It Was Supposed to be Forever
By Eclipsing Flames
Breach Of Mind
Somewhere far from Earth
The whistling of the winds sharpened as the lone invader took cautious steps. The wide plains of cold sand whirl-winded around him in cyclones and tidal waves that unleashed like razors, slicing his robes wrapped protectively over his body.
Suns were a myth to this place. The pitch black skies gripped three moons overhead enough to pale the grounds with washes of light and shadow the distant mountains.
He gently unwrapped himself of the thick cloak, freeing his arms from the embracing warmth as the climate rushed to his chest with its frozen winds. A large crystal egg of jade black filled his hands as its surface caught the triple moons in the sky. He couldn't stop himself from exploring its luscious shape, his thick fingers sliding over its smooth surface as he gazed over its preciousness. From its center, light cascaded down to the collected floors of sand within a three foot radius around him. The sharp grains in the air all halted as the egg streamed a delicate hum from its core.
He held the egg out before him as the drowning color inhaled back from its reach along the ground to a single bold beam. It illuminated more brightly, allowing its evolving brilliance to levitate from the guarding hands and hover over the ground.
He grinned with his golden eyes blazing as he watched the egg harmonize with its birth place, recognizing its home. The egg spun vertical over the cold surface as its beam of light opened the ground below into a perfect circle to accept it.
"It is done," he whispered, as his eyes followed as the the egg descended to embody itself into the ground.
One week later...
Her feet padded the carpet overlapping her marked footprints from a half an hour trek around the coffee table. She gripped the cordless phone in between her hands, using both thumbs to press in the number. She held the receiver to her ear as the other line rang.
"You've reached a number that is no longer available-."
Kimberly groaned. She smashed her finger over the 'end' button to disconnect the call. Frustration tightened her brow. It was the infinite time she had tried to reach Billy at home, but like his mobile, it was as if the number never existed.
She slowly exhaled, hoping some of her gathering stress would leave along with her breath. The numbers beeped as she then tried Zack. The familiar Usher song played as a recording of Zack's voice announced he was not available, before a beep sounded to let her know it was her turn to leave a message.
"Zack, it's Kim. Again." Kimberly resisted the urge to strangle the phone. "Look, I know you have your shows and everything, but I can't reach Billy and this is the tenth call I've made to you. I really need to talk to you about something. Please, call back soon."
Kimberly hung up the phone, using her free hand to try to massage away the migraine starting to spread. She placed the phone down on the table as she took a seat on the edge of sofa couch. Her mind raced in circles, completely buried by swells of stress and pressure that seemed relentless to ease. It frustrated her so much that she hadn't been able to reach her friends since the wake had taken place. Kim sympathized with their grief, but the isolation from each other now when she felt they needed the other the most was unbearable.
She reached across the table to the scribbled note laying unfolded along the surface. She read softly to herself. "All the secrets they contain..."
The journals still remained in the box she'd received them in. The ones on top were bound together by rubber bands, plain covers of black, and others, bland brown. None were labeled from what she could see.
Kimberly didn't know if she could bring herself to touch them. The pain was still too fresh and hearing her best friend's voice through her written word felt overwhelming towards her heart. She thought of calling Mr. Kwan; but the fear of seeming ungrateful for his daughter's precious possessions kept her at bay.
Kim reached out and placed the note back on top the table, exhausted from all the heaviness of her contemplations. She stood and stretched her body to try to loosen her sore, tight muscles from another long day of training. Kim had always found it easy to release tension and smooth out her mind from the cram of strangling thoughts by reaching outside of herself in a way only gymnastics could provide.
Capoeira equaled in that regard, yet came from something altogether different. Capoeira involved a lot of flexibility and agility, which her many years of gymnastics provided for her. On the other hand, the martial art style largely incorporated dance that Kim wasn't accustom to doing in her gymnastics routines. Her head still filled with the commands of the berimba, an instrument that heavily induced the pace of her practices and helped her focus on her movements. Kim happily let it overflow within her, feeling everything within her hushed to that sound. The pain, the grief, the anger and isolation... everything just became utterly sound.
Tommy Oliver Residence
"I'm extending the bio-scan another thirty-five percent further into the woodland. I have a good feeling we're closing on to another bio-zord to add to the team." Hayley keyed in the coordinates, watching the flashing indicator on the viewing screen spread into a larger radius. She swung her chair around to face Tommy as she weaved her fingers together. "It might even suit the new accessory I built for you."
Tommy stood at the center of the room, his fingers trailing the silver band that was naked from the body of power the missing crystal would bring. It felt so weightless and cool against his skin, but also offered a familiarity he had long been accustomed to. It had just been over two weeks since he donned his Zeo morpher, and in that time so much had drastically changed, since Jason's words' of disdain had heavily flooded over his senses. It still stabbed at his heart to the point that it made the morpher feel like a thick chain that would drown him beneath a watery surface.
"Tommy..." He hadn't heard Hayley cross over the room. "If you're not ready for this-"
"Its not about being ready, Hales." He let his hand fold into a fist as he watched the band catch the overhead lights. "Its about taking responsibility for my mistakes."
Hayley knew that could mean so much in his life now. The look on his face was hard with determination and duty, the look of a ranger that had seen many battles and conflicted with the mortal man who carried so much on his shoulders. Ever since he had acquired the morpher, the little incognito of things that nibbled at her seemed to become few and far between. Hayley knew the few day's events' didn't make it any better.
It had been three days since the dino gems had bonded with three of Tommy's students from Reefside High. Connor Mcknight, the all-star soccer player; Ethan James, a computer wiz and gamer; and Kira Ford, a lone girl who knew how to express herself best through music. Hayley knew this only cause Tommy had told her. She had yet to meet the three rangers. Tommy was confident he could trust the teens; but still, they were young and as much as he knew they were capable, they needed guidance. So the once ranger knew he had to take them under his wing and do everything in his power to help them along, whilst protecting the city from the grave forces that began all of it. For hours they ran scans, reinforced security on the lair, broadened tracking for gems and bio zords, and increased surveillance on the city of Reefside for attacks. She could tell that Tommy had even somehow found the time to put the punching bags and exercise equipment to use.
"You should get some rest, Hayley," Tommy said more gently, bringing Hayley out of her thoughts. " It's getting late and there's not much more that needs to be done here. At least for today."
"How about you tell me what's been on your mind?" Hayley folded her arms over her chest, as she stared him down to break his solid demeanor.
"I have a billion things going on in my head," he exhaled, washing his hands over his face. "But I'm much too exhausted from it to even put a dent in getting it out to you. I just need some sleep."
Hayley raised a brow, before letting her arms fall down to her sides. "Fine. But only cause I know you have an early day tomorrow. Come the weekend, we should really sit and talk. You've been through a lot in a short matter of weeks, so I know you could use a friend."
"You got a deal."
"Deal," she agreed.
Tommy led the way up a short flight of stairs to the study room of his house perched just above. They made their way through the short hall to into the living room where Chinese food cartons still sat on top the coffee table with a few graded papers and a stack still left to be marked.
Hayley grabbed her coat draped over the back of the couch and her laptop bag, pulling it closed. "Night, Superman."
"Drive safe, Hayley." Tommy slipped loose a small smile for her as he walked her to the door.
The last light of the evening was quickly melting as a few stars brightened back into existence. He watched Hayley till she drove back through the trees and out into the main road just outside of them. Tommy closed the door. He had once welcomed the silence, the solitude that carried away all his anxieties of the day and returned to him a simple clarity. As the days grew on, however, it became more difficult to bear; there were too many thoughts, too many conflicts in his mind that made him unable to sit still.
Exhaustion washed over him as he used his fingers to try to ease the ache growing in the back of his neck. The papers left on his table needed his attention, but he couldn't help but to surrender to his body's yearn for a long shower and the screaming in his mind to have everything in his head silenced. He took to the stairs a step at a time and in a blur lost his clothes and had the shower on at a temperature hot enough to lightly sting his skin. He let the water fall over his face, flattening the hair on top his head. It felt so good that it seemed sinful as it eased the tightness along his back.
Tommy inhaled deeply, hoping the steam would release the stress that was clinging to him. The hot water rushing over him was welcomed, as its burning pelts unpeeled his thoughts from a tangle mess so he could at least focus on one at a time.
The new rangers were his first priority right now. They were three young rangers that had no idea what they were up for nor knew his past or if they even wanted to hold the responsibility of this new power. None of them had asked for it, after all. The whole reason they were now a part of it was because of him. He knew even before they had been chosen that he would have to step back into the active line of duty. It had only been a matter of time. Jason's words' seared through him in the worst of ways, but it was still a fate he couldn't ignore. He had to put an end to what Mesogog was doing, an end to the chaos that had started because of experiments he'd taken part in. Tommy reminded himself constantly of these things. He had to; otherwise, it would continue to rip him apart.
Turning away from the power so many years ago had been a day of reckoning for so long. Every ranger had to come to that point. Being a ranger was more than shiny new mega zords or powers. It was a constant battle for your life, for the lives you cared about and the lives of the people on the planet. Such service was an honorable thing to do, and a very hard life to lead as much as it could offer the ultimate fulfillment.
The time comes when you just want a normal life and every ranger is entitled to have that. If Kira, Ethan or Connor ever wanted to step down from being a ranger, Tommy would grant them that. There was not one person he would ever force to stay as ranger. Tommy had been content with the normal part of his life. He excelled in many things, most he never could have comprehended he could do or do well. He had a very simple little life with little wants for anything. The thought of having a family had passed his mind as it does with everyone, but some how work became everything.
The experiments became everything.
Now he had another morpher made for him and was hoping for a new gem to bond to his DNA. Being a ranger was in his blood. Maybe ever since Rita raped his mind with evil and used him to will the green ranger powers.
Great, now it's psychological, he thought, shoving through his hair with his hand.
Thinking over everything so much, he felt he could achieve nothing but circles. He was becoming more beset with trying to shake Jason's claim of being stuck, forever driven to live the life of a ranger.
Tommy raised a fist ready to hit the wet tiles before him in grievance, but instantly felt too drained and defeated to carry out the action. His body hummed with the water's consistent flow that washed over him like live wires trying to eat through him.
He tightened the taps off and the water ceased. Thick hot mists from the sultry currents wrapped around him and fogged the glass to the door. His feet landed on the cushion of the bath mat as he wrapped a large towel around his waist not bothering to dry himself off. Tommy went out to his connecting bedroom, the steam exhaling in his trail into the open space. He seized the phone from his night stand, taking to the end of his bed as he dialed the number to the voice he became desperate to hear.
"Tommy?" Somehow he knew she had been waiting for him to call. He felt himself cling to her instantaneously.
"Kimberly..." Tommy breathed out her name between his lips like a sweet memory of comfort and ease.
"What's wrong?" He heard her readjust herself through the phone more alert. "Was there another attack? Did something happen to one of the kids?"
"No, no they're fine. Its none of that," Tommy reassured her. He felt an absent blush spread onto his cheeks and he couldn't help feeling embarrassed. "I just...I just needed to hear your voice," he said almost shyly.
"It's more than that. I can always tell when somethings is bothering you, Tommy." Kimberly's voice relaxed, but was still concerned as she invited him to confide in her.
Tommy sighed, suddenly not knowing where to even begin. That was all it took.
"Yeah," Tommy fell back onto his bed, gripping his hair with his free hand. "I still can't shake that day, when he said all those things about me not being able to give up being a ranger. The last few days hasn't made it any easier."
"I know you're scared." Tommy closed his eyes to shut out everything around him from his mind and just listened to her voice. "After what happened... I don't think there is a single one of us that hasn't analyzed through their lives trying to get their priorities straightened. We both knew that being a part of the rangers now was your priority. It has to be. What Jason said was out of his grief."
"I know you're right." Tommy rubbed at the remaining knots along the back his neck till they loosened completely. Kimberly reminding him eased his heart so much more than he ever could trying to fight through it on his own. "I just needed to hear it from you more than anything else."
"I can remind you as much as you need me to," she said softly. "We talked about this a long time while I was there but that was before the time was actually here for you to have to be confronted with all this. There being attacks and rangers again. It's all before you now."
"I'm grateful you're here with me through this, Kim," Tommy said softly; heartfelt. "It really helps me to be able to face any of this."
Tommy remembered the last night she'd spent with him just laying by his side. Her hair sprayed on his pillow, hands at times reaching to clench. Often in times when it became unbearable, he just held her and she cried into his chest while curled perfectly into his side. He missed her being near. They both knew this would be the hardest time of their lives and the thought of separation had made Tommy's blood run cold and he felt it worst for Kim. He promised that as soon as this was over his ranger days were behind him. And he hoped Kimberly would still be there when that day came.
"I haven't heard from anyone," Kimberly's voice brought him back after the conversation drifted to a comfortable pause. "Not Billy. Not Zack."
"They haven't called back or anything? You've been trying for weeks now."
"I know...Ugh, I haven't gotten anything, Tommy." The stress of it flooded her voice as she spoke. "I tried and tried and tried! I'm so tired of trying. I feel like the one constant thing I've had in my life is just..leaving me and I don't know what to do..."
"Hey, shh." Every part of him wanted to be there to hold her as she broke into sobs. "Listen Kim, you are not alone. I wont let you be. I'm sure Zack and Billy just need time to heal in their own way before all of you can come to the point where you can heal together. You have to give them time."
"Yeah..." Kimberly sniffled as he heard her move about on her end of the line possibly going for a tissue. Tommy waited patiently though he felt a bit restless and helpless to do more for her. It was the hardest pain to know there was so much distance between them at that moment.
"I'm really trying not to be selfish." Her voice was husky, sitting heavily in his chest.
"You're not selfish," Tommy spoke gently. "Trini meant a lot to you. She meant a lot to all of you. You're not selfish for wanting all of you to be together. All of you knew each other long before me-"
"Practically our whole lives," she whispered.
"You've been through everything together," Tommy said just as softly. He listened to her breath against his ear as silence carried between them and was replaced by the thought. He knew that in that moment memories clenched at her heart.
"When you're a kid..." Kim began before a jesting 'ha' escaped her lips. "Not even just a child, but when you're a ranger...you feel like you're superior in a way. We survived so much."
Tommy nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. From time to time you went through battles, struck down giants, and conquered everything from getting homework done in between to coming near death and surviving. Every ranger had to find out one way or another that end the day, they had as much to lose as anyone else. Underneath the power, they were still human. Living, breathing beings that would be born, live and one day die. Not since Zordon had passed, had there been a greater hit. And for most, Trini's death had been the first blow. Tommy swallowed heavily, forlornly thinking of his friends he would never come to see again.
"I just miss her so much it hurts..." her voice now at a delicate whisper.
"I miss her too." Tommy laid his hand on top his chest, whilst embracing the phone more closely to his ear with his other hand. Kim yawned softly, reminding him of how much later it was in Florida. "You should get some sleep..."
Kim moaned tiredly in response and Tommy knew she was already drifting. He waited, holding his breath to listen in more closely to her breathing settle into a more alleviating pace absent of stress and mourning.
He exhaled, eyes shut in a prayer that was foreign to his lips. He prayed that there be a blanket nestled under her chin, hugging her close with protection and warmth to ease her shivering. That her dreams were filled with no other distresses that may shake her awake during the night.
Still, as much as he prayed, Tommy pretended he laid along side her, again. When she laid with his arms around her and her head against his chest as he listened to her breathing into the late hours of the night as it crawled forward into another morning.
~Dedicated to Chanelle Summer~
Author's Note: So does anyone remember this story? Haha, I know, I've completely weaned out every one's interest. I really don't have any excuse for such a long hiatus, other than mostly, laziness. It's honestly been a long and crazy few years, and I'm slowly coming back to old passions and hoping to successfully continue on with the ventures I've started. I should be updating this within the next couple of weeks as I already a bit ahead. So thank all of you for your patience ( If there is indeed any of you left), and hopefully, I still have some potential within me to satisfy your interest in my stories. Peace to all!~ Eclipsing Flames