Chapter 37: The Final Mission
Andros was on the Astro Megaship Mark II, going through his many pictures he had taken of the moon searching for General Venjix. He had been off his radar after he was nearly caught on Onyx overhearing their plans. He let out a deep breath, resting his hands on the table staring at the main viewing screen. "DECA, show me the girls," he instructed.
The main viewing screen changed to Ashley and the girls playing in the park. Ashley was sitting on a blanket, her hand resting over her bulging stomach where their unborn child grew. The girls were playing a game and Ashley was watching them with a smile. He let out a breath, watching his family. He continued to count the minutes until he was holding them in his arms again. "Andros, I have located General Venjix," Alpha said suddenly, making the Red Space Ranger turn to look at the robot.
"Main viewing screen," he ordered.
The image switched to the Moon to General Venjix and his followers walking towards a pit. "Alpha, keep an eye on the ship," he ordered as he walked towards the jump tubes.
"Good luck, Andros," Alpha replied.
Andros went to his jump tubes, heading towards the moon.
Reaching a good spot where he could be hidden, Andros ducked down behind a rock pile and pulled out his high powered binoculars to watch what was going on. Finding the General, he was able to follow him to where he was going. Then pure dread went through him when he saw that they had not only found Serpenterra but they had already started digging it up. "Shit," he muttered. He had to get a message to Tommy immediately to give him an update of what he had found.
Getting up, Andros turned to leave when his cloak caught a pile of rocks and it knocked them down the hill. Looking in that direction, he saw that he was spotted and took off running to escape them.
Andros looked down at his morpher to see that he was out of Galaxy Glider range. "Dammit!" he exclaimed, sliding around a corner. He heard something running behind him, looking over her saw General Venjix and Steelon on their horses, going after him.
Running from them, he could feel the ground shake behind him, indicating that they were close. Looking at his morpher again, he saw that he was back in range of his Galaxy glider. "GALAXY GLIDER, HANG TEN!" he shouted. Leaping through the air, he transformed into his Ranger form before landing on his glider and flew off.
Reaching the Astro Megaship, Andros walked towards the bridge. "Alpha, locate Tommy," he instructed. Alpha immediately started searching for his comrade.
"He is located in Angel Grove, California at Club Bulkmeier," Alpha informed him.
"Contact him using the Terran phone lines," Andros answered.
The phone rang. "Bulkmeiers, Bulk speaking," Bulk answered.
"I need to speak with Tommy Oliver," Andros ordered, showing no room for any kind of argument.
There was a slight pause on his end. "Just a minute," Bulk replied. There was silence for a few minutes and Andros ran his hand over his face with a deep breath.
"Hello?" Tommy answered.
"It's Andros," Andros stated.
"What's going on?" Tommy asked.
"It's worse than we thought, they almost have Serpenterra freed from its grave," Andros replied.
"Are you sure?" Tommy asked.
Andros couldn't help but roll his eyes. "I was just there," he replied.
"Get the others together," Tommy told him.
"I'm on it," Andros replied.
Returning to Earth, Andros had the Astro Megaship in the hanger when TJ drove up. "Nice car," Andros commented as TJ got out of it.
"Thanks, I had to do a lot of sucking up to Cass in order for her to let me get it," TJ answered as he and Andros gripped forearms.
"How is she?" Andros asked.
"She's good, we're both tired because the twins are literally running circles around us," TJ replied.
Andros chuckled a little. "How's Ashley?" TJ asked.
"She's good," Andros replied, "She's pregnant again."
"That's fantastic, how many does that make now? Five?" TJ quipped.
Andros rolled his eyes a little with a smirk. "Three," He answered, "And probably the last one." Andros leaned against TJ's car with his arms crossed over his chest. "I haven't seen them since she told me she was pregnant," he admitted, "I mean, I talk to them, but the girls keep asking me when I'm coming home." The Red Space Ranger let out a breath as he rubbed his forehead.
"I'm sure it's not easy," TJ agreed.
"Yeah, it's far from it,' he answered, "That's why I'm hanging up my morpher up when I'm done here."
TJ nodded his head slowly. "I've been saying that too, it's hard though you know? You think you're done saving the world, but whenever you see someone in any kind of danger…" TJ started to say.
"You want to jump in and help," Andros finished.
"It's not even a responsibility anymore," TJ stated.
"It's just doing what's right," Andros agreed.
"What does Ashley think of all of it?" TJ asked.
"It's a selfless life we live," Andros replied, "We see it as our duty. Even Ashley has a hard time not letting the life get to her."
TJ nodded his head slowly. "Cassie too, it literally just happened we were driving home with the kids and there was an accident in an intersection. She literally gets out of the car and runs to the other car that was hit without even another thought," he explained. Andros was about to answer when they heard vehicles arriving.
"Ready for another round?" Andros asked.
"Always," TJ replied.
After meeting the other Red Rangers, they boarded the Astro Megaship Mark II where Tommy showed them what their mission was going to be. Andros just stood silently in the shadows when he heard his communicator beep. Making sure that everyone was paying attention to what was being said, Andros snuck away from the conference room.
Entering the bridge, Andros turned toward DECA. "DECA, open communications," he instructed. He couldn't help but smile as the communication line was open and Andrea's face was the first thing he saw.
"Hi, daddy!" Andrea said excitedly.
Andros couldn't help but smile. "Hey, Sweetness, what are you doing?" he asked.
"Nothing, I asked mommy if we can call you," Andrea replied.
"Well I'm glad you did," Andros told her.
"I wanna talk to daddy!" Xenia exclaimed as his youngest pushed her way to the screen.
Xenia was now standing beside her sister. "Hey, Starlight," Andros greeted his youngest daughter.
"Hi, daddy, when are you coming home?" Xenia asked anxiously.
Andros put on his best smile, not knowing that the Quantum Ranger, Eric, was standing in the shadows watching. "Daddy has work he has to do," Andros replied.
"Saving the Galaxy again?" Andrea asked, "Is Uncle TJ there?"
"Yep, but he has to listen to what our mission is today," Andros replied.
"Daddy, can you come home tonight?" Xenia asked.
Hearing his daughter beg for him to come home tugged at his heartstrings. "Daddy is going to do the best he can to come home," Andros replied, "Is mommy there?"
"Mommy! Daddy wants to talk to you!" Xenia called out.
The screen shifted as Ashley picked up the screen and his heart missed several beats when he saw her. "Hey, handsome," she said smiling.
"Hey," he answered, "You are a sight for sore eyes."
Ashley just smiled softly. "Yeah, I feel amazing," she said sarcastically.
"You're beautiful, you're always beautiful," he replied.
"Sweet talker," she quipped.
"I speak only truth," he replied.
Ashley laughed softly. "Andros," TJ called to him. Andros turned to his right to see his friend standing there.
"I have to go," he told his heart.
"I know," Ashley replied, "I love you."
"I love you more," he declared.
"Tell daddy 'bye'," Ashley told the girls.
"Bye, daddy!" the girls chorused.
Ashley pressed a kiss to her fingers before pressing them to the screen. Andros let out a breath. "DECA, end communication," he ordered. The screen went black. Andros turned on his heel and left the bridge, walking by Eric without a single word to him.
"He has a family," Eric commented.
TJ looked at the Quantum Ranger. "They're what he fights for," TJ replied before he followed his friend.
Arriving at the bunker that General Venjix and his followers had set up, they ran inside as Venjix was proclaiming his loyalty and his vengeance towards King Mondo's statue. "You know if you really miss King Mondo that much, we promise we can help you join him," Jason commented as he tossed his jacket aside.
"We're not going to let you bring back Sepertenterra!" Cole told them.
The Machine Empire's cogs surrounded their leaders before they were sent after the Red Rangers.
Andros ducked out of the way when a cog aimed a fist at his head, rolling across the floor when another cog tried to kick his chest. Rolling to his knees, Andros did a sweep kick knocking two cogs on their backs. Getting back to his feet, he grabbed a cog by the arm throwing it over his shoulder before several cogs charged at him with spears. Andros did several back flips escaping each spear that was thrust in his direction.
Once he had another distance between him in and the spears to get back to his feet, Andros ducked out of the way once, twice, three times as the spears tried to aim at his head and throat. He kicked one cog away before he grabbed a hold of the rail in front of him as a cog aimed a spear at his head. Using his momentum he was able to kick another spear away from him as he spun around on the pole with one hand before kicking another cog up against the wall. Landing back on his feet, Andros jumped up in the air doing a cartwheel over another cog's head landing on his feet easily.
Climbing up, Andros dodged two cogs that were aiming their weapons at his middle their spears barely missed as he gripped the rail and had his feet up against the wall. Spinning around he was back on the floor, grabbing a cog that tried to attack him from behind and threw it over his head into the chasm below.
They were able to see that the Generals were using the cogs to distract them, Cole had chased them and they went after the Red Wild Force Ranger. They stood in formation, staring down at what was rest of the Machine Empire. "LET'S ROCKET!" Andros shouted.
The battle was long, and it was far from easy but they were able to defeat the Machine Empire once and for all.
Entering the ship to return home, Alpha rushed up to the Red Space Ranger. "Andros, you have a message from home I have sent the message to your personal quarters," the robot told him. Andros followed Alpha toward his quarters.
Opening the door to his quarters, Andros played the message. "Andros, I hope you get this in time. I need you here," Ashley's message played and he could see that she was in pain, "The baby's coming."
Andros felt his heart drop and he rushed out of his quarters back towards the bridge. "DECA, take us back to Earth," he ordered.
"Acknowledged," DECA replied.
TJ walked over to his friend. "What's going on?" he asked. Andros looked at him.
"I have to get home," Andros replied, "Ashley needs me."
Not needing anymore explanation, TJ nodded as Andros flew them back towards Earth.
Standing at the platform, Andros looked at the other Red Rangers. "It was nice meeting all of you, but at the risk of sounding rude," he stated as he hit the button to open the doors, "I need you to exit my ship, I have to get out of here." TJ just smirked as they exited the ship.
Once they were off the ship and the door was closed, the other Red Rangers watched as the Megaship took off towards the sky. "Not much for goodbyes is he?" Wes asked.
"Not exactly, his heart is about to burst," TJ replied.
The other Red Rangers looked at the Turbo Ranger with confused expressions, but TJ just smirked.
Reaching KO-35 in record time, Andros ran off the ship towards the medical center.
Ashley was leaning against the wall letting out a whimper and a breath as the pain went through her body. Her hands were clenched into fists above her head. This labor was harder and faster than her last two pregnancies. "I can't do this alone," she groaned out. She felt hands on her back, she knew those hands.
"You're not," Andros assured her.
Ashley let out a half-sob, half-sigh of relief as she turned to look at him. "You made it," she sobbed. Andros hushed her softly, holding her.
"I'm here," he assured her, resting his cheek on top of her head as she gripped his shoulders tightly.
Pulling back, he pushed the hair from her eyes and smiled at her. "You look beautiful," he murmured, making her smile through her tears. He kissed the tears away on her cheeks as she breathed through another contraction.
"I need to push," she answered.
"Where do you want to be?" he asked.
"I don't want to lay down, my back hurts too much," she replied.
"Okay, how do you want to do this?" he asked.
She pressed her back against the wall and just squatted down. "I'm pushing now," she replied. Andros got in the position she needed as she started to push on her next contraction.
After what felt like an eternity for Ashley, she felt her baby leave her body and the screams filled the room. "Héro," she heard her soul say suddenly and her eyes went wide.
"It's a boy?" she asked in disbelief.
Andros placed the baby into her arms and Ashley slid to the floor in disbelief as Andros covered their son. "Oh my gods…" she whispered with tears in her eyes. Andros kissed his heart before kissing the top of their son's head. "Welcome to the universe, Héro," she whispered, holding the baby close. Andros opened her shirt and the baby was pressed up against her chest as he held onto them both.
"I love you," he whispered to them.
Ashley kissed Andros's lips lightly, her free hand resting on his cheek. "I love you," she answered, smiling.
Two days later, Ashley was sitting up in bed of the master bedroom. Héro was fast asleep in his bassinet on her side of the bed. Sleeping between her and Andros was Xenia while Andrea was fast asleep behind Andros. The reading lamp was on low so she could read on her datapad without disturbing anyone. She looked over at her family, smiling to see them peacefully asleep.
Reaching over, Ashley pushed some hair from her soul's face when he reached up in his sleep, grasping for her hand. Their fingers entwined together and Ashley couldn't help but feel at ease as she set her datapad on the nightstand and turned out the light. In the dark, she could sense her love's eyes opening up and they smiled at each other in the dark. They were finally home.
Title: Love Arrangements
Due: January 8th, 2018