PR: SPD. In 2040, Supreme Commander Schuyler Tate reflects upon his past, and on the battle yet to come. Spoilers for the whole series. Inspired by "Chosen One" by A2
Be someone else tonight
Sometimes I wish I was never born at all
But I'll try to save the world
'Cause in the end I know
I'm the chosen one."
-A2, "Chosen One"
He looked up into the abyss of space through his window, enchanted with it despite understanding what it was.
Supreme Commander Schuyler Tate was growing tired of it all. Of the war, of SPD, of his life. It had been fifteen years since "the good old days," and yet it seemed like a lifetime; sometimes he wondered if any of it could have been real.
And a part of him was sure it wasn't. Not the Troobian war, nor anything thereafter. A little, hidden part of himself was unable to believe that he had appointed a cyborg to be the commander of SPD Karovia, or a mutant woman to SPD Earth. And a less hidden part of himself couldn't believe how many of the others had left. Jack right away... Syd not long after... and then finally Bridge, although Bridge should have left first.
It was just him and Z now. And Z was off defending Earth against the new invaders.
It was someone new every decade or so. Procyonites, Perseians, someone was always trying to take over the galaxy, and every now and then, someone nearly succeeded. The morrow's battle would set the tale of galactic dominance for another decade-and decide who would be its hero: SPD or the Navians.
Sky was about to put his money on the Navians.
He stood up, walking to the mirror of his spacious quarters. Galactic Command was a nice place to be, although it certainly wasn't home. But the mirror was especially strange to him, its newness unchanged in all the years he had been there, and normally when he looked in it he thought of his former roommate's surprising vanity. He supposed it made sense, though, and he knew that that vanity treated Bridge well now. College professors should be vain, although the thought of Bridge as one just made Sky snicker.
He looked into the mirror, trying to appraise himself as if he were a criminal. His skin was pale, sallow, from too long indoors or on cold planets with cold suns. His hair was thinning, and he could already see gray. His one good eye looked yellowed and bloodshot, as it often did anymore; his green cybernetic eye looked pristine as always, and for a second he was almost grateful for the injury that caused it.
He sighed, thinking back, envious of everyone else. No one else had been hurt the way he had, physically. Jack's greatest injury was a burn on his back; Bridge and Syd had gotten their share of scars, and Z, who had spent the longest time in SPD after him, had broken her leg once-or three of them, as the case had been. Boom, caught in a raid on SPD Nebula Academy, had nearly died defending the cadets there, but he survived, and resigned. And Sky had lost an eye-an eye. The eyes are the window the soul, his secretary had often quoted beforehand. He never said it now.
But there were emotional scars, of course. Sky was quick to remind himself of that. Peaceful, gentle Jack had been fairly traumatized by it all, unable to handle the violence and destruction of protecting and serving the galaxy. Bridge turned in his resignation the day after the Perseians freed Bork. Syd had cited a desire to start a family as her reason for leaving, but Sky knew that her resignation had come the day after RIC 2.0 was lost. Omega and Nova Rangers, spared the dark future they had described to B-squad, were still hardened soldiers, and Sky was privy to the knowledge that the only criminals Sam had failed to bring in were females with long, dark hair.
And Sky had his own baggage. Oh god, did he have his baggage. His final showdown with Mirloc had been a terror-executing a monster who was shouting his father's last words. The Navian monster that had attacked the previous week was even worse. Fighting a shapeshifting monster was one thing, but a psychic one also? Sky still couldn't banish the image of "Bridge's" dying face from his mind. Ever since the containment system failed, life had been one nightmare after another. But more haunting to Sky still was the day that Doggie died-another father lost, only this time without the comfort of having been too young to stop it.
And now, on the eve of SPD's tragic loss to the Navians, Sky Tate sighed. This long and hardened life was over, and he envied those who were fortunate enough to be oblivious.
There was a knock on his door.
"Who is it?"
"Sir, you have a visitor," his secretary murmured faintly. His voice was shakier than normal, more nervous. Something was wrong.
"Who is it?"
"Commander Delgado, sir."
"Well, let her in." Sky straightened himself and made his way toward the door. It opened slowly, and he expected to see Z walk in, face grim and hair tied back. But the face that peeked past the door was not fair and grim, but dark and smiling.
"Sky, you look like you've seen a ghost!"
The darker man walked up and hugged Sky, picking him up off the ground a little. Jack looked darker than he had in the old days, tougher, but he was there. His white clothes were tattered and torn, but somehow they seemed almost aglow.
"Jack, what are you doing here?"
"Bro and I just came for a visit," Z noted with a smile, walking into the room.
"Oh my god, this is great. But... you have to get out of here. We're going to be attacked soon."
"Why do you think we're here, Sky?" Jack said with a smile, patting the Supreme Commander on the back. "It sounded like you needed some backup."
"It's dangerous. You could be hurt, or worse..." He shook his head. "Nevermind. Can I get you guys anything?"
"How about some toast?" issued a voice from behind the doorway.
"Yeah. At least, I think I am," the breakfast lover chuckled, walking into the door. He waved with a gloved hand, and placed the other on the back of his head. "I get called 'Professor Dude' so much that I never really know anymore."
"Okay, who else is here?" Sky asked, smirking.
A diminutive woman with curly brown hair-Mirloc had been wrong, she did look good as a brunette-stepped in, followed by a stocky man in a mullet. "Sky!" Boom exclaimed, offering a hug. The commander chuckled and accepted.
"The whole gang. I'm touched."
"We're not all here yet, actually," Bridge said with a smile. "Kat and Aisynia were making a stop at Doggie's grave. They'll be here soon. And Sophie sends her regards, but she had to help rebuild after they trashed KO-35."
"Why? Why come out here, though? It's not safe. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see you guys, but I don't want you all getting hurt."
"You needed this," Jack said, shaking his head. "Don't try to deny it, I can tell by your face, and Bridge has been ranting about it for weeks. He could sense it 20 light-years away."
"Yeah, but... You have to leave before the attack."
"But then we couldn't participate," Two more people walked in. One woman looked little different than she had 20 years ago-long, dark hair, now short but still curly. Her stunning green eyes and mischievous smile were completely unchanged. The other had changed quite a bit-her blue skin had turned almost gray and her eyes were sad, but somehow at the same time she looked happy.
"You can't-" Sky started.
"Oh yes we can!" Syd exclaimed. "Part of the reason we all came out here is because we think we know how to beat them."
"Syd's excited because it involves diamonds." The pale professor reached into his pocket and pulled out a small object. "Boom, Kat, and I have been working on a new power cell. We tried to make one for the ships, but we couldn't work out the design stuff in time. We found another use for it though."
The supreme commander blinked.
"Do you still have the red morpher, Sky?"
"What? You're crazy! They've been obsolete for a decade."
Kat shook her head. "Not with this new power cell. Give us an hour, and we can rewire all of the Delta-era morphers. Even the Kat and Shadow morphers. I can't speak for the others, but Aisynia and I have been training for this."
"I know you're angry because we all bailed on SPD." Sky's former commanding officer sat down. "It just wasn't our path in life, you know? But sometimes you gotta step off the path. You need us, your friends. So we're here, at least for now, if you want us to be. What do you say?"
Sky looked around the room and smiled. "I can't say no to that. Come on, we have work to do!"