Disclaimer: Rangers: Me, no. Saban, yes. JLA and other DC heroes: again, me, no. DC, yes. If you are an Aquaman fan, TURN BACK NOW!!! This will not be your cup of tea. If, however, like me, you want to have the so-called ‘king-of-the-sea’ as the guest of honor at a modern day lynching, you will enjoy this tale. Note: This story takes place two weeks after “Kimberly, Zack, and Trini: Warrior Rangers.”
When Heroes Fall
By Carl Turner
By Carl Turner
Trini Kwan felt a twinge of deja vu and longing as Black Canary took both her and Jason Lee Scott on a tour of the Hall of Justine in Metropolis. Deja vu, because some of the League’s earlier cases mirrored some of the Rangers’ early adventures. Longing, because she wished she could have been a part of those cases. Barely a month ago, she and the other six Rangers had become the newest members of the Justice League of America.
Jason was soon standing in front of a portrait of the original Leaguers, completely fascinated, and had a lot of questions, such as… “How was it, I mean, your first few adventures as a team?”
Black Canary told him, “Not too differently from yours. Then, we were all very different people, full of piss and vinegar, along with a good dose of righteous anger, ready to take on the scum of the Earth.”
Trini had the next question. “We know what happened to the original Flash and Green Lantern, but what happened to Aquaman? There’s virtually nothing on him.”
Black Canary growled, “That is something we have been asking ourselves for the past eight years. Somehow, four years after we got together, he changed, and not for the better. He disbanded the League, and replaced most of the team with a group of complete idiots who had absolutely no business whatsoever ever crimefighters. The press called the U.N. funded League ‘an expensive joke.’ Wrong on all counts. Sure, they were ridiculous at times, and admitting Guy Gardner was a major faux pas, but at least they actually got the job done.
Aquaman’s team was the real joke, no teamwork, no interplay, nothing but powers and attitude. J’onn and Aquaman were proud of that motley crew of turkeys. I respect J’onn’s opinion, and still do to this day. But, as far as fish-face goes…”
Trini and Jason gasped in surprise. “Fish-face?” They had no idea that her contempt of the one-time Sea King ran so deep. However, it seemed they had only scratched the surface.
“He had already begun to change at that point. He blamed the entire surface world for his own failures and stupidity. When his JLA went down in flames, he saw this as the last straw.
He began to reject any ideas and thoughts other than his own. When he resigned this last time, no one, not even Power Girl, cared one bit. His actions soon reflected this new murderous attitude, as he began attacking waterfront cities and destroying lives. When he initiated an assault on an underwater farming project, he destroyed ten years of work which would have helped ease world hunger. He also crippled and nearly killed all the personnel assigned to the project. And, as time went on, he just got even worse, with no remorse to what he had done.”
Trini spoke up then, “Man, that’s low. From hero to complete bastard, I mean, that has to be a major 180.”
Black Canary continued, “His recent escapades prove he’s only gotten worse. In fact, just one month before you and the other Rangers joined, he used his powers to demolish the waterfront district of Gateway City, and would have tried to trash the entire city, if Wonder Woman wasn’t there. I’m happy to say that she stopped his rampage and beat him shitless. Unfortunately, he was able to escape.”
“I’ve seen him on recent broadcasts. It’s almost as if he’s just remaking the entire planet in his own image. But, didn’t the other Green Lantern try to do that?” Jason asked.
“There’s a slight difference, Jason. From everything I’ve ever read, he was villainous for less than one year, and towards the end, he began to atone for his misdeeds, even though it cost him his life. It seems that Aquaman has absolutely no intention of reforming whatsoever,” Trini told him.
At that very moment, all three JLA signal devices went off. The Flash was clearly disgusted. “He’s done it. The point of no return. Teleport to the Watchtower.” All three knew who he meant.
Soon, the entire JLA had assembled, including all seven Power Rangers. Batman was even grimmer than usual. “Rangers, Aquaman plans to destroy Angel Grove and all of its population. No ransom demands, no negotiations, nothing. He plans to wipe out any and all continents, beginning with North America, Angel Grove beings the focal point.”
“We’ve discovered that he’s somehow got hold of Rita Repulsa’s book of spells and incantations. He’s into mass destruction and black magic now. The worst thing is, we don’t have any idea how he got his hand on the book,” Isis told everyone.
“Oh, man, that book was trouble times 90 in Rita’s hands. I don’t even want to know what sushi-boy can do with that!” Samantha Dean spoke up.
“We should contact your mentor, Zordon, and ask him bout what our ‘Sleaze-of-the-Sea’ can do with this thing,” Hawkman told them
Robin asked, “Wonder Woman, do you think he’ll try to destroy Gateway City again?”
“I wouldn’t put it past him. Meanwhile, we have another mystery on our hands. Tommy, you can help me with this one. You started out as the Green Ranger, right?”
“Well, a friend of mine, Phil, has found a coin similar to the one you had as a Green Ranger. If it is like that, could it give him your old powers?”
“It could, if it is the second green coin. Considering what’s going on, we need another Ranger, even a temporary one.”
“I’ll contact Phil and tell him you’re coming. Tell him all about the Green Ranger’s powers and see if he’ll help us out,” Wonder Woman told us.
Within minutes, Tommy and Green Lantern were in Dayton, Ohio. “There’s the address WW gave us, Tommy. Let’s go,” Green Lantern said.
Phil’s first response to what greeted him on his doorstep was quite simply, “God, it’s too damn early in the morning for this crap. Go away!”
“Mr. Farrell, Diana sent us. We really are the White Ranger and Green Lantern, and we could really use your help. Can we depend on you to do this?” Tommy asked.
“If I can. How?”
“Diana told us that you found a coin with strange energy coming out of it. Could we see this coin, please?” Green Lantern asked.
“Here! Take this damn thing, and get it out of my sight! Since I found the thing, I’ve had nothing but trouble and grief. Who the hell needs that crap?” Phil growled as he handed the coin to Tommy.
As the White Ranger held the coin, he noticed the power starting to fade. “What in the hell? GL, look at this.”
“Uh-oh. Ah, Phil, would you hold the coin for a second?” Green Lantern asked. He reluctantly did so, and the power returned to full. Phil had an instinctive response. “Oh, hell no!”
Tommy began, “We have to test it to make sure, but if it is what we think it is, we have a huge favor to ask…”
“NO! My life is full of headaches and grief as it is now! I don’t need this insanity in my life! No way!” Phil growled, then continued, “My fiancee is in a coma, my career as a performer seems to be on permanent hold, my uncle is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, now this?!? If I knew that being friends with Diana would bring stuff like this…”
“Uh, just how did you and Diana meet, anyway? Truth be told, you strike me as the type who wouldn’t have a superhero as a friend, much loss tolerate all that comes with it,” Tommy asked him.
“Well, three years ago, the Cheetah came to Dayton, intent on stealing rare silver pieces from the Art Institute, and other rare items. I forget what they were. Anyway, Diana tracked her here. While she was in pursuit, she ran and collided into me in front of the Victoria Theatre downtown where I was heading for an audition. We traded some four-letter insults, and then we both calmed down. She helped me get my audition, and I was able to help her set up the Cheetah and put her away. And we’ve been tight ever since.”
“What type of performer are you?” Tommy asked.
“Musician, comedian, actor. But, considering my fiancee’s condition, I really haven’t done much in that field lately. She was one of these people who were in Florida working on a underwater farming project when a…”
“…huge wave crashed into the area with deadly results? Oh, my God, it couldn’t be… could it?” Green Lantern asked.
Tommy immediately grasped what he was getting at. “You think Aquaman caused that disaster? My God, he really has gone past the limit.”
Phil also got the idea. “That son of a bitch was responsible for Michelle being in a coma? And you say that this coin will only work for me?” he asked, looking at the coin in his hand.
“Wait a minute! The idea is to catch him and put him away, if possible, not kill the guy! I’ve been Green Lantern for two years now, and I’ve learned that being a hero does not involved that sort of revenge.”
Before the matter could be discussed any further, the signal went off. Tommy responded, “Go ahead, we read you.”
“Teleport to the Watchtower right away, the stakes went up, big time,” Hawkman told them.
Phil stopped them both. “I’m coming with you, and before you say anything else, the coin will only work for me, so I might as well come along. Besides, I can keep my emotions in check, and Id don’t have it in me to kill anyone, no matter what. Besides, you probably need all the help you can get, don’t you?”
Tommy said in resignation, “OK. Hold on to my shoulder. Hawkman, three to teleport now.”
Within seconds, Hawkman and Zordon were outlining what Aquaman had created with the book of spells. “It seems that he’s been able to create an army of the undead from the sea… zombies, if you will, to do his bidding, along with a batch of sea golems, animated bodies of water, as a backup, unstoppable force. He’s already destroyed a good portion of the waterfront area of Angel Grove, along with killing nearly 50 people. He can’t turn back now, we have to stop him at all costs, by any and all means necessary.”
Zack Taylor told them, “But we took an oath to never take another life, no matter what.”
“In this case, Zack, this may be the only way. I have told all of you Rangers that all life is scared, but anyone who kills indiscriminately, with no remorse, and at his level of power, vastly increased, there is no other option. No prison can hold him, he’s too deadly to keep under observation, and he’s much too deadly and vicious to be allowed to go free,” Zordon told him from the special tube that Green Lantern had created for him.
“We’d better teleport to Angel Grove now! And this time, the gloves are off!” Hawkwoman stated.
Zordon told them, “First, Phil, you have the Dragonzord coin. Now, accept your morpher.” In a flash, a Ranger morpher appeared in his hands. “Go now with your fellow Justice Leaguers, Rangers, and may the power protect you all.”
Kimberly Hart asked, “You know what happens next, don’t you?”
Phil said nervously, “Yeah. Here goes. DRAGONZORD!”
There was a blinding flash of green light, and in seconds it faded, and there was the new Green Ranger standing there. “OK, let’s do it,”
Hawkman yelled. “Right. Move out!”
Angel Grove was total pandemonium. People running in total panic from all of the zombies caused chaos and leaving blood-filled streets in their wake. Isis and Hawkman sent Billy to Atlantis to recapture the book. Hawkman’s communicator beeped. “Did you get it?”
“Yeah. I just sent it to Zordon. He’s trying to come up with a way to defeat those things. I’m on my way over there now. Billy out.”
“Your days of terrorizing are over, ugly! Eat size nine!” Zack yelled, and did a flying kick alongside Robin. The two connected with the zombie’s head, knocking it off. When this happened, the body collapsed, and then disappeared.
“That’s how we handle the zombies. Remove the head, it falls apart!” Trini yelled.
“But what about the water golems… and THAT?!” Samantha Dean shouted.
“Oh my God. Aquaman used a growth spell on himself!” Green Lantern yelled.
“Well, we can’t call the Zords, the golems will overwhelm you guys. What the hell do we do now?!” Jason yelled.
Kimberly shouted, “Hey guys! Zordon just told me that any Ranger can take the size of a MegaZord for a brief period of time, but with that huge golem and Fish-face himself, two of us have to do it, but I kinda have my hands full at the moment.” She was protecting a troop of Girl Scouts from zombies using her Power Bow.
Jason bellowed, “I’ll do it!”
Phil added, “So will I!”
Soon, the two were concentrating on their sources of power, and in seconds, both grew to the size of the ThunderMegazord. “Phil, you take care of the big monster, I’ll take the Turncoat-Chicken of the Sea!” Jason shouted.
The ultra golem was about to march into town and destroy everything in sight. Phil blocked it at every turn, making several kicks and punches, all made contact, but since the creature was made of water, they had little or no effect.
“This is really getting me steamed. Wait. Steam. That’s it! And since dragons were supposed to breathe fire… worth a shot.” The Green Ranger concentrated hard, and a huge ball of fire materialized in front of him. “Hope you like spicy food, you son of a bitch!” he yelled, and hurled the fireball right at the golem, striking it’s head, and having the desired effect, turning it into whisps of steam.
In turn, with the big monster out of the way, the smaller monsters quickly evaporated, leaving only the zombies, which the Rangers and JLAers quickly took care of.
Meanwhile, Jason was taking a real beating from Aquaman at first, but slowly but the upper hand. Each time Aquaman tried to thrust with his hook, Jason parried with his sword. “Man, why the hell are you doing this? You were a hero, once! Don’t you give a damn about what you’re doing?”
“Hell, no, not for the past seven years! Your world is a rotting husk! No one here was worth risking my life for, so now I’m getting rid of this cancerous realm once and for all! Your world is pure trash!” Aquaman snarled.
“Who said your world was a utopia? Wake up, damn you! Only one person is responsible for your life and your feelings.. YOU! Go sell that bullshit somewhere else, you stupid bastard!”
“You young punk, you really think I give a damn anymore? Hell, no! None of you can stop me, and I will rid this world of land masses, and none of you can stop me. The only way to do that is to kill me! None of you can ever hope to have the guts to do that, ever!”
“Wrong, I can do that. I have to stop you. I have to do this.” Jason’s voice lowered as he steeled himself for what he had to do next. Aquaman advanced on him.
“Don’t make me do this,” Jason whispered.
As Aquaman fired his harpoon-hook at the young hero, Red Ranger dived out of the way, weaving in and out of the line of fire with his Power Sword at the ready, driving it into Aquaman’s rib cage, just below his heart.
“I’m really… surprised. For a… lousy punk… Ranger, I didn’t think… you had it in… gasp… you,” a surprised Aquaman choked.
“Wherever you wind up, I truly hope you receive your just due,” Jason whispered as he prepared to deliver the final, killing blow. “I never wanted to do this, but if I don’t, this world will never get another chance. May God have forgiveness on you, because I don’t think you’ll get any here.”
With one swing, Jason beheaded Aquaman, and watched as his body fell into the sea. He then returned to normal size, and promptly took off his helmet and ran behind a tree, throwing up and crying. In minutes, Hawkman was at his side, along with Tommy, who was worried about his best friend.
Hawkman looked at the Young Ranger. “Jason, all that I can tell you is that, hopefully, you can use this to help you one day. Believe me, this is something you never truly get over. It kills you inside, but you can’t let it destroy you, not in this line of work.”
Tommy spoke up then, “He’s right, Jason. You did what you had to do. It’s over. You did the right thing.”
“No. This can never be called right. Never,” Jason wept.
One Month Later
Jason was outside of the Command Center, looking into the sky. The tears were gone, the self-loathing was nearly gone, along with an unknown hollow feeling. Only the guilt remained.
He soon realized that Hawkman was behind him. “Did Phil make a decision about his powers yet?”
“Yeah. He’s decided it’s not for him. His girlfriend’s just come out of that coma, and she’s recovering nicely, his career seems to be back on track, but he feels that being the Green Ranger would make her a target, and send his career right down the toilet. Zordon’s got the coin now, but asked Phil to be a reserve member, just in case. He’s performing at a comedy club in Dayton,” Hawkman said.
“You know something? I could use a good laugh right about now.”
“Still gets to you, doesn’t it? Jason, remember, he crossed the line a long time ago. He had to be stopped. Your fellow Rangers could be plotting revenge against Aquaman right now, if he had gotten his way. There was no other way to handle the situation.”
“God, I wish there were. Do you think there will be anyone who remembers him the way he was? I mean, before he changed?”
“I don’t know. But his crimes were so hideous, almost worldwide genocide, that I doubt that anyone on this planet would ever look at him in a favorable light again.”
“Man. You’re right. I just wish it made it easier. Now, let’s go to that comedy club. I could use a few good laughs right now. Thanks.”
“Anytime. Now, come on, Jason. They’re waiting for us.”
As they both headed inside, Jason started to feel better about himself and tried to forgive himself for what he had done. Not completely better, but getting there.
The End… for now
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