Sunday, March 22, 2015

2302 - MMPR: The Eighth Coin (2012 Final Cut) - Part 9

This has dragged on for far too long... and this is only a reposting. I can't imagine trying to do this on a regular basis with NEW content. But here we go... the final parts of this 2012 edit of an even older work of fanfic.

For previous parts, look here:
Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

Disclaimer: The author of this document would like to clarify that Power Rangers and its characters is owned by Saban Brands and not the author.


-o-

NASADA Airbase
Angel Grove, CA

After a long period of traversing deserts and mountainsides, Tommy and Gillian had made it to the NASADA airbase where she believed the alien spaceship was being held. The NASADA airbase was a sparsely occupied lot of land. A checkpoint station at the front gate only had a single guard occupying the station and beyond that, a long road led to a single storage facility that also occupied the base's command center. The wide space only served as a front for the hidden launch bays beneath the surface, although several more on-land bays were being built. Regardless, this was where Gillian believed the ship was at.

Tommy, meanwhile, was more concerned about the possible assault on the Command Center by Lord Zedd. Every fiber of his being wanted to abandon this scavenger hunt and help his friends, but he knew that jumping to the herd of battle would be a pointless strategy. It wouldn't help his friends, it wouldn't help Zordon, and if anything, it might make matters worse. It's the kind of insight that he had gained and developed over the course of his role as leader, something that he had grown more comfortable as time went on. There were times, however, where he wished Jason was still around to handle the leadership reigns rather than be involved in peace talks. This is one of those times.

Stay focused, Tommy, he thought, You've got a job to do.

Putting aside his thoughts and doubts, he looked ahead at the checking point of the airbase before turning to the coinbearer. "I hope you have a plan as to how we're going to go through."

"Yeah, I've got a plan," answered Gillian. "You're probably not going to like it though."

The White Ranger scoffed. "At this point, I'm open to anything."

"Fine, here's the plan," she paused for a moment. "You're going to the base commander and you're going to ask for your ship back."

Tommy turned to Gillian, the mask hiding the look of astonishment on his face. "You've got to be kidding me."

When he saw that Gillian was completely serious about what she had said, he rolled his eyes. "You really expect the authorities to hand over the ship just because I say so?"

"Why not?" she said with a shrug. "They respect you. They'll listen."

"What makes you think they'll give it up?"

"Pfft, I don't know," she spat back, "Because the fate of the world depends upon it."

Tommy sighed. It was corny even for him, but it was worth a try. "I hate you."

Gillian grinned, slapping the Ranger's armored shoulder. "See? I knew you'd see things my way."

Tommy shook his head, unbelieving that he agreed to something so... stupid.

Worth a try, I guess.

Just as he was about to get up, he had been hit with sudden realization. "But what about you? How are you going to get in?"

"Don't worry about me," she said, "I'll find my own way in."

Tommy shook his head. Figures she would try to force her way in... hey, wait a minute! I've got an idea!

Behind the mask, the teen smiled. "Here's what we're going to do..."

-o-

Within his personal chambers, Lord Zedd watched the infighting between his own troops.

He had expected somebody to make their move to get their hands on the coin; he just didn't think it would be Astronema, Dark Specter's humanoid minion whose forces are currently concentrated on the other side of the galaxy. Zedd had wondered about how Astronema had known about the coin being on Earth, but in some way, he didn't have to. In some strange sense, he shouldn't have been surprised that the upstart princess would send her own soldiers to reclaim the coin. Zedd felt it made sense, considering Astronema's efforts to curry favor with the monarch Dark Specter. And what better way to do so than to claim the Eighth Coin as a prize in the name of the dark monarch?

If I had been in her place, he thought, I would have done the same thing.

But then the two forces stopped fighting and, much to Zedd's astonishment, formed a pact to battle for a common prize. The fleshman was almost impressed by what he saw. He didn't think the monkey had it in him.

Turning his gaze away from Earth, he sat back on his throne and turned towards the giant fan in his command chamber. Beneath the iron mask that concealed his scarred face, Zedd's eyes closed and his lips stretched into a devilish smile.

It won't be long now, he thought, before the coin is mine.

-o-

"Here's the ship, White Ranger. Just as we discovered it months before, maybe a bit better."

Tommy inspected the strange ship that sat in the hangar while the NASADA base commander looked on, flanked by three other guards. He slowly walked around the vessel, studying every bit of detail to the ship, which looked better than he had expected a crashed vessel to look. It looked evident that there was substantial repairs and reconstruction of the vessel at play here, with a near-flawless attempt to match up the restored portions with the rest of the ship. But as much as he was studying the ship's structural condition, he was also looking at the ship in astonishment. Never before had he stood before an alien vessel as closely as he did now. Tommy was thankful that the mask concealed his face, for it also concealed the awe on his face from the surrounding workers. After sating whatever curiosity that had been lingering in his mind, he turned to the commander and his crew."

"I appreciate your giving up the ship," he said, "I have to admit that I'm surprised by how you're willing to give this up quickly."

The commander frowned. "To tell you the truth, it was difficult to convince the board to surrender this vessel over to you. They wanted to reverse-engineer its technology so that it could be adapted to our uses." He paused for a moment and smiled. "But when I mentioned that the Power Rangers needed the ship in order, it appeared to be sufficient cause to surrender the vessel to the people who might have more use for it than we."

Beneath the mask, Tommy shot a smile and turned to the ship. On the side of the vessel was an open hatch with a stepladder sticking out. He turned back to the officials, gave a thankful nod, and preceded to the open hatch.

"Good luck, Ranger. And godspeed."

Tommy nodded as he climbed the stepladder and boarded the ship through the door. Inside, he found himself in a sizable cabin with scattered tools, burnt wires, and several containers laid across the ground. He noticed that the cabin itself was a central hub to three separate sections; the main bridge, a small resting cabin, and a cargo hold. Flicking the switch beside him, Tommy watched the stepladder fold itself into the vessel and the outer hatchdoor closing itself shut. With the hatch closed, there was a faint humming sound heard throughout the cabin and the control panel beside Tommy lit up, along with the cabin lights.

Making sure that nobody was around, Tommy casually unlatched the side of his helmet and pulled the mask off, his long dark hair settling over the armor. Setting the mask on a nearby metal table, Tommy made his way towards the main bridge of the vessel; a small room with the cockpit overlooking the inner landing pad and before him, a series of terminals surrounding a standard flight stick. Getting over the awe of the alien technology before him, Tommy approached what he assumed to be the communication terminal and looked over the control panel; a bizarre array of circular buttons and knobs surrounding a blank display screen. He looked around and slumped into a chair.

I wish Billy was here, he thought, He'd probably figure this out faster than I would.

Just as Tommy was about to turn away, the screen began to fizzle. Tommy moved towards the panel and fiddled with whatever knobs and buttons he could. Part of him was thankful that he didn't activate any of the ship's weapons systems and another part was thankful when he heard static surrounding the room. He played with the controls a bit more until he heard a female voice talking.

"Testing, one-two," he heard the voice say, "Is anybody there? Hello? Is this thing even working?"

Noticing a blinking red light on one of the panels, Tommy pressed the nearby buttons and said, "Is that you, Gillian?"

It took a moment for her to reply. "No, it's the tooth fairy. Of course, it's me. Did you get in?"

"Yeah," he replied, "It was easier to get in than it was to figure out how this stuff works."

"Great, now how do I use this thing?"

Tommy frowned and slapped both hands over his face. You'd think if she could figure out how to talk on the communicator...

"Press the big button," he said calmly. "It should bring you in here."

It took a moment longer than Tommy would have liked, but he sighed in relief when a white beam of light flared in the room briefly before the solid form of Gillian appeared. She absentmindedly returned the wrist communicator back to Tommy before taking a quick look around the base. Tommy managed a small smile as he saw her somewhat amazed by her surroundings.

"Bringing back any memories?" he asked teasingly.

"Please, I've only been here for, what? Five minutes at most?" she scoffed, "Besides, we still have to figure out how to fly this thing."

Tommy nodded and studied the panel. "Looks like a regular plane set-up."

"Looks like," she said, slipping into the pilot seat. "Let's see if we can fire this bastard up."

Gillian began looking over the various control panels before beginning to fiddle with various buttons and switches. Tommy watched her work the controls with about as much skill and grace as Bulk had at a ballet. He couldn't help but notice a heightened sense of irritation on her part. He also couldn't help but find some perverse enjoyment what he was seeing.

"You do know how to fly this thing?"

"Honestly, I never flew a plane before," she admitted, "All I have to go on are those Flight Sim games I used to play a couple years ago. I don't know how much good that's going to do us."

Tommy sighed. "Better than nothing, I suppose."

Gillian shrugged and again attempted. Within minutes, she had managed to power up the ship and took to the flight stick, where she was able to guide the ship out of the hangar bay and into the air without crashing into anything. Tommy was both impressed and relieved, if nothing else.

"Congratulations," he grinned, "You've just earned your wings."

"Thanks," she said softly, "Now we have to get to your Command Center..."

Tommy nodded. "And hope it's not too late."

-o-

"Guys, we have a problem." Aisha's comment had caused the remaining three Rangers to observe the viewing globe, which was showing images of Goldar and company starting their advances towards the Command Center. Adam gave a nervous glance to Billy, who was somehow able to maintain his composure. Rocky clenched his fists together and turned to Zordon.

"We have to slow them down, Zordon," Rocky said, "Even though we don't have the coin, they'll come here thinking we do and won't stop until they have it in their possession."

Zordon shook his head. "What you are proposing is risky and there is a good chance that you will not win this battle, Rangers."

That's when Billy stepped in. "Rocky might be suggesting something risky, but we're all out of options."

"Your powers are significantly strained over the last few battles," the sage cautioned, "I cannot assure that they will hold out under the pressure."

"That's a risk we'll have to take, Zordon," Adam added, "It's the only to go."

Zordon thought about it for a moment, but only came with one conclusion. "As I much as I am against this rash move, I agree that there is no other option. All I can tell you is to do what you can and may the power protect you."

The Rangers nodded. With that done, they each grabbed their own helmets, slipped them on, proceeded out to the main gate and the army of monsters that awaited them outside. Alpha said one last comment before they were out of the main chamber.

"Good luck, Rangers."


To be continued...

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