Disclaimer: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all
creations of Saban are quite likely owned by him. Anything I cooked up
belongs to me including but not restricted to Candace and Casey Secore,
Angela Hopkins, The Blade Rangers, the Grid Warriors/Amalgam Rangers,
Silvia, and Audri. Please do not take without authorization.
Timeline: After Time Stands not Still: Part Three
Warning: Mild Violence, Mild Language, and Mild Etc
Notes: I'd not realized how influenced my stories were by the great Ellen Brand's Personality Conflicts. And so I would like to thank her beacoup de much not only for influencing my own writing, but for providing such a great story.
Five young teens sat together in Angel Grove Park. Most kids their age would be excited or nervous about entering High School the next morning. Most kids their age would be enjoying their final day of freedom... most kids. These five weren't like most. Just yesterday they had been added to the one and only line of defense against the growing evil forces threatening their planet. This was the subject on their minds.
"So," said Casey Secore, the Desert Thunder Turbo Ranger. "We're Power Rangers."
"So we fight off monsters?" asked Wind Chaser, Angela.
"And we defend the planet... right?" responded Justin.
All looked to Fred. The Red Lightning Turbo Ranger had been thrust into the position of leader of the Rangers by his color and the general consensus of the group. He wasn't entirely sure it should have been his. Justin would have been a better choice, he was much smarter, but Fred bore the red, and by everything known about the Power Rangers, red was the leader, so here he was. The only problem right now was that he had no answer to exactly what it was they were supposed to do.
"That is correct Mountain Blaster." Startled the five turned to see a young blonde man garbed in white robes, looking at them.
"Wha- who are you?" Fred challenged the stranger.
"I am Zordon of Eltare, mentor to the Power Rangers of Earth." The five merely continued to stare at the man. "Here, I will show you." Zordon waved his hand and they teleported off in columns of sparkling light.
The Turbo Rangers descended into the Power Chamber, Zordon right behind them in his own column of white light.
"This is the Power Chamber," continued Zordon. "And that is the ion tube where I must spend most of my time while in this dimension," and with that he began to fade from this reality until all that was left was a white outline, and then that collapsed and the visage of his head once again appeared in the tube.
The newest Rangers stared in awe.
"You five have been granted the Turbo Powers. Now I ask that you join us."
"Us who?" Fred looked around the chamber. As if on cue ten columns of light descended into the Power Chamber.
"Allow me to present the Zeo Rangers and Grid Warriors of Earth," intoned Zordon.
"Turbo Rangers, as Rangers of this planet do you swear to uphold all that is right and just, to never escalate a battle, to defend against the forces of evil, and to keep your identity secret?" The sudden question seemed to surprise the young rangers.
Fred Kelman looked up at the floating visage, then to the assembled rangers standing behind them, and finally to his friends. "Well guys, what do you think?"
"Definitely," said Casey and Candace in unison.
"Of course," replied Angela right behind the twins. Justin merely nodded.
"Yes, Zordon, we will swear to that oath," Fred looked up to the ancient sage. Zordon nodded once, and Fred immediately turned around with his friends, falling into the Morphin stance.
"Shift into Turbo!"
The Power Chamber filled with lights and then the Turbo Rangers stood facing their new teammates, tall and proud. After a moment they removed their helmets and looked over at their new companions. In one motion the ten older Rangers removed their helmets to reveal the people behind.
There was complete silence as the Turbo Rangers found their friends in the armor of Power Rangers. Then; "Rocky's a Ranger?" Justin just couldn't help but be surprised that his goofy friend was a Power Ranger. As he scanned the others he found several familiar faces.
"Yeah wise guy, I am," replied Rocky, trying to hide a small grin.
From there the Rangers introduced themselves to those who weren't well acquainted. Aisha came from the back of the room and joined in the conversation while introducing Alpha 5, with whom Justin was suitably impressed.
Katherine had just made the suggestion to go to the park where it would be less crowded when the sirens began to blare.
"Figures," muttered Zack.
"Rangers, the Pirate Queen Divatox has sent a troop of Piranatrons to the park."
"Pirate Queen?" asked Trini
"Apparently she's new," replied Candace. "I think she was after the Turbo power, and she attacked us when we got it."
"Anyway we're on it," stated Tommy.
"Right," added Jason.
"No," said Zordon.
"What?" came several voices at once.
"I can not have all of you fighting every battle, that is why I asked the Grid Warriors to undergo their quests. The Battles are going to have to be split up between the teams. Divatox's forces will be taken care of by the Turbo Rangers."
"But Zordon they're just-" Tommy stopped himself from finishing, but what he had been about to say was fairly obvious. "I mean..." The Turbo Rangers just looked at him. "I'm sorry, be careful out there."
Fred nodded as he grabbed his helmet from the counter. "Don't worry Tommy, we'll be fine." And in sparkling columns of light, the Turbo team disappeared.
Quietly two voices spoke in unison "May the power protect you." Tommy and Jason looked at each other, and then all present turned to the viewing screen.
Red Lightning pummeled the Piranatron and sent it sprawling to the ground. "Ranger's form up!" Instantly the Turbo team was facing off against Divatox and her crew, Elgar, Porto, and Rygog.
"Face it Divatox," yelled Dune Star, Candace. "We've got you beat!"
"I don't think so Yellow, meet The Phantom Ranger!" The air in front of Divatox blurred and a wicked looking black armored Ranger appeared out of nowhere.
"What the-?" muttered Wind Chaser.
"Oh crap, an evil Ranger..." Mountain Blaster just about summed it up.
"Turbo, listen up!" Aisha's voice came through the communication devises in the Turbo Ranger's helmets. "Divatox has planted a detonator in the Angel Grove Mall, a couple of you need to get there now!"
"Got ya' Aisha! Candace, Casey, get down there, we'll take care of the Phantom Menace here."
"We're on it." Instantly the girls were running down the street towards the mall.
"Girls, your Turbo Speed is fast, but you've only got five minutes, call on your Rescue Zords," again Aisha's voice came through their helmets.
"Right," the twins spoke in unison. "Turbo Rescue Zords now!"
In two flashes of light the Yellow and Green Rangers were tearing down the street in vehicle-sized Zords; a closed framed dune buggy like car, and a cannon armed 4x4 respectively. As soon as they reached the mall they found more of the brownish fish creatures terrorizing citizens.
"Candace, Casey, morph your Zords into warrior mode!"
In one motion the girls pressed a button on the right panel. The Dual Star and Thunder Loader immediately began to twist and change into huge suits of armor. In short order the two heavily armored Turbo Rangers had taken down the Piranatrons.
"Rangers you've got one minute!"
The two large, Zord armored figures smashed their way into the mall and began frantically searching.
"Aisha," Casey practically screamed over the communications device, "Where's that damn bomb!"
"I'm not sure, somewhere near the fountain!" Aisha sounded just as panicked as the two Turbo Rangers felt.
Candace rushed to the large glass fountain, and for lack of anything better to do, smashed it with her large armored fist. A black and gray object fell from where it had been hidden and splashed into the water below.
"Casey I've got it, we have ten seconds," the Yellow Turbo Ranger seemed very calm for someone looking right into the face of a high explosive.
"Quick, deactivate it," replied her sister.
"I don't know how, and there's no time," responded Candace. The timer read five seconds, and there was nothing else to do, so Dune Star did the only thing she could think of, she wrapped her armored self as tightly as she could around the bomb.
"Candace, no!!" Casey screamed as she ran towards where her sister was curled around the explosive, there was a flash, then nothing.
"Madre de Dios... there just kids," muttered Rocky as he and the others watched the Turbo Rangers battling the Piranatrons.
"They're also Rangers," replied Kim. "We weren't much older when we started."
Suddenly, barely a minute after the Turbo Rangers had left, the sirens blared to life again and the ten remaining rangers looked up to Zordon.
"Grid Warriors, Rita and Zedd have deployed Putties and Tengas to the business district of Angel Grove."
"We're on it Zordon," said Trini. In columns of light the Grid warriors were gone, as the Zeo Rangers watched on.
"Geeze," muttered Zack as he swung himself up off the ground in a flashy move. "Is it just me or are these guys getting stronger?"
"The Amalgam Rangers are not as physically upgraded as other Rangers," replied Trini.
"Ah damn it," muttered Billy, "I can't believe I forgot. Jason, before you were hurt I was telling you that I had experimented some with the power. I discovered that the Amalgam power has much more awareness of what is going on around them. Grid Warriors are also much more in tune with their spirit guides. Anticipate and concentrate on your guides. Those are the factors that balance the loss of physical upgrades."
With this information the Rangers began to do much better. Trini blocked several blows from a Putty before nailing it in the Z, reaching into the opening in its defense almost before it was there. Then trusting in her instincts as Billy had instructed, she spun and released an echo blast into a group of Tengas.
Zack was backed against a tree fighting off four enemies at once. Sensing the time was right he leapt forward and slashed with the four-inch claws that had suddenly grown out of his hands, black mane of hair flying. As he landed the lion-like features disappeared and he summoned the black Power Ax. "Time to finish this."
With these newfound awareness and abilities, the Grid Warriors had little trouble finishing off their opponents. That's when Rita and Zedd arrived, and with them came five of the scariest looking putties they'd ever seen. Each was sleeker than normal, larger, more armored. And they were each a different color.
"Well done Amalgam Rangers, you have learned to harness you new power well," complemented Zedd in his gravely voice.
"However it will be interesting to see how you fare against our new Blade Rangers," continued a pregnant looking Rita. And their worst fears had been confirmed. Rita and Zedd had somehow created their own Rangers. In flashes of light the two evil monarchs vanished and the five Blade Rangers advanced.
Jason Lee Scott, Cri'ould Grid Warrior, and Leader of the Amalgam Rangers raised Alexiend, the sword of Justice, and led his team into a very brutal fight.
The Grid Warriors had been gone almost a full minute when the sirens began to blare again.
"Rangers, King Mondo has sent his Kieroo to the northern residential district."
"Dear God... the people..." breathed Kat.
"Alpha, how's that auto pilot system coming?" Adam asked as they prepared to launch into battle.
"Aiee... just ten minutes away. I'm sorry Rangers, I'm working as fast as I can."
"It's all right Alpha... let's go Rangers," and at Zeo V's command they were gone.
Not twenty seconds later a white teleportation beam landed in the command center and coalesced into a woman dressed in flowing white robes.
"Dimitria," Zordon sounded shocked.
"How are you Zordon?" the white clad woman's voice was musical.
"Well aside from having to send my warriors against the Evil Sorcerers, the Machine Empire, and the Pirate Queen... not too bad." Aisha was surprised at the lightness in her mentor's voice. Rarely did he ever relax like this during a fight.
The woman, Dimitria he had called her, smiled a bit, but then her expression turned serious. "Zordon danger approaches, more than just the evil you fight now. I mean no disrespect to the Centurion, the Alpha units, or your Yellow Warrior, but I would ask that we discuss this in private."
"Certainly," and with no further words Dimitria and Zordon faded from this dimension.
"Yo yo, so what's the situation here guys?"
"Alpha 6?" Alpha 5's voice was at once confused and hopeful.
"That's right 5," replied the other automaton in his Brooklyn accent. Aisha just stood staring at the two Alpha Units, so similar, yet so incredibly different. "Well don't stand there gawkin' Yellow, we've got a situation here."
"Yes, where is it I would be of greatest help?" Aisha looked up to see a sleek dark blue and silver robot, apparently made to fight.
"Just a sec... umm?"
"I am a Blue Centurion unit."
"Right, hold on a moment." Aisha turned to the monitors to see where the Blue Centurion would be most needed when she came across an odd reading. "Um... Alphas? I'm picking up a strange signal at the Mall."
"Aye yi yi Aisha, that's one of Divatox's detonators. Contact the Turbo Rangers and warn them at once."
The Zeo Megazord had managed to push the sentient tower out of the city, but that was about it. Now it was receiving a major beating.
"Damn," muttered Tommy as another particularly heavy blast hit them full on. "Rock-o you take over here, I'm gonna' summon more help." Blue Zeo nodded and in a flash was at the front center controls of the Zeo Megazord.
The Zeo Rangers piloted their Zord with efficiency, and with the added help from Tommy in the Red Battlezord, they were doing better, but still not great.
"Firing Warrior Wheel!" Katherine's voice sounded through the sirens. Almost immediately a black and gold streak slammed into the Kieroo, buying the Rangers some time to recover.
As the evil creation stood back up Mega Zeo and Red Battle, Warrior Wheel in hand, were ready. The battle between the titanic machines raged through the desert and even though it was two on one, the Kieroo still held the advantage.
"Yo, Zeo! Auto Pilot sequence completed, here come the Super Zeo Zords!"
"It hasn't been ten minutes yet," said Adam somewhat confused, however the scanner clearly showed the Super Zeo Zords were on their way. "Who just made that transmission?"
"Alpha 6, at your service" came the odd voice.
"Yeah," piped up the more familiar Alpha 5, "He was able to help me speed up the process."
"Pleasantries aside," said Tanya a bit brusquely, she and Kat had taken the hideous copy of their Spirit Guide as a personal insult, "Let's send this thing back to Mondo in pieces!"
"Right!" the other rangers agreed in unison. Now with Super Zeo and Warrior Wheel on auto, Tommy in his personal Red Battle Zord, and the other four piloting Mega Zeo, the Rangers finally had the upper hand. And they pressed it until there was nothing left of the bogus Kieroo.
"Alright guys good job," said Tommy.
"Zeo Rangers, we've got a major situation. Turbo and Grid Warriors have got evil Rangers on their hands, and the battle is moving towards Youth Center!"
The Grid Warriors were holding out against the Blade Rangers, but only barely. Even with the knowledge of how to use their new power, the Blade Rangers were just too strong. The Rangers regrouped and faced their opponents, weapons in hand. Instantly the Blade Rangers charged. Jason met the Blue, spear wielding enemy head on and instantly an intense battle ensued. Cri'ould cut high, only to change the direction and bring the blade down in a viscous arc. The Blue Putty easily blocked and countered, but Jason backed off quickly, anticipating the move.
"The Tierbel will find your soul this day Cri'ould Warrior." Jason started at the creature's whispered declaration. It was enough of a hesitation for Tierbel to thrust, knocking Jason to the ground. The Blue Putty was poised to strike into the hero's chest when Jason's body suddenly became serpent like and he quickly avoided. Getting to his feet Cri'ould raised a hand and sent a jet of flame at his enemy.
Trini was busily fighting off the White, Scimitar carrying Putty with her Power Daggers. Jumping high into the air, she landed with a cat's grace and slashed at her enemy as it turned around. She was about to follow up the attack, when out of the corner of her eye she saw Billy fall from the strike of the Green, Claymore toting villain.
"No!" as Trini turned to rush to his aid, the enemy she had been fighting slashed her across the back. At the same time the Green one Billy had been fighting attacked her. Son'azier crumpled under the combined blows. In identical motions the Green and White villains raised their weapons to deliver the final strike. At the last instant a blue armored figure covered her with his body, and absorbed the blow. Almost immediately they were gone in streaks of light.
Alpha 6 had just sent off the Super Zeo Zords when all four figures in the Command Center watched in silent horror as Candace Secore wrapped herself around the detonator and it exploded, sending her and her sister Casey, flying.
"Such valor..." whispered Blue Centurion.
"Quick, teleport them to the medical chamber!" ordered Aisha.
"Done," replied Alpha 5.
"Good, now the two of you get down there and take care of them." Instantly the red and gold automatons moved as fast as they could for the sickbay.
Aisha turned back to the monitors and received the umpteenth shock of the day. The remaining three Turbo Rangers were battling a black suited Ranger who kept phasing in and out of visibility. "Centurion, head to the park and help Turbo against whatever that thing is."
"Yes Ma'am." Blue Centurion snapped off a quick salute and was gone in a flash of blue.
As she turned back to the monitors she saw the Grid Warriors were fighting blade-wielding color-coded putties... but they were more than that. Running a few scans she realized they held power from the Grid. "Not more evil Rangers."
Anxiously she watched as the fight with the Turbo and Grid Warriors got closer and closer until it was one grand melee. "At least it's nine on six now," she muttered quietly. Then she watched as the White and Green Putty looking Rangers double teamed Trini, the Son'azire, and she crumpled under the combined blow. They were about to finish her when Az'tier covered her with his body taking the blow instead, instantly Aisha teleported them to the medical bay.
The remaining seven heroes, three Turbo, three Amalgams, and the Blue Centurion, regrouped. As they did so a blurry figure took down two of the Blade Rangers. It appeared as though Divatox's Ranger wasn't going to be helping Rita and Zedd's any.
The battle raged on and Aisha watched as it left the park and neared the Youth Center.
"Zeo Rangers," she called the team that had just defeated the mechanical Kieroo out in the desert, "we've got a major situation..."
Angela slowly got up from where the Phantom Ranger had just flung her against a tree. Fred stood in front of her protectively as Justin reached out to help her. Things were not going good. The Phantom faded in and out of visibility, and the Turbo Rangers were forced to wait until it made a move before they could retaliate. The three fought as hard as they could, trying to prove themselves to their companions.
"Come on guys," said Fred "It's three Rangers to one. We can do this." Again the three Turbo Rangers took up fighting stances and faced the Phantom. Without a word the dark armored Ranger charged, turning invisible as he did.
"Turbo Scanner!" the words came unbidden to Angela's lips and immediately a red crosshairs appeared before her vision. She watched in mild astonishment as the crosshairs locked onto the Phantom. Suddenly she attacked and sent the evil Ranger to the ground.
The Phantom got up and was about to attack the Rangers again when there was a blue flash, and a sleek humanoid robot appeared.
"Greetings Turbo Rangers, I am a Blue Centurion, I am here to assist you against the Phantom Ranger."
"Good," replied Justin, "We need all the help we can get." The four on one battle was still slanted in evil's favor, and it raged through the park, down the streets of Downtown and neared the Youth Center. Noises of battle that were not their own caused the Turbo Rangers to look up and see that the Amalgam Rangers were battling color coded Putties. The two battles converged and a grand melee began. And it was just beginning.
"Those Blasted Rangers!!" raged King Mondo. "I'll show them, I'll rip apart their measly planet piece by organic piece!" In a rage Mondo began sending rank after rank of Cogs down to the Earth, not caring how it depleted his resources.
"We're loosing Zeddie! If not for Divatox and her stupid Phantom Ranger..."
"Not to worry my dear, it's time to stack the odds!" Lord Zedd began to dispatch several ranks of Tengas and Putties to the battle below.
"Uh, Auntie Di, Phantom is out numbered out there."
"Yes, I noticed Elgar. Rygog!"
"Yes my Queen?" answered the blue armored mutant.
"Send the Piranatrons to assist the Phantom Ranger."
"Ooh oh, can I go?" Elgar practically bounced on his toes.
"No!" snapped his aunt, "you always mess things up!"
The five Zeo Rangers touched down near the Angel Grove Youth Center to a scene of mass chaos. Three Grid Warriors, three Turbo Rangers, and a humanoid robot were battling a total of six evil Rangers and hundreds of evil foot soldiers from three different sources.
Tanya stepped away from the group and raised her hands. In the right appeared a Golden Key, in the other a stone figure. In one swift movement she inserted the key into the figure's forehead and turned it summoning Auric, the Conqueror. As the six heroes rushed to their friends' aid they were followed by an odd, though familiar voice.
"Right behind you Rangers!" The blue armor clad form of Ninjor swooped into the fight; using his peculiar Ninja magics to hitch a ride on a cloud. And still the battle was only beginning.
The citizens who had taken refuge in the monster shelter of the Youth Center watched the televised ranger battle filmed from the helicopter of a very brave pilot.
"This stinks," said Ashley Hammond, a sophomore at AG High. "Every time the Rangers turn around they get sucker punched."
"No kidding Ash, they are way outnumbered out there," agreed TJ Johnson.
"This is not good, what if the Rangers do not win?" asked Carlos Vargas.
"Don't say that Carlos," responded Silvia. She was a blond hair blue eyed girl in a green tee shirt and shorts.
"Everyone needs help once in a while," said Cassie Chan quietly.
"They've never been this outnumbered before... six evil Rangers," affirmed Audri, a Mexican girl with dark hair and eyes, clad in a blue halter-top and jeans.
"Yeah, but what should we do, just rush outside and begin attacking Putties?" asked Emily Conery clad in a dark purple shirt and black shorts.
"Why not?" asked a voice from nearby the small group. The seven turned to see David Trueheart looking at them. Before a reply could be made, a voice cut through the whispered conversations of those in the shelter.
"Bulk, Skull, what are you two doing?" It was Ernie. He was looking at the two with worry.
"They're out numbered," replied Bulk.
"They need help," added Skull. And with that the two left the underground shelter.
"You see," said David "Who would have thought that Bulk and Skull would choose to charge a battlefield full of evil foot soldiers?"
"He's right, they need our help," said TJ. He stood and the group of eight teens quickly followed after Skull and Bulk. As the eight reached the front doors, they found Bulk and Skull shaking hands and preparing to charge out into the mess.
"Hey guys, wait up," said Carlos.
"Yeah, we're gonna' help," added Audri.
"Good," said Skull as he glanced out the glass doors, "We're gonna' need it." Without any more talk the ten teens ranging in age from sixteen to eighteen burst through the doors at the Angel Grove Youth Center and began battling the forces of evil.
Skull dodged a clumsy punch from a Putty and quickly grabbed it's arm. Bulk followed up putting all of his massive weight behind a devastating punch that shattered the clay soldier. Carlos began attacking everything in sight, while Cassie and Silvia covered his flanks and cleaned up what he was unable to finish. Emily, Ashley and Audri were fighting back to back to back, letting nothing get close. TJ and David fought as though they'd been practicing together for years.
The surprise attack was enough of a distraction that the foot soldiers were soon gone and the Rangers, with their allies, were facing down the Evil Rangers. Quickly the un-powered teens gathered behind the heroes in support.
"You've won this day Rangers..." hissed the Black Blade Ranger, Kitgar.
"But you will not be so lucky next time," finished Rientol, the white one in an identical voice.
"And you," Kaltar, the red Putty, gestured at the Phantom Ranger, "I'd suggest that the next time we meet you stay out of our way."
The Phantom Ranger merely stared back and was gone in a pale streak of grey light. The Blade Rangers teleported out in their respective colors shortly thereafter and there was an odd silence in the Youth Center parking lot.
Slowly the Rangers and their allies turned to face those young men and women who had come to their aid.
"Thank you," Red Zeo finally said.
"We might not have won if not for your aid," agreed Cri'ould.
"It is a rare thing for un-powered and unarmed humans to take on such a force. The courage of this planet has truly astounded me," added the Blue Centurion unit.
"You can count on us any time," replied Bulk. Red Zeo nodded, and in streaks of light the heroes were gone.
Back in the Power Chamber it was a crowded and chaotic scene.
"How are Trini and Billy?"
"...Alpha, and Zordon?"
"Guys," Aisha attempted to restore order to the crowded chamber. "Guys? RANGERS!" The sudden quiet at Asiha's exclamation was shocked. "Now that I have you attention, I can answer a few questions. First off Zordon and a woman named Dimitria have gone into wherever it is Zordon goes when he's not in his tube. Dimitria brought with her, Alpha 6 and the Blue Centurion." At the latter's name Aisha gestured towards the blue and gray robot.
"Trini and Billy have both been injured and are currently unconscious, but the Alphas say they'll be fine within the hour."
"What about Candace and Casey?" asked Fred, a slight tremble in his voice.
Aihsa sighed. "The twins took a direct blast from Divatox's detonator... they were wearing their Rescue Zord armor, Alpha 5 told me that there is no internal damage, but they are still in critical condition."
Fred pounded his fist into the wall and teleported out in his sparkled red streak.
"Aisha, where'd he go?" asked Tommy.
"The park, by the lake," answered the former Yellow Ranger.
"Jason, why don't the two of us go have a talk with him?" The Cri'ould nodded and two more red teleportation streams left the Power Chamber and headed for the park. Soon after Justin and Angela left as well, and with no one to give a debriefing, the others began to follow suit and soon the Power Chamber was empty but for Zack, Aisha, Ninjor, and the Blue Centurion.
"Commander Aisha," said the Centurion unit, "might I be permitted to recharge in one of the lower chambers?"
"Of course Blue, but I'm not a Commander."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," the robot replied enigmatically as he headed for the elevators.
"He's right little Bear, you did a fine job today," said Ninjor to Aisha's embarrassed blush. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I must speak with Zordon." And with that Ninjor faded into Zordon's ion tube, and then from the tube to Zordon's meditative dimension. Aisha slumped to the floor and put her head in her hands.
"You all right?" asked Zack quietly.
Aisha looked up, slightly startled by the inquiry. "Yeah Zack, I'm fine."
"Yeah right." Zack plopped down next to Asiha. "What's up?"
"Sure... come on Aisha, give."
Aisha sighed again and looked at Zack. "You gotta' promise not to tell."
"Cross my heart."
Taking a deep breath, the girl spit it out before she could change her mind. "It's not fair, I should've been out there... I should have been there to help you, instead I was stuck in the Power Chamber."
"Are you kidding me? You were awesome today the Centurion and that Ninjor guy both said so, and I think they would know."
"But I should have been out there... I should be a Ranger... I want to be a Ranger..." the last was said barely above a whisper.
"Ah... I see. I know how you feel Aisha... loosing the power is like having a part of you missing..."
"I was denied though, I failed, Zack... I failed."
"No, you didn't fail. You'll have you chance again. I'm certain of it."
"How can you be?"
"Call it a hunch... about a week ago I was in here helping Alpha and Billy. We'd decided to take a quick lunch break and Billy and I went down to the kitchen. Well after a bit longer Billy decided to go to the library down there, and I went along. I ended up reading some ancient prophecy about an event called 'The Gathering'... It's just a hunch, but I'm beginning to think that all of us gathering here is at least a part of that prophecy."
"So you really think I'll have powers again?"
Zack nodded. "Hey, what do you say we go to the Youth Center? I'm sure some the team is there, and I want to congratulate Skull, Bulk and the others."
Aisha grinned, "Sure, why not... and Zack, thanks."
With that the two were gone in Black and Yellow streaks.
"Hey Fred, wait up man."
The young teen looked behind him to see Tommy Oliver and Jason Lee Scott trotting to catch up with him. Fred gave a half smile and waited for them to join him, then began walking again. "Hey guys," he murmured.
"Fred, it's not your fault," Jason jumped right into the subject.
"There was nothing you could have done," agreed Tommy.
"I could have not sent them, I could have gone myself."
"Then you'd be the one in critical condition instead of them."
"Better me than my friends."
Tommy sighed and looked at Jason. "Fred, why did you send the twins?" asked the leader of the Grid Warriors.
"What was your reasoning in sending the twins?" repeated Jason.
"Well... when Aisha informed us that there was a bomb at the mall and that some of us need to go take care of it, my first thought was Justin, he's a genius he should be able to take care of it. But he's also a black belt and I was certain we'd need him in the battle against the Phantom, so he had to stay. That meant Angela couldn't go either, Justin's mind wouldn't have been on the fight if he had to worry about her too. That left the twins, we needed at least three to take on the Phantom and the twins are much stronger together than apart... I thought they'd be able to deactivate the detonator... I know now that I was wrong, I should have dealt with the bomb. It wasn't right to send Candace and Casey.
"No Fred, you made the right choice. Two were needed for the bomb and three for the Phantom. You already know you teammates well enough to know who functions best with who, and where," said Tommy.
"We're in a dangerous line of work here Fred," added Jason, "But it needs to be done, and sometimes some of us will get hurt. Today two of my oldest and closest friends were injured, but they'll recover, and so will Candace and Casey."
Fred gave a half smile. "Thanks guys, I needed to hear that."
"You're going to be a great leader Fred. So, who's up for a Juice?" And with that the three began walking towards the Youth Center.
The Youth Center was crowded with people of all ages. Most of the excitement was centered on a group of ten teens that had become heroes in the eyes of the city. Earlier there had been news cameras and reporters as well, but Ernie had quickly chased them out with the help of some of the more imposing martial artists.
Somehow however, one of the young men had managed to escape the press of people asking questions to visit with some friends.
"Adam, good to see you man."
"Hey David, what you guys did for us today... man that was incredible."
David Trueheart just smiled. "Actually it was Bulk and Skull who started it, I just nudged the others."
"Bulk and Skull," muttered Zack quietly "They've matured a lot since I left for the Peace Conferences."
"Oh, I'm sorry," said Adam suddenly, "David this is Zack Taylor, Zack, David Trueheart, Tommy's brother he knows about..."
"Yeah, I've seen the Power Chamber's clips on you. It's nice to finally meet you David."
"I just wish there was some way we could reward you all," said Adam.
David's smile turned enigmatic, "Oh I don't think we're done yet." And with that he rejoined his 'co-heroes'
"Is he always like that?" asked Zack.
"More so every time I see him," replied Adam. The two joined Tanya and Aisha at a table and began to discuss the various things teenagers discuss. At some point during their conversation, Tommy, Jason and Fred entered the Youth Center, and began immediately to start working out on the practice mats.
"Hmm, is it a requirement that all leaders have to vent their frustrations through physical means?" mused Tanya
"I feel for him," said Aisha, as she watched Fred pounding the punching bag. "His first mission and two of his teammates go down."
"Speaking of which, does anyone know the latest on the injured?" asked Zack.
"I spoke to Alpha 6 about five minutes ago. He says they'll all be fine, he's not certain when Candace and Casey are going to wake up, but Billy and Trini... well, here they are now." Smiling Adam stood up and hurried to greet the two recently recovered Rangers, followed closely by the rest of the team.
Their celebration was rather quiet since they were in a public place, but all were glad that the two were okay. Fred gave Trini a quick hug and shook Billy's hand.
"I'm glad the two of you are okay... but I don't suppose you know how the twins are?" Trini smiled softly as Billy grinned.
"Turn around Fred," said the young blonde man.
Fred slowly did as he was told and came face to face with Candace and Casey, upright and breathing. Immediately he grabbed both of them in a fierce hug.
"I'm sorry guys, I didn't... I..."
"Fred it's okay," said Candace.
"You couldn't have known... besides we knew the danger when we took the oath," added Casey.
Further conversation was cut off as Ernie called attention the big screen TV. April Conther was about to make her report on the latest Ranger battle.
"Good Afternoon. As you may well know, the city suffered three separate attacks today. The first came from a previously unknown villain who called herself Divatox, Pirate Queen."
"Jeeze," said Angela quietly as she watched herself and the other Turbos pounding on Piranatrons. "How'd they manage to get all of that filmed?"
"The instant the monster sires begin to blare Channel 6 sends out a fleet of helicopter crews," replied Tanya. Angela nodded then turned her attention back to the screen.
"After quite a flashy battle, the evil pirate summoned her own Ranger, believed to be called the Phantom Ranger. Yellow and Green Rangers departed at this point and headed to Angle Grove Mall." At this point the screen showed Green and Yellow Turbo in their Rescue Armor crashing their way into the mall, and then an explosion that rocked the camera.
"It is still unknown why the Rangers blew up the main lobby of the mall, but I'm certain they will be forced to answer for it later." There was an angry mutter from the assembled at that, and some especially vile comments from various Turbo Rangers.
"The second attack came from the UAE sorcerers Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. The Amalgam Rangers, commonly called the Grid Warriors arrived on the scene and were doing quite well until a group of colored Putties showed up. It is currently believed though not yet confirmed that these Putties are yet another team of evil Rangers."
"The third attack came from the Machine Empire's giant Kieroo. The machine was able to cause a good amount of damage before the Zeo Rangers pushed it out into the desert and defeated it with four Zords."
"The climax to the battle came when a large amount of evil troops were teleported to the Youth Center. The Rangers were assisted by ten teenagers, it is unlikely the Rangers would have won without the assistance." There was a hearty round of applause to this declaration.
"That is all on the recent monster attack, be sure to tune in at nine for the full report-" April's voice was cut off as Ernie shut off the TV.
"Well now," said the portly man, "Who here thinks our ten heroes deserve a party?" The responsive cheer was all that was needed for the celebration to get underway.