A/N: This was originally going to be a series when I started 4 years ago, but I can't remember what I was going to do with it. Anyway, I finally finished this one! Yay! And here are the goods. I hope you guys enjoy! Read and and Review, plz.
Their Blessing, My Curse: A Red Ranger's Tale
SPD. Jack Landors is not an invisible man. Instead, he is a man with the power to the defy the laws of physics by passing through solid space. But every gift has a price and one must decide if it's a curse or a blessing. This is Jack's tale.
By: Toni America
Jack Landors is the SPD Red Ranger. He's smart, good-looking, observant and your regular Casanova. Right beside him is none other than Cadet Sky Tate, the SPD Blue Ranger. Also another point in the brain department, he's loyal, brave, and a guy most girls would swoon over if he weren't so serious. Next aboard is his best friend, Bridge Carson. The oh-so smart mechanical genius, who happens to be physic and one of the sweetest guys you'd ever met, is the SPD Green Ranger.
And of course, we have our beloved Pink and Yellow Rangers. First there's Elizabeth 'Z' Delgado. Yellow and feisty, you can always count on Z with a sarcastic remark, and a motivating streak of determination. And finally to complete this team of Bronze and Smarts there is a hint of undeniable beauty, and that is Sydney Drew. A model, gymnast, singer, fencer and a number of other things, she happens to be the SPD pink Ranger.
These five remarkable individuals make up the SPD Ranger Team. Even though they're all about as different as night and day, they all have one thing in common… Their Powers.
Important Note: Just so there's no confusion, Italics are flashbacks
Jack Landors couldn't believe his luck. The past week had been one of the worst he'd ever experienced.
"Once a thief always a thief!"
"He's a freak and a menace to society! How can we trust him?!"
"Lock him up! Lock him up!"
There had been a series of robberies around town where the culprit had a certain ability to phase through walls. Almost the entire city minus SPD, turned on him calling for his arrest. How many times had Jack put his life on the line for the same people who were spitting on his name and judging him unfairly? Too many times to count.
At first, the ambitious man felt he could handle it. As long as his team and commander believed him, Jack could care less what the denizens of New Tech City had to say. He'd spent the better part of his life trying to survive those same unkind streets, so he honestly could care less about what some of its people had to say. However, when a resigned Kruger suspended him until the case was closed and Commissioner Birdie tried to arrest him- Jack lost it.
Yes, Jack had stolen before, but only when he needed to and for people who just weren't getting the help they needed. He'd never even considered the high risk jobs this stiff was doing and he never hurt anyone. For his friends to think he was even capable of such things hurt more than words of the citizens ever could. After evading his friends and other SPD personnel, the wrongfully accused was more than happy for this brief reprieve.
Hands stuffed deeply into his pockets, Jack made sure to keep his head down lest someone recognize him. He just needed time to think of a way to clear his name.
What if he left? Obviously no one would miss him if they thought he was crooked enough to steal for the pleasure of stealing. Or maybe he could catch the guy himself… He'd need to figure out what the guy was after. But how? He didn't have access to Command's database, nor did he have any leads to follow up on. Piggy might help, but then again Piggy might not. "Dammit!" He hissed.
Why was this happening to him? Why did it always happen to him? Sighing, he continued his walk only now realizing his surroundings. He found himself walking through a neighborhood he hadn't been to in years- a discovery that made him stop. Dark colored dreads graced his shoulders, while his observant brown eyes took a quick sweep of the area before he began to stare off in space.
His mind was drifting, something that he hadn't obliged to since he started working with SPD. Drifting back to a time when he was happy and safe. When he was loved and cared for. That was a long time ago… Maybe too long. He started walking again. Sometimes he wondered what his life would have been like if he'd been normal. What had happened all those years ago?
He had been so lost in thought, that he didn't even notice the people running past him staring and pointing at the site a few hundred yards away. A small gust of wind carried the smell of smoke and gas that seemed to burn his nostrils, and bathe his face. Ripping himself from his silent reverie, his attention snapped to the spectacle before him. His eyes widened at the sight of dark smoke and red sparks. Zipping the leather coat he wore, he raced down the street pushing past spectators trying to reach the scene.
"What's going on here?" He demanded when he finally reached his destination. A two story Victorian style house had caught fire, an explosion so he had heard. He could hear sirens in the background, and the flames were starting to become larger and brighter.
"Brandon!" A girl was screaming, "Brandon… Mom!", she was almost at the point of hysterics. Her face was smudged with smut, so she must've just made it out the house. Her pale complexion was a mixture of dirt and tears. A small crowd had gathered pointing and gasping, Jack forced his way through until he reached the girl, "Do you live here?" He asked.
Her gaze was fixed upon the burning building with a look of shock and fear. "My mother and my brother are in there!" She cried spinning wildly to face him, "You have to help them!" She was sobbing now, "Please! Do something!"
He nodded gripping her arms tightly staring her in the eyes, "The Fire Squad is almost here, I'm a Power Ranger and I'm going to try my best to help your family. But I need you to stay calm, Ok..." He trailed off wondering what to call her.
She was still sobbing and shaking, " Marietta," She stated trying to get a hold of herself.
"Can you do that Marietta?" She nodded furiously praying that this man could save her family, "Now tell me what happened!" Her eyes drifted back to the building, the flames seemed to grow more intense by the second.
"Marietta! We don't have much time, you need to tell me where your mom and brother are!" Trying her best to recall the past minutes of her life, she squeezed her eyes shut trying to remember, "We were in the kitchen and it- it just happened… She told me to go and get the fire extinguisher and I couldn't find it… It wasn't supposed to take that long…There was a rumble and I rushed back out a-and the fire was everywhere, I couldn't help them! I couldn't, I had to get out! There was a window and, I was trapped! I couldn't get to them!" It was as if she were telling herself the story instead of Jack. Her voice was frantic, and somewhat stunned. "I don't know exactly where they are... I don't know where they are!" She shouted over the growing wails of sirens and people.
"Show me the window!" He ordered.
Nodding, she quickly led him to a window ground level on side of the house. Suddenly she found herself explaining herself to this dread-locked Power Ranger. "Please, believe me! I'm not a coward!" She pleaded with him, "I'm not!" His look softened as he glanced at her, "It's ok. I'm going to save them!" And with nothing further he phased through the wall into her basement.
"Be careful!" She called after him with a slight twinge of astonishment in her eyes, "Please… let them be safe."
When Jack was inside, smoke was already clouding the underground area meaning he had to move fast. The room was hot and the smoke stung his eyes. He quickly made his way up the stairs and felt the door checking the temperature. Deciding to risk it, he kicked down the entrance only to be greeted by a small wall of red and yellow flames.
Cursing his luck aloud, he used his arm to shield his eyes from the light and smoke. The heat was the worst. He just got in and already he was baking like crazy. Debating on whether to take off his leather jacket, he leaped over the small flames pulling his legs close to him as he sailed into the air and landed in a crouched position directly in front of more flames. Glancing toward the stairway, he found himself frantically wondering how he was going to get through the sight before him. About six feet of stairway was submerged in an orange sea of fire.
He quickly glanced around looking for something to use. A cord that hung from the ceiling kept pestering him as he tried to the think the situation through a little. He was trying to breathe but the smoke made that impossible. He couldn't jump across, but maybe he could phase through….
The cord seemed to whack him again, as if trying to send out some sort of message. Finally grabbing the thick wire he tugged a time or two to check its sturdiness. Closing his eyes and before he could talk himself out of it, he took a few steps back, ran forward, and leaped. He could feel the fire lap at his legs and feet. Thank-God he had decided to wear pants! Suddenly he heard a loud SNAP! And in moments he was reeling to the ground fearing the worst.
The heat was so extreme for a moment he wondered if he had landed in a pit full of fire. Pushing himself up, his eyes began to water, as he coughed mercilessly. Scurrying to the top of the stairs he began to call out, "Brandon!" He looked around cupping his hands over around his mouth, "Brandon!" He coughed, "Brandon where are you?"
Jack began to navigate through the fiery floor he was on glancing in rooms calling out for the little boy, until he heard a loud cry. He stopped, listening for another noise. "Brandon!" he screamed glancing around frantically "Where are you?". He heard it again.
Trying to open a locked door in front of him, he rushed the door with his shoulder, only to feel a sharp ache run up his left arm. "That's gonna leave a mark." He grunted, ignoring the pain he tried again, until the door caved from the force of his attack. Snapping back from the intense heat and flames, he saw a small boy scrunched against a wall crying to himself pulling a stiff figure beside him, trying to free them from a fiery pillar that graced their back.
"Brandon!" he called to the small boy. Brandon looked up at the figure across from him tears streaming down his brown-skinned face, "She won't wake up!" He cried with glassy eyes tugging furiously on a lifeless arm. "She can't hear me!". And then it hit him. Everything he had tried to remember had slapped him head on when he saw this little black boy fighting desperately for his mother's life, in a hot smoky room all alone. A million thoughts were racing through his mind.
"Mommie, I'm Scared! Daddy, please help me! Mommy! Daddy! Help me! Help Me!" He remembered. A falling ceiling, pain filled cries, and a feeling of breathlessness seemed to sweep over him, haunting his every move.
He had to save these people, no matter what the cost. He had to. Cautiously, the Red Ranger navigated around the flames until he reached the two. "Brandon, are you alright?" The little boy nodded, still tugging at his mother.
Checking for a pulse, Jack realized she was still holding on. "Listen up!" he said quickly,
"This place is about to collapse, so we have to move fast. I'm going to lift this beam and I want you to pull her with all your might. Ok?" Brandon nodded waiting for the older man to lift the pillar. Using all his strength, Jack lifted the heavy wood about six inches off the woman's back. Pulling ferociously, the seven-year old managed to heave the woman forward.
Dropping the pillar, Jack fell back trying to catch his breath only to take in a breath full of smoke. Ignoring his current discomforts, he took of his coat wrapping it around the woman and slinging her across his shoulder, 'Brandon" he began grasping his shoulder, "C'mo-" The two screamed as the ceiling suddenly collapsed.
"Sweetie! What did I tell you?" She chastised with concerned mahogany colored eyes. "Don't play with the kerosene lamp!" The young boy looked up at the bronze colored goddess behind him and smiled. He studied her contour, noting the way she stood with her hands resting on her hips, while her features were scrunched up in a tight lipped scowl. He looked up with those wide brown eyes of his and gave a small pout.
She sighed rolling her eyes, "Don't give me that look Jackie… I'm not falling for it and I mean it." His face seemed to fall and she couldn't help but to smile. She opened her arms to the five-year old before her and couldn't help but to giggle as he flew into her arms falling into bits of laughter. Sweeping him off his feet and resting him on her hip, she placed a soft kiss on his nose.
"That lamp is dangerous Jackie, I'm serious. Be careful, you don't want to burn the house down." Her expression was serious, but she was still a pretty sight to look at. He grinned that toothy grin he always did , and giggled. He picked up a lock of curly hair and smiled. He loved her hair. It was dark and curly framing her face just right.
"I love your hair mommy." He said tossing her curls around, "You're pretty." She shook her head gaily, "You're going to be somethin' when you get older, you know that?" He giggled again.
The moment was interrupted by a crisp wind, and a slam of the door. "Hey you two." A deep baritone voice sounded. They turned to see a tall brown complexioned man grinning ear to ear, completely clad in winter gear.
The little boy struggled to get out of his mother's grasp and raced to the giant figure before him. "Daddy!" He squealed delighted by the older man's presence, "You're home!" The man smiled and scooped the miniature version of himself into a tight hug. "Missed you too, little buddy." His laugh was deep and hearty.
His mother smiled at the sight before her, "How's the weather?" She asked after a while. He glanced up at her with a tentative look, "Still pretty bad, shipments backed up until the snow clears." Setting his son down, he crossed the dimly lit room and placed a soft kiss on his wife's cheek, "How longs the power been out?"
She sighed impatiently adjusting the light, "All day. Me and Jackie needed some light so we lighted the lamp." He shook his head, "Marion… You know those things are dangerous." He said seriously, "Jack's not that inactive a kid." She rolled her eyes spinning on her heel walking towards her son and lightly tapped his nose grinning proudly at her little ball of life.
She turned and faced her lover, "Jackie already knows how dangerous the lamp is, I told him!" Her look was smug, and he groaned inwardly.
"I don't care, something really bad could happen." His voice was apprehensive, and her look softened, he walked towards the two and she pressed herself against his frame and smiled, "Baby, nothing bad is going to happen" She soothed, and placed a soft kiss on his lips, "Trust me…" He chuckled and wrapped his arms around her pulling her closer.
Jack quickly covered his eyes and giggled, "Ewww, you're kissing!" The couple laughed and unhurriedly broke apart. "I think it's someone's bedtime." Marion sang, taking Jack by the hand.
The five-year old threw his head back and huffed, "But I don't wanna go, mom, I wanna stay up and play." She shook her head picking up a candle and leading him to his room.
"You can play tomorrow Jack, it's time for bed." He whined until she had successfully tucked him into bed.
"I love you Jackie." She whispered kissing him gently on the forehead, "Your daddy does too… Now go to sleep!" She said tickling his ribs, "And I'll see you in the morning." He giggled remorsefully and grinned, "I love you too mommy."
She smiled and quietly left the room taking the candle with her. But what Marion didn't know was that morning would never come.
"He said he was a power Ranger!" She yelled at the fireman for the tenth time. She was starting to become annoyed. Everyone was harassing her, but no one was trying to save her family. Please let them be alright, she pleaded silently. God, please let them be alive.
But suddenly Marietta knew they weren't, because with a loud CRACK and a wail of pain, the house collapsed disappearing into the fiery haven it rested in.
All at once she couldn't breathe, and when she opened her mouth, her knees buckled sending her crashing to the ground. At that point Marietta didn't know who was louder: Her or the sirens.
The flames were blindingly bright, and the only thing Jack could think of was that his mother was going to be horribly upset. The room was shrouded in thick black smoke, and no matter how many deep breaths he took he couldn't breathe. Why did this have to happen to him? He opened his mouth to yell, but all he did was make his breathing situation worse. Grabbing his throat as a coughing fit took over his body, the five-year old fell to floor wheezing. "Mommy," He gasped, "mommy…" Slowly the room began to circle him, mocking him as a shade of black took over.
Marion Landors didn't know how she knew, but something told her she'd better check on Jack, and she'd better do it now. Untangling herself from her husband's arms she quietly slipped out of the bed and was just about to tie her robe when the awful smell of kerosene and smoke drifted up her nose. "Jack!" She screamed, launching herself out the bedroom. Marion was halfway through house until she found she could no farther.
Seconds after she screamed her husband was up, hot on her heels. Suddenly Marion was hysterical. The passage that was the hallway was now blocked off by orange and red flames.
"Jackie!" She cried reaching towards the flame until her husband wrapped his arms tightly around her waist pulling her back.
"Marion," He yelled, "Calm down. You're no good to Jack like this" His argument seemed to soothe her. She nodded, eyes wide and full of fear. "What do we do?"
"I need you to run to the Vance's and use their cell phone. Everyone's gone because of the storm. But I know Marcus is home." His voice was strong, and like always, he never seemed to panic.
"But what about you and Jack?" He gave her a long hard kiss, and that lopsided grin that seemed to make her heart skip a beat before answering, "Don't worry, I'll get Jack."
"Be careful." She voiced after he kissed her again. Pushing her towards the front door, he watched until she was gone before rushing to the kitchen for the fire extinguisher.
Jack Landors opened his eyes and frowned.
Something wasn't right. His shoulder didn't hurt anymore, and the air was refreshingly clean. There was no weight on his shoulder… No smoke in his eye, no tiny hand in his- he felt absolutely nothing.
He looked down, and his mouth dropped like a stone. He watched with a horrid fascination as he found himself hovering over his physical body. It was like watching a silent film. He saw everything, yet heard nothing.
"Jackie…" He had heard that voice before a long time ago.
"But that must mean that…"
"Not quite…" Jack found himself staring into the angelic face of his long dead mother. She looked as he remembered with caramel colored skin and bright brown eyes. Her ebony hair hung freely framing her face in a waterfall of soft curls.
"Oh, Jackie… You've grown up into such a handsome man…"
"Mom…" His voice was choked with emotion as he embraced the apparition before him vehemently. Marion returned the embrace with a soft smile on her face.
All too soon she pulled away to see her son. He was so strong and yet so fragile at his core. "You've had to go through so much too early…"
"Mom? What… what's going on?"
"You tell me," She returned with a sparkle in her eyes. Her baby needed her more than ever. The uncertainty he felt was disconcerting.
"I don't understand."
"How did you get here?"
Jack looked confused until he remembered why he was in this neighborhood to begin with. He had been on the run and whenever he was this upset about something he always went back to where it started. Where his parents died and his life was forever altered. He could've been someone else if his parents hadn't died.
Sensing his thoughts a sad expression painted her face as she lightly stroked his cheek. "Baby, we didn't mean to leave you the way we did. Sometimes things happen that just don't make sense, but in the end they make us into stronger people. And look at the man you've become. We are so proud of you."
"If… If I hadn't had phased… Dad would've found me and-"
"You'd both have been dead."
There was so much Jack had felt he missed out on without his family, while the things he had experienced he wished he had been without. The incorporeal young man was silent before responding. "It would've been better than living on the streets and being spat on by people who don't give a damn. I'm a cop now, and it still doesn't seem to make a difference! These people will never accept me… or my powers."
"Stop it! Your father isn't sorry. I'm not either. That's what it means to be a protector." He turned away. "Look at all that you've done in spite of the odds against you. You, my beautiful son, who has hoped and fought for the good of others even when it was at great risk to you."
"I'm tired, Mom. Of all of it… of everything. I just want to be happy." His eyes were on hers.
"And would you be happy knowing there are people you could've spared but didn't? That's what it means to struggle. To protect. To not give up. You've always been a fighter, Jackie. Don't give up now. Sometimes what we perceive to be a curse can actually be a blessing." Marion let her words sink in before embracing her son one last time. "We love you so much, Jackie, and there are so many lives that are better because of you and all that you've given. Never doubt your worth or our love for you."
With the feather touch of a kiss to his forehead Marion Landors was gone in a flash of light. Bewildered, Jack found himself frantically looking for his mother to no avail.
"We'll always be waiting for you Jackie," he heard her gentle whisper. "But there are other people who need you more."
Looking down, he watched as Brandon shook him over and over sobbing for what he knew to be the end if he didn't wake up. Suddenly the faces of Z, Syd, Sky and Bridge all flashed into his mind. He thought of Marietta and all the others he had helped. Brandon deserved a life with his mother and sister- the kind of life Jack had dreamed of.
Forget the snobs of New Tech City- this is what it meant to be a protector.
He had to fix this… To save this family.
Suddenly, the incorporeal man felt like he was sinking. His limbs were getting heavier and his other senses were coming back. He could hear Brandon's voice frantic and small pleading for his life. He could smell the strong odor of smoke in the air. He tasted ash as his body processed pain and shortness of breath. The world had flashed to black, and ever so slowly his brown eyes opened and Jack was relieved to find himself tangible and whole if not a little bruised.
"Brandon!" He gasped, pushing himself up.
"You're alive!" The little boy shrieked in relief as he tumbled backwards.
"Yeah," Jack grunted, "Unfortunately." The ceiling was on fire and Jack made sure to keep his head low. Coughing and swatting vainly at the air, he surveyed the room as he stumbled a bit.
Realizing they were back in the basement, his original entry point, he turned to Brandon as he bent down to scoop up the mom. "C'mon," he rasped. "There's a window on the other side of the room. I'm gonna try to phase us through, but we gotta move!"
Nodding, Brandon sprang to his feet and followed the courageous stranger.
Marietta clung to the man holding her up as her body was overtaken by sobs. How could this have happened? She should be in there with them! It's what she deserved for thinking about herself. It's what she wanted if they couldn't be here with her.
Now what would she do and where would she be without her family?
"It's not far!" She screamed sinking to her knees pulling the man with her. "It's not fair." Her watery eyes looked up and everything around her stopped.
There! In the flames…. Moving through as if untouchable!
Could it be? Was it so? Two figures that blended into one…
A collective wave of murmurs ran through the crowd as the black entity was brought into focus.
"Mari!" Part of the entity shouted breaking away from its larger part. "Marietta!"
It was Brandon! Her Brandon was alive! Jesus Christ of Nazareth…. Her brother…
"Brandon!" She croaked, scrambling out of the man's arms onto unsteady feet. "Brandon!"
As if startled from their stupors, paramedics and firemen reacted. The firemen running towards the survivors as the paramedics grabbed their bags and stretchers.
Immediately after she reached him, Marietta swooped her brother into her arms holding him as if he'd disappear. "Brandon," she sobbed gratefully. "Oh my God, I- I can't… Thank God, thank God!" The relief she felt was overwhelming. "Mom?" She called just in time to notice her mother's prone form being carried by the straining dreadlocked stranger who looked to be faltering under the exertion.
A sharp pain interrupted the Red Rangers movement, forcing him to take a knee as the sensation grew worse. Ambushed by two fire fighters, he was absently grateful when they quickly relieved him of the unconscious woman slung across his shoulder. 'Now to get out of here..' Jack moved to stand but the pain in his side was too much. Before he could fall forward in a faint, two other firemen caught him.
"I need a paramedic over here!" How Jack had missed six inches of wooden stack sticking out of his side, no one would know.
It was so hot in his room. Painfully so. His mom was going to kill him, he knew. And his dad would be so disappointed. Jack was tired and afraid. He couldn't see, he couldn't breathe, and the heat from the flames was baking him alive.
If only he could disappear or crawl through the floor. Anything would be better than this! He just wanted out! Suddenly, the young boy felt an intense wave of nausea as his body tingled. He felt like he was falling and as soon as the sensation came it was gone. His father's voice was last thing he heard before he hit the ground with an 'umpf' as the rest of senses left him to an unfeeling darkness.
The next time Jack Landors awoke his life would be forever changed. It was a miracle, the papers would say, that the boy survived.
"Whoa, there Jack! Slow down." Z, who was on the edge of a seat by his side, placed a comforting hand on his chest easing him back down onto the bed.
"Wha? Where am I?" The red ranger was as confused as he was groggy. Brown eyes were slowly gaining focus as another voice spoke out. He was sore… stiff but a lot better than he had been. He wanted to sit up, but Z immediately pushed him back down.
"You're in the infirmary, Hero." Syd stood behind Z with her arms folded across her chest. Her baby blue eyes shone brightly with annoyance and relief.
The red ranger let the information sink in before concern for the people he attempted helped overwhelmed him. "Brandon, Marietta, their mom!"
"They're okay," The yellow ranger assured. "They're still at the hospital. Minor burns and stuff."
"What were you thinking going inside that house without your morpher?" Syd scowled. Usually Z was the concerned one, but sometimes Syd was bothered enough to deny her own self-absorption for the welfare of someone else's.
"I was on the run, remember? Didn't want you guys to find me," He winced as he successfully sat up despite Z's mothering tendencies. "Am I under-arrest now?" he asked with an unreadable expression.
"What?! No! This is serious Jack. You could've died!" Z all but shouted. "Kat had to treat you for burns, a sprained shoulder and a nasty stab wound to the side. We didn't know what to expect when we got the call!"
"Where are the others?" Jack asked ignoring her outburst
"Sky and Bridge went to the cafeteria to grab some food. They'll be back in a little while." Syd sighed taking a seat on the corner of his bed. "If you trusted us, you wouldn't have had to go on the run."
"Trusted you to lock me up? No thanks."
Z rolled her eyes as she plopped against the back of her seat. "Kruger wasn't trying to lock you up, genius! He was trying to clear your name by confirming your whereabouts for the public's eyes, not ours!"
"What?! You guys kicked my ass!" Jack shot back thinking of the scuffle they'd gotten into.
"Yeah, cause you engaged us first! Don't know if you know it or not, but those pistols hurt like shit." Z said wincing at the memory. "And they burn…" Syd concurred.
"You're our leader Jack, but you're also our friend. We believed you when you said you didn't do it." Syd added with a soft smile.
"Bridge and Kat have been working nonstop to find evidence to clear you."
"Which is going pretty well, if I do say so myself!" The trio looked up to see the green and blue rangers in the doorway. "Your doppelganger has been stealing very specific items. For examples, daridium, trillium, an isidorian core reactor, zero matter, even a nuclear physicist and an astro engineer. No offense to you Jack, but you don't know anything about any of those things to even know where to look or how to move them without blowing up the city. Except the kidnapping. That you could probably do just fine." Jack's brow furrowed, Sky rolled his eyes, Syd smiled and Z shook her head at their friend's eccentric personality. Bridge continued on, blissfully unaware of his companions' reactions. "Plus, Kat and I have found increased ionization levels at possible extraction points of the crime scenes which suggest that instead of an active mutative ability, this guy may have created a device that allows him to displace atoms long enough to create a portal-"
"Bridge!" They all shouted in familial exasperation.
The green ranger blinked. "What? What?" Sky sighed as he grabbed his companion's arm. "Good to have you back, Jack. We'll find Kat for you." He called over his shoulder as he drug a still explaining Bridge with him.
"So you're saying I imagined all of this? Commander Birdie didn't call for my arrest?"
Z smirked. "Oh he did…"
"But Commander Kruger put him in his place." Syd chimed in. "We're a team Jack, and teammates have each other's backs."
"Syd can I-"
"No need, I'm gone." The pink ranger said good naturedly as she tossed her hands in the air in mock surrender. Z shot her a grateful smile as she took her exit.
Now it was just yellow and red.
Jack looked thoughtful. Maybe he'd over-reacted a little. "It's nice to know you guys have my back." He said with a small smile. The yellow ranger waited for him to continue. She and Jack had been friends for a long time and she could tell something was on his mind that he wanted to talk about. A minute or two later, he didn't disappoint. "You were right, Z."
"I usually am, but what am I right about this time?"
Jack snorted good naturedly. "About this being something bigger. Those people could've died today if I hadn't been in that neighborhood."
Sharp brown eyes studied him. "Why were you there Jack?"
"I don't know… to think… to remember."
"Did you?" The doe eyed Latina leaned forward with an acute interest in his answer.
"Yea… I remembered everything. My life hasn't been easy, and neither has yours but I think we were made for this Z. I've come to the conclusion that this is who we are. My powers come in handy but I never realized how much they cost till today. How different my life… this city… is because of them. Marietta could've lost her family the same way I lost mine, but she didn't. That's gotta mean something and for now that's more than enough."
"I'm happy for you Jack, I really am. That's what it means to be a protector." She whispered as she leaned over to embrace him tightly. A soft smile adorned his features as he realized everything was exactly as it was supposed to be.
Meanwhile, in an inconsequential room at New Tech General a woman was holding her son as her daughter smiled with tears in her eyes.
A/N: Everybody was supposed to get one, but I just didn't have it in me. But this is my version of Jack's family history and maybe even his thoughts on his powers. Review please!