with the new construction and restoration projects. Crime is also at its lowest rate in years."
Tommy raised an eyebrow at this, impressed by what the commander reported.
'They can't even do that on Earth,' he mused. 'Maybe the planet will be better off under Zedd's control.'
There was a pause before Commander Diabolico cleared his throat.
"The rebels have taken over the southeast sector of the capital city."
'Oh, shit,' thought Tommy when he saw Lord Zedd radiate in anger.
"And how did that happen, commander?" asked the emperor in an eerily calm voice.
"I-I don't know, sir. The soldiers were monitoring the situation. I guess the rebels must have –"
"You guess?" snarled Zedd. "I did not make you a commander to guess, Diabolico!"
"I know, sir." The room was filled with a tense silence.
Zedd rubbed his forehead as if warding off a headache. "The situation on KO-35 needs to be handled immediately. Diabolico, since you have proven your incompetence, you will serve as general."
The horned creature's eyes widened. "But, sir–"
Zedd raised his voice, speaking over Diabolico. "Goldar, prepare a ship for immediate departure. You will be going to KO-35 to contain the situation and serve as acting commander."
The winged beast looked at Lord Zedd in confusion. "I thought I was to remain on Earth as the acting Commander for the invasion."
Zedd shook his head. "There's been a change of plans."
His gaze turned to Tommy. "The green ranger will head the invasion with Scorpina as his second-in-command."
A chorus of protests rang out in the room, and Tommy found himself amongst those against Zedd's decision.
"Sir, you can't seriously think this boy can lead an invasion?" asked General Rygog incredulously.
Tommy didn't like the ugly general, but he had to admit he was thinking the same thing.
'What the hell is he doing?'
"The green ranger is more capable than you realize, Rygog."
Goldar shook his head. "Would it not be more suitable for Scorpina to head the invasion? She has far more experience than the pup at fighting."
'Yeah,' thought Tommy in agreement. 'Scorpina has way more fighting experience than me.'
"This is true, but Scorpina is only skilled in war. Being a commander involves both fighting and political knowledge, Goldar," reminded Zedd.
"Tommy has been trained by Scorpina herself; she can vouch for his fighting skills," Zedd told the generals. "He is an excellent strategist – Goldar and Scorpina know this is true as well."
The winged warrior's jaw clenched tightly as he nodded.
"The green ranger is also from Earth, making him the perfect choice to speak to them on matters of diplomacy as he is familiar with their governmental structure and cultural practices. They are more likely to listen to someone they can relate to; who better than one of their own?"
Tommy had to admit that there was some logic to what Zedd was saying.
Didn't make the idea of leading the invasion of his home planet any less terrifying.
"I must speak up," stated Commander Archerina. "How do we know his being from Earth won't cause him to betray us during battle? He may feel compelled to fight for his people."
The teen felt the heat creep us his neck, body hot underneath his sweatshirt from anger.
The green ranger saw Commander Bansheera nod in agreement. "Lord Zedd, you know as well as I do that planning and execution are very different. You say this boy is good at strategy, and I do not doubt this, but can he really handle the challenge of leading a large-scale invasion?"
Tommy growled, eyes flashing green. The noise caught the attention of everyone in the room, and he stood before them.
"I will not allow you to sit here and insult me for one more second. Yes, I admittedly lack the experience that all of you have, but were you not in my position once? Did you not have to prove yourself in battle?"
They remained silent at his words, and he could feel Zedd's piercing gaze on him from the screen across the room.
He stared at them. "I am young, but I am also powerful and smart. I am the one who trapped Zordon of Eltar in his time warp. I am the one that destroyed the base of operations for the power rangers, twice, making it difficult for them to find their leader. And I am the one that orchestrated the plan that destroyed their zords, leaving them defenseless when the Earth is on the brink of war. I know the power rangers and their capabilities better than anyone in this room."
Tommy took a deep breath to calm his nerves; he now had their attention. He just needed to get them to listen.
"You are forgetting I will not be alone. All of you, who have years of experience in war, will be at my side. For this invasion, I am most suited for matters of diplomacy – I will still look to you for assistance and guidance throughout this war."
He smiled internally when he saw the resistance in their faces melt away. The only one looking at him with mistrust was Goldar, but that was to be expected.
"Lord Zedd believes I can lead this invasion; I think it would be unwise to second guess our emperor. Failure is not an option, and I can only succeed if you work with me. I am asking you to do that now."
Tommy looked each general in the eyes, his gaze remaining firm with theirs. Scorpina gave an imperceptible nod in his direction, and he took that as her approval.
He didn't need the generals to be on his side; regardless of whether or not they thought him capable, they would have followed him out of fear of what Zedd would do. But Tommy realized that for the invasion to be successful, it would be beneficial if he already had their trust.
He didn't mind a little butt-kissing if it got the job done.
Zedd looked at the green ranger. "From this moment forth, the green ranger will be referred to as Commander Oliver. All decisions regarding the invasion will be deferred to him in my absence. Is that understood?"
Zedd's words sounded garbled to the teen's ears. Tommy's stomach dropped as he realized his impassioned speech had sealed his fate.
'Oh God,' he thought, suddenly feeling light-headed. 'What the hell did I just do?'
Tommy faintly heard the chorus of "yes, sir" around the room.
'I really have no idea what the fuck I'm doing,' he thought in mild panic. 'Zedd has to be crazy entrusting an eighteen-year-old kid with leading a war. Why did I even agree to this? I can't invade Earth!'
'Yes, you can,' spoke up a voice. 'Zedd knows you can. Scorpina knows, too. You're ready for this, Tommy.'
'But this is Earth… this is my home. I have family here… I grew up here. I can't just destroy it because someone commands me to,' he argued.
'Well, does death sound like a better option?' the voice hissed. 'You've already fucked yourself, kid. You got all these people believing you can do the job. Zedd's not going to let you embarrass him. Deal with it.'
Tommy snapped out of his thoughts, finally realizing that Zedd had been addressing him.
"Yes?" He hoped no one else could tell he was about to piss himself.
Tommy blinked, aware that everyone was watching him, waiting for his instruction.
He cleared his throat. "Right."
The green ranger sat slowly in his chair, and he could feel Zedd's cool gaze on his body.
"Here's what we need to do."
Angel Grove, CA
"Tommy? You okay, sweetie?"
The green ranger had barely touched his food at dinner, staring blankly at the plate before him. He looked up when his mother called his name.
She reached over, the back of her hand resting against his forehead before moving to his neck. "You don't seem to be warm. Are you feeling okay?" she asked, concerned.
He stared at her. "Yeah, mom. I'm fine. Just tired is all."
"See, Sandy? I told you he was fine," said Frank with a smile. "He's a teenager. You remember what it was like at his age."
Tommy wanted to laugh. 'You have no idea what I'm going through, dad.'
He pushed his plate away. "Actually… I think I'm just- I think I'm done eating for tonight. Not that hungry."
Frank raised an eyebrow. "You sure?"
The teen nodded. "Yeah, I need to lay down for a bit."
He grabbed his plate, dumping it in the trash before placing it in the sink. His mother walked over to him, pressing a kiss to his cheek.
"Let me know if you need anything, okay?"
He ignored the tightness in his chest. It was difficult to talk to her, knowing in just a few hours, she might be dead from an invasion that he was planning.
"Tommy?" she called to him, gaze inquiring.
The green ranger cleared his throat, pulling his mother to him in a hug. "Thanks, mom."
Sandra stiffened in surprise at the gesture before hugging him back. "I don't know what I did to warrant a hug, but I'll take it," she said with a chuckle.
He pulled back. "Sorry, I just…" He paused, the invasion weighing heavily on his mind as he stared at her.
His mother would probably be dead in the next few days because of this war, an innocent in all of this.
The thought made him feel… nothing.
"…I'm tired," he finished lamely. "Goodnight, mom."
He ignored her confused expression, nodding in his father's direction. The older man gave a slight nod of acknowledgment.
Tommy headed to his room, rushing down the stairs and grabbing his Nike gym bag off the couch. He opened the bag, throwing it on his bed before heading to his dresser, grabbing clothes and anything else he would need. His house would most likely be destroyed during the invasion, so he wanted to take everything that was essential with him now. When his bag was filled to the brim, he rushed to his closet, pulling out a large suitcase and throwing it open.
Tommy shoved armful after armful of stuff into his suitcase, paying special attention to grab anything warm. It was too cold at the Lunar Palace to wear shorts.
He moved to his desk, grabbing trinkets and pictures of importance to him, including a picture of his family.
'They're going to think I'm dead when they can't find me.' He knew that would crush his mother.
He carefully placed them in his backpack, not wanting to damage the items. In the background, Tommy heard the telephone ring.
'Mom can get it,' he thought as he rushed around the room. His eyes caught sight of the clock.
He had fifteen minutes before the broadcast to the leaders of Earth.
Tommy dropped to the floor, reaching underneath to grab his lockbox with his social security card and passport.
'Mom's always telling me to take this stuff,' he mused. 'You never know.'
He heard his mother yelling his name, telling him to pick up the phone.
'Who the hell would be calling me?' he wondered as he picked up the phone.
"Got it, mom!" He heard her hang up on the line.
"Tommy." It was Kimberly.
"Um… hey…" he said slowly, confused as to why she called since she made it clear she wanted to stay away from him.
"We need to talk."
He walked around the room, phone tucked between his ear and shoulder as he shrugged on his backpack.
"Now's really not a good time, Kim. I'm kinda in the middle of something." He switched the phone to his other shoulder as he put on the other strap of his backpack. "Shouldn't you be making plans with your friends anyway, pink ranger?"
He heard her sniff on the other side of the line, and he paused in his tracks. "What's wrong?"
She began to cry harder at his words, and he became agitated at her lack of response. "Kim?" he asked gruffly.
A crack sounded in his room, and Scorpina stood before him. He held up a hand for her to wait.
"Talk to me."
He heard her take a shaky breath on the line. "I don't even know where to start."
Tommy watched Scorpina close up his suitcase and gym bag before turning to him with an expectant look.
"The beginning might be nice." He was growing impatient.
He heard her sigh. "There's no easy way to say this…"
He mouthed the words "five more minutes" to Scorpina, who rolled her eyes.
"If you're going to tell me about him, save it. I don't want to know and I don't care."
"No. You said it yourself – there is no us. I think you can do better, but that's your choice. Don't expect any special treatment because of what happened in the past."
He was careful with his choice in words, not wanting Scorpina to realize who he was talking to.
"You've got it wrong," she said softly.
Scorpina tapped her wrist impatiently, and the green ranger nodded.
Time was up.
"Look, I need to leave. I don't have time for th–"
The air left Tommy's lungs all at once, and his brown eyes widened in shock.
He had to have heard her wrong.
"Tommy? Tommy, are you there?"
The phone felt heavy in his hands. 'Pregnant?'
"Tommy, please say something..." Her tone was desperate.
He opened his mouth, but not a single word would come to him.
"Tommy, what are you–?" Scorpina snatched the phone from him, throwing it to the ground and breaking it into several pieces.
"We need to go, Commander. Now." She grabbed tightly onto his wrist, and he felt the familiar sensation of teleportation wash over his body. He blinked when he found himself in the throne room.
Scorpina grabbed his backpack, pulling it off of him. "Squatt! Baboo!" The two creatures rushed into the room hurriedly.
"Take his things to his new quarters immediately," she ordered.
Tommy raised his hands to his face. 'Oh, God…'
A smack on his arm shook him from his reverie. "What?"
"I said you need to change into your uniform. We can't do the broadcast with you as Tommy Oliver."
He nodded numbly, morphing into his power suit. He sat down at the throne, hands gripping the armrests numbly.
'I'm going to be a father… I'm going to be a father… Kimberly's having my child… if Zedd finds out-'
"Ten seconds until broadcast," said Finster.
'I need to find her… I shouldn't be here… I can't start the invasion if she's pregnant…'
He thought back on the night before, when he and the others destroyed the Megazord… how he threw the rangers out of the cockpit. He could see her falling again in his head.
'She had to be pregnant when that happened.' He felt the bile rise in his throat. 'I could've killed my child.'
"Begin broadcast," said Finster excitedly.
Tommy licked his dry lips, staring blankly at the screen before him. He looked around him at the expectant faces of the other generals and Finster.
'They're waiting on you,' a voice whispered in his head. 'Get it together.'
"Citizens of Earth, you may know me as the green ranger, servant of Lord Zedd and the Dark Empire. I am sending you this message as a warning. Your planet will soon be invaded by the Dark Empire, resulting in a war of brutality and numerous deaths. The only way to avoid this fate is to surrender to Lord Zedd in peace."
He paused, the image of Kimberly with a swollen belly coming to mind. 'Stop it, Oliver.'
"The time for negotiation is now, and the window of opportunity is quickly closing. You have 24 hours or your planet will face destruction at the hands of our soldiers."
His heart beat loudly in his ears, but he could still make out Kim's faint voice over the thunderous noise.
Tommy stared at the screen with bleary eyes, hands gripping the armrests to keep from shaking. All eyes were on him; he couldn't lose it now.
"Whatever you decide, know this. We are coming for your planet, and we will not lose."
Aaaaand this is where part I ends, LOL.
Look for part II, Cost of Revenge: Lost, around December when this horrible semester is finally over.