Disclaimer: I don't own the power rangers, Saban does, although the character of Corporal Tracey Hillard is all mine. I'm not getting paid for this. This was written when I had a bought of insomnia, so please don't blame me if it doesn't make sense in some portions. Oh, this is set just after Kim left for the Pan Globals and Kat has taken over her powers.
Tommy and Rocky came up to the table where the others sat, wiping the sweat off their faces.
"Hey, it's a beautiful day outside, you guys want to go to the park?" They all swiftly agreed and picking up various books and bag's, left the youth center from the bottom entrance. If they had looked back they would have seen a slim figure in an Australian Army uniform enter and go up to the counter.
"Excuse me mate, but I am looking for Kathryn Hillard, I was told she might be here?" Ernie smiled at the stange lady, from the uniform and the accent he assumed that she must be a relative of Kat's, especially since the nametag read T.Hillard.
"Yeah, but you just missed her. She and her friends left for the park. Do you know where it is?" the stranger grinned.
"Yeah, I do. Thanks mate." With a quick wave she skipped down the couple of steps and was out the door that the rangers had used not two minutes previously.
The rangers had found a table in the park, near their normal hangout by the lake and where enjoying a game of Frisbee when the Tenga's decided to make an appearance. They quickly surrounded the teens, taking the Frisbee off them and using it themselves. It was just then that the strange woman came around the corner and saw the Tenga attack, she saw Kat in the middle of a group of kids and was about to intervene when the one dressed in white yelled out.
"We need Ninja Ranger Power Now!" There was a bright flash and all of a sudden the six teenagers were clad in Ninja outfits and proceeding to kick the stuffing out of the Tenga's. She was particularly impressed with the way that Kat was handling herself. She was intent on the battle so she almost didn't notice the thing creeping up behind her, but she was a solider and her instincts were very good when it came to self-preservation. When she did she whirled and saw a golden armored monkey, would be the best word to describe it. She was hard pressed to keep from laughing out loud, she knew that this must be one of Rita or Lord Zedds monsters, but he looked so comical. Being in the army and coming to Angel Grove she had been given a though briefing on the situation but hadn't expected to encounter a monster on her first day here!
"You're coming with me puny human." She grinned as she took up a fighting stance.
"Oh, I don't think so mate. I'd rather stay here and beat the crap out of you." Goldar was taken aback, usually when he encounter anyone that wasn't a Ranger they tried to run away, screamed or fainted. This human on the other hand wanted to fight him, yet she wasn't a Power Ranger! He was perplexed but orders were orders, Zedd wanted this human and Zedd always got what he wanted, most of the time. He went in for the attack and she dodged it easily enough and got in a few blows of her own. He swung at her with his sword and she leaped out of the way, back flipping into the open and into the site of the rangers. Billy was the first to spot the fight.
"Tommy, Goldar's attacking that solider. We have to help her out." At Billy's words the other rangers looked up and then Kat recognized the solider.
"Oh my god. That's my cousin Tracey. We have to help her!"
"Kat, you come with me, the rest of you, finish off these Tenga's."
"Right Tommy." The two rangers ran over to where Tracey was keeping Goldar at bay.
"Kat, you look after your cousin, I'll take care of golden boy here."
"Okay Tommy." Kat rushed over to where Tracey was leaning against a tree, holding her ribs.
"Are you okay miss?" Tracey grinned as she recognized the voice.
"Fine. That golden reject from the Wizard of Oz got in a lucky punch, that's all."
"Good. Stay here, let us finish him off then we will get you to hospital to get those ribs checked."
"Okay." Kat rushed over to where Tommy was fighting Goldar, the rest of the Rangers behind her. Goldar, seeing that he was outnumbered, did he usual vanishing trick.
"Man, I hate it when he does that."
"I know Tommy, it is most frustrating." Tommy grinned at Billy and was about to give the command to power down when a voice came from behind them.
"So, Kat, when were you going to tell me you're a Power Ranger?" It was the solider that was standing behind them.
Tracey laughed at the expressions in their eyes.
"It's all right, I saw you change as I came around the corner. I will tell you that I was most surprised that you were in the thick of the fighting Kat, I thought I was the Gung Ho one in our family." Kat sighed and powered down, the others following her lead.
"Guys, this is my cousin, Corporal Tracey Hillard, Australian Army. Tracey, these are my friends. Tommy, Aisha, Adam, Rocky and Billy." Tracey smiled and said hello back to them all. "You weren't meant to see that. No one in the family knows." Tracey frowned at that.
"Why not? They would be so proud. I know I am." They started walking back towards the youth center, Tracey still holding her ribs but ignoring them as she talked to her cousin.
"It's complicated Tracey. We aren't supposed to let anyone know our identities, it's a security measure to protect our families." Tracey stopped walking and grabbed Kat's arm, turning her to face her.
"Kat, I can understand security measures, I do. But what happens now? I know your identity, I know all your identities but I am not about and go and blab it to the world." Tommy decided at that point he better intervene and stop this situation getting out of hand but Billy beat him to it.
"Excuse me, but are you injured Corporal Hillard?" Tracey smiled at his formality.
"Na, just a couple of bruises, that gold guy got in a lucky punch. But please, all of you, call me Tracey. I only get called corporal when I'm beaming reamed by my C.O." They all laughed at that. Adam motioned to a nearby park table and chairs.
"Why don't we sit over there, I think that Tracey would like an explanation."
"That I would mate. That I would." They all went over and sat down, Kat next to her cousin and Tommy got down to the business of explaining everything, with help from the others.
Tracey sat there and listened in silence as they all explained what the Rangers did, and everything that they stood for and why it was important for their identities to remain secret. She watched each of them in turn, getting the feel for each of them. Tommy, the obvious leader of the team, was controlled and confident. An obvious martial arts master, he seemed the perfect choice to lead them. Adam was controlled and quiet, very understated in his manner and moves, that made him one of the dangerous opponents of all. Rocky, brash and outgoing, extremely confident but also very skilled, not to be underestimated, although his easy going demeanor was easy to fool everyone. Aisha was kind, resourceful, obviously a very good fighter but also had a big heart and a sunny disposition. Billy, well Billy was a bit of an enigma, handsome and athletic, he was also very shy but from the way he acted and the others deferred to him on technical matters, he was intelligent as well. Intelligence and fighting skill were a combination to be respected. She decided whom ever this Zordon person was, he had chosen well the people that were protecting the earth.
"I don't know what to say. You are all individually exceptional in your various talents but together you are just what we need protecting this planet. You have my admiration, going though what you do, trying to live normal lives, being teenagers and saving the planet almost on a daily basis can be tough on a person. I admire you all." She turned to Kat as she was saying this, her cousin had been pretty quiet all afternoon, especially when the history of the Rangers was being explained to Tracey. She could tell something was wrong with her favorite cousin. She glanced at Aisha and saw concern in her eyes as well. "Kat, what's wrong? You're as quiet as a mouse." Kat smiled at the old joke between them. When they were little they were always playing together and ended up being called Kat and Mouse, much to their enjoyment.
"It's nothing Tracey." Tracey shook her head, she knew her cousin better than that.
"Bull. Listen to me mate, I know you better than you know yourself! I know when something isn't right with you, so spill it! Or do I have to start telling embarrassing stories from when we were kids."
"No need to get out the heavy artillery Tracey. I'll tell you." Aisha looked at Kat and saw that she would be better talking to her cousin alone.
"Guys, why don't me go get our Frisbee back okay? I don't want those Tenga's getting it again." They guys nodded in agreement and they all left the table. Kat watched them go, relieved that she didn't have to say what was bothering her in front of the others.
"You have some good friends their Kat. And some good looking guys as well." They both laughed out loud at that, Kat feeling better for it.
"I know, they're the best. And that's the problem I suppose. I don't feel like I belong with them. They have been doing this a lot longer than I have. I suppose that I feel like that I'm not good enough to be a Power Ranger. Sound silly doesn't it?" Tracey shook her head and looked at her beautiful cousin.
"Why, because you have only been doing it a couple of weeks, because you still feel guilty about the whole spell thing with Kimberley? Kat, do you remember when I left home to join the army?"
"Yeah, it was one of the saddest days of my life. I couldn't go to the train station to see you off as I was at school and they wouldn'tlet me out."
"But you came anyway, didn't you?" Kat blushed in embarrassment as she remembered.
"Yeah, I wagged school. Boy did I get into trouble for that." Tracey reached out and grasped Kat's hand, squeezing it in reassurance.
"But do you remember what I told you? I told you that I was joining the army because I felt it was important. To me, defending my country is the most important thing I can do. I love Australia Kat, everything and everyone in it. I have seen some horrible things since I have been in the army but I have also helped save hundreds of people. There is no better feeling than knowing that I have done that. But you, you are responsible for saving millions of people, every time you turn into a Power Ranger, people who will never know you, never be able to thank you, but are grateful to you anyway. Because you are taking responsibility for saving the planet, just as I am taking responsibility for defending Australia. Kat, there is no greater honor. I am so proud of you I could burst." Kat looked stunned at her cousin's outburst. Then she started to think her words over and realized that she had a point, whereas Tracey was protecting one country, she was protecting all of them, and it was an awesome responsibility.
"I don't think that I am good enough to do this Tracey, there are so many people depending on us. I get so afraid that something is going to happen and a lot of innocent people will be hurt because of me."
"Kat, there is not a solider in the world that would disagree with you. I have done peacekeeping duty with the UN and that is hard, your there to make sure innocent people are safe. Sometimes you start second guessing yourself, doubting yourself and come within a hairsbreadth of quitting but then something happens that makes you realize that this is what you are meant to do with your life, help people, not be afraid of helping them." Kat was shocked, that was exactly what she had been feeling, but her cousin had put her feelings into words that actually made sense. Then Kat realized she was right, she had been afraid of helping people and getting them hurt in the process, but if she didn't help people, who would?
Tracey watched her cousin wrestle with her words and think about them. All of a sudden Kat's eyes lit up and understanding shone in them.
"My god, your right Tracey. I was to concerned that I wasn't fitting in, that I wasn't good enough and I started to doubt that I was doing a good job. You're right, there is nothing more important than helping people." She hugged her cousin, who winced as she squeezed her ribs to hard.
"East Kat, I need those ribs for the Karate demonstration tomorrow." Kat looked at her and laughed.
"You're the international team that's fighting tomorrow?"
"Yeah, me and two others, why?" Kat burst out laughing just as the others came back. Tommy looked at Kat and noticed that she was smiling and for the first time in weeks, it was reaching her eyes.
"What's so funny?"
"Tracey and two other Aussies are the international army team that you guys are fighting tomorrow."
Tracey looked up at the five standing Rangers.
"I hope that you all aren't fighting." Tommy laughed as he shook his head. Rocky smiled as he spoke.
"Na, it's just me, Adam and Tommy. This will be interesting to say the least." They all laughed out loud at that as the two cousins stood.
"Great. I'm going to beat up three Power Rangers!" They all laughed even harder at that. Rocky the hardest of all.
"Yeah, who says your gonna beat us?" With that they all laughed again and started walking back to the youth center. Tracey was talking martial arts with Rocky and Tommy, with Adam listening intensely. Billy and Aisha hung back and walked along one side of Kat. Aisha breaking the silence.
"So, are you okay now?"
"What do you mean?" Surprising them all Billy spoke.
"She means, have you reconciled your feelings about being a Ranger and the responsibilities involved." Both girls looked at the bashful Blue Ranger, stunned by his insight; he blushed under their gazes but held them firmly. Kat saw concern and something else mirrored in his eyes. Reaching out she took his hand and Aisha's.
"Yes I have. I'm fine now." And she realized, she was.
"Hey mate, you coming or do I have to drag you away from all these septics?"
"Coming, but remember, these septic's are my mates to you know."
"Wouldn't have it any other way cous!" The six teenagers and one Australian solider walked along the pathway towards Angel Grove Youth Center. If you were walking behind them you would have heard two distinctive Australian voices singing·..
"Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong,
Under the shade of a Koolabar tree.
As he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled,
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.
Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, you'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me,
As he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled,
You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me."
Author's Note: Waltzing Malitda is a very popular Australian song, words by Banjo Patterson