African Wilderness – Tribal Camp
"Billy, the meal's ready," Billy heard Zack say in an excited voice. "The village is waiting for you."
Billy sighed and continued staring at the fire that he had made earlier, just as dusk was falling; he had no desire to eat or sleep now that he was a civilian with no access to power. Zordon, Alpha, and most of the Zeo Rangers hadn't bothered to contact him. Only Tommy had written him, telling him that Laura had given up her chance to be a Zeo Ranger for personal reasons and that Malcolm had honored his parents.
"Dude, if you don't come right now, I'm sending the village doctor!" Zack yelled in an exasperated voice.
Silently cursing the fact that he hadn't gone on a trek alone when he had been given the chance days ago, Billy rose from his log and walked over to where the hut where the villagers gathered to share the evening meal. Zack was lingering outside the hut chatting with a woman Billy immediately recognized as one of the village's medical trainees, Aisha Campbell, who was wearing a long red tribal dress.
"Billy, Zack tells me you have not been eating." Aisha stated in a worried voice. "Are you unwell?"
Billy narrowed his eyes at Zack for a moment before giving Aisha a gentle look, "I'm just a little worn out from all the research I've been doing," Billy lied, not wanting to tell Aisha that he had not only been thinking of the Zeo Rangers, but also suffering nightmares about some odd gems. "I don't think I…"
"You must eat," Aisha stated firmly, quickly cutting him off. "Hard work requires a lot of strength, Billy."
As Aisha gently put her hands on his face, Billy blushed, "All right, I'll have some dinner," he replied.
"Dinner will have to wait, Billy," Goldar said as he and Scorpina suddenly appeared in front of the three.
Aisha looked alarmed, but Zack and Billy immediately got into fighting stance and blocked Goldar from even seeing Aisha, "Fools, do you think you can fight me without any powers?" Goldar sneered.
"What do you want, Goldar?" Billy asked, suddenly realizing that he could protect both Zack and Aisha from harm by simply listening to Goldar and not triggering a fight. "Did Rita order you to find us?"
Goldar chuckled, "Rita and Zedd left the galaxy," he replied, amused. "I have come for YOU, Billy!"
"Why do you want me?" Billy asked in a confused voice. "I have no powers and I'm useless to you."
Goldar and Scorpina exchanged a look and Goldar grinned; he now knew Billy's anger was reachable.
"Zordon did you a disservice by not letting you become a Zeo Ranger," Goldar said in a fake sympathetic tone as he gazed at Billy. "What he said about you not being able to take on the power was a lie. He thought that the others didn't need you to hold them back from becoming a powerful fighting force."
Billy thought for a moment and nodded slowly, "I could have been a good Zeo Ranger," he stated in a bitter voice that was very much unlike him and caused Zack to cringe. "I have the ability to hold power."
"We lost Prince Zedison in the battle with Ivan Ooze," Goldar lied, knowing full well that Zedison was now mortal and couldn't be brought back without the help of special powers. "Perhaps with your intelligence, Billy, you can help us to bring out the evil in Prince Zedison and restore evil to glory."
Zack gave Billy a look, "Don't do it, man," he warned his friend. "No matter how much you hate Zordon."
"Maybe I've been fighting for the wrong side all this time," Billy said in a hollow voice. "I've got all the intelligence in the world and it hasn't gotten me anywhere. Did Prince Zedison die or just go missing?"
Goldar chuckled, "Prince Zedison is a blind mortal on Earth named Mark Hillard," he replied cooly.
"Mark Hillard," Billy repeated in a bitter voice. "Why do you need a blind mortal to do your bidding?"
Zack gasped, "Billy, you shouldn't try to use your old Morpher!" he said in an alarmed voice.
Billy scoffed, reached into his pocket, and pulled out his old Morpher, "Perhaps I should pay the Zeo Rangers a visit and remind them that I'm capable of holding powers greater than the ones I had."
"Are you nuts, Billy?" Zack asked, stepping in front of Aisha so that she wouldn't end up hurt.
Goldar chuckled, "You aren't strong enough with your old powers," he replied. "However, there is a way for you to become stronger if you were to come with Scorpina and I. We can make you stronger."
"I'm ready," Billy replied even though he was just lying to Goldar just to protect Aisha and Zack.
Goldar cackled and he took hold of Billy's arm roughly and disappeared with him and Scorpina.
"Billy," Zack said mournfully, full of shock that Billy would betray him and Aisha out of spite against Zordon.
Oliver Household – Angel Grove, California
It was Saturday, Frank realized as he opened his eyes and found that he had fallen asleep in his office chair still in the khakis, sandals, and collared white shirt that he had worn the day before.
Frank quickly got to his feet and wandered out of his office, suddenly remembering that it was the day of the community blood drive at the high school and Tommy and Adam had most likely gone to volunteer and donate blood. He also knew that Laura was most likely attending to personal business.
What do I do with the first Saturday I've had free in a while? Frank wondered as he wandered into the kitchen and saw that everything was cleaned up. Ah, Adam and Tommy must have done all that.
A thought suddenly came to Frank's mind; he could phone Miss Appleby and ask her to breakfast at the Youth Center since neither of them were working that day and they were allowed to fraternize outside of school. Besides, Frank thought, he hadn't really socialized with anyone his own age in a long time.
Swallowing hard, Frank picked up the phone and dialed a number that he had long since memorized.
"Hello, Miss Appleby?" Frank said into the phone when a voice answered. "This is Doctor Oliver…"
'ANGEL GROVE BLOOD DRIVE' hung on a poster that was over the doorway to the gym and the inside of the gym was set up so that people all over the city could come and donate blood anytime during the day.
Cots and chairs for the donors were in rows near the stage, equipment and medical personnel were near the bleachers, and a table filled with juices, muffins, and cookies was in the middle of the gym.
Tanya and Katherine smiled as they set up the sign-in table that would let people sign in and be assigned a space and care long enough for them to donate blood. After the new semester had started and there had been enough time to adjust to it, Rocky and Adam had finally gotten permission to run the drive.
"Oh my goodness," Wilma Skullovitch said in an awed voice as she came down the hallway with Mr. Caplan and saw the set-up in the gym. "This is incredible. Did you two girls do all of this yourselves?"
Tanya shook her head, "It was a group effort," she replied gently. "How is Skull feeling today, anyway?"
"Eugene's a fighter," Wilma replied softly. "He was really surprised when I told him about this…"
Katherine nodded just as Malcolm came down the hallway in boots, jeans, and a blue t-shirt, "Hey beautiful," he said in a kind voice as he sauntered over to Kat and gently put an arm around her.
"Malcolm, are you going to donate some blood today?" Katherine asked, blushing deeply at him.
Malcolm nodded, "I'm going to try," he replied softly. "I'm not sure if they'll be able to find any veins."
"You're Malcolm Lee Scott, aren't you?" Wilma asked, suddenly recognizing Malcolm from the newspaper article she read last year. "I saw the article about your parents and I'm very sorry."
Malcolm nodded and suddenly looked very solemn, "Thank you," he replied in a very quiet voice.
"Who helped with the setup?" Mr. Caplan asked in a curious voice. "It looks very impressive."
Tanya smiled, "Jason, Tommy, and Adam were here earlier and after they helped set up, they each donated a little bit of blood," she replied kindly. "I think they decided to go to the Youth Center."
"Perhaps I'll donate some blood," Mr. Caplan cut in, deeply impressed. "How do I go about it?"
Katherine smiled and gestured into the gym, "If you'll follow me, I'll show you," she replied.
"What's a blood drive, Daddy?" Prince Sprocket asked as he continued looking through the telescope.
Queen Machina looked amused, "Blood is what helps those humans live, I think," she replied as she gazed over at Kimberly, whose pale and lifeless form was strapped to a table. "Maybe that's why Kimberly collapsed after returning? Perhaps she needs some blood from other humans to function."
"Perhaps Big Bopper can collect the blood from this drive and give it to Kimberly so that we can use her in our plan somehow," Prince Sprocket stated in an excited voice. "Do you think he could do it?"
Queen Machina chuckled, "We can infuse Kimberly with energy from the monster machine instead," she replied in an amused voice. "We'll have her go to Angel Grove and get rid of the Zeo Rangers one by one."
"Sounds like a lovely plan, Machina," King Mondo said as he came into the throne room. "That oversized human is ready to terrorize Angel Grove, but I am wondering if I should send him to fight the Rangers."
Prince Sprocket suddenly clapped his hands, "Daddy, I found some of the Rangers!" he said in an excited voice as he peered through the telescope. "They're at some place called the Angel Grove Youth Center."
"Put Kimberly into the machine and infuse her with energy," King Mondo ordered as he hurried to Sprocket's side and peered into the telescope. "Ah, there's a nice crowd at that Youth Center…"
The sight of Mark in a white karategi doing katas and lunges across the mat with a determined looking David caused Jason to smile as he came into the Youth Center with Adam and Tommy at his side.
"Hi Mark, hey David," Adam greeted the two. "Did you hear about the community blood drive today?"
For a moment, Mark was silent and then stopped, "I've never been good at taking needles," he replied in a sheepish voice as he felt around for David's arm to grab a hold of. "I'm not really that brave."
Jason sighed, fighting the urge to tell Mark that he was brave in dealing with all that he had been through, "Doesn't Malcolm usually work with you whenever you want to do martial arts?" he asked, not wanting an awkward silence to linger. "He's at the school right now, but I'm sure he'd come help you."
"I want to give Kat and Malcolm some time together," Mark replied pleasantly as he turned towards the voice to make it look like he was listening. "I think David's a bit worn out, though, for an actual spar."
David chuckled, "We've been doing katas for nearly an hour, Mark," he commented pleasantly.
"Would you like to spar with me, Jason?" Mark asked in a hopeful voice. "I want to try sparring."
Jason smiled, "Sure," he replied even though he was unsure how well Mark was going to do.
"Do you guys want some lunch?" Ernie, who had been in the back preparing a tray of sandwiches, asked as he came out into the common area pushing a tray full of sandwiches. "I'm offering a discount on lunch today to all those who participate in the community blood drive. The first sandwich is free."
Tommy grinned, "If Rocky were here, he'd jump at the chance for free food," he commented as he walked over to Ernie to help him with the tray. "Too bad he and his family went out of town this weekend for a camping trip. I left my karategi here last night, Jason; you can borrow it if you want."
"Ernie, can I please have a bit of water?" Mark asked in a tired voice. "The katas made me tired."
As Jason hurried to the locker room to change clothes, David reached into the pocket of his karategi and pulled out a cane which he quickly opened up. He slipped the cane into Mark's hand and walked alongside him as he slowly made his way across the mats towards the Juice Bar.
Adam, however, remained where he was and was deeply relieved that nobody was pressing him for information on Laura or Rocky's true whereabouts. Tommy knew what Laura, who had been very scarce since the beginning of the new semester, was currently up to, but he didn't know about Rocky's secret.
Swallowing hard, Adam turned away from the Juice Bar; he was beginning to feel like a bad guy because he was keeping secrets about some friends from other friends and it made him anxious. He suddenly began to feel lightheaded and began to sweat; it was an unfortunate side effect of the anxiety he had battled with ever since he had been put into the system. He was scared of losing everything yet again.
"Adam?" Tommy asked in a concerned voice as he looked up from the counter and saw Adam standing in the middle of the floor as frozen as a statue. "Adam, why don't you come and get a sandwich?"
Suddenly feeling a headache coming on, Adam sank to his knees and was vaguely aware of footsteps running towards him, "Adam, what's wrong?" he heard an alarmed Tommy ask. "Talk to me."
"I can't keep keeping everyone's secrets," Adam said in a faint voice as he felt Tommy easing him to the floor into a more comfortable position. "Too many secrets tore my last family to shreds."
Tommy looked alarmed as Adam suddenly tensed up and fell silent, "Adam, Adam, wake up," he said in a worried voice as Jason came back into the room wearing a karategi. "Ernie, call an ambulance now."
"What happened?" Jason asked as he hurried over to where Tommy was holding Adam. "Adam?"
"Yes, that is Adam Park," Kimberly spoke in a menacing voice as she watched Jason and Tommy try to wake Adam up through the telescope. "King Mondo, they are all Power Rangers; they left me behind!"
King Mondo chuckled, "I hate Tommy, Jason, and Adam with every fibre of my being," Kimberly stated as she turned to face King Mondo and Queen Machina. "However, I do not hate them as much as I hate Laura Hammond for taking Tommy away from me! Tommy and Laura are very close to one another…"
"Daddy, can I help Kimberly find this Laura and cause some trouble?" Prince Sprocket, who was almost certain that Laura was the Yellow Zeo Ranger who had interrupted his party with Skull, asked excitedly.
King Mondo was silent for a moment and then chuckled, "If the Power Rangers are separated and distracted, Big Bopper will stand more of a chance," he replied. "Yes, Sprocket, you two may go."
As Kimberly and Sprocket disappeared, King Mondo turned his attention to Bulk, who was in a marshmallow like costume with blue shorts a fishnet top and boxing gloves on the various parts of his body and a red, evil glow in his eyes, "Big Bopper, go and wreak havoc all over Angel Grove."
Big Bopper nodded, "I will, my Master," he said in an aggressive voice. "I will not fail you."
King Mondo chuckled as Bulk left the throne room; victory would finally be within his reach.
Completely unaware of King Mondo's plan, Rocky stretched in his hospital bed and sighed, his gaze briefly drifting to the IV that was in his hand giving him fluids. It was all part of the routine that he had endured ever since surviving childhood cancer; once a year, he was admitted to the hospital for a weekend and put through a barrage of tests to make sure that he was still cancer-free.
As long as he was quiet, Rocky had been given permission to venture out of his hospital room when there was no medical staff needing him for tests. He slowly got out of bed and briefly gazed at the cotton balls taped to the crook of his left arm before grabbing the IV pole and leaving the room.
A few on-duty nurses gave Rocky smiles as he walked down the hallway with only loose scrub pants and a hospital gown covering his body, "…Laura, I'm scared," a tiny voice suddenly said from a nearby room.
"Why are you scared, sweetie?" Rocky heard Laura ask in a gentle voice. "Everything's been arranged."
There was a faint cough, "Okay, Ashley, you need to go back to sleep for a while," Rocky heard Laura say in a gentle voice. "The sooner you get better, the sooner you can come to live at Doctor Oliver's house."
"I like Doctor Oliver," Rocky heard Ashley reply in a tired voice. "He's really nice and talks nice to me."
Rocky heard Laura chuckle, "I'm going to step out for a moment while you sleep," she said gently.
As footsteps came towards the door, Rocky immediately searched for a place to hide, but was immediately spotted by Laura as she came out of the room, "Rocky?" Laura asked, surprised to not only see him there, but dressed in hospital clothes and holding an IV pole. "What are you doing here?"
"You can't tell anyone else you saw me here," Rocky replied anxiously. "They think I'm out of town."
Laura nodded, "I had cancer when I was a little kid and survived it," Rocky explained in a nervous voice as they moved away from the door. "Because of the cancer, though, I have to go to the hospital for one weekend every year and undergo a lot of tests to make sure that I don't have a recurrence of it. I chose to do it this weekend because of the blood drive since I can't donate any blood anyway and I'm scared."
"No!" a voice suddenly yelled from inside the hospital room. "No, I don't want to lose my sister!"
Laura's eyes widened and she rushed into the room, unaware that Rocky had followed her, "Ashley, you're having a bad dream," Laura said as she gently shook Ashley's arm. "Ashley, honey, wake up."
Ashley opened her eyes, "I dreamt that some crazy lady came here and tried to take you away from me," she explained in a scared voice, suddenly noticing Rocky. "Hey Laura, who's the cute guy?"
"Ashley, this is my friend, Rocky," Laura replied in a gentle voice. "Rocky, this is my sister, Ashley."
Rocky smiled, "Thanks for thinking I'm cute," he replied in a kind voice. "How do you like…"
Suddenly, Kimberly and Prince Sprocket appeared in the hospital room, "Ah, a couple of Power Rangers and a cute little girl!" Kimberly crowed as she walked over to Laura. "I see you're still hanging around."
"What do you want, Kimberly?" Laura asked, desperate to protect Ashley even without any powers.
Kimberly chuckled, "I want to fight you to the death!" she crowed in an amused voice. "I know of a lovely little canyon just outside of town where we can have a good fight and finish this forever."
"Is this really over how you think Tommy and I are dating?" Laura asked in a semi-amused voice.
Kimberly scowled, "Tommy will be dealt with after I have finished you off completely," she hissed as she raised her hand and prepared to snap her fingers. "I think we should get this little fight underway."
Before Laura could reply, she, Ashley, Rocky, Kimberly, and Prince Sprocket vanished from the room.
"What on earth have you guys been doing in here?"
"I don't know what happened, Uncle Frank. Adam fainted just as I was coming to spar with Mark."
"Adam, Adam, can you hear me? It's Doctor Oliver, Adam."
Adam opened his eyes and saw Dr. Oliver's face hovering over his, "I must have passed out because I donated blood earlier and didn't eat," Adam lied in a faint voice as he felt himself being sat up slowly.
"Here's the juice you asked for," Ernie said as he came over to them holding a large glass of apple juice with a straw in it. "Do you want one too, Mr. Lee Scott? I know you're working, but still…"
Thomas smiled, "I'm afraid I can't take any breaks today," he replied apologetically as he wrapped a blood pressure cuff around Adam's arm and squeezed the rubber part. "How are you feeling, Adam?"
"A little shaky," Adam admitted in a tired voice wanting nothing other than to lie back down and sleep.
Thomas studied the blood pressure reading and released the cuff, "Jason mentioned that you, he, and Tommy gave some blood at the community drive earlier," he stated as he unwrapped the cuff from Adam's arm and returned it to the medical bag. "Did you rest and eat something afterwards, Adam?"
Adam immediately looked at the floor, "No," he admitted quietly. "I figured that I didn't need to."
"Adam, you seem like a good kid, but you have to take care of yourself better," Thomas replied in a concerned voice, realizing that he had discovered another one of Jason and Malcolm's friends who had grown up in an abusive situation and was acting somewhat self-destructively to deal with the pain.
Adam nodded and was very surprised when he felt a blanket being put around his shoulders, "I won't take you in to the hospital this time, Adam," Thomas stated in a gentle voice as he got to his feet and picked up his medical bag. "I do expect you to take better care of yourself, though, okay?"
"Yes sir," Adam replied, feeling too embarrassed to look up at Thomas. "Thanks for helping me."
Thomas nodded and looked at Frank a moment before leaving, "Adam, I want you to take this and drink all of it, okay?" Frank said as Ernie handed him the glass of juice. "I have to go talk to someone."
Adam slowly sipped the juice as Tommy came over and knelt beside him, "Jason and Mark decided to spar in one of the training rooms with David as a spotter," Tommy explained calmly as Ernie moved back towards the counter. "Jason and I tried to warn you about eating after you gave blood, but…"
Tommy quickly looked around to make sure nobody was nearby and then lifted his Zeo Communicator to his face, "What's wrong, Alpha?" he whispered in a concerned voice as he looked at the tired Adam.
"Tommy, I need you, Adam, and Jason to teleport to the Command," Zordon replied. "Hurry."
Quickly looking around to make sure nobody was watching, Adam and Tommy teleported away.
A moment later, Dr. Oliver, who had apologized to her for their breakfast meeting falling through due to Adam's poor health, returned and was shocked to find that nobody was there. Where was everyone?
Just as Frank was debating whether or not to go back home and rest, he suddenly vanished into thin air.
Screams filled the air as Big Bopper entered the high school gym and began punching every piece of furniture in sight whether it was beds, chairs, or the IV stands that held empty bags. The food table, however, was spared and Big Bopper immediately began to devour what was left on the table.
Mr. Caplan, who had taken over running the drive after donating and resting so that Katherine and Tanya could take a well-earned break, wandered over to Big Bopper and gave him a mean glare.
"Look here, you puffy white thing," Mr. Caplan stated in an authoritative voice. "Stop that right now!"
Big Bopper turned towards Mr. Caplan just as Katherine and Tanya came into the gym to get Malcolm, who was sitting up on a cot and medically cleared to leave after donating and having a few cookies and a couple of boxes of apple juice. At seeing the monster, Malcolm immediately got to his feet.
Not wanting anyone to see them morph, Katherine, Tanya, and Malcolm slipped into the weight room just as their Communicators went off, "Katherine, Tanya, and Malcolm, my sensors tell me that there is a disturbance at Angel Grove High School," Zordon's voice stated. "Are you three in need of backup?"
"Zordon, what is that thing?" Tanya asked in a worried voice. "It just seems to be interested in eating."
Malcolm's jaw dropped as the being suddenly turned and swung a boxing glove at Mr. Caplan, effectively knocking the aged principal to the floor unconscious, "Uh, Zordon, it seems to be interested in punching people too," he said in a worried voice, mentally preparing himself to morph.
"There is another crisis that I must send Jason, Adam, and Tommy to attend to at this time," Zordon replied in a concerned voice. "After that crisis is resolved, I will send them to assist you at the school."
Suddenly, Big Bopper vanished with his mouth full of unchewed food, leaving a giant mess, a small group of very scared people, and Mr. Caplan unconscious on the floor. Malcolm silently groaned.
"Zordon, that thing just disappeared," Malcolm said in a worried voice. "What do we do now?"
Before Zordon, could reply, Malcolm, Katherine, and Tanya suddenly vanished from the weight room.
Tommy, Adam, Malcolm, Katherine, Tanya, and Jason touched down and found that they were in a deep canyon that had a strange rock formation on one end of it that led up to a precarious drop off. They were horrified to see an amused looking Kimberly standing at the top of it while a terrified looking Ashley and an angry looking Rocky were bound together by rope and hanging over the cliff's edge.
"Welcome to my arena, Rangers!" Prince Gasket said in an amused voice as he came out of a nearby cave with a dagger in his small hand. "As you may have already guessed, there is going to be a fight today, but not the one you expected. I have dealt with my nosy little brother and with your mentor."
Tommy frowned, "Who are you and what have you done with my uncle?" he asked angrily.
"Oh ho!" Prince Gasket crooned in an amused voice. "My name is Prince Gasket and I am the first born son of King Mondo. While it is very nice to meet you, I am afraid we must get to the fight at hand."
Kimberly cackled and jumped off the cliff, landing perfectly on one side of the arena in fighting stance, ready to destroy Laura for good.
An explosion suddenly caused dust to fly out of the cave, "NO!" Prince Gasket yelled angrily. "THAT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!"
"You brought this on yourself," an angry voice said as the six Rangers suddenly heard footsteps.
A moment later, Laura emerged from the cave helping a battered Dr. Oliver to walk straight, "How on earth?!" Prince Gasket yelled in an angry, shocked voice. "I had you both in a shock box that was supposed to drain your energy and make you evil! I put it together myself!"
Laura was silent for a moment and then uncurled her fists to reveal a badly damaged Eagle Coin in her shaking hands, "I sacrificed my Ninjetti Powers to save Doctor Oliver and destroy it," she replied as she threw the Coin at his feet and gently eased Dr. Oliver to the ground.
"You are weak!" Prince Gasket scoffed in a shocked voice. "That is impossible! Ninjetti is just a legend!"
Prince Gasket suddenly roared angrily and waved his dagger, which was a silver flute, "You forced me to use it and I didn't want to!" he shouted as a pile of decimated Cogs appeared at his metallic feet. "I summon Big Bopper to decimate you and your weak Ranger friends!"
"Foolish boy, did you really think you could try and steal my plan?" King Mondo asked as he suddenly appeared with Prince Sprocket at his side.
Not wanting to deal with his father, Prince Gasket scowled and promptly disappeared, "Now Sprocket, let's get on with this fight between Kimberly and Laura," King Mondo said in an authoritative tone as he brought his staff down on Dr. Oliver's chest, rendering him immobile. "I've got many things to do today."
Rocky swallowed hard and watched as Tommy, Jason, Adam, Tanya, Katherine, and Malcolm took out their Zeonizers and prepared to Morph, but were unable to, "Nice try, Rangers!" Prince Sprocket crowed in an excited voice. "If you join in the fight, you can't use your powers! Either you help as you are or leave!"
Tommy, Malcolm, Jason, Adam, Tanya, and Katherine gathered in a group to decide how to handle this; they couldn't leave Rocky, Ashley, and Dr. Oliver helpless, but they would need some sort of plan to rescue them and try to help Kimberly; there was no choice but to join the fight as they were and hope that all would be well.
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