Hello. I am William Cranston.
What an entrance, eh? Well, when someone is well over a hundred years old, that someone has earned the right to make an entrance any doggone way they please. Now... back to business.
Why am I writing this? And just what is this that I am writing, I can almost hear my assistant asking as he perches over my shoulder much like a hawk, sizing up its prey from the skies, preparing to swoop in for the kill, and that day's treasured meal. Yes, I can hear him trying not to gasp at the sentence I just wrote, you had no idea I heard you come into my study, did you Craig? Get out, please. You and the world will see this work soon enough, right now I wish to compose it in peace. Don't worry, I won't say anything that can't be said after all this time. You haven't angered or offended me, Craig, but I need peace for this, please. I will be all right, you needn't worry about me so. That's right, you can go, it is all right...
He's gone. Now where was I... Oh yes. Hello. I am William Cranston. Back in my teenage years, I was, what is still known as today, a Power Ranger. The first Blue Power Ranger.
Now, before historians try to correct me here, let me tell them one thing. You weren't there. I was. And so were my friends: Jason, Zack, Trini, Kimberly, and later Tommy... we were the first. I know there is evidence that the Power Rangers briefly appeared (appearing one time I believe would qualify as brief) in what was called back in my time as the 'Old Wild West'. Our children today hear it referred to in school as the Ancient West. Those one-time Rangers from so long ago were the ancestors of some of the first Rangers in the late twentieth century. One of them was an ancestor of mine, I'm proud to say. Since my group was around for more than one mission, and the fact that when we were brought together, what had happened back in the Old Wild West hadn't happened yet, because the Pink Ranger wasn't thrown back in time until we'd had a few changes in our lineup... Sigh... I'll attach a paper on time travel and temporal rifts to this, all right, Craig? Please, you'll see this soon enough, please leave me be. I will not say anything that can't be said now. Go. And Craig? Please tell Jenni where I am. Thank you.
He's gone. I apologize, he is a bit overprotective of me and my knowledge... and my secrets. But as my assigned bodyguard from Aquitar, that is his job. Oh well... Perhaps I should just release this paper as it is, not proof or edit it later. When it comes to my memories, good or bad, I express myself much better nowadays if I write it down as if I'm talking to someone. And I am, I'm talking to you, the one who is reading this. And I feel you can understand me, so I'm not going to change the way I'm doing this one bit. Now where was I...
Oh yes... I was the first Blue Ranger. Yes me, William Cranston. The same William Cranston, who it was revealed back in the year nineteen-hundred and ninety-nine, had gone to the homeworld of the Alien (or as they are rightfully known, Aquitian) Rangers, twice. The first time I went there, it was to help them in a time of war. The second time, they took me there to save my life. I'd rather not go into details at this time, because it involves time being turned back, and trying to set things right, and that really has no place in this essay. I am working currently on a book of our missions (though the romantics would call them adventures), I promise I will explain why they had to save my life. After their treatments restored my age and health, I chose to remain on Aquitar, with the woman I thought I really loved, Cestria of Aquitar.
I did love her (and I still do). But my time there made me realize I loved her as a friend, not as someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She realized the same thing. During my time there, I kept up on the dealings of evil in the universe, and knew back in nineteen hundred and ninety-eight that the evil space pirate Divatox had destroyed the Power Chamber on Earth, but that Dimitria of Inquiris had left before the attack, with the Blue Senturion, to try and rescue Zordon. Zordon was the one who brought the Power Rangers of Earth together to start with; he was our mentor, friend... and like a father to us all. I wanted to go to Eltar and try to help, but I was needed on Aquitar. My duties as a then Aquitian Ranger were to stay and keep our defenses up, because Dark Spectre's agents had started up attacks all over the planet, trying to gain a foothold. We split our team, sending half our number to Eltar, the rest of us remained on Aquitar. It wasn't until much later I learned that I was chosen to remain on Aquitar not only because my talents were needed there more, but because there was the fear that I may be kidnapped on Aquitar, and used as a hostage against rescue forces, or as leverage against Zordon, to get him to give in to his captors. All members of the first team of Earth Power Rangers were kept under close, secret surveillance during the crisis; any of us could have been captured and used as hostages. Thankfully, it never came to that, Zordon was rescued, and Eltar freed from Dark Spectre's grip. I learned then that the Turbo Rangers of Earth had gained powers again, new powers, making them Space Rangers, but they were still the sworn defenders of Earth. And they were very good at their job, I'm proud to say.
In nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, I returned to my homeworld, Earth. I had to be here, I had to be home, this beautiful blue and green orb was calling to me... and I missed it terribly, but I missed my family and friends most of all. Once back home, I was recruited by NASA, MIT, countless agencies and universities to come study with them, or to teach them. I was famous by then, I was the "Boy who went to the Alien Rangers' world twice", as they called me. No one ever guessed that maybe there was more to me, which was how it needed to be back then. I couldn't divulge the secret at that time of the Power Rangers. I eventually accepted the offer from MIT to test myself, see just how advanced I really was. They wished to compliment and reward me, not with ego-swelling praise and constant bowing to, but with a challenge. I entered there in the summer of nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and graduated with a doctorate in the summer of two thousand. Actually, I graduated with a few doctorates, not just one, but I don't like listing all of them, it makes some people scared. Stars, it scared me! I began to wonder if that was all I was, all I could be, a brain on legs. I really began to question if I was truly human after all.
Then I met Jenni. I left MIT and dove into North Carolina, hoping to forget myself somewhere in that beautiful state. I went to the mountains that fall, having calculated the exact peak time of the fall foliage, and there she was, sitting at one of the sight-seeing points, simply staring out at the splashes of red, yellow and orange. I sat with her, and before I could say a word, she began to show me the shadings of those leaves, the subtle shifting of the hues, how the lightest of breezes could set them all to dancing to nature's sweet symphony... she helped me hear the song of nature... and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the past few years had been worth every single second of pain, hardship, fear... every lost night of sleep, every battle fought, every challenge and loss... everything my friends and I, and the Rangers who had followed us, and who would pick up the mantle in the future... every single second of it was, and would continue to be worth it. There was no way any of us who received the calling to become Power Rangers could deny the responsibility of the summons... nor the honor.
Believe it or not, Jenni and I were friends, special friends, for nearly a year before I asked her out on an actual date. Quite honestly, I had never thought before then that she would consider me to be date-worthy. I was a scientist, researcher... she was a creative, free and independent spirit, one who could paint incredible vistas for the mind and soul with brushstroke, photograph, or written word. Her works took me to places I never thought I'd ever see, to the parts of me that yearned for expression, peace and love. I shouldn't have feared asking her for that first date, she accepted my invitation graciously (and with great joy, she is whispering in my ear right now), never saying a word as I burned the food I had intended to be a gourmet meal for us; she was just as pleased to be with me at Burger King, as she was at my small home at the top of a mountain. We married the next year. We are still married, she is sitting behind me now, sketching this old former Ranger as he talks into his computer, she is smiling and laughing her wonderfully musical laugh as she remembers that disastrous first date. Jenni, how can you say that date was wonderful, my house smelled like burned beef for a solid week! I love you too, dearest... What would I do without her in my life right now? I'd be a miserable old man, at least here at home. There would be so much missing from my life... my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren... so many things I never would have known without her, the love we share, the joy we have been blessed with through the decades...
That is why I am writing this. For decades now, the Earth has known peace and prosperity, there have been no monster attacks in the past forty-odd years. We have been at peace for so long, people are ignoring the warnings that the Aquitian Rangers have been trying to give us for the past few years. A new threat is looming on the horizon for us, an unspeakable evil that wishes to conquer us before we reach the twenty-second century. People have forgotten the fear and damage of the past, the Power Rangers are considered to be legends, perhaps even myth by a skeptical few. I suppose I can't blame some for thinking that, some of our battles and powers and accomplishments do seem to be too incredible to be true. But they are true, and they will be again. This statement is to let the doubters know that the Power Rangers were real, very real, and that I, William Cranston, the first Blue Power Ranger, still live amongst you. This is to let you know that even in what is considered to be the twilight of my life, I am still a Power Ranger, even though I wield no actual power now. Once a Power Ranger, always a Power Ranger. And I beg to differ with those who will claim I am too old for this. There are benefits to having lived on Aquitar for a while, I will age much more slowly, and live longer than perhaps some of you who are reading this. So will Jenni. Somehow, in a way that the Aquitians can't explain, my longevity has been passed on to her as well. And in a slightly more expected way, through my blood, my descendants have inherited this longevity as well, as have their descendants. The Cranston line will not die young... not from natural causes, at least.
Yes, even though I wield no power, I am still a Power Ranger. I also have a new job... I am now the appointed mentor for the Power Rangers of Earth. Zordon, Dimitria, Ninjor, Lerigot, the Aquitian Rangers... they took council some years ago and decided I should be asked to take over the position. They could sense the threat to our worlds long before anything registered on a single long-range scan. I was awed, flattered, and deeply honored that they asked me to take up this mantle of responsibility and leadership. It was my choice... and I accepted it humbly, and with a shiver of fear, anticipation... it was the call to preparedness, and I was answering it once again, after so many years. Jenni helps me, she is the one who comforts our new young Rangers, all of them descendants of my friends, of our group of first Rangers. I even have a great-grandson on the team of ten, he and a great-granddaughter of one Tommy Oliver are the co-leaders of this proud fighting force. We are prepared, as prepared as anyone can be, to meet the threat that looms on the horizon for all mankind. I may have my life cut short by the battle that is to come, but it is a risk I freely accept. All I have to do is simply think of those mountains from my past, remember the beauty of them, and my future wife I saw that day, and I know that what I do is worth every single second of it. Hearing the cry of a newborn babe fills my heart with an incredible joy, and a steely determination: that new life will not know the fear that so many were born into, or grew up in, or raised families in. I swear it with my life's blood.
I am William Cranston. I was the first Blue Power Ranger of Earth... but I was not, nor shall I be, the last. In the twilight of my life, having lived well over one hundred years, and looking forward to living many more, I am the mentor for the new Power Rangers. We are still here, we still protect and defend, and we will keep our world safe, and render aid to our galactic neighbors should they need to call us... knowing that they won't hesitate to answer our plea either, should we have to make it. The Power Rangers live and fight on, and we will protect you.
The legacy continues...