He felt an object placed at his feet. While he placed his head between his knees to defeat a sudden wave of nausia, he looked down at the item. "Very funny," he moaned, looking towards the helmet at his feet. It was blue, with a long black visor, a silver mouthpiece, and three horns. "D'ya think you can put this back in the memorial?"
Leaping to his feet, Tommy almost collapsed a second time. He was in the command center. He had been laying on an old army cot. The room was empty except for him, and Adam, who was wearing red. Zordon's tube was empty, and there was no Alpha unit scampering about, begging to scan him for injuries. Adam was sitting lazily against one of the control panels. His attention was originally on an old, battered hardcopy of "MacBeth", but he quickly marked his place and climbed to his feet.
"So you're up," Adam chuckled. "We didn't think the Putties hit you that hard." Adam flipped a switch for a function Tommy couldn't recall. "He's awake," was all Adam said before flipping the switch back to the original position.
"Putty?" Tommy mumbled. Could he have been attacked by Putties? He hadn't seen a clay hide since Rito Revolto appeared. As Tommy looked down, he nearly stumbled over the cot. He was wearing blue armor, with three diamonds, matching gloves and boots, and on his chest, the gold medallion of the Triceratops. Billy emerged from a dark corner, almost from nowhere. He was wearing black hiking boots, black jeans, and a white t-shirt with a greek-style design lining the collar and sleeves. His glasses were gone, and his hair was pretty short and styled.
"You made it, 'eh?" Billy shlyly smiled. He turned to Adam. "Vital signs?"
Adam glanced at a screen on a console unit. "Uhhnormal," he determined, still trying to read his book. "Everything looks good."
"Good." Billy folded his unusually built arms. "Tommy, maybe you should get some sleep." Billy waited for his friend to comply. "Is something wrong?" he asked sincerely. "Tommy?"
Tommy snapped back to the present. "Where am I?" he asked honestly. "I... What's going on? This shouldn't be here"
"Maybe you should demorph and have a seat, Tommy." Nodding, Tommy fumbled for his belt buckle. In seconds, the armor was gone, leaving Tommy in black jeans, a blue t-shirt, and a grayish blue flannel. As the blood faded from his face, Tommy all but fell into the cot. "Why don't you tell me what's wrong?" Billy asked, as he guided Tommy to the makeshift bed. "I know something's not right."
"Damn straight," Tommy shot. "Nothing's right." This puzzled Billy into further questioning. "I'm not the Blue Ranger the command center should be destroyed, the old powers are lost" Tommy felt Billy's hand on his shoulder.
"Tommy, none of that has even remotely happened."
With a forced breath, Tommy coughed up the words. "Then what did happen? Humor me Billy, give me everything from day one?"
Billy sighed. Ranger history was always so tedious. "Okay," he began nonetheless, "It began about four years ago. Adam, Rocky, yourself, Kat, and Trini were in the youth center. An Earthquake hit, and before a support beam fell on the lot of you, you were teleported here.
"Zordon saved you. He told you how an ancient evil, Lord Zedd, had returned from a distant galaxy to conquer Earth. Once the five of you agreed, he created the Power Rangers. Adam was the leader in red, Rocky took Black, you were given blue, Kat became pink and Trini was handed yellow.
"Once you showed Zedd you were a formidable force, he played his trump card. I had just moved to Angel Grove. I was a bit of a bookworm, and while taking a shortcut through the alley, I was kidnapped by Putties.
"In his chamber, Zedd told me I was chosen to be his Green Ranger. He even gave me extra armor to ensure victory. Even though I didn't look like much, I was quite the fighter. Although Zedd didn't overlook my IQ.
"While Goldar called you out, I teleported to the Command Center. Being an expert hacker, I knew how to trash everything without actually trashing it. I infected Alpha with a virus, which totally destroyed his programming, and Zordon was never found." A small tear ran down Billy's cheek. "To make a long story short, the spell Zedd had me under was broken. The rest of you begged me to stay, but I couldn't trust the Green Power. I rejected the power, but the five of you wouldn't let me leave. You used your powers to create a new one. I became the White Ranger, and the leader of the team.
"And then we suffered a loss. It wasn't Zedd. It wasn't a Putty. As she was walking down the street about two years ago, a drunk driver came out of nowhere, and killed Trini." Billy wiped his eyes quickly to hide his pain. "I almost turned it in. I lost my teammate. I lost my girlfriend. I lost my will. Just when I was at my lowest, Kat snapped me out of my funk.
"She reminded me of what it meant to be a Ranger. That I should not focus only on Zedd. We aren't just defenders of the Earth, we're protectors of those we care about, and those we don't even know.
"It didn't take long before we found Tanya. And since that time, the Rangers stopped being superheroes, and started being people. U.N. meetings, anti-drug rallies, shopping mall appearances, whatever we could to let people know that we were here for them."
Billy's words left Tommy speechless. Indeed the Rangers were always viewed as heroes rather than the average person. Which brought another point to Tommy's mind. "That never happened to me."
"Huh?" Billy simply responded.
Tommy quickly outlined his experiences with the Rangers from start to finish.
"This is incredible" he breathed, "I've theorized, but I never put too much stock in it." Seeing Tommy's blank stare, Billy elaborated. "An alternate reality. When I was reading over Zordon's journals, he mentioned his thoughts on alternate realities. He said that if two people, the same people in two different worlds, did the same thing, and the same time, that it was possible for destiny to get confused, and switch them without anyone noticing except those switched."
"So you think I was switched with your Tommy?"
"Either that or you're insane." Billy cracked. "I'll have the computers scan for it tonight. Right now, I think you should head upstairs and get some sleep. Before you ask, we've got a pretty cool living area up there."
"Tommy?" The young man spun around to meet Kat. She was in white sweat pants, and a pink t-shirt. Adequate sleeping attire in a mixed non-romantically-enclined apartment. "Is everything okay? I was on my watch when I noticed you were up here." She gently sat down next to the young man.
"I guess Billy told you, 'eh?"
"Billy tells me everything," Kat nodded.
"You two are pretty close, huh?"
"As serious as it gets." she admitted. "Homesick?"
Tommy didn't need to respond, but he did. "Yeah, I miss 'em. My friends, my family."
"Don't you have anyone special at home?"
Tommy felt a pain in his heart. "I At one time. She was a Ranger, like me. We'd probably still be together, but she got an offer to train for the Pan-Global games. I didn't want her to miss out on her chance of a lifetime. I told her to go ahead and do it. Then she wrote me saying she met someone else. Maybe it worked better for her."
"Did you ever find anyone else?"
"Yes and no," he answered in the way he felt. "I found someone, but not who I need. If I get back, I should probably tell her. She needs someone who needs her. It's not right to allow her to think what she does."
"Well maybe you can straighten everything out once you get back home."
"Maybe, but I still have no idea how I'm gonna do that."
The former PI was washing a glass when he glared at the Blue Ranger. "Eugene" he stressed, pointing to his nametag. "Geez, serve a guy for four years and he forgets your name."
"Tommy's suffering from some selective amnesia." Billy informed.
"When isn't he?" Skull joked about Tommy's forgetfulness. "Anyway guys, what'll it be?" He put down the glass and prepared a pen for their order.
"Turkey sandwich, extra mayo." Billy requested.
"Umm just an orange juice," Tommy followed. His eyes drifted to the end of the youth center. A familiar figure was gracefully moving along the balance beam.
"Who's the new girl?" Billy asked Eugene. "Her name's Kimberly. Real nice."
Tommy's jaw dropped as he whispered the name. "Kimberly?" The girl on the beam turned to meet Tommy's eyes. She froze, stopping her routine. She simply stood on the beam, staring at the Blue Ranger. Billy elbowed him in the ribs. Eugene gently pushed him off the chair, both telling Tommy to talk to her.
Cautiously, Tommy walked to the beam. He used every ounce of courage he could to speak. "Hi...." he simply uttered.
Kimberly had an identical reaction. She lowered herself to the ground. "Hi...." she returned. The two simply gazed at each other for moments.
"I, uh... I saw your routine. It was pretty good," he finally managed.
Fumbling her hands, Kimberly found the words. "Oh... thanks. I don't know, it's just something I do for fun. Some guy wanted me to train for the Pan-Global's, but it wasn't my thing. I really want to concentrate on my music."
"You're a musician too?" Tommy tried to act surprised, but he knew Kimberly was a woman of many attributes. "Singer? Piano?"
"Guitar," she answered with a smile. "I've been putting a lot of time into it, and sending out demo tapes to a couple studios, but nothing yet."
"Maybe they just don't know what they're missing out on?"
Kimberly raised an eyebrow. "You're laying it on pretty thick aren't you?" Tommy blushed. "I didn't catch your name."
"Tommy Oliver." he extended his hand, taking hers.
"Kimberly Hart. So Tommy Oliver, you wanna show a girl where she can get something to get lunch around here?"
"Hey, Billy. What're you doing out here?"
"I found a way to get you home."
"Really?" Tommy's eyes lit up. "How?"
"I can't send you directly to your Earth. However, if we can find a nexus, something accesible from both worlds...."
"The dark dimension!" Tommy cried. "My friends and I've been there dozens of times! Tell me you've heard of it!"
"I have. It's where I spent my time as the Green Ranger. But we'll need both gateways open. If the doorway to your world is still closed, it won't work."
"Don't worry, we've got a genius on the otherside, I think he'll be able to figure it out."
"I'll send a probe to monitor movement in the dimension. That way we won't have to sit there until your friends arrive."
As the group hug ended, he carefully approached his duplicate. "How's it goin', handsome?" he flashed the seemingly universal Oliver smile.
Tommy eyed his double, noticing the two to be identical in physical form. "Y'know there's something you should know."
The other put up a hand for silence. "Don't worry about it." He extended his hand. As the two Tommys shook, both groups left the dimension in a flash of purple light.