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A spaceship orbiting the planet Allandia

Gruumm, supreme ruler of the Troobian Empire, sat in the throne room aboard his spaceship. The view currently displayed on the screen- the bright-green planet of Allandia as seen from space- was one that might be considered serene and beautiful. If you cared for that sort of thing, that is. Gruumm... couldn't care less, really. As far as he was concerned, the planet was just another ball of dirt full of resources he could strip. Well, not so full now, actually.

"We have taken all that we can from Allandia," Gruumm growled over the speaker to his minions. "The life forms have fled and the planet is useless to me. Destroy it!"

Now that was a sight the Emperor could truly appreciate, as the once-thriving planet was reduced to so many chunks of rubble. It was time, now, to initiate the next phase of his plan: get those pesky Power Rangers out of the way. And that meant sending a squadron of fighters to the relatively peaceful and pathetically underdefended Helix Nebula.

"Victory is near. If I know Cruger he will send his best and brightest to stop the attack, leaving Earth completely defenseless," Gruumm cackled, apparently unconcerned that as the throne room's only occupant, he was talking to himself.

Newtech City, 2023

Much as Gruumm had expected, word quickly reached SPD- and Cruger. The command center of SPD's Earth base was hectic on a good day. Today was not shaping up to be a good day. And it was only 3am.

"Commander Cruger, Sir! We have a problem in the-" the officer seated at the console devoted to the long-range sensors started to say.

"9th sector. I am aware," Cruger held up a hand, interrupting him. "Allandia has been destroyed and Gruumm is moving in on the Helix Nebula. There’s not a lot of time and much to be done." Standing up from the command chair, he flagged down the communications officer. "Send a coded transmission to A-Squad with orders to proceed to the Helix Nebula. Then contact the vehicle bay and have a shuttle prepared for launch. I have a call to make," Cruger announced as he headed out of the command center and down the hall to his office.

Fandom, Late Thirty

It was approximately Late Thirty (the kind of Late Thirty where it could also legitimately be called Early Thirty) on the island of Fandom, and everyone was snug in their beds.

Until at two places on the island, communicators started beeping simultaneously.

In a cabin niche, Z Delgado found her communicator with a not-inconsequential amount of sleepy flailing. Meanwhile, it took Bridge Carson a bit longer, largely since, in his dazed and confused state, he kept attempting to make his phone shut up. But he figured it out eventually. Cue the split-screen! "Cadets," Cruger began as soon as they were both on the line, "I know you were expecting to have another week before being recalled, but the situation has changed. A shuttle will arrive on the causeway in exactly one hour. I expect both of you to be on it."

Z frowned at her communicator and continued trying to pretend her hair was presentable. "What's going on?"

Bridge, who was more adept in the ways of SPD and recognized the klaxon sounding in the background of Cruger's transmission, told her, "It's code five."

"Is that bad?"

"Put it this way, code three is bad."

So that was more bad, then? "What's happening?"

Cruger told them, "A full scale attack has been launched against our federation in the Helix Nebula. You will receive a full briefing upon your arrival. Cruger out."

On the MCA 0 side of the splitscreen (that Cruger wasn't seeing anymore anyway), there was a face over Bridge's shoulder, topped by a tangled mop of dark hair that he hadn't even bothered to try for 'presentable' with. Awake, though, that came naturally almost as soon as the communicator started beeping. "So much for the honeymoon." His voice was surprisingly ...unsurprised. Some things don't change, after ten years working with Slayers.

"Yeah," Bridge sighed. "Stupid code five."

[ooc: Mostly establishy, though if anyone is experiencing a bout of insomnia and would like to catch any of the three on their way to the causeway, they're welcome to. Posted much later than late-thirty because *I* am definitely not insomniac.

ETA: This was all here the whole time. Really. Non-Fandom parts NFB for distance, in-Fandom stuff is fair game.]

Date: 2008-08-17 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jen had been up and wandering around the island in a restless, desperate-to-avoid-mopeyness haze since she'd gotten back from the wedding, as it happened.

She'd kept trying to wander off the island, only to end up back on the causeway again, and having at least a passable sense of where the threshold lay between 'give it another shot' and 'definition of insanity' had since settled for pacing the length of the causeway instead.

So it wouldn't have been hard at all for her to catch certain late-night travelers heading out.

Date: 2008-08-17 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Blink. Blink blink blink.

"Jen? What're you doing up at..." he glances down at his watch, which is telling him it's apparently noon. Somehow that seems wrong. "Stupid o'clock," he tries.

Date: 2008-08-17 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jen shakes her head and does her best to damp down what she's feeling; she'll be damned if she puts a dent in his happiness today because she's jealous.

"Portal travel messes with me," she says, and it's at least partly true -- vague, slightly unsettling flashbacks to going through that last time vortex. "Haven't been able to sleep. What are you doing up at stupid o'clock on your wedding night?"

Date: 2008-08-17 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bridge sighs. "Got a call from home. Things have gone from bad to worse, so they need us back right away instead of a week from now."

Date: 2008-08-17 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jen pales slightly; according to the history she knew, it should've been a week from now. Oh, crap -- what if she'd breathed at some point she shouldn't have, and that bumped things up a week?

And isn't that a train of thought destined for tangled flamey doom.

"I guess," is what she says instead, "it's a good thing I couldn't sleep tonight, then."

Date: 2008-08-17 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Well, I wouldn't call lack of sleep 'good', but I'm not gonna complain about getting to say goodbye," Bridge admits.

Date: 2008-08-17 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jen nods, a bit fiercely. "I never complain about getting the chance to say goodbye. I'd rather not ever have to say it again at all, though, but if I have to, well."

Date: 2008-08-17 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"If you have to it should involve hugs," Bridge says seriously.

Date: 2008-08-17 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Absolutely," she replies with equal solemnity.

Date: 2008-08-17 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And that, of course, is Bridge's cue to pounce on Jen.

Date: 2008-08-17 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jen has no objection whatsoever to being pounced on, not when it's Bridge at least.

"You guys look out for each other, okay?" She's not usually the one with the quaver in her voice, but today she is. "You know . . . I never got a chance to tell you how important it was to me that I met you when I first got here."

One of these days, she thinks, she's going to have to learn better than to leave these things unsaid until the last minute.

Date: 2008-08-17 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"We will," Bridge promises. "I'm glad I got the chance to get to know you- the real you, not just the name from the lessons in Ranger History class."

Date: 2008-08-17 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Hey." She nudges him slightly and forces a laugh. "You're just going back home. It's only a few years away, and it's not like we can't portal, or write, or something, is it? It's not like you're done getting to know me."

Someone's still a little bitter about that, but can you blame her?

Date: 2008-08-17 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Well, no," Bridge says. "I'm probably done getting to know your ship, though," he jokes.

Date: 2008-08-17 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's the attempt at a joke that breaks through Jen's self control just enough for an unmistakable sniffle to slip out.

"It's going to miss you too," she says. "I guess this means I should actually get it off the beach, now that it can fly again."

Date: 2008-08-17 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Uh *huh*," Bridge says emphatically. "Ships need to be used."

Date: 2008-08-17 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I don't think this one's ever going to get used for its original purpose again," Jen says slowly. "But it can at least fly, and that's something, right? I'll have to log some practice hours though. I was never that good at it."

Date: 2008-08-18 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bridge gives Jen a searching look at the 'original purpose' comment. It's not that he didn't *know* her chances of going back home were incredibly unlikely, but it's another thing altogether to have that pretty much confirmed.

"Maybe wait until the island moves again," Bridge suggests. "This doesn't seem like the best of places to practice flying."

Date: 2008-08-18 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Yeah, that'd be a bad idea right now," Jen agrees. "I'd kind of like to stay where I can keep in touch with you guys. Plus with you-know-who both here . . ."

Date: 2008-08-18 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Are you gonna be okay?" Bridge is all too familiar with the want-but-can't-have dilemma. Of course, the "can't have" part eventually resolved itself, he reflects as he glances over at Xander.

Date: 2008-08-18 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Considering I thought I'd never get a chance to see either of them again?" Jen manages a shaky laugh. "It's the better alternative."

Date: 2008-08-17 08:02 pm (UTC)
multiplez: (Default)
From: [personal profile] multiplez
Finally, the causeway. And it didn't look like the shuttle was here yet. And...Jen. Z threw her bags down to actually fasten her uniform jacket and say, "Oh, hey, Jen, what're you doing here?"

Date: 2008-08-17 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Saying goodbye, apparently," replied Jen, somehow glad she'd never changed out of her uniform. And that the badge was still shiny. "Which wasn't originally part of the insomnia schedule, but I think it works out."

Date: 2008-08-17 08:13 pm (UTC)
multiplez: (Default)
From: [personal profile] multiplez
"How did you know we're--" Z looked down at her bags. Oh yeah. "Forget I asked that."

Date: 2008-08-17 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Trying for a joke, Jen offered, "I can't think of any good reason you guys would want to be heading for the causeway at this hour . . . unless you think it's fun to keep walking and suddenly find yourself coming the other way. And the luggage sort of doesn't point to that option."


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