Always a Ranger - Part 3
You Get A Choice?
By Jeannine Trevizo
I had to give Conner the props he was due. He could have walked away. He wanted to, but the need to do something greater stopped him.
Just like I knew it would.
Just like it always did me.
I figured that even with the bonding of the crystals, and my explanation that they power would have to be destroyed, or the rangers would have to die would have dissuaded them from jumping ship, so to speak. Conner has his own path he wants to follow, and being a ranger was putting a crimp in that plan. I gave him the chance to leave by calling the coach, but I wanted to let Conner make the decision on his own. The last thing I wanted was for him to hate me like I always hated Rita.
But being a hero isn’t something you decide to do, it just is what you are, deep down under the petty day to day wants and dreams. I know none of my friends would have chosen it if they had know what it would cost them: girlfriends, family, school grades, and in Billy’s case almost his life. We got offered the opportunity to be rangers and help others most of the time. When I was given the green ranger powers by Rita, there wasn’t a choice in the matter. Much like there wasn’t for Conner and his group.
But I made the best of it. When Jase broke me loose of the spell I’d been under, I had that choice to leave or help.
And when put into the position of being selfish and being a hero, being a hero always seems to win. Because we always were that, underneath it all, uniform or no.
Still, I can’t help but feel sorry for him. He had this great opportunity, and because of the team, he ended up having to lose it. It reminds me of all the times when we had to make the choice between our futures and being rangers.
Trini, Zack and Jason were the first. They had the chance of a lifetime come their way. Delegates for the International Peace Conference. In some ways, they got to do more that way than battling putties ever would. So they were the first to have to make the choice – to stay or to go.
And because of their departure, Adam, Rock and Aisha joined the team.
That reminds me, I owe Adam a call…
Then of course, there was me, and losing the green ranger power, then being offered the white ranger mantle. I mean, I’d spent months agonizing over not being a part of the team, and here comes Zordon with his ‘miracle’. What was I going to do, say no?
Besides, I wasn’t ready to sit on the sidelines and let other people fight the good fight I felt I should be helping to win.
And there was Kim…
Let’s not go there now Oliver.
So when I finally stepped down from being a power ranger, it was after three colors – green, white and red, three teams, five vehicles, over 2 years as a leader and having found my one true love.
And I found myself lost.
Still, the reality of that when I walked away alone was that I had nothing to show for everything I had accomplished as a ranger. I was famous within the rangers, but how can you compare my saving the world with Andros or TJ or Jason or Wes doing the exact same thing as well? As a power ranger, I was famous in the outside world, but we were interchangeable. I wore those helmets every day and no one saw my face. No one knows I was a ranger, or that I saved the world, or that my sense of duty and pride kept me from getting the woman I loved back until way late in the game.
No, my ranger life isn’t anything like my real life.
When I got the opportunity to work with Mercer, I jumped at the chance to expand the dino theory that I was using for my thesis. I have to think that Zordon and Billy would be proud of the things I learned from them, although I doubt they’d be happy with the results.
Though Mesogog has my science, and is using it to try and destroy the planet. I’m not going to allow that.
And neither will the rangers. I’m sure of that now. I was right that Conner was a bit too arrogant, but in having to make the choice about being the hero or just being a person sort of woke him up. I hope that he’ll get better as time goes on.
Of course, I can’t wait to see the complex series of lies and excuses they’re going to need to start creating to explain leaving their date at dinner because they have to go save the world or leave school in the middle of the day. At least though that have me to help. I don’t think a note from Zordon would have carried much weight back in the day.
As I make my way to the Cybercafe that Kira is singing at, I can’t help but think about Kim and her e-mail and my decision to leave her a message on her answering machine. Should I have asked her to call me? I mean, we’re really on shaky ground, what with the declarations that we’ve been making, and the fact that everything here is so dangerous.
God, I can’t imagine what would happen if she decided to come out here to be with me after the Olympics finished just to get hurt because of my work with the tyrano-drones and mentoring the rangers. She was right about so many things, but the need to protect the rangers was right on the money. My need to protect her would be a hundred times worse, because it always has been.
Yet she’s been there too. Knows what being a ranger, even a ranger without powers is like and can certainly take care of herself. And there’s the times that she saved my ass more than once…
Yeah, I think that asking her to call me was a good idea. If nothing else, I can talk to her, hear her voice and maybe we can think about making some long term plans after the Olympics finish in the summer. I’ll have to ask around for a private gymnastics academy. Maybe if there’s one they’d be interested in an Olympic coach on their staff.
I see the building up ahead, and I smile a bit as start thinking about Kim being here, showing these new kids just how it’s really done when I hear a crackle above me. I glance up and see the green and black portal open with lightning bolts crackling from its center.
Once moment I’m looking at the sky, the next I’m surrounded by Tyrano-drones. Before I know what is happening, I’m caught and we’re being teleported off.
Oh god, I’m in trouble. Conner, Kira, Ethan, help, find me… Kim… I love you…
tbc in Legacy of Power & my next fic…
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