Ranger Games: A Dino Thunder Reunion
Chapter 7: A Champion Is Chosen
Last Revised: June 5, 2004
Website: A Blast From The Past
Rated: PG 13
Ship: Tommy/Kim, Jason/Kat, Billy/Trini, Aisha/Rocky, Trent/Kira/Conner, Adam/Tanya
Summary: The Rangers' Champion is chosen and Mercer/Mesogog's Champions are revealed
Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers, Saban and Disney do. Please don't sue, I'm a poor college student.
3 hours later
"How's he doing?" Tommy asked as Dana and Kat stood over Jason, who was lying on one of the beds in a room adjacent to the infirmary. Dana had administered some painkillers before she'd set about closing the gaping hole in his ankle. As soon as the group of six had emerged from the maze and made their way to Jason's side, Dana had started about setting up for a blood transfusion from Tommy and Billy to Jason, who were the only two with the same blood type as the former Ranger.
Dana smiled when Kat reached out to caress Jason's cheek. "He's stable," she spoke, turning to glare at Tommy. "I thought I told you that you and Billy need to get some rest?"
Tommy rolled his eyes and then felt a hand clamp around his arm. Turning, he saw Carter was standing behind him. "Come on, Dana isn't one to trifle with. When provoked, she's got a temper to rival Kim's," Carter informed the Black Ranger as he led him away from his friend and toward one of the couches in another adjacent room, hearing all the way how no one could rival Kimberly's temper.
"Dana, he's gonna be alright, isn't he?" Kat asked, her voice roughened with emotion. Dana smiled and nodded.
"He'll be up and bugging us in no time, promise. Why don't you go get something to eat and take a rest, you've been standing here with him since you got out of the maze."
"I don't..." Kat started but then thought better of it. If Carter had been telling the truth, she really didn't want to upset Dana. "You want anything?" Kat asked as she leaned down, brushed her lips over Jason's and then stood back up.
Dana smiled and nodded. "A glass of ice water would be superb, thanks."
Nodding, Kat turned and purposefully strode from the room, leaving Dana to stare at Jason. "You are one very lucky man," Dana whispered as she checked Jason's vitals. "You've got great friends, a great girl, and somehow, you've retained a bit of the power that was first entrusted to you all those years ago."
"Thanks," Jason croaked as his eyes fluttered open. "Dana right?"
The blonde nodded. When she noticed Jason struggling to sit up, she used the pedal on the floor near her foot to tilt the bed into a sitting position. "Better?"
"Yeah," Jason muttered as the fire shooting up from his ankle registered with his drug induced mind. "Where is everyone?"
Dana smiled. Was it something in the make-up of those who had been Red Leaders to think of their teams before themselves? "Carter just dragged Tommy off to get some rest; Billy's resting. Tommy and Billy gave blood to you; you lost a lot from that wound. The new Rangers are getting some rest; Rocky is talking with Justin; everyone else is planning and trying to figure out what's going on, and Kat just left to get something to eat, doctor's orders."
Jason nodded, though his head was spinning. "Others?"
"Ah, yes. Danny, Alyssa, Wes, Lucas, T.J., Maya, Damon, and Dustin are hanging out with Trini, Adam, Tanya, Aisha, and Zack."
"Aren't there more of you?" Jason whispered. He'd heard bits and pieces of the conversation while he'd been lying there.
"Cam and Carlos are with Hayley still, trying to figure out a way to get to Kim."
Dana watched Jason's eyes darken, if at all possible. Apparently, the former Red Morphin' Ranger had feelings for the former Pink one. "She's been my little sister the entire time I've known her," Jason informed her when the familiar look crossed her face. "We've been friends since grade school."
Dana nodded. That explained a lot. Apparently, the original team, with the exception of Tommy, had grown up together, at least that's what Dana had gathered from the bits and pieces of conversation she'd heard the new Rangers having with the older ones. It would make sense that Jason would be seriously worried about Kim. "Understandable. Lay still and I'll go see if I can find something for you to eat," Dana told him when his stomach grumbled, causing him to blush. He hadn't eaten since breakfast, and then it had only been picking at the food because of the news Tommy had given them on Kim.
"Dana?" Jason's call stopped the Pink Lightspeed Ranger in her tracks. "How was Kim when you last saw her?"
Dana debated on telling him what she knew or giving him the exact answer to his question. "Jason, the others said it's pretty bad. She was hurt saving Tanya, and Mesogog still has her." Dana winced when the normally tan young man blanched. "Don't worry, we're working on plan C." With that, she turned and strode from the room.
"My lord?" Elsa started as she, Zeltrax, and the White Ranger stood with Mesogog next to the table where Kimberly's unconscious body was resting.
Mesogog shot Elsa a look. "What?"
The woman in black's eyebrows knit in confusion. "Why did the Pink Ranger's powers give out on her? Of the six, she and the White Ranger possess the greatest power."
Mesogog rolled his eyes, turning back to stare at Kimberly's still form. "Because," he hissed, reaching out to grab Kimberly's arm, holding up her wrist for the others to view. Perched on the tan, delicate wrist was a band with a small pink gem. "She only has a shard of the Pink Dino Gem. Her powers are only at half strength."
"I'd like to search for the rest of her Gem," the White Ranger started, catching the other three's attention.
Zeltrax growled while Mesogog nodded. Elsa's eyebrow shot up in question. "Of course. Zeltrax, outfit the White Ranger with the last known coordinates for the Pink Gem, and give him any equipment deemed necessary for his journey."
Tommy lay on his bed in the infirmary, listening to his friends' chatter in the background from the other room. Jason was awake, which eased a bit of the tension the Black Ranger was feeling, but the majority of his problems were coming from the missing part of his heart.
For too many years to count now, Tommy knew, his heart had bore the void of losing the one thing in his life that had seemed to make him live. It wasn't that he hadn't gotten on with his life, that he hadn't made something of himself but his heart was still stuck in that moment nearly a decade past when his world had just stopped turning. 'Why us?' he asked for what seemed like the millionth time since he'd learned the truth. Was it fate or just really bad timing that kept the two of them apart when all they wanted was to be together?
Unbridled tears leaked from the corners of his eyes as he looked up at the ceiling. If he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could remember the feel of her body next to his, could feel the heat of her skin, the beat of her heart. Memories of the past weekend came to mind. They'd only made love once, but Tommy knew without a doubt that that one time would never be able to quench this nearly unnatural need for her. 'And now she is so far out of my reach, it isn't even funny!' he growled as he sat up on the bed, his arms resting on his knees, which he pulled up to his chest. "Kim," he groaned a few minutes later as he lay back on the bed, turning to bury his face in the pillow. He felt like he'd failed her, just like on Murianthias, just like when Zedd and Rita had taken her power coin. He was her white knight, he thought, but he hadn't been doing his job very well.
"Stop beating yourself up over this," a hauntingly familiar voice drifted across the room to his ears. Turning, Tommy saw her standing there, watching him. His heart wanted nothing more than for his body to fly across the room and embrace her, but his mind saw an obvious reason why he couldn't. It wasn't that he knew she was evil at the moment; it was the fact that he could see through her that stopped him.
"Kim?" he brokenly whispered, her name seemingly wrenched from deep within him.
Her smile was sad while she soundlessly floated across the room to him, sitting on the edge of his cot. "I'm not dead, I know exactly what you're thinking," she whispered, watching him sigh in relief. "I'm asleep, wherever my body is. This, I think, is part of the power of the Pink Gem...astral projection." Tommy nodded.
Automatically, he reached out to her, his hand caressing the air where her cheek seemed to be. "I miss you." Tommy's words brought tears to her eyes. She nodded and using what power she had, pushed him back to lie on the cot. Taking a deep breath, she lay down next to him, curled into his side like she had the last night she'd spent with him.
"Tommy, don't give up," she whispered softly, sensing that's all he really wanted to do without her by his side. "You're almost there. I miss you, so much. My body may not be mine anymore, but my soul is, and it's always with you."
"Don't leave me, Beautiful, please don't leave me again," he whispered into her hair. "I can't do this without you." Slowly, Tommy felt himself start drifting off to sleep.
"I'm always with you, Handsome, always."
Rocky, Adam, Aisha, Trini and Zack rushed into the room where Tommy was laying and saw him sitting on the cot, gasping for breath. Aisha and Trini immediately moved to calm him down. "Tommy, what's wrong?" Trini asked as she and Aisha wrapped their arms around him.
"It was just a dream," Tommy murmured, looking around, his eyes wild, searching for someone. "Kim, she was just here, with me."
Rocky and Adam shot each other worried glances while Zack attempted to reason with Tommy. "Bro, Kim's not here, nor has she ever been here. The reject from the prehistoric age still has her."
Tommy shook his head. They couldn't begin to understand. "I know she wasn't here, here, she was here in my dream," Tommy whispered. Both Trini and Aisha looked at him in a mixture of sadness and awareness.
"Tommy, what did she tell you?" Aisha automatically questioned.
Feeling that Aisha might understand what he was getting at, Tommy turned his head toward her. "That I should stop blaming myself for her being gone, and that I shouldn't give up."
"What else?" Trini asked, sensing Tommy was holding something back.
Tommy blushed. The other things Kim had said to him, they'd been rather personal. "Um, that she missed me and that she's always with me." Trini and Aisha suddenly smiled knowing smiles.
"Well, if Kim got the message to you, considering her current state of mind, then I say we still have a pretty good chance of saving her," Adam replied after a moment, knowing that his words would help to calm his friend down. Tommy smiled his thanks.
"So, Jason's awake, right?" Tommy asked. Trini and Aisha nodded. "Then let's go visit, shall we?" The others started laughing and helped Tommy up and out of the room.
Jason was staring at the ceiling when Tommy crept into the room where he was laying. When Jason looked over, he smiled, seeing his best friend standing in the doorway, looking none the worse for wear. "How ya feeling?" Tommy asked his best friend, watching as dark brown eyes lit with laughter.
"Better than I did in that damn maze, that's for sure," Jason quipped, watching Tommy nod. "By the way, thanks for the blood."
Tommy chuckled. "No problem, Bro. It's not the first time, probably won't be the last time." Jason nodded in agreement to that. Tommy was acting like his normal self, but Jason could see the weariness in the Black Ranger's eyes.
"How are you holding up?" Jason finally asked, knowing that Tommy wouldn't talk about it unless provoked.
Blinking back the sting of the tears he'd felt earlier, Tommy grabbed one of the chairs near the door and slid it over next to Jason's bed. Slowly, Jason saw the fašade of the Ranger-Leader-Mode Tommy had been in fall apart. "I miss her," Tommy croaked, closing his eyes to ward back the burning of his eyes. "She came to me in my dream, Jason. Part of the Pink Gem's powers is Astral Projection."
Just as Jason was about to open his mouth in reply, Dana came rushing in with Adam. "We've got a problem."
Tommy and Jason rolled their eyes as Adam moved toward Jason's bed, where he and Tommy helped Jason slid off and then walk out of the room behind Dana.
"Master?" Elsa asked as Mesogog stood over Kimberly's still form.
"It's time," Mesogog hissed as Zeltrax entered the room. Both he and Elsa waited as Mesogog opened an invisi-portal and then the trio walked through, never seeing Kimberly's body start to glow pink.
The Rangers, old and new, stood on the field just beyond the tunnel that led to the bowels of the arena. Anton stood before them, a wicked smile lighting his face. "Time to face your final challenge before you meet my champion," he started, watching as the group narrowed their gazes at him. "Allow me to introduce you to your opponents, Elsa and Zeltrax. They are Lord Mesogog's top generals." At Anton's words, two figures emerged from the darkened tunnel.
Those who knew the two took defensive stances, those who didn't just looked from the duo, to Anton, to the six who were still in the competition. "Hello Dr. Oliver," Elsa sneered as she and Zeltrax stopped next to Anton. "Katherine, Aisha, William, Rocky, Adam."
"Are you ready?" Zeltrax queried, his voice taunting.
Tommy's gaze narrowed, his sole focus on the black figure before him. "Zeltrax is mine." Both Katherine and Aisha took surprised steps back when they saw his face, but joined their three male friends in nodding their assent to Tommy's words.
"I'll leave you to it, then. Good luck." With that, Anton turned and strode purposefully back into the innards of the arena, leaving Elsa and Zeltrax to face the Rangers.
A purely evil smile crossed Elsa's features as she strode forward. "FIGHT!" In a split second, all five of the other Rangers were jumping back as Elsa tossed a force blast at them. When they each regained their equilibrium, they began throwing punches, kicks, leg sweeps and blocks in Elsa's direction. Surprisingly enough, Kat was the first to land a blow on their opponent.
Elsa was knocked back five steps by Katherine's punch, causing her to struggle to regain her balance. "Didn't think you had it in you, Kitty Kat."
Kat's gaze narrowed, her face hard. "You have no clue what's inside of me!" she hissed back, metaphorically baring her teeth and extending her claws. While Elsa was gloating over the insult, Kat took a page from Kim's book and began a series of front flips and handsprings toward their opponent. When she was within range, the former Pink Ranger launched a scissors kick at Elsa, nailing her in the chest and sending the leather clad woman landing on her ass.
"Remind me to never, ever piss Kat off!" Rocky muttered, and then shrank back near Aisha when Kat shot a glare over her shoulder at him.
"You'll have to do better than that, Power Wimps!" Elsa taunted as she got to her feet, launching another round of force blasts at the five.
"Guys, teamwork!" Tanya called from the sidelines as the five regrouped. Nodding to their friend, they began circling around Elsa.
"Up and over?" Adam called out to Rocky, who grinned like a fool at the familiar plan. Each of them made as if they were running directly at Elsa, who was unsure of what was happening. Suddenly, the two men were airborne, flipping over Elsa and landing where the other had been standing.
With Elsa distracted, both Kat and Aisha launched another round of attacks, Aisha going for a drop kick while Kat used a tried and true leg sweep on 'Biker Chick'. Elsa managed to avoid both, but could not avoid the spinning heel kick that Billy launched, which effectively knocked her on her ass again, this time Rocky grabbing her fallen sword and holding it to her throat before she could get up. Eyes flashing red with the power flowing through him, Rocky muttered, "Move and I won't hesitate to use this on you." Elsa gulped, and deciding that she liked living entirely too much to call the former Red and Blue Ranger's bluff, simply nodded and continued to lay on the ground.
With Elsa out, the group, with the exception of Rocky and Adam, turned their attention to the opposite side of the field where Tommy and Zeltrax were still going at it.
"Are you still mad at me, Dr. Oliver?" Zeltrax goaded as he and Tommy circled one another. "Still upset about my taking your precious little Kimmie?" At Zeltrax's words, Tommy hurled himself forward, only to have his opponent nail him in the solar plexus as he stumbled past.
"You'll wish to God you'd never touched her," Tommy growled, throwing himself once again into the fight, heedless of whether or not he landed any blows on his opponent.
On the sidelines, the others watched on helplessly. "I can't believe Dr. O's letting that tin can get the best of him!" Kira spat out as she watched Zeltrax land another hit on her teacher and fellow Ranger.
"Tommy's not focusing, he's making too many mistakes," Trini murmured. Conner and Zack had taken charge of helping Jason, who motioned for them to move him a bit closer to Tommy.
"TOMMY! FOCUS!" Jason hollered, silencing all the side conversations that were going on, causing each of the other Rangers to focus their attention on Tommy.
Out on the field, Tommy caught Jason's words over Zeltrax's barbs. Nodding his head, Tommy slowed his mind down to focus solely on the task at hand. As he was doing so, Zeltrax made another witty comment. "You know Tommy, Kimberly's such an interesting teammate," the black dressed thing toyed with the Black Ranger. "So delicate and tasty!"
Zack, Conner, Trini, Jason and many of the others winced when they heard what Zeltrax teased out to Tommy. Just when they all thought that the Black Ranger would once again lose his focus, they watched on in shock as he stopped moving altogether. Quietly, Tommy slowed his breathing, closed his eyes, let his hands go limp at his sides, then reached deep within his soul to the place where the power and skills he'd been honing for years lay at rest.
Zeltrax watched his opponent with mild interest. So the good doctor had no fight left in him! Zeltrax cackled at that, and surged forward to deliver one final, deadly blow. His sword never made it.
When Zeltrax was within inches of ending Tommy's life, Tommy's eyes shot open. Where there once had been a deep, chocolate brown now a pure, unearthly white shone. Zeltrax attempted to halt his movement toward Tommy, but couldn't. Just when the walking tin can that was Mesogog's top general would have plowed right into the current Black Ranger, white and black light shot out of Tommy's outstretched hands, hurling Zeltrax across the arena and into one of the solid concrete walls.
"Oh my God," Alyssa commented as the Rangers watched on in shock.
"What the hell was that?" Ethan muttered as Kira nodded.
After she'd shook of her shock, Kat's face lit up like a Christmas tree. "That," she started, watching as the light slowly receded from Tommy. "Was the power of the Black Dino Gem and the White Falcon, Tommy's Ninjetti power."
Clapping soon filled the nearly silent arena. Eyes turned toward the tunnel, where Anton stood, clapping his hands, and smiling. "A job well done. Dr. Oliver, I had no idea you had that kind of power."
Tommy's breathing was slightly labored as he forced his body to move to within a foot of Anton. "We've defeated your tests, release Kim."
Anton's face was smug when he shook his head. "I'm afraid you have to face a champion of my choosing. Follow me, if you dare."
A white blur sped through the forest, weaving in and out of trees, large bushes, and avoiding whatever animals, birds and reptiles still inhabited the island after the destruction that was caused some years before by an exploding laboratory formerly owned by Anton Mercer and Mercer Industries; a place where one Dr. Tommy Oliver had once worked.
"Ten more meters," the white blur, which was in reality the White Ranger, muttered to himself, as he stopped to look down at the tracking device that Elsa and Zeltrax had given him.
For a moment, the White Ranger felt the world tilt around him. Why had he volunteered to go and find the other shard of the Pink Gem? It wasn't like he particularly liked Mesogog, he definitely didn't trust Elsa or Zeltrax, but perhaps it had been because he felt a pull toward the Pink Ranger, this Kimberly Hart, that he had not felt before save for once. She reminded him of someone; someone who's sandy blonde almost auburn hair, gorgeous eyes, and yellow clothing were much beloved. "Kira," he whispered, feeling the tug inside, where his heart was, almost as if she were with him.
Shaking his head, the White Ranger pushed onward.
Ten minutes later, the White Ranger came to another stop, this time just before a large pit in the middle of the path he'd been traveling on. Cautiously, he peered over the edge. Inside the darkened hole, a faint glow could be seen; a faint pink glow. "Gotcha," he muttered as he began unloading the equipment he'd been given.
The White Ranger turned on the flashlight he'd been given, secured the rope to a nearby tree, and then descended into the pit with the velvet pouch he would put the gem in.
At the bottom, the White Ranger saw the embedded meteorite that contained the Pink Gem. Using his own powers, the White Ranger managed to extract the Pink Gem, which slid soundlessly into the velvet pouch. Securing the cinch on the pouch, the White Ranger began his climb back up the rope, to the top of the pit. Once he was back on stable ground, the young man gathered his equipment quickly and then sped off back the way he came.
The group of Power Rangers gathered together before the invisi-portal Anton had managed to open. "Tommy, I don't like this," Trini informed the former Ranger Leader, who nodded.
"Neither do I, but the rest of you were eliminated," Tommy told her as Jason huffed indignantly. "Jason?"
"I don't like not being able to help you with this. You don't know what Mercer or Mesogog are gonna throw at you."
Kat stepped forward, her face set. "That's true, but the six of us are willing to risk it to save Kim. Besides, neither of them know, other than what happened with Zeltrax, that we seemed to have reactivated the Ninja powers while we were in the maze."
Adam, Billy, Rocky and Aisha nodded, as Zack shook his head and slung an arm around Tanya and Justin's shoulders. "All I'm gonna say is good luck," Tanya spoke softly, eyes filling as Rocky, Adam and Aisha linked arms around one another. Kat took Tommy and Billy's hands, shooting the others a smile.
"Zack?" Justin asked as the former black Ranger strode forward, pulling Tanya and Justin with him.
"Seeing as how Kim and Zordon aren't here to say it, I will," Zack started, watching as the others turned toward him. "May the power protect you."
The six former and current Rangers who were set to leave with Anton gulped and nodded. Zordon had graced them with the same words each and every time they'd donned their uniforms, as had Kim that last night she'd been with them all those years ago, when she'd given up her powers to follow her dreams. "Let's do this!" Rocky grinned, inspiring the others to step forward.
As one, the six stood before Anton and then followed him into the invisi-portal.
He found her sitting on the bed where she'd been when he left some hours before. "You're awake?" the White Ranger questioned, his voice seemingly different then the last time Kimberly had talked to him.
While she'd been unconscious, her soul had wandered from her body and discovered a thing or two. "Why are you working with Mesogog?" she asked him, her voice soft and confused. "Why are you working for that Land Before Time Reject of the Mesozoic era when you could be with her, helping her?"
The White Ranger stood there, the velvet pouch containing the Pink Gem in hand, unsure of how to answer his teammate. "What are you talking about?"
"You're in love with Kira!" Kim argued. For the most part, she'd regained control of herself, but there was still some lingering energy from Mesogog and the control he'd had over the Pink Gem. Kim watched on in shock as, for the first time, the White Ranger's uniform disappeared, leaving a confused, upset, and pale Trent Fernandez staring at her. "Trent?" Kira had pointed him out to her when they'd been at the park Kim's first night in Reefside as the group had trudged over to the playground equipment before Tommy had shown up.
His mouth snapped shut while he strode toward her, thrusting the pouch into her hands. "This belongs to you. Only you can touch it, join it with the one on your wrist." So saying, the black haired young man turned, allowed his suit to flare around him again, and fled the room.
Kim looked after him until the door shut, then looked down to what he'd given her. Fearful, she undid the cinch, and then gasped when a pink glow assaulted her senses. "The Pink Dino Gem shard!" When the crackle of an invisi-portal started, Kim realized she didn't have much time. Reaching into the pouch, she withdrew the pink gem, held it to her wrist where the other shard was, and willed the two pieces together. The resulting explosion of power flung Kimberly across the room and into the wall, knocking her unconscious.
"Welcome to Mesogog's Island Fortress," Anton announced as the seven of them found themselves in one of the many rooms. Tommy gasped. He'd been stuck in this room right before the Black Dino Gem had bonded with him.
"Where's Kimberly!" Kat fiercely demanded as Anton strode forward and then turned to face them. They watched on in shock as his body started to shake. Before their very eyes, Dr. Anton Mercer changed from human to dinosaur, becoming the evil villain, Mesogog.
The six gasped. "Oh Shit!" Rocky muttered as Adam swallowed hard. Aisha stared on in shock, while Billy muttered under his breath. Kat's eyes were narrowed as she glared at the black clad figure. And all the while, Tommy stared on in complete and utter shock. He hadn't seen that one coming.
"So you have returned?" a dark voice called a few moments later when the doors to the room slid open and the White Ranger stepped through.
"Ah!! Rangers, meet one of my champions. Meet my White Ranger."
Aisha rolled her eyes when Rocky cracked, "I liked Tommy's suit as White Ranger better."
Adam shook his head, as did Billy. "Only you, Rocky," Kat spoke.
"What do you mean by Champions? I thought we only had to face one person?" Aisha growled.
Mesogog smiled. "Champions, my dear Bear, champions. Allow me to introduce you to my other champion." As Mesogog's words rang out, the wall to the left of the group grumbled and groaned as it slid up, joining the room they were in with the one next to it. Standing in the other room, decked out in the Dino Thunder uniform, was the Pink Dino Thunder Ranger.