Chapter 12: A Blazing Grace
At the Angel Grove Falls Scout Ranch, Zhane and his rappelling staff each manned their respective posts. Zhane was the top facilitator and he coached
the scouts over the edge of the tower. Zhane was there to offer advice
to first-time and repeat scouts. He didn't want to see anyone get hurt.
The next scout moved into position on the tower and Zhane secured
the rope to the boy's harness. Zhane waved his hand at Mike Bennett,
who was on belay. He signaled that the scout was ready to rappell and
to give him some slack on the rope. Mike loosened the rope, but kept
his eyes on the scout in case he slipped. Satisfied with Mike's belay
technique, Zhane switched webbing anchors and locked his carabineer
into another section of wall. Looking down, he saw another one of his
staff, a good friend of his, John Elder. John was checking harnesses and
making sure each was double looped and all the gear was in good
condition. Zhane looked over the side of the four walled tower. On
wall 'four' he checked to see if anyone was present on the ground below.
Seeing no one, he yelled, "Wet rock, wall four!" and he spat over the
edge. This was the tower staff's ongoing joke. In actuality, it was required to yell 'rock' when dropping anything from the top of the tower, from gear to an empty canteen. Zhane looked behind him and saw smoke rising from the east. Not wanting to frighten the scouts, he calmly reached for his radio and said, "Health Lodge?" He waited several moments until he received a reply from the Health Lodge director and camp EMT, Stephen Rudnick. "Health Lodge...go," Stephen said through the radio. Zhane keyed the mic and said, "Steve, we've got smoke rising from the east, it appears to be near the falls." After what seemed like an eternity, Zhane heard the fire alarm. He leaned over the edge and circled his hand in the air. "Break it down guys!" he cried to his staff. In under five minutes, Zhane and the staff had most of the tower broken down. John and Mike told the campers to walk to the dining hall for a head count. "Mike, catch!" Zhane yelled, as he tossed down the radio. "Go on without me, I'm going to wrap up here...you'd better check me in!" The tower staff dashed to fire station four, right across the road from the Eagle's Nest, which was the camp staff's quarters location. Once everyone was out of site, Zhane tapped his communicator. "Alpha, what's going on?" Zhane asked. He stared at the horizon as the smoke pillar grew. Zhane could see flames beginning to peek over the tops of trees in the distance. "Ai yi yi! Zhane, it appears to be a normal forest fire. Zhane, there are campers in that area!" "How many?" Zhane asked hurriedly. "Three, and one of them is unconscious." Alpha's robot voice replied through the tiny speaker on the communicator. Zhane lowered his communicator, "The staff won't get to them in time..." he said quietly to himself as he reached behind his back. "It's Morphin' Time!" he cried, as he held his morpher out in front of him. Red lightning and raw energy flowed around him. "Tyrannosaurus!" the teen cried as the power consumed him and he transformed into the Red Dino Ranger. He Leapt off the tower and landed in a crouched position on the dirt road that lead to the entrance of the camp. He held his arm to the sky while clutching his Morpher Buckle. In a red flash, DinoRed teleported to the scouts before they were killed by smoke inhalation or worse...burned.
DinoRed appeared across the falls, on the opposite side of where the three boys were. Zhane looked through his visor noticing the inferno quickly spreading. Zhane began to panic because he couldn't find the trio of boys that were in
peril. Zhane looked down at the creek, with the falls at the
other end. 'The creek should be an adequate water barrier,
so the fire won't ever reach the camp.' he thought to himself.
'But I have to find those boys, and fast.' His ears perked
under his helmet, as the helmet's ultra sensitive hearing had
picked up a barely audible, "Help!" from the distance. The
only time he could hear this was while he was morphed.
DinoRed leapt over the creek and landed on the other side.
He glanced up and quickly rolled out of the way to avoid a
falling tree that had caught fire. He slowly stood up and
listened again for another cry of help, but it never came.
Zhane moved his gloved hand up to the side of his helmet
over his ear and contacted the Power Chamber. "Alpha, I
need a bioscan of the area." Alpha's response came quickly,
"Zhane, the kids are north, north-west of your location." DinoRed looked to the direction Alpha had just told him and saw nothing but fire. While running head on into what looked like the gates of hell, the Red Ranger called forth the Dragon Shield. Golden light surrounded his chest as the shield covered his torso. The Dragon Dagger appeared on the left side of his belt. He was running as fast as he could. DinoRed leapt over fallen trees and the flames seemed to bite at his armored form. The flames couldn't hurt him, but he avoided them as if he wasn't morphed. Alpha continued to speak to Zhane through his helmet. "Zhane, one of the boy's vitals are fading quickly!" said the robot from inside the Power Chamber. "Alpha! Don't tell me that!" cried Zhane. "Just tell me how many yards I have 'til I get to them!" Zhane continued, trying to get his mind off of what Alpha just relayed to him. "Zhane, it is approximately sixty yards until you reach their location!" said Alpha, his robotic voice revealing worry. DinoRed picked up speed. 'Sixty yards...the Order of the Arrow ceremony ring' he thought to himself, realizing where the boys were. "Forty yards," Alpha told him. "Twenty-five," the robot continued. "Fifteen," Alpha called out Zhane's final distance as DinoRed leapt through the air and into a small clearing. He quickly looked around and found the campers. The two boys were trying to move their unconscious friend with a makeshift stretcher. DinoRed reached down and picked up the boy and told the other two to touch his arms. Hearing the crack of a very large tree, Zhane looked up through his visor and was alarmed at what he saw. "ALPHA! GET US OUT OF HERE! NOW!" Zhane commanded to the robot. Alpha touched a button and the four teleported out of the blaze just as a huge burning oak fell to the ground where the quartet had been standing.
The Red Ranger appeared at the Health Lodge in a wash of light and opened the door to the building. He quickly carried the boy into an empty patient room. Stephen stood up, forgetting that he was on the phone with the fire department. The EMT's eyes widened as he watched the Red Power Ranger set the boy down on a table. "There are two more outside...but this is the one you need to worry about!" the Red Ranger told the surprised medic. Steven grabbed his walkie-talkie, "Dr. Rutherford, I need medical assistance at the Health Lodge," Stephen said, his medical 'auto-pilot' had kicked on. "Steve, we're trying to fight a forest fire, can it wait?" the doctor asked Stephen through the radio. Exasperated, DinoRed teleported to Dr. Rutherford's location, not saying another word to the EMT. The Red Ranger appeared in a clearing near the fire. The Red Ranger quickly spotted the Doctor and ran towards him. Dr. Rutherford stood there dumbfounded and Joan, the camp nurse, dropped her go-bag. "Doctor, there is a scout suffering from severe smoke inhalation in the Health Lodge. He needs your help." The Doctor just stared at Zhane, not believing what he was seeing. Zhane reached forward and grabbed the Doctor by his shoulder with his left hand and held his right to the Morpher Buckle on his belt. In a flash, the two disappeared.
The MD and the Red Ranger teleported into the main room of the Health Lodge. Zhane looked through his visor with a feeling of frustration. The Doctor turned around and walked into the patient room, putting on latex gloves as he entered. As Dr. Rutherford began endotracheal intubation, Steve stopped CPR. He went to the back room where the other two boys were resting in beds. He checked on them and then turned to the Red Ranger and nodded to him. Nodding back to the EMT and content that the two medical professionals were hard at work, the Red Ranger placed his left hand on his buckle and his right hand to the ceiling and teleported away from the Health Lodge.
In a wash of crimson light, the Red Ranger appeared inside his tent. He could hear the fire trucks arriving and was surprised that no more then a few seconds had passed since the time that he had left the Health Lodge. He crossed his arms in front of his chest in the shape of an 'X' and said softly "DinoRed, power down." In a flash of red, Zhane's armor melted away. "That was too cool!" he said to himself. The very next second, Mike walked into the tent, "What was cool?" he asked. With a grin, Zhane simply replied, "Oh...nothing." Zhane looked at his soot covered friend and asked, "So, what's going on now?" "The Angel Grove Fire Department is fighting the blaze now and we have the rest of the night off. So, what do you wanna do?" Mike asked. "How about we go to town and grab a pizza? Maybe we could catch a movie?" Zhane suggested. "Sounds good. Let me grab a shower first. I don't really want to go to town looking like this." Mike said as he walked out of the tent. Zhane sat down on his bed to take in everything that had just happened. Just then the alarm on Zhane's communicator went off. Raising the communicator to his face, he responded to the signal, "Zhane here." Zordon's voice poured out of the tiny speaker, "Zhane, we need you in the Power Chamber right away!" Zhane stood up, "So much for pizza..." and teleported to the Power Chamber.
To be continued. . .