Subject: New story – Legacy of Valor, Chapter 7: Coming up with a New Plan
Rating, spoilers, disclaimer, etc all in earlier chapters.
Summary: Time is running out for Kim and Beth, so old friends are called for help.
Hi all! With Charlie having gone postal on Kim and Beth, Tommy and Sky know that they need a stellar plan to rescue them. But if a sneak attack as well as a frontal assault are bad choices, what do you do? Now, let's get to the story…
Legacy of Valor
Chapter 7: Coming up with a New Plan
Ever since Tommy had felt Kim's distress at the hands of Charlie, the tension within the auxiliary command center had ramped up. Syd, Sky, Bridge and Sam had been speaking with their ranger teams in preparation for… something, but while the Dino Thunder team had all but insisted they be included, Sky had nearly pleaded with them to rest and focus on Tommy. He assured them that once they were ready to reveal the plan they'd bring them in. So reluctantly the Dino Thunder team had stayed together, worry for their team mate and Beth bonding them together.
What seemed much later than any of them realized there was an alarm that had Sky nearly leaping to his feet from where he'd been sitting with Syd and Bridge, discussing something. Sam and the other rangers as well as the Dino Thunder team reacted to Sky's movement and warily stood limbs at the ready.
Sky headed to the main doorway, using some kind of sensor to the right of the door to identify what was out there before he turned and gave his wife a grin, moving to unbolt the doorway. He pulled the heavy metal door aside to reveal two people; ones that four of the people in the room knew and knew well.
"You rang?" announced the African American man with the long braids in the doorway shadowed by the Caucasian woman with the dark choppy haircut right behind him.
Jack and Z had returned.
Syd brushed past her husband and threw her arms around the former red SPD ranger with a wide grin.
"Oh my god, you're back… you look great!" she exclaimed, happy to see their friend after so long.
"Syd… breathing…" Jack gasped before she abruptly released him, a look of apology crossing her face.
"Good to see you too."
"Z!" exclaimed Syd, encircling the other woman as Jack shook hands with Bridge and Sky.
"Hey, Bridge, how are you?" she replied before Bridge had her in a brief hug.
"How are you still working with this guy?" asked Bridge, curious how the two former rangers had ended up working together for so long after leaving SPD.
"It may be his charity but it's my company," she said with a wink.
Sky gave Syd a knowing grin and moved to give Z a quick hug. Around them the others were becoming more animated, the group near the doorway providing more than a bit of curiosity and interest.
"This is all nice and high school reunion and all but our… family is in the hands of looney psycho chick, remember?" announced Conner as he strode into the muddle of SPD people.
"Conner?" said Jack, his eyes widening, recognizing the out of time Red Dino Thunder Ranger.
"Actually, it's more than just him," said Bridge as he looked behind him where the rest of the Dino Thunder team were situated, prompting Jack to gape for a second.
Jack then turned to Z momentarily before he swung his eyes to Sky. He had known when Syd had called asking for them to come here there was a problem. In all the years that he and Z had been gone from SPD no one from SPD had ever contacted them to try and recruit them back or otherwise re-engage them on a formal level.
"What happened?" Jack questioned, a hard edge automatically appearing in his voice that had been gone for a decade.
"We got overrun," Sky said with more than a little disappointment in his voice.
"What?" blurted Z, having not heard anything about it from any of their contacts in the city or elsewhere.
"Morgana and Broodwing along with a small surgical force accessed SPD HQ. Nova and I were the only ones that weren't in the building when it happened and so Nova went back in time to get help," stated Sam as he moved to join the conversation, his appearance prompting Z to smile softly at him as memories of days gone by filtered through her brain.
"So the Dino Thunder team, you and Nova…" began Z as she started to pick up the thread of the discussion.
"We rescued everyone in the SPD HQ, but in the process…" Kira explained, her tone a bit harder than normal.
"They have my wife and daughter," interjected Tommy suddenly, silencing the room once more.
Z and Jack looked at one another with confused expressions… They knew Kimberly from their one interaction with the whole team. But they didn't know anything about the Oliver's child and knew that there was no way an SPD ranger would have brought a child back in time…
"Tommy's referring to Nova," explained Sky, knowing that neither Z or Jack had really kept up with SPD personnel changes. "She's Beth Oliver… their daughter."
Z gasped slightly, now understanding Tommy's agonized expression, as well as the anxiousness of the whole Dino Thunder team.
"Who…" Jack began to ask before Syd cut him off.
"Charlie," she announced with a frown that marred her pretty features.
"What?" Z and Jack said in near unison, the shock in their voices evident.
"I believe that Morgana had some kinda… deal with her," began Sky, his eyes betraying the straight forward tone of his voice as his gaze read that he felt significant guilt in the escape of Morgana and Charlie's current uprising. "When she and her monsters took over SPD they let Charlie and her rangers loose."
"Shit… that woman had a few screws loose before containment; I can't imagine what she's like now…" replied Jack.
"Why are we here?" Z questioned, confused on the fact that after all this time Sky had contacted them.
"We need your help," said Sky sincerely.
"How can we help? We don't have powers anymore…" Jack stated his voice tight, pained at the situation that he had no powers available to him to aid them with.
Tommy's eyes flew from the two new people to Sky. The man had said he had a plan…
Before anyone realized he'd gotten up from his place across the command center Tommy was on Sky, his hands gripping the older man's uniform jacket as he stared hard into his eyes, shaking the commander of SPD once, hard to get his attention and to let the other man know his intent. He was *not* letting anything keep him from Kim and Beth...
"We have fifteen rangers plus your three man command staff," Tommy remarked angrily, "why were we waiting on two unpowered people to rescue Kim and Beth?"
There was a brief tension filled pause before Sky looked Tommy in the eyes and said in a monotone voice even as he laid his hands over Tommy's clenched fists, holding them in place before he could peel them away and strike him, "because we can't go in there…"
The eyes of the Dino Thunder team widened even as Tommy's face turned angrier. Conner took a menacing step forward, his hands balling unconsciously into fists even as Ethan, Trent and even Kira had moved to join him and if necessary to take this discussion to its possible physical conclusion. At the aggressive posture of the Dino Thunder team Sam and the other rangers started to move as well, planning on restraining the four Dino Thunder rangers before they could get even closer to their commander.
"What the hell? Did you not hear Dr. O say Kim was being tortured?" Conner yelled even as Kira reached out to lay a supporting yet calming hand on his arm even if she was more than ready to back up her fellow rangers if this had to become a fist fight.
"Hey, let's all cool down here," Bridge said, raising his hands as he intentionally inserted himself between his commander and Tommy and the Dino Thunder team; Syd moved to Sky's side, her eyes staring at Tommy, hoping he'd see reason and let her husband explain.
"You had better have a damn good reason for this," said Ethan, feeling like he wanted to just follow Dr. O and Conner's lead and stop talking...
"We saw what happened with a ranger attack, even a covert one," Sky said carefully. "If we tried the same thing again or stormed the building…"
The long pause and the way Sky's eyes slid to Syd brought Tommy up short, his fingers going numb and falling away from Sky's jacket. Suddenly he understood what Sky wasn't saying.
"You're afraid this Charlie will kill them…" Tommy answered, his tone filled with sudden anguish.
Kira, Ethan, Conner and Trent all turned and stared at Dr. O in horror. They'd known Charlie had tortured Kim based on Dr. O's connection with her and had felt it. But the idea that an attack on the SPD HQ would back Charlie into a corner, prompting her to kill her hostages… it hadn't even crossed their minds.
"I am. She's… unhinged is a polite word. And I think if she sees a ranger force attack…" Sky stated simply, letting his words trail off.
"She might take it out on them," answered Conner, still stunned by the sudden revelation.
Sky nodded. By then Tommy had backed up, his team instantly flanking him, providing him support as well as creating a unified team front. So if they couldn't attack straight forward and knowing that the way in through the air shafts was more than likely compromised since their last attack, their avenues for rescuing Kim and Beth were quickly disappearing…
"So how exactly do I fit into this?" asked Jack, bringing everyone's attention back to him as he now verbally questioned the reason for his summons.
"I'm guessing Charlie remembers you and Z. She'll have reviewed all of SPD's files and will know you quit just after they were defeated," remarked Sly, his eyes catching the former red ranger.
"How exactly does that help?" asked Z, confused and more than a little overwhelmed at the idea that she and Jack were somehow vital to this rescue even though they had no powers anymore.
"I need you both to go in there and join up."
"What?" exclaimed not only Jack and Z but the members of the Dino Thunder team as well as Syd, Bridge and Sam.
"Have you lost your mind?" questioned Jack after a moment.
"No. Look, she'll know you quit, and that Z did after a few months too. If you play it up that you left because you wanted to get back to your business…"
"How is his charity work supposed to convince Charlie he's interested in working with her?" asked Sam.
"When he tells her it's a front for selling advanced weapons and tech she will."
"But…" started Z, flabbergasted.
There was a silence that fell over the room as this new piece of Sky's rescue plan was revealed. The idea that Jack was somehow dirty playing into the plan…
"You want to make her think he was with SPD for the contacts and the tech," said Ethan suddenly, grinning at Sky's audacious plan.
"And if Charlie believes that, and Jack goes in telling her that he wants to help her strip the SPD for cash…" remarked Syd surprised, catching up quickly even though Sky had explained some of the overall idea to her.
"Then we get the inside scoop on what's going on," said Jack, realizing now why Sky had reached out to him.
"Okay, that sounds great and all but doesn't that just give Charlie two more hostages?" asked Conner, genuinely concerned.
"I know what you're thinking. But no. If she bites, we get the information on where Kim and Beth are and then we go to the second phase of the plan," stated Sky with a slight grin.
"Which is?" questioned Kira.
"Charlie will have stripped Beth and Kim of their morphers. If Beth gets hers back she can teleport them both out through the time portal."
The members of the Dino Thunder team realized that if Beth had her morpher she would have already escaped with Kim. So if she didn't have it and getting it back to her would let the two of them escape without any kind of attack, it would be the easiest and safest for everyone.
"How are you going to get the morpgers? They've got to be locked up…" asked Ethan.
"I can deal with that," noted Jack with a smile, knowing he could phase through whatever container Charlie had them in.
"Alright, but even if Jack has them, getting their morphers to Kim and Beth is going to be dicey," remarked Trent, recalling the forces Kim and Beth had engaged to get to the secure lock down area that Charlie had been holding.
"Not for everyone…" Sky said, turning to look at Tommy and prompting everyone else to do so as well.
"Your invisibility…" murmured Kira, realizing that technically Dr. O could walk in and out of SPD HQ without anyone knowing.
"If Dr. O goes in there, why couldn't he just help Kim and Beth escape?" questioned Conner, thinking that now they were putting two 'civilians' and Dr. O in jeopardy as part of this new and revised rescue.
"My invisibility won't cover more than just me," explained Tommy even as his leader's mind began to see where Sky was going with his plan. "While Kim has 'phased' more than one person I can't do the same."
"So Jack and Z go in under cover, locate Kim and Beth along with their morphers. They contact us and then Tommy goes in, gets the morphers from Jack and takes them to Kim and Beth so they can escape…" said Bridge with widening eyes, "but what about Charlie, Morgana, Broodwing and their allies?"
"As soon as Jack has the intel and the morphers Tommy will go in. Once that hand off is made, Jack and Z will leave, initiating the fire protocols and forcing a building evac. As Charlie's people vacate the building, the ranger teams will be waiting for them. Sam, I'll be looking to you to lead A-Squad in Beth's absence and Michael will lead B-Squad in a straight on attack, supported by the Dino Thunder team. Once we have all of Charlie's people contained then we can restore order to the SPD."
"That's a pretty audacious plan," stated Jack with some admiration.
"Well it all hinges on you. You think you can act like a scoundrel?" questioned Sky.
"No doubt about it."
"Well then, I think it's time to start a rescue," replied Sky as he turned his head to look at Tommy who gave the other man a look that showed his genuine relief.
-End Chapter 7-
Well, a devious new plan is underway! As well, we're getting near the end of this series – just a few more chapters to our tale. Also I just want to make a quick reminder about some other writing stuff:
Please remember that the Power Rangers "To Protect and Serve" fic-a-thon is still going on. Please see the website or the community/collections for more info about participating.
The Impact of Power series has begun! There is a community/collection for it so please see it for updates, as I will not be the only author posting and each individual vignette will have its own post.
Undercover Lives is posted under ScarletDeva's profile. If you liked the excerpt I included under my profile you should see the whole story!
And as always, thanks for reading!