"Yup," Tommy replied, "they send these big cheesy looking robots down to wreck havoc on the town."
"And then these rainbow colored hero's in helmets attack the monster," Richie added, "and during the fight the monster grows to the size of, like, Godzilla?"
"Mmm hmm." Tommy agreed.
"And they were called the Power Rangers..." Richie filed this into his brain.
"Bingo," Tommy chuckled.
"And you were one of them?" Richie looked at the teen skeptically.
"Yup," Tommy took a bite of his hot dog, then added with regret in his voice, "actually I was once evil."
"Really?" Richie asked.
"You see I was under a spell," Tommy sighed, "but my friends broke it and I joined them..."
"And you stayed the Green Ranger?" Richie was having a hard time buying this.
"Well first I was the Green Ranger, then the White Ranger, then the Red Ranger," the new immortal replied, "it's really not that complicated."
"For you maybe," Richie chuckled, "but it's hard for me to swallow. I mean aliens, floating heads in glass tubes, a skinless guy, and robots the size of buildings. I just can't believe it."
"And yet you believe in immortals who go around chopping people's heads off and getting hit by lightning." Tommy retorted.
"Heh, heh. You got me there," Richie laughed.
The two new friends started to turn a corner as the walked back to the Dojo when it hit them. The presence of another Immortal. Both teens looked around to see where it was coming from. Tommy was about to tell Richie to stand back to back when a ball of fire flew towards him. Reflexively Tommy yelped and threw his arms up in front of himself to shield himself from the blast and the blinding light. He stayed that way for a while until he felt Richie's hand on his shoulder.
"Tommy?!" Richie asked as he shook his shoulder, "Yo Tommy what's wrong?"
"The fire," Tommy panted as he lowered his arms to look into the fire. "Don't you see the flames?"
Richie looked around for the flames that Tommy claimed to see but he didn't see any flames what he did see was a man that looked to be in his mid twenties, watching them. Richie sensed that he was the immortal the two of them felt. He tensed slightly as he got ready for a confrontation. Somewhere deep in his mind he thanks MacLeod for being tough on him during the training.
Tommy opened his eyes slowly to see the flames burning in front of him. But they were the familiar ghost flames that usually were around when Shana's spirit would pay him a visit. Tommy looked around expecting to see Shana, when he couldn't find her he decided to look for the source of the presence. When he looked forward he saw the man in front of them, when he finally recognized the immortal in front of him, he saw blood. As if acting on it's own his hand went to his shoulder and absently rubbed an old bullet wound. A bullet that he took for Shana but he lived, she didn't.
"You!" Tommy snarled.
"Who's he?" Richie asked taking that Tommy knew the immortal.
"The bastard that killed Shana," Tommy growled as he bolted towards the man, "and a dead man!"
"Let me go!" Tommy yelled in anger, "He killed Shana! I won't let him get away again!"
"Let him go for now," Richie was having a hard time holding the enraged teen back, "he's not worth losing your head over."
Tommy struggled with Richie, all the time keeping his eyes locked on the man in front of them. With a smirk the man nodded towards Tommy and he simply walked away laughing.
Tears of hatred were streaming down his face. The anger, the hate, and the loss were almost to much for him. As he struggled against Richie the flames died down. Out of the corner of his eye Tommy saw Shana's form in the shadows. Finally the adrenaline rush left him and he slumped onto the ground sobbing. Richie looked at him concerned.
"Shana...." Tommy whispered as he let the tears fall.
"Hang on for a moment Tommy." Duncan said as he walked out of the office. "Can I help you miss?"
The young girl looked at Duncan as she smiled. Duncan could have sworn that she had a look of fire in her eyes. "I was wondering if you knew who this man is," The young woman asked as she handed Duncan a picture.
Duncan took the picture and studied it for a moment. The blond hair, brown eyes, and hoop earring were familiar. An old enemy of Duncan's around 300 years old who had once tricked a student of Duncan's into fighting him before the student was ready.
"Yes I do," Duncan replied keeping his anger in check, "His name is Keith," he looked at the girl again and saw that her clothes were and some of her skin was burned, badly, "You're hurt."
"It's nothing." The woman sighed covering the burn with her hand, "an old wound."
"MacLeod?" Tommy called from the office, "what are you doing?"
"I'll be there in a moment," Duncan said as he looked back at the office. When he turned back to the young woman she was gone without a trace. Only lingering scent of smoke was where she stood. Duncan stood there puzzled, "where did she go?"
"Tommy let me deal with him," Duncan sighed, "He's three hundred years old and very good with a sword. You'll die."
Tommy looked at the Highlander. "Forget it. This is my fight! And I won't die. I am going to bring him to justice."
"Do you want justice or revenge Tommy?" Duncan asked.
"What do you care MacLeod?!" Tommy yelled. "You never knew Shana! You weren't like a brother to her! You never even saw a picture of her! You know nothing about her!"
"No I don't." Duncan's voice was quiet. "But I know you. And I know your emotions keep you from reaching your true potential. I don't want you fighting this man."
"And I don't care what you want. I'm going after him. He's going to pay for killing Shana." Tommy growled as he started to leave the office.
"Tommy wait," Duncan stood, "I know how Keith works... he wants you to come after him, he's planning on it."
"How do you know that?" Tommy looked at him suspicion in his eyes, "What aren't you telling me MacLeod?"
"Keith... he killed one of my students around two hundred years ago," Duncan replied, "He likes the quickenings of green immortals, young ones, he'll fight older immortals if he has two but he thinks younger ones are easier.
"Well," Tommy snorted, "I'm not easy... and I will avenge Shana's death whether you like it... or not!" with those final words the young immortal left.
Duncan sighed as he rubbed his eyes. "That kid is going to get himself killed."
"She's dead," Tommy snarled, "thanks to you."
"I see," Keith smirked. "And now you are going to kill me right?" when tommy didn't answer he continued, "You see Tommy... I know you. I studied you, I know your strengths and weaknesses. And when I kill you... I'm going to go to Angel Grove and seduce that lovely brunette you care some much about. What's her name? Kimberly..."
Keith never got a chance to finish his sentence as Tommy drew his sword and slashed him across the chest. Keith looked at him with anger filled eyes.
"You are not going anywhere near Kim!" Tommy's voice was a deadly whisper. "You are never going to hurt another woman again."
"Suit yourself," Keith shrugged as he took his sword out, "it's your funeral!"
Sparks flew as the two metal blades connected. The fight had begun and only one would win. Only one would keep his head. And both men wanted to be that one.
"Go to hell," Tommy snarled as he swung at Keith.
"No thanks," Keith replied as he blocked and hamstrung Tommy. The cry of pain made Keith smile in joy. "There can be only one and that will be me!" he raised his blade for the killing blow. "And if Kim refuses me, into the fire with her. Just like your friend!"
With those words and that thought Tommy cried out again. Not in pain but in rage and anger. He ignored the pain as he turned and blocked Keith's sword with his own and disarmed him. Tommy stabbed Keith in the gut as the blond turned for his sword. One of Shana's favorite songs ran through his mind as he stood over the dying man.
"Thou shall not fall," Tommy grunted as he stepped towards Keith. His wounds already healing, "Thou shall not fly," Flames erupted around the two, "Thou shall not hear," Keith looked at the flames in fear, his fear got more intense when he saw the girl he killed. He looked at Tommy as he raised his sword. "Thou shall not fail!" Tommy yelled as his sword neatly sliced through the skin, muscle, bone, and fat. Keith's head and body landed on the ground with a dull thud. Tommy looked around him in surprise, he thought it was over, and that was how immortal duels ended, he soon found out it was far from over. He felts sick, and scared, he didn't know what was going to happen next.
Then the quickening came.
"Thou shall not fall," It was Shana's voice. Tommy grabbed onto that voice and held it to his heart. "Thou shall not fly," Tommy's inner eyes and ears heard Kim and saw her face through the memories. He grabbed onto that also. "Thou shall not fear," both the girls that were most prominent in his heart spoke together. It was like their souls joined into one to save him. Tommy watched as an ethereal hand reached out to him through the burning and the memories. "Thou shall not fail...." Tommy heard his voice as he grasped the hand.
Then the pleasure was back. Tommy gasped again as it flowed through his body. He vaguely remembered Duncan telling him some immortal go head hunting just for that feeling, that high. Tommy now understood why, but he wasn't going to be like that. He was going to be good, for Shana, for Kimberly, for himself. Some part of his mind told him that he was holding something solid and his heart told him that it was something important. Tommy clutched it to him as he fought the addiction to the pleasure. As it ended he opened his eyes to see the world in a new way.
He opened his eyes to find he was holding Shana.
"I saw you become what you truly were Tommy." Shana whispered. "I saw you fulfill a promise you made."
"It's different." Tommy said in awe. "I'm different. You are different."
"You grew up Tommy." Shana smiled the smile Tommy loved. "As a Ranger you had a baptism of fire. This was your baptism of lightning. You can make your own choices now. Duncan can't tell you what's right or wrong. He knows you can handle yourself. And he knows that it is time for you to be on your own."
"Thank you." Tommy looked into her blue eyes. "Thank you for being here with me."
"Tommy yer my dragon." Shana whispered. "I'll always be here for ye. And as long as ye stay true to yerself, ye will never fail."
Tommy nodded as he hugged Shana tightly. She hugged him back as he closed his eyes. When he opened them he was alone again and he had one last thing he had to do. "Kim." Tommy whispered.
He had to make a decision. Will he see her again and tell her what he was? Or would he let her go and start over on his new life?
If you were in his shoes.... What would you choose?