Always a Ranger - Part 4

Once a Ranger

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

 

“You should head for the portal,” Hayley remarked as she turned in the chair Tommy usually would have sat in towards the rangers.

 

The others continued to stare at her. After everything; her knowing who they were, their likes and passions, to find out she had assisted Dr. O in creating the Dino technology that made them rangers was a shock. The fact that she also knew their teacher’s past as a ranger was even more surprising.

 

“Let’s get moving,” Conner stated as he turned and walked away for the view screen. It was still all sinking in with him that he, Kira and Ethan had just watched the video diary of their teacher, Thomas Oliver, power ranger. But the goal was to rescue him. Then they could ask questions.

 

“Wow, he was a power ranger too,” Ethan remarked as he came up to walk along side of Conner. The blue ranger had wondered what secret their professor was hiding, but he couldn’t have imagined…

 

“Not just one,” Kira commented dumbly as she fell in behind them, the shock still fresh, “he was the leader of power rangers teams, plural. And he was three different colors - green, white and red. He had to be a ranger for like three years or something.”

 

“I still can’t believe that he trusts us to save the world,” remarked the red ranger, his confusion and awe getting the best of him.

 

That last note in the diary had surprised him; if the world was in peril, Dr. O trusted that he and the others could save the planet. It was daunting. If what Hayley was saying was true, that their teacher had been the greatest ranger that ever was, the fact that he trusted them to make sure nothing happened to Earth was just beyond belief.

 

Since the day that the crystals had bonded to them, he’d thought this had been a mistake. But Dr. O’s trust in him made him believe that maybe that the choice to be a ranger had been the right one. The only thing that scared him was the idea that while others had left the ranger service, so to speak, if he ended up like Dr. O, this might not be something he could walk away from. When the soccer team audition had come his way, he was ready to give it all up.

 

If what they’d seen in Dr. O’s video journal was true, being a ranger could be a lifetime kinda thing. A whole ‘Once a Ranger, always a Ranger’ thing.

 

Conner felt something brush past him as Ethan pulled ahead and hit the stairs leading to the upper part of Dr. O’s house. The blue ranger quickly ascended the steps as he considered everything that they’d found out, and thought about how to get their teacher back when they got through the portal. He couldn’t believe that he was now part of a legacy that was responsible for saving the world, and that their mentor had lived the life of a ranger for so many years. Led power team after power team to defeat whatever evil came. It wasn’t a question now of could they be rangers and save Dr. O. Now they had to live up to their mentor’s tenure as a ranger too.

 

The three moved through the door to the basement lair and headed for the front door of the house. As they walked through the living room, the phone rang. As it continued to ring, they stopped for a moment, wracked by indecision. They knew they had to get to the portal to rescue Dr. O, but for all they knew, that could be the bad guy, Mesogog, calling for a ransom or something. The three of them stared at it, none of them knowing what to do.

 

“Should we answer it?” Kira questioned.

 

“We need to get going,” Conner retorted, starting to head for the door. But before Conner could put his hand on the knob, Ethan reached over and grabbed the receiver.

 

“Hello, Dr. Oliver’s residence.”

 

“Who is this?” asked a female voice on the other end.

 

“Uh, who is this?” Ethan responded, his senses already curious at the call. First Hayley showed up, and now they had another mysterious woman from Dr. O’s past calling up after he goes missing?

 

“I’m an old friend of Tommy’s. I told him I’d call. Where is he?”

 

“A friend? Like the ones he saved the world with?” the blue ranger blurted out, and Kira and Conner looked at him in shock for revealing what seemed to be Dr. O’s big secret to someone on the phone.

 

There was a very long pause on the phone, and Ethan was wondering if there was anyone left on the other end when the woman’s voice came back on the line, quiet and frightened.

 

“Is he okay? I mean, did something happen? He said things were getting bad and all, but I didn’t think…”

 

Conner came over and took the phone from Ethan, deciding to either figure out whom this person was or finish this up quickly and get to the rescuing. When he put the phone to his ear, what he heard surprised him more.

 

“Hello? Look, is this one of the rangers? Ethan, Conner?” the woman asked.

 

“She knows our names,” Conner stated with shock as he muffled the mouthpiece so the person on the other end couldn’t hear them.

 

“Great, another one,” Kira remarked sullenly. “Aren’t rangers supposed to have secret identities or something? It looks like we sure don’t.”

 

“What do we do?” Ethan asked startled. All his conspiracy theories never prepared him for this eventuality.

 

There wasn’t anything he could do, Conner thought. If this woman knew about the rangers, like Hayley, maybe she could help. And if it was one of Mesogog’s cronies, like Elsa that Kira had been held by, then it was too late for secret identities. Take a chance, his gut told him.

 

“This is Conner. Can I ask whom I’m speaking with?” he announced, and Kira dropped her head in her hands as Ethan felt his jaw drop at Conner’s leap of faith.

 

Again there was silence, as if the person on the other end was debating what they should say, and how much. Conner fidgeted, and started to think maybe they should just leave and get Dr. O and worry about the caller’s identity later. He was just about to tell the woman on the other end to call back when her voice came back on the line.

 

“I don’t know if this will mean anything to you, but my name is Kimberly. Tommy and I go back to when he first moved to Angel Grove.”

 

“Kimberly?” Conner said out loud, and Kira moved quickly to his side.

 

“She was the pink ranger! Remember, in the journal? Dr. O showed the first of the rangers being picked, and it said that Kimberly was the original pink ranger. And there were all those clips of her and Dr. O at Angel Grove High School. She knows him, and she was a ranger!”

 

“Maybe its’ another Kimberly,” Ethan remarked, suspicious of the idea that the first pink ranger would be calling Dr. O. Especially now.

 

“No, that’s me,” came Kim’s voice on the other end of the line, and Conner’s face went white. Obviously his fellow ranger’s voices had carried over the line.

 

“You’re the first pink ranger? Really?” Conner blurted out, and his fellow rangers looked at him with awe as Kira’s suspicions were confirmed.

 

“Really. Tommy and I have been… friends a long time,” Kim explained, pausing as she decided to use the word friend. No reason to tell them everything, she thought.

 

“She says she’s really the first pink ranger and that she and Dr. O are friends,” Conner repeated for his fellow rangers as he held his hand over the mouthpiece again.

 

“Why do I get the feeling that there’s more to the story than that?” wondered Ethan, his mind whirling with the information he was getting.

 

“Anyway,” cut through Kim’s voice, bringing Conner’s attention back to the phone, “where’s Tommy? Is he okay? Did something with Mesogog happen?”

 

“We found some videotape showing him being kidnapped by the Tyrano-drones. We think Mesogog has him and were just on our way to a invisi-portal to rescue him.”

 

“Then what the hell are you wasting your time on the phone with me for?!?” yelled Kim, her voice loud enough so all the rangers could hear her as Conner pulled the phone away from his ear to keep his hearing. The outburst over, Conner carefully brought the receiver back to his head to hear Kim apologize. “Sorry. I just… Go on, save him! He trusts you all enough to be able to help him. And just tell him…”

 

“Tell him what?” Conner asked, intrigued at the change in Kim’s tone.

 

“Tell him I…” Kim paused, then sucked in a deep breath and started again. “That I was worried and that I called. And have him call me when you get him back. Because I know you will. You’re power rangers. Never forget what that legacy means. You can do this.”

 

“Okay,” replied Conner, his curiosity now starting to rival Ethan’s regarding their mentor and the former pink ranger. “We’ll get him back and let him know you called, and that you were worried.”

 

“Thank you Conner. And one more thing… may the power protect you.”

 

With that, the line went dead, and Conner pulled the receiver away from him and simply stared at it. It seemed that their teacher had a lot more to explain to them besides his past as a ranger.

 

“What did she say?” Kira questioned, staring at Conner’s befuddled look.

 

“May the power protect us,” mumbled Conner, the significance of the comment just starting to seep in.

 

“Wow,” commented Ethan. They’d just talked to one of the first rangers. Even Dr. O had said that he’d made a ranger after Kim and the rest of the original team had been chosen. She’d just told them she and Dr. O trusted them to rescue him and given them the good wishes of one ranger to another. It was overwhelming.

 

“Well then, we should go prove Kim and Dr. O’s faith in us and go rescue him, now shouldn’t we?” Kira remarked suddenly and started for the door.

 

“Wait!” yelled a voice from the basement lair.

 

Conner rested the phone back on its hook before racing to catch up with the others as the three headed immediately back down the stairs at a near run. Hayley sat there with a concerned look on her face.

 

“You’ll need to get to a speed of 536 mph or you’ll never make it past the security wall and probably be ripped to pieces.”

 

The rangers stared at her in horror.

 

“I forgot to mention it. So…. I had to get you back, to show you this,” Hayley stated, and then the wall to the ranger’s left rose, showing three dino-style cycles. “These are your new Raptor-cycles.”

 

As Hayley continued to explain what they could do, Conner kept thinking about the job they had to do: rescue Dr. O. Not just for themselves or Earth or anything like that, but because Kim seemed to need him safe and sound. And, he suspected, not just because they were friends or former rangers. There was a lot more to Dr. O, and to his and Kim’s ‘friendship’, but he didn’t have the information to help him figure out exactly what there was between their teacher and the former pink ranger.

 

He’d guessed that if he wanted the answers, he and the team would just have to make sure that they got Dr. O back so he could ask him.

 

Then he heard the part about the island.

 

“Wait, did you just say island fortress?”

 

“Yes, why?”

 

Islands are surrounded by water.”

 

“Usually,” Hayley commented, slightly amused.

 

“No, you can’t swim,” Ethan teased.

 

“I didn’t say that!”

 

“But its true, you can’t.”

 

“The invisi-portal will take you directly to the island,” broke in Hayley, “you’ll never have to get wet.”

 

As Hayley walked away, Ethan snickered as Conner’s face looked relieved. Kira had smartly stayed out of the boy’s ego battle and simply watched.

 

“Whatever dude,” Conner snapped at Ethan, “you guys ready?” Conner asked, the seriousness of the situation coming back to him.

 

With that, they morphed into their uniforms, got on the bikes and headed out to rescue the greatest ranger that ever was.

 

-End-

 

tbc

GO TO CHAPTER 5

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