Legacy of Valor – an Always a Ranger Mini Series
Chapter 1 – Out of Retirement
“So you are absolutely sure that you are okay with this?” Kimberly Hart-Oliver asked as she bounced her nearly 2 year old toddler daughter, Beth Trini Oliver on her hip as she stared at Jason and Aisha, who stood before her in the middle of the Oliver residence’s living room.
“Kim, you know we’re good with babysitting Beth while you and Tommy go to Trent’s book signing. We wouldn’t have offered otherwise,” replied Jason, holding his hands out to indicate he was just waiting on Kim to hand over his god daughter to him.
“Mama go?” Beth asked in her still newly developed sentence building way, making Kim’s heart crack just a bit more at leaving her behind.
“We can take her with us if it is any inconvenience…” demurred Kim again, her hand unconsciously ghosting over Beth’s dark locks.
“Beautiful, you need to relax,” said Tommy as he moved behind Kim and wrapped an arm around her waist and gave a sheepish look to both Aisha and Jason. “You’d think we’d never left her alone with her god parents before…”
Kim’s head swung up and back to look up at Tommy and gave him a light smile. She didn’t know why she was so concerned. Aisha and Jason, along with several other friends and relatives, besides Beth’s own day care had taken care of her. Yet for some reason Kim was being overly concerned.
“Sorry…” Kim replied with an apologetic look as she hefted Beth over to where Jason anxiously awaited, his hands wrapping around Beth’s waist instantly.
“That’s right princess!” answered Jason with a goofy grin as he held his god daughter in his grip.
“It’s alright Kim, we get it… but you gotta let her god parents get their time, or else she’s gonna think you don’t trust us,” remarked Aisha as she leaned in to tickle Beth’s chin, making the toddler begin to giggle.
“Well, we wouldn’t want that,” announced Tommy as he turned Kim in his arms and lightly kissed her before pulling back quickly. “Come on Kim. We’ve got people waiting on us.”
At that Kim nodded and with a brief kiss goodbye for Beth, Tommy and Kim headed out the door, leaving Aisha and Jason with little Beth Trini.
“Finally… I thought they’d never leave,” said Jason as he turned Beth in his arms before sitting down with her on the couch. “So, what totally embarrassing story about your parents should we tell you today…”
Aisha plopped down beside them and fought hard not to laugh.
At the huge chain bookstore in downtown Surfside, Tommy and Kim entered the main doors looking for the signage pointing to Trent’s graphic novel signing. It was the first to promote his book and he’d said that the event was only for a few hours, and that they’d all go to dinner afterwards. But once Tommy located the amassed group of people crowding the back corner of the bookstore, he wondered if the former white ranger had underestimated things. He would have sworn there were a few hundred people packed into the space and hoped the fire marshal wasn’t coming by to check on them.
Within the mass of people Tommy was able to see near the front a group that he immediately recognized and turned his head to Kim with a big smile.
“Found them,” he said simply as he caught her hand tightly.
Tommy began cutting a swath through the milling crowd, Kim right behind. She was instantly glad she’d left Beth with Jason and Aisha now. It was a madhouse and she couldn’t comprehend subjecting their little girl to this.
“Hey!” called out Ethan as he caught sight of Dr. O and Kim coming through the crowd. “Looks like we have company.”
Kira and Conner turned to look as a near unit, their hands clasped together as they looked out over the crowds to see Tommy’s taller form leading the way as Kim’s more petite body trailed in his wake.
“They’re here,” Kira quickly relayed to Trent where he sat behind the large table, stacks of his comic series complied into the new graphic novel set to his left for those people who didn’t already have one in hand for him to sign.
“This turnout is crazy… you would think he was you or something,” joked Conner to Kira, making her roll her eyes at her fiancé.
Ahead of Tommy and Kim people parted slowly as they got to the front of the queued area and the security looked to Trent’s manager who had already met the Oliver’s before and waved them in. The guard pulled away the barrier and let Kim and Tommy past to join the others.
“Sorry we’re late,” said Tommy as he made his way to where the others were waiting, Kim breaking away from him to hug Kira, Ethan and Conner.
“You’re not late. When I got here there was already a line. I can’t believe the turn-out,” said Trent quietly, his eyes drifting to catch Tommy’s and the older man gave him a smile.
“I’m not at all surprised,” interrupted Kim as she pulled away from Tommy, walking around the table to wrap her arms around the younger man, giving him a hug. “This graphic novel is wonderful and this is your home… everyone who knew you or likes your work is here, looking for a chance to show it.”
“Still, this is a bit overwhelming. Is it like this at your record signings Kira?” Trent asked, still stunned by the crowd.
“Worse. You should be glad that you mostly have nerdy guys and goth girls. I get the pre-teen boys with crushes… you would not believe some of the fan mail Conner has seen and threatened to burn,” she replied with a laugh.
Conner frowned even as he pulled her a bit closer. In the last year and a half of her music career she’d had more than one stalker that he’d contemplated using his powers on to ‘get rid of’, but had ended up having her manager file restraining orders instead. Still, the fact was that she was his and in a few more months he’d make it official.
Finally the manager of the bookstore made his way to the front of the table Trent was at and raised his arms, signaling for silence. After what seemed several minutes the crowd had hushed enough for him to be heard.
“Thank you everyone for this enthusiastic turnout for our own talented, artistic comic creator, Trent Fernandez. He’ll be signing copies of his new graphic novel, “Danger Ranger”; if you haven’t already bought one, they are here at the table and you can buy them before you get them signed. We have a set amount of Mr. Fernandez’s time so please keep the visiting when you get your books signed to a minimum. Thanks again!”
With that the first person in line, a girl around 12 with dark clothes and big blue eyes made her way with her parents, comic in hand.
Smiling, Trent took the copy of his graphic novel from her and opened it to the title page. He glanced down to see the dedication to his parents, Anton Mercer and then Dr. O, Kim and the team. His eyes swung briefly to them all and the back to the waiting girl.
“Who should I make this out to?”
“Your biggest fan Emily!”
With a flourish Trent signed the copy in front of him, his looping script in black felt pen covering the white page before he closed it and pushed it across the table to her.
“Thanks for coming Emily.”
With a little squeal the girl grabbed her book and raced off to show everyone her signed copy, her parents behind her, wondering if this was the first of these events they’d have to take her to…
Once the first person had gotten her autograph the line never stopped moving for more than a minute or two as Trent signed copy after copy, occasionally shaking a hand or looking up as he signed as someone took his picture. At one point he glanced to Ethan, noting the former blue ranger discreetly sneaking a peek at his watch. At the movement he checked his own and saw they’d been at it for over an hour and the line didn’t seem any shorter.
“We’ll get outta here eventually,” said Trent in a stage whisper between signings to the others, Kim and Tommy looking proudly at him as they watched the excited people still standing in line, books in hand waiting their turn to meet Trent.
“If only we could speed this up…” remarked Conner with a small laugh, thoughts of super speed filling his head as he imagined Trent speed-signing books as quickly as he could attack Tyranodrones back in the day.
As if prompted by his words, instead of speeding up, the room seemed to suddenly just stop. Looking around, Ethan noted everyone in front of them was standing still as statues. People were held in mid-conversation, arms, legs, or heads frozen in place, even mid step. The only ones seemingly unaffected by whatever was going on were the former rangers.
“Uh, guys… anyone else notice no one else is moving?” Kira asked, her hand tightly gripping Conner’s.
“Okay, this is weird,” announced Ethan.
“What could be…” started Kim, her eyes glancing to Tommy, worry obvious within.
Years of being rangers before the Dino Thunder team had ingrained in both of them a healthy dose of vigilance; this was not a normal occurrence and that usually lead to something that more often than not wasn’t pleasant.
From behind them a bright light started to emanate, growing larger and stronger before it opened to a blinding oval of pure white light which suddenly revealed a lone figure. Just as quickly as it had developed the overwhelming brightness faded, leaving the group staring at what was obvious to them all – a power ranger.
“Dino Thunder rangers,” spoke the uniformed woman, her armor shades of blue and silver, her helmet covering her visage completely.
“Should we even guess how you know us?” asked Conner, his hand unconsciously holding Kira’s tightly.
“I’m the Nova Ranger and as you might guess, I’m from the future. I’m in desperate need of your help…”
“And you need us why?” asked Tommy, his natural leadership immediately coming to he fore.
“Because the commanders of the defeated Emperor Grumm’s army have returned and have captured the headquarters of the rangers, including almost every ranger, trainee and support staff member, a total of over 500 people.”
The Dino Thunder team all looked around at one another. An entire organization that trained and supported rangers? And there was obviously concern in her voice as she announced the situation to them. Yet the most important issue was she was saying there were over 500 people needing her help, and by extension, their help.
“Not that we’re at all adverse to helping rangers,” started Trent as he turned in his chair, the person he was starting to sign a book for paused in mid lean, book in hand, “but if we go with you, what happens here?”
He knew that of all of them, if he left and time went back to normal, he’d be missed and questions would start being asked. But if this Nova Ranger had come all this way for their help he wasn’t the type to turn them away. He’d learned better than that from his team mates…
“I will be able to bring you back to this exact moment,” she insisted, knowing somehow what he was concerned about. “That isn’t a problem at all… no one will ever know you were ever gone.”
Trent looked to his other team mates. He wouldn’t be missed, Dr. O and Kim would be back before Beth even knew they were gone…
“I say we go,” said Ethan, his hands in front of him as he crunched his knuckles as if getting ready for a fight.
Conner glanced to Kira and when she nodded he turned to the Nova Ranger as well, “we’re in too.”
“I’m coming,” added Trent as he pushed out of his chair to rise and move to stand with Ethan, Conner and Kira.
“Kim?” questioned Tommy as he looked at his wife and former team mate. They had a child to worry about; he had to know she was okay with this.
“I guess we’re all going,” she announced with a determined look that made Tommy’s insides melt. He loved this woman for so many reasons, this fire among them.
At that the Nova Ranger lifted her wrist to allow her to activate some devise on her arm where a morpher would have been. With a rush of wind the light within the portal behind her increased and the Dino Thunder team moved unconsciously towards the space. Once they were a few feet of the center of the brilliant oval they could see something clearly on the other side. The Nova Ranger stepped into the center of the light and was gone, but the hole in space and time remained.
With the leap of faith reserved for power rangers Tommy took a step through the portal, Kim a half step behind him. Then Conner and Kira slipped through, Trent and Ethan pulling up the rear as the light waned before going out completely as the last Dino Thunder ranger stepped into the future.
-End chapter 1-
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