The Coin Chose Wrong (Zack Taylor gets punched)
Zack stared up at the zords in awe as the rest of the team followed Alpha to the pit. The mastodon was beautiful. There was the monochrome shine underneath all the dust. The machinery was simply beautiful.
Zack approached the zord with an open palm. He pressed his open hand against one of the tusks, feeling that cool metal. The mastodon gently nudged back at Zack’s hand, and he rubbed the tusk bemusedly. A really bad idea came to mind.
Zack climbed the mastodon towards the clear pod where he assumed he would be piloting. The zord allowed him to climb easily, and when Zack reached the pod, it opened up for him, inviting him in.
Zack hopped in and ran his hand over the controls. Everything felt right in the pod. Suddenly, the pod closed up, trapping Zack in, and the zord took off. Well, shit.
Zack crashed through the wall of rock, screaming and flailing as he went. There was stopping the zord. He saw the rangers ahead of him and felt genuine fear run through him. He continued to scream as the other rangers ran away from the mastodon.
Zack could feel the mastodon slowing down as the rangers jumped onto a ledge, and then, the zord skidded to a halt right as it reached the ledge. The pod opened up for Zack after it stopped, so Zack stepped out.
He laughed. “Sorry, my bad. That one’s on me!”
Jason angrily approached Zack. “What were you thinking?! You could’ve killed yourself, or us!”
Zack pushed him out of the way, not really seeing why their supposed leader was so mad. It wasn’t as though he wanted to take off like that. He didn’t know how to stop the zord, much less get it started. “Lighten up, Bossman.”
Zack continued to walk before he felt a hand on his shoulder pull him backwards. Before he knew it, there was a fist connected to his cheek. Really?! Zack punched back, and ducked the next punch. He continued to beat into their leader while dodging the blows.
The others jumped in after that. Billy grabbed Jason and pushed him backwards while Trini pushed against Zack. “Calm down!” she screamed.
Zack stopped pushing forward towards Jason. “Fine! Jesus! What’s the big deal?!”
“You almost killed us!” Trini shoved Zack. “What do you expect!”
“That’s not enough! Stop doing stupid things, and we’ll stop getting into stupid arguments!”
Jason was on the side, and Billy was trying to calm him down. “I’m sorry! I was just looking and then the zord locked me in and took off!”
Trini shoved him again. “Not good enough!”
Zack was up against the wall now. Trini was still glaring at him with her hands clenched by her side. She was bleeding from her forehead. Zack already felt bad, but that made him feel worse. “Well, I can’t do anything about it now! I’m sorry! I did a stupid thing! I get it! I’m an idiot! Fine! Stop screaming at me about it! You’ve all done dumb things too, but apparently that doesn’t warrant any arguments does it?!”
Trini slammed him against the wall with supernatural strength, and Zack shoved her back, not particularly in the mood for the abuse. “Back -!”
There was another fist slamming into his jaw. It hurt. Everything hurt. Zack just stood there as his head was snapped to the side by the punch. He didn’t bother moving his head to face the others anymore. He could feel it all healing already but it still hurt inside.
“Don’t touch her!” Kimberly screamed at Zack. He didn’t have to look at her to see that she was guarding Trini. He could hear Trini whispering her thanks to Kimberly.
Why am I the only one getting knocked around? No one did this when Billy blew up that bluff. No one did this when Trini jumped that ravine. No one did this when Jason and Billy got us all into a train wreck.
Zack fished his coin out his pocket. The others were silently staring at him. He looked down at the dark coin. Then, he plastered on a smile and looked at the others. “Well! I’m sorry, guys,” he laughed. “I guess I should just go. Clearly not wanted here. The coin must be malfunctioning or something because it chose the wrong guy.”
Zack dropped his coin, and turned towards the way out. As he walked away, the coin clinked onto the ground. It was quiet, but to Zack, it was as loud as a morning bell. His heart was thudding in his chest painfully; he wanted to be a ranger so badly with the others.
“Master Zack, no,” Alpha whispered.
The coin chose wrong.
Hours later, Zack was laying on the abandoned train car eating whatever he had left out of anger. He knew he should ration it, but he had nothing to do.
There was that weight in his pocket once again. The coin had returned to him when he left the ship. He tried throwing it away over and over again, but every time he chucked it into the sea of trees, it would just teleport back to his pocket. So he sat in his hideout, angrily staring out at the mines.
Footsteps began approaching the spot from behind. He knew it was the rangers, but he didn’t want to acknowledge it.
“You still have the coin,” he heard Jason say.
Zack smiled, and rotated his body to face them. “Hey, Bossman!”
The rangers sighed, the anger gone from their eyes. “The coin chose you.”
“It didn’t choose right.”
“You still have it don’t you?”
“You’re one of us now. We’ll accept you for who you are. Not because we have to to save the world, but because we do like you Zack,” Jason said genuinely.
“Zack?” Trini’s voice piping up.
“I have some food. And drinks… I was planning on staying here tonight if you wanted to…” Zack didn’t exactly know what to say.
They smiled at him. “I’m down,” Trini agreed.
Zack hopped off the train car and began starting the fire. The others started to gather their stuff, putting it in different spots to sit. Kimberly walked up to Zack just as he got the fire going.
“I’m sorry I punched you,” she said guiltily. “I just saw red after you pushed Trini.”
Zack chuckled. “Don’t sweat it, Princess. Didn’t even feel it.”
Kimberly scoffed with a smile and smacked Zack’s shoulder playfully. “Want me to try again? I’m sure I can get your chin tingling a bit!” she laughed.
Zack smiled up at her. Things were strained with the rangers, but Zack could feel the tension loosening little by little. Zack foolishly thought about being friends with them
Friends, huh? He glanced around at the others still setting up for the night. Doesn’t sound too bad to me.