Hunter found himself dreaming.
Not as in “he fell asleep and started to dream”, but quite literally “discovered a copy of himself whilst he was asleep”. The area that he was in, however, was not an area he wanted to discover again.
Portico Island was sinking; he could tell that much from the spurts of steam shooting up around him. Hunter was on a cliff edge overlooking the rocky beach of the west point of the island. And Blake was below him, fighting for his life.
It wasn’t the first time he’d dreamt of this. In the days and weeks and months following the Choobo debacle he’d woken several times a night, sweating and calling Blake’s name. His brother usually was still asleep in the bed across the room, snoring away while Hunter tried to convince his heart and lungs that there was no life or death situation, that everyone was fine.
He remembered every single blow. He could guess each move before Blake made it, and could recall each move that he’d countered with.
“Did he live?” a voice asked from beside him.
Hunter flinched, though whether from the voice or from a sudden blow in the fight below, no one could know. He couldn’t take his eyes from the fight below, however, so he had to believe that the voice was real and from an actual person and not a figment of his imagination.
“Why do you relive it?” the voice persisted.
“Because it’s what frightens me most in the world.” Hunter deliberately blinked, keeping his eyes closed for a few seconds before turning his head over his shoulder to reopen them.
Tommy Oliver stood a few feet back, watching him.
“What the hell are you doing in my dream?” Hunter asked.
He was further back on the cliff than where Hunter stood, either as if he were afraid of heights, or had no desire to watch what was happening below. Hunter doubted it was the first; a Ranger who leapt to and from 30-storey dragons and Megazords couldn’t have any degree of acrophobia. The second made a lot more sense; why would a veteran Ranger want to watch a stupid battle of his many times successor?
“Someone asked for help.”
Hunter turned his gaze to the horizon, steadfastly not looking down at the copy of himself and his brother struggling below. “I didn’t.”
“But you need it.” Tommy stepped forward and looked down at the fight, finally. “You need to move on.”
“No offense, Tommy, but I already knew that.”
Tommy sent him a surprised look. “You know my name?”
“My version of Billy has a small amount of data on old Rangers…”
“I object to being called ‘old’.”
“…and I studied it. I wanted…” Hunter trailed off.
Tommy stood silent. His job was to listen.
“…I wanted to have a history. I wanted to know that others went through what we are going through.” Hunter sighed.
“You wanted to know if it gets easier.”
Tommy watched as the copy of Hunter fell to the ground, the Navy Ranger straddling him with a sword at his neck.
“I’d like to say it does.”
The qualifier “but I’d be lying” went unsaid.
Hunter looked down again. He saw his Rangers suit shatter, saw himself fall to his knees and then to the sand. He saw Blake rushing over, his own suit shattering as he demorphed voluntarily. He saw Blake turn him over. Even from this height, he could see the tangible fear written on every inch of Blake.
Hunter couldn’t change what was about to happen. He’d tried, God, he’d tried. Hunter had jumped down, tried to take the blast even as his dream-self was still unconscious, but the blast had gone through him.
This was the moment where he’d shoot Blake with his Crimson Blaster. Blake would collapse, a hole burnt straight through his chest, his face still caught with a worried expression and his fist still caught in Hunter’s training gi. He would throw the body away, kick it towards the sea, and turn to the Winds – Tori would go down like Blake had, with a blast to her solar plexus; Shane’s neck would break under his Thunder Staff, and Dustin…
Hunter blinked. He was standing. And Blake was pulling him up. Just what had happened in real life.
Tommy nodded. Hunter glanced over, incredulous. “You did this?”
“You can’t let dreams rule you.” Tommy nodded again, pointing his chin at the scene below which obediently disappeared, leaving a picturesque beach.
“When you come here, meditate. Do a kata. Don’t watch what happens down there.”
“Is that what you do?” Hunter questioned. The sudden pain on Tommy’s face made him regret asking. The former White Ranger shrugged.
“That’s what I try to do.”
The two stood in silence as the waves crashed below.
“If you ever need any help getting rid of this,” Tommy said finally, “You just need to ask.”
|comments: Promo time?|